7 Lessons My Little Brother And I Have Taught Each Other About Beauty

I'm usually the one fulfilling his beauty needs, but I've learned a few things from him, too!
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I'm usually the one fulfilling his beauty needs, but I've learned a few things from him, too!

If you're a friend of mine, there's a pretty strong chance you've met my brother. Dylan is 23 and lives in Minneapolis pretty close to me, so we hang out all the time. We've been really good pals since we were tiny; I guess you could say I groomed him to be my sidekick since he could walk and talk.

Trendoids in Texas tuxedos circa 1995. My outfit is from Amy Byer! Remember that?

Trendoids in Texas tuxedos circa 1995. My outfit is from Amy Byer! Remember that?

Dylan is naturally pretty handsome (I'm a big sister, so I can say this), but he has always enjoyed snooping through my products and taking those that address his needs. He'll come over, watch our cable and then ask me, "Hey, do you have any conditioner/face masks/etcetera?" 

Generally, I'm the one fulfilling his beauty needs, but I've learned a few things from him, too! 

1. Natural deodorant doesn't work. 

I'm sorry, Dylan. It just doesn't. Dylan is a little bit hippie-dippie sometimes, and he loves to collect and hoard Tom's of Maine deodorant. I have never, ever had luck with this stuff, but he insists it works. I insist I can smell him. Never the twain shall meet, I guess.

Dylan says: “I don’t sweat that much anyway. I’m still looking for one that will make me smell like a mountain. Like a big-ass glacial mountain.”

2. Coconut oil is great for taming crazy curls. 

Dylan had straight hair when we were younger, but since he turned 18, it's only gotten curlier and curlier. 

Dylan and I at my junior prom in 2005. His hair used to be pretty long and straight.

Dylan and I at my junior prom in 2005. His hair used to be pretty long and straight.

We both have pretty coarse waves, so we like to use a little coconut oil to tame them when our hair is wet. By some strange twist of fate, Dylan's waves turn to ringlets when he does this. I'm jealous.

Dylan says: “I like it because you can buy a big thing for pretty cheap, but I think it’s getting a little too heavy for my hair now. Now I’m using monoi oil or going au naturale. I don’t like how I look with short hair ‘cause I play rock ‘n’ roll.”

3. Dr. Bronner is awesome for everything. 

Dylan introduced me to Dr. Bronner soap when he gave me a giant bottle of the lavender scent for my birthday. I fell in love with it and use it for everything from washing my makeup brushes to cleaning the kitchen floor. I like to pour a little in my bathwater, too, because the scent is just strong enough to be relaxing but never overpowering. 

Dylan says: “I like Dr. Bronner because you can use it for anything. It doesn’t dry your skin out, and I like the scents; I’m using orange right now. My friend Joe turned me on to it.” 

In our home farm shop with a family heirloom: a pickup. Matching outfits provided by Midnight Rider.

In our home farm shop with a family heirloom: a pickup. Matching outfits provided by Midnight Rider.

4. Lotion is your friend! 

Dylan hates wearing lotion. He works in a salvage shop, so he's always doing heavy lifting and grunt work. His hands go through a lot, and his knuckles are always painful and cracking. I nag at him to use a hand cream all the time, but he refuses.

Dylan says: “I don’t like the greasy feeling of lotion. I drink a lot of water and green tea; I think it helps keep me hydrated. I think there’s a stigma that lotion is girly and being obsessed with your skin is emasculating. But I like Aveda aftershave cream in the winter, and that’s a moisturizer I will use.”

5. Use a facemask once a week. 

One of Dylan's favorite things to swipe from my beauty closet is a face mask. His favorite one thus far is the classic Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque.

Dylan says: “In the summer, when I work outside, I work in a lot of dust and dirt. If I’m going on a date or something, I have a spa day like ‘Mask Monday’ where I’ll use that mask around my nose. It makes my skin feel nice and my pores clear.”

6. Boys can use conditioner, too. 

When did the world decide that men don't use conditioner? Most of the dudes in my life have glorious hair that needs the love conditioner can provide, and Dylan's one of those. 

Once I introduced him to Kiehl's Amino Acid Conditioner, which moisturize gently with coconut oil, jojoba oil and (obviously) amino acids, he was hooked.

Dylan: “I didn’t STEAL that! You gave it to me!”

7. Listen to your sister.

Bossy older sister.

Bossy older sister.

Dylan says: “Don’t wash your hair every day. I got curly hair when I stopped washing it every day, and girls started talking to me. Don’t stress out about your skin. Find stuff that works for you. Don’t spend a lot of money on crazy products, just steal them from your sister. Just because you’re a guy doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself and put on a mud mask. You can drink whiskey while you do it if you’re worried about it.” 

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I've taught him well.