Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Grooming

Results of the 2012 L.A. Beard and Mustache Competition

La-beard-champ-johnson
The second Los Angeles Beard and Mustache competition, organized by the Northern Los Angeles Beard and Mustache Club, unspooled Sunday night at the Belasco in downtown L.A., and hirsute champions, second-place and third-place winners were crowned in nine categories.

Photos: A gallery from the second annual Los Angeles Beard and Mustache Competition

The most noteworthy win was the second consecutive first-place win by Nate Johnson, who followed last year's win in the more broadly defined partial beard category by placing first in the sideburns/muttonchops category.

Also notable, thanks to a newly added category called whiskerina (a faux facial hair faceoff for females), was a pair of husband-and-wife second-place wins by Aaron (Sideburns/Muttonchops) and Emily (Whiskerina) Abravaya.

And while Aussie tourist Richard Schipper may not have taken home the top prize in the styled mustache category he is headed back Down Under with a third-place trophy -- and a story to go with it. Schipper  told All the Rage he was here on holiday and had entered the contest on a last-minute whim after a friend brought it to his attention,

Complete results of the 2nd annual Los Angeles Beard and Mustache Championships

Natural Mustache
1. Alfred Nash
2. Javier Quintanilla
3. Brenden Kenney

Business Beard
1. Mark Hurlston
2. Patrick Daniel
3. Karl Dunn

Goatee
1. Kevin Riordan
2. Chris Noel
3. Stephen Scarpa

Sideburns / Muttonchops
1. Nate Johnson
2. Aaron Abravaya
3. Jan-Michael Losada

Groomed Beard
1. Jeffrey Moustache
2. Joshua Davis
3. Shawn Hasson

Whiskerina
1. Killo Kitty
2. Emily Abravaya
3. Lindsay Stinner

Styled Mustache
1. Sean Raiger
2. Robert “Cowboy Bob” Richardson
3. Richard Schipper

Full Beard Natural
1. Ryan Dreyer
2. Scott Lehr
3. Riqo Sanders

Freestyle
1. Aarne Bielefeldt
2. Justin Vorhauer
3. Jack Tannatt

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Results of the 1st Los Angeles Beard and Mustache Championships

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Nate Johnson, left, pauses for a fan photo while event co-organizer and master of ceremonies John Myatt looks on. Johnson's win in the sideburns/muttonchops category made him the only competitor to repeat a first-place finish in the L.A. Beard and Mustache competition that started last year. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times

Is the post-metrosexual manscape landscape the 'mansome era'?

Mansome Movie Stills

When it comes to answering the big questions about masculine identity and the male grooming ritual, Morgan Spurlock's latest movie, "Mansome" may barely scratch the surface (in spa terms that would make it more of an exfoliation than an extraction), but since the topic is being tackled on the silver screen at the same the makers of men's lotions, potions, salves, tonics and shaving implements are seeing increased sales, I decided to have a chat with Spurlock during his recent West Coast press junket. The result appears in Sunday's Image section.

Over the course of the interview, Spurlock shared some of the surprises and regrets from getting the documentary from idea to screen. One high point was finding Ricky Manchanda, a New Yorker who, at first glance, appears to be nothing more than a preening peacock of a narcissist.

"What I love about Ricky’s story is that he's a guy who has dealt with something we’ve all dealt with on some level -- peer pressure and being ridiculed by friends .... [A]nd Ricky’s saying: 'I’m not going to be that guy, I’m going to fit in by society’s standards.' That was a real 'aha' moment for me. "

Although there are a lot of voices (and I mean a lot; the press notes list 28 commentators by name -- from famous comedians to bloggers -- which doesn't include a slew of random men- and women-on-the-street interviews) there was some insight Spurlock wishes he'd been able to include.

"I would have loved more magazine editors and more people like that to chime in on their role in what’s happened," Spurlock said. "But it’s hard to get a lot of people to talk about how they've contributed to it. ... And we tried to get people from the modeling business to talk about it from the male modeling side  and we couldn’t get people to go on camera to talk about that."

