Saturday, January 31, 2009

Alford & Hoff Luxurious Skin Care

The luxury-seeking man is a different breed — he doesn’t compromise when it comes to style, sophistication and grooming. Now there is an impressive skincare system that is a perfect fit for this lifestyle. 

Alford & Hoff introduces the first men’s luxury skincare collection that meets the needs of today’s modern man. This is an important skin care collection that blends high-tech luxury performance with masculinity – right down to the sleek and gorgeous “James Bond 007” packaging. These products would make a nice addition to any well-appointed bathroom.

Alford & Hoff was developed using a proprietary Sirtuin-Activating Complex, the latest anti-aging breakthrough biotechnology. The Complex is a unique blend of antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids, minerals and Sirtuin Activators that help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Sirtuins (youth proteins) are proven to promote cell longevity and revitalize skin.

I’ve been using the complete system: A&H Cleanse, Shave, Moisturizer and Eye Cream. I also had a "home spa night" with  A&H Microdermabrasion and the results are amazing. Smooth and refreshed —Very nice!

The Alford & Hoff collection is available exclusively at Bergdorf GoodmanNeiman Marcus and

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pre-Shave Oil

An important and sometimes overlooked step in preparing the beard for the Classic Wet Shave is applying a good Pre-Shave Oil. The main purpose of a pre-shave oil is to add an extra protective shield between the razor blade and skin. It also softens facial hair and opens skin pores to ensure a close shave. These oils are made up of natural oils, such as coconut, sunflower, olive or other oils that are drawn from plants. They're also low on the grease factor, so they won't clog pores and cause damage to your skin.

After the beard is softened from the steam of a shower or a hot towel, dry your face and then apply a dime-size drop of oil to your fingers and work the oil through your beard area. I like to start from the neck up. Next step is to apply your shave cream with a badger hair brush. The lather of the shave cream has a lot of tiny air pockets in it and the oil “fills in the blanks” for complete skin coverage. Also, the combination of the water, pre-shave oil and shave cream causes the facial hair to swell. This enhances the cutting action and sometimes permits cutting the hairs deeper below the surface of the skin for a super close shave.

There are many pre-shave oils out there, but one of the classic shaving products that I like is Taylor of Old Bond Street Pre-Shave Aromatherapy. Taylor has a thicker consistency than some of the others and a very pleasant scent. I also like Truefitt and Hill Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil which has a lighter density and also smells great. Using a pre-shave oil is a must.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS, the Face of HUGO ELEMENT @ Macy’s Herald Square

Jonathan Rhys Meyers may play King Henry the VIII, but in real life, he’s been crowned the face of HUGO BOSS’s new scent for men, HUGO ELEMENT. As the face of HUGO ELEMENT, Meyers’ represents the confident, irreverent and individual HUGO man.

Guests who make a $65 purchase of HUGO ELEMENT at Macy’s Herald Square on Friday, January 30th will get to meet Jonathan Rhys Meyers and have him autograph their fragrance bottle.

WHAT: Jonathan Rhys Myers for HUGO ELEMENT
WHEN: Friday, January 30th 5:00pm
WHERE: Macy’s Herald Square NYC

Monday, January 26, 2009

Meeting Brad Pitt

In the mid-nineties, I was in London checking out the Nicole Farhi collection at Harvey Nichols. I looked at the person next to me, who was also looking at the Nicole Farhi goods, and I was a bit star struck. It was Brad Pitt. RIGHT next to me. We made eye contact, and not knowing what to say but wanting to say something, I told him something that he already knew. I said “You're Brad Pitt.” He smiled and actually laughed. I said “I’m Jim” and we shook hands and he said “How you doing?” It was pleasant and awkward and fun at the same time. I remember that his skin was a bit rougher than I would have thought and he had a few little scars on his face but I have to say he looked phenomenal. I’ve been a big fan and long-time admirer of his style. He just carries himself with ease and he looks absolutely comfortable in everything.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cures Age Defyer Eye Cream

My friend Amber over at Beauty Blogging Junkie introduces me to some GREAT products —I end up LOVING all of them. The girl knows her stuff! The latest one is Cures Age Defyer Eye Cream. This hard working eye cream sets into to skin immediately upon application. It just feels good — no shine and no oily surface layer. Promotes collagen production around the sensitive eye area and leaves eye area softer, smoother and less lined. Helps erase the signs of aging, wrinkles and dark circles and that's the GD truth.

What Will He See Tomorrow?

