And when the person you love the most is always looking back at you the same way every morning, you know it’s #truelove. Sometimes, things might seem a little unclear, but that just means you need to clean your mirror.
That’s right, you can go ahead and admit it. Your favorite person is you. So go treat the hell out of yourself. While other people are sprucing themselves up for trite things called dates (ew!) we’ve listed a couple of items you can impress yourself with.
Who needs another warm body when you’re living your own best life? This Valentine’s Day, give all to your ultimate first love: you.
Smell you (I mean me) later.
Acqua di Gio? Coolwater? Old Spice? Those are cool. But we’ve been there, done that. For V-Day go with something a little more, well, you-nique (sorry, we had to!) with the new fragrance brand, Commodity. It’s unisex and comes in chic packaging that will always remind yourself of how beautiful you, too, are. The best part is that you can try it out for yourself in places like Sephora where it’s sold.
What we love most about Commodity is that the brand pushes for gender neutral everything and they have scents that no one else thought to make. our favorite so far is Bergamot ($135) and Book ($100). Bergamot is a fragrance with rich top notes like Italian Bergamot, Brazilian Green Mandarin Oil and Clementine oil. These essential oils have the ability to relax you by bringing your anxiety levels way down. Book is soothing yet sumptuous with its sandalwood and eucalyptus notes.
Try the smaller set of scents with their Style Guide ($24) or Storybook ($30) which has 9 and 12 of their collection, respectively. You can try all the different scents and buy the bottle that you like the most, or just continue buying this smaller bottles so you can smell different everyday depending on your mood (which is what I plan on doing).
Another good one is either of two fragrances from Malin + Goetz are dark rum ($165) and cannabis ($165). Y-E-S. Now, you won’t walk out smelling like you put some rum on your wrists or just rolled a fat blunt and rubbed the resin on your neck. Both contain our favorite ingredient this year: bergamot. No wonder why – it’s a spicy and mysterious scent that’s subtle, powerful and beautiful. Like you.
Can you make out with yourself? Asking for a friend.
Have you ever smelled so fresh to death you wanted to kiss yourself? Wait, is that just us (really, are we abnormal)?
Scraping your tongue with Dr Tung’s Stainless Steel Tongue Cleaner ($7) is the single best thing you can do to get your mouth tasting and smelling fresh. This tongue cleaner is by far the best one we’ve come across. Don’t just take our opinion, it’s actually the best selling tongue cleaner on the market. This one is one of the most sanitary, long-lasting, and portable we’ve come across. It’s lightweight stainless steel. It’s also 15% off when you spend $30 with promo code LOVE2018).
If you’re in the market for a new toothbrush, whether you’re using a manual or electric toothbrush, I just discovered this new toothbrush that is somewhere in between. I hate having to charge my electric toothbrush every week or so, and I also just don’t feel like my manual toothbrush is doing its job completely. Dr. Tung’s claims that clinical tests show that the Ionic Toothbrush ($26) actually gets 48% more plaque out than a manual brush.
It does have a battery in it that you don’t need to ever charge, and lasts up to two years. It is touch-activated to ionize your teeth, making plaque unstick to your teeth. If it sounds like voodoo magic, it is.
The gift that literally keeps on giving
Everyone’s skin is different. Everyone’s style is different. And there’s no way you’re going to buy a full-size bottle because we recommended it.
If you’re a skeptical beauty person (as you should be) we’d suggest you try a subscription box service. We’re into the one from BirchBoxMan ($24 for 3 months, $48 for 6 months, and $88 for a year). There’s even a special limited-time promo code LOVE20 to get you some discounts. The concept is straightforward: you can get five new products you’ve never tried every month. They come in handy, travel-friendly sample sizes that lasts about two weeks of daily use each, and if you like it, you can buy the full-sized bottle directly from BirchBox.
They customize your order by giving you a survey to describe your grooming needs and habits. Then they fill a box with the best products for you, and ship it to you. You’ll NEVER get the same product twice, so you’ll always be trying new products like shaving creams, hair wax, face washes, and anything you think you need.
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Thankfully, I only need to shave about once every three days. Even so, my skin becomes inflamed, red, itchy with post-shave razor bumps all over. One day after throwing my razor into the sink, I had a revelation, that this was a grave inconvenience to all of mankind. And because no one asked me to, I decided I’d go on a quest to find aftershaves that would calm down my angry post-shaven face. Here’s what I found on my journey.
