Words by Janell M. Hickman

Gentlemen, don’t believe the hype—when it comes to grooming, men are more loyal than the ladies. Listen, your preferences run deep and it takes more than a bit of convincing for you to make a major switch.

The team at BevelCode was pretty intrigued about what the not-so average joe was coveting (and using regularly) especially during the holiday season. So, we spoke to six savvy tastemakers and influencers to get the scoop on what they use—and why they love it so much. They might even make you reconsider your faves. Read to see what they had to say.


Kadeem Johnson – @kjohn_lasoul

Kadeem Johnson by Bastian Thiery

Photo Credit: Bastian Thiery

Age: 27

Occupation: Street photographer/ Model Agent

Current Location: New York City

Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.

Personal Grooming Mantra: “Stay moisturized!  Also, a steamy shower goes a long way!”

Hair Routine: “The only thing I really use is coconut oil to keep my locs hydrated and my scalp moisturized.”

Must-Have Face Care: Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System. It’s the only thing I use for my face to prevent breakouts. I’ve been using it since the beginning of my freshman year in high school—that was 13 years ago!

Signature Scent: “I don’t usually wear fragrances. But when I’m in the mood I love to put on Maison Margiela By the Fireplace.”

Best Grooming Advice Ever: “My mom always told me what keeps the skin firm is a splash of ice cold water every morning. Sometimes I dump ice into my bathroom sink and just dive my face in for a few seconds. My mom is 58 and she looks amazing. So maybe it really works (laughs out loud)!


Matthew Henson – @matthew.henson

Matthew Henson by Vice.com

Photo Credit: Vice.com

Age: 30+

Occupation: Celebrity Stylist/Fashion Editor

Current Location: New York City

Hometown: Jersey Shore, New Jersey

Personal Grooming Mantra: “Take a little bit of time out of each day to appreciate yourself—even if it’s just putting lotion on.”

Hair Routine: “I had a receding hairline so I shaved it bald because it was inevitable. I wish I’d done it sooner because [now] I feel like my best self with a baldie. I use a men’s razor and Tom Ford for Men Shave Oil. After shaving, I use witch hazel to cleanse my skin, and to keep it from being irritated. It’s crazy to see bald guys with a head that looks like a speed bump.”

Must-Have Face Care: “I don’t use  any tools, because I think they thin your skin prematurely. I use Kiehl’s Men’s Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exoliating Face Wash to cleanse my skin, and just scrub lightly with a loofah. Then, throw some of their Age Defender Power Serum on right after. It’s a light moisturizer that doesn’t clog your pores.”

Signature Scent: “I would never reveal my fragrance—I feel it’s so personal. But, one that I think is classic is diptyque’s Tam Dao. And I love Loewe’s new fragrance 001 Man.”

Best Grooming Advice Ever: “My dad actually taught me the magic of Witch Hazel a long time ago. It’s been the key to maintaining great skin.”


Dorian Braxton – @Walkinmannequin

Dorian Braxton

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dorian Braxton

Age: 26

Occupation: Fashion Assistant at GQ Magazine

Current Location: New York City

Hometown: New York City

Personal Grooming Mantra: “When you look good, you feel even better!”

Hair Routine: “Right now I can’t live without Cantu Shea Butter For Natural Hair Coconut Curling Cream. It defines my curls without weighing it hair down, locks in moisture, and reduces frizz. Most importantly, it’s formulated without any harsh ingredients. That’s super important to me.”

Must-Have Face Care: “My favorite face care products are Kiehls Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash, followed by Kiehls Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture. These leave my face feeling fresh and rejuvenated.”

Signature Scent: “I love a light fresh gender anonymous scent! One of my new favorites is Maison Margiela Flying. But in case of an emergency, I’ll always have my original signature scent Tom Ford Black Orchid  on stand by.”

Best Grooming Advice Ever: “My grandfather always told me that there was nothing wrong with a man looking and smelling good. It’s not only a woman’s job to be well groomed; the upkeep of a man is just as important.”


Jovel Roystan – @jovelroystan

Jovel Roystan

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jovel Roystan

Age: 26

Occupation: Social Media Executive, ASOS US; Freelance content creator, jovelroystan.xyz

Current Location: New York, NY

Hometown: Houston, TX

Personal Grooming Mantra: “Keep it simple. Use what you need.”

Hair Routine:Mane ‘n Tail’s Moisture Enriched Revitalizing Crème. It has a nice density—not too light, not too thick—and my hair reacts really well to it. I had color in my hair for a while, all of which recently broke off naturally after about a year and a half. So now, I’m back to my natural hair, and it’s good to be using it again.”

