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Every year, November sees more than a million men across the globe do their damnedest to cultivate a moustache that Tom Selleck himself would envy. It's all part of a month-long initiative called Movember which aims to change the face of men's health by raising vital awareness of and funding for prostate cancer research, of which Ireland has the highest rate in Europe.

The idea is that participants register their clean-shaven faces on the Movember website today and then spend the next 30 days growing and grooming their 'tache.

They become living billboards for the cause, prompting conversation about this often ignored health concern by way of their burgeoning moustache as well as raising funds through sponsorship and donations.

Last year, an impressive €1.6m was raised in Ireland alone with all funds going to Action Prostate Cancer, a programme of the Irish Cancer Society.

For more information, to take part, or donate, visit ie.movember.com.

While blokes growing a mo' for charity get on with the business of coaxing their upper lip hair into an impressive piece of facial topiary, most women will be doing exactly the opposite. The subject of female facial furriness is a hairy one at best and taboo at worst, but I'm afraid the jig is most definitely up in our house.

After years of attempting to maintain my feminine mystique (read: sneaking around with a thick white caterpillar of cream bleach under my nose or secretly waxing it into submission), I decided to have my lady 'tasche lasered off. With permanent hair reduction promised after six to eight sessions, I was looking forward to binning my bleach and DIY wax strips, but there's a catch that I wasn't quite prepared for. In between sessions, the only method of hair removal that's permitted is shaving.


This carry on is, apparently, big in Japan, where women favour grabbing a razor for facial depilation over any other method; it's supposed to have the added benefit of exfoliating skin at the same time as doing away with those pesky whiskers.

Other things that are big there include collagen-enriched marshmallows and anti-wrinkle goggles to keep crow's feet at bay, which sort of makes you wonder at the wisdom of taking beauty advice from the Japanese.

The jokes about beard rash are flying thick and fast, not unlike my stubbly regrowth, but at least mine will be gone for good when the lasering's done.

And if not, well, I can always partake in Movember 2012.