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Lip service: Bushwick entrepreneur sells Brooklyn–inspired mustache wax • Brooklyn Paper

Lip service: Bushwick entrepreneur sells Brooklyn–inspired mustache wax

McKenzie Santiago amkes mustache wax for Brooklyn's modern — yet old-school — hirsute men.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

To make it in this borough, you need a stiff upper lip — and thankfully McKenzie Santiago is here to help with that.

The 29-year-old Bushwick entrepreneur keeps the borough’s hirsute men furry and itch-free with her Brooklyn-centric line of mustache waxes.

“A lot of guys are into buying mustache wax these days,” said Santiago, who also makes facial serum and tattoo balm under the name Brooklyn Grooming.

The mustache mousse was originally a spin-off from her women’s line Pretty Monsters, but it quickly became her best seller.

Over the past few months, the line has grown to include three distinctive under-nose waxes, each with a scent inspired by a different Brooklyn neighborhood.

• Williamsburg is filled with virile, woodsy men — and its wax features ylang-ylang, cedarwood, vanilla, and anise.

• Red Hook is quiet and passionate — evoking cardamom, bargament, bayleave and elemi.

• Fort Greene is lively and full of music — best represented by the scents of juniper, bergamot, lavender, and rosemary.

And all of those places, she says, are full of mustaches that need to be tamed.

“I’m from Brooklyn and my line is from Brooklyn, so I thought it would be cool to pay homage to the different neighborhoods,” said Santiago, who approached each community with an open nose and spent time conducting scent research.

The product directly markets itself to Brooklyn’s beardos, using the terms “hipster,” “old school,” “organic,” and “vegan” on a section of the website indexed by search engines.

The wax tins even feature early 20th century–style fonts that design experts might describe as ironic — and they retail for $22 for two ounces online at www.brooklyngrooming.com.

For now, Santiago has no plans to expand the line — but if she were to, which neighborhoods should she choose and what should they smell like? Tell us in the comments!

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