Now, I like real men of the muscles and DIY variety. Given the right set of circumstances, I don’t even mind a bit of sweat and dirt. I think we can all agree, though, that grooming is not, now more than ever, a pursuit restricted to the ladies.
My husband- let’s call him Yumbeedad (YBD)- has a set of products that he has come to rely on now. After all, men need to shave and wash (hopefully)- isn’t shaving your face a hideous thought girls?!- and so using a facial wash and slapping on a bit of moisturiser is only a logical extension of this. In addition, those men with enough hair may wish to use some sort of taming product. I once went out with a boy who used hairspray and I confess this put me off him somewhat. There is something very girly about hairspray. So unless your manfriend is honing some kind of outlandish mohican, a wax or gum is good.
Men also need to smell good. And while it is OK for women to be perfume butterflies, intoxicatedly buzzing about from one fragrance to the next, men need a signature scent. A day one and a night one the very most. Incidentally, let it be known right now that I don’t believe in ‘natural musk’. That is just the beginnings of BO.
V05 Extreme Style Texturising Gum
I only have to see this pot and I think of YBD. He has been using it for years; long before we were together. I feel a bit sad to write about it now because YBD has just given into his baldness and shaved his hair, thereby removing the need to use any product on it. Anyway, he swore by this stuff for keeping his hair in style. He has a ‘very strong pull forward’ according to his barber, but this stuff would spike his hair up and keep it that way all day. He would never every even try any thing else. Even I used to use a little on Blow Dry day 2 to add a little texture and lift to my hair. It also smells amazing, sort of like tropical bananas?! You get a little smidge of it and ‘texturise’ it between you fingers then apply to your hair. A word of warning though- it’s VERY sticky. Hand wash required post use.
Chanel Allure Homme Sport
I am the sort of sad pathetic creature that goes all knock-kneed and giggly at the whiff of a nice bit of cologne. Even if the wearer is a hairy, 5’4”, socks-and-sandals-wearing, beard-sporting, balding, fat man. No joke. Anyway, this is the kind of man-smell that people respond to with a “Hmmmm… what is that?!” It’s almost like the Lynx-effect, if that actually worked. I exaggerate. But it smells really good. The Sport one is much younger and fresher than its Allure Homme parent, so more suitable for a man in his 20s/30s. The only downer is, it is really expensive; about £60 for 50ml. But Chanel fragrances are pricey. It makes you want them even more!!!
L’Oreal Men Expert Anti Perspirant 48Hr Dry Non-Stop
I do feel a bit weird writing about deodorant. I do most sincerely hope that everyone reading this uses it (if you think you don’t need it, then you have finally found out why you always get two seats to yourself on the bus) but it is a bit like writing about tampons or loo roll (this one’s super-absorbant!) Anyway, YBD likes this one because he has to use roll-on, as a spray irritates his skin, poor love. It has a nice big ball (lol) which rolls around easily, distributing the product well and he says it’s a very good anti perspirant. A few times I’ve forgotten deodorant when I’ve been in the bathroom (where I keep mine) and then notice YBD’s (he keeps his in the bedroom) when I’m moistursing, but I never have actually used it. I just think of all the awkward situations which could be created when I break into a sweat at a crucial moment and people notice I smell like a man.
This range has made a nice wee cosy place for itself amongst YBD’s few but trusted products. The range is organic, or at the very least paraben-free, which is good, and the range has a nice fresh, clean tea-tree type fragrance which really makes you feel clean. I have the advantage of having used all of these products either because I have been caught short in the shower (not in the toilet sense) or because I was just curious. The face wash is nice and lathery, although it is not foamy because of the lack of Sodium Laurel Sulphate (Parabens). It leaves your skin feeling very clean but not tight or dry. The shave gel is lovely and smooth and makes the razor glide. It is moisturising and you really don’t need much. A blob the size of half a walnut did both legs, and both my oxters too. The moisturiser is light but nourishing. It isn’t greasy and also comes in a sensitive version for the more irritable-skinned man in your life.
This razor is sleek and simple, and is not over packaged like lots of razors. It is well worth noting, as you may not know, that dermatologists recommend no more than two blades on your razor. Any more than two, and you risk exposing new and very delicate skin to the elements. You are getting such a close shave because you are taking layers of skin with the hair. Over time, this can even lead to scarring. Hideous. So switch to two blades tout suit. This razor molds to the shape of your chosen shaving site and it’s nice light design is a pleasure to shave with. How do I know, I hear you cry? Well, they do a lady version too which is shocking pink! His ‘n’ Hers. Gotta love it. We’ll be wearing matching Kagools next.
Lynx Rise Shower Gel
YBD isn’t a slave to this shower gel, it just happens to be the one he is currently using. It gives a good foam without having to use loads of gel and it smells nice. Could be a good one for the Christmas stocking?
Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose in it
Now YBD would never buy this for himself, as all his products have to be packaged as ‘For Men’. However, he really likes this and uses it as a scrub for himself when it is available in the shower. There are a real lack of good exfoliators on the market for men, so YBD tends to use mine. This one is good for him as it has a real lemony-limey scent (which if I’m honest, smells a bit like Jif) but the granular texture really works a treat. Like, you can feel it working. Also, if you leave it on post scrub, it acts as a face-brightening mask. Multi-tasking? What could be more masculine than that? NOT.