Category: Lifestyle

Case by Case

Production continued late into the night on The Everyday Gentleman grooming oils. And they are looking – and smelling – great!

Case by case, the battalion of beard oils march out the door.

These amazing beard oils not only strengthen and smooth the hairs on your face, you can bet on the scent being as good as – or better (more natural) than – a cologne. The reaction of the oils with your natural scent make a huge impact.

Smell great, feel confident…

Much love,
The Everyday Gentleman

Cheers!

 

Why it’s important to love what you do.

Truth be told, I do love what I do. All of it. Yes, even if I’m going from publishing zines to producing a line of beard oils. If I’m not having fun with things, I’m not interested in continuing.

That goes for making The Everyday Gentleman grooming oils. For me, loving it and having fun are top priorities alongside high quality. And whether one knows it or not, those feelings come across in the final product.

There’s a special quality in lining up the tiny battalion of amber bottles, ready to be filled. The gratifying feeling I get in designing and printing these unique labels is beyond compare. Not to mention blending each of the oils and hand pouring these small batches…

I take great care in making sure the blends are harmonious. To me, it’s almost like cooking. Too much of one ingredient can overpower the rest. Oh yeah, and never, ever eat fast food. (You get the correlation here, right?) The same can be said for what you put in your hair. Especially facial hair.

Gentlemen, if you grow, you know: you can’t mess around with the product(s) you put in your beard — or mustache!

Of the essential oils I currently use, Cedarwood is one of my favorites; it’s also a versatile signature scent. It has an earthy aroma, yet the way I use it, the Cedarwood is not too overpowering. I’m careful to make sure all of my beard oils are well-balanced. That’s why people love the way they smell — and feel — on a beard (yes, whether it’s their own or of someone they love).

Here are a few shots of these beautiful amber bottles – getting ready for the next shipment!

I’m looking forward to sharing more behind the scenes of The Everyday Gentleman production and more. Check back soon…

To those who have The Everyday Gentleman in their dopp kit, i hope you’re enjoying them! …and if you haven’t checked them out for yourself, please do so! Visit The Everyday Gentleman.

Cheers!
Johnny

Everything will be alright. You just need a shred of Authenticity

Beards are a deeply personal thing — at least in my opinion.

Growing them, liking them. Grooming them. Loving those who wear them. (Funny, that last one is where the idea of it being “personal” comes in to consideration most… how to make that “personal” thing an outward-facing embrace that is equal parts encompassing, accessible and pleasing to another who chose not to — or simply can’t — grow a beard themselves.)

Tsokos beard detail

Work in progress. It’s no simple thing, but a deeply personal one.

You get the idea. But at the moment, I do want to stress the word deeply. Yes it is a personal thing, much like anything else one chooses. Who would argue that a choice — especially regarding the growth of facial hair — is not personal on some level? Making this matter more difficult is the chatter around the idea of its trend. You see, trends tend to force someone to incline to one side or another. I reserve my scathing remarks for other things than commenting on trends. Does one fight the urge to give in to a trend? Sure; I can’t argue with that. It’s sound advice, actually.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 2.30.10 PMBut is the Beard really over? Is it here to stay? Was it ever ‘here’ in the first place? Should we start dangling random objects from them? The endless line of questions that has — especially of late — come to serve as fodder for clickbait than great content. (I never even thought to check if a clickbait generator even existed.) Do any of those questions really matter? It’s obvious, really. But I digress. Not to mention, it’s none of anyone’s business. Remember, the beard is a deeply personal thing. As long as you have a shred of authenticity about you, things should be okay. (Hint: find and cultivate that authenticity.)

Hindsight is 20/20. But is that really the soundbite here? Is that what we’re going to say about beards, that we’re “glad it’s over” or we should have known better? I don’t know if that will ever be true. At least not for me. Maybe we do often use hindsight as a scapegoat. It’s a fact that might not sit easily, nor is it one we have time to discuss right now. (Let’s have a drink sometime and chat about it.) For now, just relax, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Oh. And groom that beard.

Cheers!

Photo via refinery29.com

Photo via refinery29.com

The Year of Whatever You Want It To Be…

When you say something like, “It’s a new beginning,” or “It’s a fresh start,” what exactly does that mean? Do you really intend to start on the path of a new beginning, or create a fresh start, for that matter? Maybe the one you’re on is right, but you’re about to commit to it fully. Either way, you’ve said it. Now you’ve got to commit to it.

