5 Grooming Products I’m Using Right Now · Primer

Pay for what works, skip what doesn’t.

photo of bayliss & harding goodness hand soapphoto of bayliss & harding goodness hand soap

I first discovered this hand soap when I was visiting my buddy and he had it in his guest bathroom. The smell is amazing – strong, masculine notes – and I dig the bottle and design. I asked him where he got it, expecting some $30 brand but was excited to hear it’s from Target and only $7. That means for the same price as the goofy-bottled watermelon what-have-you, you get something that smells great and already matches the classy brown bottle aesthetic I’ve got going on in the bathroom.

A caveat though, I dug the smell so much, I ordered the body wash in the same scent (it’s not sold in stores locally) and I was disappointed by its lack of lather as well as the intense aroma projection of the hand soap.


bottle Dove Men+Care Eucalyptus + Birch deodorantbottle Dove Men+Care Eucalyptus + Birch deodorant

I’m a bougie-on-a-budget kind of guy. I really like a lot of Aesop’s line, particularly their hand soap and fragrances, but for anything you work through quickly it feels expensive. Case in point: I was given the Aesop spray deodorant as a gift but when I ran out I didn’t want to drop $35 to replace it. The Dove Men+Care Eucalyptus + Birch spray deodorant has a different but similarly herbal/woodiness to it.

Walgreens / Amazon (3 pack)

Gucci cologne bottleGucci cologne bottle

I’ve been wearing Gucci’s Gucci Guilty Black eau de toilette for a year, give or take. It is a vibrant and provocative scent blending notes of green coriander, lavender, orange flower, and patchouli but doesn’t have overwhelming projection. For men who want to wear a scent but need the whole room to know it, this is a modern, subtle option.

I bought mine at Sephora and I always recommend buying more expensive fragrances locally at big box stores if possible because of the big issue of fakes from third party sellers that still permeates online marketplaces.

Nordstrom / Sephora

can of axe styling texturizing cream for natural lookcan of axe styling texturizing cream for natural look

As I said, I like paying more for grooming and self-care products if they seem to work better, smell better, or provide an overall enjoyable experience, and hair products are where that all started for me. Buying my first puck of $12 American Crew Forming Cream in 10th grade was a splurge, and it didn’t end there.

But I was on a road trip a few months ago and needed to pick up some hair product while at a Wal-mart, and knowing I had stuff I use at home, didn’t want to spend too much money. I grabbed Axe’s Texturizing Cream because it is a lightweight product and doesn’t have too much hold or shine.

It’s been great on my fine, medium length hair: It doesn’t weigh it down or leave me “feeling” like I’ve used it after a long day, and I’ve continued using it since I’ve been back home.


Dove Men + Care Dry Repair bottleDove Men + Care Dry Repair bottle

If you’ve still got itchy winter skin, try the Advanced Care Dry Repair body wash from Dove Men+Care. I stumbled across this at CVS on sale and picked it up to see if I was just having itchy skin from the normal seasonal culprits or if it was a reaction to something else. It’s designed with a focus on hydration, incorporating a significant amount of a hydration balm and shea butter in its formula with a light, woody aroma.

Fortunately, everything went back to normal relatively quickly so it was probably just seasonal, but as a body wash it works great. It’s a thick gel that lathers well and has a subtle and masculine scent.


Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.