Category Archives: Grooming

Finding Your Way

Facial Hair Growth
For the last month, I’ve been answering the grooming Q&As of men across the globe for Men’s Health Magazine’s micrrosite, awardwinnersplaybook.com. It’s been fun learning about the grooming issues that leave men scratching their heads. A fair amount of the questions that have come in so far have been related to shaving in some form or another. How do you figure out what direction the hair on your face grows, what’s the best after shave routine, or is it true that letting shave cream sit on your face is a good thing, are just a few of the questions I’ve fielded.

A common theme that’s developed in my responses is what I call the 3 P’s of wetshaving: patience, preparation and practice. Many of the issues we suffer from while shaving can be prevented if we adhered to the 3 P’s. That’s not to dismiss severe cases of anything that plagues us. In those instances, a dermatologist should be consulted. But if you’re patient, and your preparation is thorough, with practice, your technique should result in irritation free shaving.

Another thing I stress is paying attention. There are no quick fixes and with that, we must keep an eye on what’s happening to our skin. Case in point – I realized that shaving everyday and shaving with the grain is key in my defense against ingrown hairs. That may or may not work for you but keeping a watchful eye while exhibiting some patience and with some practice, you’ll find your solution.

If you have a chance, pop over to awardwinnersplaybook.com and tap on the “ask an expert” tab and see if anything already answered will put you on your path to solving your grooming issues.

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Odor Eaters

nicheformen_deotorizingwipes_pack

Gents, what do you do when the day is hectic and you know a shower isn’t possible? You either wing it or hope no one notices you’re not your freshest. For occasions like these and many others, Niche For Men has developed deodorizing wipes made especially for men.

Individually packaged wipes, which are about the size of a hand towel (9×11), are infused with ginseng and aloe vera. What you’re left with is a very masculine scented wipe that’s good for one use but well equipped to get the job done. I recently tested Niche For Men after a night out at the cigar lounge and it easily washed away the odor of hanging out for a few hours in a smoked filled room. The best part, my wife couldn’t detect any cigar scent. My skin felt rejuvenated and moisturized.

Tis the season for increased activities. After work cocktails, which can lead to flirty dinners and late night shenanigans is just one of many possibilities that can occur now that the weather is breaking. Do yourself a favor and keep these in your bag or at your desk. You won’t be sorry.

A one pack of Niche For Men’s deodorizing wipes, which brings two individually wrapped wipes are $3.00

Niche For Men sent a sample of this product to me but my opinion is my own.

Headed Out The Door, Don’t Forget This

Hand Creams
Wallet – check. Phone – check. Keys – check. Money – check. It’s safe to say these items are part of the checklist of items men run through before they leave home for the day. Perhaps lip balm is on there when it’s really cold out but the question I pose today is this, how many of you carry around hand lotion? Does that seem a bit too fussy? Consider the fact that women notice fine details and ashy hands will result in the loss of brownie points. If that got your attention, read on.

If you suffer from ashy skin, you’ll notice it occurring during the winter and after long hot showers, two common factors. During the winter, temperatures drop and the air gets very dry, and while long hot showers can be soothing, the heat opens our pores allowing moisture to escape. In both of these instances, the top layer of our skin is being stripped of its natural moisture, leaving the skin dry and itchy. Add to that the fact that in the winter, we’re constantly washing our hands to kill germs and that is a recipe for ashy hands.

So, what can we do to remedy this? Cutting down the length and temperature of those showers will help but what you really want to do is moisturize your skin more often. Add any one of the following to your daily checklist of must have items before you leave the house to keep your polished look intact. (From L to R):

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter
I can’t even remember when I started using this but it’s stood the test of time. Cocoa butter will do your skin justice. Its rich formula will create a protective barrier between your skin and the elements. The result, moisturized hands that look manicured without feeling greasy.

Jack Black Industrial Hand Healer
Jack Black’s Industrial Hand Healer is a quiet worker bee. Before you know it, eucalyptus, vitamin A and E quickly penetrate your skin to rid it of ash. There’s no residual greasy feeling or extra shine. Hands are left feeling smooth and moisturized and no one’s the wiser.

Portland General Store Wood Super Thick Hand Cream
Formulated for overworked hands, Wood Super Thick Hand Cream is all natural and loaded with essential oils. It works fast to moisturize hands and is the most masculine smelling of the bunch.

Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream
You probably noticed your ladies’ Bliss products but this is one you can use with no shame. You only need a little bit of Bliss’ High Intensity Hand Cream to heal your ash. Macadamia nut oil and grape seed extract work to hydrate and soothe your skin leaving hands feeling rescued.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
Super creamy and packed with 20% shea butter honey, almond and coconut oil, L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream is by far one of my favorites. Creamy and light, it quickly penetrates the skin to hydrate hands leaving them polished and soft without the feeling of grease.

Ursa Major’s Fortifying Face Balm

Growing up the son of working class parents, I remember having occasion items. When Easter rolled around, it was time to get a suit because, if my mother had anything to do with it, we were surely going to church . When we came home from school, the first thing we had to do was change out of our school clothes. I even had a trench coat for church and funerals. This was a function of economics with a dash of reverence.

As I look back and smile about those days, I couldn’t help thinking about that the first time I tried Ursa Major’s Fortifying Face Balm. The ease at which it applied to my face and was absorbed by my skin, it didn’t even feel like it was there. it felt to good for everyday use but as I continued using it, even on days when I wasn’t shaving, I knew I found just what I needed for the summer. Something light, bright and just right.

The heat of the summer can surely make you not want to put anything on your skin, and that’s the worst thing you can do for yourself. What you want to do is shift from heavier moisturizers and creams to ones that are lightweight. Ursa Major’s Fortifying Face Balm is just that. Your skin will also absorb it quickly, hence the feeling that it’s not there. With high concentrations of aloe, myrtle, witch hazel, willow bark, kendi nut, carrot seed and birch sap, it has served me well thus far this summer.

100% natural and 82% organic, 2.5 oz size retails for $36. You can find it at Ursa Major Men and select retailers.

A sample of Ursa Major’s Fortifying Face Balm was sent to me but my views are all my own.

Cremo Cream Face Wash

Give a guy a face wash and he’ll more than likely make a quick judgment based on how it lathers. If it produces visible foam, it must be doing something right. That was the quick and simple judgment I made when I tried Cremo Cream’s Face Wash. Continue reading

The Weekend Getaway

A quick weekend getaway, while exciting because it breaks the routine, should also have some comforting elements as well. On a recent jump down to Philadelphia, that’s exactly what I had in mind. And while TSA restrictions didn’t apply, I’ve gotten so used to packing that way, all of my grooming necessities were airline appropriate. Continue reading

Portland General Store’s Hunting Camp Deep Exfoliating Soap

For many guys, certain aspects of the daily grooming regimen can be a burden. Anything falling out of the basics, the three “S’s” is frowned upon. And most are still averse to the idea of body wash. It’s looked upon as girly and real men use bars of soap. Well, if that’s how you see it, allow me to introduce to you, the Portland General Store’s Hunting Camp Deep Exfoliating SoapContinue reading