Style

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

Today’s beauty uniform is near and dear to my heart: my husband Alex Williams! Here, just for fun, he shares his go-to fragrance, the best glasses for big heads, and the dating advice he’ll give our boys…

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

As a style writer for the New York Times, do you have a product that you cannot live without?
Sunscreen. I’ve worn it on my face every day for decades. Most natural sunscreens are total greasepaint, but a couple years ago, I tried the Josie Maran’s tinted moisturizer at work. It’s smooth and lightweight, and I have been using it ever since.

You do know you’re 100% wearing foundation, right?
I guess I mostly know that. I like that it gives me color! I just have to be careful not to go too far. An editor at work once said, ‘Wow, you got some sun.’ I need to learn to apply it better, like how you’re always telling me, ‘You have to blend it into your beard, you don’t want to see the line!’

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

Pre-beard

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

Post-beard

What is the most drastic thing you’ve ever done with your overall look?
I actually never, ever thought I’d be a beard guy. Growing up, beard guys were Grizzly Adams, and I wanted to be James Dean. But ten years ago, over Christmas, I got a killer case of stomach flu. Obviously, I didn’t shave that week. You liked it and told me to keep it. Now a beard has become my look for more than a decade.
 
Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

Let’s talk about fragrances.
The first fragrance I ever got into — like every other college guy I knew — was Ralph Lauren Polo. I still have a soft spot for it and think it smells amazing. I didn’t wear cologne for many years in my 20s and 30s, but when we started dating, you gave me Kiehl’s Musk, which was a good gateway scent. Now I have four or five on rotation — especially Bowmakers from D.S. & Durga. It’s inspired by old violin shops, and it has a woody, almost whiskey-ish undertone. I love this stuff.

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

Did you wear any special fragrances while dating?
Oh, I have the most embarrassing story, I’m cringing. During the early days of the internet, I stumbled across this special pheromone fragrance online. I was like, you know what, it’s twenty bucks, it’s worth rolling the dice. So, I wore it on a date, and the whole time, I was like, this smells kind of funky, like a cherry air freshener for your car. Needless to say, we did not end up together.

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

Live and learn! What hair products do you use?
My hair is naturally wild and woolly, so I use a unisex bedhead product that I really like. And I have a small grey patch on my beard, which I cover up with the Just For Men beard dye.

Any beauty mistakes you remember?
Years ago, I was visiting a guy friend in L.A., but I had forgotten to bring any hair stuff. I remembered that an ex-girlfriend said, ‘Oh, fashion models use sugar and water and it works just as well as hair gel.’ I found some powdered sugar in the kitchen and patted some on my head. My friend was like, you look like a churro.

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

Glasses are such a big part of your look. What frames do you go for?
Regular Warby Parker glasses are too small for my giant head, but I’ve figured out a hack: their sunglass frames are larger, and you can fit them with regular lenses. For sunglasses, I love the Moscot oversized aviators. I’m obsessed with the Vietnam war, so when I wear them, I always think of Robert Duvall in ‘Apocalypse Now.’

Any drugstore products you swear by?
Salt deodorant. It’s basically a little salt lick. They last forever; I bought my last one five years ago and it’s still going strong. I haven’t purchased regular deodorant for 15 years and haven’t missed it a bit.

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

Can you tell us about your nutty bedtime routine?
I’ve suffered from insomnia (technically, delayed sleep-phase disorder) since I was a child, and I’ve seen a million sleep doctors. I’ve come to rely on a whole bedside table full of things. A noise machine, for sure. The Tempur-Pedic sleep mask is a must. (The cheap thin ones are uncomfortable and don’t block all the light; plus, the elastic stretches out so you can only wear it a couple times.) My doctor also turned me on to a new herbal regimen, and it works for me: 5 mg melatonin, plus Best Rest Formula, plus some stuff called Cortisol Manager. It’s not the knockout blow you get with prescription meds, but it eases me into sleep.

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

What did the men in your family teach you about beauty?
My dad washed his hair with bar soap (the cheap pink bars that came in plastic bags of six) and was so averse to any products, even sunscreen, that he had a permanent V-shaped sunburn on his chest from wearing T-shirts while doing yard work on the weekends. He was basically the exact age as Don Draper, and he had all the same mid-century male suspicions about anything related to “beauty.” My older brother was the same. He lived in the Mojave Desert, where the sun is so intense that it would literally crack the upholstery of a car, but still, he never wore sunscreen. We’re talking old-school dudes here.

Alex Williams

Did they give you dating advice?
Not a shred. My dad married the first woman he dated. Girls naturally loved my brother but he had no game. All my high school friends were clueless. So, I went out in the dating world and made every conceivable mistake. You really do need an older friend or dad or brother to take you aside and tell you the ropes.

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

So, will you give our boys dating advice?
For sure. I’ll tell them: it’s important to have game, but not play games. Rules like ‘wait three days to call’ are utter horseshit. If someone likes you, they like you; if they don’t, they don’t. There’s not much you can do to “trick” someone. Also, just be nice. When I was young, I thought girls always went for bad boys and rockstars; I shot myself in the foot trying to be the angry young rebel. But in the end, every girl who ever liked me liked me because I was nice.

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

What non-beauty rituals make you feel good?
I bike to work most days — during the non-freezing months. Going through midtown Manhattan isn’t that relaxing, but overall it feels so good. Sometimes I’ll bike across the Brooklyn Bridge late at night, when it feels as if you have the world to yourself. You’re gliding over the bridge, every landmark in NYC is lit up on either side of you, and it feels like you’re flying.

Beauty Uniform: Alex Williams

How about fashion?
Years ago, I interviewed Owen Wilson in Texas. I remember him saying, ‘You know how people get on Prozac and all this stuff? Well, it is impossible to be depressed in a cowboy hat.’

Thank you so much, Alex! We love you!

P.S. More beauty uniforms, and would you date older?

