Manscaper Monday: Greening Your Grooming Routine

19 04 2010

In honor of Earth Day this week, AreYouBeing.com is celebrating with a series of eco-inspired stories. From recycling to reducing energy consumption, being more eco-conscience starts with all of us making small changes that, together, lead to major, positive impacts on our environment.  And if you’re a guy who follows a regular grooming routine, you can start by switching to eco-friendly products.

For our “Manscaper Monday” grooming post we’re spotlighting one of our favorite personal care lines, Lavera.  Voted the “Greenest Beauty Brand in Europe” by OEKO-TEST magazine – the leading consumer report and environmental and health focused organization in Europe – Lavera upholds the highest levels when it comes to eliminating harmful ingredients and reducing contamination caused by outer packaging.

Lavera offers a full range of skin, hair and body products, and they’ve also launched a men’s collection called Lavera Men Care/Men SPA.  The collection covers all the basics including an after shave balm, face wash, moisturizing face cream and shave cream.  Several of these products have been awarded Natural Solutions 2009 Beauty with a Conscience Awards.

While we love the full range, especially the Mango Milk Shampoo – free of harmful sodium lauroyl sulfate and parabens – our favorite product is the Men SPA Cool Lemon After Shave, which is also vegan-friendly.  This refreshing splash features organic aloe vera gel and other nourishing plant extracts to soothe, calm and deliver moisture to irritated skin post-shave.  The most enticing aspect is the delicious aroma of lime, cool mint and mandarin.  Though it sounds fruity, it’s a light aroma – not overbearing – that will help wake you up every morning.

For more info on Lavera, log onto www.lavera.com.  Are you familiar with this brand?  If so, tell us about your favorite products?  If not, what other eco-friendly grooming products do you recommend?

Disclaimer: Samples were received in exchange for editorial review.

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Grooming Review: The Art of Choosing a Razor

23 02 2010

In honor of the new custom Double Edge Safety Razor from Baxter of California, the oldest grooming brand on the market today, AreYouBeing.com has put together a list of our favorite shaving tools.  These are based on quality, function and design.  So regardless of your budget or style preference, any one of these tools can help you achieve the perfect shave each and every time.

Baxter Safety Razor
Based on a design first introduced in the late 18th century, this razor is almost identical to the one my grandfather used.  For guys who were too afraid to use a straight razor, it was a huge innovation at the time, making shaving at home much safer.  Still, if you’re a Gillette guy (and we love this brand), using this razor may take you out of your comfort zone.  Don’t worry though.  Each razor – with knurling detailing on the handle to prevent slipping – comes packaged in a matte black gift box, which includes an instructional card and a pack of starter blades.  All that for just $60.

Baxter of California Safety Razor

HOMMAGE Madrid Razor
Whether you’re a world traveler, or just want people to think you are, the Madrid Razor from HOMMAGE is a must-have tool.  Perfect for the guy with limited counter space in the bathroom, the Madrid Razor – with its gun metal-hued stainless steel finish and ergonomic grip handle – sits in an upright position.  Why is this important?  For starters, it makes a strong statement (“I’m a man, I shave, and I’m not ashamed if anyone knows that I take a little extra time for myself.”), and the upright position allows the blade to air-dry, preventing corrosion, which helps maintain the longevity of your razor’s edge.  At $225, the Madrid Razor is definitely an investment, but one you can pass down to your son or nephew one day.

HOMMAGE Madrid Razor


The Art of Shaving Straight Razor

I’ve been in the grooming arena for a decade now, and even through working with The Art of Shaving on past grooming articles, I’ve never been brave enough to use a straight razor.  However, it’s one of the best tools for getting the closest shave.  If you’re feeling bold, checkout one of the many straight razors from the guys who made shaving cool again.  Handcrafted by Thiers-Issard, a prestigious French razor maker since 1884, the carbon steel blade (Starting at $135) is hollow ground to deliver a more comfortable shave and provide the sharpest edge. Not sure how to use it though?  Upon purchase of a Straight Razor, The Art of Shaving will provide you with a complimentary guide on how to use and maintain the razor at home.  You can even go into one of the many shops across the country for a personal tutorial, so soon enough you’ll be a shaving artist in your own right.

