If you’re never quite sure whether the ads for popular beauty products can be believed, relax. Our 4you Beauty Board for men is made up of veteran testers ready to try the latest when it comes to all things beauty. We’ll share what worked and what bombed with the hope of making life a little easier for you.
Clinique for Men Face Wash, Anti-Age Moisturizer
Available at major department stores and online at clinique.com; face wash is about $18 for a 6.7-ounce tube, moisturizer is about $36 for a 3.4-ounce tube
Face wash: “Leaves skin feeling fresh, comfortable, never tight or dry.’’
Moisturizer: “All-day hydrator combats lines, wrinkles, dullness for a younger, revitalized look.’’
Rating: B for both
Ken says: This face wash is fragrance-free and doesn’t lather up much. It leaves my skin feeling clean and soft without the irritation caused by heavy perfumes — a good find for allergy sufferers. The instructions say prep your face for shaving with this wash. I personally like to wash after the shave to get the shaving cream off, but I won’t quibble over work flow. I would use this product again, but I think the results could be duplicated by other widely available and less expensive products.
I’m not sure there are many products that can live up to the hype of defying the aging process, but there are many things to like about this moisturizer. It really does absorb quickly. You don’t have to worry about walking into work looking like you just prepped your face for lifeguard duty. It’s fragrance-free, doesn’t irritate and leaves your skin feeling softer. It didn’t make me look 10 years younger, but my skin feels healthier when I use it.
Ken Koehn, 51, is managing editor of The Tampa Tribune
Clinique for Men Exfoliating Tonic, Non-Streak Bronzer
Available at Macy’s, Dillards, Nieman Marcus, Sephora and Ulta; tonic costs $13 for 6.7 ounces, bronzer is $19 for 2 ounces
Rating: B for the tonic and B- for the bronzer
Tonic: “De-flakes and smooths skin’s surface to reveal clearer skin, prep for shave.”
Bronzer: “Produces a natural-looking glow that lasts through rain or swim.”
Christopher says: I have to admit I was a little reluctant about putting something on my face that’s flammable (until dry, according to the label). The tonic also has an unpleasant smell that is best described as, well, flammable. But it did work as advertised. My face felt really clean and smooth, and my fiance, who didn’t know I’d started using it, complimented my clear skin. One important thing to remember: Use moisturizer with this product, as the label says. I missed that part the first time I read it, and my face got really dry until I added a moisturizer into the mix a few days later.
Up to this point, my only experience with bronzer was completely ironic. I wore it as a joke one year on Halloween when I dressed as a one of the unnaturally orange-skinned characters from “The Jersey Shore.” That’s what I expected this one to do, but the color was actually very natural, as long as I didn’t use too much. I liked how it looked, although I have to say it didn’t feel great on my skin if I was outside and started to sweat, and once some rubbed off on a shirt collar.
Christopher Spata, 30, is a producer for TBO.com.
Clinique for Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel
Available at Macy’s, Sephora and other retailers; $28 for .5 ounces
“Rough night? No one will ever know: Cooling roll-on gel instantly revitalizes, hydrates, brightens tired-looking eyes. Combats puffiness, dark circles. Absorbs quickly.”
“Instantly cools and revitalizes tired-looking eyes,” coos the pitch line. Well, maybe a little. But an ice cube does this better and it’s free.
Now, it does come in a lithe glass tube indented for finger gripping. And you can’t carry an ice cube around in your purse — er, backpack.
But really, neither one does you much good.
It’s not like it’s Visine; it says right there on the directions to roll this stuff on UNDER your tired-looking eyes. Then what?
Nothing as far as I can tell. It makes no claims to moisten, soften or tighten any baggy skin down there.
It’s not sticky or yucky, not even really a “gel,” and that’s good. But it isn’t relaxing or stimulating, either. “Revitalizes” must be in the eye of the beholder.
The only sensation I get is plain old wet.
Dennis Joyce, 56, is the Metro editor at The Tampa Tribune.
Clinique for Men Face Scrub, Moisturizing Lotion
Macy’s, Nordstrom and other retail stores, and online at clinique.com; face scrub is $20 for 3.4 ounces, moisturizing lotion is $26 for 3.4 ounces
Face scrub: “Revives and smoothes skin by removing dead flakes, buildups of oil.”
Moisturizing lotion: “... All-day moisture plus skin-strengthening ingredients for a fresh, healthy look.”
Rating: A for both products
Julio says: I knew I had a quality product when my wife asked to take a look at the bottles when I walked in the door. After scanning the ingredients, she declared, “No parabens,” which apparently are harmful chemicals that you don’t want touching your skin, yet are contained in many beauty products.
The face scrub is not really a soap, in that it doesn’t make suds. That’s a downside for someone with a beard that needs some sort of lather.
However, this is an exfoliant like none I have used. Many face soaps contain micro-beads or other particles that claim to do one thing or another but don’t have much scrubbing quality. This one feels like you’re washing your face with 100-grit sandpaper. You can feel it working and see it too — if you rub too hard, your face and neck will turn red. It’s not painful, though, unless you open your eyes while it’s still on your face.
I read somewhere that men can slow the aging process by applying lotion to their faces. I’m not sure if Clinique’s moisturizing lotion has that Fountain of Youth quality, but it felt a lot cleaner and less greasy than putting Gold Bond on my face. Despite having the appearance and consistency of soft butter, it is quickly absorbed by the skin and does not leave your face looking or feeling oily.
After a few weeks of using these products, I did notice fewer blemishes and smoother skin. If I could afford $46 a month for facial care, I would buy them again.
Julio Ochoa, 41, is the editor of Hernando Today.