Most discussions about male grooming and societal expectations eventually touch on the dreaded M-word -- metrosexual -- and when the topic finally came up Spurlock sounded ready to kick it to the curb once and for all.

"What’s the word for the post post-metrosexual era? I don’t know what it is," Spurlock said. "But I do know that we're beyond metrosexual. That was a term that came out to describe these men -- was almost a slag against them -- because they were engaging in something that had been quintessentially associated with gay culture [and] it was a negative connotation."

"We're at a place where [men taking care of their appearance] is being seen as normal, and it's becoming more accepted in society. So maybe we're living in 'mansome' era."

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-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: The men featured in "Mansome," Morgan Spurlock's new docu-comedy exploration of male grooming rituals, include New York City clothing company executive Ricky Manchanda, left, and the filmmaker himself. Credit: Warrior Poets

Morgan Spurlock's manly misfits celebrate 'Mansome'

Mansome premiere photo

Things got pretty hairy at the Lexington Social Club in Hollywood on Wednesday night -- in a good way -- when documentary maker Morgan Spurlock and the men featured in his upcoming film "Mansome" decamped to the night spot to celebrate after the docu-comedy's West Coast premiere.

The movie (which we'll be discussing in greater depth in an upcoming Image section story) is a very tongue-in-bearded-cheek exploration of male identity in the post post-metrosexual era that has actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett (both executive producers) serving as the through line for disparate discussions about male pattern baldness, beards and body image that focused on relatively unfamiliar faces and intercut with comedic commentary by the likes of Judd Apatow, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis and uber-curmudgeon Adam Carolla. 

While none of them appeared to be in general circulation at Wednesday night's after party (we did, however, see Lance Bass, Verne Troyer and another one of the film's executive producers, Ben Silverman, in the house), Spurlock's cast of quirky characters was well represented, with competitive beardsman Jack Passion, preening peacock Ricky Manchanda, and Yordan Yordanov and Frank Brooksthe guys behind a punch line of a product developed to treat what we'll call sweaty groin syndrome.

When we interviewed Spurlock earlier in the day, we felt compelled to ask him about product placement (having seen his exploration of the issue in "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold"). In response to our question about whether that company -- or any other one -- had paid to put their grooming tools or products in "Mansome," his answer was unequivocal.

"No, nobody paid to put anything in the film," Spurlock told us. "But it's the kind of movie that makes total sense for product partnerships, so there will probably be some sponsors coming on board." 

Spurlock paused for a second as his trademark handlebar mustache began to frame a bemused grin. 

"Like the Art of Shaving, which is sponsoring the premiere," he added.

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Jack Passion leads with his beard

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: From left, Yordan Yordanov, Jack Passion, director Morgan Spurlock, Ricky Manchanda and Frank Brooks at the "Mansome" premiere after party Wednesday hosted by theArt Of Shaving at Lexington Social Club. Credit: Michael Kovac/WireImage

L.A. Beard and Mustache battle heads downtown this June

2011LABeard Competition
The sophomore outing of the Los Angeles Beard and Mustache Competition is moving over the hill from North Hollywood to the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles, where it is slated to take place June 24.

The competition has also refined the categories of competition, and whiskered warriors may now compete in nine categories instead of five; the mustache division is now split between natural and styled 'staches, a category was added for groomed beards, the partial beard category is divided between goatees and sideburns/muttonchops, and the freestyle division now offers something for the ladies as well -- a "Whiskerina" category.

"Show what the good lord neglected to give you and show us what could have been," reads the women's category description at the competition's website. "Pick a theme for your beard or mustache -- creativity is key. Judges will look at craftsmanship creativity, and overall appearance when voting on the best Whiskerina competitors."

