The 2011 Esquire Men's Grooming Awards

Esquire

Every year since 2006, I've gone through hundreds of gels, creams, and even talcs — all in search of the best new products for men. Yeah, it fills my shower. But not as much as the idea of helping you fills my heart.

Old Spice Fiji
Photo: Procter & Gamble

Old Spice Fiji

Body spray is a silly thing — an invitation to wear too much cologne. But as a deodorant, Old Spice Fiji is great. The mist seems to come out lighter than most spray deodorants, so application doesn't envelop you in a cough-inducing cloud. And it smells fantastic, like falling asleep in the woods next to a stack of pears, using a dryer sheet for a blanket.

More from
Esquire:

25 Sexy Dating Rules for the Modern Gentleman

The Best New Clothes to Grab Now

Nivea Freeze Wash & Shave Gel
Photo: Beiersdorf

Nivea Freeze Wash & Shave Gel

When I travel, I always forget something. Usually it's my shaving cream. In the past, I've just shaved with conditioner (or, once, olive oil), which works but leaves my skin slightly irritated. Nivea's Freeze Wash & Shave Gel ($5; amazon.com) solves that problem, since it can be used as both a face wash (with invigorating menthol) and a simple shaving cream. As long as I don't forget it, too.

Lab Series Shave Cream
Photo: Lab Series

Lab Series Shave Cream

Lab Series Shave Cream ($22; labseries.com) isn't so much a cream as it is a whip. It comes in a big tub and is the consistency of soft-serve, giving it enough viscosity to stay on your face but not enough to clog your blade.

Art of Shaving Preshave Gel
Photo: Procter & Gamble

Art of Shaving Preshave Gel

Art of Shaving's Preshave Gel ($22; bloomingdales.com) is, as its name might suggest, a gel, not an oil. Which means it's lighter, suitable for more skin types than most preshave oils, and won't feel like you're spreading 10W-30 on your face. Plus, as all good things do, it smells like lavender.

Tigi Catwalk Styling Cream
Photo: TIGI

Tigi Catwalk Styling Cream

If you have short hair, Tigi Catwalk Styling Cream ($17; tigihaircare.com) creates separation and provides shape without the usual stickiness. Plus, it's soft enough to work through longer hair, almost like a grooming cream. Otherwise, in terms of value, there's nothing better than Suave Styling Paste. Although it says it's a matte finish, the oils in it give your hair just the right amount of shine.

Redken Liquid Pomade
Photo: L'Oréal Group

Redken Liquid Pomade

Redken Liquid Pomade ($16; redken.com) is much easier to apply than its Vaseline-like brethren, which makes it perfect for hair that's longer than a few inches. It's not runny or greasy, and it distributes easily and evenly to weigh down your hair and give you the slightest bit of hold.

Kérastase Homme Capital Force
Sculpting Fixing Gel
Photo: L'Oreal

Kérastase Homme Capital Force Sculpting Fixing Gel

If you want that slick gel finish (maybe you're a Baldwin), Kérastase Homme Capital Force Sculpting Fixing Gel ($30; kerastase-usa.com) will give it to you without turning your hair into a flak helmet.

L'Bel Homme Aftershave Lotion
Photo: Belcorp

L'Bel Homme Aftershave Lotion

L'Bel Homme Aftershave Lotion ($20 for 3.4 oz; lbel-usa.com) doesn't have the stickiness that bothers me in a lot of aftershaves. Instead it feels soft and soothing, almost like a regular moisturizer.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
Photo: L'Oréal Group

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

For an everyday moisturizer, I found nothing better than Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream ($25; kiehls.com). It's light — more of a serum than a cream — and sinks instantly into your skin. The only downside that I could find was that it doesn't have a built-in SPF, which, by this point, all moisturizers should. As an alternative, I also recommend Neutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion, which has SPF 20.

Voyage d'Hermès
Photo: The Hermès Group

Voyage d'Hermès

if you can deal with the price tag, Voyage d'Hermès ($60; neimanmarcus.com) will be the best-smelling thing in your shower. Also, it's from Axe, but if you can get over the marketing, the new Cool Metal Shower Gel is quite good. And cheap. It's nice and light, lathers well, and rinses away easily. Plus, it's cooling, which may not actually do much, but feels nice.

Kyoku Fire Body Scrub
Photo:Kyoku for Men

Kyoku Fire Body Scrub

When it comes to body scrubs, I don't like large granules. They're too irritating. Which is why I love Kyoku's Fire Body Scrub ($23; kyokuformen.com). The abrasive bits are large enough to scrub effectively, but small enough that they don't draw blood. And it smells a little like crushed Red Hots, which, for me, is a good thing. If you like harsher scrubs, Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Scrub ($35; aesop.com) is thick and heavy and makes you feel really clean. Or for something very gentle, try Billy Jealousy Salad Days. The name is the only part you won't like.