What I Saw Today is a fantastic and unique blog where NYC styles and attitudes are captured and beautifully illustrated. Designerman (Richard) lives in my neighborhood and I've actually seen some of these people. I LOVE this blog!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Get A St. Barth's Tan Without Leaving the Country

Getting that FAB vacation glow is safe and easy when you use a good gel bronzer. The goal of using a bronzer is to get a tan that is subtle and natural looking and doesn't look like it came from a tube. Most of the bronzers that I've tried from the men's lines were too dark and left that "carpet doesn't match the drapes" look.  So this is one of those times where I head for the the ladies counter.  The absolute best gel bronzer that I found is CARGO's Multi-mix Bronzer and I believe this product should be unisex but it is carried only in the women's section. Use it alone or mix it with a moisturizer to get the best shade of tan that works for you. You may not feel rested but with this bronzer you'll look like your passport has a new stamp that says "ST. BARTHELEMY"

At Sephora and Amazon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

SHARPS Barber and Shop

Sharps Barber and Shop hit my radar recently and I’m wondering why I’m so late to the party. These products ROCK! Underneath the handsome retro-hip packaging are some seriously amazing grooming products.

I started out using Sharps Daily Prep Foaming Scrub and Daily Prep Oil-Free Lotion as part of my morning regimen. The scrub contains a fine marble powder that lightly exfoliates as well as other botanical ingredients that got my skin super clean without drying. Very nice! The lotion has a really smooth and balanced moisturizing effect with an SPF 15 and it’s not greasy at all. Lately I’ve been getting comments on how good my skin looks — it’s that “healthy glow” look. Amazing. 
I’m starting to incorporate Sharps Kid Glove Shave Gel and Oil-Free Pre Shave Stick into my classic wet shaving routine. Mixing the old shaving technique with updated products. My shave is rocking and I’m getting a super-close nick-free shave. I’ll be posting more about this in the future.

All of the Sharp products that I use have a very clean, masculine, sexy scent. I’m in LOVE with this stuff.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Just Saying...

Please tell me this wasn't her inspiration.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thom Browne: The Short and Skinny

Designer Thom Browne channels “Mad Men” at the Pitti Uomo Menswear Fair in Florence. I'm loving the cardigan.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Classic Wet Shaving

I'm beginning to explore the almost cult-like world of classic wet shaving. This is a shaving technique where shaving cream is applied with a badger hair brush and then a double edge safety razor is used to shave the beard. Classic! For years I’ve used the 2, 3 and 5-blade razors only to find that the more blades the razor had, the clumsier I seemed to be with it. Using the floppy 5-blade razors actually felt like I was slapping my face with the razor head and I had trouble getting to areas like around my nose and the sides of my lip. Gillette addressed this issue by adding a “precision trimmer for tricky spots” to their Fusion razor. OK, 5 blades plus a trimmer! How many blades do we really need? This was getting way too complicated and it began to feel more like a marketing gimmick rather than a good useful idea. And don’t get me started on the prices of these blades. I went back to using the 2-blade Sensor Excel and got a fairly decent shave but noticed that the blades were not always in stock and the blade life wasn’t very long.

My exploration of wet shaving began at the very hip yet classic New York Shaving Company located on Elizabeth Street on the lower east side of NYC. They have a good selection of razors, shaving creams and brushes. After doing some research, I decided on buying the Merkur Heavy Duty Safety Razor. Most of the shaving blogs that I’ve read suggest using this razor when starting out. It’s a very good basic razor with nice weight to it. I already owned a good quality badger brush so I only needed to pick up some shave cream. The world of classic shave creams is dominated by three manufacturers known as the 3 T’s – Truefitt and Hill, Geo F. Trumper and Taylor of Old Bond Street. These shave creams are glycerin based and all create a good lather for wet shaving. The cream I chose was Mr. Taylor's Shaving Cream, mainly because I liked the scent –clean and masculine – but the others smelled very good too. It was a tough choice. There is a definite skill involved with this technique and I will give a more detailed guide in a future posting. But for now, here are the basics: Make sure your beard is wet with warm water—after or during a shower is best. Guide the razor in the same direction that your beard grows, not against it. The heavy weight of the razor does all the work — no pressure is applied to the razor at all. I’ve been wet shaving for a couple of weeks now and have been getting a super close shave. I’m actually becoming pretty good at it.

