Face The Morning: A Grooming Guide

A while back, a reader asked if I’d compile a list of the grooming products I use on a daily basis, and I basically do anything anyone asks me to do. (Just ask anyone.)

I’ve always loved ink or internet-ish articles about what the semi-famous spritz on their faces, or stash in their briefcases, or would smuggle onto a deserted island. So here it is, a list of the prettifying products I swear by, and my stab at seeming semi-famous.

1. Whole Foods 365 Shampoos & Shower Gels

As this blog can attest to, I don’t mind splurging on…well, just about anything. But I’d rather save my money for overpriced t-shirts or tables – so I buy these 365 shampoos and shower gels partly because each bottle is only $2.99. The more important reason is they are paraben-free and eco-friendly, and I prefer to buy paraben-free products as much as possible cause I’m not super into sneaky diseases and defects.

If you want the real run-down of my daily routine, then you should know that I only wash my hair about once a week, and I take baths instead of showers, cause I’m a stressed-out mom of four at heart. I use the 365 Shower Gel as a non-bubbling bubble bath and then do my power scrubbing with:

2. Dial Bar Soap

Probably not un-paraben-y, and I do use hippie-approved soaps from co-ops often too, but Dial smells strong and guy-like, scenting your whole bathroom like a date with Rob Lowe in 1984. (Rando Tip: I even unwrap unused bars of Dial and stash them in my closet and dresser, before I need them in the bath. It’s like frat boy pot-pourri.)

After my daily bath, I floss, then use a natural-leaning toothpaste. Lately it’s:

3. Weleda Salt Toothpaste

It’s the sunburned color of worms, and tastes a little bit like gum and a lot like olives. (Yum?) But its multi-faceted strangeness is refreshing, and it does leave my teeth feeling smoother than glass.

4. C.O. Bigelow Shaving Cream

Although this list is starting to suggest otherwise, I am actually a sucker for cool packaging and new, intriguing scents when it comes to grooming products. And there’s no shortage of cool looking/smelling shave creams out there – Pinecone & Raisin Shave Pudding by Brooklyn Bearded Brothers Ltd. or whatever. But the last eight years or so I haven’t bothered giving any new cream even half a try, because this Bigelow stuff works so supremely. It smells minty, and makes your skin zing a bit when you shave, but….most importantly, it gives you a really smooth, slick, nick-less shave. It costs ten bucks, you can find it at even the dumbest shopping mall near you, usually. If I’ve ever been “Brand Loyal” to anything ever, it’s this shaving cream.

5. Master Spice After Shave

Shaving goes better when I only do it once every six or seven days. When I do, since December, I splash this practically vintage bottle of Master Spice on and pretend I’m Robert Redford or it’s 1974, or both.

6. Up & Up Daily Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 15

Days when I don’t shave, then my face heads Up & Up. The main thing that keeps me loyal to this Target in-house version of an Oil of Olay lotion is I have yet to find any other daily SPF that doesn’t leave my eyelid skin sorta stinging the way that vacation suntan lotion does. I wish this Up & Up stuff had an SPF higher than 15, or was paraben free – but the other brands I’ve tried, at Whole Foods or The Body Shop or other places, always burn my preemie-like eyes and baby ain’t having none of that.

7. Wonderwood Cologne

When I lived in L.A. in 1998, I read in a magazine with Courtney Cox on the cover how anti-perspirants trap toxins inside your body, slowly turning your sweat into an internal enemy who lives inside you every day, wanting you dead and diseased. So since about then, I don’t use anti-perspirant or deodorant. I spritz or dab cologne around there instead, unless I have a scary job interview in the Sahara desert that day or something. I like to have a lot of scents to chose from and favor Comme des Garcons colognes, as they are usually smoky, spiky, and sultry. I ran out of their 2 scent last year, and Wonderwood is almost gone now too. They have a new one, Amazingreen, that I might try next.

8. Redken Rough Paste

I hate my hair, the world must know, and I always have. It’s hard to cut, it’s too straight and too blunt, and eternally poofy on the sides. I have a new wing in my house for all the thick creams and cements I use to try and smash everything into order. One tub of gunk I’m liking lately is this Redken paste, because it smells a little bit like the perfume Debbie Gibson came out with when I was a kid called “Electric Youth”. The cheerleader up the street who my sister and I were friends with had a bottle of it – and I always thought it smelled fun and happy. Exactly like teen girls and my dumb 2012 hair should smell.

9. Now Solutions Apricot Oil

My hair’s become a little dry over the years. I think it’s maybe the alcohol in the hair gunks I use. Hippie conditioner doesn’t seem to help that much, nor did two hot oil home treatments. But this summer I tried Fonze-ing five drops of Apricot Oil through my hair, and it worked wonderfully, so I do that about once a week now.

Besides my long mom-baths, I find it boring spending much time getting ready in the morning, and trying to look remotely alright, when my Hurly seems like he can just roll out of a nightly coma and wander out the door instantly, looking nice like he always does. So most mornings, for all my vanity, I do the bare minimum of dolling-up. When I have someone to invisibly impress though, I go the extra mile. The extra mile being:

10. Chapstick

In classic Strawberry or Cherry, I have three or four lying around my house/car. They’re just pink and dewed enough to be like a dude version of lipstick, without at all seeming like you’re wearing a dudette version of lipstick. The ‘ol Stick makes a whole face turn juicy.

And juicy faces are cool and important a semi-famous person said once, in ink or on the internet. So pay attention, and do as they do.

2 Responses to “Face The Morning: A Grooming Guide”

  1. Shane Says:

    YES! I do love a product guide. I am not even a little internet-famous, but as a responsible (i.e., vain) homosexual man, I too have a grooming routine. One of my favorite super-cheap products is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 100. I have a decent amount of melanin and I still don’t mess around with sun exposure/skin cancer/premature aging. I also love Mint Chapstick. All of the time, always.

  2. susie Says:

    Hi Will,

    I so enjoyed this post! It is amusing and makes me smile while reading it. I don’t care about any of these products, but I do love this sort of personal exposure via grooming habits! It is a great feature of many print/internet publications. I can never care about a whole website of product reviews, but when they come from someone who usually doesn’t talk about such things as a special little feature, it feels like a special personal insight.

    Anyhow. Mom baths! I’m learning there is a real divide among my adult friends between bathers and showerers. I’m in the latter camp, unless Mr. Bubble is involved.

    Basically, I liked this post a lot.