Lip service: Bushwick entrepreneur sells Brooklyn–inspired mustache wax

The Brooklyn Paper
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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

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!

Updated 5:36 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Transplant from Here to Stay says:
Getting the popcorn ready...
Oct. 17, 2012, 7:05 am
Mickey Shea from Greenpoint says:
" Williamsburg is filled with virile, woodsy men..."
Heh heh. Really?
Oct. 17, 2012, 7:42 am
Josh from Greenpoint Heights says:
The guys over at DIE HIPSTER have already said it best.
Oct. 17, 2012, 8:04 am
o3 from bk says:
throw waxed gowanus mudballs (from yesterday) at the smelly hipsters !

you know, cause soap, toothpaste, and deodorant are abhorently conventional
Oct. 17, 2012, 9:26 am
Basem from NY says:
Men cannot and are not hirsute... it's an adjective that's used to describe hair growth with an androgenic distribution in females. Men are hairy.
Oct. 17, 2012, 1:57 pm
Willie from San Juan de Miraflores says:
"from Brooklyn" and "29-years-old"???? hahahahaha.
Give me an effing break. How much more —— can you throw out there, "McKenzie"? Also, clean up your chipped nails. What a skank.
Oct. 19, 2012, 3:31 pm
sledgehammer from new south west pennsyltuckyhiowa says:
Copy should read: Williamsburg is filled with men who wish they were virile and woodsy, who are not from Brooklyn.
Oct. 19, 2012, 7:13 pm
Beardo Plague from NWBillyburg says:
Hey - if this crap kills beard lice, the whole population benefits.
Oct. 19, 2012, 9:33 pm
Junior from nj subs says:
I think MacKenzie is really a bukkake practitioner.
Oct. 20, 2012, 9:40 am
anon from Greenpoint says:
Who determines someones a skank by nails?
What a sad and verry dumb remark that is. Clearly you my friend need to buy a friend and a life while your at it!
Nov. 1, 2012, 3:07 pm
HipsterPoison from S Bkln says:
She says in the video she came to New York four years ago, so she's not "from Brooklyn." I'm not originally from here, but I don't claim to be either. Yet I identify a lot more with the locals than with the useless, privileged interlopers because I come from the same kind of background, plus I have a real job and support myself. Plus, I'm not trying to change Brooklyn and make it like a giant college town - I like it just the way it is. Nothing about "McKenzie Santiago" is representative of Brooklyn or the culture here. These people need to either adapt the local culture or screw off back to wherever they came from.
Nov. 1, 2012, 10:52 pm
Debbie says:
I'll always Love you..a day past forever...Mom
Dec. 19, 2012, 3:12 pm
"D" says:
Don't know what happened between one day and the next....and I don't have the time or energy to worry about understanding it.

It's too bad and sad...but it is what it is.

Dec. 27, 2012, 5:19 pm
FariMari says:
I was just browsing the Web and came across this article on this young Entrepreneur who has come up with a product for beards/mustaches that sounds like a pretty sound product. I was impressed with someone so young and who was courageous enough to leave what was comfortable to her and go against all odds to become a successful creator of this product.

I was very disappointed to see the low-caliber of people in this area that use this "reader's feedback" to make personal negative comments. They are offensive, quite pathetic and very inappropiate. I do not believe this is what the "feedback" option was to be used for.

Constructive critism and your opinion about her product would have the right thing to do. Making such bizarre comments such as skank, bukkake and telling her she does not belong in Brooklyn is nothing but cruel, has nothing to do with her success and quite frankly just shows your lack of intregrity, lack of intelligence (—— for brains) and shows your jealousy for the fact you will never be a success in any sense of the word.

Do me a favor and stop littering up Web pages with your nonsense. No one likes everybody, but I cannot imagine that McKenzie has wronged any one of you to deserve this.

So as your Mother may have or not told you..."Don't say anything if you can't say something nice". Good God...what does a Bukkake Practioner have to do with this product. Her nails look fine to me...And this brave and talented person belongs anywhere she damn well wants to be. Obviously...this place needs a change if nothing but to get rid of Low-life like ya all.
Dec. 30, 2012, 8:46 am
Hipsterminator from Da Hood says:

Is that you McKenzie?
July 22, 2013, 8:02 am
Hipsterminator from Da Hood says:

Is that you McKenzie?
July 22, 2013, 8:02 am
KD from Boise ID says:
Ohmigosh, I always wondered what Mac would grow up like. I took gymnastics with her as kids back in Boise in the nineties. Glad to see she's up to something awesome.
Dec. 2, 2014, 2:37 pm

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