(Wedding photo by Max Wanger.)

  1. Andrea says...

    I love Alex’s beauty regime!!!!!!!! His transparency and honesty about everything from wearing sunscreen foundation to his pheromone fragrance purchase is AMAZING and I can totally see why he is your guy. So lovely that your boys have such a great role model to look up to :)

  2. what a charmer. his churro comment made me bust a gut!

  3. Marie says...

    This was unexpected and hysterical (“you look like a churro”!!!). I found it endearing and awesome that Alex admitted to dying a spot in his beard and wearing tinted sunscreen. Thanks for sharing!

  4. katie says...

    Yes! This is probably my favorite series on the blog. And I loved when you featured a transgendered person, too! And kids (Toby!) – ‘cuz they tend to be so audacious. I’m up for what makes all kinds of humans feel their best. (And not so secretly hoping you’ll feature more women who make laid-back tomboy style on a slim budget work!)
    PS – i’ve been wearing that $8 violet revlon lipstick you featured a few weeks ago & people won’t stop complimenting me on it. thank you :) :) :)

  5. Claire says...

    Now feels like an OK time to say that I’ve long thought that Alex is way more handsome without the beard. Why hide that chiseled face?? ;)

    • carmen says...

      I completely agree. Also, it’s ageing. Lovely blog post though.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha, he is so handsome either way! but i will flip if he ever shaves that beard :) i really love it.

  6. Emma says...

    Well, this was fun. Thanks for sharing, Alex!
    I just was struck with an idea, so thought I’d pass it along. What about a “Family Beauty Uniform”–couples with teens (or younger maybe though I’m suddenly doubtful that ‘beauty’ should be a focus for kids of any age, but I’ll continue…) and the profile being of each member of the family, or even if it’s not beauty specifically, then activities, hobbies, favorite stores, bonding experiences, calming times, etc.

  7. Heather says...

    I did NOT expect to learn/see that side of him at all! Makes sense that you two are together – very sweet!

  8. Sheena says...

    I’ll tell them: it’s important to have game, but not play games. Rules like ‘wait three days to call’ are utter horseshit. If someone likes you, they like you; if they don’t, they don’t. There’s not much you can do to “trick” someone. Also, just be nice. When I was young, I thought girls always went for bad boys and rockstars; I shot myself in the foot trying to be the angry young rebel. But in the end, every girl who ever liked me liked me because I was nice.”

    Can you do us singles a favour and shout this from street corners? Make this public information! My number one interest in a partner literally is “someone who is nice to me.”

    • katie says...

      WORD UP, Sheena.

      Please, Alex!

    • This feels especially relevant since hearing the news about the Toronto attack and the “incels”

  9. Aisha says...

    I loved this! It makes you realize that 50% of humans don’t really care about make up and they look just as good. And he’s hilarious. Keep it up!

  10. Carrie says...

    Joanna, have Alex try Vetiver essential oil. I helped my mom stop using sleeping pills by making her a little rollerball of diluted Vetiver. It knocks you out and makes you sleep very deep! It can be applied to the bottoms of his feet if he thinks it stinks. It has a dry, grassy smell because, well, it’s dry grass. Apply when you first get into bed and are ready to shut your eyes and relax into sleep. It would be good for you and the boys too if ever you guys have day time anxiety, or trouble sleeping as well!

    That aside, I highly enjoyed this beauty uniform. I’d like to see more men!

    • june2 says...

      Hey, thanks for this tip!

  11. Toni says...

    I feel like a family cowboy hat photo needs to happen now :)

  12. Maryann says...

    Loved this whole interview. You look like a churro!!! Riding at night is one of my favorite things as well. Everything looks so calm and tucked in for the night. I can imagine how amazing riding over the Brooklyn Bridge at night must be.

  13. Cindy says...

    This was a fun read. I have a question: what does it mean to “have game” in dating?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “having game” basically means you are funny, nice, warm, etc., invite someone to do something fun, just be a good date.

    • Kel says...

      I totally had the same question.

  14. Audrey Johnson says...

    What a wonderful opportunity to get the guy side of things. Thank you both for sharing. Your boys will grow to be secure young men and that will be a direct reflection of you both.

  15. Claire says...

    Wondering- does he also have cowboy boots? Ive found they are also good for one’s outlook.

  16. Robin says...

    This was a great post, but I want to add that I don’t feel the need to see more men’s style posts here. My partner is his own person and I am not going to make suggestions or give him ideas on how to dress. I love him exactly the way he is.

    I am, however, interested in discovering styles and recommendations for me! That’s why I love coming here. :)

    • Sandhya says...

      I hear you, Robin, but a) men read Cup of Jo, too, right? and b) I eagerly devoured the sleep aid recommendations — hoping they work for me!

    • Megan says...

      I’d love to see more of these since they’re so thoughtfully done. I don’t see this as a post for giving my husband style tips, but as a fun way to read another perspective, no matter whose it is. Plus, I can totally get on board with sleep tips, new types of deodorant, and learning how other people grow up/see the world/express themselves.

    • Eliza says...

      I definitely clicked on three of the links, for myself!

    • june2 says...

      I absolutely love it when hetero men share their related interests inside a ladies forum because 1. it’s rare that one shows up, and 2. I like that they care and feel safe enough to participate online, and I want them to feel included when sharing what we strangely consider the ‘feminine’ side.

      Reading right now, The Evolution of Beauty by R. Prum, about how beauty shapes mate selection and it is wild how far males of nearly every species but the average hu-man goes out of their way to dress to impress…I want that back.

  17. Heidi says...

    I would love love love more “Dad fashion” advice for millennial dads!! I sent this to my husband :) Great tips Alex!

  18. Shannon says...

    Such a fun read! Never thought I’d dig Beauty Uniform from a man’s perspective, but I did! Bring em’ On!!

