Grooming essentials: our recommendations for the man about town
Our resident men's style expert offers us his top tips for looking fresh this summer
Over the last five or so years let’s say, grooming for men went from an under tapped and under-the-radar dust-laden corner of the cosmetics industry to an explosion of brands creating new products almost daily, all targeting the new, image conscious man about town. It took us a while, but eventually we realised that looking after our skin, hair, face and so on could actually be beneficial. Who knew? Not only did we no longer look like we hadn’t slept in a month, but certain products actually helped revitalise and nourish us. Better late than never, as they say, hey?
Now, whilst my daily skin routine still probably pales in comparison to a lot of my peers, I’ve got the basics down to a level where I’m happy enough to write about it, and believe it makes for a good entry-level experience for gents with no idea where to begin. First thing’s first, the face wash. It’s a great way to wake up the skin, and to make sure it’s feeling clean and fresh before applying anything else.
Having tried a fair few, none I’ve found have held a candle to Heath’s. Vegan and cruelty-free for starters, the Heath Skincare face wash features biodegradable black lava and activated charcoal particles that gently remove build up of dead skin and traces of pollution, whilst the vitamin C and mineral rich papaya extract (fancy) cleanses and clarifies. When I tell you it wakes up my skin like nothing else, I mean it. Another game changing item of theirs is the Eye Serum, which, having recently had a baby, it’s been a necessity and thensome. If you see me and wonder why I don’t look entirely sleep deprived, it’s not because I’m not, it’s just this beauty working its magic.
I’ve always found moisturisers quite tricky. My skin is sensitive, and any moisturisers that are relatively thick end up messing my skin up more than aiding it. Having learnt the hard way, I finally discovered Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturiser and it’s something that kept my skin feeling incredibly hydrated. I was initially sceptical given that it’s for ‘all skin types’, but in this case, painting with the same brush actually has its advantages. Oh, and always get moisturiser with SPF. Always.
For those of you who are follically endowed, beard maintenance is an important consideration — from washing to treating to styling. I’ve found a really, genuinely, killer combination that, should you have a thick beard, you’ll very much appreciate. When in the shower, start with a quality beard wash (or shampoo). I’ve been using Acqua di Parma’s Beard Wash religiously and it’s kept my beard admirers well and truly admiring. Part of their recently-introduced Barbiere collection, the entire grooming and care range is worth checking out for whatever it is you may be after. With Father’s Day around the corner, too, you could even treat your Dad (or yourself) to a visit to the Barbiere in Selfridges.
From washing to treating, beard oils and creams are probably the most in-demand men’s product going right now (or maybe their targeted ads have worked like a charm on me). With my beard being thick as I mentioned, I always avoid creams as they just end up being too heavy. Oils are a great option, and the more natural / herbal-based they tend to be, the better they usually are. I love Aēsop’s hair and beard oil because it’s light, it’s long-lasting, and it’s Aēsop, so rest assured that it smells incredible. Don’t even contemplate, just buy it. Finally, there aren’t many that specialise in fine combs quite as well as Kent Brushes. I’ve got a couple beard brushes and combs and they maintain my beard, and considering their pedigree, are actually very affordable. All these things combined, and you’ll be leaving your house with one mighty fine looking face — and what more could one want than that?