It’s that time of year again (ok, so I’m probably a week late). But it’s time to take a look at the past year and see what the best men’s grooming products of 2016 were. I know 2016 was a year most people want to forget, but there were some good things too. Today I want to take a look at what some of those were. So, without further ado…
Best Skincare System - Penhaligon’s No. 33
From fragrance to results this skincare regimen has it all. I’ve seen a great improvement in my skin using this set, with a reduction in both blemishes and dry patches. One of the aspects I really love is the combination of citric, glycolic, and salicylic acids in the face wash. Each of these acids performs a different function, and having them all in one face wash really delivers.
Best Natural Skincare System - Beau Brummell for Men
I tried several charcoal-based cleansing kits this year. Beau Brummell blew the others away handily. I usually find charcoal cleansers to be too mild, but Beau Brummell’s cleanser was strong enough to tackle my oily skin. The real star of the line up is the face scrub, which is one of my favorite face scrubs ever.
Best Fragrance House - Carthusia
It’s not too often that samples “wow” me, but I received a few samples from Carthusia this past year, and I was amazed by how much I loved them. I especially enjoyed the Corallium EDP. These are traditional, Italian fragrances with strong longevity. Additionally (and surprisingly), this is not an incredibly well known fragrance house; so, I find the originality and uniqueness of the fragrances quite appealing too. Sometimes it’s nice to wear something that different from everyone else.
Best Razor Blade - Kai
I know blade performance varies from person to person. YMMV is real. However, these blades are so good, I’m confident in recommending them. They consistently outperform any other blades I’ve used. I ran out for a while and switched over to a few other blades, good blades. But I soon as I got my Kai’s back I immediately noticed a difference. My shaves are closer and smoother using these blades. Plus I have found that one blade will last me all week, saving me money.
Best Shaving Brush - Razorock Plissoft Monster
There is no question about this one. The Razorock Plissoft Monster is the best brush I used this year. I use this brush more than any other I have. Take a second and check Instagram. You will see this brush a lot. It’s great for both shaving soaps and shaving creams. It holds a ton of lather. It is easy to use making it great for beginners. And the price is excellent. It’s a quadruple-threat.
Best Shaving Soap - Barrister & Mann Leviathan
I didn’t get to write a full review of this soap yet. I plan on doing that as we approach the release date for the next release this coming fall. But I just had to include it in this year’s awards post. With notes of coffee and leather, I love pairing this soap with L’Instant de Guerlain EDT. Barrister & Mann recommends pairing it with Acca Kappa's Black Pepper and Sandalwood. Additionally, the top-notch performance is exactly what you would expect from B&M. This shaving soap has everything I could want in a soap: performance, fragrance, slickness, and comfort.
Best Shaving Cream - Floris No. 89
Just like this year’s shaving soap winner, I love the fragrance of the Floris No. 89 EDT. Now the Floris shaving soap wasn’t in consideration this year, but the shaving cream is outstanding. It’s as slick as a shaving soap AND as cushioning as a shaving cream. Oh, and Floris No. 89 is the original fragrance of James Bond, just FYI.
Best Aftershave Splash - Fine Accoutrements L’Orange Noir
I love this aftershave for three reasons. First, the simplicity of ingredients; just alcohol, water, fragrance, and menthol. Second, the strength of the fragrance is spot on for me. And third, the strength of the menthol is perfect. This aftershave leaves my skin toned and refreshed every time.
Best Aftershave Balm - Truefitt & Hill Grafton
Truefitt & Hill makes some of the best aftershave balms available. Their lightweight, but incredibly nourishing. The Grafton aftershave balm especially stands out for me because of its fragrance. (Ya, I know I’ve talked a lot about fragrance this post.) Grafton is green, woodsy, and leathery making it a perfect all-year fragrance.