grooming

Shave of the Day! August 7, 2017

Good Evening Dapperites,

Just thought I’d share with you tonight my shave of the day pic and give a little review of this marvelous classic aftershave that I picked up on my recent visit to Boston. So without further ado:

 

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This shave brought to you by Clubman and Proraso

The aftershave I am referring to of course is the classic Clubman Bay Rum. Now I had always heard great things about this particular bay rum aftershave, but remained skeptical as the only other bay rum scent I have smelled was particularly nasty (Royall Bay Rum). When I was in Boston (well Cambridge) I found this great little man shop called Leavitt and Pearce and they actually had tester bottles out with different Clubman scents. I picked this one up and was blown away. It’s a sweet, spicy scent infused with bay leaves and as an aftershave/cologne absolutely does the trick, soothes the skin after it’s encounter with a sharp blade. I actually splashed in around my body to get a little more of an all over scent. At $13 USD (which is what I paid) it’s good bang for the buck. The only gripe I would have with it is that the scent doesn’t last that long, but then again aftershaves are not meant to have long lasting staying power (and I did put my moisturizer on over it so that probably took off a bit of the scent as well). I am definitely glad I picked it up though and have added it to my rotation.

Shave dapper my friends.

-The Don

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Summer Skincare Guide!

Good Afternoon Gents,

Today is July 19, meaning we are in the full swing of summer. And with it being summer, skin tends to feel a little more dirty, sweaty and oily than usual. I’ll share with you some tips from my own routine to keep your skin looking and feeling good all summer long!

Note: I can only speak for someone that has oily/blemish prone skin like myself, if you have dry or sensitive skin, there are plenty of resources out there for that as well.

Suffering from oily/blemish prone skin, which is only worsened by the heat of summer there are a few steps you need to do.

Morning: Gentle cleanse with saltwater (yes, I said saltwater). I used to think that I needed to use scrubs every morning to get rid of everything on it, but found that it only aggravates everything. Gone back to basics recently with the saltwater technique. Proven benefits include regulating oil production, drying out and healing blemishes. I usually follow this up with Kiehl’s 24 hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer , which helps in absorbing oil while keeping skin hydrated. I then follow up with an eye de-puffer, currently using Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye Depuffer. Best thing about this one is that I can toss it in my bag and re-apply if necessary throughout the day. Lastly before I head out the door I apply some Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion. I used to disregard sun protection for the face, but sunscreen is probably the best anti-aging product you can own, plus this one is created specifically for acne prone skin, so it won’t clog pores.

Afternoon: During the course of a day, you will probably feel your face beginning to get sweaty and oily again. This is where you need a refresher, and I like to use Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Refreshing Toner. A couple of quick sprays refreshes the skin and restores a matte appearance.

Evening: This is where the deep cleanse happens after a day at the office and commuting back and forth. In the past few months I’ve been using DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, now while it may seem counterproductive, the cleansing oil lifts out all the impurities and leaves the face feeling clean while retaining natural moisture. Recently however I use L’Oreal Men Expert Pure Power Red Volcano Face Wash which contains volcanic minerals, zinc, menthol and acne fighting salicylic acid. I apply this wash using Clinique For Men Sonic Deep Cleansing Brush, it’s got 2 kinds of charcoal bristles, softer ones for the cheeks and stiffer ones to deep clean the oily T-zone (forehead, nose and chin). I would normally never purchase this item full price, but I somehow found it at Winners for $30, a steal! I once again follow this up with the Kiehl’s moisturizer and if there’s any spots on my face, I apply Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment, it’s got cinnamon bark (with known antibacterial properties) and glycocic acid (to smoothen the area).

Twice a week I will use Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Deep Cleansing Mask after washing to get in there and lift out all the deep lying crap in the pores.

Bonus: Don’t limit skin care to the face, after you shower, apply a body moisturizer (I use Vaseline Men), to keep your skin feeling hydrated and soft. Especially apply it if you’ve gotten some sun outdoors as it will prevent peeling and flaking, as well as locking in that tan!

Bonus 2: I do mention Kiehl’s products a lot here, as they have worked well for me, but I understand it’s not always convenient to spend that amount on products. A range that I really admire as well and that I plan to use when I run out of Kiehl’s, is the L’Oreal Men Expert range. Plenty of other bloggers have done reviews on them and seem to get similar positive results. The products are affordable and can be found at pretty much any drugstore. If you really want to look for deals, they have some (not all) of their products at discount retailers such as Winners or Marshalls.

A final easy tip I’d like to include that won’t cost you a thing is DRINK YOUR WATER! Not only will you keep your body hydrated, but flush toxins from your skin which will naturally improve your complexion.

Thanks for reading, and remember that being dapper isn’t just how you dress, it’s taking care of yourself too and that includes your skin!

Cheers to summer!

-The Don

Summer 2017 Update!

Yup Yup Yup, I’m still here.

So what’s been going on the past few months in the life of the Don?

Well I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy with work at Jack Victor (and loving it). I keep myself on a pretty rigorous routine (I’m up at 4:45 every morning to get an early morning workout in). And I work right up until 6 pm so by the time I get home I don’t have much energy or brainpower left, hence the large gaps in my posting.

