As you may or may not remember, three weeks ago I mentioned how difficult it was finding men’s beard care products. After a lengthy search I ended up trying two products, Lavender Oil Aftershave Balm from The Art of Shaving and Garnier Fructis Haircare Sleek and Shine Moraccan Sleek Oil Treatment for Frizzy, Dry, Unmanageable Hair.
First up is the Lavender Oil Aftershave Balm. Lavender is one of my all time favorite scents and honestly that is my favorite feature of the product. Other than the scent, the balm really doesn’t do anything. I still use it every morning for added scent but at $20 for a 1oz travel size I can easily find a cheaper option to add some lavender to my daily routine. I recommend you skip this one.
Next is Garnier Fructis’ Haircare Sleek and Shine Moraccan Sleek Oil Treatment for Frizzy, Dry, Unmanageable Hair. With a long name and low price tag I thought this hair care oil could be a convenient solution. I was hoping the oil would soften and smooth my beard hair. A couple days after my original post I got this message from a hair stylist Facebook friend:
1. Small town gays– The mainstream media might be surprised to learn that there is a abundant and fulfilling life outside of New York City. The majority of gays in the US have never been to Broadway, Fire Island or the Hamptons except while watching a Sex and the City marathon. I salute all the gay men and women in small towns around the country. It’s those Americans in rural areas that need exposure to gay people the most. By simply living their lives openly and honestly, small town gays are chipping away at centuries of hate. It’s easy to be who you are in a homo metropolis, but see how confident you are when the nearest pride parade is hours away.
2. A Bear best friend– Everyone should have a best friend who’s a bear regardless of your own orientation. Your bear best friends won’t judge you when you want to go to Denny’s at 2am and order everything on the left side of the menu. Nor will he back down to a drinking challenge. Although he may not be able to give you fashion advice he will show you the joys of daddy window shopping at Bass Pro Shop. And there’s a 50/50 chance he’ll always have either weed or cock ring on hand for emergencies.
3. Fundraisers– Gays don’t get enough credit for the amount of charity work we do. We often don’t give ourselves enough credit because the practice has become so common place that we take it for granted. Most of our huge parties always have a charity tie in. In Dallas alone we have the Dallas Bears of TBRU, BearDance, and The Purple Foundation amongst others who bring people together for a good time and a good cause.
4. Gays who travel- Gays like to travel… a lot. And I’m not just talking about the big once a year vacation. We’ll use any excuse for a weekend getaway. Because of this many gay men have close friends sprinkled all around the country. If you’re traveling to any major metropolitan area there is a likelihood that you know someone local. If you don’t, there’s definitely a friend of friend nearby. “Oh my friend Chris lives there. I tell him to meet you out. He’s a good guy.” Its like the gay underground railroad at times. If you talk to your straight sister you’ll quickly discover that despite a few college friends she only knows people in her immediate area. The gay community is just that, a community. We may bitch about the “small gay world” of it all but we benefit much more than we are harmed by it.
5. Gay Sport Leagues– Gay sports leagues are huge around the country. Softball, tag football, rugby and volleyball are just some of the sports to choose from. There’s comradery and bonding when you all have a common goal and who couldn’t use some more exercise. Many people, gay and straight, often complain that it’s difficult to meet new people if you are not into the bar scene. This is a perfect way to broaden your social circle without needing a designated driver. Gay choirs get a shout out too for those of us who are less athletically inclined.
6. Gays who came out early– Some gays plan their coming out after years of soul searching. Others of us didn’t have a choice. Our closets practically burned down around us as soon as we picked up our first Barbie as a toddler or spent hours putting GI Joes in compromising positions during preschool. Those of us who came out early had to man up and deal with our shit at an early age before any “It Gets Better” videos. If you didn’t come out early, you can also thank us for taking most of the torment and attention off you.
7. Daddies– Gays appreciate age much more then straight people. We know a man with some experience and extra mileage is a thing of beauty. A salt and pepper beard, thick hands and calves, and kind warm hearted eyes are winners in my book. As Bevy Smith says, “It get’s greater later!”
