Tag Archives: Men’s Essentials

Gym Bag Essentials

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I recently started going to the gym again. I’m paying a more than I have for my membership but the experience is worth it. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is guys either having to much grooming products or relying on whatever maybe thrown together by the gym. I’m all for a lighter bag. Not having to carry around a towel is beautiful amenity. One thing I won’t skip on though are my essential products. Call it what you want but after a great workout and a long day ahead of me, it makes all the difference. Below are a few my must haves for your consideration.

Lucky Tiger Liquid Shave Cream – While I love using my badger brush, even I know when to leave it home. I love this shave cream because even with my hands I get a nice lather but more importantly, its ingredients moisturize the skin and gives the razor a super easy glide.

Crown Shaving Co After Shave Balm – Ever since I tried Crown Shaving Co., I’ve been hooked. Boasting traditional formulations and masculine marketing efforts, these guys know shaving and know how to take care your skin while doing it. The balm isn’t super thick and doesn’t leave my face greasy. Makes a difference when your metabolism is still revving and while rushing so you won’t be late, you find yourself sweating.

Curel Itch Defense Moisturizing Spray – It’s easy in the rush to forget to apply lotion and if you happen to remember, what’s provided at most gyms smells medicinal. Believe it or not, spraying the lotion actually shaves time off getting ready but what I love about Curel Itch Defense Moisturizing Spray is it absorbs into the skin super fast, isn’t greasy or heavy and most importantly for a scent enthusiast like me, it doesn’t compete with my cologne choice of the day. It’s just what I need to keep the ash away.

Degree Motionsense Dryspray – Not that I need protection for 48hrs (God forbid that amount of time passes and I haven’t showered…can you say ewww) but after an arduous day, I find this deordorant is still going strong. Works for me!

Bevel Razor – balanced weight, extra long handle, never looses its grip…never leave home with it. (Disclosure, I am a freelance writer for Bevel. My decision, however, to use it daily is because it’s really a great razor.)

Musc Imperial by Atelier Colgone – I will admit, this is the one thing that changes regularly. I’m not a signature scent kind of guy, as I love variety. If I was, however, this is one I’d chose to go with. I’ve been a fan of the Atelier Cologne brand for a very long time as I’ve never been disappointed by their scents. Developed as the signature scent of the Majestic Hotel & Spa in Barcelona I find this simply magnificent. If this is in part a reminder of Barcelona, I want to go. This reads traditional to me. I think of well-dressed Barcelona men that make me want to wear a suit. It opens sweet and clean and right away I pick up the lavender and fig. As it develops the leather, woods and musk kick in. Its longevity is incredible as is the case with all of Atelier Cologne’s fragrances. When I’m headed out on a business trip, I usually throw Oolang Infini into my dopp kit. Musc Imperial is now a no brainer for gym bags and business trips.

 

In The Mail: Shaving Off Time

 

“I love my morning routine, which includes shaving, but I’m wondering how I can cut down on the time I’m spending in the bathroom? Shaving takes the most time?”

Martin – Memphis, TN

A couple of years ago while visiting Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck, NY I was having a conversation at breakfast and grooming was the topic of the moment. When I disclosed I used a badger brush every morning, the looks I received from the gents at the table were priceless. One gent went so far as to say, “What? Where do you find the time?” My reply, “I make time. It’s me time.” I’m sure that tickled him pink inside. But in all seriousness, it’s true. I look at my morning shower, which also includes shaving, as a moment I not only have to myself, but a chance to gather my thoughts for the day. There are however, times when I just need to get it done, pronto.

I find when my blades are their sharpest, I zip through my shave. My first piece of advice then would be to make sure you’re changing your blades often. Some people recommend 5 days, other say sooner. I think you’ll know when it’s time and that’s when you should change them. If you find yourself going over the same areas a few times, it’s time to switch them out.

If you’re using a badger brush, ditch it and use your hands. While the bristles of the brush are good for massaging your face and lifting hairs, if you’re in a hurry, a few seconds count.

