Most men don’t aspire to be pretty, or let alone be called “pretty.” Though we’re now way beyond the era of the so-called “metrosexuals,” actually those dudes now have boomer’ed into the 50+ age group (time does fly). But, to be sure, that word is still not welcome in our grooming world. Unless you’re the infamous bank robber, Pretty Boy Floyd. But, as Beyoncé’s smash single “Pretty Hurts” suggests, staying steps ahead of the anti-aging game can be physically and emotionally taxing on us. Yet, it’s the behind-closed-doors struggle to stall signs of aging that we’re talking about here. Male models can go through four to eight shows and many more makeup applications and removals on a single shoot. Often donning heaps more drying face powder than their female counterparts. So let’s grab a few remedies that mimic their (sometimes) harsh grooming routine. We’re here to make it easy. Really easy. With options.
Yes, we want to look good. Yes, science is keeping us younger looking. And, yes, the face of men’s anti-aging has extended beyond proven topical creams. And we intend to show you how in the following paragraphs. And yes, this means we may have reached a point in men’s grooming where we can coast a bit. Which is why I’m throwing confidence and accessories into the feel good, look good arena of anti-aging. Read on for some real winners breaking new ground, beyond “new and improved.”
I actually have AcuVue to blame for this new outlook on life. You see, simultaneously, I see you up close and far away, but you don’t see my glasses, readers or bifocals. Or even know that I suffer from the common over-40 ailment of seeing fine print or limitations in dim light, or “presbyopia.” Why? Because one of those marvels you hoped would always happen, just did! 1-DAY ACUVUE MOIST Brand MULTIFOCAL are contact lenses of the remarkable kind. What’s so innovative? Multifocal? Think about it. I’m rather new to the up-close “readers,” but how many of us carry both distance glasses and computer or reading glasses for documents? And sometimes sunglasses if they’re not built in as transition lenses. We make the effort with the latest fashion trends and hairstyles and have obtained the ability to look much younger thanks to skincare advancements and injectables. So let’s apply a now important layer of anti-aging—with the one accessory that can age us irrevocably faster than a pair of old-fashioned shoes, a class ring or a copper bracelet from the ’70s. I mean, trade in the eyewear (or give them some days off) that’s dragging down your ageless style meter. Forget the past or any memory of contact lenses. With super moist contacts that act as up close readers and distance glasses in one lens, you’ll be amazed at the comfort and the seamless transition of far to close. This is one way of seriously bringing your anti-aging regimen full circle. I love mine. You’ll love the freedom and your updated youthful appearance, only having to worry about a pair of sunglasses worthy of 2016.
The next time someone says “OI” don’t assume they’re saying “Oye!” or “Oy Vay.” They’re probably referring to amazing scent of Davines’ “OI” hair, skin and body line using Roucou Oil that’s extracted from the rare annatto plant. And honestly? OI not only is the best organic fragrance you’ve ever sniffed, ever, it’s proven to neutralize free radicals that are harmful to your locks and skin. If only once (I’ve become hooked on the scent) you sample the full range of OI’s products, you’ll at least know what the world is speaking of when they chant the power of plant-based products. Starting one’s day with OI Body Wash is a surefire way to send you into your own private Zen moment with the truly healing memorable, healing scent. Authentic Moisturizing Balm for face, hair and body is made from 98 percent naturally derived ingredients including organic Carthame Oil, making it perfect as an all over, men’s top-to-toes moisturizing emollient. Add to that OI Hand Balm, same delicious scent with a bit more matte feeling for hands. For hair, OI All In One Milk is terrific for curly, naturally dry or chemically treated hair as a leave-in hair moisturizer spray milk. And just as perfect for virgin fine hair if sprayed in moderation. OI Oil is the absolute end-all to shiny, bouncy, hydrated hair that smells OMG awesome, tamed and manageable. Out of the OI range, This Is Oil Non Oil (a not-too-slick hair styling moisturizer) is the perfect introduction to Davines’ unique approach to beautifying our physical lives—as this has long been my primary hair staple, worn alone or mixed with hair cream as a hair control cocktail.
Forging a futuristic path, FOREO has proven to be one of the most simplistic, yet advanced innovators in grooming history and has teamed up (as gift pack buddies) with one of the oldest, most respected shaving product companies, Proraso, who has also become ultra-current without losing their old-world appeal and earthy skin saving shave ingredients. And packaged it in a (pretty) masculine, counter worthy way.
Foreo launched Luna 2 as a 3-IN-1 palm-sized facial device that cleanses and lifts bearded areas as a scrub and as an anti-ager in a separate step, if you wish to infuse serums or moisture treatments. Truth? This is a man toy that will pay you back in years of “looks longevity”, and its charge lasts a long time. I left mine for 3 months after using it for weeks. It started right up like a British racecar. Luna’s anti-microbial rubber “tentacles” are a critical upside, whether you value that or not. The Cleanser is also ultra-modern, morphing a marine blue gel into white foam, using hydrothermal minerals from volcanic water to purify and protect and is a great compliment to Luna 2.
