Dopp Bag Essentials for the Modern Man

Packing can be a daunting task for people who aren’t used to condensing their wardrobe choices into one twenty-four inch luggage bag. It’s hard to not pack a shoe for every hypothetical situation. Sometimes you pack too much and end up forgetting your toothbrush anyway. This is why everyone should always have an organized toiletry bag — enter the dopp bag, a one stop shop with all the essential masculine supplies.

This one’s for the fellas — a full list of all your dopp kit essentials so you can stop searching for your deodorant in the depths of your weekender.

Sivani No.321 Expandable Dopp Kit

Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Obviously this doesn’t need an explanation, because hygiene. Carry a travel brush that folds into itself and a mini toothpaste bottle (often found at the travel section of a drugstore). You can also pack a couple of Wisp travel brushes with the toothpaste already on the bristles if you need to brush on the go. If you can live without a bulky power brush, it’ll save a lot of space.


Again, hygiene. If you’re sitting in a plane or a car for an extended period of time, you will build odour. Think about the people you’re traveling with. Buy a travel sized deodorant and use it — often.

Body Wash (or Soap Bar)

Unless you’re adamant about the bar, I wouldn’t recommend it because of storage. Even if you put it back into a tin container after use, it’s still wet and mushy and, overall, a bit gross. Get yourself a pack of plastic travel bottles so you don’t end up bringing your whole shower caddy with you, and fill one with a body wash.

Shampoo and Conditioner

You can find these in travel sizes but the options are limited, so it’s best to just pour some of your trusted products into travel bottles. It doesn’t matter if they’re free, the hotel products are almost never as great and 99% will make your hair feel like straw.

Hair Products

This is personal preference, whether it’s pomade, serum, gel, etc.

Face Wash and Moisturizer

You can always use travel bottles/containers to store your face wash, scrub, and moisturizer. Certain brands also have travel sized versions of their products. The Clinique for Men Essentials Kit includes travel sized face wash, face scrub, moisturizing lotion, and anti-aging eye cream.

Sunscreen and Lotion

Sunscreen, because you need protection, especially if your itinerary includes a lot of beach time. Make sure your face is covered as well as the rest of you. Lotion, because you need moisturized skin.

Razor, Shaving Cream, and After Shave

Many brands sell electric travel razors that are compact and have a lid so it doesn’t shred up the inside of your dopp bag or cause any other damage. Don’t forget the shaving cream or after shave, which can also be bought in compact travel sizes as well.


DO NOT pack a full bottle of expensive cologne. They can get stolen or just break in your luggage bag. I don’t know which is worse. Instead, use a perfume atomizer to bring the amount you need for your trip. This also saves a whole lot of space.

Grooming Supplies

A comb, tweezers, nail clippers, etc.

Lint Roller

It’s good to be prepared, especially if you’re going to be attending a formal event like a wedding.


Or lip balm. No one likes having chapped lips so if this is not already on hand, it should be in your dopp bag.


Contact lenses: If you wear contacts, always carry an extra pair because you don’t know when it might decide to rip on you. Also buy a travel sized solution bottle because the regular ones are just way too big; Bandaids: Always good to have on hand; Chewing Gum/ Breath Mints: You can’t have enough; Tide-to-Go: Just in case you ruin that nice shirt at dinner.

So there you go, a full list of all your grown man dopp kit essentials. Happy travels and stay organized!

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Barber and Co. Where Precision Meets Style

Barber & Co. Style Kit

TEXT: Alexander Sauve

Handcrafted in Vancouver, Barber & Co. sets the bar high with their superior line of grooming, shaving, and hair care products guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed, invigorated, and uber-masculine without the visit to your favourite barber.

For the ultimate shaving experience, Barber & Co.’s No.07 Shave Oil ($20) deeply conditions and moisturizes, leaving your skin incredibly smooth and polished. Lightweight but dense, it’s ideal for all skin types and works well for clean-shaven guys and those of the bearded variety.

For the lumberjack set, the No.7 shave oil works well along the beard and moustache line where precision is key. For guys who like to keep their face looking smooth and distinguished, this highly versatile product delivers the goods for an extra close shave every time. The oil preps the face, keeping it free from embarrassing nicks, cuts, and irritation. Use sparingly — due to its density, shave oils require only 3 t0 5 drops for a perfect shave.