This last piece of advice may have the purists shunning me but oh well. For those mornings when you’re really pressed for time and you’re looking in the mirror asking yourself can you get through the day without shaving, go electric. Yep…I said it. Electric is where I started and I’ve never fully turned my back on it. Zip, zip, zip and I’m done. I enjoy the act of shaving a lot but some mornings I just need it to be done and my electric shaver comes in handy.

As always, thanks for the questions. Feel free to drop a line at fm@fragrantmoments.net.

Interview with Dino Caracciolo of Crown Shaving Co

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For a few years now, I’ve watched the men’s grooming category explode. We have more options than ever before and have the internet to thank, in part, for that. Unfortunately retail is still a bit stale but it’s getting there. Social media, however, has helped this fresh crop of brands get their message out there and attract customers. One of those brands is Crown Shaving Company.

One day while jumping around Instagram, I stumbled upon this company and have been a fan ever since. I remember the first time I tried the product, my first reaction was, Canada isn’t so bad. Seriously though, I experienced a silky smooth shave with no irritation and it’s been all good ever since. I try a lot of products but this has stood out and become a brand of choice for me in the morning. Everything from the lather it builds to the easy glide of the razor to the way it coats and protects my face has sold me on the shaving cream. But it doesn’t stop there. They also have an after shave that’s equally impressive and if you require a preshave oil, they have one of the best.

Below is an interview I recently conducted with it’s head honcho, Dino Caracciolo. Give it a read and get familiar. If you haven’t heard of them yet, well, keep your eyes on them.

The men’s grooming category has received a lot of attention in the past few years. So much so I heard someone compare it to what’s happening with microbreweries. It’s clear to see from following you on instagram, however, your roots run deeper than this trend. Please explain how you got started?

There has definitely been a revival of sorts with barbershops popping up everywhere the last several years and what may have seemed a trend is only picking up more steam with old school shops opening all over the globe. I was fortunate to grow up on both sides of the business, beauty salons as well as barbershops. My dad was a barber/hair stylist while my mom was a hair stylist and also provided manicures. I decided at an early age I wanted to be in that biz and by age 18 I completed my 10 months of beauty/barber school and went on to work full time in the family business.

What made you realize the category needed another brand?

After years behind the chair I suddenly began to develop adverse reactions to many of the products found in the shop. This became so bad that I eventually had to stop working behind the chair and I took on a management roll. In the mid 2000 I began having reactions to the shave creams and lotions I was using. Unable to find a brand that had ingredients I wasn’t allergic to and all the while being packaged for a man, proved to be quite a task so I set out to work with a formulator and develop something I could use. There were plenty of brands out there but I knew that a lot of guys wanted a better product without the frilly unisex packaging. I also knew that my barbering experience would come in handy and would also be a good selling point. After a few years of research and formulation testing Crown Shaving Co. was introduced in 2010. At this point I was back behind the chair, I would use these products on my customers and the feedback was very positive.

One of the things that drew me to Crown Shaving Co. was its imagery and overt masculinity. Your tag line is “For Vagabonds, Gentlemen and Ruffians.” Explain why you felt this was the right direction?

I believe all men can relate to our tag-line. Each man has within them a little vagabond, gentleman and ruffian. I wanted this brand to appeal to all men and I think we nailed that. I recently received an email from a gent in his late 60’s. He wanted to tell me how much he loved the products and how at different points in his life, he has been each of those, a vagabond, a gentleman and a ruffian.

What would you say is the biggest myth about men and their relationship to grooming?

The biggest myth about men in regards to grooming seems to be that its only the metro-sexual male that enjoys it. I don’t know where that term came from or why but I can tell you that every man out there enjoys good pampering. They only have to try it once, sit in a classic barber chair, get a good haircut, some good conversation and maybe even a manicure and it will become something you make time for and look forward to.

What’s next for Crown Shaving Co.?

Crown will continue to grow slowly. I have had the opportunity for distribution as well as several partnership opportunities but I feel it is still in the early stages of a growing category in the men’s grooming market and I prefer to be hands on for the time being working closely with my network of retail partners. As far as new products, we will be launching our roll on cologne as well as a body powder in 2015.

For a list of where to find Crown Shaving Co, log onto their site to see where they can be found online and stores near you.