The Man Cave is an emotional intelligence service for young men and sales of STUFF help fund these life-changing programs.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
The first thing I do is turn on Spotify and listen to some chilled music to slowly wake up to. One of my mates recently introduced the idea of waking up and ‘serving myself’ as the first thing I do. I think of it as a gift to myself before my responsibilities for the day kick in.
For me this means staying in bed for a few extra minutes, doing some slow breathing and noticing how I am actually feeling…Do I want to check my phone? Is my body already feeling stressed about my to-do-list? Sh*t I didn’t get back to that person...etc etc! I’ve found it’s a really nice way of just grounding myself before I step out of bed and into the world.
What’s the best part of your morning—the thing worth waking up for?
I would usually say the ritual of my morning coffee on my couch. Right now, however, I am currently doing a month off caffeine (and the grog - pls don’t judge) so it’s actually my morning stretch. This can be either yoga if I am game enough to cop the cold and head to my local studio (shout out Body Mind Life) or just having a morning roll in my living room.
I’m someone who has always been physically active but sometimes I can be a bit of a battler when it comes to the winter season change and keeping my discipline. Wow, I’ve really outed myself here!
The first thing you read?
I check the time and do my best not to be sucked into the black hole of my notifications. After that, I’m a month into a new routine of reading a few verses of the Tao Te Ching. The Tao is one of the oldest spiritual texts of humanity and I am fascinated by teachings and ideas that stand the test of time.
It’s been an interesting journey as I didn’t grow up as someone who identified as religious or spiritual (much to my parents frustration, I used to get many detentions at school for talking through Chapel) but I have started to really become open to exploring my own spirituality and how this plays out in my life, my relationships, my connection to nature and my work.
How much time do you spend on skincare and what does your AM skincare routine look like?
I’d usually spend 5-10 mins a day on my skincare. In the morning (and night for that matter) I’ll cleanse with our STUFF for your face. It’s a charcoal, aloe and almond oil gel-style cleanser which makes my skin feel clean but not tight and dry. Then I’ll follow that up with Supreme Screen which works as both my moisturiser and SPF. I like how it absorbs quickly, makes my skin feel hydrated and doesn’t leave that nasty, greasy residue like other sunscreens. Occasionally I’ll spice things up with Aesop’s Parsley Seed Serum (particularly in summer).
Previously, it wasn’t much at all...I was very basic. I really didn’t have much education about the importance of skincare or even know where to begin. Over the years I trialed (e.g. sneakily tested) my girlfriend's moisturiser and face wash and noticed it made a difference for me both on the outside and how I felt about myself on the inside.
I think there was also some conditioning from my teenage years, where anything that could potentially be identified as “feminine” or “gay” was used as banter to police my masculine identity. With hindsight, I can see the subtle impacts on my well-being that this outdated, misogynistic point of view had on how much I take care of myself let alone how that language impacts women or the LGBTIQ+ community.
This all changed when we began the R&D process for understanding the ingredients and benefits of healthy skincare before we launched our company, STUFF. I’ve always had sensitive skin and now I try to take care of it.
What’s your go-to breakfast at the moment?
As part of my month of no caffeine and alcohol I am also intermittent fasting until midday during Monday to Friday - so unfortunately no breaky until lunch! I was initially a little skeptical about whether this would work for me but I’ve really noticed my energy and concentration levels have been improving.
On the weekends, however, bring it on! I am a massive fan of the chilli scramble from Diary Cafe, I love M Deli Cafe’s sweet potato quiche, and a good ol’ fashion B&E roll from the Bondi Markets always hits the spot. Oh no, I am now hungry and it’s 9:30am.
How do you remember to reapply throughout the day?
Like many, I have a number of commitments which take a lot of my attention during the day, so occasionally I forget to reapply. My way of managing myself is putting my Supreme Screen in really noticeable places - e.g. next to my computer or in my lounge room - so when I need a break from back-to-back Zoom meetings I use it as a physical refresher to break up my day.
Any great SPF hacks?
Find an SPF that you like wearing, that way you’ll actually want to apply it every day and it’s never a chore. Smart! Plus, blokes for some reason always forget to apply SPF to their necks (back and front) and ears.
UV created the most brilliant hack of all tho: Get yourself a SPF that doubles as your skin care.
Best skincare tip you’ve ever heard—go.
The smartest thing you can do for your face is smother it in sun protection. And that buying expensive skincare products is a waste of money unless you do this step.
How would you describe your feelings for Ultra Violette in 3 words?
Our cool sister.
What three things were you grateful for this morning?
Kookaburras: I saw two of them out of my window this morning and I think they are just bloody awesome creatures.
My resilience: I got some tough news yesterday and I am glad I have fostered the self-awareness to know how to take care of myself when difficult things inevitably happen.
My team: it can be challenging building a business from the ground up and it’s not lost on me how dedicated and passionate they are in supporting men to have better relationships with themselves and their loved ones.