PHOTOS: A gallery from the inaugural Los Angeles Beard and Mustache Championships

At last year's freshman outing in August, there were about 100 competitors and an estimated crowd of 300 attendees, and John Myatt, president of the host Los Angeles Beard & Mustache Club (who happened to take top honors in the "Full Beard Groomed" category at the 2011 National Beard and Moustache Championships back in October) told All The Rage he expects the upcoming facial-hair faceoff  "to be 500% bigger this year." 

The Second Annual Los Angeles Beard and Mustache Competition, June 24,  2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Belasco, 1050 South Hill Street, Los Angeles. Tickets are $15 (for spectators) and $25 (for competitors) and are available at www.labeardcomp.com.

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Results of the 1st Los Angeles Beard and Mustache Championships

Results of the 2011 National Beard and Moustache Championships

Photo Gallery: 2011 National Beard and Moustache Championships

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Scenes from the 2011 Los Angeles Beard and Mustache Championships in North Hollywood include an unidentified beardsman taking the stage (left) and mustache contestant Lucky Almader(far right) with wife Edith. Among the new categories added for 2012 is one for women called "Whiskerina. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times 

Gillette taps Benjamin, Brody and Bernal for ProGlide Styler ads

  Gillette Proglider Ambassadors
Gillette has enlisted a trio of celebrities -- André 3000 Benjamin, Gael García Bernal and Adrien Brody -- to serve as brand ambassadors for its newest grooming gadget.

The Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler, which hits store shelves in February. The ad campaign was announced Jan. 18, the same day glossy, full-page ads featuring the three mustachioed musketeers started appearing in the February issues of men’s fashion magazines like GQ. The campaign indicates parent company Procter & Gamble’s desire to move into the area of facial-hair grooming, which, according to research cited by Gillette, is now common among nearly 40% of North American men.

The  research also revealed that men buy all manner of razors, scissors and trimmers to maintain their individually defining tonsorial topiaries and consider it “a complicated and frustrating grooming process," Gillette said.

Gillette’s solution was to meld one of its Fusion razors with a Braun trimmer (Braun is also owned by P&G) into something that looks like a grooming version of those Transformer toys that fold from a robot into a car. It allows for a traditional wet shave on the straight-away skin and detailed curve-hugging and edge-defining where needed. 

We’ll be testing and reviewing one of these creatures ourselves closer to the rollout (it's slated to debut online and in stores early next month with a suggested retail price of $19.99), and we chatted  briefly with one of the celebrities putting his best face forward in the campaign. 

Gillette Fusion ProglideBernal, an actor best known for roles in “Motorcycle Diaries,” “Babel” and “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” spoke to us last week about his role as product pitchman, the power of facial hair and the celebrity mustache he wishes he had.

Where are you and what kind of facial hair do you have right this instant?

I’m in Buenos Aires right now -- I live part of the time here and part of the time on Mexico City -- and at the moment I’ve just come from three weeks' holiday on the beach in Mexico, so I have a full-grown beard. Tomorrow I will have to shave.

Have you worked with Gillette on other ad campaigns?

No, this is my first time and it was quite a surprise. As an actor you just do your everyday kind of work with uncertainty from one day to the next and then you get invited to do a campaign like this and it’s exciting.

Does being a brand ambassador mean you’re contractually required to have some sort of complicated facial hair if you’re not in a movie that requires otherwise?

(Laughing) No, but I was fortunate to get one of those ProGlide Stylers before a lot of people did -- that was one of the privileges of the campaign. People are generally lazy about organizing their grooming and trimming things, and for someone like me who travels a lot, having the two things in one product makes it easier to travel with.

Now that you’ve got one, do you feel compelled to do some complicated facial hair styling?

Who knows. The good thing about not being in a film or play at the moment is that I can do whatever I want with it. I’v never had a mustache so maybe I’ll go with a mustache.

Is there a default style of facial hair you prefer when you’re not in a role?

Everyone is surprised when I tell them I haven’t had a haircut I’ve wanted for the last 12 years. I never have it the way I want to because if I’m not working I’m letting it grow for the next job. And the same thing happens with facial hair. It’s better to arrive with a full-grown beard and have it cut and styled the way the character needs. It’s better to have stuff to work with.

