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Grooming essentials that will help with love (and self-love) this Valentine's Day

Grooming essentials that will help with love (and self-love) this Valentine's Day

Prepare for Valentine’s Day with these fantastic fragrance, face, and body products.

Yes, of course we all want to look and feel our best. With the explicit or implied pressure Valentine’s Day puts on most of us looming, we must remember that self-love must always come first. So if that means getting in better shape, landing on an alluring, signature scent, or perhaps updating to technologically advanced skin care that provides some immediate result, the answer to your question must always be “you.”

Even on date nights, you should be looking for fresh ideas to enhance all your routines by perhaps incorporating a few wellness tools and home lifestyle edits to really increase the endorphin rush (releasing dopamine and vastly improving our mood). My poison is that I’m constantly writing. So at my desk, I keep amazing skin care products, moisture mists, SPF lotions, fragrances, and room scents in healthy quantities. Oh, and I’m surrounded by a few knickknacks that keep my spirits elevated. I try to fire up all my senses.

Whether you’re enjoying your best single life, hope to find that special someone, or just want to remain desirable for your life partner, a few updates always put a noticeable bounce in our step. Get ready to luxuriate with deluxe scents, skincare marvels, and body wellness. But remember: you come first — even on date night.


Frédéric Malle

You’re going places with Bleu de Chanel’s Travel Essentials Set, which includes Bleu de Chanel Parfum Spray, After Shave Lotion, and Boy de Chanel Lip Balm in a chic, compact pouch ($250). This OG fragrance, Pour Monsieur Eau de Parfum, is as classic as Cary Grant himself ($130).

Frédéric Malle’s Uncut Gem is the perfect combination of ginger, mandarin, and leathery musk, which is based on master perfumer Maurice Roucel’s personal cologne ($95-$455). And Monsieur is the real romance novel, going from the boardroom to the bedroom effortlessly ($80-$395). Frédé

Of course, I grinned. Then Phlur’s Father Figure knocked my socks off! The aroma is fleshy fig with dewy cassis, buttery sandalwood, and Madagascar vanilla that ends as strong and kind via sheer patchouli ($26 - $122).

Molecule 01 + Black Tea is rare, unique, and sexy with black and maté tea absolute and genderless florals ($30-$170). Rosebud, meet the radiant Winsor Violet of Escentric 01, the ultimate intimate body wash ($40).

Aqua Media Cologne Forte is Calabrian bergamot, sweet fennel, and a “hedione-woody musk” that screams sophisticated ($140-$435). Gran Soir reeks of old guard elegance ($150 - $465).

Everything from L’Objet is a great art piece. Bois Sauvage Eau de Parfum is fluid and manly like “a walk in the forest after the rain” with cypress, vanilla, bergamot, and tobacco ($250).

Zafferano Eau de Parfum is tastefully distilled saffron melded into Italian golden fruits like only the house of Acqua di Parma can do ($318-$402).

If the orange-gold flakes of Arquiste Parfumeur’s L'Or de Louis eau de parfum don’t make you feel special, it’s hard to imagine what will. Born from the mystique of the Orangery in Versailles with orange blossom absolute, pomegranate, firewood smoke accord, and Florentine orris ($205).

One of the most coveted men’s fragrances in the world just got better. Curated like a fine liqueur, Dior’s Sauvage Elixir blends elegant spices, rare extracts, couture lavenders, and rich woods that reek of refinement ($180-$250). As an extravagant gift to oneself or someone special, the Sauvage x Baccarat Exceptional Piece is a stunning limited-edition flacon, providing a lifetime of sensorial memories ($8,200).


Perfumehead’s Canadian Tuxedo extrait de parfum expertly crafts robust coriander and cumin and masterfully mixes in tonka bean and exotic Peru balsam. It’s dramatic and sensual but airy ($425).

Mx Eau de Parfum is probably the most timely, futuristic fragrances to date and yet it smells, in a word, delicious. “Mx” could be Mr., Mrs., or Ms. and feel comfortable at a truck stop or the Met Gala($150).

Animalique eau de parfum lives up to its name — it’s as if you were dancing all night in a suede jacket, bathed in lemon, amber, bergamot and tobacco leaf. Sexy ($205-$290). Spicy citrus and creamy leather with olibanum make Tobacco Mandarin a sacred hypnotic ($350).

Eau Nabati Eau de Parfum really smells like nothing else. It’s exotic while remaining masculine and noble. Fresh bergamot and petitgrain fuse with the warmth of amber and immortelle flowers ($270). Orpheon is equally rare and beautiful ($220).


Hear Me Raw

You’ve always wanted to… La Mer’s world-famous fermented skin “broth,” that is.

The New Lifting Firming Serum reshapes the look of your skin, helped by a new restructuring ferment that sculpts the entire face and neck ($220-$425). The Regenerating Serum is a cell-renewing energy boost ($425-$850), while Crème de la Mer’s Moisturizing Soft Cream provides all-day curative moisture for extremely dewy, lifted, visible rejuvenation ($100-$1,375).

Super clean, sustainable, and plant-powered, the refillable brand Hear Me Raw provides Good Clean Fungi as a gentle scrub-cleansing balm with oyster, tremella, chaga and reishi mushrooms ($28). Masks come as rinse-off or rub-off with The Clarifier or The Brightener ($40 each). The Hydrator with Prickly Pear is your one-and-done super cream ($42).