Method of testing: For this, I took matters into my own hand. Like, I channeled a method actor and truly went at this full force. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone (unless you, too, are on your own quest!) but I shaved every day against the grain to really piss off my skin. Damn, some days it felt like I was skinning my face off, but I knew it was for a good cause (said quest, lol). I shaved at night mostly because it would give my face some time to heal before facing the public, but I also did some morning shaves to see how it fared throughout the day.
￼ Here’s the consistency from left to right:
[aesop_image imgwidth=”60%” img=”https://www.verygoodlight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/88385664.jpeg” credit=”(Photo by Benzamin Yi/Very Good Light)” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Here’s the consistencies of each of the products. From left to right: Herban Cowboy Vegan After Shave, Burt’s Bees, Dr. Carver’s, Pilot, Kingsman. Photo by Benzamin Yi)” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]
[aesop_image imgwidth=”60%” img=”https://www.verygoodlight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/75641379.jpeg” credit=”(Photo by Benzamin Yi/Very Good Light)” alt=”Dusk after shave” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]
These guys take the cowboy part seriously, having launched their company in a log cabin with no internet or phone lines (basically any young person’s nightmare). This is a vegan product for those who are conscious of that lifestyle. The scent, though, is not of carrots or cucumbers as mentioned on its front label. It’s more of that classic musky scent of baby powder that they call “Dusk,” and so it’s something you would wear if you shaved to go out for the evening. And like a classic aftershave, this one works really well on sensitive skin with an immediate soothing effect. Unlike the classic aftershave, this company is very environmentally conscious with their recyclable, PETA-endorsed, vegan, charity-donating product. Oh, and it’s only $6. Yee-haws all around! TLDR; Great for sensitive skin, scent is a bit strong, vegan, day use.
[aesop_image imgwidth=”60%” img=”https://www.verygoodlight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/15336755.jpeg” credit=”(Photo by Benzamin Yi/Very Good Light)” alt=”Burt’s Bees after shave” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]
This is the brand you’re probably most familiar with as a lip balm. So it was a no-brainer to use this on my sensitive fresh-shaven skin. It’s made of 99.9% natural ingredients and is considered unscented. Though, weirdly to me, it smells a bit plasticky — maybe that’s the 0.1% unnatural part about it. I would say to use this if you don’t have sensitive skin because, while it’s a great moisturizer (no greasiness or residue), it wasn’t calming my skin down enough. The best parts about this aftershave are the natural ingredients that go into this and the price. At about $7 for 2.5oz, this is the way to go on a budget. TLDR; For non-sensitive skin, not the best fragrance.
[aesop_image imgwidth=”60%” img=”https://www.verygoodlight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/60011424.jpeg” credit=”(Photo by Benzamin Yi/Very Good Light)” alt=”Dr Carver’s after shave” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]
This aftershave is meant for those who get razor bumps, razor burns, and ingrown hairs. I think of this one as supplemental to the aftershave you have for the days when your skin is extra sensitive, but you can definitely use this as your main product, too. This product will help those bumps and burns while emancipating your hairs using ingredients like blueberry, white tea, and cypress berry. This is completely unscented, so it won’t distract any other scents you’re trying to highlight with other products. TLDR; Great for razor bumps and burns, unscented, night use.
[aesop_image imgwidth=”60%” img=”https://www.verygoodlight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/57008695.jpeg” credit=”(Photo by Benzamin Yi/Very Good Light)” alt=”Pilot after shave” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]
This is from a brand new men’s grooming company based in California. When I had those days of consecutive shaves where my skin was screaming for peace, this is the aftershave that would calm it down. Always. Instantly. Even when the other aftershaves weren’t soothing the fiery patches of pissed off skin, this one was the just-shaved-skin whisperer. The eucalyptus in here really helps calm it down, while the aloe vera helps heal and moisturize that tender skin. I love the light and neutral scent of this, which makes it something you can wear to sleep, in the morning, or when you go out at night. It dries quickly without any residual feel, so you can apply your moisturizer soon after and keep that face hydrated all day. Lastly, Pilot is also involved in their community, helping out with the homeless in LA, so just one more reason to support them. TLDR; Best for sensitive skin, immediate soothe, my favorite, day or night use.
[aesop_image imgwidth=”60%” img=”https://www.verygoodlight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/78089027.jpeg” credit=”(Photo by Benzamin Yi/Very Good Light)” alt=”Art of Shaving Kingsman after shave” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]
I wanted to include one high-end aftershave because you have to be curious why you would pay the premium. It comes down to the fragrance. At around $20, you’ll get something that works amazingly on your skin. Beyond $20, you’re going to get something that smells amazing. Though, I’d advise you to double check to see if it harmonizes with whatever cologne/scent you have on. While it’s not super heavy, its mix of grape seed extract with shea butter is definitely something you wear in the morning or your night out. TLDR; Good for sensitive skin, smells amazing while doing what an aftershave does, day use.
