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
a Mo Bro needs a "good razor set, along with some good shaving cream,"
says DeLeon, who recommends Baxter's goods. Sites like
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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