In this edition of Jaxon Journal, our founders Jen and Alex chat with celebrity men's groomer Simone Kogen, the visionary behind A-Iisters from Mahershala Ali to Quentin Tarantino.
Who is Simone Kogen?
In the heart of the vibrant Los Angeles beauty scene, Simone carves her own path as a celebrity groomer, a title that only hints at the artistry and dedication she brings to her craft. With a keen eye for detail and an intuitive understanding of her clients' needs, Simone transforms not just their appearances, but their confidence, leaving them feeling their most authentic selves under the spotlight. From A-list celebrities like Mahershala Ali, musicians like Miguel to rising stars like Noah Schnapp, Simone has built a loyal clientele who trust her to enhance their natural features and achieve that elusive, effortless glow. But beyond the glitz and glamour, Simone is passionate about men's overall well-being, encouraging them to embrace healthy skincare routines and celebrate their unique beauty. Her infectious enthusiasm and commitment to her craft make her not just a skilled groomer, but a trusted confidante and friend to her clients.
Now, let's delve into Simone's world and discover the secrets behind her signature grooming techniques, her favorite Jaxon Lane products, and the insights she's gleaned from years of working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Q: Simone, what initially drew you to the world of celebrity grooming?
A: While assisting makeup artists, I discovered the transformative power of grooming. It wasn't just about hair or makeup; it was about enhancing features and boosting clients' confidence from within.
Q: Can you walk us through your career journey and what led you to specialize in grooming men?
A: I knew I always wanted to take the creative path and not work in an office from 9-5. I love being around artistic and creative people whether it be one way or another from collaboration, providing a service, appreciating the art in makeup, film, writing and more. I went to Emerson College with a love for film and wanted to be surrounded by people that inspired me. I had no idea about the world of grooming but slowly started assisting people in the industry and immediately felt this was such a wonderful way to work with people. It was a great craft which I learned as I went. I attended barber school to hone in on my technical skills, solidifying my passion for specializing in men's grooming.
Q: Looking back, which grooming gigs stand out as the most memorable?
A: One would definitely be when Mahershala Ali won an Oscar for "Green Book.” To be a part of that journey with him was incredible - we’ve been working together since 2018. Witnessing his win and the culmination of years of collaboration was unforgettable. But every client interaction holds its own special meaning. Working with young talents like Noah Schnapp and watching them develop in their career is incredibly rewarding. I also had the privilege of working with Quentin Tarantino for press and shoots around "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" – it was a true "pinch me" moment! I feel like I’m a part of several different dream teams, collaborating with incredibly talented stylists and artists, and building genuine friendships within the industry. I don't take any of this for granted. I have clients I've had the honor of working with for years and I'm just so grateful to do what I do and to work with them.
Q: What are some practical tips you can share for men who want to elevate their skincare routines?
A: Men's skin health in general is really being normalized and clients are constantly asking me ways to up their skincare routines, what they should be doing, and asking for an analysis of their skin – it makes me happy that men are excited about it. It’s so important to not neglect your skin health.
The non negotiable in my kit is serums and oils. Your skin needs that moisture. Under eye care is also crucial which is why she always has eye patches and sometimes likes to add eye cream under them.
I’m a big proponent of beard balms to make sure the skin under the beard is being cleared up… and hands are also important to target so don’t underestimate the power of a hand cream.
Q: As a Jaxon Lane devotee, which products do you swear by and how do you integrate them into your client routines to achieve that coveted natural glow?
A: I’ve been a huge fan of the Bro Mask ever since you launched it. It’s cheeky with its name yet sophisticated and reliable. It’s fun and it works. I love prepping clients' skin with it.
I love Shake And Wake – it’s travel friendly so if I’m going away or working on a press tour for multiple days at a time, this product is amazing as I don’t have to check it in a bag. To activate it, all you do is add water and rub it in… it's brilliant.
I mix the Relax And Repair with concealer for customized under eye coverage and I’ve been using the Super Serum as a primer or recommend it for post-face wash during night a time routine.
Each clients skin is different and I want them to feel and look like they are well rested, had a good night sleep and are lifted and sculpted.
I really love one particular facial massager, Carbonnique, which has become one of my essentials. It's really amazing and it essentially helps with boosting oxygen to the face, contouring and has lymphatic benefits. I use it lightly over the Bro Mask Eye Gels.
Q: With summer approaching, what adjustments should men make to their skincare routines?
A: Instead of piling on products and clogging the skin, layer lightweight, targeted formulas to address your specific skin concerns. Lighter is better so you’re not too heavily moisturized. Relax And Repair is the perfect way to moisturize and it's not heavy - it provides a good balance. My husband is a fan.
SHOP Simone’s Must Haves
- Bro Mask: Simone's go-to for a quick pre-event refresh. Its calming and balancing effect is perfect for preparing the skin for makeup application.
SHOP: Bro Masks
- Lip Balm: Lucas Paw Paw. When prepping skin one of the first things Simone does is apply this on the lips for hydration and then when done with the routine she blots it down to remove the shine.
- Beard balm: For men with facial hair, Simone recommends using a beard balm to nourish and tames the beard, preventing itchiness and promoting healthy growth.
- Shake And Wake: “I'm a huge fan of Shake And Wake! It's travel-friendly and perfect for when you’re on the go. I love that I can easily pack single-use portions in a baggie for my clients or my own travel use. It's so versatile - I can use it to cleanse the skin before applying makeup, refresh between press events, or simply prep the skin for the day. My clients consistently rave about it, and even my husband is obsessed!”
- Moisturizer + Concealer: Mixing the Jaxon Lane Relax and Repair moisturizer with concealer creates a custom-tinted under eye treatment. This allows for targeted coverage while providing additional hydration and nourishment to the delicate under-eye area.
- Simone like to use a bit of leave in conditioner as it adds a bit of texture to your hair before adding another product. Once it air dries then apply some cream or a light paste and blow dry those products in to avoid your hair feeling stiff. Skuff is great for when you want to keep your hair loose but with control. Her last tip is to avoid using products that are too matte where your hair will look dry. You want to have a little shine, without your hair looking wet.