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Most of my adult life, I had a hair ritual that basically determined how my day would go.
If my hair cooperated with me, my day was going to be amazing and I was full of energy. If my hair was untamable, it was going to be a very bad day and I might as well just have stayed home. But ugh, adult life work. I would shampoo twice a day – once in the morning to wake my hair up, and then once at night to wash off the hair products I put in that day. In the morning, I would have to dry my hair to a point where it was still slightly moist, but not fully dry before applying a combination of hair products. I had it down to a science.
Fast-forward a few years to when I decided to start an exploration of a new hairstyle that didn’t require hair products. Coincidentally, I started my freelance career, which meant I worked from home and need not be seen by anyone in the public eye. My girlfriend had suggested that I stop shampooing everyday, and shampoo only once every two days because she had heard it’s not healthy to shampoo every day. It’s something called “co-washing,” a method Very Good Light actually wrote about. You can read it here. It’s short for “conditioner washing,” that is, not using shampoo, thus, allowing the natural oils to do their thang.
Taking her advice, I decided not to wash my hair.
My whole thought was the more you washed your hair, the better your hair would be. Having thick, coarse, Asian hair, I thought it was supposed to feel like straw. After not washing just for one night, my hair just naturally glorious with its natural oils. It had an instant, nice shine and perfect malleability. Well, that is, until a little bit past noon. My hair would get too oily and started to smell like sweat and, well, hair. Not good. Definitely not sexy. I didn’t know that running my fingers through my hair became an unintended method of moisturizing my hands. It was gross.
I didn’t know I could get through all of this oil. After doing more research, I realized that shampoo is a product that strips your hair of its natural oils. Because it strips it, your scalp over-produces oils because it’s expecting you to strip it again with shampoo. It’s one vicious cycle. Thus, your scalp will stop producing any and oil once it figures out there’s no more shampoo that will strip it.
Getting through to not needing shampoo at all like designer Dan Snyder (who hasn’t shampooed at ALL FOR FIVE YEARS!!!), takes practice. And patience.
Some thoughts you will have over the next few days:
“I’m so self-conscious my hair smell right now.”
“Okay, it’s getting a little too greasy… but Must. Power. Through.”
“Oh god, my hair is like wet seaweed.”
“So itchy and oily.”
The trick is weening yourself to stop using shampoo but doing it a few days at a time. If you stop cold turkey, you will have a congealed mess on top of your head. It’ll get on your face, your pillows, it’ll drip everywhere. Before you start co-washing, I suggest a few products that’ll get you to being completely ‘poo-free.
What you’ll need:
-Dry Shampoo (for when it gets TOO oily). This one from R+Co is really good ($29).
-Conditioner (for when you’re not ‘pooing!). I’m using this $7 one from Giovanni Eco Chic.
-Or even a good co-washing cleanser, like this one from the brand Un-Wash ($24). This will wash your hair via its conditioner.
Here’s a good roadmap of how to do it below. (Note: you refresh back to a “day 1” every time after you’ve stopped shampooing).
Day 1: No shampoo. Day 2: Shampoo.
Day 1: No Shampoo. Day 3: Shampoo.
Day 1: Shampoo. Day 7: No Shampoo.
Day 1: Shampoo. Day 14: No Shampoo.
Day 1: Shampoo. Day 21: No Shampoo.
Day 1: Shampoo. Day 30: No Shampoo.
After this point, your hair will probably stop being so oily. It’ll probably stop itching. After you get to 30 days (and it’ll take some patience!) you’ll realize your hair won’t need so much oil.
Today, I can count the number of times I’ve shampooed since November 2016 one hand. I’m a naturally sweaty guy, I go on 5-8 mile runs (thanks to my inspirational marathon-running mom), and I have a LOT of hair. I wake up every morning, and comb my hair with my fingers, and I’m good for the day. It keeps its volume and has a nice healthy shine. No nasty hair and sweat smells. No face pimples from the hair-to-pillow-to-face oil and dirt transfer.
My barber selection is very strict and I’m extremely loyal. My last barber was the amazing Cecelia from the famous Diego’s in DC. She was the only person to cut my hair for about 5 years before I moved to NYC.
Sure, there were times when things were a little shorter than I wanted, or I had to make a few adjustment with my clippers at home. But I’d never been in a situation where there was an entire missing chunk of hair that was shaved off.