  19. Patrick says...

    This was awesome. I am a regular reader of the blog – it is a great escape when need a second at work – and I am the opposite of your targeted demographic; male, midwestern (MI), etc. I’ve started reading and following Alex’s pieces in the Times – especially the Shinola write up – he’s an awesome writer. This was super cool. Thank you for sharing, Alex and Joanna.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hi patrick!!!!! so nice to have you here :) :) :)

  20. Gill F. says...

    This was great! And the dating advice was awesome and sweet :) just a reminder to try and keep pronouns out of it as long as possible. That’s to say, avoid the “when you get older the girls will like this and that.” Cause well you never know! It’ll let your kids know they’ll be loved and accepted no mater what. And hey us gays still need to perfect our game too ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, absolutely! great advice, gill, thank you xoxo

    • Lily says...

      Yes! Such important advice. My daughter is young, but I try to be very conscientious about not using heteronormative language. We also say, “If you choose to be with someone in the future…,” instead of positing being in a relationship as the end-all-be-all of life.

  21. meg says...

    Love to hear from more dads about their beauty routines and parenting advice. Its interesting to hear the modern male perspective on these things. Being a millennial mom the difference between our baby boomer fathers and now millennial dads is quite striking. Not that our dads weren’t great (love my dad) but I do feel like dads today spend way more time with their kids and are more hands on with their kids.
    Would love to hear from more male influencers (for lack of better term) who have kids and how they balance that. Love to hear from dads of daughters and sons talking about toxic masculinity, #metoo and other topics of the day to get some other thoughtful perspectives

    • katie says...

      Meg – I agree! A lot of my girlfriends with kids get a lot of questions about motherhood, working, etc., but I don’t think my friends that are Dad’s get those same types of questions. My Dad was/is such a huge part of my identity; I’d like to hear more from men about fatherhood, and definitely about what it’s like to raise a daughter from their perspective.

    • june2 says...

      Oh yes, I agree, I would LOVE to hear from more dads!

  22. Why on earth do you think you need to cover up a gray beard patch!? Mismatched beards are sexy!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i keep telling him the same thing! silver fox for the win!

    • Carrie says...

      A big one up to this comment. Gray is super sexy, can’t wait until my husband goes gray lol

  23. Lori says...

    Loved this! Alex is a wealth of knowledge! Curious if you (Joanna) use the salt deodorant as well?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ve tried it here and there, but i end up needing stronger stuff! i wonder if i tried it for a longer time whether my body would get used to it, though?

    • june2 says...

      I just learned about using salicylic acid wipes (2-5%) under arms instead and that they LAST, like, through showers.

  24. Kate says...

    My favorite, favorite beauty routine so far…. mind expanding…. keep including guys!

  25. Kim says...

    You guys are freaking adorable. “A good gateway scent” :)

  26. Florence says...

    Hi! I am a conference interpreter and I often have trouble finding sleep after a late meeting or when I am on a mission. The thoughts just won’t stop and it feels like the more I try to relax, the more adrenaline gets pumped into my system! I’ve discovered a great little device though, and wanted to share the tip: it’s called Dodow and it projects a little blue light in a certain rythm during 8min (it turns off by itself after that)
    I find it miraculous! It helps you reduce your flow of thoughts and eases you into sleeping mode. Plus: it’s small, easy and the design is super cute. Highly recommended!:)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so cool! i’ve never heard of that but i love the sound of it.

    • Christina says...

      I can’t wait to check this out! Sounds helpful for meditation as well. Thanks, Florence! (love your name!!)

  27. Liz says...

    LOVED this! Do more beauty uniforms of boyfriends/husbands/men!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      would you guys be into that? would love to — would it be fun/helpful/compelling for you? if you’re up for it, we are!

    • Megan says...

      Yes! And week of outfits! I’ve gotten a bit of a style update thanks to Cup of Jo and my husband is jealous, haha :)

    • Mallory says...

      Yes!

    • Marisa says...

      Yes I agree! This was hilarious and a fun perspective.

    • Laura says...

      What compelled me the most was seeing the generational changes between these men! I I find that so fascinating, and it also puts notice on how social/gender norms are changing. Would something like that as a post be possible for both men and women? Like here, I loved reading about Alex’s dad & brother beauty approach, and also about their dating approach versus Alex’s, and the resulting advice he will give his kids (SUCH great advice by the way. I wish someone had told me that as a teenager, as it’s so applicable to everyone regardless of gender). I also loved the photos used! Thanks for posting.

    • Lisa says...

      Oh yes please! And the week of outfits. As far as I can recall the only male one was Toby’s, which was the best. So more!

    • Yes I think that’s a great idea! It helps break down stereotypes.

    • Claire says...

      Sure! It is interesting, and also I might get some nice gift ideas.

    • K says...

      What if you did a couple’s beauty uniform? Then we get the woman and man’s style (or woman/woman, man/man, etc.).

    • Susan says...

      I second that!!! This was such fun to read! I would love some more male perspectives on here! Meanwhile you are so lucky Alex uses any “products” on his face at all. My husband is so anti-maintenance the idea I could somehow get him to agree to use sunscreen daily is a dream. I’m going to show this piece to him!

    • katie says...

      Yes! This is probably my favorite series on the blog. And I loved when you featured a transgendered person, too! And kids (Toby!) – ‘cuz they tend to be so audacious. I’m up for what makes all kinds of humans feel their best. (And not so secretly hoping you’ll feature more women who make laid-back tomboy style on a slim budget work!)
      PS – i’ve been wearing that $8 violet revlon lipstick you featured a few weeks ago & people won’t stop complimenting me on it. thank you :) :) :)

    • Amber says...

      Yes please! From all gender identities. I love Alex’s insight and posts like these make us all a bit more well rounded in the way we approach self-care and life in general. Also it’s useful! I’m getting the SPF Alex recommended and when men I know ask for tips it would be great to have some suggestions in my back pocket. For example, what moisturizer is best for dudes? My fiancé is currently wearing my Glossier night cream and loving the lavender scent but should he be exploring something else (and not wiping out my supply)?