The Art of Shaving Straight Razor

Disclaimer: All brands mentioned above have provided AreYouBeing.com with product samples in exchange for editorial review.





Holiday Gift Guide for Guys

18 12 2009

The holidays are quickly approaching.  And if you’re still looking for the perfect gift, here’s a few guy-approved products that are guaranteed to please.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS1 Waterproof Camera: For the novice and professional photographers alike, this new camera from Panasonic has some of the best features available on a camera today.  It is the world’s first waterproof, shockproof and dustproof digital camera to also feature AVCHD Lite High Definition (HD) video recording capabilities. And because it is waterproof to a depth of 10 feet, shockproof from falls up to 5 feet, and dustproof, you can feel confident taking this on your next cruise or camping trip. The LUMIX DMC-TS1 is available in silver, green and orange.
Retail Price: $399.95, www.Amazon.com

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS1 Digital Camera

Soho HD Camcorder, Luxe Collection: The Soho 720p HD Camcorder, part of the new Luxe Collection from DXG, combines high-definition technology and style in one camcorder that is hip, hot and haute. The Soho 720p HD Camcorder comes in a blue argyle design that is inspired by the latest trend in fashion.  The Soho 720p HD Camcorder records real 720p high-definition video, and captures still pictures up to 8MP image resolution.  So whether you’re on the runway, or sitting around the fireplace with family and friends, you’ll be able to capture all your holiday memories.
Retail Price: $149.99, www.dxgusa.com

Soho HD Camcorder

CLEAR HARMONY™ Noise Canceling Headphones from AblePlanet: If you or someone on your list love to jam out to music as if no one else is around to watch as you mouth the words to your favorite GLEE songs, these are the must-have headphones.  Featuring award-winning patented LINX AUDIO® technology for the best sound quality, you’ll hear every detail in your favorite songs and movies.  And when you want to block out even more noise – these are perfect for your flight home to see the folks – simply flip on the headphone switch to cancel out virtually all other noise around you.
Retail Price: $299, www.ableplanet.com

CLEAR HARMONY Noise Canceling Headphones

Jawbone Prime Earcandy Edition: If a new cell phone is on your wish list this year, so should this chic bluetooth headset.  Available in an array of candy colors, the Jawbone Prime Earcandy Edition features NoiseAssassin® to reduce background noise, as well as an industry-first digital wind filter, meaning you can say goodbye to conversations that make it sound like you’re in the middle of a blizzard; even if you are.  Bonus features allow the user to customize the fit and connect two phones simultaneously.
Retail Price: $129, www.jawbone.com

Jawbone Prime Earcandy Edition

191 Unlimited Apparel: Whether you dress them up with slacks or opt for jeans for a more casual look, the collection of solid, woven and flannel shirts from 191 Unlimited are perfect for any occasion from a casual dinner with friends to a big holiday bash at the office.  And for all orders placed between now and midnight on December 22nd, 191 Unlimited is offering a 40% discount and complimentary overnight shipping when you use the promo code “holiday”.    Retail Price: $89, www.191Unlimited.com

191 Unlimited Bottle Rocket Shirt

Every Man Jack Holiday Shave Kit: If the economy has you feeling less like Santa and more like Scrooge, turn that scowl into a smile with this budget- and eco-friendly gift set from Every Man Jack.  Featuring a massive collection of full-size products – Face Wash, Shave Gel, Face Lotion, Bonus SPF 15 Face Lotion and Lip Balm SPF 15 – the kit is value priced at just $10 to ensure that every guy on your shopping list is covered, especially when it comes to getting a great shave and smooth skin for all their holiday festivities.
Retail Price: $10, www.Walgreens.com

Every Man Jack Holiday Shave Kit

GAGE FOR MEN® Responsible Style™ Gift Box: This handsomely packaged gift box, brand new for the holidays, features GAGE FOR MEN® Hydrating Hair & Body wash, GAGE FOR MEN® Daily Conditioner, as well as the GAGE FOR MEN® Shampoo Brush, which offers a unique experience by deep cleansing and exfoliating the hair and scalp.
Special Holiday Price: $19.95, Call 1-866-B-BRIGHT to order, www.benniefactor.com

GAGE FOR MEN Responsible Style Gift Box

Diesel Only The Brave Limited-Edition Bunka Bottle: Diesel has teamed up with Bunka – the visionary artist behind some of the most coveted designer toys developed by Artoyz – to produce the limited-edition bottle for Diesel’s iconic Only The Brave fragrance.  The graffiti-inspired explosion of color is inked with words describing the power and courage of the fragrance, in a chaotic, vivid expression of what it means to be brave.
Retail Price: $65, www.Macys.com

Diesel Only The Brave Limited-Edition Bunka Bottle

Disclaimer: The brands listed above provided samples in exchange for editorial review.