(NOOOO. Photo by Benzamin Yi/Very Good Light)
In my barber’s defense, he showed me the back as I squinted to see it. I thought the black blobs I saw without my glasses were fine. I trusted the dude for heaven’s sake! Oh, I also literally blindly trust my barbers. I can’t see shit without my glasses so I just sort of explain what I want, then my glasses are off and go into take-the-wheel-Jesus mode. Assuming my barber’s name is Jesus. I don’t think it was. Come to think of it, I don’t know his name – maybe that’s a red flag.
So when I came home to show off to my girlfriend via Snapchat, I did a triple take on my newly paved runway on the back of my head.
I had a wedding to attend that week, so I had to turn it around. Lo’ and behold, back when my hair needed no help but a good conditioner wash, I was at a Kiehl’s Grooming Solutions event and received a swag bag of all their hair products. It’s the brand’s first Little did I know this would be the thing to rescue me from this nightmare of a haircut.
(Photo by Benzamin Yi/Very Good Light)
1 Cream Wax, $16 This is a medium hold that adds a very light, natural shine (it’s meant to be a no-shine wax). This product’s special power is the ability to keep changing your hairstyle throughout the day with that natural woke-up-like-this look. It also means that wind and walking at a New Yorker’s pace can shift things around. For my delicate style of a comb over the back, yet holding my front up with some volume, I needed something stronger. This wax was great for when my hair was free to go any which way it wanted and still look fine. My hair no longer has that freedom in its current state. Instead, I used this to add a little more hold to the gel and clay.
I would akin this product to American Crew Fiber but the Cream Wax is much more subtle in its shine, which I appreciated.
2 Styling Gel, $18 I haven’t had gel in my hair since 2005 when everyone owned a tub of LA Styles’ fluorescent gels. So I was a bit skeptical when this product resurrected in my test line up. But my hair was f***ed anyways, so why not see what happens? This isn’t your typical rock hard hair gel, but it’s much softer with the same shine of I-just-got-out-of-the-shower. No flakes like back in the day, though, and it smells great. All their products have a cedarwood, sandalwood, and eucalyptus scent base.
So I put some of this on before going out and I can tell there’s too much going on with the shine, and not quite the hold I needed. It flattened out my voluminous hair a bit. This is meant for shorter hair, to which it will hold and not be messed up by wind or helmets, according to Kiehl’s demonstration model sitting on a motorcycle with 9 fans blowing him non-stop. Sounds like the life.
To add the extra hold without adding more shine, I got a dab of the cream wax and applied it to the part of my hair that needed the extra attention. AKA the part where I need to keep my comb over back in place.
3 Texturing Clay, $18 This is the stronger one that will lockdown your, well, locks. Now I’ve definitely used stronger clay waxes – my favorite being Bedhead Matte Separation Wax. The difference with this is that it is much much easier to wash off. The entire line is water-based, so it’s not a struggle to shampoo off.
The texture that is added on is a nice matte finish, meaning that it’s in between the cream and gel in terms of shine. It’ll look like you do have some product in, but people will have to ask you to make sure. When they ask you, you can tell them that it’s Moroccan Lava Clay, because that’s the special ingredient in this product. This was all in the plan.
At the end of the day, yes, getting my hair shorn in a chunk was not fun. But with a little product and imagination (and lots of patience) I was able to cover it up for the most part.
Two big takeaways from this experience: 1) mix your hair products to get the look you want without looking like you overdid it, even if you overdid it and 2) wear your damn contacts when getting haircuts!
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I remember as a kid watching commercials for body washes and white people would be using their hands, washcloth, or sponge to clean themselves.
“What are those?” I would ask myself. “How the hell are they getting clean?” Then I’d hop into the shower and scrub my body with a green body exfoliator, a 때밀이, what I recently learned in English is called the “Korean Italy Towel.” Nothing Italian about it as far as I’m concerned, unless scrubbing away dead skin like they were the memories of a ratchet night is an Italian thing. So I’m calling them K-scrubs, that is, Korean scrub rather than “Korean body exfoliating mitt,” the name Vogue gave it.
(Image courtesy: Amazon)
Growing up in a Korean household meant you were well aware of the vibrantly-colored body exfoliating k-scrubs. They were used to scrape your entire body of dead skin, scum and everything else between each and every crevice. The k-scrub is like sandpaper, and like sandpaper, it came in different coarseness. Pink is the ‘softest’, followed by green, then yellow – and for the masochists, blue is the roughest. A successful scrub was when the corners of your bathtub was lined with a light gray layer of dead skin.
You’d be told to lay in your hot, steaming tub to make your skin soft and open your pores. It’d be for around 10 minutes. Then, you would scrub your entire body until it turned pink, what is sometimes a very painful experience.
