STYLE
12/20/2011 04:15 pm ET

Do Men Really Buy High-End Beauty Products?

This just in: the New York Times has found one man in the metropolitan area who likes high-end beauty products.

In its most recent "trend" piece (we use that word very loosely), the Times discusses the growing phenomenon of luxury skincare for men, a craze not seen since the long-ago "metrosexual" era:

But there is once again a growing demand among men for high-end skin-care products, in spite of a morbid economy and high unemployment. Or maybe because of it. The reason, beauty analysts say, is a changing attitude among men, who now associate healthy-looking skin less with vanity than with professionalism. At a time when job security is at a low, they say, men do not have to work in front of a camera to place a higher premium on being presentable.

Yup -- today's men are just flocking to Kiehl's to get that perfect sun-kissed glow because of, um, rising unemployment.

At least one guy is. The Times managed to find one "regular guy," named Thomas Sullivan, whose beauty routine includes StriVectin moisturizer, Kiehl's Abyssine Night Eye Cream, Kiehl's Facial Fuel and a Hydra-Energetic Ice Cold Ball Roller from L'Oreal -- for a total of about $600 a year.

In reality, we're not sure how many men are like Sullivan -- and how many male beauty products people really buy. Sure, the makers of "guylashes" and nail polish for men must have a few devoted customers (we're looking at you, Johnny Depp).

But we really wonder how many regular men out there are running to the nearest makeup counter demanding retinol creams and exfoliator with jojoba beads, not to mention makeup.

Is high-end beauty for men a real, living, breathing phenomenon -- or, like fetch, is it simply not going to happen?

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