Fight Cancer: Grow A Mustache

5 11 2009

What do Gomez Adams, Hulk Hogan and that leather guy from the Village People have in common?  Aside from making great Halloween costumes, they each are known for proudly sporting mustaches.  And while the facial hair trend was all but absent from the face of men’s grooming until recently, it’s making a big come back thanks in part to Movemeber, a charity that is raising awareness about men’s health – specifically prostate and testicular cancer.

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Asylum.com

According to the charity’s website, “Movember – the month previously known as November – is an annual, month-long celebration of the moustache, highlighting men’s health issues.”

The idea was conceived back in 2003 when a group of guys were joking about the staches of their father’s era and how cool it would be to bring back the trend.  Taking the idea a step further, the guys decided to tie in a charity angle, and to date, Movember has raised $47 million globally, making it the largest charity event for men.  In the U.S., the funds raised are split between the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation – two worthy causes.

To get involved, Movember asks that you begin with a clean shaven face and take the mouth to grow your mustache.  As you go along, you can get friends and family involved by having them sponsor your efforts and sign up for their own accounts. 

Once you have your stache, send a screenshot of your new facial hair to the team at Asylum.com.  From the pack of entries, Asylum.com will gift 50 guys with a Signature Shave Kit from Every Man Jack, an award-winning grooming line.

What do you think?  Are you going to sign up and grow a mustache to help fight cancer?

Photo Source: Bonnie Biess, Asylum.com

Video Source: youtube.com/user/movembertv





Product Review: Do You Like It Smooth or Rough? Top 3 Face Scrubs

26 10 2009

Some guys like it rough, but if you truly want to be a “smooth operator” during your next visit to the bar, there are some small steps you should take with your grooming routine first. That’s right, you morning ritual shouldn’t stop at cleansing and shaving. A great scrub can help even out your complexion, smooth away rough patches of skin, and when used before shaving, help soften and raise whickers for a super close, knick-free shave. To help guide you, I’ve road tested several scrubs, and these are my top three picks.

  • Every Man Jack Pre-Shave Face Scrub, available in Fragrance Free and Signature Mint, are blended together with coconut-derived surfactants that remove dirt and oil; marine extracts and Vitamin E to soothe and moisturize; and scrubbing beads to remove dry and dead skin. Like the other products from this award-winning line, these scrubs are dye free, oil free, sulfate free and paraben free. We love: The refreshing, minty fragrance and gentle scrubbing beads.
    Retail Price: $6 each (5 oz.), www.walgreens.com 
  • Resurf.a.stic Face Scrub by blinc is the world’s first one-step at-home microdermabrasion innovation. Featuring diamond-shaped crystals that are evenly dispersed in a unique stick design for no mess or waste, this product effectively minimizes the appearance of dark spots and sun-damaged skin. The added cactus and orchid provides natural healing and moisturizing benefits to soothe your newly resurfaced skin. We love: The convenience of a solid stick; less waste on your hands and at the bottom of your shower.
    Retail Price: $40.00 (2 oz.), www.blincinc.com
  • Kyoku Exfoliating Facial Scrub, a new import from Japan, is a luxurious facial scrub that employs volcanic ash, Japanese rice bran and Adzuki bean to help deep clean pores, eliminate blackheads, free ingrown hairs, prevent blemishes and remove excess oil. Oh, and it exfoliates for a smoother, more even complexion. We love: The intense cooling sensation that makes the skin feel super clean.
    Retail Price: $29.00 (3.4 oz.), www.KyokuforMen.com

Tips: Most scrubs should only be used 2-3 times a week. If you shave every few days, use one in the shower just before you apply your shave gel or cream. Make sure to follow-up with a quality moisturizer like the new Heavyweight Champion Extreme Hydration Compound from JOCK SOAP.

