Style » Grooming

Springtime Is the Right Time: Grooming & Gift Guide 2012

by Mark Thompson
EDGE Style & Travel Editor
Saturday Mar 3, 2012

Spring cleaning isn't only for your closets. Springtime is the right time to clean up your life. Cleanse your pores while cleaning up the clutter. Get a new haircut and look at yourself in the mirror a little more closely. Scrutinize your skin after a winter spent indoors.

Then, peer into the medicine cabinet and donate some of your least favorite emollients to a friend in need. It's time to make room for some new product.

Springtime is the right time to sip a cup of hot tea in a garden. Close your eyes to the sun and feel the warmth on your face.

Listen to the birds and the bees - and let the pheromones of the season reheat your libido.

Because springtime is also the right time for love.


Dirt for Men: Charge AM

It took us exactly one application of Dirt for Men Charge AM to realize that we had a new love. As soon as this vitamin C-charged serum touched our face, we were smitten by the way it caressed our skin and left us feeling younger than springtime. We stared at our reflection as if we were meeting us for the first time - and falling in love.

Dirt for Men was created for guys who want their products to look as masculine as their Black Party gear, hence the name. Nonetheless, Dirt for Men’s containers are positively chic with a twist-and-pump dispenser that is as clever as it is perfect for packing in a travel bag. Formulated with 100% natural ingredients (and never tested on animals), Dirt for Men products are designed to make skin care as easy and reliable as the man with whom you share your bed.

Think of Dirt for Men Charge AM as a multi-vitamin supplement for your face. Almost immediately, your skin soaks up this light serum, which helps to maintain your skin’s elasticity. You can almost feel your pores tightening and lifting - as if they’d just completed a morning workout. Use Dirt for Men Charge AM after shaving and you’ll swear that your complexion looks as peachy as the first time you took a razor to it. Who knew you’d ever see sixteen again?

PRICE: $110.00 / 30 ml.
LINK: Dirt for Men Charge AM
Dirt for Men AM Charge at Ave You


Kiehl’s Since 1851: Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution

Not unlike the way we feel when Gaga releases a new song, we always get a bit of a thrill when Kiehl’s introduces a new product. Founded in an old-world apothecary in New York’s East Village, Kiehl’s has been blending herbal pharmaceuticals since 1851, using knowledge passed down through the generations.

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution is a crystal-clear serum that diminishes dark spots and evens skin tone. Formulated with Activated C, a potent vitamin C derivative, Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution breaks down melanin clusters and prevents their recurrence, resulting in a more uniform and luminous skin tone.

Silicone-free and without any parabens or optical diffusers, Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution is both lightweight and hydrating, thanks to the addition of white birch extract, which restores hydration and nutrients to the skin. Peony extract, a traditional Chinese medicinal antioxidant, helps to protect the skin from free radicals and the production of melanin.

As usual, that’s a lot of science for the introduction of a Kiehl’s product, but it’s also one good reason why Kiehl’s products are so effective - and popular. If you’re looking for your skin to regain that dewy freshness you associate with Kate Middleton or Taylor Lautner, well, miracles do happen. Start applying Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution - and in eight weeks, you might be marrying a prince (or a werewolf).

PRICE: $49.50 / 1.0 fl. oz. bottle
LINK: Kiehl’s Since 1851 Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution


Menaji: 911 Eye Gel

Late nights are killer when you have an early morning call. Your eyes reveal all - and an ice pack on the subway isn’t your style. You’re a little more discreet with your beauty regimen, which is where Menaji 911 Eye Gel comes in.

This all-natural eye gel works like an ice pack by cooling puffy eyes with a combination of aloe, chamomile, wheat germ, and eyebright. The aloe cools and tightens the skin, while eyebright, a plant that has been used for centuries as a remedy for eye problems, relieves inflammation. Menaji 911 Eye Gel is also formulated with allantoin, which promotes the growth of healthy tissue, and mica, which adds a light diffusing effect to minimize the appearance of fine lines.

For year, Michele Probst, the founder of Menaji, worked with a celebrity clientele that was often in front of the cameras. Clients such as Enrique Inglesias, Bryan Batt, Aaron Neville - and even Barack Obama - recognized Probst’s expertise at making her clientele look youthful and natural - without suffering from "foundation face."

In creating her own line, Probst focused on products that would enhance the natural healing properties of men’s skin. "Skincare For the Confident Man" is the company’s tagline.

Bryan Batt, star of "Mad Men" and an inveterate night owl, swears that "Menaji 911 is my savior; there’s nothing else like it." Given that Mr. Batt usually looks as if he’s stepped off the cover of a magazine, we’re following his lead.

