They say friends who care, share. Especially when it comes to beauty products, and this also applies to the more-than-friends in our lives, including dudes. Be it a dry patch of skin or a “poofy” hair day, our male friends have issues, too, and we, being the munificent people we are, can’t help but bestow upon the objects of our affection (platonic or otherwise) the products to solve their issues. We may bristle at a product labeled “built-tough,” or “extra-strength” (except when it comes to hangover-curing ibuprofen), but many a masculine product has found its way into our medicine cabinets. Similarly, there are times when a “slimming,” “anti-aging,” or some such frilly, fussy, floral-scented thing is going to be exactly what a man wants. He just doesn’t know it yet (or doesn't want to admit it?).
Take our pal, whiskey distiller (it's great to have a whiskey-making friend) Colin Spoelman, who does not use “products of any sort in a premeditated fashion” and cannot “distinguish between face or body soap.” He said it best when he confessed that, “living with a lady is to accept that she, no matter how low-maintenance, has a cabinet of curiosities,” whose contents, inevitably, “some make sense, and are even, on occasion, useful.” Thank you. So, we took a little poll of some of our other favorite guys, to see if they, too, gleaned any grooming advice (i.e., beauty products) from their lady loves. Below, our findings:
Brendan Fallis, DJ:
Rodin Olio Lusso: “I had thought that putting oil on your face was a little counter-intuitive, but when I ran out of face moisturizer a few months ago, and didn't have time to pick up anything new, I started to use my girlfriend, [Hannah Bronfman]'s all-natural face oils. I soon realized that my skin felt great and rejuvenated when I put it on. Since then I haven't looked back.”
Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal: “I was a big Old Spice fan, because, obviously, it made me feel like the ultimate man—one who could bake her a cake and also build a kitchen with his own hands. After some 'education' in the area, I found out there were a ton of chemicals in it—chemicals that I was applying directly to my skin. My girlfriend told me to try her crystal deodorant. I was a little nervous that it would do nothing because it has no scent. I also had a few 'hair-pulling' experiences (I didn't realize you need to moisten the stick before use). It works so well, though. And, even though I use it daily, in the last year it doesn't look like I've even used any, so it's affordable too.”
Colin Spoelman, Co-Founder, Kings County Distillery:
Elta Lite sunscreen: 'I don't know that this moisturizer is better than any other, but my fiancée [Ry Russo Young] keeps a lot of this on hand. It doesn't have much of a smell, so in the winter, I sometimes sneak a squirt for my hands or back.”
Bumble and bumble Surf Spray: “This is to give you beach hair when you don't otherwise have it.”
MAC Select Cover-Up: “When I was a freshman in high school, my friend Joel offered me a dab of his sister's concealer for a zit. Joel was popular and on the basketball team, so he was in a much better position to adjudicate with impunity what was appropriate behavior for a male with respect to women's beauty products. Since I had bad acne, I came to rely on this technique, eventually stocking my own tinted concealer for bad days. But this works much better than a tinted vanishing cream, and Ry and I have a similar skin tone.”
Aveeno SPF 55 Sunblock: “I don't know any guys that wear sunscreen on a daily basis, but I burn at about the same speed as bread in the toaster. This sunscreen is an unfortunate requirement, when I am smart enough to remember my past trauma before going out in the sun.”
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant:'This is supposed to be really good facial soap. It comes in powder, so it's a little gritty when you soap it up. Ry likes to push this on me, so I accept (and it works nicely).”
Target Shaving Cream: “This isn't Ry's product so much as it's a gender-neutral shaving cream we share, and it saves space. The appropriations committee of the Russo-Young-Spoelman household has reallocated our budget away from Neutrogena and toward Target, and I haven't noticed a difference. But, I grew a beard to hide the aforementioned acne, so I use this sparingly.
