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Gift Guide: Lookin’ and Feelin’ Good

Gift that special someone in your life with hair and skin care products from Minnesota companies.

Article originally published in Lavender Magazine, November 2018

Life changes for the better when you take pride in your appearance. Confidence skyrockets and you end up with more pep in your step. Heck, it might even help you land a phone number when you’re out at the bar.

However, maintaining a daily beauty routine isn’t cheap, especially when you tally up all of the products you need in the morning. Fortunately, there are quality businesses based right here in Minnesota offering hair and skin care products, along with services, at a fraction of the cost. And whether they’re for yourself or as a gift, it’s always good to buy local!

Beard Oil from Average Bros Company

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Average Bros Company’s products are made in Minneapolis by Bobby Willis and Nate French, two childhood friends from northern Minnesota. And their scents remind you of time up north with names like Sawtooth Mountain Cedar Citrus and The Workshop. They use all-natural ingredients, meaning you aren’t splashing chemicals all over your face. I’ve come to really like their beard oil; they also sell four beard balm scents along with an aloe-based aftershave balm. Average Bros Co. beard oil is about half the price of what you’ll buy at specialty shops; all of their products run between $15-17. Their products are currently available at barbershops, salons and specialty shops in eight states as well as on their website.

Haircut at The Barber Sharp

You won’t see big screen televisions at The Barber Sharp in Northeast Minneapolis. Instead, you’ll find good conversation, cans of PBR, and barbers who know how to make customers look good. The secret of this barber shop, which opened in 2010, is making the rounds. Walk inside on a Saturday and you’ll likely encounter a wait to see one of their seven barbers. They do take appointments over the phone (I would strongly encourage doing that). If you do walk in, The Barber Sharp’s website has a webcam that will let you know when it’s time for your session. In addition to the classic haircut, they provide men’s facials for $20 (worth it), razor shaves and you can get a neck trim for only $5. Owner Kelly Sharp is a proprietor for Barber Shop Sharp, which makes a line of beard oils selling for $25 a bottle. The Barber Sharp is closed Sundays and Mondays.

349 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN

“Full-Service Cleanup” at Heimie’s Haberdashery

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Heimie’s Haberdashery, overlooking Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul, is my go-to spot when I need a new suit. They’re reasonably priced, high quality and the customized service is superb. But they’re known for more than fine threads. Heimie’s also has a barber shop and services don’t break the bank. Basic haircuts start at $25 and facials are $40. In the last couple years, owner Anthony Andler expanded and altered the store to create semi-private spaces where a groom and his wedding party can get ready. Heimie’s Barber Shop offers wedding day clean-ups which will freshen everyone for photos, including same day shoe shines and shirt pressing. Gift cards are available for clothing and barber services. The staff at Heimie’s know what they’re doing; they have made Minnesota men look good since 1921.

400 St Peter St., St Paul, MN

I have incorporated more Minnesota-based products in my morning routine. Here are others I love and respect:


Headquarters in Blaine with stores inside Mall of America, Southdale, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

I have seen a difference using Aveda’s Invati line of products, which help reduce hair loss. I recently ran out of their scalp revitalizer, and after a couple weeks, noticed that my hair was falling out faster. The higher price point —$19 to $65 a bottle—is worth it.


I use BeeSpa’s Hand and Foot Cream on my cuticles every morning. Their products are made with beeswax, shea butter and essential oils. The $30 jar will last many months.


My morning (and evening) routine includes BREVENA. The technology they use to create their moisturizers and creams are what doctors use to treat traumatized skin in burn centers. Their products have a higher price point, but a little goes a long way. One container typically lasts two to three months. If you’re looking for a great gift, try their Essentials Starter Set, which is currently $59 on their website. It includes their Daily Hydration Moisturizer, the Restore & Hydrate Overnight Cream and their Foot & Heel Repair which will tackle dry, cracked feet.


CamWell skin care products are natural and non-toxic. The specialize in products for those in radiation and chemotherapy treatments. They also have a line for newborns, which would be a perfect gift for a new mom you know.

Intelligent Nutrients

Founded by Horst Rechelbacher, the man behind Aveda, Intelligent Nutrients makes hair and skin care products, along with essential oils and even bug repellent. In 2008, they revealed the first USDA certified organic hair care line.

Worker B

In addition to candles, Worker B offers a skincare line of products, including lip balm, scented lotions and honey scrubs. Check out their new store inside Saint Paul’s Keg and Case.

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