MDJ Says: Just because men are expected to be manly, macho, and rugged doesn’t mean they have to be filthy as well.
Of course, there is a dangerous sexiness in looking like Jason Statham. Even in photos, he reeks of bourbon, sweat, cigar smoke, and blood, like he spent the night in his clothes after disposing of nine seedy Cuban thugs of Suspect Character. But the degree of difficulty is incredibly high. Most women would toss their guy a gallon jar of Casino-brand rubbing alcohol, a scouring brush, and quite possibly three spray cans of hospital-grade disinfectant if he showed up for Date Night looking like this.
But as our ol’ buddy Jase so masterfully demonstrates – rugged dishevelment is acceptable, so long as you balance it off with great skin.
And so, in the absence of truly manly skincare products like bacon-flavored lip balm and scotch-scented moisturizer, we have to settle for what’s on the market. Here’s my view on the skincare basics every dude should have to elevate from barbarian to Bublé.
Zee: I love a fresh, pimple-free, nicely shaven face. I know I dragged you into a skin care routine early into our relationship, but hey, I can’t have people think I’m with my bouncer when we’re on a date, right?
MDJ: I do try. Despite all my posturing, I’ve learned to accept that I’m not exactly the Philippines’ answer to Channing Tatum. When you’re not naturally blessed with Magic Mike-level good looks, you really do have to exert a little bit more effort.
Zee: Your efforts have paid off. I’ve seen a noticeable skin improvement on you. Clearer and more translucent skin, rosy pink cheeks, smaller pores. Far from the grungy, mangy boy with fake hipster glasses that I met at The Collective two years ago.
It’s been a wonderful transformation, don’t you agree?
MDJ: First of all, let me take about four minutes to sob gently to myself. “Translucent skin” and “rosy pink cheeks” are not traditionally acceptable descriptors us Manly Men like to hear in relation to ourselves. Hang on.
OK, I’m back. Is my mascara running?
Zee: No mascara, but your eyebags will be terrible later. Now, it took a while for us to find the perfect skin care routine for you. Please do share for those who are lost in the vortex of big pores.
MDJ: Let’s get this straight, I used to be a die-hard member of the Tunay Na Lalaki (TNL) sub-culture who sorely believed that the only maintenance a dude needed was hilamos-sipilyo-ahit. Even more shockingly – and I know some guys who still do this – I had no problem using the same bar of Safeguard for my ass and my face.
Zee: I would still love you but that would be like using the toilet brush to clean your teeth. Think about it.
MDJ: I know, right??
Zee: I’m so glad you see it my way. Not a lot of men can. I don’t even call it metrosexual. I call men like you “enlightened men.” To better visualize your path to enlightenment, I would like to show our readers how yours and our puppy Vader’s first trip to Kiehl’s went:
MDJ: That was a horrible time, I’m not gonna lie to you. But I’d like to think that a leopard can change his spots, and with a little bit of love, support, cajoling, and strategic flattery & bribery, I’ve discovered some basic tips to make sure that ol’ MDJ always looks absolutely Magic.
Now, I don’t profess to be a skincare expert. I’m just a rookie, after all. But in four simple steps, I think all a dude has to do is:
Cleansing is something I learned early on to take very seriously, but not to go too overboard on. Basic soap won’t cut it, especially with how oily I get after just a couple of minutes out in the sun. My current favorite facial scrub is L’Oreal Pure & Matte Charcoal Black Foam (P190 at PCX, good for 4-6 weeks).
It isn’t fancy stuff – just your basic salycilic acid to scour your face of oils, and is really awesome in mattifying. I can say so much technical stuff about it, but ultimately, you know what I love most about this stuff? It’s BLACK. As in the stuff itself is a rich, goopy, gunky BLACK. How bad-ass is that?? Batman himself would probably wash his face with his stuff; it’s just that manly. I can’t say enough about how much I love this stuff. It doesn’t just whiten, it brightens!
Back in the old days, we used to use this horrible stinging stuff on our faces called astringent, made from such low-prole brands as Master and Eskinol. Thankfully, it’s evolved over the years into something much more polite and soothing to the face, or what we like to call toner.
I’m a big fan of the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel collection, and their Energizing Tonic for Men (P1,900 at Kiehl’s, good for 6-8 weeks), is quite possibly the best stuff I’ve tried on the market. I’m a big fan of reading labels, and anything that announces itself as containing something as Incredibly Manly as caffeine as an active ingredient is worth a shot. The website says the stuff “instantly fights visible signs of fatigue for smoother, healthier-looking skin… [and is] combined with Bamboo Extract, to help soothe and balance skin for an energized and refreshed appearance.”
To all that, I say: Yes. It does. Damn well.
I use this in the morning and before bedtime, and I’m told that the DPWH has since then stopped using closeups of my face as a pothole repair tutorial.
Most dudes don’t like slathering gunk on their face after washing. I didn’t use to either, until I met the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Anti-Wrinkle Cream (P2,200 at Kiehl’s, good for 6-8 weeks), which smells absolutely delightful, rubs down to a non-greasy feel, and leaves a pleasantly tingly menthol-y feeling on my skin. My skin feels so much firmer and – dare I say it – positively dewy ever since I started using it. You might think it’s a joke that you can actually feel your pores get tighter, but trust me, they actually do.
4. Don’t Forget to Smize!
The “smize,” which is short for “smile with your eyes!” is a darling little nugget of wisdom passed down to us by the legendary, So-Awesome-She-Should-Have-Been-Born-A-Dude supermodel, Tyra Banks, in her landmark show, America’s Next Top Model, which is about three nipslips away from being mandatory dude viewing.
Smizing is awesome, and totally dude-approved. But it’s a tricky task to charm the hot nubile Cebuana seated across the bar if you’re sporting crow’s feet so large, even Tommy Lee Jones says, “Dude, you look old.”
And so, I highly recommend Kiehl’s Abyssine Eye Cream (P2,400 at Kiehl’s, good for 8-12 weeks), which the label claims is made from a mysterious super race of algae found 3,000 meters under the ocean, nesting near some undersea volcanic vents in the Galapagos region. That’s just too cool to be made up. All I can say is, I’ve personally never seen algae with crow-footed eyes, so I know the stuff must work. Just a dab under and around each eye at night before I turn in, and all is right with the world.
Zee: See? That wasn’t too bad. Having an additional 3-4 chemicals piled up on your face and an additional 10 minutes of effort a day does wondrous things. Not that I don’t think you’re hot enough. I mean, you’ve got.. *cough* naturally flawless skin.
MDJ: Christian Grey wishes he were me.
Zee: More than anything, my personal opinion about this is that it takes a real woman to turn a boy into an enlightened man. Well, that and a good skin regimen and a few good products.
MDJ: Just know you have my permission to stab me with a ramen spoon if I ever start looking like this.
Got any skincare tips you’d like to share with other clueless males out there? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Kiehl’s is located at Greenbelt 5, TriNoMa Mall, Alabang Town Center, and SM Mall of Asia, and will be opening its next Philippine branch at the Rockwell Powerplant Mall in August of 2012.