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Most of us have caught a boyfriend, husband, or Bumble fling digging through our bathroom drawers in search of some deodorant, mouthwash, and maybe even an eye cream or moisturizer after a sleepover. On the flip side, if you’ve ever found yourself scrambling for a quick beauty fix after spending the night at a guy’s house without your trusted beauty bag in tow, we’re here to assure you, you’re not completely out of luck if you need to look presentable at your 9 am meeting next time this scenario arises. There are plenty of unisex beauty products out there these days, but in my experience, the branding for these products lends itself more to a female connoisseur, and the likelihood of discovering one of these such items in a man’s bathroom is highly unlikely. However, you’d be surprised at how many traditional “men’s grooming” products are not only comparable alternatives to some of our favorite skincare staples, but some are actually so good that they not only work in a pinch, but they just may leave you wanting to purchase your own.
For instance, my ambiguously defined S.O. has an unexpectedly impressive collection of luxe grooming products in his lineup which, in some cases, make my admittedly sizable beauty closet look not only cluttered (which, it is) but also low-end. Of course, being an editor, I would notice such a curated collection, but others may not think twice about the potential of these unassuming men’s products. He’s got a couple of bottles of fancy Aesop hand soaps in his bathroom, and I’m pretty sure he owns an authentic Mason Pearson brush (which I was playfully scolded for using, because my dry-shampoo-drenched blonde hairs clogged the fancy boar bristles).
To be honest, I’m repeat offender —I even stole my ex boyfriend’s signature fragrance when we broke up, and I still wear it every single day. Sure, I was heartbroken, but the one ray of light at the end of the tunnel of darkness, was the thought that I could now officially name Byredo’s M/Mink as my new holy grail fragrance (it’s fine, we’re still friends and he’s moved on to a new fragrance by Dyptique).
As a side note, I’ve always been a staunch believer that using men’s razors is far more superior than women’s (that is until I tried the Billie razor), and I’ve also been known to have a natural attraction to masculine fragrances (before I stole my ex’s, I loved Tom Ford’s unisex Tobacco Vanille). However, there are also some “hackier” beauty finds lurking in your man’s medicine cabinet that you want to consider borrowing next time you’re at his place –whether you’re feeling desperate or not. For instance, did you know that aftershave doubles has a smoothing makeup primer? Yep, I’ve tried, and it definitely works. Alas, while you’re not likely to find a full coverage concealer or fancy retinol serum in your man’s stash, there are some bread-and-butter “men’s” grooming items that I find to actually be superior to packaged-in-pink counterparts marketed to women. Here are some hidden unisex beauty products to steal from your beau (or just buy your own).
1. Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm (2 Pack)
Nivea’s Post Shave Balm went viral on YouTube a couple of years back when beauty gurus began touting its uncanny similarity to high-end makeup primers. I’ve tried it, and it definitely works. It contains glycerin, which gives the skin a slight slip for foundation prep, while also keeping your base locked in place all day. It’s moisturizing, but super non-greasy, and it’s a lot cheaper than most primers.
$19.77 at Amazon
2. Mountain Ocean Skin Trip Coconut Body Lotion
My friend instantly became a full-blown addict when she discovered this rich (and delicious-smelling) lotion at her ex boyfriend’s house almost a decade ago. She’s still a mega-fan. Because it’s designed for men, it has a subtle fragrance that’s not overbearing. “I like it so much he actually bought me my own, but I’m pretty sure I stole it too when I ran out,” she says.
$13 at Urban Outfitters
3. Byredo M/Mink Eau de Parfum
Unisex fragrances can smell wildly different on different people, and this is certainly the case with this smokey Byredo scent. Like I said, the moment my ex and I split, I hurried to Amazon (okay, maybe a couple of days later) and purchased a bottle for myself. I now keep a backup handy at all times.
$238 at Amazon
4. Byrd Hair Pomade
Men’s hair pomade is a godsend product for taming unruly flyaways or creating that sleek, slicked back ponytail when hair spray and gel just won’t do the trick. A little bit goes a long way, but you’ll get some serious hold that will last all day.
$11.99 at Amazon
5. Gillette Fusion 5 Proglide Razors
I don’t know what it is about men’s razor, but they’re truly superior to most of the women’s versions you’ll find. Because they’re designed to shave the delicate facial skin when men groom their facial hair, they contour the face and glide like no other, preventing unsightly nicks and cuts. I’ve been using men’s razors for years, and I’ll never look back.
$22.99 at Amazon
6. Old Spice Amber Antiperspirant & Deodorant (2 Pack)
Okay, not only do men’s deodorants fight odor and sweat more aggressively than women’s, but this version seriously smell amazing. It kind of doubles as a perfume, while keeping you dry and B.O.-free all day long. I became obsessed with this Old Spice deodorant all the way back in high school when my ex would return from baseball practice smelling like heaven.
$17.47 at Amazon
7. Clubman Styptic Pencil
One time in college when I was rushing to make it to an event, I hurriedly shaved my legs at my boyfriend’s house and exited the shower with a ghastly wound on my ankle. It wouldn’t stop bleeding until he handed me this tiny but mighty tool (which I had never heard of). It stopped the out-of-control blood flow almost instantly. I highlight recommend keeping one in your bathroom for shaving mishaps.
$7.52 at Amazon
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