Another thing that has happened is that I have left my side gig with Eph Apparel after about 2 and a half years. I just did not have enough time or energy to dedicate to the hustle that it entailed. I will forever to be grateful to them for the opportunity to learn about and sell made to measure custom suiting . That opportunity came about at a time in my life where I needed extra money being a student in Ottawa. I have nothing but full respect for the whole team there and wish them continued success.

In leaving my gig with Eph, I did it because I wanted to focus more on growing myself in my career at Jack Victor and to a certain degree, get back to running this blog a little bit with more frequent updates and useful posts for you all. Since I am officially on vacation in the coming week, look for at least one post. Stay tuned for more 😉

 

-The Don

Layrite Cement Clay Review

Good Evening Ladies and Gents,

Tonight’s post will be a nice little hair styling product review from a fantastic brand, Layrite. Now I could get into the history of the brand and all that but just click on the link and read it for yourselves! (it’s been a long day).

Now it’s been well noted that I am a fan of the oldschool hair products, the greasy, slick, “stays in your hair for 3 days” pomades and brillantine. However as the weather gets warmer (ever so slightly) and as I would like to avoid breakouts on my forehead caused from the product leaking down I need something different. I always like to have a noticeable shine on my hair but this time I wanted to switch it up and find something with a matte finish and that was water soluble (so it would wash out easily at the end of a day). I did some research on hair clays and finally settled on Layrite Cement Clay.

Now I’ve used Layrite products in the past when I used to live in Ottawa and had a shop in my neighborhood that carried it, but this was my first experience with the clay.

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Great package design 

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I followed the directions and reviews from other users and took just a small amount onto the fingers. By the way this stuff has a great little vanilla scent to it.

 

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Worked it in

And combed in. Now I used this on towel dried hair which gave it a little bit of a shine. Tomorrow I will use it on dry hair for a more matte look.

I realize now I should have posted pictures to show how it held up after a long day so you’ll just have to take my word for it. This stuff really lives up to it’s name! I applied this at around 6:15 am and by the time I returned home at 7 pm, there was 0 difference. I’m convinced this stuff would be bulletproof and hold up to a nuclear weapon if it had to! And it rinsed right out with water.

The only major gripe I would have with this product is that it is a little hard to work into the hair (don’t be surprised if you end up with a few pulled out hairs). Also the vanilla scent, while pleasant, was slightly overpowering for me.

To wrap it up, if you’re like me and have naturally oily skin and are looking for a water based product that can hold up to anything, then this is well worth the cost. Depending on where you look, a 4.25 oz. tin of this will run you $20-30. Well worth the price in my opinion and cost effective as it doesn’t take much product to work.

Thanks for reading and as always keep it dapper!

 

-The Don 😉

 

Birthday Haul! (A little late)

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Good Evening Dapperites,

I’m posting this a little late, yes it was my birthday this past Tuesday and so I wanted to share this nice haul I got courtesy of my brothers via Fendirhan.ca. I’ve been lusting after some more Pinaud Clubman products for a while. If you don’t know Clubman yet, get with it! They’ve only been around for 207 years. Got their Lime Sec Eau de Cologne, Eau de Quinine Hair Tonic and their shave soap. (which produces a thick rich lather btw). And to try something new I got the Tabac Aftershave balm.

Now Tabac is another classic brand. A German brand launched in 1959 making shave soap, aftershaves, cologne, deodorant etc. A unique scent that harkens back to barbershops of decades past. I love the balm, it soothes the skin and moisturizes after shaving with that rich scent.

Perhaps most unique of the bunch are my disposable kamasori Japanese straight razors (shown in the bottom photo). Japanese straight razors are unique, as they are usually lighter and are a straight 1 piece, and don’t fold like traditional straight razors. And as I also found out the hard way, are sharp as f*%$^! Caught a couple of nice nicks on the cheek. But man are they fun to use, the hair just slices clean off!

Moral of this story is, I just can’t get enough of classic grooming brands and products! Give them a try too, you may just stop buying fancy $60 aftershaves and start smelling like your grandpa or dad did, and not in a bad way!

Until next time my friends,

 

-The Don

 

 

 

 

Why It’s Time to Ditch the Beard in 2017

Good Evening Dapperites,

Just when you thought I fell off the face of the Earth, I come roaring back! Hahaha. It seems rocking a bearded look has been trendy the past few years, look around you in the street and you’ll see every guy rocking a beard in one way shape or form. I too was quite fond of the look until I realized (besides the fact that my employer prefers a clean cut look), what the hell’s so unique about having one if everyone else has one??

And thus comes to decision to pick up and re-familiarize myself with the razor again! Here are a few compelling cases to do so.

