Editor’s note: For more menswear-minded online shopping picks, including Oxford shirts and weekender bags, head here.
We’ve talked a bit about grooming lately here on The Style Guide, namely in the form of this Doc Elliott giveaway earlier in January. But that giveaway is just the tip of the iceberg. Here in NYC, and I’d guess elsewhere for a lot of us #menswear fans, it’s pretty cold. And windy. And snowy, or rainy. All of that wreaks havoc on your skin, and if you don’t have a solid grooming routine in place, you could end up looking like this. There are a couple parts to assembling a solid grooming routine though, from caring for your face and beard (or stubble, or heck, no beard) to caring for your hands — so the below picks cover each of those bases (hopefully pretty well, too!). It’s not the full list of every brand you could look into certainly, but it’s a heck of a place to start — if I do say so myself. And if you haven’t given much thought to grooming before, it’s another small upgrade that can work in tandem with other style upgrades, especially if it was one of your style resolutions for 2016. So read on and stock up — you’ll beat winter in no time.
The Essential Moisturizer: Baxter of California Oil-Free Moisturizer, $24.00
One of the first steps to taking on winter is making sure your face is properly taken care of — and that starts with a hard-working, effective moisturizer from a brand that knows what it’s doing. The Baxter of California Oil-Free Moisturizer fits the bill perfectly. It’s a bit pricey for a small tube of lotion, but it’ll make a big difference — I’d say (although I’m no expert), using this as your last morning grooming step and your last nightly grooming step can definitely fight the effects of winter.
The Ultimate Beard-Care Kit: Doc Elliott Grooming Beard Care Combo Kit, $30
While $30 might at first look a bit steep for such a small package, rest assured that Doc Elliott Grooming absolutely knows what it’s doing in terms of beard care. This Beard Care Combo brings you two-in-one — the brand’s Beard Serum should work quite well as far as conditioning and smoothing that beard of yours, while the Beard Balm offers up even more protection. Two refined scent options are available, along with an unscented pick. There’s no wrong choice, my bearded brethren. And if you find yourself needing shaving essentials, we’ll cover that further down the line here.
The Hand Cream: Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, $15
Another oft-overlooked part of grooming — dry hands. We’re all prone to ’em, particularly in winter and even if you’ve got yourself some nice leather gloves. Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve uses a blend of botanical oils and natural wax (derived from olive oil, no less), should definitely prove a hydrating combination. Trust me, your co-workers — and yes, your partner — will thank you. The price is a bit steep for a small container, but the 22oz. size isn’t a bad value.
The Shaving Cream: Baxter of California Super-Close Shave Formula, $20
We turn again to a reputable brand known for its everyday essentials, particularly its well-known Super-Close Shave Formula. It’s hydrating and crafted with coconut oils for a smooth shave — having checked out some myself, it’s the real deal. It leaves no mess (it’s a thicker, fluffier blend than typical shaving cream), it’s a solid value and it’s got a hint of refreshment built in.
The Finishing Touch: Brooklyn Grooming Anchor Aftershave Tonic, $16
For when you’re all set shaving (and even if you just like to freshen up your beard after a quick trim), reach for a crisp aftershave made in part with aloe vera gel. The brand says its scent blends exotic woods and balsam resins among others, and if you’re into it, it’s imbued with some unique spiritual elements (yes, indeed) — like immune-stimulating “holy wood.” At the end of the day, you be the judge of whether that works — but it should handle the basics in a refreshing way regardless.
While the above list might be a bit longer than the stock you have in your medicine cabinet right now, the best advice would be to pick and choose what works for you — at the very least, some solid basics, like a nice moisturizer and hand cream, can definitely sort out your grooming situation to start. And when used as part of a solid daily routine, they can impart some nice structure, style and of course, refreshment to your day. In the long run, they’ll all help you fight the aftereffects of winter — and come spring, the same routine will continue to take you far.
What’s your winter grooming routine like? Do you own any of these products or will you be making any new purchases.