For an added boost, chill Menaji 911 Eye Gel in the fridge. In the morning, gently massage a drop of the lightweight gel around the eye and watch as the glittering specks of mica have their way with your dark circles. The effect is almost immediate. Now you’re ready to go get ’em, tiger.

PRICE: $36.00 / 1.0 oz
LINK: Menaji 911 Eye Gel


(Spring Grooming and Gift Guide continues on next page...)

Lush: 25:43 Fragrance

Fanatical aficionados of Lush are obsessed with the company’s limited edition releases, collecting skin care products with the same level of enthusiasm that shoe heads exhibit for Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo.

Gorilla Perfume is Lush’s fragrance line, helmed by the father and son team of Mark and Simon Constantine, both of whom believed that the marketing and packaging of perfume had usurped the import of the fragrances. For Lush co-founder and inventor Constantine the senior, "The perfume is the point" - and the creations that he makes with his son are inspired by their lives.

In honor of Simon’s wedding, Mark created 25:43, a fresh, citrus fragrance laden with lime and tonka bean. After the wedding, Simon deepened the fragrance with notes of lemongrass, vanilla, and ylang ylang. Remember how you used to roll down a hill when you were a kid? You might think of this fragrance as a romp in a field of spring blossoms. Just you and your honey and a sunny day picnic: lime rickeys and vanilla ice cream

As for the fragrance’s name, it took the elder Constantine exactly twenty-five minutes and forty-three seconds to blend this juice. Make of that what you will, but one Lush fanatic called 25:43 "happiness in a bottle" - and who’s going to argue with something that makes a person feel like that?

PRICE: $39.95 / 1.1 fl. oz.
LINK: Lush 25:43 Fragrance


Lush: The Guv’Ner Deodorant Powder

Let’s face it, sweating has its pleasures - during a workout, on the beach, having sex - but no one really enjoys seeing its stains on your clothes. You can block your underarm pores with anti-perspirant, but guess what, your body is going to release that sweat somewhere - and probably closer to your nether regions, where the result might be even less sexy than underarm stains.

So whatcha gonna do now that the planet is heating up and the days are getting warmer? What you need is a natural deodorant powder. What you should consider is the latest addition to Lush’s line of natural deodorants: The Guv’Ner Deodorant Powder. Packed with the ultimate deodorizer, charcoal powder - genius, right? Why didn’t we think of that? - The Guv’Ner Deodorant Powder also contains lycopodium powder, which has been used for centuries as a dusting powder for skin diseases and eruptions. The result is a super-absorbent powder with an antiseptic punch, thanks to the addition of sage and patchouli, as well as lavender, chamomile, and rose absolute.

Caveat emptor: The Guv’Ner Deodorant Powder goes on black - and leaves a black residue on your hands, but if you pat this under your arms while standing over the bathroom sink, you’ll have no problems. And not to worry: even under a white shirt, this deodorant powder leaves no traces - whatsoever.

What you get is a cooling, absorbent powder that keeps you fresh and dry all day - with no residue or irritation. Your body will thank you - and so will your sweetie.

PRICE: $9.95 / 1.4 oz / available 15 March 2012
LINK: Lush The Guv’Ner Deodorant Powder


Numi Organic Tea: Cardamom Pu-erh

Ever since Facebook, there’s no time. Which means that it’s up to each one of us to make time. Make time for a cup of tea and take time to sit. And since you’re making the time, make sure that cup of tea is worth your time.

Pu-erh (pronounced poo-air) is an ancient healing tea that undergoes a 60-day fermentation process. The resultant flavor has hints of malt, but perhaps more importantly for those of us seeking health and well-being in our liquids, pu-erh is loaded with antioxidants. In addition, studies have shown that pu-erh can reduce cholesterol, while also improving digestion and helping to maintain weight loss. Can we say miracle drink?

Based in California, Numi Organic Tea has a complete line of pu-erh teas that are hand picked from 500-year-old organic wild tea trees in Yunnan, China. And just in time for spring, Numi Organic Tea is introducing five new exotic pu-erh blends, including Cardamom Pu-erh.

The spicy, sweet Cardamom Pu-erh is a blend of black pu-erh and green cardamom, which releases a rich and aromatic fragrance. Add a splash of almond or rice milk for a delicious chai-like concoction.

One cup of Numi Cardamom Pu-erh - and you’ll swear that nirvana is in the palm of your hand.

PRICE: $8.99 / 16 tea bags
LINK: Numi Organic Tea Cardamom Pu-erh


A long-term New Yorker and a member of New York Travel Writers Association, Mark Thompson has also lived in San Francisco, Boston, Provincetown, D.C., Miami Beach and the south of France. The author of the novels WOLFCHILD and MY HAWAIIAN PENTHOUSE, he has a PhD in American Studies and is the recipient of fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, and Blue Mountain Center. His work has appeared in numerous publications.


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