  1. Clean Shaven men are more likely to get hired (and earn more too!)
  2. More likely to get the girl as studies have shown that women prefer a clean, smooth face.
  3. Promotes healthier, attractive skin
  4. It’s a timeless look, trends come and go but the smooth face is forever!
  5. Maintaining and trimming a beard gets to be a pain in the ass! (Too often I’ve trimmed too much to the point where I’d have to shave it all off and start from scratch)
  6. Wet shaving, with a brush, shaving soap and straight/safety razor will make you feel like a man. Nothing reminds you you’re alive more than a taking a sharp piece of steel to your neck every morning!!
  7. My personal philosophy, why blend in when you can stand out!!!

 

To add to point number 6. If you are curious on getting started with wet shaving here are a few things you’ll need:

  1. Safety/Straight Razor: The most important tool of course, and there are multiple options within both razors. Straight razors will set you back a little more but maintain them and they are good for life.
  2. Pre-Shave Oil/Cream: This will help protect against any irritation and lubricate the whiskers better
  3. Shave Brush: To create a lather. Preferably badger hair, again a little more $ up front but good for a long long time.
  4. Shave Soap/Cream: Never mind the canned goo you’re used to. Get some good ol’soap or cream out of a tube to create a good later. My personal favorite is Proraso (they smell great too!)
  5. Styptic Pencil/Alum Block: To stop the bleeding from any nicks.
  6. Pinaud Clubman Talc: If you really want that classic barbershop scent, give your face a dusting after rinsing off, helps soothe the skin after an encounter with the blade.
  7. Aftershave: I know most people say to avoid alcohol based aftershave splashes, but if you want that classic smell, pore tightening, stinging feeling (that means it’s disinfecting your skin btw) Then go with a splash, my favorites include classics Pinaud Clubman and Aqua Velva, but there is a selection for every taste/budget out there. I also like to apply some form of moisturizer prior to the splash.
  8. Last but not least, patience! It will take some time to get the hang of everything, techniques, etc. Browse the internet look at YouTube videos and learn. Here is a great site full of helpful people. http://www.badgerandblade.com/vb/forum.php

 

And if you’re looking for supplies, the internet is chock full of options.

In the U.S. check out ClassicShaving.com, WestCoastShaving.com.

Canada check out ClassicEdge.ca, Fendrihan.ca

Locally if you’re in the Montreal area, I highly recommend Vasco Cigars downtown. Don’t let the name fool you, they are the ultimate man shop. From cigars and accessories, to cufflinks, fountain pens, barware and a killer selection of  wet shaving gear and hard to find grooming products.

If you’re in the Ottawa area, Stroked Ego has a pretty good selection of all things wet shaving. It is where I bought my first badger hair brush and pre-shave oil, after all!

Until next time,

Keep it Dapper (and clean shaven)!

 

-The Don

Daily Dose of Dapper (Skin) Care

Good evening Dapperites!

Today’s topic to be tackled will be skin care, focusing specifically on your face and how to take steps now to ensure in 5-10 years you won’t look any less handsome than you do now. Remember, being dapper is not only about the clothes you wear, it involves taking care of yourself in other ways as well because the little things count! I myself was never knowledgeable on the subject until very recently so now I impart this knowledge onto you.

First piece of advice, if you are over the age of 20, it’s time you stop using whatever face wash your mom gets you from the pharmacy, figure out what kind of skin you have (dry, sensitive, oily) and find a wash that helps with it! I recommend Jack Black products for this, their products are fairly affordable and work for me. Kiehl’s would be another option as they have certain collections to suit each type of skin such as their “Oil Eliminator” line although I have no personal experience with it. If curious to see more options, Sephora (no it’s not just for women!)  they carry a fine lineup of men’s products too.

After the face wash, the next piece of ammo should be a solid moisturizer, preferably one with sun protection. I never used to use or believe in using moisturizer until the Misses advised me on the benefits of it. And if you don’t want to advance the aging process on your face, you should definitely invest in it. I am currently using Cetaphil for oily skin, but will probably pick up some Jack Black once this one runs out. So don’t think it’s ‘girly’ to use moisturizer boys, protect that mug of yours!

Now if you have some other problems with your skin, (dark circles, puffy eyes, dry lips, acne, wrinkles etc) this is is where you have to be proactive and attack it! For example, I deal with dark circles under the eyes on a regular basis, no matter how much sleep I’ve had or whatnot they are just always there. Now I have tried using a cheap L’Oreal eye roller from the pharmacy which does not work, so I plan on getting a quality one from Jack Black or Kiehl’s (which I have sampled and feels superb).

Lastly, if you are creeping up towards the age of 30, I would say there is no shame in starting to use anti-aging products, not necessarily because you see signs of aging, but be proactive! Prevent the signs from even appearing! It may seem like a lot, but the women will notice how much better you look taking care of your skin and looking youthful. As a matter of fact, it has been shown that men who look younger earn more in their careers. And if you are not sure which products to start with, there is no shame walking into a store and asking a knowledgeable associate about where to start.

Bonus: Skincare is not just limited to your face, if you have itchy or dry skin on your body, use a body moisturizer or if there is a constant issue, see a dermatologist. Remember, being dapper also means taking care of your grooming and hygiene!

So follow these tips and you’ll feel a whole lot better, look a whole lot better and believe me people will take notice!

-The Don