Is your guy handy? He needs DU’IT Tough Hands!

DU'IT Tough Hands

DU’IT Tough Hands

I really lucked out in the husband department – he is way more than just a pretty face!! He can cook like a pro and is an incredible athlete. He’s a great father who is just as happy to take his daughter hunting as he is to have a tea party with her. And, he’s a finish carpenter, so any ‘honey-do’ project that I can dream up, he can actually do.  KevinKevin and LisaBut his hands are a mess…calloused, cracked, scratched, often covered with dried glue and who knows what else that causes tons of uncomfortable skin issues. Super tough hand creams that tackle these concerns are always welcome in my house and Kevin was thrilled to try DU’IT Tough Hands ($11.95).

DU'IT Tough Hands

DU’IT Tough Hands

DU’IT Tough Hands is a heavy-duty hand cream that isn’t greasy and has no fragrance. It actually creates a protective ‘glove’ over hands, protecting them from any further damage while also healing any problems that currently exist. This isn’t kid stuff…it’s industrial strength cream that tackles big problems like cracked skin, irritation from latex gloves, even cement!

DU'IT Tough Hands swatch

DU’IT Tough Hands swatch

While it gives immediate gratification, my hubby reports that the best results come with consistency and a little time. He recommends applying it every morning, applying some after washing hands throughout the day if possible, and definitely applying it at night for at least a week. His hands healed and he had amazing results when he used this consistently. The price is terrific for a 5.1 fluid oz. tube.

Ok, I told you to get this for your guy…but seriously, if you have any issues at all with dry cuticles, hangnails, callouses, cracking…you will love DU’IT Tough Hands. It doesn’t have a scent, it’s not all greasy, and it works wonders!!! I see that they do have a version called Tough Hands for Her that I’d love to try, but in the meantime I am totally going to be highjacking the tube that Kevin is using.

Head over to Amazon.com or to CVS and give this a try. Get one for your significant other and be prepared to steal it away every chance you get.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration, affiliate linksIMG_6639

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover…artisan bar soap from Claus Porto

Claus Porto SoapI freely and openly admit that I am a sucker for packaging. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pack of pencils or an eyeshadow palette…gorgeous wrapping draws me in. Of course, the quality of the product keeps me a fan…but I do love a pretty package!  or example, take a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Which would you rather eat – one hastily wrapped in plastic wrap, or one carefully and lovingly wrapped in wax paper?

Plastic wrap....

Plastic wrap….

...or wax paper?

…or wax paper?

I’m betting you’d go for the wax paper sandwich every time. The magic of packaging somehow makes the exact same sandwich taste even better.

Claus Porto Deco CollectionThe beauty of the box surrounding each Claus Porto Bath Soap pulls me in, and the wax paper wrapped around those big huge bars is an added sigh of delight. Luckily, you CAN judge these soaps by their covers because they are fabulous.                                                                                                      samples

Claus Porto makes artisan soaps that are “hand-crafted and infused with fine fragrances, influenced by the ingredients from Portugal’s flora, imbued with an artisan’s heart and soul, wrapped by hand in packaging illustrated with distinctive artwork.” As the embedded stamp in all the soap bars tells us, the Claus Porto line has been around since 1887. I tried two of these luxurious bath soaps:  the Lime Basil Bath Soap ($13 for 5.3 oz) and the Red Poppy Bath Soap ($13 for 5.3 oz).

Claus Porto Deco Lime Basil Bath Soap

Claus Porto Deco Lime Basil Bath Soap

Claus Porto Deco Lime Basil Bath Soap

The Lime Basil Bath Soap features fabulous deco artwork. Inside the box the soap is carefully wrapped in wax paper, which when opened reveals this gorgeous 100% vegetable soap. This is a shea butter soap so the lather is incredible. Top notes include basil and green accord; heart notes include bergamot, bitter orange, and grapefruit. Base notes include vetyver, moss, and patchouli. The scent is distinctly masculine and fresh, most definitely swoon-worthy. You may find yourself volunteering to help lather up your guy just so you can inhale the awesome fragrance.

