For My Boys: Easy Tips and Product Recommendations For My Guy Friends

Hi guys! You come up to me a lot and ask me random skincare questions - how do you get pores smaller? How can I get rid of blackheads? Some of you, to my dismay, don't wash your face, let alone exfoliate or moisturize! No worries, I get it. Here are some links to things you can buy and super basic info to help you out. If you don't feel like reading, just click the links I've provided and purchase the items. Trust. 

Difference between male and female skin? Generally, men tend to be a little bit oilier, and since a lot of you shave everyday, you can be more prone to ingrown hairs and break outs. Most Skincare marketed to men is the same as the skincare products marketed to women - same active ingredients, just more masculine packaging and more often that not, a hell of a lot cheaper. 

  1. You have to swear sunscreen everyday. This prevents Skin Cancer, but more importantly, wrinkles. It's super easy to get a basic, cheap, moisturizer with SPF in it. You can get them at the drug store. Oily Skin? Get this. Sensitive? Here you go. Dry? Try this. It's all about preventative aging, which is why you MUST wear SPF!
  2. Chemical Exfoliation. This is simpler than it sounds. You can reduce blemishes, the size of pores (well, the appearance, shrinking pores is not actually a thing nor is it physically possible) as well as lighten any scars and get rid of blackheads. This is as simple as picking up a Stridex pad, which pains me to say. I'd rather you use something better but I get it. You can also chemically exfoliate by using a cleanser with any kind of acid in it - Salicylic acid is most common, and you can find that in any basic "anti-acne" cleanser. These are a better option for exfoliating pads. Using a glycolic acid cleanser is one of my favorite things to do - leaves your skin soft, bright and helps with break outs. My personal favorite is this, but I'm trying to give you really cheap options in hopes you will actually go buy these.
  3. I think everyone should use African black soap. It's an all natural way to help with break outs and it's gentle on the skin. It smells amazing, and you can use it for your body or face.
  4. Obviously you have to wash your face, or I should say, please wash your face - I really want you to. Especially because we live in NYC, theres gross shit on our faces by the end of the day, if you don't wash, that can cause build up and acne and wrinkles oh my. It's most important to wash at night, that way you can get all the grime off before going to sleep. Obviously I would love for you to wash in the morning as well.  Use any of the cleansers listed above, or again, black soap. Lots of people wash their face with coconut oil, too, so thats an option. 
  5. Moisturizing! I'll keep it simple, because when things get complex, I feel like thats where I lose you guys. So, after you wash your face at night, you should moisturize. Super simple, doesn't take long, I promise! This is a great option, and it's only 20 bucks and lasts a long time - Dermatologists love this brand. You could also use pure shea butter which is natural and fun and vegan etc. If you have really dry skin and need a super thick moisturizer, this one is your best bet, perfect for winter or chapped skin in general. 

Okay, I think thats it for now. In a perfect world, I'd be recommending toners and serums, but, baby steps. Stop using hand soap as face wash. Cannot stress that enough. No more Irish Spring soap, either.  Love you, bye! 

I found a dupe for this $22 hair conditioner

DevaCurl One Condition vs L'Oréal Total Repair 5 Restoring Conditioner

I wrote about this a little while ago, in the hopes of getting it published and getting paid for #content. But when you submit beauty articles, you have to write them in a certain tone, and that is just not how I would ever talk about beauty products in real life. You have to be all like "You'll never believe this! And can you believe this? LOL, insert something that implies I am a gross monster so you don't feel bad about yourself!" I don't like it, but this is the norm. I guess no one wants to read about a product you only like. They want to read about a product that CHANGED. YOUR. LIFE. When I discover a product that improves my complexion and eliminates the need for my Zoloft prescription, don't worry, you will be the first to know. That would be life changing. I get it, sometimes I like to use hyperbole. I'm a very dramatic person. Finding a conditioner that delivers similar results at a fraction of the price, that is not life changing. It is, however, awesome.

I really like my curly hair. I never blow dry it, which is annoying, since it takes hours to dry. And it never dries the same way. Such is life. I will shell out the big bucks for a conditioner if it promises to detangle, reduce frizz, moisturize and improve curl definition. That is why I spend $22.00 for DevaCurl One Condition. If you don't think that is a lot of money for conditioner, I don't know what to tell you, except that I am incredibly impressed and please be my friend.

 I stand by all DevaCurl's styling products, too. Especially their light hair gel and curl cream. I constantly recommend them. Here's where I would say "Incorporating DevaCurl products into my routine changed my life." Instead, I will say, the amount of time I spent worrying about my hair decreased drastically once I started using their conditioner and curl cream. It gets rid of your tangles immediately, without having to comb through aggressively. It smells good. You can leave a little bit in there to increase curl definition and moisture when you style. Your hair will feel silky smooth. I would recommend this product to anyone with thick hair, not just those with curls. 