Sheamoisture Three Butters
Utility Soap
Photo: Sundial Brands LLC,

Sheamoisture Three Butters Utility Soap

I'm not much for bar soap anymore, but the usefulness of something like Sheamoisture's Three Butters Utility Soap ($5; target.com) — which can be used to wash your body and hair, and to shave your face — really impressed me. If nothing else, it's something to toss in your gym bag.

View photo

.
Dr. Lewinn HydraBalance
Foaming Cleanser
Photo: Kinerase

Dr. Lewinn HydraBalance Foaming Cleanser

I have no idea who Dr. Lewinn is, but he makes a great face wash ($10 for 5 oz; walgreens.com). The best I found.

Prada Amber Pour Homme Intense
Photo: Prada

Prada Amber Pour Homme Intense

I test every cologne against my all-time favorite, Creed Silver Mountain Water. It smells the way Swiss people must after they spend a weekend in the forest. The only new cologne that challenged it was Prada Amber Pour Homme Intense ($75; bloomingdales.com), with a spicy bite that makes it perfect for special occasions. Great bottle, and compared with what you'll pay for Creed, quite a deal.

More from Esquire:

75 Movies Every Man Should See

What to Wear to Work

75 Things to Do Before You Die

Important Things Men Don't Know About Women

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • 'Put up the picture again': Chris Wallace uses photos to confront Trump chief of staff over false crowd-size claims

      Fox News anchor Chris Wallace confronted White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday over...

      Business Insider
    • 40-year-old Florida woman accused of sex with teens at her child’s party

      A Florida woman accused of having sex with teenagers is facing additional charges in connection with the same incident. A total of five victims have now been identified, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. Three of them are 16-year-old boys. Jaimie Ayer, 40, was charged with an additional four counts of unlawful sexual activity. The sheriff’s office announced Thursday she was originally charged with three counts of unlawful sexual activity of certain minors. At that time, officials determined there were two victims, 16- and 17-year-old males. All seven counts stem from an incident on Dec. 23 in which the Bradenton woman allegedly was giving alcohol and having sex with minors at

      Miami Herald q
    • Stephen Hawking warned us about contacting aliens, but this astronomer says it's 'too late'

      In 2010, physicist Stephen Hawking voiced concern about the possibility that we might contact...

      Business Insider
    • Man Killed Trying to Stop Robbery at San Antonio Mall; 5 Others Injured

      A man was shot and killed in Texas while trying to stop a robbery at a mall jewelry store on Sunday afternoon. According to San Antonio police, two armed men robbed Kay Jewelers in San Antonio’s Rolling Oaks Mall. According to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, a second man pulled out his licensed concealed weapon and shot one of the suspects.

      People
    • Carrie Fisher was all over the Women’s March, and Mark Hamill’s response has us in tears

      On Saturday, January 21st, millions of concerned citizens gathered in solidarity for the Women’s March on Washington … and New York, Los…

      Hello Giggles
    • Wynonna Judd Reacts to Ashley Judd's Women's March Speech

      Wynonna Judd usually uses social media to share news, bits of wisdom and faith, or to have discussions with her fans, but she found herself in a very different position on Saturday (Jan. 21). After her sister, Ashley Judd, took the stage at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., to deliver an impassioned speech denouncing President Donald Trump, Wynonna turned to Twitter to explain her own position at length. Ashley Judd’s speech was one of the most talked-about moments of the day-long march, which according to multiple media reports drew more people to Washington to protest the election of President Trump than his inauguration drew the day before (Trump called those reports “dishonest” during

      Taste of Country q
    • Criminals can’t wait to be arrested by this sexy cop

      Talk about New York’s Finest. Samantha Sepulveda is a local police officer who doubles as a lingerie and swimsuit model — and her sexy poses have garnered more than 110,000 followers on her @sammysep Instagram page. Sepulveda, 32, is only 5-foot-2 but deceptively tough. She’s a fitness fanatic who wields her femininity more effectively than a firearm. “I talk men into handcuffs all the time because they don’t want to fight me,” she told The Post. She joined the force in 2010. About three years later, a friend who worked for a lingerie and swimsuit company invited her to model in a runway fashion show — and launched her new career. Sepulveda refused to name her police department to avoid any notoriety,

      New York Post q
    • That didn't take long: Trump's press secretary is already a meme