J. Colby Smith, Piercer, New York Adorned:
Leonor Greyl's Masque Orchidee: “Being new to the hair game has lead me to a series of shower experiments. My bathroom research has taught me to borrow this intensive treatment to hydrate my desert of thick hair. Also, you just can't beat women's deodorant. It works great, plus you smell like the beach.”
James Pecis, Hairstylist:
Avène Cicalfate: “This was suggested to me by makeup artist Maud Laceppe. This one is from Paris, which I swear has a different formula than the USA version. It's a great remedy for too-many flights.
Tangle Teaser: Every man with long hair should steal this from a girl's bathroom (or buy one). I got mine from the photographer Sarah Palmer.”
Eco Lips: I got this tube this morning because Kimberley Norcott told me my 99¢ Chapstick had 'parabonds' in it and I was not allowed to use it anymore.
Coconut Oil: Kimberly gave me this one too, and you can use it for everything. I covered myself in it after a sunburn. Who knows if that helps, but it felt good and I smelled tasty. I have used it in curly hair and even to oil my bike lock when it was stuck.
Michael Mraz, Online Features Editor, Architectural Digest:
Aquaphor:'This is the one product my sister Deanne, a Yale-trained dermatologist, always carries with her. It is as close to a cure-all as anything I've ever used—cuts, dry skin, irritation, they're all gone within minutes of applying a little bit of the Aquaphor. I even use it when I'm cooking because I burn myself on the regular.”
Davines Natural Tech Purifying Shampoo: “For whatever reason, I very rarely remember to buy shampoo. Colorist Chelsey Pickthorn gave this stuff to my wife, Florence Kane, a couple weeks ago and told her it's great for dry scalps. It is, which is why I've already stolen it.”
California Baby Shampoo & Body Wash: “When I run through all of my wife's stuff, we both resort to borrowing from our 2-year-old son, Alec, and his many bottles of California Baby. Questionable parenting, maybe, but still not as bad as the time my dad mistook our dog Fox's Kiehl's Cuddly-Coat Grooming shampoo for human stuff.”
Clarins Concealer Stick: “We call this 'The Magic' in the Mraz/Kane household. Busted lip from basketball, a scratch-turned-flesh-wound from the razor-sharp nails of my son, even that most lowly of things—a pimple. My wife and her Concealer Stick have me covered. Literally.”
La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Eye Cream: “My wife has been pushing this stuff on me for a while now, but I'm just not sold. Not on the white caviar or the idea of eye cream in general. I would not be surprised if she's applying it to me in my sleep.”
Rodin Olio Lusso: “I have to admit, this stuff is amazing. It looks like liquified sunshine, smells like summer in Prague, and each time I grab the bottle, it reminds me of one of my favorite cars, the Ferrari 250 GT Lusso. Luxury in a bottle.”
Teddy Blanks, Musician and Graphic Designer (at Chips):
L'Oréal Everstrong Sulfate-Free Shampoo: “I have thick hair, so after shampooing it's embarrassingly poofy for two days before it calms down. I started using this at my girlfriend, Irina Aleksander's place, and it gives me about 50% less poof, which is life-changing.”
Rene Furterer Dry Shampoo: “I get nine hours of post-poof great hair before it starts to go greasy. This stuff sucks the grease out like magic so I can go a few more days before actually washing it.”
Epicuren Acne Spot Treat Gel: “My ex left a dozen bath products at my place, but I threw them all out except for this. It's just a nice, soothing cream that seems to work on pimples, so I let it stay.”
Nars Concealer: “I'm not sure my girlfriend even knows I steal this from her, but sometimes the acne cream doesn't kick in fast enough and desperate measures must be taken.”
Yves Delorme Soap: “I have terrible un-diagnosed restless leg syndrome, to the extent that I kick women in my sleep. I once heard Dr. Oz say that putting a bar of fragrant soap under the covers can help, so when I stay over at my girlfriend's place, she loans me this. I know it sounds crazy, but it works—sort of.”
Photographs kindly provided by the aforementioned gentlemen.