Now shaving. With men’s beard fashion (yes), shaving has become a trendy art, possibly adding a few minutes to our “man in the mirror” time. But shaving every third day has also become very acceptable.
Proraso is 100 percent Italian, where their brand was born with Pre Shave Cream in 1948. And, although I’ve tried everything, I hadn’t used Proraso until recently. And I loved it for being luxuriously simple, yet rich and effective. Though, luckily, it’s not as basic as it may appear, addressing all skin types, Proraso uses a Green, White, Red or Blue range of products, each pairing skin type to compatible oils, extracts and lubricants to provide an effortless, non-abrasive shave—and more importantly, leave your skin feeling as if you may not need a post treatment. THAT’S when I knew. Let’s face it, supple skin directly after a shave feels amazing. Oatmeal extracts, Green Tea and Thyme are the sensitive skin infusions from the White line, while I opted for their Green line, with menthol and eucalyptus oils. Use Pre Shave Cream. It has a pre-lubricant purpose and meant to be massaged into skin and you can add more as you go with hot water (use your FOREO!). I think this is the most forgotten step to shaving (I get razor bumps without using a pre-shave and lifting my beard). Shaving Cream (tube), Shaving Soap or Shaving Foam are our comfort zones but are also the second step. Their cream is outstanding and goes through a curating period at manufacture for a frothy application (best with a brush). Each color line has a great post-shave balm, tonic or cream and free of alcohols. Since I write for beauty, I usually go straight for the mega serums. But Proraso’s After Shave Balm impressed, using Aloe Vera’s highly soothing and refreshing effect, Vitamin E as an anti-oxidant barrier and Licorice to calm and and reduce irritation or redness. Proraso and FOREO are two perfect ways to start 2016 in a noticeable way.
Kiehl’s is a terrific brand that was built on simplicity, effectiveness and trust. And the supermodels from the late eighties basically pushed it to the stratosphere. That said, Kiehl’s has found itself with just the right amount of luxe, science and trendy buzz word hero ingredients. Men’s Oil Eliminator Spray Toner is a really great niche product that I love. I’m doing more layers of skincare artillery, so starting off with the Mattifying and pore constricting spray is something you use once and you’ll always have it handy. Another revelation Iris Essence. The first layer of restructure, calming, or high, bright and tight. Essence is essentially a diluted or less potent player, but occasionally not. Meaning, certain pure plant extracts are powerful and absorbable to layers that need help (hyper-pigment dark spots that haven’t formed yet—as an inhibitor). I LOVE that Kiehl’s thought enough to put out a giant bottle of anti-aging remedy. One ounce creams and treatments make me nervous. So if I really like the results, I always tell people buy two. If you really want to add that extra kick to accelerated sloughing (let the product work—no “sanding”), the Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion is a bit denser, which means it exfoliates better and polishes the dead or flaky skin (sometimes we don’t see it). I recommend going in circles the size of a quarter where blackheads and pores may be. A few extra swirls can push sebum and other particles out). More swirls, less pressure. I’ve learned the hard way. Facial Fuel Transformer Age Correcting Moisture Gel for Men is a real game changer for men (and women flock to it too) because it combats age lines and sluggish skin while it dually infuses moisture and because it’s a gel cream, you get the rich, rubbery, slightly matte hydration without the heaviness. If your fare, sensitive or tanned and have a few dark spots from being in the sun while having an abrasion, blemish or boil.
Most men know Mario Badescu for procuring some of the most unique shaving products that they’re forever committed to. ‘Planet rulers’ that would never give up their sky blue Pre-Shave Conditioner gel or their Executive Collection dopp kit. Gym bag non-negotiables are After Shave Moisturizer or Protein After Shave Lotion (not just for post-shaving) because sometimes sweat itself burns your face if you shaved that morning. Mario Badescu has always been in my repertoire with standout items that only they produce and couldn’t live without. Like Hyaluronic Emulsion With Vitamin C (a great moisture line plumper with cumulative benefits) is a forceful combo that could stand alone into the decades. Seriously. And Vitamin C Serum as a full strength brightener, strengthener and stimulator. Add on top of that Cellufirm Drops and (yes, layers) Vitamin A & E Hydrating Balm and you’re good skin day just became great, as your addressing (forcefully) most the aging heavy’s like lackluster skin, sagging, spots and lines. How I was turned on to Mario Badescu is another story, but when two Editor In Chiefs explain that hand cream and paper don’t mix unless you’re using Mario Badescu, you listen. And why I use Fruit & Vitamin Hand Cream or Hydrating Hand Cream all day—because it disappears into your skin (no slippery hands), while their Cuticle Cream heals jagged, ragged and torn cuticles overnight. Your new best friends for winter dryness!
