Men’s grooming is needlessly complicated.
But over the past seven years, Birchbox has made the buying of soaps, moisturizers and hair products a whole lot easier via excellent curation and a knowledgeable staff (plus subscription boxes and plenty of samples).
Now add the wisdom of crowds.
The retailer just announced the winners of its Annual Grooming Awards, aka the Oscars (well, People’s Choice Awards) of face and skincare, as voted on by thousands of customers.
Below, we take a first look at the winners and call on some of the site’s actual reviewers to help give you brief explanation of each. And if you’re interested in testing something out, Birchbox is currently offering a 20% discount on all of it (prices shown reflect discount and a bit of rounding...use the code AWARD at checkout).
Beard Best Friend: Billy Jealousy Beard Wash
What it is: Green tate extract, soy protein, aloe and honey to keep your beard detangled and lush. As Birchbox Men's Grooming + Lifestyle Merchant Madeline Korosec tells us, "Not everyone who has a beard uses a dedicated beard wash, but they definitely should be. Unlike typical shampoos that may dry out the skin underneath the beard, this beard wash contains plant-based ingredients to keep the beard clean and prevent dry, flaky skin."
Reviews say: “I have been a bearded fella for many moons now. Of course I have sampled many oils, washes, and other such items pertaining to my facial bush. This is one the better scented and lathering ones I have encountered.” — Jam Master James
Best Product I Wish I'd Been Using: Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Face Wash
What it does: Eliminates oily skin and late-day shine on your pretty mug.
Reviews say: “I get sent a lot of face wash in my boxes and this was probably my favorite. That being said, I hope they won’t send me as many face washes just because I left this review. Starting to feel like I joined face wash club.” - Anonymous
Number One Shower Go-To: Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap
What it does: The “Jack Bauer of bar soaps” will exfoliate your dry, dead skin by sloughing it away with gritty oat bran and kernels.
Reviews say: “I love this soap! I'm a mechanic and it strips the grease without making me feel like i took off a layer of skin. Smells great and lasted 3 times as long as a normal store bought soap.” — Adam
Smoothest Shave: Harry’s Shave Cream
What it is: Who knew ingredients like licorice, cucumber and peppermint could offer such a smooth shave?
Reviews say: “First, for the price, you can't beat this product. I'm bald so I've got a lot of real-estate to shave and I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect shaving cream. This shave cream leaves me feeling clean and comfortable and has a nice fragrance.” — Kenneth
Grooming Routine Time Saver: Kiehl’s Body Fuel All in One Wash for Hair and Body
What it is: A caffeinated all-over wash full of Vitamins C and E, along with a cooling menthol.
Reviews say: “I REALLY enjoy the way this feels and smells! It reminds me of a Christmas tree lot, candy canes, and clean snowy air. The gentle tingle and cooling effect totally adds to it too.” — Daniel James
Best Way to Tame the Mane: Hanz de Fuko Claymation
What it does: Holds like a wax, finishes like a clay, work for pretty much any hairstyle.
Reviews say: “Gives amazing hold, without feeling heavy or funky.” — Anonymous
Closest Thing to a Time Machine: Kiehl’s Age Defender Moisturizer
What it does: It’ll firm, lift and de-wrinkle your skin, basically de-ageing you with each application. As Luke Harrison, Birchbox’s Director of Marketing, tell us, "I love that it works as a multitasker functioning as a moisturizer that includes anti-aging properties. A pro tip is that you can use it as an under-eye cream too."
Reviews say: “I love this moisturizer. Keeps skin hydrated for a full day, even in cold/windy weather. Works well as an after-shave hydrator too.” — bjomino
BUY IT HERE: $32 (note: currently out of stock)
My Can't-Stop, Won't Stop Cologne: English Laundry Oxford Bleu
What it is: Hints of lemon, mint, iris, geranium, sandalwood and vanilla to lend you a little olfactory flair.
Reviews say: “The best thing is that I DO NOT smell like someone sprayed me down with Axe. This is a cologne for a man.” — Dell