When you think of grooming, do images of excessively shaved models with gaunt jaw lines and eight gallons of hair product come to mind? Well get that garbage out of your head. A guy doesn't have to spend half his morning in front of a mirror to look good- he just needs a few quick and simple items. With the help of our buddies over at CHIEFS™, we've put together a few of our favorite grooming necessities.
Chiefs Energizing Face Wash
[$16.99] Let's start with the basics: you're going to need a face wash. The skin on your face is not only more sensitive than it is elsewhere, but it also receives the most exposure to the elements. To take care of that beautiful mug properly, you need a specialized wash. No shocker, we recommend Chiefs Energizing Facewash (and no, not just because they're a sponsor). Will Evans, an old college buddy of ours, started Chiefs after he got fed up with using crappy department store brands. He wanted something that was gentle on his skin but also give him a boost in the morning. After months of research, Will came up with a formula using natural elements that not only cleans and protects the face, but has a distinct kick, like a shot of espresso to your skin. Our verdict? It's better than anything else we've ever tried.
Blue Moon Beer Bar
[$6] Now that your face is taken care of, let's get the rest of you clean. Forget all those chemical-laden body washes you see at the grocery store- all they do is dry out your skin and leave you smelling like cheap cologne. What you really want is a natural, hand-made alternative. In other words, what you really want is the Blue Moon Beer Bar by Veve's Handmade. Now if the idea of smelling like beer all the time doesn't immediately appeal to you, we understand; no one wants to smell like a bar-room floor or have their boss think they're drinking on the job, but trust us- the Blue Moon Beer Bar will have you smelling zesty fresh. This hand-made soap contains coconut oil, sunflower oil, Blue Moon, and a hint of orange peel for that added citrus smell. And yes, it's Tyler Durden approved.
Anthony Logistics Every Day Shampoo
[$16] Before we talk about cleaning that mop on your head, let us just say that we love a company that addresses grooming as 'logistics'. It let's us know that this is a company that knows what a real guy wants: simple solutions for everyday grooming. Which is why we weren't surprised at all by how much we loved Anthony's Peppermint Every Day Shampoo. Made with natural peppermint oil, lavender, chamomile and more, Anthony's Shampoo leaves your hair feeling extra light and clean, but the best part is how it wakes up your head. The natural peppermint oil causes your scalp to tingle with a unique fresh sensation very similar to that of Chiefs Face Wash. For that reason, these two items are your one-two punch for morning showers.
Bluebeards Original Gift Set
[$36] We understand that many of our readers don't have beards because of job restrictions, girlfriends and wives, or general wimpiness, but let's be honest: beards are the manliest thing on Earth and something we should all strive to grow. It takes a certain dedication to grow and maintain a good face shrubbery, and for those with the gravitas to take that journey, maintenance is the first major hurdle. Luckily, Bluebeards Original has got you covered. If you're just starting off in the world of beardliness, we recommend Bluebeards Gift Pack, which contains their beard wash and bear saver treatments. The Beard Wash is specially formulated with aloe vera and lime to not only gently wash that flavor saver of yours, but also cleanse the skin underneath. The Beard Saver works as a great conditioner and anti-itch solution while also helping prevent ingrown hairs. It's the perfect combo to achieve maximum lumberjack status (the height of manhood).
Burt's Bees Shave Cream
[$8] If you're one of the many people who either can't sport a beard, or simply choose not to (in which case you need to seriously reevaluate your life), chances are you do a lot of shaving. All that grinding of metal across your skin can cause some serious irritation if you're not careful, which is why its important to pick the right shaving cream. Well we're happy to report that our search for the perfect shaving solution lasted about two seconds: we found out Burt's Bees had a shaving cream, we tried it, we'll never use anything else. Burt's Bees Shave Cream proves once again that a natural solution beats a chemical solution when it comes to protecting your face. It uses a combination of Calendula extract, which has a unique smoothing effect on skin, and chamomile to give you a close shave while simultaneously keeping your skin hydrated. If you're prone to razor burn or just have sensitive skin, Burt's Shave Cream is a must have item around your bathroom sink.
Every Man Jack Face Lotion
[$6] Whether you make the choice to join team beard or team pansy, you're going to need a protective yet gentle moisturizer for your face. You want something that'll keep your skin from getting stiff and cracked but wont clog your pores. We're not usually the types to judge a book by it's cover, but the other day we picked up a few bottles of Every Man Jack Face Lotion quite honestly because we liked the packaging. It took one application for us to decide that EMJ is going to be our new go-to moisturizer. It's super light, not greasy at all, and leaves your face feeling completely hydrated. We did a little research and it turns out Every Man Jack really has their shit together: each of their three face lotions (unscented, mint, and sun protection) contain natural soothing extracts like menthyl, shea butter, aloe, vitamin E, and chamomile. For those with extra sensitive skin, worry not: EMJ is free of paragons, dyes, and sodium sulfate. Give this stuff a chance- you wont regret it.
Old Spice Fresh Collection
[$5] Thus far we've tried to advocate natural products whenever possible, but there is one area where we haven't really been able to find a good natural solution: our pits. The average guy, whether he's a desk jockey or a pro athlete, does a lot of underarm sweating during the day, and so far most "natural" deodorants we've tried just don't get the job done. As a result, we're recommending the already heavily publicized Old Spice Fresh Collection. And we have to say there's a reason this stuff is so popular: because it straight-up works. Not only does the Fresh Collection do a great job of keeping your pits dry, but every single scent in the line-up smells absolutely, ridiculously, amazingly good. Seriously, go pick up a stick of Fiji and tell us you're not instantly in love.
[$30] As a rule of thumb, we're not huge supporters of cologne here at Uppgrader. Seems to us that most folks use way too much of it and end up completely overwhelming everyone around them. But at the same time, we realize some of our readers probably like a little extra fragrance to distinguish themselves from their colleagues. So for those that just can't resist the urge to spritz themselves with flavor, the only fragrance we can honestly recommend is the one made by maybe the manliest company in the world: Vitorinox's Swiss Unlimited. Yes, the people that brought you the 101-function Swiss Army Knife also make cologne, and it's pretty kick-ass. Swiss Unlimited has a fresh woody smell (because all men should strive to smell like wood) thanks to a combination of Genepi liquor, Absinth, and Fir. When two out of the three ingredients we've listed will get you stone drunk, you know it's got to be a damn good smell.
Thanks again for reading and we hope you'll give a few of these products a try. They're all awesome in their own right and more than worthy of a spot around your bathroom sink. If you make the call to pick up any of these items, shoot us an email (staff [at] uppgrader.com) and let us know what you think. In the meantime, keep on upgrading.