Pillar of Good Grooming: Ulysses S. Grant

If you’ve ever taken a good look at a $50 bill, you’ve probably thought to yourself: damn, that Ulysses S. Grant is one ruggedly handsome ex-President. Between the full beard, tousled hair, and military jacket, “Lyss” could easily pass as a modern-day Brooklyn barfly. Here, we take a (100% hypothetical) look at how to groom like the legendary Union general.

1. Fear the Beard

Sure, Robert E. Lee rocked a decent face forest, but it paled in comparison to Grant’s intimidating grizzle. His substantial scruff—short on the sides and long on the chin to offset his round face—has a tidiness and sheen that belies its constant presence on the battlefield. While you may not be commandeering a surge on Shiloh anytime soon, you can still maintain a similar luster with the help of Mr. Natty’s Beard Elixir. The gentle formula cleanses without stripping facial hair of natural oils, while the woodsy scent gives it an especially masculine edge.

2. Five-Star Style

Leading the Union Army to victory leaves little time for a grooming routine, but clearly this man knew how to clean up nice for a photo. His hair strikes the perfect balance of wavy side part, too-busy-to-care tousle, and slouch hat hair matted—all without the help of any Instagram filter. For a similarly controlled hold and minimal shine, reach for TOWELDRY’s Paste Styler. The all-natural aide quickly tames unruly locks and is especially effective for guys with thick or coarse hair.

3. Presidential Protection

While Grant’s main shield from the sun was that signature wide-brimmed hat of his, that velvety—and startlingly white—visage only reinforces the importance of UV protection. It doesn’t matter if you spend your afternoons in skirmishes or in sand traps, a little SPF goes a long way. Supergoop!’s SPF 30 Sunstick is perfect for easy applications on quick-to-burn spots like nose, ears, and shoulders.

4. No Time to Shine

It’s hard to hide from the enemy when your forehead is glistening like polished silver. As this photo (or possibly albumen print?) attests, Grant was a matte finish guy all the way. Stuff your own saddlebag (or gym bag) with Protective Matte Moisturizer from ERNEST SUPPLIES and you too can enjoy the many perks of a shine-free façade.

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