Of course, the ultimate scrub down is if you go to a 찜질방 aka a Korean spa. You may have seen Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead take Conan O’Brien to have his skin eventually match his red hair there.
These spas are an amazing consortium of magical rooms ranging in temperature and mineral composition. You can step into the ice room at like 30 degrees, then walk into the fire room at over 200 degrees.
Beyond that, there are rooms filled with large pink salt crystals, or clay balls, or jade-lined walls. You walk in and people are just lying there sweating their asses off and taking in the mineral powers that surround them… or something like that.
When you’re over being icy, sweaty, and salty, you can take a nap outside of these rooms after eating some Korean food, shaved ice, or an ice cold drink from the cafeteria. It’s the ultimate chill spot, and when I went for the first time, there were people of all races and cultures in there.
While you can purchase additional services like massages like any other spa, the only not-so-chill service is the scrub down. This is what Conan got – basically, an older Korean man comes out with these professional-grade k-scrubs, sprinkles you with epsom salt, lathers you with bar soap, then scrubs the shit out of your naked ass body from your neck down. Every crevice, like every, is touched. My friends who get this done love it because they feel so refreshed afterwards, especially after looking at their dead skin in a pile on the floor. I think I’m cool with scrubbing myself down for the time being.
After almost three decades of exfoliating with Korean towels, it was interesting to see how they’ve inspired a lot of Western products. When the good people at DUO asked me to try out their newly-created body scrub and polisher, I was intrigued. Could it soon replace my Korean towel, I wondered?I totally took them up on their offer to test the product to see if it was comparable to my Korean one.
The DUO has an exfoliating side and a smooth polishing side for sensitive areas, with a block of cleanser (aka soap) in the middle. You get three choices: Old Spice, Olay, and Ivory. If those aren’t your go-to fragrances, it’s going to be hard to be convinced to get this.
(Image courtesy Duo)
I tested out the Ivory version because it was made for more sensitive skin. The scent is neutral, relative to the other two (the manly smell of Old Spice or the fruity smell of Olay) and I’ve had an Ivory phase before I moved on to more natural bar soaps with lavender, which is my current phase.
(Image courtesy Duo)
The scrub side is surprisingly comparable to the Korean Italy Towel – particularly the pink one which is the softest of the three K-scrubs. The soft side is something fairly new to me. I’ve used those cloud like mesh sponges before, but this was much smoother. It feels almost as if you are polishing your body, which is nice after a good hard scrub. It is perfect for sensitive areas of your body like your underarms, nether regions, neck, and if you got a bad sunburn. It is definitely nice to be able to switch back and forth from scrub to polish, and the thing foams up nicely for those who need the visual effect to feel clean. It’s also nice to not need to put more soap on because the DUO has a cleanser inside.
This is the lazy man’s body scrub, for sure. I find myself using this when I’m doing a quick shower after a run or a lazy weekend when I haven’t really “earned” a shower (like sitting around Netflix-ing all day but still wanting to be fresh for bed).
The price point for this is the biggest downside. Essentially, it’s charging you for the soap and the scrub. A similar scrub would be that AXE one they advertised as something to keep your balls clean, which is $6 at Duane Reade. Then add $6 for a container of whatever mainstream liquid body wash you use. I found the DUO on the same shelf for $12. It’s slightly cheaper online, but damn, I can’t find myself buying one every month at that price especially with such limited choices. This is supposed to last 30 days if you use it everyday.
Alternatively, I can probably see myself using this as a travel soap/scrub for sure. Currently my travel kit consists of a bar soap holder and a green k-scrub which takes up a fair amount of space in my toiletries bag. Maybe that was the whole purpose for the creation of the DUO.
At home, I’m still going to make my parents proud and stick with the K-scrubs, and maybe adding in a softer washcloth quick, light showers. I mean, for only $5.99 for 8 scrubs, that’s a deal you cannot pass. Sometimes being traditional – and traditionally frugal – can actually be a great thing. And as for me and my K-scrub, I’ll be sticking to what’s worked wonders for years.
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Can flossing be the most enjoyable part of your morning or night?
Hell nah! At least, that’s what I thought before researching flosses for a good two months. Yes, two whole months for this story! Brushing my teeth is bad enough, but then having to glide a thread in between my teeth to get some gunk out isn’t my idea of a night recap, especially if flossing creates intense bleeding.
It’s 2017, I asked myself. Isn’t there a better way of getting plaque from your teeth than getting some waxed string and going back and forth to get it out?