8. Gays who embrace new technology– Technology isn’t going away and societies never de-industrialize. Gays have a long history of being early adopters on the forefront of innovation. When a gay man hears a straight person talk about this ‘cool new app’ called Tinder he’ll just laugh and laugh. Gays don’t realize that straight people literally just figured out that you can use your GPS to find horny locals. Not only did we have this technology on our iPhone 3 we also have since created Growlr, Scruff, BoyAhoy, Mister, Recon, Jack’d, Radar, and probably 10 others I haven’t found yet. It’s unfair really. We’re Alexander Graham Bell creating the telephone and they’re Benny Franklin outside with their kite.
9. Gays who let it all hang out- When I say ‘let it all hang out‘ I mean it both literally and figuratively. There’s nothing more fun then gay guys who are comfortable with their bodies. So comfortable that they’ll proudly post a number of x-rated pictures for all to see. Gay men might not realize that Tumblr wasn’t created just to share cum covered belly pics. We saw the opportunity and turned it into the perfect porn swap meet. Letting it all hang out also refers to a general sense of relaxed inhibitions and attitudes. Uptight gays have their purpose too, I just haven’t quit figured out what it is yet.
10. Gays who throw a good party– I know it’s a cliche but cliche’s exist for a reason. Gays just throw better parties. Whether it’s a casual brunch with a freshly made bacon sausage quiche or an annual 4th of July party with a hired bartender and lobster mac&cheese. Either way you won’t soon forget it.
11. Gays who love gay sex– Gay sex is wonderful. Spectacular even. Regardless of which position you prefer any chance to play is a guaranteed home run. Also ask yourself how many gay men do you know that have been in a threesome? It may be quicker to ask how many gay men you know who haven’t. Next ask a straight man how many guys he knows who’ve had a threesome. Most likely he’ll tell you about how he knew ‘this one guy who had a cousin who claimed this one time…’ You get the idea. Gay men have threesomes as often as straight women ask “Can we just to cuddle tonight?”
12. Gay men who say things like- Basic, Hashtag, Shade, Yass, and of course Hey Gurl Hey!
Happy Pride Month 🙂
“Oh that guy… yeah writes a basic blog and he’s totally crazy.”
The word crazy has found way into our everyday language. Much like diva and genius it’s a word so over used that it’s lost much of the original meaning. Every other sentence during a gossip session is “I know her, she’s crazy.” The longer the conversation goes the more you’ll realized that most of the gay population has been written off as crazy by their peers. God forbid you’re single and trying to meet knew people. You’ll get someones whole crazy history before you ever get to the first date. Also with all this apparent mental illness you can easily start to question society and effectiveness of modern medicine.
Let’s take a closer look at these supposed crazies. Maybe he got so drunk and vomited so violently that it could be heard down the hall of the hotel. Or maybe he had to get out of the car and do a breathalyzer test while wearing a Wizard of Oz Dorothy costume. Better yet, maybe he crashed his car after doing a huge hit a poppers while driving home. If I heard any of those stories about a stranger I’d instantly say one thing. “Bitch is crazy.” However, those three situations all happened to friends of mine whom I still care about, trust and associate with. They are all fine upstanding citizens and productive members of society that happen to have had a messy moment. That’s the truth about crazy. We’ve all been guilty of it at one point. If you dig deep enough into your past you can find someone who probably still thinks you’re crazy from that one time you… It’s a part of life. A bad breakup or a drunken mistake can get the best of all of us. What’s your crazy?
The other problem with crazy being over used and diluted is that we lack a word for when a person is legitimately crazy. As in: Stay away from that guy because he’ll rob you, rape you or murder you. There are plenty of proven psychopaths in the world but their serious warning may be ignored when you just got finished calling someone crazy for wearing Tiva sandals. Our judgmental culture has lowered the crazy bar so low that it’s like a limbo tournament in Munchkin Land. We need to recalibrate because it comes down to a language problem. We need more words to describe distasteful behavior. What I’ve realized is that the word crazy, as it is used now, usually means a ‘moment of imperfection or misjudgment.’ By that I mean, it’s a moment when we let our guard down and let the mess shine through. To better differentiate the varying levels of crazy here are some additional synonyms to add some more flavor to our tea:
Messy- used for most drunken mistakes
Insane or psycho- situations where heavy emotions are involved like rage, infatuation, or addiction
Lunatic- erratic and unpredictable behavior. Medication is or needs to be involved
So the next time you hear someone is crazy, stop judging for a moment and get more detailed information. They may have made one unfortunate mistake that can be forgiven or they were just released from the mental ward of Yale New Haven Hospital and should be avoided at all costs. Also, assume that at that very moment someone across town is telling your history of craziness to their friends as well.
