Last night I attended the launch of an exciting, new line of products for men from ACE, a venerable purveyor of grooming products. It was the first time I’d been back to Bryant Park since Fashion Week, so I strolled through the park to the events space, Arena, on 41st Street. There were people sitting on the grass, and reading newspapers at tables. It was very cosmopolitan. I wish I could have lingered a bit.
But, I didn’t want to be late for the ACE launch. When I arrived, a was ushered into the large (and quite dark) space. After a short cocktail hour featuring ACE signature drinks (one,a delicious dirty martini with three black olives) and a brief presentation, Editors were invited to visit the various “stations” for Trimming Tools, Tweezers, Hair Tools, Nail Gear, Shave Tools, and Travel Tools & Kits. These were “manned” (pun intended) by attractive guys and ACE representatives, alllowing editors to get up-close-and-personal with all the items.
From my view, these tools are so beautifully designed, they will probably cause “girlfriend envy,” — a change from the traditional “guys borrowing beauty tools from the girls.” Yes, ladies, you will want to use these ACE men’s grooming tools, but they’ve been specifically designed specifically for men and men’s needs. They’re beautifully designed with a red and black color scheme, stainless steel construction for durability, man-sized, rubberized (on some items) grips for comfort and control, and simple, ergonomic designs.
I found myself standing in front of the ACE Trimming Tools station first (the adorable guy standing at this station could have been a bit of a magnet). Let’s face it, guys have a lot of facial hair to deal with, including nose and ear hair. Therefore, the ACE Trimming Tools include a substantial, Dual Action Trimmer SRP for nose & ear hair, and facial hair grooming), two sets of scissors (Safety and Detail) with huge, man-sized, red, rubberized finger grips, and a Facial Grooming Kit in a ballistic nylon travel case with a facial hair comb and detail scissors.
Clean nails is another way a man can look well groomed. The new line of products for men in the ACE Nail Care Line include two really nice Clippers for toenails and fingernails that are 360 degrees away from the tiny, wimpy clippers generally available in drugstore. These have textured, man-sized grips and clippers, and a built-in clippings catcher. There’s also a nifty Nail File Pick that looks like a huge guitar pick, featuring a round, “scrubbing ring” to easily and quickly remove gunk from all sides of his nails, plus a pick (to remove trapped, under-nail dirt), and even a small nail file on the side to smooth out the rough spots. The large-sized Nail Brush with extra-large grip felt great even in my hands. I think it will get even reluctant guys to “clean up their act.”
Just as intriguing were the ACE Hair Tools. Of course, there are the iconic, black, ACE pocket combs in two sizes (5″ and 7.5″) but now they have longer, rubberized grips for comfort and control. For guys who have enough hair to worry about brushing it, there are three brushes with longer handles and rubberized grips, retracting bristles (for easy cleaning), and ComfortFlex design that massage the scarp without snagging hair. The Dandruff Control Brush features copper bristles that we were told kill 88% of the fungus that causes dandruff and dry scalp. I’m not sure about this, but I’ll be checking it out.
There are three different Tweezers (also longer and larger than a ladies’ version), and a number of “must-have” accessories: my favorite is the clever, Fogless Shower Mirror (SRP $15.99). It has a water reservoir that, when filled, equalizes the mirror and air temperature to eliminate fog (the water slowly drains out into the tub). This mirror is held securely in place with two large suction cups, it is adjustable, and has a flexible razor holder for different razor sizes. For travel and gifts, there’s an a ballistic nylon ACE Power Grooming Kit including the Dual Action Trimmer, Fingernail Clippers, and a Dual Action Tweezer); an Essential Grooming Kit featuring Fingernail Clippers, Dual Action Tweezer and Safety Scissors in a ballistic nylon case, and a really nice, ACE Excursion Bag that has a ballistic nylon shell that holds it’s shape so his bottles and other fragile items don’t break, but it still compresses in a suitcase to safe space.
You won’t have to be a Wall Street Whiz Kit to afford these, either. Prices Range from a suggested retail price of $31.99 for the Power Grooming Set, to a low of $6.99 for a nail brush or Fingernail Clippers.
If there’s one company that should know about what men want and need in terms of grooming, it’s ACE. In fact, when most people think of men’s grooming products, the iconic black ACE pocket comb comes to mind. Everyone from Presidents to Elvis, has had at least one. Today, men’s grooming no longer just means combed hair and clean fingernails (although those are must-haves). With the rise of the “metrosexual,” and “manscaping,” this era is the one of the aware male. There are more products and tools for the “average guy” than ever before. 150 years after it’s first breakthrough with the classic, black comb, ACE has realized there’s an unfilled need for more stuff for the guys. This new and awesome line of grooming tools for men are going to be a huge hit when they arrive in drugstores and mass market retail stores this Fall, just a few short months away! Too bad they’re not going to be available this Father’s Day. If you’re stumped for ideas for Dad, the Advice Sisters What Works Beauty, Cosmetics & Fashion review column features dozens and dozens and dozens of ideas for gifts for the guys. Watch for it!