Nappy.co

(Hey, boo ... just thought we’d kick this off with a little #BeardGang love.)

Just in time to help us with our holiday shopping, The Glow Up had the pleasure of an office visit from celebrity makeup artist Camara Aunique, who’s responsible for the always flawless face game of Insecure’s Yvonne Orji, among others. Needless to say, we were eager to know what holiday makeup tips this face-making guru had to share with us, but as it turns out, Aunique’s interested in making more than pretty faces ...

Instead of talking about beauty, this beauty wanted to talk about ... beards.

It’s no secret that 2017 was the Year of the Beard; one need only ask the 1,751,033 members (and climbing) of the official Beard Game Matters closed Facebook group. But for those of us who have been longtime beard lovers, it’s been a bit anticlimactic to watch the rest of the world catch on to what we been knowin’: Beards are sexy as hell.

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Actually, let me clarify: Well-groomed beards are sexy as hell.

At the time of our meeting, it seems that Aunique had just gotten her well-manicured hands on a pair of brand-new Beard & Stache Balms by natural-skin-care company Anlea Essentials. She was eager to put them to use—which she did, on The Root senior reporter Terrell Jermaine Starr’s beard—and a convert was born.

These shea-based balms also include natural oils and two memorable scents: Debonair Dude and Husband Material (hint, hint). And at $10 each, you can afford to see if he graduates from one to the other.

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Of course, SheaMoisture Men has been in the beard game for a while now, a fact they did not hesitate to remind us of during “No-Shave November” 2017:

@Glamazini via YouTube screenshot

Since many of SheaMoisture’s products are available at your local chain store, you could easily grab a basket or dopp kit and put together an entire grooming regimen for under $80 in one stop. How’s that for last-minute gifting?

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Of course, as our own Deputy Managing Editor Yesha Callahan recently warned us, behind every great beard is not necessarily a great face—a phenomenon she calls “beard-fishing.” This is why it’s important to tend to the skin under that beard as much as the beard itself.

One of Camara Aunique’s favorite skin and hair lines is legacy brand Kiehl’s, which has been in the naturally derived beauty business since 1851, and for good reason. Not only does it sell a deliciously sexy-smelling beard oil using sandalwood, cedarwood and eucalyptus essential oils, but its men’s skin-care collection is one of the most extensive on the market, with over 30 selections to choose from, available in most major cities and department stores.

Aunique’s picks? Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer ($20) and Facial Fuel Energizing Tonic for Men ($18), topped off with Kiehl’s Men’s Oil Eliminator 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer ($27). All three are great for fully bearded and clean-shaven men alike!

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Of course, here at The Glow Up, we believe that what’s good for the goose is always good for the gander (oh, Sheila), so we’re huge fans of black-owned unisex brand Oyin Handmade, created and run by wife-and-husband team Jamlya and Pierre Bennu. Their hydrating herbal-juice sprays are nourishing for all types of natural hair—on the head and the face! And with gender-neutral scents like the citrusy Greg Juice, spicy Frank Juice and tropical Fruits & Berries (shoutout to Coming to America), these are as good a gift for her as for him.

We’ve only got four shopping days left until Christmas, but you still have time to make a man’s beard great again! While you might not make it in time for the 25th, you can certainly celebrate the new year by giving the man—or men—in your life the gift of grooming in the new year ...

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Because we have a feeling this beard jones ain’t going away anytime soon.

The Glow Up gift tip: You might’ve missed it for the holidays, but it’s not too late to treat yourself! Catch Camara Aunique-curated “Beat Boxes” on sale at Marjani Beauty now ($20-$145)!