It’s a sad truth that most men don’t commit to a regular grooming routine until they’re in their mid-20s, and even then, very few are open about it. It’s time that we stop calling men who take the time to groom themselves ‘high maintenance’ and start thinking about it as a critical step in preparing for life. I, for one, see it as nothing less than essential and have never felt any shame or embarrassment admitting that I spend at least half an hour pampering and preening myself before I leave the house. So it is with the confidence that comes from experience that I impart the five golden rules of men’s grooming and a lesson in the art of getting to a point where people think that Fucking Fabulous by Tom Ford is your natural scent.
Shower, every single day
It baffles me that I even have to include this but the number of men I know who don’t wash on a daily basis is seriously concerning. Even if you don’t want to wash your hair with product every day (as that can actually be quite damaging) there is no reason you can’t just run it under some hot water. When it comes to the rest of your body, grab some body wash, a loofa and scrub away. If you have sensitive skin, opt for a hydrating and natural product that is not abrasive to the skin, such as Ecostore’s vanilla and coconut body wash.
Keep it at one spritz or two
Overdoing the cologne is one of the most common mistakes a man can make. You would think that after a while, they’d learn to tone it down, but based on the number of times I’ve walked past fully grown men who reek of ethanol, it seems some will never learn. You don’t want your cologne to immediately permeate every room you enter. You want it to come out sporadically, such as in large movements like taking a seat or going in for a friendly hug. One or two sprays on the wrists and a few pats on the neck are enough. Over-spraying is also a waste of a good cologne and when your favourite scent is something like Tom Ford’s Noir, (my cologne of choice) you’ve got to make it last. But no matter how expensive a bottle is, too much of anything will give it a cheap, aerosol-spray-like quality (a la Lynx) and no grown man should smell the same as he did after his high school P.E class.
Ditch the gel
Although the trend towards a ‘matte’ finish (cars, furniture, accessories) is nearing the end, matte-textured hair will never die out. Hair gel was made for punk era mohawks and creepy wet-look hair, and should really be reserved for the Fashion Week catwalks. Unless you’re a pre-teen boy on the cusp of attending your first school disco, ditch the hair gel immediately. A natural ‘I woke up like this’ look is what we all strive for and what you need to achieve this is a matte wax. A good wax like Coltrane Clay from Triumph & Disaster has little to no scent and helps to create a natural and effortless wave while maintaining a firm hold over rogue flyaways. It almost makes you look like you didn’t use any product at all which, if you’re adamant about keeping your grooming regime a secret, is a bonus.
Know your face
Considering that everybody is different, it simply does not make sense that there is one look that will universally suit everyone. What I recommend, therefore, is taking some time to get to know your face. I’m talking about standing in front of the mirror and studying it before you decide what look to go for. I, for one, cannot grow facial hair and have therefore made peace with the fact that it’s not for me. If you can grow a beard (good for you), make sure that it’s shaped properly and kept even and tidy. All I can grow is annoying strays and whiskers and I shave them off straight away. My facial hair shortcomings are not reserved for my beard either, with my sparse and patchy eyebrows demanding daily attention. Luckily, I have a simple solution, which is to fill the gaps in with powder, like Billion Dollar Brows’ 60 Seconds to Beautiful Brows from Mecca Cosmetica. I’ve found a powder to be better than a pencil as it’s easier to blend out. And yes, men can also use makeup.
Prevention is key
You might have clear, wrinkle-free skin right now but that won’t last forever. Prevention is key and it definitely pays to start early. If you’re old enough to legally enter a bar, a few splashes of water is simply not enough to balance out the impacts of the late night drinking. Keep your cleanser and moisturiser simple, don’t overthink it but be sure to get into the habit of applying sunscreen every day, no matter what the weather is like. Living in New Zealand, we are exposed to the sun and UV rays more than anywhere else in the world and although vitamin D is beneficial to an extent, too much sun is the main culprit when it comes to wrinkly and aged skin. Find something that’s light-weight such as Mecca Cosmetica’s To Save Face, so that the concept of a daily slip, slop, slap sesh becomes less daunting.