Whether you prefer your hairstyle clean-cut or hassle free, Barber & Co.’s No.13 Matte Pomade ($28) guarantees to leave you with James Dean-worthy hair. Wet or dry, this lightly scented rich-in-texture pomade gives hair a strong, natural all-day hold.  To use, work well until the pomade is warm, applying evenly throughout the hair. Moisture-enhancing wax, castor oil and purified water round out its ingredients.

Barber and Co.’s No. 2 Matte Putty ($28) will add depth to the hair while keeping it pliable all day long. Its texture is dense and works well on those pesky flyaways that never seem to keep their place in an otherwise perfect style. Similar to the pomade, work it well until warm and apply evenly throughout wet or dry hair. The putty gives a soft flexible hold and clean, matte finish.

Modern and highly versatile, matte putty will give your hair the desired look and hold without the added weight or oily residue. This product works well on hair of varying lengths, textures, and thicknesses. For the guy on the go, all three products are also available in the I’m Faded Style Kit ($50).

For the bearded guy, Barber & Co. also carries the I’m Faded Beard Kit ($40), guaranteed to keep your beard game up to par. Beard oil keeps your whiskers healthy and conditioned with natural oils and its key ingredients: Argan oil, Jojoba oil, Bergamot orange oil, Rosewood oil, and Vitamin E.

Also included in this convenient grooming bundle is No.12 Beard Balm. Beard balms and waxes work similar to pomades and matte putty’s — they add depth, control, and shine to the hair or beard. Packed with conditioning oils of Shea butter, Argan and Jojoba oil, Himalayan cedarwood oil, Guar gum, and Vitamin E.

Whether your grooming game is laid-back or impeccable to a fault, the company’s line of shaving, beard, and hair care products is guaranteed to give you unbeatable style at a fraction of the cost. It is easier than it has ever been to look your best. So go ahead and leave your mark with Barber and Co.

Barber & Co. full service barbershops can be found throughout the Vancouver area. Their newest location in Toronto — which hides Gift Shop, a warm, full cocktail bar, in the back — is at 89 Ossington Ave. Grooming and hair products can be found online ( and in-shop.

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Pretty Boys: Redefining the Male Aesthetic

Photo Credit: POPSURGAR

TEXT: Alexander Sauve

Fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and breakouts–the majority of skincare issues men face is beyond frustrating. Gone are the days of simply rolling out of bed, stepping into the shower, getting dressed and being out the door in 15 minutes. Today’s modern guy rocks everything from facial toners and cleansers to masks and moisturizers all targeted toward his specific skincare needs.

With the male grooming industry quickly gaining momentum, men in greater numbers are jumping on the next big trend in male grooming–cosmetics for men, or corrective skincare, as its known some circles. Cosmetics have always been marketed towards women, worn by women, and for the most part, only by women. But with fashion and beauty insiders continually challenging beauty and gender norms, so are the norms of who is wearing makeup.

Believe or not, the trend of men wearing guy-liner isn’t going anywhere. In fact, there are cosmetics brands devoted exclusively to the corrective skincare needs of the appearance conscious male. Similar to the beauty products marketed towards women, these brands claim to cover pimples, hide under-eye circles, and even out skin tone to make you look alert when you’re essentially dead tired, partied out or just plain hung-over.

According to statistics released by Euromonitor International, male consumers spent over five billion on grooming products last year alone, over half of this amount went into cosmetics and skincare. Although men’s grooming sales were affected by a three percent decline in men’s shaving due to the rise in popularity of beards and mustaches. The male grooming industry continues to remain full of diverse products and is expected to bring 21 billion in revenue in 2016.

High profile fashion designers including Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs have released cosmetic lines devoted exclusively to the male consumer. While MAC cosmetics have recently announced its new brand ambassadors–the sons of supermodel Stephanie Seymour and business mogul Peter Brant.

Photo Credit: POPSUGAR

Harry and Peter Brant have collaborated on a collection for the modern day man. The Brant Brothers collection from MAC offers a full-range of cosmetics for your various grooming needs. The cosmetic line includes eye shadows offered in universal neutral tones ($33), gel cremes for unruly brows ($17), sculpting crèmes to contour the face ($33) and various brushes to complete your picture perfect look ($21-$43).

Tom Ford’s name is synonymous with clean lines and a well-defined male aesthetic appreciated by both men and women alike. Ford’s new line of grooming products made exclusively for men does not disappoint. The collection includes old skincare favorites such as cleansers, toners, moisturizers and serums, but also includes a concealer to camouflage minor skin imperfections ($40), a Bronzing Gel for that perfect summer look ($48), and for those brows a Brow Gelcomb ($45). Ford’s line also plays it safe with respect to marketing and packaging, which will appeal to even the most conservative of male consumers.