Here's how I tried to justify the price for myself:

I don't shower everyday, so it will last longer. (Julia, you should be showering more. Maybe not everyday, but sometimes you really stretchhhhhh it out. Lets work on that, no shade.)

It doubles as a leave-in conditioner. (I stand by this.)

However, when I use this product, I use A LOT of it. So, it probably isn't cost effective, even with my lack of showers. I probably wash my hair 1-2 times a week. I like to take body showers & exfoliate like a mother fucker, though. Now I'm trying to prove that I'm not a dirty person. Please believe me. 

Anyways, let me take you back to last summer. I was swimming in a pool in Jersey, as one does. I was at my boyfriends mothers apartment complex, and they have a pool. It is very important you understand the details that led me to swimming in a private pool, rather than the public pool in Astoria Park. I don't like reading articles where the writer clearly has more money than me or better access to free beauty products. Please know that I go all the way to Jersey to use a somewhat private pool. So, after my dip, I took a shower. In my head I was thinking "Ugh. fuck. I wish I had my conditioner. My hair is all fucked up from this chlorine and I need my bougie product to look like my normal self." My boyfriends mother had a bottle of L'Oréal Total Repair 5 Restoring Conditioner in the shower. I was like "okay, lets give it a go." I used it, and I felt my hair become silky smooth. My hair air dried beautifully. There was virtually no difference. What an idiot I was for thinking I was too good, that my hair was TOO special for a drug store conditioner. Granted, my boyfriends mother is a hairdresser, so I trust whatever I find in her bathroom.

When I ran out of my trusted DevaCurl, I bought the L'Oréal one instead. It gives my curls tons of moisture (thanks to Ceramides and a special Arginine-K Complex) smells great, and is super affordable. It is literally $5.99. I gave one to my roommate for her birthday, that’s how much I like this. You should just have it in your life, and if you don’t, I’ll get it for you on your birthday. It really is nice to not feel like you “settled” when buying a less expensive, more practical product. Since this conditioner is so much cheaper than the DevaCurl, I don't feel like I'm wasting money when I slather my hair in conditioner, which I love to do. You need more product to get all the tangles out when using this, and you have to brush out the knots as well. Compared to the way my knots untangle itself once I apply DevaCurl One Condition, this is the most noticeable difference. It's to be expected, you sacrifice certain results when using a cheaper product. For a price difference of 16 bucks, this is something I can live with. This is a sold, affordable conditioner. Give it a try.


Julia Solomon Approved Everyday Sunscreen Recommendations

Hi there, you need to be wearing sunscreen everyday. To prevent cancer, yes, but more importantly - WRINKLES. Maybe you don't care, but for me this is my defense mechanism against death. I don't think this will prevent my death but it does distract me from it. I like to get tan, so I know it's hard. Whenever I read an interview with a beautiful actress, they always say their secret to staying young is staying out of the sun. I fucking love the sun, though. I'm not gonna get a sun hat yet, but who's to say what could happen. I wear a sunscreen with SPF everyday, not just in the summer, so you might as well, too. A lot of people complain that sunscreen breaks them out, or they don't like the smell. If you were like "Julia, go buy me a facial moisturizer with SPF RIGHT NOW" I would be like "First of all, woah. That is very aggressive. I understand your urgency because I, too, am an aggressive person." Then, depending on the price range you gave me, this is what I would buy for you. I am so nice. 

La Roche-Posay Repair Moisturizer SPF 30

This is the cheapest option among everything I'm about to list. It's 20 bucks and often on sale at Duane Reade.  Lesley Thornton (founder of Klurskin, an amazing skincare brand you should check out) posted about it on Instagram praising the formula. That's kind of all I need to know. Dermatologists love this brand and it's fragrance free. It shouldn't break you out. I use the version without SPF for night time use. It has ceramides in it which = good ol' healthy moisture. It's a no-nonsense moisturizer. I approve. Go buy it. 

Avene Antirougeurs Day Redness Relief Soothing Cream SPF 25

This is the last moisturizer I used. I have redness and am always trying to fix it. This is supposed to help, and is especially good for anyone with rosacea. I can't say it took away my redness, but it certainly didn't cause any, nor did it make me break out. It smells really good, kind of like a sophisticated baby lotion. It's not an overwhelming smell, though. I do feel like it's kind of too much money for the amount you get, but I've also spent 50 bucks for less, so, hey. I really like this brand, it's safe for sensitive skin, hot french girls use it. Sold?

Avene Hydrance Optimale SPF 25

I currently use this moisturizer. It's two dollars cheaper than the one listed above, so I was like, let's do it. I also gave myself a pat on the back thinking "I think my skin HAS been dry!" I'm so good at taking care of me. This is a great brand. Everybody loves it. I guess it's cooler to use french drug store beauty products because the packaging is better. They (France) also have better guidelines/restrictions when it comes to skincare ingredients, ESPECIALLY with sunscreens. No fragrance, doesn't break you out, doesn't make you oily, adequately moisturizes my face for the day. Doesn't pill under make up. You. Are. Welcome!! 

Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

If you're feeling fancy, or you want to use something that is all natural and non-toxic, this is a great option. I've never used this, but I'd like to. People LOVE this brand. Their stuff is pricey. I'm into it. I love natural beauty products, and their packaging is great. Maybe you don't care about that, but I do. Bad packaging does not deter me from buying anything, but I love to have something cute on my shelf. That's subjective, though. Maybe you don't like this packaging. I, personally, could see myself getting annoyed with having to screw that top back on. It's so tiny. I've already lost it before I've bought it. It has so many good-for-your-skin ingredients in it. I'm actually really surprised I haven't bought this considering it's the same price of the Avene products I use. I guess I just sold myself on this, but La Roche Posay is 14 dollars cheaper. Struggles. Zinc Oxide is the main ingredient at 20%, which is a physical sun screen. Their whole thing is they love to tell you whats NOT in it, which I actually love. I know most ingredients, so this is something that works on me. If you're looking to buy a non toxic beauty product, chances are you've read about the dangers of a certain ingredient and are trying to avoid that. It makes sense is what I'm saying. It has a lot of antioxidants in it, which is good for your skin, especially when it's exposed to the sun. Guys, should I buy this?

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 

This has the highest SPF. If you are fair skin, you should use this. It also uses a physical sunscreen rather than a chemical one. That means the main ingredient is Zinc. This claims to leave no white residue after application, which is often the problem with Zinc based formulas. I know a lot of people who loves this. Dermatologists also fucking love this. Shouldn't break you out, safe for sensitive skin, and I love that is has some of my favorite ingredients in it (Niacinamide = No redness, Lactic Acid = Gentle Exfoliation, Sodium Hyaluronate = Moisture) This is a great option if you have a fair complexion and tend to get irritated by sunscreen. 

It's so easy! I gave you the links! I know people hate taking out their credit card and entering the information, you should do that thing where it's always saved in your phone! I believe in you. I. Believe. In. SUNSCREEN.

What I want to buy (but can't afford)

Clinique Chubby Stick Eyeshadow Tint ($17.00)

This is an eyeshadow stick that I've had before and meant to buy for the weddings I had coming up, but was low on cash (this is 17 bucks, not unreasonable) so figured I would try a drug store dupe. I bought Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo in Barely Branded (which apparently is also a dupe for Benefit Watts Up Highlighter) and it just doesn't compete. I don't like the feel of the formula or the color as much even though they're incredibly similar. So, I wish I could just go buy this right now but I really shouldn't. I like that it comes in a stick and you shouldn't fix what's not broken. I actually lost it a while ago and just didn't care enough to go buy it again, and now I regret it. That's real. Also, make no mistake, this is not a "tint." It's an creamy eyeshadow, and a good one, too. 

Herbivore Botanicals Lapis facial Oil

I've been eyeing this bad boy for a while. This is supposed to calm inflammation, reduce redness and blemishes, LOOKS CHIC AF. But honestly, I'm (for some reason) convinced this will be the answer to my prayers in terms of improving the texture of my skin, getting rid of blemishes and getting rid of this redness. I was very close to buying this once because they had a mini version available online at Urban Outfitters and I had a gift card there but then it SOLD OUT so I never got it. Tragic story, a tale as old as time. It has blue tansy oil in it and I consider it to be a more affordable option to Sunday Riley Luna Oil (which is a retinol oil but also has blue tansy BUT ALSO they put blue dye in it why!?! it is good, though. Like, in that, it does work. It's also $105.00 LOL WHAT that is a story for another day.


Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil

I love Argan oil. We all love Argan oil! Some people don't, whatever. No one will shut up about it. But, it works. It's great to use at night, helps with redness, dryness and blemishes. I use Josie Maran's Argan Oil 1.7oz bottle which costs 48 dollars. This one is a little over 3 oz (100ml) and costs 82 bucks. I've tried both - and this one is better. Who knows why. I just felt better results. I was lucky enough to get a sample - otherwise, this is not within my budget. But, if you wanna throw caution to the wind and fuck up your credit, by all means, get it.  OR - buy GENERIC (ew) Argan oil from whole foods, somewhere off the internet, raid your friends bathroom, whatever it takes. Get creative. 




Literally ask me anything

I am obsessed with skincare and beauty products. Do you need help with something? Ask me! What is wrong? Tell me! Acne? Dry skin? Blackheads? I can recommend products to you and it's one of my favorite things to do. Please make sure you are washing your face and wearing sunscreen!

Do you want to know a little bit about my routine? Read this.

If you don't want to take the time to message me, fine, I will put up informative posts. But, if you currently do not have a regimen, PLEASE for the love of GOD go to the nearest drugstore and pick up Cerave face wash and Cerave AM cream. PM cream if ya nasty. I love telling people what to do!!!

Want to know more?

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