Claus Porto Favorito Red Poppy Bath Soap

Claus Porto Favorito Red Poppy Bath Soap

Claus Porto Favorito Red Poppy Bath Soap

Claus Porto Favorito Red Poppy Bath Soap

Claus Porto Favorito Red Poppy Bath Soap

The Favorito Red Poppy Bath Soap is a unique take on Portugal’s lush red poppy fields. Look at the gorgeous detail in the Art Nouveau motif! The soaps, by the way, have a helpful carved bottom that allows the soap to drain properly and dry without sticking to the soap dish. The Red Poppy fragrance top notes include lavender and aldehydic accord; heart notes include poppy and patchouli; and base notes include musk and tonka. This is a much more traditional, ‘soapy’ scent with a classic, clean aroma.

Claus Porto soaps can be found on ClausPorto.com and prices range from $7 to $21 depending on the size of the bar. There are also some beautiful gift boxes that range in price from $50 to $60. Take a look at the collections for an array of unique and impressive gifts for your guy.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Two TSA-friendly products you want in your carry on!

The most difficult part of getting ready for a trip? Packing personal products that will make it through airport security without being confiscated or causing a pat down reminiscent of walking through a raging college fraternity party. I have two discoveries, one for you and one for your guy, that are TSA-friendly and total must-haves for any trip.

Gentlemen's Tonic Moisturizing Hand Balm

Gentlemen’s Tonic Moisturizing Hand Balm

The first product is one that Gentlemen’s Tonic, a London-based luxury grooming and style line, sent me in anticipation of their product launch into the US. Gentlemen’s Tonic is ‘simple sophistication and self-confidence for men’ with everything a man needs, from classic shaving products to unique Eau de Toilettes. All of their products are made with naturally based plant-derived materials from sustained and renewable resources.

Gentlemen's Tonic Moisturizing Hand Balm

Gentlemen’s Tonic Moisturizing Hand Balm

I am head over heels for their Moisturizing Hand Balm ($18), which is a hand cream that your guy will love. It is intensely moisturizing without greasiness. I am not kidding, this balm will soothe even the roughest, most callused hands.  Check out these ingredients:

  • Almond Oil: light and quickly absorbed providing an excellent moisture barrier.
  • Manuka Honey: increases skin repair and is a natural anti-bacterial.
  • Sunflower Oil: rich in Vitamin E, a natural anti-oxidant.
  • Babassu Oil: melts at body temperature drawing heat from the skin producing a cooling effect. Also forms a protective, soothing coat providing a luxurious, velvety feeling.
  • Bergamot Oil: an essential oil renowned for its uplifting and tension-relieving properties.

The Babassu and Bergamot scent is fabulous. It smells fresh and clean and manly and it’s the perfect size for travel.

Travalo Milano

Travalo Milano

For yourself, definitely check out the Travalo Milano ($49.99). It’s a beautiful way to decant your favorite fragrance so you can travel with your favorite scent without fear of spillage or a TSA nightmare.

Travalo Milano -- it's so easy to fill!

Travalo Milano — it’s so easy to fill!

Travalo Milano

Travalo Milano

Filling it is easy and it holds 65 sprays. It has a ‘pump to fill’ system that doesn’t expose your fragrance to the air, which can change the scent. The spray is super fine and the decant is air tight. I love the beautiful leatherette bottle which feels substantial – it has all metal parts, no glass so it is totally TSA perfect. Plus there are nine different colors available.  If you do any air travel, you will truly appreciate this awesome find.

You can find Gentlemen’s Tonic at gentlemenstonic.com and the Travalo Milano at us.travalo.com.  Happy travels!  – Lisa

*products received for editorial consideration

The specialness that is Birchbox + Gap

Birchbox GAP

Birchbox + GAP

One of the most unusual things about Birchbox is their collaborations. They’ve been working with different stores to create subscription boxes that are unique to the store. A great example of this is BIRCHBOX + GAP which is available in 7 locations. Both the Birchbox Gap for women and for men were sent so we could share these with you and explain the process of obtaining them.