Marc Jacobs Boy tested, Girl Approved offers a full range of cosmetics including mascaras, concealers, eye shadows, nail polishes, a brow mousse, and isn’t entirely meant to be shared between the sexes. In a recent interview with New York Magazine, Jacobs was quick to point out that any beauty or grooming product can essentially be unisex. “I believe that anything can be for a man or women…we live in a world where I see guys walking around with makeup and girls walking around in boys clothes. All that matters is that you’re happy.”

Always a sucker for a fabulous new product, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen ($47). This lightweight concealer promises to balance, brighten and correct the signs of aging.  I must admit I was rather giddy to try my new purchase. The concealer glides on smoothly while it brightens the skin after application. Coverage stays put all day and gives a soft appearance to the face after use. Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen can be found exclusively online and at Sephora retailers.

For guys considering a little camouflage but are still somewhat apprehensive, don’t be. I started to wear makeup as teenager due to terrible acne breakouts, but was amazed at what cosmetics could do not only for the overall appearance of my complexion but for my confidence as well. Nevertheless, like anything else, applying makeup correctly, choosing the right shade, finding what works and what doesn’t, takes a wee bit of practice. But its totally worth the effort.

From sculpting the perfect male physiques, to spending a small fortune on grooming, clothes and toiletries–men have never been so preoccupied with their appearance. We are currently in an age where the male aesthetic is celebrated with no indication of slowing down. If you have problem skin, or simply want to look better–corrective skincare may be the answer for you.  

On Our Radar: Man Kind Grooming

With her third location now open in Parkdale, located at Queen Street West and O’Hara Avenue, Anka Miron’s grooming studio for men, Mankind, is a new welcomed neighbour in the growing area. The “Proudly Parkdale” sticker from the Parkdale BIA shines in the window under the signature orange gentleman above her door.

“It’s never happened before where we open and we have business owners from around us walk in and welcome us to the neighbourhood and congratulating us,” Miron gushes. “Even saying, ‘wow, you are here! We have been waiting’. I love the community here. It is so friendly.”

Miron’s other locations are at Richmond Street West and Brandt St, which has been open for five years, as well as uptown at Eglinton Avenue East by Mount Pleasant Road, which has been there for three years.


“It’s interesting how people react after each opening,” she laughs, when asked about further expansion plans for her brand. “After the first, everyone is so excited about something new, and doesn’t ask about the second. Then when the second opens, people are impressed your business is going up but nobody asks about the third. Once the third is open though, everyone is asking about the fourth. I mean, I like having babies, but I don’t know how many! I need a little recovery.”

When the opportunity knocked on her door to open the Queen Street West store, it was too good to pass up. Originally, Miron was looking at Queen Street East but she hadn’t committed to it just yet. When the opportunity for the Queen Street West space opened, she didn’t want to think twice about it.


“I wanted to mimic the old style of barbershop, with the chandelier and the accent pieces. “Mankind covers head to toe. The evolution of barbershops has come to this and differentiates us from the standard shop. We have implemented the aesthetics and anything that has to do with overall hygiene, like manicures and pedicures. It brings the shop to a trendier look, but also covering the basics of men’s grooming.”

Mankind offers services such as manicures, pedicures, facials, hot stone massages and waxing, on top of all the barbershop services it provides, like straight razor shaves. Each member of Miron’s staff is hand selected by her, based not only on their high level of skill, but on their personality and whether or not she believes they will fit into one particular store in the three very different demographics of Toronto.


“We present our products through education. I like my staff to be the educators of our clients and that way, they can guide them in their decision,” Miron explains, on why she chooses certain products for her stores. “We have a long relationship with American Crew and our clients have a say in the variety we bring into the store, so we can support them as much as they support us. It’s a constant dialogue between one another, which creates that bond and lasting relationship.”

The most popular service at Mankind is Alpha Male, an ultimate bliss package that includes haircut and style with shampoo and conditioning treatment, scalp massage, paraffin hand wax with hand massage and hot towel with facial toner. As well, the package for the men’s side of the wedding party is a client favourite, where the guys get to come in and get ready together in a fun and relaxed setting.


The launch party for the third store in Parkdale will be in June, so be sure to keep up with Anka Miron and Mankind on at @mankindtoronto on Instagram and @mankindstudio Twitter.