It is Valentine's Day this Friday, I thought I'll do a quick grooming guide. I think I can speak for most men, I like to look good but I really don't have the patience to sit through hours of grooming or pampering. Once in a while spa treatments or relaxing massages are brilliant, but with busier working and social lives, those are really luxury treats. Stick to the basics: eat well (balanced diet, forget fads), sleep well, drink lots of fluids and cut back on the alcohol. Then with some of my tried and tested favourites below, 20 minutes is all you need to look and feel good for the big night out.
Cleanse: In the winter, most of us suffer from dry skin due to dehydration and excessive heating indoors. This cleanser is mild and doesn't foam up into a lather to dry the skin. It smells gorgeous and the bottle makes the bathroom looks so pretty (bonus). Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser - Mr Porter
Exfoliate: It is recommended that we exfoliate three times a week, but who actually has time for that? Before a night out (or the night before), use this gentle exfoliate to get rid of all the dead skin cells on the surface, and let new skin regenerate. It is a fact that smoother faces get more kisses. Clarins Gentle Refiner - Selfridges
Treat: If you live in Asia, this is big. It is almost like the best kept secret that hasn't exploded in Europe yet. This is not a toner, but a treatment essence. After exfoliating, skin is raw but baby smooth. Slap on the essence and let the skin soak in the goodness. I swear by this, the product deserves one blog post itself. Expensive yes, but I can really see this repairing my skin and correcting all the damages caused by daily pollutants. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence - Harrods
Treat: You can skip this step if you wish, but as I have dry and dehydrated skin, this really works a treat. We have cleansed, exfoliated and treated the skin at this point, we need to lock in the moisture. This is where the bulk of the 20mins comes in: apply a few drops to the face and massage in. Once absorbed, face will be silky smooth. No need to wipe off, and you won't get that "oily face" look. Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil - Selfridges
Moisturise: Follow up with your favourite moisturiser. The facial oil in the previous step can be a little heavy, so I like this light weight gel to balance it out. If hard pressed for time, mix two drops of the facial oil to the moisturiser and massage in, voila! Kiehl's Facial Fuel Transformer - John Lewis
The above are quick simple basics to prep the skin to the optimal level. Here are four other grooming tips to further push the boat out:
Look younger: I don't know anyone who doesn't want to take a few years off their appearances. Let the maturity shine through in your personality, your conversation, your graces. Take the years off with the Nanoblur cream, it is like Photoshop in real life. This is not make-up, it is colourless but it uses light reflecting technology to create the illusion of younger appearances. I use this when I do not have enough sleep. It is not skincare but cosmetic in purpose, it should boost confidence. Nanoblur Optical Skin Cream - Boots
Fuller hair: Thinning hair is a major concern for a lot of men. Smoother skin and fuller hair creates an illusion of youth. This is not hair care, but again cosmetic. The powder thickens up each strand to create volume. I use this and nothing else, but work it thoroughly. I once have an awkward conversation with my boss: "Joe, why do you have powder on your hair..." (cue: scenes from "The Wolf Of Wall Street") Osis+ Dust It Powder - FeelUnique.com
Scent: Scent evokes memories and adds another layer to your dressing and personality. I hark about my favourite dead stock Helmut Lang 'Cuiron' on here forever. Can someone please revive this cult classic already? I save this for special occasions, and every drop kills me a little. So finish off your grooming with your favourite scent, and you are all set.
Hope the above helps. It is all about feeling good, feeling confident and getting out there to have fun. If you have close alternatives to Helmut Lang's 'Cuiron', hit me up!