Must-Have Face Care:  “My favorites are Clarins Men’s Anti-Fatigue Eye Serum & Jack Black’s Double-Duty Face Moisturizer with SPF 20. The two together are perfect together—think not too heavy. And I like to think they actually do what they’re supposed to do. They made me have faith in the grooming category again. I don’t use tools and I’ve never been one to formalize a routine. Receiving so many more products from different brands, I try to use whatever I get. But all in all, my routine is really pretty simple, and I like it that way.”

Signature Scent:  “I worked on the fragrances buying team at macys.com for my first two years in NYC and it really intensified my love for scents. I have about 30 different fragrances in my apartment. It’s the one grooming essential that I champion going all out for. They’re like a nice watch or tie collection—you have your go-to styles, but there’s no such thing as too many.”

My fall scents are Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme Intenso, Issey Miyake Nuit D’Issey, and Robert Graham Fortitude. Other standby fragrances would be my perennial picks: Givenchy Play Intense for Men, Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, Givenchy Pi, and Armani Code Profumo.”

Best Grooming Advice Ever:  “I never really got much grooming advice from anyone in particular. But my Dad’s never been one to go overboard with his routine, and I think I’ve always echoed that from him. I just keep it simple and use what I need. My father first got me into fragrances. He has so many in his room, and as a child, I’d love running up to his dressers and smelling them all. My favorite of his was always Givenchy Pi, and it’s still a top choice of mine now. Every time I wear it, it brings up warm, nostalgic feelings.”


Brandon Murphy – @brandonmurphyco

Brandon Murphy

Photo Credit: Christopher Tomás

Age: 25

Occupation: Designer

Current Location: New York, NY

Hometown: Palmdale, CA

Personal Grooming Mantra:  “Never look overly put together, keep something about you in disarray. Personally, when it comes to grooming, I like a clean, but rugged look. There’s more character and depth presented.”

Hair Routine:Right now I’m using the full “American Crew” product line with the brush my father gave me a few years ago. American Crew doesn’t dry out my hair when I shampoo and condition and the pomade isn’t too oily for my scalp. Not to mention it smells really good, so that’s a plus.”

Must-Have Face Care: “ Natura Bisse Diamond Face Gel and Diamond Extreme Eye Cream, Dermalogica Post Shave Balm, Kiehl’s Epidermal Re-texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion, Lab Series Future Rescue Repair Serum, Clear Eyes Redness Relief, Kiehl’s Facial Fuel “Heavy Lifting” Eye Repair and Créme de la Mer.”

Signature Scent:Occasionally I like to mix fragrances when I want to do something special, so right now I’m mixing Margiela Across Sands and Molecule 01.  But without a doubt, my go to is DS & Durga Italian Citrus.”

Best Grooming Advice Ever:No matter whats going on in your life take care of you! Make sure you get a facial, a haircut every other week, and keep your nails clipped and clean. My father is notorious for scheduled haircuts. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my father without a haircut so that’s something I took from him.”


Kenneth Kyrell – @kennethkyrell

Kenneth Kyrell

Photo Credit: Andre Perry

Age: 26

Occupation: DJ/ Fashion Director

Current Location: New York City, New York

Hometown: Durham, North Carolina

Personal Grooming Mantra: “No matter how much or how little time you have, never leave the house looking as if you had no time to get ready. Especially living in a city like New York, you never know who you may run into. Perception is reality!”

Hair Routine:  “I love Cantu’s Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream, I use it daily in addition to tea tree oil. It keeps my hair moisturized and controls my frizz in between my haircut appointments.”

Must-Have Face Care:  “My favorite face care products as of recent have been my all time go to facial cleanser, the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. I have sensitive skin and tend to use face products that don’t have a lot of chemicals, fragrances or artificial dyes. I am also obsessed with Ole Henriksen Vitamin C Truth Serum. I also use this product daily and it keeps my skin tight, even, and youthful even when I get little to no sleep. People underestimate the benefits of Vitamin C—it’s a game changer.”

The tool that I use daily is my Clarisonic. It’s the only way I wash my face and I have seen such a huge improvement in the texture of my skin since I’ve been using it for the past 2 years. It’s one investment and tool that I highly recommend.”

Signature Scent:  “My signature scent for Fall/Winter is Hermes Voyage d’Hermes. I love fragrances that make a statement but don’t overpower. It’s a fragrance that not too many people are familiar with, but always ask what it is when they smell it. I’ve been wearing this scent for about 3 years now and I absolutely love it. An old standby for me is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino. It’s super fresh and my signature scent during the Spring/Summer months.”

Best Grooming Advice Ever: “My father has always stressed the importance of always looking presentable no matter where I’m going. My grooming standards for going to the supermarket are the same as my grooming standards for attending a red carpet event. Because of the way I was raised, I make it a point to have a standing weekly appointment with my barber and really take the time and money to invest in products that I know work for me.”