I groom. I am a man and I groom.

My wife has always enjoyed skincare. Before we were married when we were just shacking- up, she wouldn’t let me use her face wash or body wash or shampoo or conditioner. I didn’t mind.

All I’d use was a bar soap. Not a washcloth or a loofa sponge or a net mesh ball, just the bar of soap head to toe. But I wasn’t a complete Neanderthal- I’d finish off my shower with a nice dollop of conditioner for my hair- I wasn’t voted ‘best hair’ in high school using barsoap in my hair.

I found it unnecessary to spend $5 for a face wash when a bar of soap could do the trick, or so I thought. Who was that guy?

Monica has an affinity for skincare and cosmetics and fragrance. She’s spent 99% of her career since she was 16 years old working in the cosmetic industry. She knows all there is to know. But that doesn’t stop her from trying new products in fact it encourages her.

“Gateway drug”

Soon after we were married there was a shift in her sharing habits. I guess she figured we since we were married I was a reflection of her and so I wound have to have age accordingly. One day she brought home a day cream with an spf for me to use. I was skeptical. So much work. I’d have to put this on after I was already out of the shower?! Who has that kind of time? And it was in a jar- I’d have to open the jar then put it on then close the jar. How annoying. So, I’d use it periodically when I remembered and had the patience.

It was a couple years later things got interesting. She began working for an uber luxury skincare line. (Not uber the car service but uber meaning the highest the greatest- I don’t think uber makes skincare…yet)

She didn’t like this new cream she had received at a training. It was ‘too heavy’ for her skin- whatever that means. So she shelved it…oh and it was $500 a jar!

Then the shelf began filling up.

“This makes me break out”

‘Too active for my skin’

‘I don’t like the smell’

‘The color reminds me of mucus.’

“The pump is annoying”

“It’s too light”

“Too greasy”

“It’s too sticky”

“It dries out my skin”

Being cheap and not liking to waste, now my thinking began to shift.

That’s where it all started. I begin using it – it was a night cream… and an eye cream. Then a separate eye cream for day and one for night and an eye gel when I was puffy. Then a serum. Then two serum- one at night and one in the day. And a weekly mask then it turned into masks- moisturizing detoxifying deep-cleaning. It was a lot. The product list grew- moisturizer before the spf day cream. And then another eye cream with an spf. I was using it all. It was in excess. I was using hundreds of dollars of dollars of emollients on my face monthly.

Then the compliments started. And kept coming. Was it working? I believe it was.

Being in the luxury skincare arena has afforded her/us the gambit of every luxury skincare product there is- mostly from trainings contests and vendor gifts- so by afford I mean free.

Brings me to today. There is no more free skincare and there hasn’t been for a several years. We now have to purchase most what we use- Notice I said ‘we.’ Allow me to elaborate. My wife still doesn’t openly share her skincare- but she knows I use it. It’s just unspoken. Don’t ask don’t tell. She gives me a look of distaste or makes a comment if she actually sees me use her (our) products, or her chewing gum (which is a hard no- in terms of her sharing- I’ll discipline that at a later time). She has a selfish streak but she’s not selfish.

I have pared down the regimen- mainly because the arsenal has dried up. It is simpler this way.

I now use a body wash and a sponge and shampoo and conditioner (I still have never tried a hair mask- come on?).

I use a moisturizer and a serum (occasionally) in the morning.

A night cream before bed.

That’s it- Oh and a pomade or texture cream, depending how long my hair is.

I still get compliments- on my skin. So I guess I’m am believer.

Did I mention fragrance- cologne? I spray once in the morning. As my wife believes a quality fragrance has lasting power and should not overpower.

That’s how I groom.


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