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Trials & Errors in the Mens Beauty Department

September 18, 2013
tags: after shave, , best products, deodorant, mens beauty, , pomade, , shaving cream, , ,
by Sonia


Mens beauty, unless we’re referring to Ryan Gosling, it kind of sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? When we think of men we think of their empty shower caddies, Old Spice, and their ability to roll out of bed in the morning looking just as good as they did the night before, right? But the truth is, men — I’m making a generalization here if you couldn’t already tell — are about as anal and meticulous about their daily “beauty routine” as women. How do I know this? Because I’m obnoxiously observant and happen to spend time around some fairly groomed men.

Though their showers may be painful to the eyes of us women who enjoy deep conditioners and luscious luffas, one peek into their medicine cabinet and you’ll see that a lot goes into the coif of their hair and impeccably trimmed beards (and chest hair). Designer deodorant, anti-aging facial cream, beard trimmers with multiple blades, hair pomade — he may smell rustic, but I can assure you that his vanity regime is not.

In an effort to further understand the whole “mens beauty” thing, I made mental notes on some frequently seen types of products, and took my curiosity to my local Duane Reade to gather the supplies. Here’s what I learned:

Shaving: OK, guys, you totally win. Why did I ever waste my time using girly shaving gel? Barbasol’s cream is just as it says it is, “thick and rich,” and not only did it make my leg shaving experience that much better (the lather is unreal), but my legs felt exceptionally soft afterwards.

After-Shave Care & Ingrown Hair Prevention Gel: I know I just praised Diaper Cream for being the ultimate solution to ingrown hair, but Avène’s Dermo-K Care and Prevention Gel puts the baby butt cream to shame. Along with being notably less awkward to apply, I found the gel to be soothing and all-powerful in diminishing those irritated ingrowns. And the more I think about it the more I realize that this should have been a no-brainer since men have to shave far more regularly than we women get our waxes.

Deodorant: Because this was a beauty trial, I opted out of buying a designer brand of deodorant; also because I find the whole idea of designer deodorant to be a bit ridiculous, but maybe that’s because sometimes I put hairspray in my armpits. Anyways, I decided to avoid the typical Old Spice deo and went with Mitchum Advanced Control. The application process was nice and smooth, almost refreshing, but I smelled like a man for the rest of the day. Even with a few spritzes of perfume, I still felt like I was wearing a man’s shirt, which was really just a turn on and thus quite distracting. As for fighting B.O., yes, Mitchum did the job, but so does my Dove Visibly Smooth deodorant and that one happens to smell like roses. So, in terms of deodorant I’m sticking to the lady brands.

Pomade: I am a curious cat when it comes to hair products. Though I don’t do much with my hair, I keep waiting to find a product that’s going to make my locks look like a Victoria’s Secret model. Of course the likeliness of this happening with a men’s product is very slim, but I was still willing to give pomade a shot. My first reaction was, “Wow, this smells delicious.” My second reaction was, “Why is it black?” My third reaction was, “OK it’s slightly sticky but is definitely adding more texture to my waves.” Final conclusion? The stuff works, but I’m nowhere near looking like I have Gisele Bündchen hair.

So, what did I learn from this? A couple of things. For starters, there are some serious perks to shopping in the mens beauty department, particularly when it relates to shaving needs. The other thing I learned is that if we ladies ever find ourselves in a beauty-bind, a man’s medicine cabinet could be our best friend. You may smell like his armpits, but wouldn’t you rather that than rotten garlic? And lastly, though not as optimistically, I still have yet to find a product that will give me Victoria’s Secret hair.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lacey Jo Braun permalink
    September 18, 2013

    I completely agree about the Barbasol! I have used it ever since middle school when I ran out of my girlie stuff and used my Dad’s in a pinch. I love how soft it makes my legs. It doesn’t make you smell too manly either.

  2. Holly permalink
    September 25, 2013

    For your hair, check out Kevin Murphy’s Resort Spray and his dry shampoo. Both are awesome. The Resort spray is for beachy waves that aren’t sticky. We have the same hair type (mine a little less oily) and both crazy good on my hair. Smell nice, last a long time and don’t cost too much. BTW… taking your picture into my hair dresser to have him be inspired by your cut. It’s so good! I’m excited. Losing about 8 inches! EEK! But… it’s Chris Mcmillan so I’m stoked. Wish me luck!

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