I'll be posting more on my wet shaving experience in the future but for now the ritual of shaving has become something that I enjoy rather than dread.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Billy Jealousy White Knight Facial Cleanser

Winter air is getting ROUGH on the skin – head to toe. The most visible evidence of the season shows up on the face. The first line of defense, before moisturizing, is using a gentle facial cleanser that cleans and nourishes while removing dirt and excess oil.

From Billy Jealousy, the makers of Hydroplane (Winner of Esquire mag's Grooming Award for Best Shave Cream) comes the very noble White Knight Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser. This is a great cleanser for normal to dry skin. Loaded with papaya extract and rosemary leaf to provide necessary hydration while cleansing the skin. Good stuff. You can find it at Sephora, Amazon and Nordstrom.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Drew Barrymore ROCKS!

Love, love, LOVE her look... "1960’s, pills, cigarettes and two-martinis-away-from-rehab" glamour. She nailed it! Madonna needs to explore this look for one of her re-inventions.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Santa Maria Novella

Behind the iron gates of 285 Lafayette Street in NYC lies a wonderful fragrance shop called Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella. Better known as Santa Maria Novella. The mother company, located in Florence, Italy, is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world – founded in 1612. Here, perfumes and colognes are still made by hand and formulas have been passed down through generations. Walking into this shop is like taking a step back in time. If you're in New York, it's worth a visit. 

With it's long history and classic fragrances, Santa Maria Novella still strikes a very contemporary cord with scents that are uniquely clean and warm and very different from many of today's mass marketed fragrances. These colognes are complex, well made and long lasting. On a recent visit, I was drawn to one of their newer fragrances called Toscano which contains notes of bergamot, tobacco, vanilla, birch leaf and burnt malt. I'm not generally a fan of "tabacco" scents but this one is well rounded and comes across as more of a balance between all of the fragrance notes. A great scent for the winter months.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Why the mustache? Because it's fun.

The '70's mustache, or 'porn-stache' as some call it, is having comeback  in a BIG WAY. I started noticing these lip accessories a few months ago here and there. But now, with James Franco's scene-stealing mustache in "Milk" and Brad Pitts new growth in "Inglourious Basterds," these soup-strainers are everywhere. The New York Times has a cool feature on the current revival.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Just Saying...

When two become one. Kate and Gisele are each popping up in ads for Versace. Nice. But when I saw this David Yurman ad in a train station recently, I had to wonder "Is it Kate? Is it Gisele? Is it Kasele?" So confusing.

Monday, January 5, 2009


The New Year is a great time to start making changes to your grooming regimen — baby steps. One of the things on the top of my list is to be more diligent in wearing sunscreen year round. Using a daily face moisturizer isn't a problem —I  use it everyday —  but for some reason the moisturizers containing sunscreen leave my face feeling way too greasy. Since I keep my head shaved or buzzed, the shine could be a problem. Not any more. I just discovered MATTE FOR MEN Complete Head Care Lotion and have been rocking this product daily. This is one of the BEST all-in-one moisturizers that I've seen. Use it on your face, scalp, forehead and neck (and don't forget the back of your neck.) MFM is a fantastic no-shine moisturizer—and I mean matte— with a powerful 25 SPF. It just doesn't get any more convenient than this! And since indoor light can cause skin damage too, I will be using this indoor and outdoor in 2009. I've only seen this at Sephora and at the MATT FOR MEN online site. I'm also impressed with their MFM Antioxidant Shave Gel and I will be posting on it real soon. MFM is highly recommended. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

Too Sexy

Some red hot clips from my ALL-TIME FAVORITE TV SHOW— The Avengers staring Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. This girl could karate chop her way through anything. Enjoy...

Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick

As a lip balm aficionado, I hold a secure spot on my TOP 5 FAV Lip Balm list  for Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick . I've been using this one for years and I'm kind of hooked on the herbal flavor and silky smooth texture. This all natural lip care comes in a stick or tub but I prefer the convenience of the stick. When your lips are begging for balm, make an appointment with Dr. Hauschka. Ingredients like Shea butter and Jojoba wax keep lips moisturized, protected and feeling good while extract of carrot and anthyllis soothes and softens. You can find this lip balm at sties like drugstore or amazon.

Dr. Hauschka's website states that the Lip Care Stick does not encourage product dependency.... Yeah right! 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Year of the Gentleman

New Years Eve... Wow! Nice to see a lot of the fellas stepping it up a notch — rocking those fitted jackets, narrow pants, skinny ties and lots of subtle details. From Dick Clark's Rockin New Years Eve, top honors go to Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke and Jesse McCartney. I like what I'm seeing.