Oh… and want to know the best way to wipe your crazy slate clean? Buy all new luggage and move half way across the country. Leave that beat up baggage behind.
1. Wisdom is what you get when you don’t get what you want.
2. Being an true individual means sometimes doing things your friends will make fun of you for.
3. Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
4. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is definition of insanity.
5. Those who feel the most alienated do the most alienating.
6. People show you who they really are from the very beginning. It’s up to you to pay attention.
7. If the word hasn’t been used against you in hate, you can’t use it in love. (with regard to non-black people using the N word)
8. No one ever makes you feel inferior without your consent.
The last one isn’t really a quote of wisdom but rather a passage from Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. It struck me hard when I first read it back in college:
“You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question.”
I’ll end on a lighter note with some quotes that are purely just for fun:
There’s nothing worse then getting stuck talking to the person who says “I only listen to vinyl records and eat mostly vegan.”
This place smells of jeans shorts and dirt roads.
Bang me like a screen door in a hurricane.
*Thank you Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Maya Angelou, Joey Gay, and Oprah for the above quotes.
Do you need a playlist for your upcoming summer pool party? We all know Fancy is the song of the summer but add these songs to complete your list:
Adore Delano: DTF
Naughty Boy ft Sam Smith: La La La
Disclosure ft Sam Smith: Latch
Jennifer Lopez: I Luh Ya Papi
Lady Gaga: G.U.Y
Nico & Vinz: Am I Wrong
Jason Darulo: Wiggle
Mariah Carey: Fantasy
Party on and don’t forget to buy more noodles.
Usually I keep my beard very short and trim but recently I’ve been growing it out longer and fuller. As it gets thicker I realize I needed to step up my beard maintenance. I want a thick and soft beard that is admired not a scratchy pube beard. I’ve been using some generic hair conditioner but I think I need to step up my game. Here is my journey into the world of beard maintenance.
Coming from somewhat of a skincare background my mind automatically went to “what products should I buy?” Off to the mall I went to seek oils, lotions, and potions. Much to my surprise I all I found was disappointment. There are many products for men but all of them center around shaving. I went into store after store that openly told me then didn’t have any products specifically designed for beards. Many offered aftershave lotions/oils that could be used for beards although they were designed for smooth skin. There was such a lack of beard product that sales clerks at two boutiques referred me to their competitors because they simply didn’t have anything to fulfill my needs. With the beard trend so trendy and popular I thought someone would have jumped on the band wagon and designed a beard softener. This is a market ripe for an upstart. There is little to no competition from major retailers.
|Did they forget about beards?|
The Art of Shaving
*brands sold/featured: Clinique for Men, Jack Black, Anthony Logistics
I ended up buying a trial size Lavender Oil Aftershave Balm at The Art of Shaving. AOS also recommended their rosemary shampoo and conditioner which Russ bought. The Art of Shaving was the last store I went to and it was there that I realized that the world of skincare would not provide the solutions I was looking for. Mainstream retailers were stuck in the world of razors and shaving creams. I would have to investigate the world of women’s hair care products to find what I was looking for. After a quick stop at Walgreens I also picked up Garnier Fructis’ Sleek and Shine Moraccan Sleek Oil Treatment.
After a day that lacked a solid conclusion to my journey I decided to make this an ongoing series to give you updates on the product I try.
Right now I’m trying:
Art of Shaving’s Lavender Aftershave Balm.
Price: $19 for a 1oz trail/travel size
Garnier Fructis’ Haircare Sleek and Shine Moraccan Sleek Oil Treatment for Frizzy, Dry, Unmanageable Hair.
Price: $5.99 for a $3.75oz bottle.