Does facial hair help you get into character?

Absolutely. It’s fantastic how facial hair can change someone’s face or expression, sometimes with unintended consequences. Someone can grow a mustache and look incredibly taciturn and serious compared to how joyful they are in real life.

If you could have your pick of any celebrity facial hair at all –- one beard or mustache -- what would it be?

The guys from ZZ Top – or maybe that mustache that Daniel Day Lewis had in ... what was that movie?

“Gangs of New York”?

Yes – that’s the one!

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Photos: At top, Gillette's ad campaign for a new facial grooming tool includes, from left, musician André 3000 Benjamin, actor Gael García Bernal and actor Adrien Brody.  At bottom, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler ($19.99) combines a wet-shave razor blade with a Braun trimmer. Credit: Gillette

Hot men's haircut is inspired by 'Boardwalk Empire'

Boardwalk

A hot haircut for young men today is inspired by a style their great-grandfathers might have worn. Long on the top, cropped short at the sides, the cut was brought back to prominence by Jimmy Dermody, the character played (until his recent untimely demise) by Michael Pitt on "Boardwalk Empire."

In the Image section this weekend, writer Adam Tschorn explains how the retro hairstyle returned to popularity.

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Photo: Michael Pitt on "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: Macall Polay / HBO

Bearded & Tschorn: Justin Timberlake debuts a faceful of fuzz at CES

Timberlake with beard at CES

For followers of tonsorial trends, the big news coming out of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week had nothing to do with the dazzling advances in technology and everything to do with Justin Timberlake's facial hair.

Pictures of J.T. on stage at a Panasonic press event Monday announcing the development of Myspace TV (Timberlake is one of the social network's investors) show the multihyphenate with a full, neatly trimmed brown beard that, when we crossed paths with him at GQ's Men of the Year party in mid-December was little more than week-old scruff.

We're not sure what exactly prompted the beard to blossom -- it could well be related to an upcoming film project -- but, over the years, our fascination with facial hair and our observations of how and why it's grown by menfolk of every stripe has taught us that such major changes are often outward manifestations of inner change (the newly unemployed and new fathers are just two examples). 

Whatever the reason -- we won't speculate -- we kind of like the tonsorial Timberlake. It gives him a look of maturity and gravitas.

And that's no easy feat for a performer who literally grew up in front of the camera.

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Photo: A bearded Justin Timberlake speaks at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

The Art of Shaving celebrates new Beverly Hills flagship

Art of Shaving Grand Opening
The Art of Shaving celebrated the opening of its Beverly Hills flagship barber spa on Thursday night, the newest -- and at 2,900 square feet of retail space the largest -- of its men's grooming emporiums to date.

It stocks men's grooming tools, from the old school -- silvertip badger-hair shaving brushes, safety razors and straight razors  -- to contemporary items such as Gillette Fusion razors, pre-shave oils, shaving creams and post-shave balms (Gillette's parent company, Proctor & Gamble, bought The Art of Shaving brand in 2009). The  boutique also boasts an expansive space in the back outfitted with eight vintage barber chairs where menfolk can go for a range of services, including a beard/mustache trim ($15), classic straight-razor shave ($45), haircut ($60) and a manicure/pedicure ($80). 

When we ducked in to check out the new digs, brand representatives told us that moving forward, stores (the number of which is growing rapidly, and is expected to hit 63 by the end of 2011) would resemble the look and feel of the Beverly Hills space. That's a good thing because the decor -- which includes walls covered with vintage-looking razor ads, shaving-related cartoons and, flanking the front entryway, a wall-hanging comprised of hundreds of razor blades -- manages to toe the exceedingly fine line between manly and trying-too-hard-masculinity.

It's worth noting that The Art of Shaving's growing presence in the market (it joins already existing local locations including Westfield Century City, Westfield Topanga, the Americana at Brand and South Coast Plaza) is just the latest example of a rapidly expanding manscape landscape.

