Friday, April 27th, 2012
This week, I had an interview with Curran Dandurand, one of the founders of Jack Black and her husband Jeff. Here’s what they had to say:
Q. What made you decide to found Jack Black?
A. “We saw that there was a big void in the market and an opportunity to cater to men. Men as a consumer group were really underserved when it came to high-quality, male-oriented personal-care products. Additionally, we saw that men were changing their attitudes and behaviors regarding skin care and taking care of their appearance. Men’s magazines have helped build awareness and educate guys about the importance of good skin care and grooming. Baby boomers wanted to fight the aging process and younger guys were very receptive to using all sorts of personal-care products to enhance their appearance.”
Q. Where is your company and family based?
A. “Our company is based in Carrollton, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas. Our family lives in Plano, Texas.”
Q. How many kids do you have, and their ages?
A. “We have two kids: a son, age 20, and a daughter, age 17. Both grew up in the business and have seen what entrepreneurs have to do to build a successful company and the many sacrifices that have to be made. They’ve helped out in a number of ways–when they were 5 and 7 years old they would help with inspecting and sorting product. Now they work as summer interns in operations or marketing…wherever they are needed.”
Q. What type of guy are your products aiming for?
A. “Our products are designed for men that appreciate quality and want something that works extremely well and works fast. Jack Black customers span all age groups, geographic locations, and lifestyles. The common denominator is they want visible results without a lot of extra effort, complication, and fuss.”
Q. If you had to choose a product that dads shouldn’t live without, what would it be?
A. “I would say our Double Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20 because the single most beneficial thing a guy can do for his skin is to protect it against the damaging rays of the sun on a daily basis. We’ve incorporated the sun protection into the daily moisturizer and after-shave products so we’re keeping his morning routine quick and simple. Eighty percent of what we see as visible “skin aging” is due to incidental sun exposure–the kind you get from just going about your daily activities, like driving to work, getting the mail in, driving your kids to basketball practice. UVA rays are the aging rays that cause wrinkles and discoloration, while UVB rays are the rays that burn the skin. So you need a daily sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection to shield both types of rays. By using a multi-purpose product that incorporates the broad spectrum SPF into a daily moisturizer/after-shave conditioner, a dad is doing a very important thing to preserve skin health and prevent premature aging–and it only adds a couple of seconds a day to his morning routine.”
Q. Are there any ingredients we should avoid in our skin care?
A. “I would suggest avoiding artificial colorants and heavy fragrances, as well as alcohol (appears on the label as SD Alcohol or Alcohol Denat) in facial skin-care products. These ingredients can be irritating when applied to the face and eye area.”
Q. How do you convince a man that skin care is important?
A. “I think that men understand that looking good can be a competitive advantage–both in their professional and personal lives. A better groomed guy is going to get the job or the promotion over an equally qualified but poorly groomed candidate. Taking good care of your skin is part of being on top of your game and presenting yourself in the best possible way. You can spend hundreds of dollars on a suit or shirt you wear for a year or two, but you have your face your entire life and people see it every day. It’s worth investing a little time and money to take care of something this important to your overall appearance. Plus, there is a real health benefit to protecting the skin from sun damage. A little extra effort to take care of your skin can yield significant appearance and health results.”
I also tried the Double Duty Face Moisturizer this week, and I’m impressed. I don’t like the smell of sunscreen, so moisturizers with it always make me nervous. Fortunately, this product didn’t have that beach smell at all, and it was surprisingly light. As you read, it’s very important to protect you face from the sun’s rays, and this moisturizer will do that and more. You can find it at Jack Black’s website for $27.
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Friday, April 13th, 2012
I love when I find a great product that’s made by hand, and it really shows you that sometimes you can’t beat an artisanal item. About a year ago, Maak Soap Labs and Tanner Goods, out of Portland, Oregon, joined forces to create a line of soaps that capture the scent of Cascadia. They ended up with two outdoorsy smells, Upland and Wildwood. They are both made from all-natural ingredients and scented with oils from plants that are indigenous to the region. One added bonus of the bar soaps is that they’re airplane friendly. No liquid means no hassle from the TSA.
Saying they smell good might be an understatement. I kept them on my desk for several days just to make sure I could take a whiff when I needed a “trip” to the mountains. After I finally used the soap for it’s intended purpose, I was pleased with the lather and how the scent didn’t intensify with the water. Plus, my skin felt clean, not dry, after rinsing.
Overall, I think that both scents are worth your while. Wildwood (the green one) is more piney smelling than Upland, but both are very fresh so it’s really up to your personal preference. You can find these handmade soaps at Tanner Goods, where they retail for $9 a bar. You can also read more about their process here.
