Even though Father’s Day has come and gone, I’ve been thinking about men and their grooming habits. Women are known to pamper themselves. Whether it’s with a night cream, a manicure, or a spa appointment, these are rituals we indulge in.
I’ve also been meeting with many new brands that have launched product lines specifically for men, with a full range of skincare–from cleansers to eye creams (Eshu and Organic Male being among my male friends favorites). Then in April I heard about Hommage Atelier by Julien Feral, a men’s boutique spa that opened in New York City. I tracked down the brains behind the brand, Tom Wilscam to find out what is changing with men’s grooming habits and why his idea is so on trend.
Real Simple: Do you think public opinion on what is socially acceptable for men’s grooming has changed in the last 5, 10, 15 years? Why do you think shifted in our society?
Tom Wilscam: It has dramatically changed in the U.S. market–men’s grooming as a retail and service category has become more prominent in the public eye. Just look at the shelves lining any drugstore or high-end boutique. While men have always gone to barber shops, the conversation in the media and amongst fellow men have changed–now, men are starting to become educated about skincare, hair care and are not scared to try new products and services. As with women, men have come to realize that looking good means feeling good and performing better.
RS: What do men think about the most when it comes to grooming? Shaving, their haircut, or having clear skin, etc? How does it differ from women?
Tom: Men have become more selective and demanding when it comes to grooming than ever before and their idea of grooming have become much more comprehensive. Shaving, haircuts and the maintenance of healthy skin are now on par with other services such as manicures (handshakes!), pedicures (beaches), facials (clear skin, no extra hairs) and massages (the most popular amongst men of all ages at any spa). Women treat grooming more as a social experience whereas men see it as a time to relax and unwind without distraction.
RS: What inspired you to create Hommage? What do you think changed in the mindset of men and their grooming habits that made this idea successful?
Tom: I founded Hommage in 2005 when I began to notice the growing need for a grooming brand that delivered the same kind of high-performance, results-driven, and high return on investment experience that globe-trekking affluent business men have come to expect from every aspect of their life.
At the same time, life got hectic. By providing them a high ROI on their shaving and grooming ritual every morning via efficacy and pride in using our beautifully designed products, we provide an outlet, a momentary retreat that men can savor each morning and evening or at the four and five-star luxury properties around the world while on business.
RS: If a wife, daughter, or girlfriend wants to gift the man in their life a service at HOMMAGE (or at a similar men’s grooming salon) what do you think would be a good introductory service–especially if he’s hesitant?
Tom: The Precision Shave or Signature Facial services incorporate techniques that men are used to performing on themselves on a daily basis while providing him with the indulgence of a professional technicians hands and results oriented product. At the Atelier, we strive to make men feel as comfortable as possible; black kimonos are offered instead of robes (if they choose to change out of their clothes) and a generous pour of top-shelf Scotch is always offered prior to the service.
RS: When women are shopping for their men–for face products–what should they look for in particular?
Tom: Men love products that offer results–we are a results-driven species that consider time a major investment. Grooming products should be easy to use and beneficial to the skin, not products that require a once nightly or twice daily kind of routine in order to work. HOMMAGE products have a masculine design–from packaging to black (instead of green or white) facial masks that dry and peel off–every detail appeals to the masculine principle.
Would the man in your life get pampered at Hommage Atelier? Share your thoughts below!