Why shouldn't men enjoy the level of salon services women have come to expect? Here, Billy B. shares his favorite grooming tips, techniques, and products.
It's interesting being a man in the beauty industry. It's my passion and job to make women more beautiful. But what about us men? There are more days than not that I wake up jet-lagged and exhausted, look in the mirror and wish I could erase my exhaustion with makeup. But until society is ready for that (some companies, like Jean Paul Gaultier, have launched makeup lines for men, but they haven't caught on yet), there's little we can do in that regard.
Yet more than ever, men are getting into the swing of beauty. Makeover shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and even the label "metrosexual" have given us permission to primp more than ever before. I'm not saying that I'm ready to wear makeup myself, in part because as a makeup artist, it would be way too stereotypical of me. But I have some favorite places that cater to guys and have gotten hip to our beauty needs. The hottest spot I've found is Barber Bart in New York, an old world-style place that caters to the gentleman in all of us, whether you're a blue-collar guy's guy or a metrosexual. This chic, three-chair barbershop offers fabulous grooming services, starting with a refreshing tea tree oil shampoo, head massage and scalp treatment. Then you relax in a Japanese-designed barber chair while you receive a neck and back massage. Best of all, they offer the lost art of the straight-razor shave, complete with steam, hot eucalyptus-soaked towels and lavender oil to soften your beard. To complete the ambience, the great jazz background music takes you back to the days of the Brat Pack. It's definitely a destination for anyone planning a visit to New York, and it also makes the perfect gift for the man in your life.
Here are some tips to make you feel and look your best.
- SKINCARE If you aren't lucky enough to visit Barber Bart, Smart Shave is the next best thing to getting a professional barber shave. The kit has exfoliating pads to prepare the beard, a shave cream and a calming toner.
- EYEBROWS Eyebrow grooming is important, but be careful not to get carried away, boys: You don't want to look like your mother. Trim and shape your brows and, most importantly, trim your nose and ear hairs. Use small, blunt-end scissors; a tiny snip can cause a nasty bleed
- EYELASHES If, like me, you're not ready for mascara, eyelash tinting is a great solution. This quick salon service is maintenance-free, lasts for three months, can brighten a dark eye to a more interesting color and make a light eye pop. Another tip: Some of us were born with "horse" lashes, so invest in a good eyelash curler and gently curl your lashes to make them look fuller and open up your eye. (Just make sure to hide it when you're done.) My favorite is by Kevyn Aucoin at
- OTHER PRODUCTS I LOVE
- Kiehl's Baby Lip Balm (in a stick)
- Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree line. They use this at Barber Bart.
- Kiehl's Pour Homme Essence Oil. It's my favorite fragrance. Try it—men and women alike will ask what you're wearing. Who says girls have all the fun?