The Mindy Kaling Awesome Guy Challenge: Skin and Hair

Tip No. 9: Kiehl’s for your skin, Bumble and Bumble for your hair.

“Maybe a comb. That is all you need. And when girls look in your medicine cabinet (which they will obviously do within the first five minutes of coming to your place), you’ll look all classily self-restrained because you’ll have only two beauty products. You’ll look like a cowboy.”

This is my face. I’ve had it for a while now. It’s changed a bit over the years. I’m starting to get lines under my eyes. I don’t have as much hair as I did 10 years ago. It’s a pretty good face though, I think, as far as faces go. Nothing too unseemly about it. I’m relaxed in this photo, which underscores the fact that I naturally look like I’m kind of upset, like I always have something weighing on my mind. Kurt Cobain once said that he thought about shaving his eyebrows off so that people would stop asking him what was wrong all the time. I can identify with that.

A brief history of my skin: I had a pretty bad case of acne from about the age of 16 through to my early 20s. Acne has left my forehead a bit more ragged than most foreheads, but otherwise I came out of it pretty well. I really feel for kids who have to go through that incredibly awkward phase. Like a lot of teenagers, I experimented with my share of skin treatments, and finally settled on washing with Cetaphil twice a day, and applying Clearasil or whatever before going to bed. Everyone’s skin is different, but sticking with Cetaphil worked out in the long run. Eventually I quit using the Clearasil because the soap was enough to prevent breakouts, and after a while I was able to stop using the soap. For the past few years I haven’t used any kind of cleanser to wash my face.

I had never heard of Kiehl’s before reading Kaling’s book. The company has a shop down on Robson between Burrard and Thurlow, which I now refer to as Awesome Guy Alley given its proximity to other stores suited to the challenge. Kiehl’s has a complete line-up of guy grooming products related to cleaning, shaving, and moisturizing. Kaling isn’t specific about what kinds of products to use, nor on what part of the skin, but I thought I’d settle on my face, since she includes the skin advice alongside the hair advice.

I keep a beard, obviously, so Kiehl’s shaving products don’t do me much good. I decided to go with their Facial Fuel energizing moisture treatment, and grab a couple of samples of their energizing facewash. (The store is obsessed with giving out free samples.) Kiehl’s stuff is pricey, but they had a deal on involving a $15 gift card good for January, so I’m going to go back next month and pick up a bottle of the facewash. They also have a hardcore-looking scrub soap that I’d like to try.

I hadn’t heard of Bumble and Bumble either. I’ve been meaning to pick up a good hair wax forever – I love the way my hair feels after it’s been cut and waxed at the barber’s. I haven’t been a big gel user over the last year or two, chiefly because the crappy gel I use always leaves my hair looking patchwork-styled and out of control. Part of the problem, I think, is that I don’t have it cut often enough (maybe every five months), so that’s going to require a bit more dedication on my part. Sumo wax is nice because the product looks invisible.

So here’s my face again, post-skin and hair treatment:

Like night and day, isn’t it?

Now, about medicine cabinets: do women really do that? I’ve never judged a person by their medicine cabinet. It’s just such a weird idea, maybe because I’ve never had anything overly incriminating in mine. Obviously, that’s where people are going to keep their medicine and grooming stuff, and I suppose I just don’t care enough about it to notice. What kind of nightmarish items do people usually have? Here’s a shot of my medicine cabinet:

It’s mostly just messy. There’s a bunch of stuff in there that’s either expired or past its point of use. I cleaned it out and restocked it with only the items I might need, including my new awesome guy purchases:

The funny thing is, I think there are actually now more beauty products in the cabinet than there were before. Maybe the line to balance on is between taking pride in your appearance and not taking too much. Yippee-ki-yay.

Eau de Hilarity

After reading a bit more about colognes, I’ve made the switch to an unscented deodorant that I’m wearing in combination with the Gucci. I’ll say this about using all of these products: I smell fantastic. It caught me off guard at first and made me realize how accustomed I’ve become to my own scent. But everything from the soap to the moisturizer to the deodorant and cologne smells great and makes me feel like a million bucks.

I also ran into a video of Mr. Franco offering outtakes from his Gucci commercial. You can watch it on Funny or Die, who need to get their WordPress embed coding act together.


About Joel Crary

Joel Crary is a 30'ish 21st century writer living in Vancouver, British Columbia. He enjoys films, mostly. View all posts by Joel Crary

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