  • JOCK SOAP Heavyweight Champion™ attracts moisture with the use of hyaluronic acid and binds it to the skin with vitamin E, squalane and other strong barrier ingredients including marine minerals, wheat and soy protein, and cucumber. Together with the powerful benefits of rare apple stem cells, which reduce the signs of aging, Heavyweight Champion is Jock Soap’s most intense moisturizing cream that can be used during the day or after the lights go out for an all-night moisture treatment. We love: The way this moisturizer dries to a matte finish without leaving the skin feeling oily. Retail Price: $49.00 (2 oz.), www.GetJock.com
From left to right: Every Man Jack, kyoku for men, blinc resurf.a.stic and Jock Soap
From left to right: Every Man Jack, Kyoku for Men, blinc resurf.a.stic and Jock Soap

NOTE: Samples were provided by each company mentioned above in exchange for possible editorial coverage.





Summer Sweepstakes & Grooming-on-the-Go

26 07 2009

Every Man Jack, one of my favorite grooming brands on the market today, is wrapping up their first WANTED contest.

Hundreds of guys submitted photos for the chance to star in the company’s first national ad campaign, which will run in Men’s Health magazine.

There’s still a few days left to sign up.  In the meantime, Every Man Jack has released their new Travel Kit, perfect for grooming-on-the-go.

The Travel Kit includes face wash, shave cream, face lotion and 2-in-1 shampoo, along with a bonus SPF 15 face lotion and lip balm. Everything you need to keep looking and feeling good while on summer vacation.

Every Man Jack Travel Kit

Every Man Jack Travel Kit





Should Men Get Manicures?

29 06 2009

A great grooming routine doesn’t stop after you wash your hair or shave your face.  Don’t forget about your hands; it’s actually one of the first things others notice about you.  It can even mean the difference between landing a job or scoring in bed.  So why is it that many men are still afraid to go into a nail salon and ask for a buff & shine? 

The fact is that while many salons and spas now cater to the male demographic, nail salons are still widely considered a female domain, leading most of us to forgo proper nail maintenance.  For guys weary of entering “no man’s land,” achieving clean cuticles and nails starts in your bathroom.  Here are a few products from butter LONDON that are guaranteed to help achieve hands that will leave a lasting impression.  

Start at the Base
If you are one of the brave men who’ve ventured inside a nail salon, one thing you may have noticed is that many charge us more money for the same basic manicure that our female counterparts are receiving.  Why?  Apparently, our cuticles are more difficult to work with, mainly because we so rarely take care of them ourselves.
 
Eliminate dry, split cuticles with Melt Away™ ($20), an easy and effective cuticle treatment that uses Potassium Hydroxide to break down and soften dead skin cells around the nail bed for simple removal.  Simply apply to cuticles, allow product to set for just a few seconds, and while product is still wet, brush away with a clean towel or toothbrush.  You could stop here, but I recommend trying two more products.

Buff & Shine
Though you probably don’t have issues with breaking nails like most women, don’t you want them to be as strong as they can be?  Horse Power ($20) is a nail fertilizer containing a powerful, non-toxic formula of herbal extracts and silica – a mineral proven to grow and strengthen nails – to achieve more resilient nails.  It is recommended that guys apply Horse Power once every day for the first week, followed by every couple days thereafter, to help achieve healthier nails that won’t bend, peel, flake, dry or become brittle.  Plus, one application gives a light sheen without looking over polished, so you can achieve a subtle shine without buffing.  So it makes your nails look healthier while saving time. 

Subtle Matte Finish
For guys who prefer a matte finish over the polished look, Nail Foundation ($18) is the way to go.  One coat helps hide and smooth tiny ridges and imperfections in the nail for a well manicured hand that won’t go unnoticed.  Apply one coat as needed, making sure to remove previous coats before reapplying. 

For the eco-conscience man, it is important to point out that butter LONDON uses NO formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP (phthalate), ingredients which are commonly found in most other nail brands.  These ingredients, which are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration, are thought to cause cancer, neurological damage, birth defects and a host of other illnesses.

butter LONDON Manicure for Men: Melt Away, Horse Power, Nail Foundation

butter LONDON Manicure for Men: Melt Away, Horse Power, Nail Foundation