    • Stacey says...

      I agree! Let’s see positive representations of men out there! Alex was a great start.

    • Eliza says...

      I think it helps that its YOUR Alex, and we ‘know’ him so it was very endearing, but I definitely loved this post!

    • Becky says...

      So much, yes! I low the other suggestion for the couples post.

    • Emily says...

      Yes,love the idea of having more men in this series. Just please pick a variety of age groups!

  28. ximena says...

    Aw, Alex <3

    loved the have a game, don't play games dating advice. Will make sure to pass that on to my boy when he grows up

  29. michelle f says...

    I love this so much! Thanks Alex for sharing your beauty uniform!

  30. Sasha says...

    This was unexpected, but I loved it. Alex is a fox! I loved the family photo of three of you where baby Toby is gnawing on an ice cream cone.

  31. AC says...

    Does Alex do anything special for his beard? Asking for my bearded partner!

    • Mine uses the lush brand beard wash and then an oil to condition it (so it doesn’t get “unruly” – his words).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      he doesn’t other than the beard dye!

    • Samantha says...

      My boyfriend uses beard “wax” and conditions it when he showers just like the hair on his head!(using the same conditioner) His beard is pretty long, though. So maybe that is why it needs product?

  32. Sarah says...

    I love this! Love seeing the male perspective on beauty. As the mom to a little boy, it really made me think. Please feature more great guys!!

  33. D says...

    So sweet! :) I loved this one.

  34. Sarah says...

    Does Alex use any beard oil? My husband is just getting into it. He has one we like ok that smells like sandalwood, and other that’s too pine-y. Would love some recs!

  35. Maybelline says...

    I’m sorry but that’s extremely ignorant regarding depression!!

  36. Abby says...

    It’s astonishing how much he and Anton look alike, I couldn’t see that resemblance through the beard until now seeing the ‘young Alex seated on the wall’ photo. Remarkable!

  37. Cynthia says...

    Great post! My husband has always had a beard. I’ve seen pictures of him without a beard, but I think he looks better with one. When his started going gray, he let it go gray. His beard is grayer than the hair on his head, and he is almost 70 but looks like he’s in his fifties. He uses Clinique City Block SPF 40 because it’s waterproof, and it does have a slight tint, but he likes it because he sweats alot, and it doesn’t run. He’s never cared for men’s scents, and prefers the fresh soap and water smell.

    • Stephanie says...

      Jo– I think Cynthia’s husband ??should be the next man featured in this series! ?

  38. London says...

    I love a nutty night time routine! I have been sleeping in the same position since third grade when I had a hard time falling asleep, and my dad said just do the same thing every night. I’m like a creepy mummy, gotta cross my arms just so. Crazy heavy blanket folded double over just me (sorry husband, a great sound app (Sleep Pillow for iPhone with a custom mix of rainforest and fire), and whatever I can find as a eye mask. Usually its one half of a pair of fuzzy socks. I fling them around in my sleep so if I start with two on my nightstand then I can always find one when I want to go to sleep. But I love the heavy pressure on my eyelids.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love that, london :)

  39. Tawnie Bryant says...

    This was one of my favorite beauty uniforms!! Thanks Alex!!
    Also that sound machine rocks. We stated at an Air B&B last weekend, and there was one. It was amazing. I’ll be buying it very soon!!

  40. Absolutely loved this Beauty Uniform! Alex seems like such a cool dude with effortless style. Well done!

  41. Jen says...

    My favorite beauty uniform post to date!! Hilarious about the powdered sugar and sweet dating advice for your boys ❤️
    I don’t understand the salt deodorant tho… but I’m intrigued. Going to cvs now!

  42. Meg Webster says...

    A true gem.

  43. Elise says...

    Fun to hear a male perspective! Thanks for sharing!

  44. Lauren E. says...

    I love this!! “You know you’re wearing foundation, right?”
    One time my husband had a colossal zit and I helped him put cover up on. He felt so much better! Here’s to erasing the stigma around men and makeup.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      everyone needs a little cover up sometimes! :)

    • Yes! My husband stole my concealer years ago, and uses it regularly when he has a zit. Why not? I agree we all should be allowed to feel good in our skin.

  45. Loribeth says...

    I’ve always thought Alex seemed like a jewel from reading your posts, but he’s an absolute TREASURE!
    I laughed so hard at his beauty mistakes because as an unguided and unsupervised teenager, I made tried some really strange beauty/grooming stuff too because I just had no clue. Where as now I would google it, I just relied on passing tips from friends and what I could remember from teen magazines.
    Yes to more men in the beauty uniform section!

  46. Tess says...

    What a great read. Love Alex’s answers.
    My husband was given zero dating advice from his father, who is a very formal, old-school Englishman, apart from the following. According to him, the golden rule was one should always compliment a girl/woman (actually, he probably said “lady”) when you meet them. Nothing too creepy or personal (“nice legs!”, “what lovely collarbones you have”…), but more along the lines of “that’s a lovely dress”, “you look super”, “what a splendid jacket”. Importantly, you should do it Every Time You Meet Them. This appears to be the golden rule.
    Because of this my husband is very good at giving complements and so it has spilled over into being very complementary and positive to anyone, regardless of gender. Having grown up in a complement-free household, I think it’s a lovely trait to have and have worked on doing it too; to everyone, male or female. It’s a really nice thing to do; to start an interaction by saying something nice to the other person.
    This father-to-son dating advice has already been imparted by my husband to our little boy, who busts it out left, right and centre. Most recently to his 60-something teacher: “Mrs S-, you have a pretty smile”. She does.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awww, your son sounds so cute! love that. i remember toby years ago, when his therapist was talking about her grandkids coming to visit, said, “oh but liz! you look too young to be a grandma!” haha, kids really know what to say :)

    • Alice says...