      We're one day into the Trump presidency and the memes are already flying. President Donald Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave a press conference Saturday in which he complained about the media's "false" reporting of crowd numbers at the inauguration.  Although he admitted to not having any, you know, hard figures, he declared:  "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe." SEE ALSO: All the best protest signs from Women's Marches across America In so many ways, he was just plain wrong. Pictures from President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009 show many more people on the mall than on Saturday, and D.C.'s transport agency told the Washington Post that 570,557 people took trips Friday compared to 1.1 million trips in 2009. Nielsen also estimated that about 31 million viewers watched TV coverage of the day —  less than Obama and Ronald Reagan's first inaugurations. Not to mention, Spicer claimed that Trump's inauguration was the first time "floor coverings" had been used to protect grass on the National Mall, making empty space more obvious. He was also wrong: Tarps have been used before. Now people on the internet have suggestions for some other "yuge" inaccurate facts Spicer could share next. Of course, there's already the inevitable Twitter account @SeanSpicerFacts as well as the #SpicerFacts hashtag. Guess the number of jelly beans.Me: 87Wife: 134Sean Spicer: 1.5 million #spicerfacts pic.twitter.com/dq7MmhgG3H — Mark Zohar (@markzohar) January 22, 2017 Donald Trump was the first person to walk on the moon, despite what the dishonest media claims. #SpicerFacts — Sean Spicer Facts (@SeanSpicerFacts) January 22, 2017 A picture of the press secretary mid-briefing proved the meme's most popular incarnation. Did you know, for example, that "you're free to leave the Hotel California whenever you'd like?" Or, perhaps, that "Nickleback has sold more records than any band in history. Period?" Well, now you know thanks to #SpicerFacts. "You're free to leave the Hotel California whenever you'd like." #SpicerFacts pic.twitter.com/hce2BSTjtH — Brian (@briblu311) January 22, 2017 Nickleback has sold more records than any other band in history. Period. — Sean Spicer pic.twitter.com/4l3Hbx9cLK — Bob (@bstephen) January 22, 2017 "The bass lines for 'Ice Ice Baby' and 'Under Pressure' are completely different. Period." #SpicerFacts pic.twitter.com/Sg4uY3OHgA — Erik The Web (@torgospizza) January 22, 2017 #SpicerFacts This is not my fathers suit, Period. pic.twitter.com/DiBC8dzWJN — Trump's tweet Editor (@Spyhuntress) January 22, 2017 "Kelis' milkshake brought NO boys to the yard, period" - @PressSec pic.twitter.com/XWg7gHY6rX — colton dunn (@captdope) January 22, 2017 Well you see, Egypt is not in Africa. That's why movies and TV have white actors playing Egyptians. #SpicerFacts pic.twitter.com/EZxlkal03u — Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) January 22, 2017 "Suicide Squad was the most critically acclaimed movie of 2016. Period." #SpicerFacts pic.twitter.com/wvjrmH8mfj — Film School Rejects (@rejectnation) January 22, 2017 "The Earth is flat. Period." #spicerfacts pic.twitter.com/BCN5Gg5OJN — Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 22, 2017 “The Warriors did not blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals last year.” #SpicerFacts pic.twitter.com/Fc3AVrsSEE — Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) January 22, 2017 The groundhog is the most accurate predictor of weather in history. Period #SpicerFacts pic.twitter.com/QyEOOvn8DX — Chaco (@Chaco_Chicken) January 22, 2017 The Associated Press contributed reporting. BONUS: Trump's 2017 vs Obama's 2009: A brutal inaugural concert comparison

      Mashable
    • 10 Cars That Can Take You to 300,000 Miles

      Some of the most durable cars are also ones owners keep longer than a decade. Here are 10 vehicles with the chops to hit 300,000 miles and keep going.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Kellyanne Conway Defends White House’s Falsehoods as ‘Alternative Facts’

      Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Conway staunchly defended Spicer, and said his untrue statements were “alternative facts.” When asked by host Chuck Todd why Spicer used his first appearance in front of the press to proclaim falsehoods, Conway said Todd was being “overly dramatic” about the statement. “You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving- Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that,” she said.

      People
    • 10 Facts About Charles Manson's Imprisonment That Will Disgust You

      Infamous convicted murderer Charles Manson has spent nearly five decades imprisoned since his death sentence in 1971 was commuted to life. Suffice it to say that his peculiar behavior behind bars is far from that of a model prisoner. The following 10 facts take a glimpse into the life of a caged madman as well as the bizarre fan base his lunacy attracts. 10 A Disturbing Fan Base Despite the fact that Manson undoubtedly has had a lot of “alone” time—over four decades locked away in protective custody in a California state prison—he receives plenty of fan mail to keep him occupied as well as continuous meet-and-greet requests. In fact, Manson has received more mail than any other prisoner in the

      Listverse q
    • Seven mutilated bodies found in Mexican tourist port: official

      Seven headless, mutilated bodies have been found in a taxi abandoned near the seaside resort of Manzanillo in western Mexico, apparent victims of the country's epidemic of drug violence, local officials said Sunday. "They were mutilated, apparently decapitated, and one of the victims was a woman," the port city's police chief Carlos Heredia told AFP. The past six months have seen an increase in killings linked to disputes within the Jalisco cartel, police records show.

