I Upgraded My Dad's Grooming Products For Father's Day

It's time my dad was introduced to moisturizer. And face wash. And eye cream. And...
Publish date:
June 11, 2014
clinique, lush, gifts, bath bombs, gift sets, colognes, Kiehl's

My dad and I were extremely close when I was young. He shared my love of books, he took me to get my first pair of hearing aids (a special moment in every girl’s life, right?), and he passed his dry, sarcastic sense of humor on to me.

Unfortunately, when I hit my teen years and he got stricter about things like boys and curfews, I ended up wielding that biting sarcasm against him. We’re past that rocky phase now, thankfully, but I still feel sad that we’re not as close as we once were.

I’ve been trying to rectify that by involving him in my life. He’s obviously flummoxed by my sudden decision to go from writing poetry to writing about makeup and clothes (especially since I was such a tomboy up until college), but he still expressed an interest in xoVain.

“Do a lot of people read it?” he asked, dubiously. I laughed and showed him this tweet by Anne-Marie. I think it would have impressed him if he cared about Vogue. Then I asked him if he had any ideas for articles that I could write. “Write about acid in lipstick,” he suggested. Um, okay, Dad. I’ll look into that. He also thinks women put lipstick on halfway--not the top lip and then the bottom lip, but each side of the mouth first.

So the man obviously isn’t super into beauty, but Father’s Day is coming up and I wanted to get him something other than the usual box of honey-roasted cashews. (I end up eating most of them anyway.)

I’m not sure that my dad has much of a grooming routine, other than showering and shaving with whatever’s handy, so I figured I would try to upgrade his products to something that involves a little more pampering. I offered him some early Father’s Day gifts from three of my favorite brands: Lush, Clinique, and Kiehl’s. I asked him for his honest opinion, and I'm hoping that if you're still looking for some Father's Day gifts, this loose "gift guide" of sorts will help you out!

Lush has become my new favorite place to find gifts for people. I can always find a few things in my price range, and they have something for everyone: men and women, as well as every skin type. For some reason nobody I know IRL is aware of Lush’s existence (maybe because we live in the middle of nowhere) so they’re always mildly skeptical at first. “...Lush?” is usually the first response. Then they quickly fall in love.

Take their Dirty line, for example. My boyfriend had been looking for a new hair product for ages when I finally decided to order Lush’s Dirty Hair Creme for him. He liked the scent right away--their Dirty fragrance is manly in a clean, minty way--but wasn’t convinced he would like the hair creme. He’s picky about what he uses in his hair. Fast forward to a few weeks later and he couldn’t live without it for two days. (I "accidentally" took it to my place. What? I love using it, too.)

Needless to say, we each have our own pot of Dirty Hair Creme now--and so does my dad. We all have different types and length of hair, and it works great on all of us. Between him, my boyfriend, and myself, I’m going to have to buy a lot of Lush’s Dirty Hair Creme, because they refuse to buy it for themselves. Men. Luckily, a tiny bit goes a long way and you get a ton of product in the jar.

I also had my dad try the cologne and body spray from the Dirty line, since I knew he’d like the scent enough to want to coat himself with it. It’s impossible not to. He preferred the cologne to the body spray, as I expected. They both smell pretty much the same, but the little cologne bottle doesn’t take up much space in his small medicine cabinet.

Another reason why I go straight to Lush for gifts is because they have some amazing gift packages. I’m hopeless at wrapping paper and bow-tying, so it’s great that they do all the work for you.

I chose the Lush Relax More Gift because it was affordable, came with a jar of lotion and a massage bar, and, if I’m being honest, I knew I could steal the included bath bombs for myself since my dad will never ever use fizzy bath bombs. I’m only human, okay?

This gift box included the lavender-infused Golden Slumbers Bath Bomb (the biggest one), the vanilla Butterball Bath Bomb, and A French Kiss Bubble Bar (the purple one that actually has a sprig of lavender).

When my dad opened up the Lush gift box, he got extremely excited about the packing peanuts (“They look like cheese curls! ...And they SMELL like cheese curls! Smell it!”) and then a little confused by the contents under all the foam.

Once I explained the products and he tried some of the Dream Cream out on his hands, he nodded appreciatively and said, “Nice. Very nice.” High praise from my dad. After some prompting, he said he specifically liked that it didn’t feel greasy (this stuff does absorb very quickly) and that it didn’t have a strong scent.

My dad might actually have some eczema, and Dream Cream is supposed to help with that a lot. I knew the Dream Cream, in addition to the included Dreamtime Bath Melt and Therapy Massage Bar pictured below would be great for him because they’re all so rich and creamy. Even if he doesn’t have eczema, he does have extremely dry skin. Thanks for that by the way, Dad.

So I was really happy to introduce my dad to Lush’s Dirty line and their bath products, but he still needed an upgrade on essential items like shaving cream and face wash. I decided to turn to two of my other favorite brands that I knew my dad would love just as much as I do: Clinique and Kiehl’s. They each sent a few of their best products from their men’s lines for my dad to try out.

Clinique sent five items from their For Men line: Clinique Happy For Men Cologne, Face Wash, Cream Shave shaving cream, Anti-Age Moisturizer, and Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel. The eye gel was particularly handy since my dad has always had serious dark circles under his eyes.

Out of all of these, my dad said he liked the cologne and moisturizer the best. I’m not surprised he was into the moisturizer because, like I said, he has the driest skin ever but I’ve never seen him use anything for it at all. It was probably eureka moment for him, like, Oh, I can rub this on my face and it won’t be so dry. Huh!

And when he said he liked the Happy cologne (he described it as a light, spring-y scent that would be good for summer), I practically dropped to my knees and thanked the Clinique gods. He usually only wears straight-up patchouli. And I loathe patchouli. Apologies to any patchouli lovers out there.

Kiehl's offered up their Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash, Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men with SPF 15, Eye Alert, and Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream White Eagle. So many words, phew.

My dad particularly liked the Kiehl’s Eye Cream, because although he’s skeptical of eye cream's efficacy for dark circles (as am I) he said this one smelled good and felt nice. He also loved the shaving cream and face wash. Even after using a crummy old razor, the shaving cream left his skin soft and free of irritation.

Since he’s not really one to bother with a lot of grooming products, I wasn’t sure if he’d be into this whole regimen. After he tried everything, though, he requested that I replenish his favorites every Father’s Day from now on.

He also requested beer. When did dads get so greedy?

I’m curious, what are you giving the dad(s) in your life this Father’s Day? Sometimes just spending time with you is all they want--and you can do that while testing beauty products together! I recommend it; it’s a surprisingly good time. Now I’m off to ask my dad exactly how he thinks mascara should be applied.

All photos by Joshua Kirby