Saturday, 1 November 2014

Spring Clean Your Grooming Routine

Time For A Refresh

Ah, November. The time of year when a man’s thoughts inevitably turn towards renewal, re-invention and rejuvenation.

The weather’s getting cold, the new season’s clothes are in the shops and winter is just around the corner.

Yep, change is in the air. So what better time to revamp your grooming routine? Here’s how to make a few small adjustments that will reap big results…

1. Get The Right Products

Often when men complain that they’re not getting the results they expected from their grooming products it’s not the products themselves that are at fault but the fact that they’re not using the right products for their skin type.

While men’s skin is thicker, oilier and ages differently than women’s; no two individual’s skin will be exactly the same and if you want it to look healthy you need to equip yourself with products suited to your exact needs. Use a light, oil-free moisturiser on dry skin, for example, and you probably won’t get the kind of hydration your skin requires.

The best way to really discover what these needs are is by having a professional facial. Most men who have them tend to sit in silence while a therapist goes to work, but by asking questions about your skin – what products will be best for it and why – you’ll come away with information that can literally transform your grooming routine and save you from shelling out a fortune on unsuitable products. Trust me, in the long run, it’s a great investment.

Dermalogica Face Mapping is a treatment definitely worth having if you’re looking for something that’s useful and diagnostic. Dividing the face into fourteen different zones to create an accurate map of your skin and its requirements, it takes the guesswork out of skincare:

Alternatively, Clinique For Men have created a special in store Skin Care Diagnostic Tool for iPad that identifies your individual skin type – based on your answers to a series of simple questions – and comes up with a routine for you.

Currently only available to use at Clinique counters (allowing you to make informed purchases without having to ask an assistant), look out for it online at later this spring:

2. Update Your Fragrance Wardrobe

Like fashion, the fragrance world operates on a seasonal basis with one raft of new fragrances emerging in the spring and the other in the autumn, just in time for the festive gift-buying frenzy. Between March and May a dazzling selection of new fragrances will be on offer, so why not update your fragrance wardrobe?

Top of the list this spring are brand new offerings from Dior (in the shape of the light, powdery but sexy Homme Eau For Men) and Karl Lagerfeld (with For Him, an even lighter, almost unisex number), along with the superb Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche, which is light and fresh but turns into something altogether warmer as it develops on the skin, making it perfect for night as well as daytime.

If you prefer your fragrances slightly punchier, try John Varvatos’ Artisan Black, Fendi’s warm and musky Fan di Fendi Assoluto or Givenchy’s Gentlemen Only Intense – a sensual reworking of last year’s Gentlemen Only that’s woodier and more leathery.

Others worth a sniff are Paul Smith’s new energy-packed sport fragrance Extreme Sport and Montblanc Emblem, which comes in one of this spring’s best new bottles.

Finally, if you like to follow fragrance trends then look out for ones containing violet leaf. The note du jour, it adds a green, leafiness to fragrances and is everywhere this spring, popping up in Emblem, Bentley For Men Azure, Zegna’s Uomo and Jay Z’s first men’s fragrance, Gold, too.

Upcoming Releases

Currently Available 

3. Streamline Your Routine

With men leading increasingly hectic lives there are few of us who have more than ten minutes or so to groom before we head out to work. So, with mirror time at a premium, now’s a good time to streamline your routine.

With multi-functionalism very much a key grooming trend, why not de-clutter your bathroom shelf by ditching all those creams and lotions and replacing them with products like Lab Series’ BB Tinted Moisturiser SPF35?

It’s a moisturiser, anti-ageing cream, oil-control lotion, post-shave healer and sunscreen all in one and, cleverly, it also features a pigment that adjusts to any skin tone to ensure it always looks healthy:

If you’re looking to reduce your on-the-go routine to the bare essentials, Molton Brown’s 4-in-1 Sportwash is the perfect product to throw into your travel or gym bag.

This multitasker is a face, hair and body wash and can even be used as a shave gel, too. See, less really is more this season:

4. Keep It Clean

Sometimes a man’s grooming routine benefits from a (quite literal) spring clean.

Take your razor, for example. Many men toss their blades away thinking they’re blunt when, in fact, they’re just dirty. Nothing blunts a blade quite like an accumulation of grease, grime, stubble clippings and microscopic skin debris.

Rinsing your razor between stokes helps, obviously, but to really clean your blades it’s worth investing in a product like The Razorpit – a special silicone plate that’s designed to keep blades free of gunk and prolong the life of your razor in the process:

Bearded men can clean up their act a little too.

Beard trimmers are notorious for creating a mess (usually in the shape of a washbasin full of beard clippings) but Remington’s new Vacuum Beard & Grooming Kit corrects that problem by sucking up the clippings as you shave and storing them away in an easy-to-empty chamber, much to the joy of cleaners everywhere:

Combs, toothbrushes, nail brushes, tweezers, moustache combs and hairbrushes will also benefit from a weekly clean.

The best way to do this is to simply rinse them in some Milton Sterilising Fluid. Not just great for sterilising babies’ bottles and home brewing equipment, it’s perfect for keeping your grooming gear bug-free as well:

5. Make Small Changes, See Big Results

As with fashion, making small changes to your grooming routine can dramatically improve your overall appearance.

One of the most significant changes you can make is switching to an electric toothbrush if you’re currently using a manual one. Not only are electric toothbrushes better at preventing gum disease, most tell you exactly how long you need to clean for.

That’s crucial because according to The British Health Foundation, one in three of us don’t brush our teeth for the recommended two minutes, twice a day. They don’t have to look uncool either. The sleek, matte black Philips Diamondclean Toothbrush is one of the sexiest grooming gadgets you’ll come across:

6. Spring Clean Your Skin

Skin renews itself approximately every twenty-eight days but this process slows down as we get older – resulting in dull, tired, lifeless-looking skin – so it becomes more important to give nature a helping hand.

The simplest way to do this is with the help of an exfoliating skin scrub, applied twice weekly to remove any dead flakes. Exfoliating this way is the skincare equivalent of dusting your house and will immediately make skin look better.

If you want to ‘dust’ daily, try Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, which – unlike many scrubs – is gentle enough to use every morning.

Finally, as part of your 2014 spring clean, try a deep-cleansing clay face mask like Baxter of California’s Clarifying Clay Mask or Vitaman’s Face Mud Masque, which will vacuum up grease and grime.

To make it especially effective, apply after exfoliating the skin. Used together it’s like having your own spring cleaning team, right there on your bathroom shelf: 

Final Word

So there you have it, while you’re clearing out the clutter in your wardrobe and storing away your heavy winter clothing, why not apply the same ‘spring clean’ principles to your grooming routine? Your skin and overall appearance will definitely thank you for it.

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