Mustache maintenance: 5 tips for Movember (and life)
Erick DeLeon (right) hangs with another dapper gent
Photo courtesy of Martin Patrick 3
Movember is passing fast. As your facial hair has now begun to ripen, you've surely considered its care. A new mustache is like a new pet, after all. You wouldn't let a puppy loose in your home without toys, would you? A mustache is similar. It needs pampering and primping. It must be cleaned and brushed and told that it's loved.
For the low-down on must-have mo accessories, we spoke with Erick DeLeon, the fashionable, perpetually cool-looking manager of Martin Patrick 3 (a.k.a. MP3). The store -- stocked with rakish couture from Moods of Norway, Rag & Bone, and Naked & Famous -- is situated in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis, and bills itself a purveyor of "essentials for mankind."
DeLeon, a man who uses the term "dapper" as often as other Minnesotans say "don'tcha know," is a Movember participant and mustache enthusiast. With his knowledge of men's good-life goods, DeLeon gave us a list of mo-maintenance tips. (We're also sharing some of our pointers, too.)
Find your mustache muse
"Whether [a mustache grower] is a novice or an expert," says DeLeon. "We all need a little bit of inspiration." That'll come with some help from a mustache-enthusiast guidebook. "I didn't know what the hell I was doing," says DeLeon of his own early mustache growing experience. "Most guys shouldn't just grow [their mustaches] out. They should have an intentional look they're going for." A little guidance from a mustachioed forefather never hurt anybody. One recommendation: Check out Sweet 'Stache: 50 Badass Mustaches and the Faces Who Sport Them by Jon Chattman for a little direction.
Wash your face
It's important to find a good face wash so your saver loses its flavor. "We don't wanna end up being smelly, booger-y. It's the same as taking care of your hair up top," DeLeon says. DeLeon recommends face washes from AESOP, Malin & Goetz, or Baxter. "It depends on the sensitivity of your skin and what product you prefer," he says. A face wash from Neutrogena or Dove also works for folks on a smaller budgets. Don't forget a little lotion, too, to keep that face soft. We like Nivea's post-shave balms, found at your local Target or drug store. No matter the product, a cleaner face equals a meaner, more refined mustache.
Photo courtesy of Martin Patrick 3
Here comes the fun stuff. "As you grow [your facial hair] out," DeLeon says, "you don't want to look sloppy. You want to give your mustache some shape." Beginning this week, MP3 is stocking a brand-new line of American-made mustache waxes from Man's Face Stuff in tiny-tinned flavors like Ginger Dandy. Another great wax brand is Firehouse Moustache Wax, which is available at Heimie's Haberdashery in St. Paul. Clubman, available for around $4.99 at Walgreens, is also highly recommended as it's water-soluble and easy to manage.
Comb your mo
A mustache comb is a must, asserts DeLeon. "Keep that in your wallet or the fifth pocket of your jeans," he says. "You can't get any truer to a mustache owner than that." Kent of England's handmade mustache/beard comb is a popular item. A tiny fella, the Kent will slide neatly into the change pocket of your billfold. Kent also makes beautiful standard-sized combs for the pomade men among us. Those in search of a Rockabilly look should check Accoutrements' switchblade mustache comb; you never know when you'll need to intimidate some street toughs.
Keep a shaving kit
Finally, a Mo Bro needs a "good razor set, along with some good shaving cream," says DeLeon, who recommends Baxter's goods. Sites like classicshaving.com and
theartofshaving.com feature other sets to drool over as well. Edwin Jagger's ivory-handle safety beast is a great product, as it's impossible not to feel manly as you drag this stainless-steel beauty -- very carefully -- down your face. Be sure to pamper yourself occasionally by taking a visit to your local barbershop for a relaxing hot shave, too. And keep the area around your 'stache clean to make it pop like a boss.
So, why are mustaches so en vogue right now? "I don't think it's necessarily a trend so much as a lifestyle," DeLeon responds. "At this point, it's more acceptable -- and almost expected -- for a man to feel good about himself. Whether it's a dapper lifestyle or paying attention to the small details. There's no norm anymore. Nobody's a Gap rep or an Abercrombie model. Guys are noticing that everybody's paying attention to how they look."
And the mo is just another element of that.
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