Last year right around this time, I decided to change the look of The Everyday Gentleman and it seemed as if it were good enough in general. That made me content. But now it seems as if it didn’t turn out as good enough for me for as long as I thought it would. This thought is quite complex, but basically: it’s time to grow.

I’ve been thinking about all the great music I come across, (well, if only in my opinion of course,) and fantastic art I am fortunate to experience, (again in my humble opinion,) — and yes certain style that goes without saying is of my own opinion — and often wonder why I am not sharing more of it. To my credit, it’s been a little busy…

…I’ve been doing quite a bit of this
Velocitylab

…and a bit of this
Fevergirl

…and of course some of this
Flight to Toronto

So here’s to 2013: The Year of Whatever You Want It To Be. A fresh start; a new beginning. As long as it’s something important.

And yes, we can be sure there is more of this to come…. Stay tuned ‘coz it might rush forth all at once, or like a very slow and sugary drip.

Cheers!
T S O K O S

For Tradition’s Sake.

One of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures is diving up to my eyeballs into The New York Times each Sunday morning. It’s not that I can’t do without it—after all, that makes the obsession of a guilty pleasure cross the boundary from a downright need. But when I do without it, I might get a little cranky. (Okay, I get more than a little cranky.) Since my corner store only carries just enough of the heavy publication to satisfy several of us in the neighborhood, well let’s just say you’d have to be up really bloody early to get yours. Either that or resort to home delivery, which—after trying it once—I realized home delivery in Miami Beach is one thing The New York Times does not specialize in. We’ll leave it at that; after all, this is The Everyday Gentleman, not The Everyday Complaint Department. My advice on that: Just Say No To Home Delivery.

It has been a long time since I started reading that paper; in fact, when I was younger I used to get it only for studying the fashion illustrations lining the ads within its interiors; that, and I used the classifieds to find the kinds of jobs desperate Art School Graduates looked for. It was more of a tradition born of necessity back then to sit with the classifieds and a red pencil each Sunday with a hopefulness only someone in my position could have. The process of circling art-oriented jobs soon lead me to huddling over a stack of cover letters and resumes that I would send out to the attention of each of the contacts I found of interest in that classified section. Then the faxing began. (Yes I just said “faxing,” as in feeding paper into a fax machine, aiming for said papers to spit out the other end into someone’s real inbox and not the trash basket.) Well, it was either that or the mail—you got it: stamps, self-addressed envelopes and everything.

The revival of my desire for getting the Sunday Times could be attributed to a great many reasons now, but the motive is clear: I want this indulgence to be in creating a tradition that I know matters. The written word, the printed paper, the dry ink smudged on my fingertips as a kind of physical sign of accomplishment, the turning of actual pages—and I say all this with much respect to everyone who is a fan of digital tablets, e-readers and iAnythings. (To be honest, I don’t think the marketers behind the commercials for today’s e-readers and such are trying to include me as their target. Take for example “Kindle Friends,” which currently makes me sadder than looking at this:

Kidding aside… This is not my anti-digital proclamation, (as I have none of those,) but more of a point of stating that I love having this thing—this process—among many that contributes to who I am and wanted to share the idea of having a tradition. What’s yours?

Cheers!

PS – interesting tweet I came across from the inimitable Karl Lagerfeld that I thought might be fun to include here (even if we’re not necessarily talking about “expensive books,” it’s kind of worth posting.)

What To Do If You Suddenly Have The Manners of a Taxi Driver

And no, the answer to that is not violent, nor will it make you want to give up on life in helpless desperation.

I’m not the first one to express the importance of being a well-rounded individual in this world and certainly not the last, but it might very well be the first time that I am writing about it here to drive home a point. And I’ll use the metaphor of driving to illustrate it.

Though this is the home of The Everyday Gentleman, the ideas and the motives found here are ones that are inherently within each of us. Or at least can be.

Taxi Driver

Not this taxi driver.

One manifestation of the self-imposed development of my own well-roundedness these days has culminated in my immersion into music—perhaps more so than I have been in the recent past. Now that does not mean I have revived something that was lost; simply put, I’ve committed to taking it more seriously and searching out what I love even deeper: be it new music or my old favorites. Aside from the accessibility of new music—independently or with high production values and that of all genres—one major thing that has helped in this endeavor is the increase of live performances and great venues in Miami. (For me, live shows are incredibly important—for myself and a band’s complete persona—and I have even entertained the idea of scheduling a trip back home around a live show of a favorite artist or band.) But that is another story…

Here in Miami, we’re left to hop into our cars and join the hordes of people who disregard the disclaimers on car commercials. You know the ones: “Professional driver. Do not attempt.” Yeah, that one. Or even worse: we’re forced to sit helplessly in the backseat of a taxi. Although I myself have often opted to drive, there are times where I have to get past my loathing for taxi drivers and just get into one of their Yellow Demon Traps. (What, you don’t know my history with taxi drivers? Take a moment to find out why: here.)

