Girls, lend me your ears for like 10 minutes, tops. In the spirit of back-to-school (or back-to-fashion) excitement, I showed up to work yesterday with a shopping bag full of my favorite things. No one asked me to do it, but they're letting me riff. God Bless America.
News flash: all guys use, and, you know what?, even enjoy, beauty products. I get a big kick out of Old Spice High Endurance Body Wash, whose label says it "slams away dirt and odor"—as if men need to feel like a WWF wrestler in order to get into personal hygiene. If we can take anything away from Gillette's genius new campaign with Andre 3000, Gael García Bernal, and Adrien Brody, it's that the tides are turning and pretty boys are having their moment in the sun. It's cool to care. Call me gay (I am), but I always have.
All of that said, my must-haves include a handful of products that are tried-and-true. I need a beauty malfunction during Fashion Week like the world needs more street-style stars, which is to say, I don't. My daily uniform will likely include some composite of nerdy Nike running sneakers, crazy pants (especially from Warriors of Radness, but these, these, and these are all cool), and solid-color Uniqlo polos. The perfect mix of business and pleasure. Oh, and the following:
1. D.S. & Durga Orris Root cologne. It's not a crowd-pleaser—Emily said it smells "old lady-ish," but pleasing everyone is not what I'm about when it comes to fragrance. I like it because it's simultaneously powdery and woody (cedar?). And it's distinctive—cab drivers always ask me about it, which I take as a compliment. I think orris root is technically the root of an iris plant; it smells like violet, which is one of my favorite scents (I love Tom Ford's Violet Blonde, too, and those violet candies that taste like soap). Unfortunately, Orris Root was discontinued, but I have two "tester" bottles that the nice saleswoman at In God We Trust sold to me earlier this summer. But, really, all of the D.S. & Durga men's fragrances are awesome.
2. I also like Le Labo's 15ml-size Bergamote 22, a floral-musky blend, which is a mainstay in my travel dopp kit and in my backpack when I'm running around to shows.
3. Bumble and bumble's Sumotech. It's a cream/putty hybrid that's totally matte and goes a long way in reigning in my hair. I use a quarter-size amount and warm it up between my hands before going root-to-tip with that shit, all over my head.
4. Tracie Martyn Shakti Resculpting Body Cream. A couple of weeks ago, celeb-facialist Tracie and her partner, Marius, invited me to get the fancy-sounding Red Carpet Facial at their Union Square salon. It was my first facial, and I liked it—especially Tracie telling me that I looked "definitely 12 years old" after she finished with the electrodes and LED lights and microdermabrasion. A facial so good, you'll look like a child. Anyway, the best part of all of that was their gift to me of a bottle of Resculpting Cream, which is meant for the body (it's a "firming thigh, neck, and jawline treatment"), but which Tracie recommended I use around my eyes, to tighten and firm, in the morning. As opposed to other eye creams I've tried, this one really soaks in to a matte finish (rather than that you've-got-something-on-your-face sheen), has a righteous rose/hippie smell, and seems to perk up my face. I just pat around the area under my brows, to my upper cheekbones. You know, when I'm not "slamming away dirt and odor," and saying, "Fuck you!" to grease, etc.
5. Dior's Skinflash Primer. Years ago, I read on GOOP about a men's version of YSL Touche Éclat, ingeniously called L'Homme Touche Éclat Pour Homme. I have no doubt it is the exact same thing as the women's classic, but this one comes in a tough, nickle-colored pen. It lends credence to my firm belief that ALL GUYS USE CONCEALER, EVEN STRAIGHT ONES. It was just OK for covering up under-eye circles, maybe a little heavy, but I just figured out that these are not really my biggest issue. Instead, I think redness around my lower and upper lash lines are what's doing me in, looks-wise. Skinflash Primer, which Emily turned me on to, is awesome for this. It's not a concealer—it doesn't sit on your skin, or fall into the creases under your eyes. It absorbs easily and just kind of brightens and evens-out the areas you're applying it to. The red rings vanish and I look a little less wiped-out.
6. Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. This is the only lip balm I've ever come across that is completely matte—it doesn't look like you're wearing anything. (If you know of any others, holler at me.) This is of the utmost importance to me when it comes to chapstick. Gloss is not a good look on guys. Plus, the peppermint scent (it's formulated with the herb) is a great sub-in for gum.
7. Solgar Vitamin D3 1000 IU Softgels. Like everybody that works indoors, I'm super deficient in vitamin D. My doctor told me to take a supplement and, problem solved! I take extra special care to chug these softgels during Fashion Week, as harsh runway lighting is no substitute for the real thing. I'm also really into two-shakes-a-day of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein in Vanilla Ice Cream, but that's another story, and really between me and my body, or me, my body, and my trash-talking trainer, Joe DeGeorge.
8. My final essential: Axe Body Spray. Because these bros are promising that I'll "smell like a hunk of man candy all day long." [Update: JK!]