Certainly, there are. And I discovered there are plenty of new brands that are trying to change our perceptions of flossing. Take for instance, this one brand I just came across, called Cocofloss. It comes in flavors like strawberry and coconut. Um, what?! And this other vegan brand that actually uses a vegan wax (see below), something I didn’t even take into account was important to many people. Whatever the case, in the past few weeks, I realized flossing is becoming, well, flossy. Meaning, the flosses of your parents’ days are over. No longer is it just some waxed plastic string in any old dispenser.
While y’all were wondering whether or not to even consider doing this 30-second regimen, some die-hard flossers out there created flosses with flavors beyond mint, antiseptic properties, super fluffy textures akin to unicorn hair, biodegradable material, and vegan ingredients.
Needless to say, the floss game is serious. More so, flossing is becoming an aspect that’s now dare I say, enjoyable to my morning and night. In fact, I look forward to extracting gunk from my nasty ass teeth alleys. The following are the best ones I’ve found on the market and hope you, too will find enjoyable. Now get to it, heathen!
This is one of my favorites. The floss container is different from your typical floss because this one is a circular shape that rotates to cover up the floss on top from debris and whatnot. More importantly, the floss itself is not your typical thin plastic string. This floss is thick but super soft which is an amazing combo to help clean your teeth, without damaging your gums. Don’t get me wrong, if you haven’t flossed ever, your weak ass gums are probably going to bleed some.
For reasons unknown, the Smart Floss only comes in cardamom flavor. TBH, I’m only familiar with this spice because I once accidentally bought a jar of cardamom thinking it said ‘cinnamon.’ I mean, can you blame me? Probably. Cardamom smells like a pine tree and a bar of soap made a baby. It’s weird, but you’ll grow to like it. I mean, it’s a natural flavoring and I actually enjoy the subtle taste and smell because I’d much rather smell that than my dried saliva, so I’m okay with this lack of choice.
Those with cardamommy issues (lol) need not apply. . Otherwise, get it here.
Vegan floss. Now WTF is that? At first glance, it looks like the usual mint floss, except this has its wax derived from candelilla shrubs in the Southwestern US desert to keep it vegan. The floss itself is made of nylon filaments which they managed to make nearly as fluffy and soft as their non-vegan silk floss.
It also comes in Cranberry – and you might be wondering if you want the taste of cranberries in your mouth. It’s not something you don’t want, but not exactly something you were going for. Don’t trip though, while the mint will actually taste like mint, the cranberry is not flavored. They just use the essences to capture the beneficial properties of cranberry including its antibacterial property – and they include natural xylitol to all their flosses, which reduces acidity in the mouth while preventing bacteria.
Lastly, they have their Natural Silk Floss which is completely biodegradable (and also super soft), so you don’t have to feel guilty of your floss potentially creating a noose for a bird just trying to have fun at the local landfill.
Did I mention the floss is made at a fair-trade cooperative in Colombia? And the cranberries are picked in the States? And the wax comes from the deserts of Southwestern US? And that you can buy it online and get it shipped right to your door?
This one is for the true eco-friendly consumer. It’s made by a Florida-based company that doesn’t specialize in dental products but instead specializes in making awesome eco-friendly products. They like to emphasize that they’re not about toothbrushes or hygiene, but that they are “about the fact that every person can make a difference in the world.” Can I get an Amen?
This fine Italian floss comes in a completely biodegradable packaging with plant-based plastic, AND the floss is natural silk, which is also biodegradable. The packaging itself is the floss container once you rip it at the perforated lines. Now about the floss itself: while it is silk, it’s not super fluffy and soft, reminiscent of unicorn hair. The plus side is that if your teeth are super close together and you ain’t got space for the fluffy floss, this one will slip right in and clean out your tooth alleys.
This is definitely the most complete product of the future. Fully sustainable, biodegradable, and natural. Flossing never felt so right. Get it here.
If I had to pick only one floss brand to use for the rest of my life, this would be it. This company was started by the Cu sisters (Asian-Americans + Californians represent!) who are the perfect duo for this product. A dentist and an artist created this product, and you’ll see both of their expertise play out in these 32 yards of floss. The design is simple and beautiful, yet very practical and informing. For instance, I never knew how much floss I was supposed to use until I came across Cocofloss’ graphic on the back of their product that shows a progression of how long this thing should last (60 days) if you floss every day using 18 inches each time. The more you know! Cue shooting star.
The floss itself is glorious. Super soft like Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss because of the microfibers used, so you actually feel like you’re scrubbing the tooth alleys clean. The floss is a turquoise color, so you can see all the treasure you harvested pretty clearly, unless you’ve been eating turquoise food. Unlikely. So what puts this one above the rest?
