Archive for the ‘Grooming’ Category

Fiele For Fall

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

The bottles come tied up in earthy little satchels.


And the labels are made of linen-y fabric, lending your dresser top tray an extra dose of luxe.


I usually pick out a new fragrance for fall and this year I went with Fiele’s Pogostemon. It looks so rich, and with its Indonesian patchouli base it smolders with a spiced, camp-fiery scent perfectly mood-enhancing for the season ahead.

Fiele offers four other wildcrafted and organic scents including Cedrus (cedar) and Myrrha (myrrh), but Pogostemon definitely had my name spritzed all over it.

My Hair’s Holy Grail

Monday, November 10th, 2014

My hair’s short, un-colored, never blow-dried and yet somehow its always incredibly dry. To the touch it honestly doesn’t even feel like human hair, it’s like some brittle broom bristles the Blair Witch would make creepy dream-catchers out of.

Historically I haven’t ever been much of a conditioner-user, just shampoo, and just once a week. But the conditioners I’ve bothered to bathe with the past few years in an effort to soften my hair haven’t seemed to help all that much.

Nor has applying coconut oil to my hair, or that Argan Oil of Morocco always on the endcaps at Target, or Aveda’s leave-in conditioner, or indulging in V05 hot oil treatments.

I mean all these things help a little. But in a way that merely seems to mask my problem temporarily.


Then recently I read how Jenna Lyons really liked Sachajuan Intensive Oil for both her son and herself – and the product packaging was minimalist-chic, so I figured it was worth a shot.

Well, it’s not just worth a shot, it’s worth a whole bonkers blog post. The stuff’s sublime!

One small, mess-free pump’s worth of it run through my after-bath hair initially gives it a glossy, coated-seeming sheen. (But that’s what the coconut and argan oils did too – just sorta coat my hair to make it slick on the outside, without doing much for the core/overall condition of my hair. At first application, Sachajuan was truthfully leaving me skeptical.)

But here’s the difference. With Sachajuan, twenty minutes later, the oil’s worked its way off the outside of  your hair and immersed itself within. (Coconut oil never does that. Your head stays like that of a drippy DeBarge band member all day.) The shiny slime of ordinary hair oil vanishes with Sachajuan, and my hair then just feels softer in an organic and inherent and little-kid way – plus it sorta pumps ‘n plumps my hair up, making it feel thicker (which, when pushing 40, is a welcome side-effect).

There’s no residue, the effects seem to last a few days, so I only feel the need to re-apply a few times a week. It’s just the sweetest, most delicious syrup for my griddle-scorched-seeming head.

Old Factory Soap Company

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Imagine the waves of the ocean being frozen mid-crest and that’s the ruggedly beautiful look of Old Factory Soap Company’s bars of organic soaps.


For men, the Texas based skincare line batches together three Adventurously Scented bars into one brick-y little blue box.


Event Horizon combines olive, activated charcoal, and black iron oxide into a black mossy, moody little two oz. bar.


Flaxseed and French red clay combine for the pack’s color-blocked Woode bar, spicy if not camp-fiery in its cinnamon-y scent.

Peppermint leaves, raw goat’s milk, and Virginian tobacco anoint the Herb & Soil slab as the most dawn-breaking of the bunch, cool and invigorating on mornings that feel everything but.

Stacked atop one another like topographic tablets on my dresser, I found them almost too strikingly sculptural to pick a piece up and put to good use. But getting clean without black iron and such seemed suddenly super boring, so I got over it real quick.


Face The Morning: A Grooming Guide

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

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.

Master & Commander

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

I am undeniably the master of embarking on unreasonable missions, like driving all around town to half a dozen dopey little drug stores in order to find a bottle of after shave retro and Redford enough to get me and my face through the tough winter ahead.

But when I finally come across something like this $8 bottle of Master Spice, which looked to have been sitting on the store shelf since 1979, my crazy quests instantly prove to have been really, really worth it.

Refresher Course

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

There’s nothing novel about even the rarest bottle of cologne – not compared to these scented Spanish towelettes.

Combining extracts of Lemon, Bergamot, Geranium and Eucalyptus, swiftly refreshing your personal space with one of these Agua de Colonia packets during your holiday travels would instantly make any dreary layover or traffic jam as spiffy and spruced-up as a Mr. Ripley thriller.

Northern Grade Men’s Market

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

The goods: All-American.
The guests: Mostly Minnesotan.

This coming Saturday, the pop-up-style men’s market makes its way to Minneapolis thanks to the mavens behind J.W. Hulme Co., Pierrepont Hicks, Red Wing Shoes, and Fox River Socks.

The Northern Grade Ad-Hoc Men’s Market will be invading an old, antique Barn Door/Church Pew store in NorthEast Minneapolis from noon until 7. I’ll be making an unscheduled appearance at some point in the afternoon, and I think I heard there’d be hot, straight-razor shaves offered on-site too. So needless to say, it’s THE place to be seen this weekend.

I best go on now, and grow out my scruff as quickly as possible. I refuse to clash with all the domestic plaids and leathers.

Passing On The Savings

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Although I flirt with and photograph Byredo bottles of fragrance, I tend to end up with whatever scent COMME des GARCONS spritzes into the ether.