      Joanna, I’m DYING at that compliment from Toby!!! Such a cute, cute little man.
      Tess, I think that’s such a lovely trait for your husband to have. I wish more men behaved like that- it’s inspired me to start telling people how lovely they look/ are a little more :)

  47. Christine says...

    You two have such a great dynamic! I love everything about this post.

  48. Lauren says...

    Loved this! You’ve got a great guy there, Joanna! I’d love to see some articles from Alex on men’s issues/perspectives on different topics! As a sunscreen fanatic, it was so nice to see a man who is into it :-)

  49. Oh my gosh, laughed out loud at the churro part. Awesome profile :)

  50. Mary W says...

    Thanks for sharing the sleeping tips. My one New Year’s resolution is to sleep through the night at least one night this year. Cortisol regulation is definitely a problem, so I appreciate the suggestions.

  51. I love this! (Side note – I can’t believe you didn’t ask Alex about his penchant for blue button-down shirts in the fashion section. Ha!)

  52. Rue says...

    Inquiring minds want to know whether Alex has any nice-dude single friends! I live in the south but I’ve got family in BK so I make frequent visits :)

    but for real, I love having a man interviewed about beauty, and I hope this is the first of several posts to flip that narrative. way to go, Jo and Alex!

  53. I’m cracking up over here. This is incredible. It’s incredible how much Alex owns the foundation sun screen. The cherry pheromone story is priceless and looking like a churro – so good. Speaking of cowboy hats, my husband and I moved to Australia recently and before we left we were like “should we become hat people?”. It’s been 5 months, hasn’t happened yet unfortunately!

    • Maggie says...

      Nikki, to where in Australia did you relocate? We’re heading to Sydney for a wedding in December, and my partner is SO EXCITED because he has always yearned for the country (even though he’s never been there). He’s always finding interested tidbits to share with me in the hopes that I’ll one day be ready to move to other side of the globe. I can’t wait to tell him, “We could turn into ‘hat people.’” Ha!

    • Hi, Maggie! We moved to Melbourne and LOVE it. We did just visit Sydney and it’s one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. When we talked to expats here they all agree that you say you’ll come for a year and then everyone ends up staying. You’ll love it! Have a blast – and yes, you could turn into hat people! :)

    • MT says...

      Ah, I just moved to Melbourne from the US too! But I asked my partner to have an Akubra waiting for me on arrival as my “Welcome to Australia” gift – you should get one too!

  54. Karlijn says...

    This is so nice to read! I love the dating advice, so good. And also the photo’s, I love to see peoples life through photo’s. X

  55. This is brilliant!

  56. Elise says...

    Love it! And yes to having game, but not playing games. Oh, and the churro episode, hilarious!

  57. Anna says...

    This was a delight to read- the replies were both thoughtful and fun. And now I want a cowboy hat and go on a bike ride across a bridge, hehe!

  58. Grace says...

    HUGE shout out to Alex for giving his details on his insomnia routine. I also have suffered from insomnia since childhood and I’m SUPER interested in his regiment. I hate depending on sleeping pills on those nights where I just know sleep is going to evade me. I have a Sleep Master Sleep Mask that I love (recommended off the Tim Ferris podcast) I really, really like.

  59. Natasha says...

    I am also a Josie Maran sunscreen user! It is THE BEST. Does Alex know they make an un-tinted version?

  60. Rachel L says...

    What a lovely man…and YES to Bowmakers, my husband wears it too and it drives me MAD (in a good way!!) Love this Beauty Uniform posts…

  61. Laura C. says...

    You look like a churro – – > I CAN’T ?
    This is a lovely relationship, I just love you two Jo and Alex!

  62. Jen says...

    This was just gold. Made me laugh and at the same time its so real. Who knew so many people wore face masks to bed (reading the comments)?! You are both great sports!

  63. Tess says...

    Why did this made me spiral into finding pheromone perfume on the internet for like an hour? I feel so weird now, hahaha!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaaha!

    • Jessie says...

      LOL Tess – good luck with your sidebar ads from now on! :)

    • liz says...

      I bought some recently because it allegedly helps if you work with animals. The horses at the barn were very interested in sniffing me after I wore it.

    • jade says...

      Eccentric Molecule.

  64. mwana says...

    This is the best beauty uniform yet! I love Alex’s honesty and unpretentious. He is so sweet! loved the cowboy hat on him, I might just get one for myself (to wear on top of my hijab).

    • Laura says...

      ha ha ha. love this.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that would be awesome, mwana!! :)

  65. Karen says...

    This is hilarious! Also, young Alex in front of the Warwick barn looks a lot like Anton!

  66. hokidoki says...

    it truly cracks me up, sugar as gel substitute. I like how Alex is totally comfortable with his choice of beauty products. My husband would kill me if i ask him to use foundation/tinted moisturizer. you are lucky one, he is very witty

  67. Becky says...

    Maybe I’m just hungry, but “you look like a churro” strikes me as a great compliment.

    Great beauty uniform, btw. One of my favorites so far!

  68. This is such a great one! Loved getting to see a different view of your family and man.

  69. Sara says...

    #relationshipgoals

  70. Funny thing, I had the same Josie Maran product in my online shopping cart before I read this! Now I’m thinking I can trick my SPF-averse husband into using it with me… :)
    Favorite part – that sweet dating advice! If only all young people got to hear those words before entering the world of dating.

  71. Rachel says...

    That cowboy hat pic! Too stinking cute! I’ve slept with the same crappy $5 old Navy mask for years, haha. I’m a huge believer in sleep masks and white noise! Rainy Mood is an amazing app/website for mobile white noise!