The flavors are the kickers. It comes in coconut, mint, cara cara oranges, and strawberry. The Cu sisters were kind enough to send us three of the four (the orange came out after they had sent it) and, again, if you want to stick with mint, be my guest. I’m going to adventure on to strawberries and coconuts. The secret evil plan by the sisters was to make flossing actually enjoyable enough to do it daily. I think they nailed it. Your whole mouth just tastes like you just low key made out with a coconut or strawberry.
If I had this as a kid, I might have avoided a few cavities and that damn root canal I had to get in high school. It would have been right up there next to that grape-flavored dinosaur toothpaste that got me to actually enjoy brushing my teeth, though I’m sure it was because I wanted to “accidentally” eat some of the toothpaste. I have so far resisted consuming this floss, but I do pick it up just to smell it every now and then.
I read a review about their product where someone said that it was like flossing with unicorn hair. I can confirm this is true. Subscribe to their floss plan for $3.50/month or get a 3-pack on their site to try them all.
Most of y’all have either seen this or used this before. This was probably one of my favorite flosses before I discovered this other world of flosses. So to give you a comparison, this one is definitely soft in its own way, but not like the fluffy type. This one is flat, so it’s great for tighter spaces and for cleaning out the area where the gum and teeth meet. My only complaint is that it glides so well that I don’t feel like I’m scrubbing the sides, but more like scraping or filleting my plaque. Not as satisfying, but gets the job done in terms of dislodging gunks of your once-delicious meal. Flavors, packaging, and all that are fairly basic. It comes in mint or original (no flavor), but it has a bunch of varieties in terms of ‘extra soft’ and ‘whitening’ and ‘ultrafloss.’ Mainly gimmick words, IMO. This is the #1 Best Selling floss on Amazon — but instead of being described as fluffy, they use “silky-smooth” which is pretty accurate. But then again, you can get the literal smoothness of silk from the other flosses mentioned above.
This is your go-to floss when you’re out of floss and find yourself at a big box store like Target. Get it really anywhere, like here.
6 Human Hair (Free)
Another thing I confirmed during this review was that I was not a unicorn, unfortunately. Let me explain. When I was doing my floss research, I came across some blog on the best eco-friendly flosses by this super minimalist lady who was doing this whole zero-waste thing. Her recommendations were mediocre and a lot of it was nearly impossible to acquire… except her last recommendation. She had read somewhere that some zero-waste extremists floss with their hair. Like three strands and boom, you have an all-natural, biodegradable, free of charge, super portable floss.
I collected about three stray strands of hair from my head and went for the front two teeth. Floss floss floss, then as I was trying to pull my cage-free organic hair out, it snagged and broke. Now I had three strands of hair and the plaque it tried to remove, stuck in my teeth and tickling my lips. I reach for my beloved Cocofloss to help resolve this mistake and to treat myself to a little tropical mouthcation.
Anyways, I did it so you guys will never be curious enough to try it. It’s definitely the least sanitary and least effective way to floss. I would say it’s the most portable, but if that’s your concern, go get a portable floss satchel pack from Radius instead.
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Sprays, creams, roll-ons, we tested them all. (Photo by Benzamin Yi)
Winter is here.
And just because colder weather is upon us, doesn’t mean our orifices stop sweating. The exact opposite, actually, especially for people like me. If I reincarnated as a piece of fall clothing, I would most likely be a sweater, one that traps heat and is completely pleasant outdoors but turns into a swampy mess when coming back inside. I mean, how does one prepare for indoor spaces and their own unique thermostat settings? My Amazon Echo can detect the weather outside, but isn’t there like, an app that tells you the temperature of a room before you get there? Major app idea, alert!
Usually, you carry that one stick of deodorant from some generic brand you saw on some viral video with that crude joke about having clean balls. Though that’s perfectly fine, I’d suggest it’s time for an upgrade. After testing multiple deodorants that have been raved by the Internet, I’ve learned that having at least a few deodorants in your grooming stash is something that’s essential. Here’s what I found.
But first, what is the difference between antiperspirants and deodorant?
Good question. Deodorants are there to purely mask the pungent aroma of bacteria that eat bacteria produced under your arms. They come in many musky fragrances or floral ones, depending which aisle you’re looking at. Antiperspirants, on the other hand, work essentially by plugging underarm pores so that they don’t release sweat. Most antiperspirants have some kind of aluminum salt to do the plugging. When a product says “strength deodorant” like those from AXE, Secret, Gillette, etc., that means it has 20% of aluminum chloride, to get you through those 24-hours.
