Online Shopping Picks: Top Men’s Summer Grooming Essentials

Editor’s note: Click this link for a full set of online #menswear shopping suggestions.

If you’re lucky, by this point in the season, you’ve got lots of your summer style essentials taken care of. There are some other style details that should be left out though, and it goes without saying that summer grooming essentials should also be on your shopping list. After all, what’s the benefit of rocking a stylish pair of shorts or some crisp white sneakers if you don’t have the proper grooming products to complement ’em? It’s all about the little steps that really create a holistic lifestyle, and that goes particularly for how you’re taking care of your skin in the sun. It’s something I can certainly get better at, and in that vein, you can expect more grooming-centric content in the coming weeks here (we’re in this together, folks). And today, we’re talking sun care, skin care and a bit of everything else. To get a jump on on the brands pictured below, head here to learn more about Baxter of California — and for the rest of the grooming essentials you need, carry on.

The Sun Protection: Manda Organic Sun Paste — $28.98

A refreshing look and feel, different from your average sunscreen.

A refreshing look and feel, different from your average sunscreen.

While great grooming is essential any time of year (particularly in the winter), there’s a defining attribute that makes summer skincare so essential, and it’s right up there at high noon. Grabbing a bottle of basic sunscreen is definitely one way to go (and other grooming brands also stock sun protection products), it can be nice to grab something that’s out of the ordinary in both packaging and its approach. This organic sun paste is more expensive, but again, it’s a nice, worthwhile change of pace from the ordinary.
Frank & Oak

The Daily Routine: Tread For Men Facial Cleanser — $25

A premium facial cleanser that packs a serious punch.

A premium facial cleanser that packs a serious punch.

Before you get ahead of yourself and skip onto other parts of your grooming routine, make sure your face is taken care of first. This no-frills facial cleanser incorporates Vitamins A and E, oats, olive and jojoba oils (among other ingredients) to hydrate, repair and firm your skin. It also flushes dirt and removes dead skin cells in the process — having tried it out recently courtesy of the brand, I’ve been very pleased with the results so far. It really has left my skin feeling refreshed and energized, and that’s all too rare before I’ve had my first morning coffee. Plus, the label is well-designed, the directions are easy to read and the glass bottle the product comes in feels a bit more premium than other skincare products.
The Skin Protection: Ursa Major Perfect Zen Body Lotion — $26

Never used a body lotion before? Try this one on for size.

Never used a body lotion before? Try this one on for size.

If you do happen to get too much sun, getting that recovery process going is critical (and ASAP, too!). Ursa Major makes very effective, if pricey, grooming gear that’s a bit more unique — it seems not many brands are doing body lotion for guys (and if you know of any great recommendations, jump in over on Twitter). Either way, this body lotion is going to soothe and soften your skin, and it works throughout summer and into the drier climes of fall and winter.

The Must-Have: Baxter of California Deodorant — $19

Another upgrade from a typical deodorant.

Another upgrade from a typical deodorant.

It goes without saying that deodorant is quite necessary in the summer, yes? One that’s made with a more premium approach than a standard drugstore pick-up can be a welcome style upgrade that pays dividends (better performance and better scent among them). The citrus scent and the solid gel won’t stain or discolor your clothes, so that’s another positive. And if you show off that time in the gym  in a tank top, it always helps to have deodorant on (another no-brainer, right?).
Florsheim
The Hair Care: Byrd Matte Pomade — $22

An easy way to look good -- a bit of matte pomade and some light styling can go a long way.

An easy way to look good — a bit of matte pomade and some light styling can go a long way.

In addition to finding the right ‘do for your hair — maybe a bit more of a classic hairstyle  or one that’s closer-cropped — it can be a bit of a struggle to figure out what exactly to do with it. Well, that’s where a touch of pomade works out nicely. Keep it matte, so you avoid the shiny, spikey haircuts so common in the early 00s (yes, I modeled my hair after boy bands, too).  In this case, less product is better — and if your hair is already cut shorter to begin with, that’s all the better. Like the other grooming products on this list, it’s an investment in terms of price — but worth it if you use it the right way.

The Finishing Touch: Everyman Jack Signature Face Lotion — $6

A small container that holds an essential key to grooming success.

