I, like much of the country, am currently obsessed with Queer Eye. For the uninitiated, it’s a makeover show hosted by five gay men. That premise sounds cliché, but to their credit, the hosts and producers have created a down-to-earth approach where real issues are tackled and great TV is made.
Each member of the Queer Eye team has his own specialty (cooking, fashion, etc.). For Jonathan Van Ness it’s grooming. He proves time and again that a little more self-care can help men be healthier and happier.
As a man who loves to play outside and not pay much attention to his hair and skin, I’ve felt Van Ness’s advice start to sink in. I’ve spent the last couple months trying to up my game and along the way have come across a few great products. Here are my favorites.
Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes ($24)
I think about face wipes the same way I think about a summit bere. When I get to where I’m going—be that the top of a fourteener or a long road climb—I like to pull one of these out to celebrate. They wipe off all the sweat but also help calm me down after a big effort thanks to ingredients like aloe and witch hazel. I know that sounds like hocus-pocus, but try using one the next time you’re out and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Juniper Ridge White Sage Body Wash ($12)
This body wash should be part of your recovery routine. After a big day, your skin will thank you for washing it with something that’s not just a cleaning agent but also a dose of all kinds of healthy ingredients, like coconut oil and rosemary extract. That, and you’ll smell damn good when you get out of the shower.
Fulton & Roark Shackleford Solid Cologne ($42)
Department-store cologne makes me gag. Not Fulton & Roark. These guys, who are based in North Carolina, have developed an earthier and more subtle fragrance that leaves me smelling fresh after a long day out but won’t turn heads when I walk into a film festival at night. There are lots of scents to choose from, but this one—which is heavy on sandalwood—is definitely my favorite.
O’Douds Beard Oil ($13)
If you have more than a five o’clock shadow on your face, this beard oil can help. Packed with lots of different oils—jojoba, almond, vitamin E, etc.—it helps keep your beard hair healthy, soft, and tame. The oil works on your skin, too, so your chin and cheeks don’t dry out and start flaking. If you have oily skin, use sparingly.
Sonne Evening Restorative Lotion ($38)
Don’t be that guy who’s spent so much time on the rock, or the snow, that his skin is literally like leather. It’s not a good look, or healthy. To avoid, always wear your sunscreen and a hat. Then at night put a dab of this lotion on. It’s packed with ingredients like vitamin C that will keep your skin happy so you’re ready to play another day.
Rudy’s No. 1 Shampoo ($20)
You’d be astonished at all the nasty shit that’s in some shampoos—stuff you wouldn’t want on, or in, your body. Rudy’s, on the other hand, keeps it simple. This shampoo will get the mud and sweat out of your hair, not rob your locks of all their moisture, and leave you smelling damn good. I’m also a fan of Rudy’s conditioner and body wash.
Davines This Is Forming Pomade ($32)
The Italians make great shoes, ice cream, and grooming products. This pomade stood out from the bunch because it has amazing hold but didn’t make my hair shiny or oily. And the smell! It’s hard to describe, but the stuff smells better than any grooming product you’ve ever worn. Kudos to Davines for being a certified B Corp, which means it meets the highest standards when it comes to environmental responsibility and labor practices.
Life Elements Lip Goo ($8)
Lip balm is lip balm—until it’s not. The Life Elements version stands out thanks to the inclusion of CBD oil, which ups the product’s ability to soothe angry lips and heal nasty cracks. (Yes, it’s legal, and no, it won’t get you high.) I also dig the honey fragrance: potent but not overwhelming.