  72. Paige Scalisi says...

    Love this! I liked reading about what products Alex uses- I am going to check out the Kiehls scent for my hubby.
    Also, where is the picture from of Alex as a little kid at the beach? It looks just like Seacliff Beach which is where I live. Is it Santa Cruz, CA?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask him! they lived in sunnyvale, outside SF, so i’m sure it’s somewhere in california… stay tuned :)

  73. Katherine says...

    Anyone with sleep issues, check out Shuti (shut eye but trying to be one of the cool kids.) It’s intense while you’re doing it but it has changed my life. I sleep like a normal person now and have done for about 6 or 7 years (with 30 years of insomnia before that.) It trains your body to sleep and teaches you a lot about sleep along the way. Highly recommend it.

  74. Dee says...

    I love his comment about biking along the Brooklyn bridge late at night. I can totally feel what an uplifting moment it must be everytime! Now Im thinking how to recreate that moment for myself in my own little city ?

  75. Joanna says...

    Wait wait wait…he’s been using the same stick of deodorant for FIVE YEARS?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, it’s nuts! it gets smaller and smaller as you use it but it still works — and it doesn’t get dirty bc it’s just salt.

    • Katie says...

      Yeah, did Caroline try this kind? I really want the natural deodorant thing to work and find this intriguing.

  76. Jeanne says...

    We need more Alex interviews. I spit out my ice cream at the “You look like a churro!” Hilarious!! And thank you for your insomnia routine as well.

  77. Lynn says...

    This was great, and very sweet. I started reading it with an eye roll, but finished it with a smile.

  78. Janine says...

    Whoa! Max Wanger photographed your wedding?? That’s too cool.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes he is the best, we adore him.

  79. Sandra says...

    Goodness gracious, I heart Alex. I need to give salt deodorant a shot. Thanks for this post!

  80. p says...

    I can see why you like him so much! and how handsome is that young photo of him w/ the warwick sign in the back

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I KNOW.

  81. jade says...

    I love the pheromone fragrance story. Eccentric Molecule is an actual fragrance that works on the same principle and every time someone wears it – guy or gal it smells great! Highly recommend for an unusual pick.

    • Heidi says...

      Oh, I have two “perfumes“ like this – like you mentioned Escentric Molecules’ “Molecule 01” and Juliette Has a Gun‘s “Not A Perfume” – and get asked very often what perfume I wear, even by my dermatologist. :) Highly recommend them as well!

  82. Erin says...

    Love love love this one! I would love to see more men’s Beauty Uniforms starting with my husband ! He has a blazer from back in his single days that I call “the date blazer”. I love thinking about him being young and out on a date (even if it was with someone else) and I love that he still wears the blazer on dates with me.

  83. Liz says...

    I absolutely LOVED this. It’s so great to hear about “beauty” from a man.

  84. Stephanie says...

    I absolutely adore the picture where your hand is on Alex’s head. I remember seeing it a few years ago in a post and thinking how content and happy you look. ❤️

  85. Ramona says...

    I think the most interesting part is what men learn from their dads/men in their families about beauty (or grooming, or whatever they feel comfortable calling it!). I’d imagine that some men learn really helpful things from their dads, and some learn unhelpful or even unhealthy things from their dads, just as women do from their moms. (Like the sunscreen isn’t for dudes thing…so glad Alex rebelled against his family on that one! My dad nearly died from melanoma when I was young, and I am all about the sunscreen!)

  86. Sally says...

    I have had the same sleeping problem my whole life and also take 5mg melotonin and cortisol manager every night! Tell Alex 2 things that have helped me as well are 2000mg tryptophan on bad nights and the most surprising one that stopped my night terrors was quitting gluten/dairy! I had no idea. When I go back on the gluten/dairy the sleeplessness/night terrors come right on back. SO weird, but could be worth a shot. Instead of a sleep mask I literally pull a dark/black hoodie arm over my face every night LOL! Glad to see his coping mechanisms as the struggle is real

  87. Abesha1 says...

    Am I the only person person for whom melatonin causes nightmares?

    I use a mega dose of calcium to help me sleep, along with a snack just before bed. Midwife tricks that have stuck with me!

  88. Lorena says...

    What fun! My three faves: Alex’s story about and picture of his dad (just like mine! Old-School-Dad’s are rock stars!), photo of younger Alex (stone-cold FOX), and dating advice (right on!!)
    I’m married to guy just like Alex….nice guys are the BEST. We’re on 20 years together (whaaaat – that went so fast) and it just keepz gettin’ better!!!!! Thanks again CoJ for a great read.
    Oh,wait, and the CHURRO hair,???.only here in So-Cal!!!

  89. Katie says...

    My dad used a bar of dove soap as shampoo – sweet memory :-)

    Also, your link to Just For Men seems to be broken. My sister works on their marketing team and I know they’ll love this shout out!

  90. Katherine says...

    LOVED THIS! Laughed out loud & feel like I “know” Alex now :)

  91. Linda says...

    Great post! Very fun to read and loved the photos! “…you look like a churro…” make me LOL!!

  92. Becky says...

    Your husband said so many things that reminded me of my husband, comments about their “big head” (neither one one has a big head lol at least I don’t think so) needing hair products, deodorant ( my husband has switched to a natural one). Really the biggest one is being a nice guy. One of the ways I knew I was with the right guy was when he didn’t play any games. There was no waiting game to make the next date. After 6 weeks of dating I moved in with him. That was over 4 years ago and we have bee married for a year.

    • Becky says...

      And the beard patch! My husband swears he has a white patch so he doesn’t grow it in lol

  93. Toddler Alex looks so like Anton! Also Alex sounds kinda hip! Who knew?

  94. Why has Alex not told Caroline about his natural salt deodorant?

    • I wondered the same thing!

  95. Ramona says...

    i think a small gray patch on your beard would look ‘distinguished’ but that’s just my personal opinion; do what makes YOU feel confident.

