If you are not a loyal fan of old sayings – and, really, with so many new ones around these days, half of them barely lasting for the time it takes to repeat them, why would you be? – staid references to the two genders of geese may not get your creative juices flowing.

A story about how certain men’s products are suitable for women’s use just might, however.

No, the good folks at InStyle aren’t suggesting that women take pills that could send them to the ER after 4 hours of a chronic condition, much less comb through some Just for (Old) Men where the gray’s beginning to show (wherever that may be). Nor do the magazine’s writers cheekily endorse bizarre ideas like guys and gals sharing the same toothbrush. They can. But as another old saying goes, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” (This advice, of course, does not apply to the uber-celebrified such as Miley Cyrus or Donnie Wahlberg, either of whom would still be searching for a low-tier agent if they’d ever listened to common sense. Like, “Do you really think normal people would pay serious money to see you act?”)

Thankfully, the InStyle stylistas have creatively identified nine men’s grooming categories that, by hook or by crook, work just as well for women. Maybe even better. And just in case you’re wondering: Do you seriously think the writers and editors of a major style magazine would dare put forth such claims if they weren’t reliable, other than for those dealing with special circumstances, like a skin condition?

Neither did we. So relax. It’s not like you’d ever sample a grooming product of your mate’s that would scream “Disgusting” right off the bat anyway. Which, we can confidently say, these don’t:

  1. 1.

    The First Caveat

    IF you and your man share the same overall skin complexion, one of you is lying about your gender. No, seriously, InStyle says that if both of you share a basic complexion type, then skincare products for him will work for her. Those recommended include – for those few men vain enough to own it rather than steal some from their older female relatives – a certain brand of wrinkle cream.

  2. 2.


    InStyle advises, are largely unisex. Which itself explains reports of widespread panic on the shuttle to Fire Island the other week. The magazine’s advice? Have a pretty solid idea of “how perfume develops on your own skin.” Which, again, likely explains why that Roller Derby team traveling through town appeared, by one olfactory measuring, to resemble the bus-and-truck cast of “Hairspray”. To wit: This one requires extra special attention, but can still work.

  3. 3.

    Body Washes

    The magazine reports that body washes that are made for men contain a “whisper of fragrance” that’s likely akin to spending some time in close quarters with a freshly showered male. And combining that smell with your own chosen fragrance apparently doesn’t come close to resembling the accidental conflagration of two NYC taxi air fresheners laced with polar-opposite musk oils. In fact, mixing his and hers, in this case, often produces a pleasant after-scent.

  4. 4.


    OK, disclaimer time here. If a woman ever borrows one of our razors, which many of us would be fine with, please do not, under any circumstances, expect us to use it in quite in the same way again. The relative toughness of stubbly female leg hair, which has survived the Iditarod we are told, makes facial whiskers feel like cotton candy. We like you, all parts of you. But razors are, we believe, quite the personal grooming tool, and should remain so. Though, under the proper circumstances, we remain open to persuasion. As long as the plastic cap is in place while said razor is in your grasp.

  5. 5.

    Shaving Cream

    If you need that sort of thing, which some of the hardiest of us can do without. Good bar soap is often easier to negotiate (and reminds us of the good old days of shaving soap). Even so, as InStyle advises, men’s shaving cream, as designed for facial skin, often contains more hydrating agents that other versions. Which comes in handy for that female leg stubble…especially when perched behind a dog sled for days on end (see #4, above).

  6. 6.


    Well, we’ve been stealing yours for years (other than the Herbal Essence varieties), which is common knowledge among manufacturers, so why would this be a problem? Come on, admit it – you just want the beer we’ve been taking with us in the shower, claiming it’s good for follicle sheen.

  7. 7.


    The one creep factor here, but only if you share the same applicator. Should you choose to cross-deodorize, kindly be aware that we no longer “perspire” whilst you “glow.” Fair is fair. We both sweat.

  8. 8.

    Hair Texturizer

    Centuries in the obtaining, other than in bacon by-product form, for those of us with spike-worthy locks, and now you want some for yourself, huh? And where were you when all we wanted was a mere dab of Dippety-Do?

  9. 9.

    After-Shave Balm

    Let’s try to end on an agreeable note, shall we? After all, once word of these nine categories gets out to the wider populace, drugstore visits could become a serious contact sport. And depending on the degree of agreeability we can muster going forward, this suggested dual use just might be one of those that could be shared in creatively satisfying ways. Please. Help yourself. As much as you’d like. And don’t forget to share.

Now it’s your turn: take a moment to share your experience. Go ahead, we dare you!

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