… Now back to our normal programming!
Kiehl’s Superbly anti-perspirant cream, $19.50
Kiehl’s Superbly anti-perspirant cream is just that, a cream. So that means you apply it like lotion. It’s the best odorless deodorant because of the feel alone. Once it’s on, it dries quickly and you forget that you even have it on. This also makes it easy to wash off. My only caveat is that this one uses an aluminum paste of sorts that many generic brands like AXE and Old Spice use in their products. The “clinical protection” brands you see are usually a 20% concentration of aluminum, while regular strength brands are usually 12%. Kiehl’s is regular strength, and I sweated from my pits just as much as any of the other brands I tested without this ingredient. Unlike the generic brands, though, I didn’t get an allergic reaction to this like I usually do with aluminum. This would be a solid choice for those with sensitive skin. When I want to stay scent-neutral, I would use this, and if the antiperspirant works for you, this would be an even better call. Buy it here.
I found myself applying this one several days in a row. I sweat no matter what, so the antiperspirant ingredient here (propylene glycol, in this case) unfortunately, didn’t work for me. But the scent is a minty, refreshing scent, but not overpowering at all. The feel is not sticky at all, it glides on easily. It washes off with some soap and water without the feeling of a residue left behind that I felt with some of the others. The ingredients after its main ingredient of water, are mainly words you’ll see in your chemistry textbooks. On the flip side, they do print that they are made in the USA and do not contain a list of things including GMOs, sulfates, synthetic dyes, parabens and of course, alcohol. AKA it’s super safe for those who care. They also donate a portion of the proceeds to prostate cancer research. Using deodorant never felt so socially good. Buy it here.
This is a split decision. Of course, you’ll need to find the fragrance that works with you, but here are two that I especially liked.
This season, I’m all about looking and feeling fancy. Tom Ford’s Nerolo Portofino for a unique floral scent will do just that, like you know something that other people don’t. It’s that air of mystery you’ll bask in —well that, and questioning exactly why you spent $52 on a deodorant. When you smell it, you’ll understand. This deodorant should be used sparingly for those special occasions when you’ll need your swanky ass new shoes, not for your New Balances. It applies nicely, and washes off with a scrub but the smell might stay for a day or two. As a bonus: Your clothes will definitely have its luxurious scent. Who needs to do laundry anymore? Buy it here .
For a more everyday-type of deodorant, the L’Occitane Roll-on has a smell like you just came out of the barber shop after a nice single-razor shave and a hot towel. To me, it reminded me of when my grandpa used to cut my hair in my family’s garage. The fragrance marries that of baby powder, shaving cream and wisdom. This one is for your casual days when the everyday shoes come out to play. It comes as a roll-on applicator, so you’ll need to let it dry for a minute. The scent will stick to your clothes and probably to your pits for a day or two, but it will keep you smelling fresh all day. Buy it here.
If none of these antiperspirants work for you of if you’d rather not cake on products that you don’t understand under your pits, why not go all natural and embrace your sweat? I mean, if you’re a natural kind of dude, why not go all-in? Let’s go more for biology here with Weleda Sage Deodorant Spray, which is a spray-on deodorant. The sage scent smells like you just showered in the forest using leaves as your loofah, and the citrus fragrance is like you cuddled some lemons and oranges (you, being the big spoon). The scent is pretty subtle, but will stay smelling nice all day. The ingredients include licorice roots and oils from different leaves, and the smell doesn’t linger past that day typically. It washes off easily and, best of all, everything is natural, if that’s your sort of thing. But it here.
Runner Up: LoveFresh Lavender Tea Tree Deodorant Stick, 24
This is probably the most old fashioned style — the stick and all natural. This one, like the classic, also leaves that white stripe on your pits. I didn’t see any residue on my shirts, and it didn’t really feel like there was some sort of chalky goop on my pits. This LoveFresh Deodorant Stick was a nice classic stick, and more importantly, all the ingredients are natural including baking soda, and my pits didn’t itch. Always a good sign. The non-baking soda version which had a magnesium-based ingredient made my pits itch, so I wouldn’t recommend that one for sensitive skin types. I would recommend the Lavender Tea Tree scent, but citrus is always a good way to go. Buy it here.
Benzamin Yi is a freelance graphic designer, writer, and communications consultant based in NYC. In his groom stash, he goes for an all-natural line up at reasonable prices because he doesn’t believe in putting weird ingredients on his body nor putting hard-earned money into overpriced products (while still supporting small businesses and local products). He is a contributor for Very Good Light. Find him on socials @benzyi
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