  96. Gail, in northern California says...

    When my late husband asked me out, I knew he didn’t have much money but it honestly didn’t matter—not to me. In fact, he used it to his advantage and won my heart. One of our “dates” was him taking a couple of blankets off the bed and throwing them over the lowest branch of the apple tree in my backyard. A lantern, a few beers, our makeshift tent was heaven. We spent hours that evening talking and enjoying each other’s company. I knew on that date he was the one. We were married 43 years before he died from complications after a heart bypass procedure. My advice to fellas: even if you’re broke, ask her out and get creative.

    • Raquel says...

      Gail, that’s so inspirational. It sounds like your husband was a great man. Love to you.

  97. Genevieve Albers says...

    This is one of the best Beauty Uniform editions yet! I don’t know if this has been mentioned already but I *totally* read the Owen Wilson quote in my best Melissa Villasenor-impression-of-Owen-Wilson voice.

  98. Teresa says...

    This post is so fun!
    And, I didn’t realize it until right now, but Alex is a total heartthrob! (That cowboy hat! Those aviator glasses! …. swoon….. ) I felt like I was reading a BOP article….
    But also, how refreshing to get a man’s take on beauty and fashion and his influences growing up.
    Well done.

  99. Caitlin Ashley says...

    I enjoy hearing a man’s perspective on topics that traditionally have a lot of female discourse. Hearing both sides is always enlightening ☺️ Also admire the advice you’re going to give your boys about dating. Thanks, Alex! Love your work, too!

  100. Kumi says...

    I loved this, we’re sitting outside this evening finally enjoying some Iowa spring and I read parts of this out loud to my husband and fourteen year old tomboy, we had a great laugh.

  101. Anna says...

    As the wife of a man with a very big head, I’d love to know what Warby Parker sunglasses your hubby gets. WP’s regular eyeglasses are too small for husband.

  102. TJ says...

    That first sailboat picture of you just proves that Anton is your clone!

  103. Lindsey says...

    As someone who has forever hated sleep masks, this one (https://www.nitehood.com) is a game changer (for my husband too!) We look absolutely ridiculous at night. Luckily we both wear one so we can’t actually see each other sporting our caps. Loved this Beauty Uniform!

    • Emily says...

      Thanks for this recommendation, Lindsey!

  104. Tee says...

    Awesome. I also have a soft spot for Polo…it is kind of like catnip.

    The powdered sugar hair story made me legit ?

  105. Jessica says...

    BEST beauty u inform by far!

    • Ashley e says...

      Agreed! I love that he owns the foundation and covers up his white patch in his beard. A real man!

  106. Judy says...

    Love the male perspective. And yes to beards. In our 26 years together, my husband shaved his beard off once. I think the look on my face was enough. Never again!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so awesome, kelley!!!

  107. Megan Quintin says...

    Loved this – so refreshing.

    Can I make a suggestion for a Father’s Day gift? REM Sleep masks… you look like a bumble-bee, but they’re domed so your eyelids can flutter underneath and you can comfortably get your REM sleep. The one I love is also made of laser-cut foam so it’s incredibly lightweight and doesn’t allow any light in whatsoever. Game. Changer. (also, if you have a tiny bit of makeup…or tinted moisturizer left on your eyes, sometimes those regular masks smush it into your face/eyes and leave them irritated but not the bumble-bee look!)

  108. Kim G says...

    He is just delightful! Good on you, Joanna. Nice guys are truly a step up from the angry rebel dudes.

    I love how vulnerable the Josie Maran product rec was, I might have to try it.

  109. Lori says...

    I love this! My husband nearly choked on his water when I asked if he’d wear tinted sunscreen. Kudos to Alex for wearing sunscreen! Hope to see more of him on COJ.

  110. Diana says...

    Is the brand “big sexy hair” considered unisex? haha, I love all of Alex’s products/tips!

  111. Savannah says...

    I love every bit of this!!! I love that he says horseshit, it feels like an awesome generational word that Clint Eastwood might spit out! Unrelated, While intellectually I get it I can’t imagine saying “an unisex” out loud! Lazy English speaker I guess!

    • Leigh says...

      Actually (speech therapist and grammar nerd here), I think it should be “A unisex.” The initial sound in “unisex” is the same as in “unit.” It’s not a vowel sound, but a consonant sound.

      https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/591/1/

    • ne says...

      haha! where I am, I’d say ‘an umbrella’ and ‘a university’ or ‘a unisex’ anyway, but that is the thing with accents isn’t it? I am going to be visiting NYC in July this year and I am looking forward all such amusing differences :)

  112. Chrissie says...

    Aw I loved Alex’s answers! So funny and unpretentious. I especially loved the advice to just be nice. You got a good one!!

  113. EllaY says...

    This is so adorable. I love all the references to “you.” This is a beautiful portrait of a marriage in a way. Thank you for sharing.

    • Em says...

      Love this. I agree.

    • totally! love that.

  114. Sarah says...

    YESSS this made my day! I love that you two are celebrating your relationship. Complaining about a significant other can so easily become the default and it lifts me up when I come across your cheery relationship moments. Nothing is perfect, but here’s to remembering the best parts of your partner.

  115. Amber Grady says...

    This is the best! Can’t get over that studly younger photo of Alex. Also considering buying the salt deodorant.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i know, right??? ;)

    • Em says...

      Salt deodorant is the best! I was surprised not to see mention of it in the comments on Caroline’s recent post. It has no smell and cuts odor 100% in my experience.

    • Meg says...

      I am also a Salt Deodorant convert and enthusiast (for at least 15+ years)!!! The roll on type (by Crystal) is a good gateway if you are nervous of the lack of scent or the use of water to actually apply the salt rock kind. I was surprised it wasn’t tested on the recent COJ article about natural deodorants.

    • Raquel says...

      Caroline did test the salt deodorant in another post a couple of years ago (I am a Cup of Jo nerd, I know. Should be working but here I am)! It didn’t work for her.
      I have started using and I am really enjoying! Which is a miracle, because I am super allergic to deodorants and before I bought this one I was rotating between 5 (!!!!) different brands. The salt has a non-harmful type of aluminum AND IT WORKS.

