From androgynous emo boys to proudly manicured facial hair to Jersey Shore-esuqe helmet haircuts, men are increasingly expressing themselves in terms of personal grooming and style. The ever-widening range of previously off-limits products, tools and services, now encompasses flatirons, chemical hair relaxing, waxing, eyebrow shaping, highlights and spa manicures/pedicures. Day spas and salons, meanwhile, are offering treatments designed specifically for the needs of today’s well-groomed gentlemen, and sales of men’s product lines are also on the rise.
Whether you’re already tapped into your inner-male beauty or are looking to test the waters of male grooming and pampering, the following suggestions are sure to please even the most skeptical male. From some very traditional men’s services and products to a few exciting new items, these suggestions have each been created especially for men and will deliver incredibly satisfying results.
The Art of Shaving
Originally founded in 1996, the Art of Shaving currently has over 39 locations throughout the United States. The company deserves recognition for its innovative, pioneering approach in creating a uniquely traditional experience for men. A simple philosophy of high quality service combined with a truly modern twist on a centuries old service are what allows the Art of Shaving to continue to thrive. Even if you don’t happen to live near a location and are therefore not able to experience the expert shaving techniques, the company has a full range of masculine, natural-based products that include a variety of shave creams and oils, brushes, razors as well as skin and hair-care products. The line is widely available at prominent retailers as well as available to purchase online.
Balla Powder is unique in that it was specifically designed for keeping, shall we say, the “nether regions” of men’s bodies feeling fresh, clean and dry all day long. Made from the finest ingredients including Non-Asbestiform Talc, which is free of carcinogenic fibers, Balla Powder is available in three formulas: Original (a masculine Oak-Musk), Tingle (a cool mint that delivers a very refreshing tingly sensation that’s ideal for summer) and Fragrance Free.
One cannot discuss anything related to male grooming without mentioning the worlds only privately held perfume dynasty Creed. Originally founded in 1760, the French fragrance house stands out in the category of the world’s finest fragrances. Still based in Paris and led by sixth generation master perfumer Olivier Creed, the company adheres to the highest standards by utilizing techniques developed more than 250 years ago for the finest fragrances available. Creed truly offers the most elegant, masculine and refined men’s fragrances—Creed’s Original Vetiver is Beauty Guru’s favorite scent.
Men+Care by Dove
Dove’s Men+Care consists of a selection of cleansers that can be used on the face and body, along with the very cleverly designed Active Clean Dual Sided Shower Tool. Although very small, the range is extremely affordable and widely available at retail outlets. Dove’s Men+Care will definitely appeal to the more active male who is looking for simpler and minimal products.
Geo. F. Trumper
Once upon a time, most men visited a barber for their regular shave. Britain’s most recognized “penny barber”, Geo. F. Trumper is still located in the heart of London and is deeply rooted in the art of the traditional wet shave. More significantly, the brand is recognized globally as offering one of the most extensive men’s grooming product lines. Everything a true gentlemen needs for his personal grooming is available: luxurious and beautifully scented shaving creams, after-shave as well as a vast selection of extremely handsome razors and manicure/grooming sets. Stop in for anything from the traditional wet shave, which Trumpers has perfected, to a haircut, color, beard or moustache trim as well as even a manicure and pedicure—all in a distinctively classic masculine environment.
It’s no wonder that the Jack Black product line has won several industry awards since it was launched more than ten years ago. The success of the brand can be largely attributed to the straightforward, minimalist and masculine approach it has taken in creating highly effective products that embrace a modern male customer and his lifestyle. A full range of grooming products in rich and easy to use formulations of the finest ingredients make Jack Black one of Beauty Guru’s favorite male product lines. The Protein Booster Skin Serum with Peptides, Antioxidants and organic Omega 3 particularly gets top marks for an amazingly absorbent texture, beautiful scent and optimal results, while the Intense Therapy Lip Balm and Sleek Finish texture Cream deserves the same accolades for hair.
Originally founded in 2002, MenScience is among the first “androceutical” skin care lines to have evolved into a full range of the finest nutritional and pharmaceutical grade products that were created specifically for the unique needs of men. From the most basic essential grooming items such as hair gel, shaving cream and sunscreen to products that target more specific issues such as acne, in-grown hairs, anti-aging and everything in between, MenScience is by far one the most extensive men’s product lines available anywhere. Efficacy is a key term when conveying the brand’s philosophy, and each product has been especially created to deliver maximum benefits and optimal results. Standout products are Acne Therapy Lotion that was developed specifically for Back Acne—something that unfortunately plagues many, particularly if very active—as well as the amazing Eye Rescue Formula, an eye-cream that effectively reduces puffiness and minimizes fine lines and dark circles in a highly absorbent formula with a very manly matte finish.
With skin care and beauty in his DNA, Kyoku founder Asim Aktar has combined the most advanced cutting edge skin care technology and the finest natural ingredients with ancient Japanese knowledge. While traveling in Japan—more specifically a small village outside of Tokyo called Yuzuri Hara (the Village of Long Life)—Aktar discovered that not only do the villagers live very long, healthy lives, but they also have incredibly young looking skin. Through further research, he discovered that the men of the village had nearly five times the amount of hylauronic acid in their skin than the average male. Hylauronic acid is a natural protein active in collagen production that is largely responsible for keeping the skin looking youthful, but it normally diminishes with age. Aktar concluded that elements of the village diet and natural skincare regime were strong contributors to their youthful skin, so he developed Kyoku by integrating this knowledge into the products. The result is a highly effective line of skincare items based on a very advanced delivery system that penetrates the epidermis and goes right to the dermis to promote collagen production and thus alter the metabolic structure to create younger looking skin.
Tom Ford’s Midas touch is certainly no secret to anyone. From fashion to film, Ford has created a persona that’s synonymous with a chic and sexy lifestyle, and his men’s grooming products and fragrances certainly embody the true essence of Ford’s charisma and mystique. Refined, modern, elegant and distinctive, Ford cleverly combines elements of bygone eras with his updated spin on style and beauty. Tom Ford Extreme in particular is one of our top picks for best male fragrance.