inter doesn't have to be staid or sluggish because this is also the time to help Santa out just in case he forgot something on your wish list. Well, we're here to help. Now's the time gentlemen can become boys, stylishly.
How's that mug in the mirror looking? OK, even though I'm a skincare snob, I always try to vary my skincare suggestions for the manliest of gentlemen. While I've embraced resistance from some, others can't get enough of results-oriented products. Here's the thing: Don't be intimidated by some men's grooming and skincare products' packaging, marketing and pricing. It may not look like something your beer-drinking buddies would approve of, but it works. So, in the nicest way possible, I implore you to get the hell over it. You'll thank me (as will your favorite snuggle partner).
So when I revisited Jack Black, I was excited to see how assertive their regimens had become, but also how much anti-aging science was being offered at such great value. And although Jack Black's "Best Beard" promotion with the New York Jets has passed, their sports-centric affiliation is just another reason to get on board the grooming train. Especially as they now offer ways to rewind some visible years.
Before bedtime I dove into my Jack Black, going straight for the big guns. Face Buff with Vitamin C and Menthol proved refreshing and gently gritty, enough to lift a beard and polish skin. Next, I went for the two or three times a week treatment, DIY Power Peel Multi-Acid Resurfacing Pads, which only take a minute while providing big rewards in the long run (age spots, pores, dullness and lines). Get it! Protein Booster Skin Serum with peptides and antioxidants was next. Light and rich. Headline: Facial serum is one of the secret weapons many men are missing out on. Because I aggressed with the peel pads I decided to add another layer of comfort, MP-10 Nourishing Oil. Not only is this winner quickly absorbable and non-clogging, it has multiple uses as a beard oil, pre-shave and hair groom. Acids? Scrubs? Yes, with no irritation. But decided to go all the way with Dry Erase Ultra-Calming Face Cream, which is a rich, non-greasy soother. I highly recommend their website or allowing their customer service to expand your anti-aging department. I actually woke up to a smoother, brighter me. Jack Black's targeted options will impress you. I know that because it impressed me, the toughest of critics.
As modern as we've become with a deluge of computers, gadgets and tablets, luckily, Montblanc realizes sometimes we just like to write the old-fashioned way. Penmanship has become stale and indecipherable for many as we rely on digital typing more each day. The StarWalker Extreme Steel Screenwriter performs double duty, transforming the writing pen into a pen-like touch-screen tip that allows you to draw, sketch or write on iPad tablets via their free app.
Let's be honest. Video games are no longer for kids. And with digital screens getting wider than our cars and technology making the experience more 3-D and hyper real -- well...wanna race? While many of the game titles are too nimble-quick for my hands, many of the racing titles are quite forgiving and much more enjoyable and less frustrating. Built for Sony PlayStation (PS2 & PS3), Logitech's G27 Racing Wheel will not only take you back, it will thrust you forward with its solid-feeling components and reverberating technology as you downshift in sync with its weighty pedal and leather steering wheel. G27 is invigorating enough to take the couch potato out of your indoor activity. It's quite a ride.
So, guys, it's time we put our best face forward, smell amazing, maintain our digital penmanship and challenge a buddy to a virtual drag race. And that's how we step up our game. Who's ready?
NEXT LEVEL FRAGRANCE: VETIVER
Fragrance for men can be touchy, but Vetiver scent, historically, holds a place in our refined man arsenal and is often packaged and customized to reflect a certain state of mind and elegance. I bought my first bottle of Guerlain Vetiver as a teenager, marking it as an event in adulthood--a turning point on how life should be. Elevated. Subdued. Lush. It somehow brought me closer to a life I would imagine was meant for the more fortunate. Extravagant? Yes; but fresh and manly. So when I set out to research newer Vetiver collections, I stumbled upon Serge Lutens at Barneys New York--Serge Lutens is a true fragrance house that was considered boutique chic long before the trend. I dabbed a singular dot of their Vetiver Oriental on each wrist and I was instantly transcended with its deep, fresh and sophisticated notes. Nothing stood out as too much, but the scent was alive. I felt very individual and invisibly opulent. I kept smelling myself--I had to have it! Their branded "exclusive bottles" form a bell jar and is a work of modern art in itself. Discover them and find another you.
One of my favorite go-to fragrances is actually an oil; Le Labo's Santal 33 perfume oil is off topic, but I must explain. As I've grown out of my Hollywood hippie phase of dropping patchouli on my wrists (used as a base under my favorite fragrances to be different) I was in awe of their amazingly unique scent on its own. But it really amplifies anything you wear over it. Just. A. Drop. Their brand's numbered and hand-made-as-you-order philosophy has a lot of couture aspects, including personalization and scents only available in certain cities. But what I really love is their Vetiver 46. I just sprayed it to remind myself of its hippie-heir decadence. (A happy place, LOL). And it comes in oil, as a splash, spray, pocket-sized solid (a dapper pocket locket) or as refillable travel bottles. Le Labo is simple and exclusive, but definitely identity-forming as a memorable scent.
FragranceNet.com is a terrific online retailer known for their huge selection and pricing, including many out-of-date items major retailers expire after the seasons pass. I found many deluxe brand options I didn't even know existed, such as Chopard's exclusive Noble Vetiver (love). Having a free account adds to savings and incentives -- and makes gift giving that much easier.
Primarily comprised of woody freshness, Vetiver is generally lemongrass and citronella at its base, having served well as a great daytime scent. Lately, couturier brands have added their own feelings of expression to the zippy cleanliness of the fragrance with hues of patchouli, leather, tobacco, orange vert, spices and wood in varying amounts.