  116. Erica says...

    What a guy. You two are the cutest.

  117. Maiz says...

    Um, if I may speak for all of the Cup of Jo readers, “We love you, Alex!”

    • Miruska says...

      Absolutely agree!

    • Nora B says...

      Yup. Total winner.

    • sarah says...

      YES :)

  118. Esther says...

    Alex’s story about the cherry air freshener and the churro hair made me laugh out loud! Thanks for sharing! He sounds fun!

  119. i says...

    Wow this is awesome. It also makes me appreciate cup of jo so much because there’a distinctly different voice than the female voices featured here. But somehow, articles like this just highlight gender equality even more. I got into beauty products bc my husband has very sensitive skin and really wasn’t interested in figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I love how everyone puts some effort into their beauty uniform. Another stroke of genius, cup of jo.

    • Midge says...

      Second!

  120. Lena says...

    What a beautiful pair you two are!

    I never expected to see a man profiled on your beauty uniform series, but I love the unexpected and hope you’ll do another someday.

  121. Susan says...

    LOVE that he loves the Josie Maran Protect and Perfect too!! That stuff is amazing. I stray but always come back. So funny! Nice to have a guy’s perspective. Thanks!

  122. Sally says...

    “You look like a churro.” ??

    This was so fun to read. Thanks, Alex. I’m going to ask my husband these questions and see how he’d answer.

    • Jen says...

      Great idea!

  123. Ruci says...

    you guys!!! i lov alex and joanna forever, this made me happy .-)

  124. Lily says...

    Oh my gosh, I loved this so much. Alex has taught me so much! Thanks! Xo

  125. Sarah says...

    I wholeheartedly agree with Jenna. However, Alex’s quote on “having game vs playing games” made me realize… I don’t think I know what “having game” even means! Is it just being a good, caring human?
    Joanna, I’d love for this to be a later post– how you, Alex, and other friends raise your kids to have caring, loving friend and romantic relationships. I think it’s never to early to talk to them about it (and think of your story about consent and “being the boss of your body” often). Would just love to hear more about how to explicitly teach kids about that!

  126. Liliu says...

    What AMAZING photos!!! Beautiful family and I loved the advice for your boys, so true.

  127. Emily says...

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Alex! I might forward some of your sleep tips to my husband.

    We use the same noise machine, and I now can’t live without it! Do you take it along on trips overseas? Planning our first big family trip to Scotland this summer and wondering about how that would work.

    Obviously your dating game was just right, since you ended up with the most awesome lady! You guys are the best.

  128. M says...

    Can I just say you two are such a cute couple :)

  129. Bec says...

    This is so lovely! I second the comment about sunscreen. I’ve worn it every day for at least the last 15 years (I’m 29) and I’m wrinkle-free so far!

  130. Charlotte K says...

    LOL!!!! I have always wondered about those pheromones. Now I know not to ever bother (not that I ever would have).

    Your husband glows with niceness. I’m glad he knows that about himself. It makes him secure in who he is.

  131. Liz says...

    A churro! No wonder you married him.

  132. My favorite one! He’s hilarious! And I couldn’t agree more about the nice guy thing. You be you, Alex! ?

  133. Steph says...

    Favorite beauty post ever! Alex reminds me of my husband: he seems to be both rugged and manly but also cares about how he looks and how he treats people. Bravo!

  134. U says...

    Aging like fine wine. ?

  135. Kara says...

    Can Caroline test that salt deodorant for us now and compare it to the others she’s tried??:)

  136. Val says...

    Delightful!

  137. amanda says...

    for real LAUGH OUT LOUD at the churro comment. hilarious.

  138. Erica says...

    Is it ok to say I have a crush on your husband? I think my husband would understand.

  139. k says...

    “My friend was like, you look like a churro.” — i laughed out loud. love this piece! so sweet.

  140. Emily says...

    I loved this so much and read it out loud to my 8 month old boy while he had a bottle. It made me lol( the 2nd question ?). You guys are the best.

  141. Moo says...

    Adorable!

  142. Megan W. says...

    Clearly, I read this entire thing in Alex’s voice. I’m happy the cowboy hat made an appearance! Love you guys. <3

  143. Elizabeth says...

    I loved this interview! Refreshing and inspiring. :)

  144. Rae says...

    That is the dating advice all boys need. And this post was a joy from beginning to end. Thank you!

  145. Jenna says...

    Josie Maran’s sunscreen is one of my go-tos as well!
    I really appreciate the distinction between having game and playing games. I see my high school students make this mistake all the time, and I really wish I had enough time to sit them down and explain how good relationships and how bad relationships work.

  146. Sarah says...

    Love love love.

    • Sabrina Izaguirre says...

      Same here – absolutely LOVE – LOVE – LOVE this.
      Great story.
      Fantastic man!!!

  147. Andrea Kraybill says...

    This was delightful to read. I’m all about the salt deodorant as well!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s crazy how it really is just salt!

    • Colleen S says...

      Does it keep your underarms dry and not smelly? I’m always looking for something that works, since I live in an environment that reaches 114 degrees in the summer.

    • Kathleen says...

      Me too! I’ve been using it for probably 15 years and it works fantastic. Also, loved this interview!

    • Julie says...

      IS it just salt though? I’m pretty sure it’s made from potassium alum. It says natural mineral salts, but that doesn’t mean salt, like table salt, which is sodium chloride. It’s made from a “mineral salt”, and the mineral is potassium alum. I’m not saying it’s bad for you, just being nerdy and clarifying…..

    • Emma says...

      My parents and many of their friends who were really into the organic business since the late 70s when the ‘natural’ options were slim, used those salt stick (and are still using them now). So I was really shocked when I recently read that they contain so much aluminium (as much as 20-30% while ‘normal’ deodorants containing aluminium are only at about 7%). I’m not quite sure what to think of it now.