A small container that holds an essential key to grooming success.

The adage that seems to hold true in most matters of #menswear holds equally true in matters of men’s grooming — namely, a little goes a long way. Just a bit of face lotion (only $6 worth!) can help soothe dry skin and razor burn at the same time. Plus, this face lotion offers a much-needed chance to keep your face looking hydrated and healthy even outside of summer — consider it the last step in your daily grooming routine.

Stocking up on the right grooming products for summer — or any other season — revolves around meeting your daily needs head-on, whether you spend a ton of time in the sun or spend a ton of time indoors, keeping your skin hydrated and healthy is quite important. And if you find yourself unsure of where to start in terms of products, reaching for upgraded basics — like a better deodorant or pomade — is often the way to go. That holds true for figuring out the rest of the menswear world as well, but it can be a big help if you only need a few key grooming products to get started. Have any thoughts on brands that should’ve made the cut, or any grooming must-haves for summer? Join the conversation at The Style Guide’s Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Thanks, as always, for reading

-Beau
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

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The Product Review: Brickell Men’s Products

Reviewing an up-and-coming skincare brand.

Reviewing an up-and-coming skincare brand.

While lots of us put care into our appearance and overall style, there are parts that seem to get overlooked (speaking from personal experience here) — namely, skin care! It’s part of the full package in terms of taking care of yourself physically and mentally, and it’s probably even more important than the clothes you wear — after all, it’s an indicator of overall health. A terrific post from our friends over at Effortless Gent really got me thinking about this concept — Josh from Brickell Men’s Products preaches the importance of developing a daily skincare routine (and using high-quality products, like those from Brickell, to do it). Given the EG-approved recommendation, that was enough for me to take the plunge myself.

I picked up the Purifying Charcoal Face Wash and added in a sample of the brand’s Daily Essential Face Moisturizer for Men, both using a discount code related to Effortless Gent (the brand is currently knocking 15% off your first purchase if you sign up via email). They rolled into my mailbox about a week ago, giving me ample time to test them out — and the results are in! Now the brand has gotten quite a bit of press across the past few months, so those testimonials would be an excellent source to check out, too.

IMG_0801

Charcoal face wash that capitalizes on a recent skincare trend (with good presentation, to boot).

 

The first thing that jumps out is the packaging, seen at the top of the page. The cardboard box is crisp and sturdy, stamped with a masculine logo, much like other guys’ skincare brands out there — not that that’s a bad thing, by any means. The full-size face wash bottle is a nice, deep emerald green color – a small detail to be sure, but that makes it pleasing to look at. Other products on the site feature either that same green shade or a deep red bottle color.

As to starting to use the product itself, there weren’t any visible directions on the bottle (not that many are needed for face wash, anyhow) — but that was rectified with a tips email that came the day after the package was received, outlining best practices for using the charcoal face wash. For the record, using a dime-sized amount of product with warm water works best to wash your face, followed by cold water to clean off.

Charcoal face wash on the left, with a moisturizer sample on the right.

Charcoal face wash on the left, with a moisturizer sample on the right.

Pairing the face wash with the moisturizer immediately thereafter (and following that process twice a day) has yielded some pretty pleasing results. I’ve noticed that despite the cold winter weather, my face doesn’t feel dry – using both products helps a great deal with beating winter skin irritation. Neither product drys out the skin either, something that can be an issue with other skincare products. While I’m no expert in skincare by any means, those are definitely positives to using these products. I’d expect that that same quality extends elsewhere, too.

In the future, I’m definitely inclined to purchase a larger version of the moisturizer, and I’d definitely add other products — like the shampoo or the body wash. Note that they also produce, among other products, a full line of shaving items (minus the razor and blades), and travel sizes for each.

Pricing is comparable to other skincare brands for like products (in this case, the moisturizer is slightly pricier than the Jack Black option because Brickell offers a larger bottle). Knocking off 15% on your first order is definitely preferable at the moment, but extremely frequent refills shouldn’t be needed — so this option hopefully won’t stretch too many budgets. They’re definitely a solid bet among several other competitors — going with a surefire option like this could be a great way to complete an overall lifestyle routine. 

What are your skincare steps? What products would you recommend? Any experience with Brickell Men’s Products? Leave your thoughts below!