In November 2010 we watched with interest as new management relaunched the Shave of Beverly Hills (just around the corner and down the street at 230 South Beverly Drive). And just a few weeks ago, another temple of all things tonsorial -- Baxter Finley Barber & Shop, which was barely a year and a half old and had already doubled the size of its La Cienega flagship -- added more barbers to its staff and even added a vintage children's barber chair to allow for the prospect of utterly adorable side-by-side father-and-son haircuts.

The Art of Shaving, 9520 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, open Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Baxter Finley Barber & Shop, 515 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m, Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: At left, "True Blood" actor Kevin Alejandro gets a straight-razor shave Thursday at the party celebrating the grand opening of The Art of Shaving's Beverly Hills location. At right, party host George Kotsiopolous (third from right) poses with the half-dozen male models on hand to represent the  "Brotherhood of Shaving" ad campaign. Credit: John Sciulli / Getty Images

Grin and bear it: Old Spice introduces the deodorant koozie

Old Spice's "deodorant protector"
Just in time for the holidays comes the perfect gift-you-never-knew-they-needed for that hard-to-shop-for Old Spice aficionado, man-cave outfitter and ursine enthusiasts on your holiday list: the bear-shaped deodorant koozie.

The Old Spice folks actually call it a "deodorant protector" but we've decided to call it a koozie since it reminds us of those ridiculous foam sleeves ostensibly designed to keep a can of beer cold but are actually promotional giveaways -- miniature billboards to wrap around your Budweiser tinny.

As for the ferocious beast pictured above -- which has been designed to stylishly stow a stick of Old Spice deodorant -- it's promotional, yes, but giveaway? Not so much. According to the information we've received, when the limited-edition tchotchke goes on sale exclusively at the Old Spice Facebook page on Wednesday (Nov. 23), it will bear (we couldn't resist) a price tag of $19.99.

Yes, it's ridiculous. And, since we aren't aware of any recent increase in deodorant thefts that would necessitate hiding one's Old Spice inside a woodland creature, we're going to go out on a limb and call it useless as well.

And, for some reason, those two facts make us want one even more. 

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Photo: The limited-edition Old Spice bear deodorant protector will sell exclusively through the brand's Facebook page for $19.99 starting Wednesday. Credit: Old Spice.

Silver Lake library to host facial-hair face-off Dec. 20

2011 LA Beard and Mustache Competition
Beardmen and 'stache-thletes working on their winter coats will have a chance to put their best face forward in an upcoming beard and mustache competition presented by the Silver Lake Branch Library.

The new event, which joins an increasingly crowded calendar of facial-hair face-offs around the country, will be awarding first-, second- and third-place prizes in six categories titled: Hipster, Best Fake, Most Scholarly, Most Outrageous, Go Big or Go Home and, the one that's our favorite given the time of year, Santa Claus.

The inaugural competition's sponsors include Silver Lake Wine, Cha Cha Lounge (which will be serving up commemorative pint glasses after the competition), Rockaway Records, Red Lion Tavern, Relapse Records and Mane 'n Tail shampoo (seriously).

Organizer Johathan Pitre, who works at the library, told us he was inspired to put the event together when he found out that none other than world-class beardsman and two-time world champion Jack Passion had recently relocated to the Silver Lake neighborhood from his former home of Walnut Creek, Calif. 

"Jack is going to come in and talk about his facial-hair book," Pitre told All The Rage. "And with these kinds of competitions becoming more popular -- and even being on TV -- I thought it would be a way to do something that was relevant and current and introduce a whole bunch of people to the library at the same time."

The competition, which is free to enter, is scheduled to take place on Dec. 20 starting at 6 p.m. at the Silver Lake Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, 2411 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles. Competitors are asked to register by Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. by e-mailing Pitre at silver@lapl.org. 

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Photos: Contestants take the stage at the first annual Los Angeles Beard & Mustache Competition earlier this year. The Silver Lake Branch Library has announced it will hold a similar facial-hair face-off on Dec. 20, 2011. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times


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