Here’s the thing with taxi drivers: you are forced to trust them, even if reluctantly and against your better judgment. If you’re anything like me, you do so because there is no reason to be there other than the lack of availability of any alternative modes of transportation. You don’t know them and for the most part you’ve never met one twice. Out of all the people I know, not one has professed their love for being in the back of a taxi, bumping around while usually treated shabbily by its driver. But I’m not here to sway your opinion one way or the other. I’m here to let you know that if you ever drive like one, or talk like one, or become as bristly as one—stop everything you are doing. It’s time for an intervention.

Regarding the generalities of taxi drivers, I’m in no way placing blame on—or questioning the motives of—them. What I am doing is asking that we all sit up and take notice. (I understand the irony of that statement, especially when I’m talking about the rank-smelling back seat of a taxi.) Perhaps I am not asking we take notice of taxi drivers, but of ourselves. After all, if you learn one thing about me, having been raised by a taxi driver myself, I can say it’s not fun to be around one.

What do you do if suddenly you find yourself having the manners of a taxi driver? That’s up to you, but I sure hope you check yourself… before—you got it—you wreck yo’self.

Cheers!

Pluck Chickens, Not Your Eyebrows.

"Will that be a leg or a thigh?"

I used to chase this one chicken around the family farm in Greece when I was a child. Back then, anyone would have seen her as my only friend. Truth be told, there was nothing else to do but chase her – that is, after escaping from the stank outhouse in the middle of the night. (Don’t believe me? Check this out.) Well none of it mattered: one day I found out that my grandfather had plucked it’s feathers right off. (Cue the scene of a table of Greeks fighting over greasy chicken legs and maybe one teary-eyed kid.)

Reminiscing about that poor chicken reminded me of something else that is similarly as unfortunate and sad: over-groomed eyebrows. Especially on men.

Yes, we see it often but hopefully we’re not looking at them right now. Are you? Only you know the answer to this one. But don’t worry. And don’t stop reading. This is something we can change together!

It is no secret that I am half-Greek and half-Italian. That means my chances of having been born with two distinct and separate eyebrows was slim to none. I don’t know if you are up against the same odds, but whatever the case is, please know that we do not have to settle for a face that is reminiscent of La Bête. At the same time, there is no reason to look like you have taken a page out of the Pete Burns playbook. (In case you haven’t seen Pete Burns after he spun us right ’round, wait until the end of this article.)

Gentlemen, this is likely one of the most noticeable things on your face. So why go and screw it up?

Keeping your ‘brows under control is simpler than you think: first remove any unwanted hairs by combing them forward; trim strays with a small scissor. As far as tweezers go – and here’s where the tweezing, not plucking, comes in and what to remove –  let a professional take care of it the first time if you’d like; you can follow the lines they give you from there. You can always turn to a partner; they’re able to see what’s best for your features. Oh, and if you can leave the wax for making candles, please for the love of everything outside of MTV, do so! I should say here that you don’t have to go to a spa, unless you want to, as long as you come out looking like you are on the right end of the evolutionary chart. And I do mean right. Have you seen the left side? Those guys weren’t worried about promoting car insurance.

Let’s spend one final moment as to when to do this grooming. If you’re looking in the mirror after a few drinks and you see more than one of you; turn away. The Magic 8 Ball should be reading: “Try Again Later.” Similarly, if you’re doing it after you read a fashion blog written by some guy who’s telling you to trim your brows – wink wink – you might want to pause. The most important reason to do them, aside from wanting to look your best is… wait a sec. The only reason you should do them is to look your best. But guys, please notice i said “them” as in more than one. Yes, you should have more than one eyebrow. Unless you’re a yellow puppet who loves watching pigeons.

As I conclude this post – and funnily enough – I’m finding that one can get over a chicken-friend getting plucked down to nothing, but not when the same is done to eyebrows.

There is a lesson here, indeed. And here are a few more lessons…

Cheers!