You’re the sort of guy who pays attention to his appearance and you look good in a suit and tie. But do you look immaculate? We all like to be spick and span all the time but who has all day to spend achieving perfection? We take a look at what’s required to truly look your best. No shortcuts, gents, top to toe grooming takes effort and attention to detail. Here’s your route map to male grooming excellence.
Alex Glover is head barber at top London barbers, Murdock. He recommends classic styling for men: “Short back and sides with an individual style on top – which could be anything from a crop to a quiff.”
Snow on your collar? Split ends? That’s a sure sign of grooming failure. Use a quality conditioner and shampoo to look after your hair health. Thinning hair? Look after what you have left and work to make the best of it. Alex’s advice is to use a small amount of matt hair product to create bulk without adding weight.
The key to a truly dapper beard is patience. Give it time to grow before sculpting and do remember to give it a good wash and exfoliate to ensure that both your facial growth and the skin beneath is clean and cared for.
Towel dry and apply a good beard oil to lock in moisture. Beard blogger, the bearded gentleman says this is a most important part of the process: “A good beard oil…will turn your rough beard into the soft perfect beard which will also smell great!” A man who puts his money where his mouth is, he mixes his very own beard oil.
Got enough growth to style? Here’s what to do: Brush your beard, remembering to brush forward from under your chin. Next, use a pair of sharp curved scissors to trim your top lip and the corners of your mouth. Now reach for your beard trimmer to achieve a nice even shape.
Not sure what kind of beard to go for? The guys over at Fashionbeans say: “Beards of a bushiness to rival Rasputin’s are, like the Russian mystic, dead and buried.” Instead for 2016 they predict beard shapes that sit snug to the contours of your face.
Forget to floss and you’ll get more than bad breath. Medical experts now believe good dental health is essential to keep your ticker in good order. That’s because gum disease is now linked to the development of heart disease. So get yourself some floss and get to work.
Bad teeth are a grooming no, no. But if your pearly whites are anything but, what can you do? The answer depends on how bad things are. Coffee and red wine might be good for you in moderation, but they do tend to make your teeth look like wood. At the very least, you should buy yourself a quality whitening toothpaste and use it everyday.
Visit your dentist regularly to keep your teeth in tip top condition. A scale and polish can remove the worst of the buildup of dirt and grime and tooth whitening treatments can bring back your natural dazzle. Do you hid your smile behind your hand? Perhaps it’s time you discussed a more permanent solution with your dental practitioner.
A decent set of porcelain veneers will give your incisors the gleam of a Hollywood A-lister. And it’s not too invasive a treatment either. Your dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from the front of each tooth, then bond the veneer to it – a bit like false nails for your mouth – except they should last you for many years.
Get your epidermis glowing by adopting a skin care regime that goes far beyond remembering to wash your face with cleanser rather than oil stripping soap or shower gel. The grooming guru recommends moisturising twice a day and his top tip is to use a specialist product to help get rid of the bags under your eyes:
“The skin around the eyes isn’t just thinner than the stuff on the rest of your face, it tends to be more sensitive, too, so needs a specialist product to keep it hydrated, tackle dark circles and reduce puffiness.”
Get fit for the sake of your skin. By getting your heart pumping, you’ll open up your capillaries sending nutrients to every bit of your body. And at the same time you’re sweating it out on the cross trainer, your lymphatic system will be running like a smoothly oiled machine, removing toxins and detritus, leaving your skin looking all the better for it.
Remember to hydrate, because drinking plenty of water plumps your skin cells up and stops you looking withered. And finally, don’t forget to apply sunscreen, even in winter. It’s the UV rays that age your skin most, so protect yourself at all costs or you’ll end up with a face like shoe leather.
Body hair removal
Better to be more Jedi than Chewbacca – if you’re a touch on the hairy side, you might like to consider doing something about it. If your body hair is ape-like, an electric trimmer will only get you so far. Chances are you’ll need to submit to the ministrations of a professional to achieve the sleek look you’re after.
Yes, we’re talking about waxing. Ouch. There’s no way around it, stripping the hair from your body hurts like hell. You could employ the services of a professional, but if you’d prefer to scream and blub in the comfort of your own home, why not take the Male Grooming Review’s advice and try a home waxing kit?
They gave it a go, but how much did it hurt? Here’s what their reviewer says:
“I felt a slight niggle during the stripping process, but generally it felt nothing more than a little uncomfortable.”
Hmm. If you say so.
Hands and feet
A man manicure is a grooming must because looking your best includes your hands. Keep your nails clipped and use a good moisturiser to keep your skin looking good. Always choose one with built in UV protection. Your looks may belie your years, but left unprotected, your hands will give the game away.
Exposed to the elements day and night your skin will age to liver-spotted sagginess giving your hands the gnarled look of an old man – you don’t want that. We suggest you take Male grooming blog, Mankind’s advice:
“Hand cream is not just for women. Especially in the winter, your hands can take a hammering with the weather and constant temperature change. So to make sure you don’t suffer with tight, dry skin and get some calming, moisturising hand cream.”
Nails need attention. Genco is a male grooming company with three salons in London, all of which provide manicure and pedicures. We can’t argue with their summary of what some attention to your nails can do for you:
“It is that last bit of attention to detail that can make all the difference in an interview or on a date. Well manicured hands just scream style, self-confidence and discipline.”
When you walk into a room, you want women to pick up your scent and think, hmm I wonder what he’s wearing? To pick the right cologne requires a bit of patience and experimentation to find the one that fits your own particular body chemistry to become “your smell”.
When you’ve settled on a cologne, learn how to apply it properly. Remember, what you’re after is fragrance, not fumigation. The male shaving and grooming experts at Bluebeard’s Revenge know a thing or two about how to apply your cologne properly. Here’s one of their top tips:
“You want to apply cologne where your body generates the most heat. When you do this, the cologne will “kick in” when you most need it throughout the day: when those body parts heat up.”
That’s a lot of places. Wrists, underarms, chest, neck, thighs, back – so go easy. When it comes to cologne, too much of a good thing is very definitely a bad thing.
Looking good takes time, persistence, money and possibly pain too. But, gents – it’s the only way to achieve perfection. What’s your grooming regime? We’d love to hear how you take care of yourself, so share your tips on our facebook page.