Birchbox Gap for Women

Birchbox Gap for Women

The Birchbox + Gap box for women is one of the best I’ve seen from them. I have many Birchbox boxes and rarely did I get one that I’d use and love everything in it. Inside is a Gloss Gloss Nail Polish, Supergoop Sunscreen, Amika Dry Shampoo, Whish Body Lotion and Eyeko FAT Eye Stick. Three deluxe sample sizes and two full size are the makeup of this box.

Supergoop, Whish, Amika in Birchbox Gap

Supergoop, Whish, Amika in Birchbox Gap

SUPERGOOP Everyday SPF 50 is one of my very favorite sunscreens. This SPF 50 sunscreen is a lightweight cream that’s oil free and fragrance free. I love this deluxe sample size for my purse.

WHISH Three Wishes Body Butter in Lavender is an anti-oxidant rich formula that’s a terrific body butter. This one is in Lavender but Whish also has other yummy fragrances like my favorite Almond.

AMIKA Perk Up Dry Shampoo is one of the better dry shampoos out there. Everyone loves this weightless spray that refreshes your hair by absorbing oil without leaving any residue. The full size is $21 but you can buy this travel size for $9 on Birchbox’s site.

FLOSS GLOSS Nail polish in Wavepool

FLOSS GLOSS Nail polish in Wavepool

FLOSS GLOSS NAIL POLISH in Wavepool is so summer! What a beautiful shade to wear when having fun in the sun. This is a full size bottle that can be purchased for $8 on Birchbox.

Eyeko FAT Eye Stick in Satin Taupe

Eyeko FAT Eye Stick in Satin Taupe

EYEKO FAT EYE STICK in Satin Taupe seems to be exclusive to this box. This full size ($15) eye crayon is such a beautiful color. There’s nothing easier than applying the creamy eye crayon and adding some water resistant mascara to look great in the summer. This is my favorite item in the box and I hope they start selling it soon.

A Women’s Birchbox costs $10 per month. This is part of a set of three for $30. You’ll pay the $30, get this box immediately at the Gap stores that are part of the program and sign up to receive the other 2 Gap Birchboxes delivered directly to you.

Birchbox Gap for Men

Birchbox Gap for Men

Gap and Birchbox didn’t forget about the guys. The men’s boxes sell for $20 so the Gap collection is 3 months for $60. Here are the contents of the first box you/he will receive and the value is excellent. There are 4 deluxe sample sizes and one amazing full size.

Gap Birchbox for men

Gap Birchbox for men

PLANT Get It On Body Wash is the perfect size to try out or put in a travel kit. This is an all natural cleanser with essential oils of cedar, ginger and sandalwood.

BILLY JEALOUSY HYDROPLANE Super Slick Shave Cream is a latherless shave cream that uses silicone beads and essential oils to buffer skin against the harshness of a razor.

BAXTER Clay Mask is for the man who really takes care of himself. It’s a purifying blend of kaolin and bentonite clay for exfoliation and absorbing excess oil.

PARLOR Reworkable Hold Paste will make men’s hair soft, pliable but easy to style. This contains sweet almond and extract and fortifying Vitamin B5.

Brichbox Gap with LSTN Bowery Earbuds

Brichbox Gap with LSTN Bowery Earbuds

LSTN Bowery Earbuds is the item in the box that my husband wanted instantly. I had to grab them away to photograph them before he absconded with them. These are a $50 value so that makes the price of the box totally worth it. The earbuds are made from reclaimed wood (they are a cherry wood and browner than my pictures) and come with three sizes of earplugs so he’s sure to get a size to fit him. Plus you can “borrow” them and have a size to fit you. These are sold on Birchbox’s site too. “Made from reclaimed wood, the 100% electro-acoustic tested headphones pair superior sound quality with one-of-a-kind good looks. And, because each pair of headphones benefits a charity for the deaf, this is an accessory you can feel good about.”