The essence of the line’s newest, WONDERWOOD, is richly wooded and thickly forested – yet fine and fancy; too luscious for luggy ol’ lumberjacks. It’s the smell of black-tie in a birch grove, of tuxedos in tree houses. And although I’m not afraid of an offbeat, edgy scent WONDERWOOD’s calmer and quieter than CdG’s Man 2 or Hinoki fragrances which I also favor.

For a limited time you can indulge in any of COMME des GARCONS’ scents at 25 percent off at with a semi-secret coupon code. The code is applicable to any of BeautyHabit’s myriad of brands including Treasury favorites Valobra soaps and shaving cremes and Couto Portuguese toothpaste.

Click below to learn the not-so-secret code, and pinky promise me you won’t make fun of me for knowing it.



Sample Sizer

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Playfully, I often turn the selection of a new scent into an ultimate death match-type competition. I’ll order a batch of sample fragrances from Luckyscent, then spray two different scents on me per day – the winner then going head to head with a new contender the next day until only one champion cologne remains.

I’d learned that with Byredo, if you sign up on their website, they’ll actually send you three scent samples in the mail free of charge. After flirting with their Fantastic Man and Bal d’Afrique fragrances last summer, the new pepper + leather based Baudelaire sounded worth a trysty test-spritz, and since they were out of one of the other scent samples I’d requested, Byredo kindly threw in a few extra vials for me.

Ladies and gentlemen, the competition begins now!

Skin Trip

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Annoying 90º plus temperatures hit Minneapolis by May this year, and there’s still a whole lot of summer yet to come. Surviving such sudden scorching all last week was made considerably easier and more exotically atmospheric by my new bar of Coco-nutty Skin Trip soap from Colorado based Mountain Ocean.

Hard and heavy and scented like a well-bronzed beach bum, the sudsy bricks are online at Hickorees.

Gifted: Gravel – A Man’s Cologne

Monday, December 28th, 2009

I had intended to share my own Holiday Wish List here, just as many Treasury readers so graciously had done over the past few weeks, but December never ends up large or long enough to fit in all we want to do with it – does it?

But maybe that was for the best.

Because I’d like to take a moment to sweetly (re)state that one of the original intentions of this Treasury was to shift the energy of a materialism-based blog away from what was desired and toward what was treasured. Away from the emptiness of wanting things toward the energy of enjoying things.

It’s not easy to do this. Not easy, especially, for me to do this.

And, arguably, it’s not money that makes the world go round, it’s wanting things that makes the world go round. I like sharing what I want, I like just as much hearing what you want and wanting things leads to creativity and hard work and pleasure and a myriad of non-shallow, non-evil pleasures.

But in this season of riches, in our privileged world in which we troll down glowing screens on thousand dollar machines to cherry-pick from a forest of fashiony blogs all the pretty things we swear we need, I just wanted to remember part of the original purpose behind my Treasury. And to non-naggingly remind myself and my far-off friends to appreciate and value and treasure all we each have – now, already, and inherently. Because there are many in this world who are not so lucky to live in the luxury that we cherry-pickers do.

Okay. So, instead of my Holiday Wish List, over the coming days I’ll post my Gifted List and share what, now that Christmas 2009 has passed, the things I am now lucky enough to actually have! I promise to slowly savor each and every item on this list before I start salivating over anything newer and seemingly shinier.

So here goes.

1. Gravel – A Man’s Cologne


Somewhere down the rabbit hole of blogs this fall, I learned about this singular scent. Created in Germany in 1957 and offered at only one retail location in each city in which it’s available, each bottle is anchored with a seabed of pebbles inside which dissolve slowly over the years, lending the cologne a salty, silty, sailor-like hit.

A scent’s actual…um, scent sometimes has little to do with why I step under its splashy haze. Often times simply its name, and thus the time and era it transports me to is the crux of its intoxication. Other times, like a shimmery sculpture, its the fragrance’s bottle that seduces – demanding to displayed as a dresser-top objet d’art.

With Gravel cologne, its these attractions plus its “sweat ‘n cocktails at a cliffside campfire” scent that set me into a spritzy-fit. Everything about it is just so awesomely outré.

Cuckoo for Cocoa Butter

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

I’d like to take a moment and applaud the makers of American, low-cost health and beauty products because they’re one of the few sectors remaining that let the packaging of their products get so old and outdated that they’re actually awesome and attractive looking again! Since I’m not much of a pill-popper, it’s my primary reason to head to the drug store.


So far things have been going smooth, but I know in a week or two the weather’s gonna get rude and rough, and two days later so is my skin. This winter I’m reverting back to good old school cocoa butter. I aimed to do so last December but I could no longer find the bright, retro yellow line of Cococare products locally, and I just don’t want to slather chocolate scratch-n-sniff sticker scented lotion on my face unless it’s coming out of a tub or tube destined for a Vincent Gallo movie scene.

(Wow, get this: I just looked it up and Cococare has actually been manufactured in Dover, New Jersey the past 40 years. Vincent Gallo indeed!)

This year I hopped online to locate Cococare and let me know that a few select stores in my area actually still carry the line. So cocoa-ed, glowing December skin, here I come.