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This chapter has illustrated how beauty products and/or services are - at least to a certain extent - presented and perceived as similar to cosmetic procedures and vice versa. In addition to this, the concept of a boundary between procedures and products/services has been questioned, particularly in light of the problematic nature of what constitutes a ‘boundary’. I will return to some of these concerns, and their implications, in Chapter 9.

The next chapter will explore the ways in which masculinity is negotiated in the beauty and grooming market. Although beauty brands increasingly target male consumers, they have struggled to find the right tone to reassure men they won’t ‘surrender’ their masculinity by investing in beauty/grooming products and services. Several ways of emphasising male values are explored and particular attention is paid to the results of the (group) interviews with a number of hetero- and gay men.


  • 1 It is interesting to note the ambiguous nature of ‘regular’ here as it is unclear whether the author intends the term to mean ‘common/normal’ or ‘periodic’.
  • 2 According to cosmeceutical provider Skinceuticals, cosmeceuticals refer to “cosmetic [skincare] products with biologically active ingredients”, which “offer a bridge between prescription-based products and over-the-counter cosmetics” ( However, the US Food and Drug Administration does not recognise the term although it does acknowledge how “the cosmetic industry uses this word to refer to cosmetic products that have medicinal or drug-like benefits” ( labeling/claims/ucml27064.htm).
  • 3 Various types of both invasive and non-invasive ‘lifts’ were marketed in the magazines (e.g. face-, neck-, brow-, eyebrow-, arm-, thigh-, and breast-(up) lifts). Moreover, ‘sculpt’ was usually employed to denote (soft-) liposculpture or ‘dynamic facial sculpting’.
  • 4 32% (N=12) of all adverts for cosmetic procedures in 2010 and 13% (N=2) of those published in 2015 advertise dermal fillers.
  • 5 Only 1% (N=5) of all adverts for (other) beauty products/services refer to ‘fillers’.
  • 6 It is important to point out here that the original idea of “technological incrementalism”, as coined by Shim, Russ and Kaufman (2006: 491), referred to the ‘slippery slope’ of offering less invasive procedures to terminal cardiothor- acic patients, which often led to more invasive treatments.
  • 7 Smirnova applies the idea of technological incrementalism to cosmeceuticals, which would suggest that beauty products without ‘biologically active ingredients’ are excluded from the continuum. However, the examples of cosmeceuticals that Smirnova (2012: 1237) provides - e.g. Olay’s Age Defying Creme and Estee Lauder’s Ceramide - indicate that she includes a broader spectrum of products.
  • 8 It must be noted that this classification has been contested. Harris-Moore (2014: 161), for example, has juxtaposed cosmetic procedures with ‘other’ body modifications; whereas “plastic surgeries are often made to look natural, body modifiers want their bodies coded in a way that is exposed and expressive”. Moreover, whereas cosmetic procedures emphasise the result, the ‘product’, the “individual experience” of the process is paramount in body modifications (ibid: 159).
  • 9 Although it needs to be noted that at present there is no “legislation in the UK to prevent non-medical professionals from delivering injectable cosmetic treatments” (Vilas 2016). The proposed bills on the regulation of cosmetic surgery aimed to address this issue.
  • 10 Cf. Lakoff (1999: 392) who has argued that properties constituting human categories are not objective but interactional in the sense that they are “what we understand [them to be] by virtue of our interactive functioning in our environment”. Of course, prototypes are also not stable and evolve over time and differ across contexts.
  • 11 Cf. Featherstone (2000, 2007) and Sweetman (2000).
  • 12 Emma compared the advertising for cosmetic procedures with adverts for financial services, which must carry a caution, and Shannon brought up cigarette packets which need to carry a health warning.


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