There are 7 GAP Stores that are part of the Birchbox Gap Summer Beauty Shop. Some of these not only have this special subscription but even have a Build Your Own Box. Are you lucky enough to be near San Francisco Market Street, Houston Galleria, Los Angeles The Grove, Chicago State Street, NYC 34th & Broadway, NYC Lincoln Square or NYC 17th St & 5th Ave.? If so go there through June 23rd for these specials. There are even 4 stores with events that the first 150 people can win a free box.

Even if you are not a subscriber to Birchbox, you can still purchase items there so that makes the rest of you who are interested in some of these able to purchase without commitment. What’s your favorite product in these boxes? — Marcia

*sent by Birchbox for this article

Show dad he is an ‘Everyday Hero’ with the Father’s Day Birchbox for Men

Birchbox Everyday Hero Box

Birchbox Everyday Hero Box

Of course your dad is a hero every day…but Father’s Day is a great day to remind him just how much he is loved. The perfect gift is one that keeps giving all year – a Birchbox Man subscription. The cost is $20 a month, which brings the man of the family a personalized box of grooming products every month. One of the special Birchbox Man boxes for June is the “Everyday Hero” box that is only available with a subscription…and today, June 11th, is the very last day you can order it!!

Birchbox Man Everyday Hero Box

Birchbox Man Everyday Hero Box

Birchbox is a subscription service featuring a monthly box of five beauty/grooming/lifestyle items that are selected based on your preferences. The sample sizes allow you to try different brands and products and you can purchase the full sizes of things you fall in love with on the Birchbox site. The Everyday Hero box (again, only available with a subscription through June 11th!) has five manly products that dad will love.

Baxter Grooming Lotion

Baxter Grooming Lotion

  • Baxter of California Grooming Lotion is a leave-in conditioning cream for hair that gives a subtle shine and just enough hold.

    English Laundry Riviera

    English Laundry Riviera

  • English Laundry Riviera smells clean thanks to citrus top notes, and the base of pepper and oak moss give it a nice macho twist.

    SU Hair and Body Wash

    SU Hair and Body Wash

  • SU Hair and Body Wash is all a man needs in the shower and the Italian citrus extracts smell wonderfully clean.

    Jack Black Beard Lube

    Jack Black Beard Lube

  • Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave is a great multi-tasker. It’s a pre-shave oil, a shaving cream, and an aftershave all in one.  
Izola Soap Dish

Izola Soap Dish

  • Izola Soap Dish is a wonderful ceramic soap dish with a retro boxing glove illustration. This is fabulous, I love it! Dads will definitely love it too.
The Birchbox Man Everyday Hero box is only available through the end of the day today, so hurry and subscribe for dad now! Birchbox Man will remind him every month that he is loved and appreciated.  – Lisa
*received for editorial consideration

Father’s Day is smooth sailing with Birchbox Man Anchors Aweigh Box

Birchbox Man Anchors Aweigh BoxLooking for a special Father’s Day gift with a little variety?  Consider a gift that keeps giving all year – a Birchbox Man subscription. The cost is $20 a month, which brings the man of the family a personalized box of grooming products every month. There are two special Birchbox Man boxes for June – an “Everyday Hero” box that is only available with a subscription through June 11th (and I hope to have a review up for that one soon), as well as the Anchors Aweigh box that is only available with a subscription through June 9th. I was sent the Anchors Aweigh box to review and my husband gives it a big thumbs up.
Birchbox Man Anchors Aweigh Box

Birchbox Man Anchors Aweigh Box

Birchbox is a subscription service featuring a monthly box of five beauty/grooming/lifestyle items that are selected based on your preferences. The sample sizes allow you to try different brands and products and you can purchase the full sizes of things you fall in love with on the Birchbox site. The Anchors Aweigh box (again, only available with a subscription through June 9th!) has a fun nautical theme with four manly samples and a bracelet that any sea-loving man would be proud to wear.