Lab Series For Men has consistently leaped ahead of the biological aging curve, giving many of their original Baby Boomer customers stronger, more active results-oriented products. That track record speaks volumes, having the ability to discover ways of reversing natural age and damage while speeding up the turnover process. Slower, mature skin can look tired, sallow, flaky and droopy all at once. And why MAX LS was created—to focus on revving up aging skin or men who forgot to moisturize or faced the seasonal elements year after year. Here are some new and potent additions to the MAX LS line: Skin Recharging Water Lotion is the newest way to cleanse and hydrate at a molecular level, without rinsing. Splash, massage in and wipe. Future Rescue Repair Serum is a very powerful cream geleé that you can feel working hard. And “to help reshape the look of skin” Power V Lifting Serum and Power V Lifting Lotion are a sure fire way to energize, tighten and smooth while being lightweight. Or, try Power V Lifting Cream, for dryer skin or nighttime renewal. If your skin is getting “too tight” (no sympathy here), you can toggle the Age Rescue Water Charged Gel Cream (a favorite) over their lift serum. Great all-in-one gym items are Bonus Size Pro LS All-In-One Face Treatment or Age Rescue+ Face Lotion, a lightweight, firming gel-lotion formula with Ginseng minimizes visible lines, wrinkles, skin discolorations and broken capillaries. Lab Series is serious about delivering results to your skin!
A luxe naturalist, are you? If you love manly, artisanal products then you will feel very much like a sophisticated countryman with Bumble & Co. Their small batch, handcrafted skin and body care products are cruelty free, are devoid of artificial ingredients and contain the finest botanicals, extracts, salts and clays. I love their Herbal Face Cleansing Oil, lavender and mint Lip Balm, as well as the great scent of the Goat Milk Soap. If you’re a shaving purist, Bumble & Co.’s boar’s head Shave Brush and their tin pot of lubricating Shave Soap is a rich cream paste of essential lavender oil, hemp seed oil and shea butter. If that combo doesn’t make your skin soft, nothing will.
I’ve learned to love (and respect) Jack Black products from their somewhat basic start to their now rapid advancement of skin science, providing great results by targeting niche skincare needs of the aging-aware man—at realistic prices. I’m continually impressed. Their DIY Power Peel, Line Smoother 8% Glycolic Acid Treatment and Protein Booster Skin Serum should get your want-to-look-younger attention. For daily, no-brainer upkeep, I really love All-Over Body Spray with citrus, mint and rosemary (yes, you can spray it there). Or my new favorite, Double-Header Shampoo + Conditioner with Coconut Oil & Kelp Extract. It’s gentle on the clean and leaves hair soft. If you’re a “slick-back-and go” kind of guy, then Jack Black’s Military Palm Brush has your name all over it—especially if you’re using wax or pomade! They’re in it to win it.
Leave your scent behind—in a good way! Le Labo Fragrances has long been one of my, and many people’s, secret weapons. One or two drops from their fine oils collection as a standalone fragrance always stopped a passerby. I used them as a base to make my couture fragrances “pop”. Them being Santal 33, Vetiver 46 or Fleur D’Oranger 27. And now, Patchouli 24. For men of the 50+ set, Le Labo’s haute-refinement of yesteryear’s street raw scent (I used patchouli too…) is reason to partake in patchouli all over again. Le Labo is so true to the plant extract, a man could even confidently wear (or blend) the Rose 31. Available in solid perfume (travel compacts), liquid balms (roll on), perfume oil (droppers) and of course, sprays. Le Labo not only helped redefine unisex scents, they made it okay to universally label fine fragrances (masculine or feminine) “perfume”. Like using “actor” for all of Hollywood, Le Labo is here to stay on the walk of fame.
If you can’t get to a store or are in a serious rush, then Perfumania’s website has long been a trusted online retailer for gifts, old favorites no longer sold in retail stores (for the ladies in your life) or your personal picks at an affordable price. Terre D’Hermes For Men has become a staple item for many upscale gents for its orange, pepper, bay rose, patchouli and vetiver notes, while Marc Ecko Unltd. 72 is a new release by the namesake designer that makes for a nice daytime scent, which can go from a walk in the park to a tasteful luncheon in confidence with notes of Crisp Ozone, Italian Bergamot, Frozen Apple, Smoke and Suede. One Million by Paco Rabanne is a nice (rich) surprise with blends of sparkling grapefruit, red orange, mint, rose, blond leather, blond wood, patchouli and amber. The last two fragrances charted much higher, moments after the universal ingredient diffused and the indulgent notes became unique.
Now, what are we gonna do about those wrinkles? The NuFACE Trinity with Facial Trainer is what you need. Watch the “how-to” video, reserve a few five minute time slots on a regular basis and watch your skin lift up and the wrinkles with it. Cheekbones can be pumped, just like biceps!
There’s a lot to go by in this millennial men’s roundup for bona fide self-improvement or attempting to recapture some years left on the table by Father Time. You’re sure to look better, look younger and enjoy the ability to maintain some control in how we are perceived as (the most of gentle) men. Cheers.