When you’re perfecting the art of mixing and matching, a little wisdom can go a long way. That’s why this month’s “Mix and Match” box was packed with juicy insights, from savvy style tips to groundbreaking products you won’t find anywhere else. For your enjoyment and edification, here are 10 things we learned on our March sample test drive.
For years, our Groupon emails have been stacked with deals for professional teeth whitening, and while we could always use a few shades of improvement, a $300 treatment seemed a little excessive. After trying the three-step regimen from Luster Premium White, we’re glad we saved our dough: The system showed visible results in just a few days, without the painful sensitivity—or cost—of in-office bleaching.
Whether you’re watching Sherlock, True Detective, or Jaguar’s dastardly Superbowl ad, 2014 is shaping up to be the year of the villain—and we couldn’t be more delighted. This month’s sampled necktie from Nick Graham fit the theme to a tee, bringing some much-needed irreverence to the world of printed neckwear. Expect us to rock it with a jet-black suit, in the front seat of a car that goes very, very fast.
Before we received this month’s box, the word “rollerball” called to mind a ballpoint pen… and little else. The Solution2 Rollerball from MiN New York changed all that, repurposing the tech in the form of a roll-on applicator. The precision tip helps to ensure even coverage, and makes it easy to target areas that are irritated or nicked—a major plus for this antiseptic, anti-inflammatory formula.
Okay, so we might be getting ahead of ourselves, but the 1-2-punch aroma in Essentiel Elements Body Lotion really has us hooked. While most fresh scents are light and fruity, this pairing channels the deep, subtle tones of a Mediterranean herb garden. Crisp notes of mint lead to a warm base of rosemary, for a complex combo that can perk you up in the morning, or calm you down after a long day at work.
This month’s lineup was stacked with samples from Baxter of California, including a solid Shaving Trio. While the shave cream and aftershave were both expected, the set also featured the brand’s Facial Scrub—a reminder that every good shave starts with a proper face wash. Exfoliating removes grime that would otherwise be crammed into follicles, causing razor bumps, irritation, and even full-fledge breakouts. Good call, Baxter. Good call.
When we imagine a v-neck tee, we often picture a muscular, well-waxed juicehead who’s straining to make the most of his pecs. Maybe we’re stereotyping. Maybe we’re jealous. Whichever it is, this month’s t-shirt from MeUndies broke the spell, proving that any guy, with any build, can rock a classic V. The key is the depth of the collar—MeUndies keeps its V quite high, diverging from a crewneck tee without exposing too much chest.
While Campfire Cologne pioneered the notion of experiential fragrance (yeah, we’re calling it that), this month’s Clean Shower Fresh followed up with a lot more versatility. The citrusy cologne captures the scent of a crisp morning shower, letting you retain its calming effect well into the day. After 90 minutes crammed in a sweaty subway car, the benefits cannot be oversold.
English Laundry’s deodorant may put fragrance at the forefront, but our attention turned to another important feature: its aluminum-free formula. For the uninitiated, aluminium chlorohydrate is an active ingredient in many antiperspirants, and it's also been linked to several side effects, from crusty t-shirt stains to (allegedly) Alzheimer’s and even cancer. English Laundry swaps out this ingredient for natural glycerin and castor oil, which are equally effective and far less risky.
Ever since Neolithic man first binged on fermented barley, we’ve sought out a cure for the head-splitting hangover. Past remedies have ranged from “more beer” to the hardboiled Prairie Oyster—a cocktail consisting of raw egg, salt, pepper, Worcester sauce, and a hearty dash of Tobasco. While none of these remedies actually worked (big surprise), Drinkwel seems to have cracked the code, combining 30 vitamins and minerals that support a healthy liver, and help it break down alcohol for a better morning-after.
Every man’s wardrobe should include a basic shoe horn, and with plastic freebies included in many high-end shoe boxes, a basic model isn’t terribly hard to acquire. However, like any classic accessory, a shoe horn is more than just a tool—it’s a way to rep your personal aesthetic, and this month's colorful leather numbers really hammered the point home. With a sturdy leather strap and five colors to choose from, this is one tool you won’t want to stick in a drawer.
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Copywriter, cold brew advocate, purveyor of handcrafted birthday haikus since 2009.