Fresh’s Lotus AHA Gentle Resurfacing Serum, also known as the youth preserve resurfacing dream serum, flattens texture and reveals fresh radiance quickly and gently ($68).

The Swiss brand Cellcosmet invigorates the skin to intensely lift and revitalize the skin. CellLift Lotion ($285) and CellLift Serum ($520). With postbiotics and cellular extracts, a pea size of Concentrated is regenerative ($370).

With syrup-like super potent serums, Naderma’s NAD+ line is indisputably superb. Start with Vitamin C Resurfacing Scrub + Activator ($75). Follow with Recovery Serum or Power Serum ($65 each) and Daily Moisturizing Cream for day and night ($55).

Dr. Diamond’s Metacine InstaFacial Collection featuring Plasma ($200) and Emulsion ($350) has Beverly Hills in an anti-aging uproar. Medically awakens skin with real results.

Scientifically formulated from 91 percent naturally derived ingredients — including the rarest and most potent vanillas, planifolia — a pearl size of Chanel’s Sublimage L’Extrait de Nuit is cellular magic ($920). Want to greatly extend a pearl size of this night serum concentrate? The nutrient-rich toner Sublimage La Lotion Suprême acts as a vitamin essence accentuator boosting all the steps that follow (4.2 oz.; $170).


I loved the strong, effective simplicity of Regelica’s Mandelic + Edelweiss Renewal Serum ($78) and Bakuchiol + Niacinamide Anti-Aging Cream ($72). Lots of antioxidants, 2 percent niacinamide and five ceramides for exfoliation and calming rebalance.

As a user of Redness Reliever Eyedrops, I can say the tagline “you won’t believe your eyes” couldn’t be more accurate. Equally as exciting is the Lumify Eye Illuminations lineup which includes Nourishing Lash & Brow Serum ($24), Hydra-Gel Brightening Eye Cream ($23) and (no-rinse) Cleansing Water & Eye Makeup Remover ($14).

In between Botox appointments or just want to put a freeze on expression lines and plump up wrinkles? Dior’s patented, super-concentrated miracle tube of hyaluronic acid and Longoza extract with anti-aging molecules will surprise you. Capture Totale Hyalushot for the win ($90).

Need an affordable overnight recovery complex system? L’Oréal Age Perfect’s Cell Renewal Anti-Aging Midnight Serum ($44), Triple Power Concentrated Serum ($28), and Cell Renewal Midnight Cream ($37) impressively work while you sleep.


TheraFace Mask

Midday toothbrush not handy? Supersmile’s Quikee provides on-the-go oral hygiene with its plaque-dissolving, stain-removing formula, working quickly to freshen breath and whiten smiles ($24). With four cleaning modes and an exclusive polishing head, Zina45 Sonic Pulse Toothbrush is best-in-class ($225).

I avoided featuring full-face LED masks until they became powerful and hands free. This FDA-cleared TheraFace Mask has 648 medical-grade LED lights built in (a whopping three times more than most) and can cycle through three light modes: red (stimulates collagen and firms), red and infrared (goes deeper; dark spots and radiance), and blue (acne-causing bacteria). Bonus: the (17) QX-Micro Motors’ button adds massaging vibration to key pressure points. Ten minutes a day is truly transformative ($599).

While the predecessors (S7 and S9) still give me an amazing shave, Braun’s Series 9 PRO+ Electric Shaver With PowerCase and 6-in-1 SmartCare Center (9577cc) is nothing short of amazing. With no razor burn, the 9PRO+ is by far the smoothest, closest, most effortless, comfortable shave to date. Its sturdy travel case doubles as a charger ($399).

Whether it’s lymphatic drainage, treating morning puffiness, or some lifted facial contouring before a night out, these famed ergonomic Gold Cryo Facial Set Ice Globes bring the spa clinic home ($125). Save big with the awarded Anti-Aging Skincare Glow Kit that includes these cryo globes ($350).

Home spa or date night, hot stones are a terrific way to relax or repair aches without getting too touchy. Elo’s digitization of the thermal degrees’ controller takes the guesswork out of overheating. Medical grade and nonporous for sterilization ($399-$599+).

The electrical muscle stimulation technology of Ya-Man USA’s Medi Lift Essential Mask has cumulative benefits that promote hands-free face-lifting, boosting microcirculation as it lifts cheeks and contours the jawline ($400).

Ya-Man USA

Welcome to the cupping movement, enjoyed alone or together. The primary warning is to keep these devices moving when you don’t want “marks” (think Olympian Michael Phelps’s cup-filled back). The list of TheraCup remedies is huge—not just for sore muscles and circulation but for inactive bodies too. It uses safety sensors, and its digital heat, suction, and ThermaVibration Technology are simply incredible ($149).

Define your space with Dior’s D-AIR Fragrance Diffuser, where modern art meets exquisite home air diffuser. This exceptional piece uses interchangeable capsules that diffuse olfactory notes of Ambre Nuit, Thé Osmanthus, Oud Supreme, and more. The slick onboard LED controls allow you change your (couture) scent mood on a whim ($2,900).

Before you get into the thick of it, mind the time the old-fashioned way with playful grains of sand. L’Objet’s Haas Just-an-Hour 60 Minute Timer ($595) or the Haas Just-a-Minute 1 Minute Timer ($450) provide a chic way to get a session started.

This article is part of the Out January/February issue, which hits newsstands on February 6. Support queer media and subscribe — or download the issue through Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News on January 23.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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