The salty sea air inspired this special box and samples include some of Birchbox Man’s best-selling items.

Billy Jealousy Ocean Front

Billy Jealousy Ocean Front Body Wash

Billy Jealousy is a great product line name…definitely fun in a manly way! The Ocean Front Body Wash is perfect for the nautical theme and this body wash smells clean and refreshing. This gel soap takes care of skin with vitamin E and ginseng extract.

Parlor Sea Salt Spray

Parlor Sea Salt Spray

The PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray gives your guy beachy hair even if he is hanging at the office all day instead of hanging ten. Sea salt sprays can be drying, but this one gives hair great texture without making it crunchy.

English Laundry Riviera

English Laundry Riviera

If your guy can’t be out on the water, he can still smell like the great outdoors and English Laundry Riviera is a classic cologne that is up for the job. It smells clean thanks to citrus top notes, and the base of pepper and oak moss give it a nice macho twist.

Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen

Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen

Every sailor needs sun protection! One of my favorite sunscreens is Supergoop Everyday SPF 50 with Cellular Response Technology. The broad spectrum formula gives great UV protection that isn’t heavy or greasy.

Sailormade

Sailormade Charger Bracelet

I think the best item in the Anchors Aweigh box is the Sailormade Charger Bracelet.  The bracelet is a classic sailor’s rope and hook. The hook is a scaled down nautical Brummel Hook that is attached to a rugged marine cord. The bracelet adjusts to the size of your wrist and it really looks cool. If the dad in your life loves boats, he will love this bracelet. The retail value of the Sailormade Charger Bracelet is $45, more than double the cost of the box for the month.
The Birchbox Man Anchors Aweigh box is only available until June 9th, so hurry and subscribe for dad now! Birchbox Man will remind him every month that he is loved and appreciated.  – Lisa
*received for editorial consideration

Grooming Lounge is the perfect place for Father’s Day

photo from etsy.com

photo from etsy.com

Father’s Day will be here in a New York minute, so why not get that shopping done now? The Grooming Lounge, an online website dedicated to manly grooming, takes all the work out of ‘dad’ shoppping for you. I count 96 different available brands from ACE for Men to Zwilling, with some pretty intriguing brands in between. Hello, Colonel Conk!  Of course I also had to take a look at Wurkinstiffs, Fresh Balls and Sasquatch Soap Bars. Don’t let the male-centric brand names scare you off – there are some seriously awesome grooming products here for bathing, shaving, and smelling good. This site is definitely worth a perusal.

Grooming Lounge The Shavior and Mug Moisturizer

Grooming Lounge sent two samples to test from their own line:  The Shavoir and Mug Moisturizer. Both are awesome gifts if the dad in your life prefers shaving to the bearded look.

Grooming Lounge The ShaviorGrooming Lounge The Shavior swatch

The Shavior ($24) gets serious props just for having a freaking fabulous name. Beyond that, pretty much everyone who shaves experiences irritation, bumps, and ingrown hairs at some point. This lotion not only does triage for already existing problems, it also helps to prevent further issues. Glycolic acid prevents the buildup that leads to bumps, and the lotion is full of botanicals, antioxidants, moisturizers and even sunscreen. Paraben, oil and sulfate free.

Grooming Lounge Mug MoisturizerGrooming Lounge Mug Moisturizer swatch

The Mug Moisturizer ($25) is something even the most skin care-resistant men will want to use. Men who shave in particular are prone to itchy or flaky skin. This is a light, oil-free moisturizer than has a slight outdoorsy scent. It leaves skin moisturized but not shiny, something my hubby definitely prefers. The terrific ingredients include Apple Fruit Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Chamomile Flower Extract and Sodium Hyaluronate.  Paraben and sulfate-free.

The Grooming Lounge products get a big thumbs up from the men in my life and the website is definitely easy to use and loaded with amazing Father’s Day gift possibilities. Head on over to take a look, even if it’s just to find out who the heck Colonel Conk really is.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration