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Today, I thought I might tell you what's in my bathroom cabinet.
Here's the logic...
We've been trying (unsuccessfully) to sell our house recently.
Viewings often take place during the day when neither of us are around. In a moment of paranoia last weekend, I wondered to myself what people might think if they slid open the wardrobe doors or opened the bathroom cabinet and peeked inside. What picture of me would they have in their mind?
Less is more
That single thought prompted me to do a major clean out of my side of the bathroom cabinet. The other side is untouchable(!).
Much like when you do the same thing in your wardrobe, you quickly realise you only use a few things on a regular basis. Everything else is just holding on for the sake of hoarding.
This latest bathroom cabinet overhaul is a natural extension of my recent policy to simplify life: reduce decisions, eliminate clutter, hold onto a few, higher quality things, take away the noise.
I think the term is 'do more with less'. I must say that selling my car may have been a step too far but overall, it's incredibly cathartic.
The bathroom cabinet
I've always thought the bathroom cabinet is quite a private place for some reason.
Even when I stay at a friend's house, I sometimes peek inside and feel like I'm snooping. Crossing some imaginary line of personal boundary. I guess I am sort of. Why is that?
On the basis I'm curious what other people use and do, I thought my own line-up might be useful for some of you. Whether that's to copy, to spy or just to confirm there's another weirdo out there like you, I'm happy to take the hit and publicly share this.
Off the shelf
I thought I would attack this by shelf. I have four shelves. Each shelf serves a purpose: eyes, teeth, shaving, face/hair/other. I'm not a psycho with a serious case of OCD, promise.
Bear in mind, this is the pared back list. The things I know I use every week. It does not include the three bottles of eye drops that were recently culled having not been used for over three years.
Finally, as a heads up, I'm not somebody who spends a lot of money on everyday products. Clearly, things like aftershave/cologne are just expensive, full stop. But I wouldn't go out and buy the most expensive deodorant possible. I'm also not motivated by claims like natural or organic.
Largely, because I have learnt that it's all just marketing. I'm pretty basic: I like things that work and feel good.
Shelf 1: Eyes
Hard lenses: My lifeline. The day can't start without them. I suffer from keratoconus (cone shaped cornea) so only hard lenses can correct my vision. No idea who makes them but they're the most important thing in this entire list.
Soft lenses (Acuvue TruEye 1-day lenses with Hydraclear): My keratoconus is reasonably acute so I wear a soft lens underneath my hard lens for comfort. It's called 'piggybacking'. I couldn't recommend these lenses enough whether you have keratoconus or not. They're the most comfortable soft lenses I've found.
Hard contact lens solution (Bausch & Lomb Boston Multi Action Solution): For hard lenses, this is the best I've found. It's quite a syrupy liquid which keeps the lenses moist throughout the day. I commit the crime of wearing the lenses for 16 hours a day. I found that all other solutions are too runny and don't impart the same level of moisture on the lenses so they become quite uncomfortable earlier on in the day.
Hard contact lens cleaner (Bausch & Lomb Boston Cleaner Advanced Formula): It cleans my hard lenses. I don't use it nearly as often as I should. Whenever I do, I always think how much more comfortable my lenses feel in my eyes. I just can't be bothered to use more regularly.
Shelf 2: Teeth
Electric tooth brush (Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100): Firstly, if you don't use an electric toothbrush, you need to. Secondly, and in my opinion, Philips is the only brand worth bothering with even if they are more expensive than others. There's a reason they get such good reviews. I've tried different Oral B brushes and they don't work as well. Sorry Oral B. This one has various settings, you can travel with it and it just works.
Toothpaste (anything): Whatever is on offer in the supermarket. Not fussy.
Floss: (DenTek Complete Clean Y Floss Picks): My twice a week ritual in the shower. I like the angle of these. I think the picks are so much more practical than the standard floss reel.
Shelf 3: Shaving
Razor (Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Classic): I wouldn't describe myself as a traditionalist but I do use a shaving brush when I can. I've tried all sorts of razors from Gillette through to the online options currently available. I can't remember how I came across the Merkur 34C but it's a classic and is often referred to as the best razor in the world. It's quite an icon from what I read whilst researching into it. From memory, it's about £35 to buy but the blades are seriously cheap, so running costs are minimal. It's a double-edge safety razor made in Germany. The weight and feel is solid. I love the build quality, the materials, the blade swapping ritual and the precision of the razor. It took a while to get used to and I still cut myself if I go too fast. But learning how to use it (via YouTube) and knowing that my grandfather and his grandfather probably used the same razor just fills me with joy.
Brush (Geo F Trumper Badger Brush): Small to medium is better than large. The large one splashes everywhere and makes a mess.
Shaving gel (Proraso Shaving Foam or Gillette Classic Sensitive Skin Shaving Gel): For when I'm in a hurry and need to use my hands to spread the gel or foam. I'm pretty indifferent about a foam or a gel. I don't think I have sensitive skin. I just prefer products that aren't overly fragranced and don't have too much of that menthol feeling.
Shaving soap (Proraso Shaving Soap for Sensitive Skin): For when I'm not in a hurry and have time to use the brush. I use the white Proraso soap and buy it on Amazon. I've tried plenty of soaps in the past. Geo F Trumper and Acqua di Parma do really good ones. A shaving soap lasts me a long time and this happens to be what I have at the moment. I like the price, the quality and the richness of the foam of the Proraso. I've found a thick foam works best with the Merkur 34C. I also like the thought that barbers all over Italy have been using Proraso for years. The more I write on this shaving section, the more I realise I might be a shaving traditionalist after all. Or perhaps just a shaving romantic.
Alum block (Féret Perfumeur): This was a gift but you can buy one anywhere. An alum block is a matchbox sized block of crystallised stone. You rub it over your face after shaving. It closes the pores, stops bleeding and reduces redness or razor burn. One stone will last you a lifetime as far as I can tell. I'm not a very talented shaver so I use this pretty regularly.
After shave (Byredo Mister Marvellous and Acqua di Parma Colonia): I always have two on rotation and try as hard as I can to make sure they are given to me as gifts when I'm low. I've had these two for about two years so I would like to try something new when they finish. I prefer fresh and clean ahead of heavy or musky fragrances. I tend to use them three to four times a week and don't use too much when I do, which is why they last me so long.
Shelf 4: Face/hair/other
Daily Moisturiser (LifeJacket Daily Protection Moisturiser): This is not an advert. We made this product because it's exactly what we wanted: a lightweight, non-greasy daily moisturiser with high-performance sun protection (SPF 30 and 5* UVA rating). I used to use a really basic Nivea cream until I realised the importance of daily sun protection. I couldn't find anything else that gave me the feel or protection I wanted, at a price I could tolerate. This is the most important and most used cosmetic product in my cabinet. I use it every morning after showering and shaving. It isn't fragranced so I can wear an aftershave on top without a clash of smell.
Other Moisturiser (LifeJacket Daily Repair Moisturiser): If I shower or shave in the evening and therefore don't need sun protection in my moisturiser, I use this instead. I love the cooling feel, the smell and the fact I know it's repairing my skin after a day of being out and about.
Hair stuff (American Crew Fiber): This works for me. Lasts forever. Strong hold. No grease or shine. Possibly too drying so may try something different when it's finished.
Deodorant (Dove Original Stick): Stick over spray for environmental reasons. I've always used women's deodorants because I prefer a lighter soap fragrance. It doesn't clash with my aftershave and just feels more clean to me. Men's deodorants can often be overly perfumed and just wreak of a sports changing room.
Hand cream (Neutrogena Norwegian Formula): A classic that works brilliantly. An unbeatable price and much needed for anybody who does calisthenics.
Tweezers (Tweezerman): Stolen from my wife and now mine. I use them on any out-of-control eyebrows
Paddle brush (TREsemmé): Stolen from my wife and now mine. Love the fact I can brush my hair in three swipes
So that's all folks. I hope this voyeuristic insight was either useful or interesting. If so, please tune in for the next instalment.....what's in my freezer!