      AFP
    • Chen lands 5 quads to win US figure skating title with ease

      KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Nathan Chen stood on the top step of the podium and stifled a smile as U.S. Figure Skating president Samuel Auxier, preparing to drape a gold medal around his neck, bowed down before him.

      Associated Press
    • More Amazing Photos You Missed From the Women's March in Washington, D.C. (70 photos)

      On Saturday, women, men, children, and even pets , from all walks of life, on all seven continents ( yes, including Antartica ) joined together in solidarity for the Women’s March. While the marches took place in cities worldwide, Washington, D.C. was the epicenter for the movement, where hundreds of thousands descended upon the city in attempts to stand up not only for women’s rights, but for human rights, and to send a message that climate change is real, and it is up to us to stop it. High estimates for D.C.’s march state up to 680,000 people rallied on the streets of the nation’s capital. The crowds were reportedly so large , that folks couldn’t use the original protest route, and instead they clustered in the streets, marching to the White House, dispersing through the capital, a sea of pink cat-eared hats and picket signs. No arrests were made . It signifies that, even though many say the country is divided, there is still clearly a lot of unity still in the land. Click through the slideshow above to see some of the sights from the demonstration. Related: Princess Leia and Wonder Woman Emerge as Icons in Women's Anti-Trump Marches Pink Pussy Hats Unite Millions at Women's Marches Around the World Follow us on Instagram , Facebook , and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.  

      Yahoo Style
    • Carly Fiorina reacts to the Women's March on Washington

      Former presidential candidate suggests on 'Sunday Morning Futures' that demonstrators give the new president time

      Fox Business Videos
    • Hungry? McDonald’s has two new types of Big Macs that will make your mouth water

      If you know your McDonald’s history, you know the Big Mac was invented by franchisee owner Jim Delligatti back in 1967. Up…

      Hello Giggles
    • I attended the Women’s March on Washington, and discovered it was about much more than gender equality

      WASHINGTON — On January 21, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, I attended the...

      Business Insider
    • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wedding 'on the cards' says her gun-toting half-brother

      The tearaway half-brother of Meghan Markle has begged for forgiveness ahead of her potential royal marriage to Prince Harry, and says he would "love" to attend the wedding. Tom Markle Jr, 50, grew up with Meghan in California, but the two have since taken very different life paths. While Meghan, 35, enjoys considerable success as Rachel Zane in US legal drama Suits, Tom has found himself on the wrong side of the law.

      International Business Times UK q
    • CNN Declines to Air White House Press Conference Live

      CNN this evening declined to air live a press conference with the nation’s new White House Press Secretary, pointing to a growing rift between the embryonic Trump administration and the press corps that covers it and undermining the credibility of Sean Spicer, a longtime Republican operative who has become the new spokesman for President Donald... Read more »

      Variety
    • AT&T is losing cellphone customers, fast

      AT&T is steaming ahead at full speed with its plan to merge with media company Time Warner. That's probably a good thing for the company's bottom line, as the wireless business is losing customers at speed. According to an analyst note from Cowen and Company Equity Research, seen by  Fierce Wireless , AT&T is leading other carriers in customers departing every quarter. "“When asking postpaid subscribers that have been with their carrier (less than) two years which carrier did they previously have, the top answer for current Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon respondents was ‘previously AT&T,’ whereas in previous surveys it’s been more mixed," the note reportedly said. That makes sense when you look at AT&T's numbers. The company lost 268,000 subscribers during Q3 2016, and a Wells Fargo analyst predicted  that the company lost another 220,000 in the fourth quarter. AT&T claims the subscriber losses are due to a new, more focused retentions system, whereby they focus more on lucrative customers, and allow those on cheaper plans to defect to other cell carriers. That's what you'd expect a company that's slowly fading to say, but it does also make a small amount of sense given AT&T's recent direction. It's focusing more on high-value customers who buy cable, TV and wireless service in a bundle, or those who at least subscribe to DirecTV Now. The strategy adopted by T-Mobile , which is probably stealing most of AT&T's customers, is nearly the complete opposite. For T-Mobile, it's all about selling the single semi-unlimited data plan it now offers and getting multiple lines onto one account. Time is going to tell which strategy ultimately makes more money, but history is more in favor of T-Mobile's direction here. The economics of wireless leans in favor of the more customers, the better. The additional cost of letting one more customer use your giant national infrastructure is low, so the more customers you have, the easier it is to grow your network -- and the data shows that the one thing people really care about is good service.

      BGR News