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Friday, April 6th, 2012
I recently had the opportunity to ask the President of Zirh, Brian Robinson, a few questions about men’s grooming. He’s a dad of two boys (ages 10 and 3) and one girl (age 7), and his family lives in Westchester County, N.Y. Here’s what he had to say:
Q. What made you decide to found Zirh?
A. ”In the mid ’90s, the concept that men would take care of themselves to the same extent as women was foreign. I believed that men were looking for efficacy and price was of secondary importance if the product performed. Most important in my thought process was to demonstrate the product on the men so they could see the difference. Men’s skincare has come a long way since then, but the majority of men are still using soap and water so there is still a huge upside.”
Q. Whats the optimum morning regimen for a man? What step can’t be forgotten?
A. ”The optimum regimen consists of a good cleanser to wipe away dirt and dead skin cells. Every other day I suggest supplementing a cleanser with a gentle scrub. Then, I would finish off the routine with a moisturizer, preferably with SPF. The step that can’t be forgotten is exfoliating. There are different ways to do it through cleansers, scrubs, or peels, but revealing new, fresh skin helps you look younger and more vibrant.”
Q. If you had to choose a product that dads couldn’t live without, what would it be?
A. ”I would recommend Zirh Shave Gel, which is a unique shave gel in that it doesn’t lather up when applied. This way, you can see where you are going, reducing cuts, and abrasions. It also helps with sculpting for those with goatee’s or shaped beards.”
Q. If you had to give one ultimate grooming tip to a guy what would it be?
A. ”Shaving during or after a shower is a fantastic way to get a better shave!!!”
After hearing Brian’s thoughts on skincare, I got a chance to try a few of the products he suggested. I first tried the Zirh scrub, and I found it to be very effective. The thing I like most about it is that the particles were so small and it made me feel like I was getting an even exfoliation. The aloe vera in the scrub also helped moisturize my face, leaving it feeling fresh.
Next, I tried the pre-shave oil and the shave gel. I was a bit nervous about trying something new with five days worth of scruff on my face. I applied the oil after my shower (it was very slippery), and it didn’t take much to cover my beard. Then, I waited the suggested one to two minutes before applying the shave gel. Once the shave gel was on, it looked like I had absolutely nothing on my face but some moisturizer and I started to worry about possible razor burn. After the first pass of the blade, I was surprised to find a smooth, non-bleeding cheek. The smooth shaving continued until I finished without a single knick. So besides my initial nervousness, this shave gel worked incredibly well. I can definitely see how it would be useful if you shaped your beard.
You can find all of their products at zirh.com. The products I tried: scrub, $20; pre-shave oil, $18.50; and the shave gel, $15.
If you have any personal shaving tricks up your sleeve, please let me know in the comments below. They might make their way into a future post!
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Friday, March 30th, 2012
Paul Mitchell has created a new line for men called Mitch, and it’s a great addition to an already praise-worthy brand. The line is geared for men that like slick design and clean–not overpowering–scents. I recently tested the Double Hitter 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner, and it really knocked it out of the park. The shampoo has a clean soap smell. It also has amazing lather, worthy of any sudsy shampoo commercial. After rinsing, my hair felt clean, but not dry–definitely a plus for having the conditioner in the same bottle.
I also tested two of the styling products (well, I tested one and had a dad test the other). I currently have the Don Draper haircut so I tried Barber’s Classic Pomade, which has moderate hold and high shine. It worked easily into my hair and provided enough hold to keep my hair in place while still having some flexibility. It is very lightly scented and kept my hair looking shiny all day. My dad tester used the Clean Cut styling cream, which has medium hold with a semi-matte finish. He goes for the natural disheveled look, and this cream worked well for him. He said it was easiest to use when his hair was dry and that it held his hair up all day without looking styled.
Overall, these products from Mitch stepped up to the plate and did exactly what they said they would. The Double-Hitter shampoo retails for $15.50, and both styling products go for $16.99. You can find these products and the rest of the line at a local retailer by visiting www.mitchtheman.com.
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Friday, March 23rd, 2012
The time has finally come for the Dads of Parents to have some insight into the world of men’s grooming! I’m Zane Hatton, and I’ll be your guide. Together we will be looking at some great products that will keep Dad looking fresh.
To get started, I found a new line of soaps by Otter Creek. If you can’t seem to get enough of the outdoors, these products are right up your alley. The OCreek soaps are formulated to clean all that nature throws at you, and they’re packaged in a way to make any outdoorsman proud.
The smell of the Spit Shine body wash and the Hair of the Dog-Birchwood shampoo remind me of my grandfather, and they’ve kept my skin and hair soft–something wives will appreciate. You can find these products at ocreek.com, and they retail for $18 and $16, respectively.
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