First things first, the art of shaving. A pleasure for some, but undoubtedly a chore for many. If you’re after a close shave, you probably don’t need us to tell you there are some hair-raising products out there, but trusty brands such as Philips and Braun have great reliable selections of beard trimmers and shavers. Shaving rashes and stubble irritation need some soothing, so if you’ve got an ingrown hair just before that important meeting, fear not, because we’ve found some of the most calming products around.
The ClarinsMen After Shave Soother (£23.50, clarins.co.uk) soothes agitated skin, offering comfort and helping to calm redness. The classic tube is suitable for pretty much all skin types, meaning you can grab it and go. If your wallet isn’t exactly bulging this month, head to The Body Shop which has plenty of men’s skincare options. We like the For Men Maca Root Energetic Face Protector (£11, thebodyshop.com) which helps skin appear fresh and energised. It also contains SPF15, providing non-greasy protection as the weather gets warmer.
As much as it might be tempting to roll into bed after one too many at the pub, or rub that bright orange shower gel on your face in the morning, don’t. Harsher body products are not designed for the sensitive skin on our faces, so invest in a simple facial cleanser which does the job just as quickly. The Elemis Deep Cleanse Facial Wash is award-winning and offers a purifying product, suitable for daily use. It cleans and revives tired, lacklustre skin, and all for £20 (Elemis.com). Matching the performance of the very best female skincare brands, Stoer’s range – which has just launched in Harvey Nichols – is high-tech and easy to use, acting like a defence shield on men’s skin. It’s taken four years to create the range using globally-sourced ingredients that are incorporated into a cosmetic drone to deliver active ingredients to a deeper layer of the skin, which is a first for the male cosmetic market and a game-changer (stoerskincare.com). The Foaming Face Wash, £24 for 150ml, preps skin for shaving, and helps prevent clogged pores. Liven up dull skin with Dr Levy Switzerland 3 Deep Cell Renewal Micro-Resurfacing Cleanser, £39, at Dr Rita Rakus clinic in Knightsbridge, or online at drritarakus.com or cultbeauty.co.uk. Use twice-daily to cleanse and once-a-week as a mask, leaving on for three to five minutes to watch the AHAs do their work evening skin tone.
The biggest rule of grooming and the one most men neglect? Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. Everything from the sun, cold, environment, central heating and pollution can interfere with your skin. Using a hydrating moisturiser or serum daily will maintain optimum moisture levels, and stop premature aging. Even oily skin needs hydrating to ensure it functions normally.
Give skin a vitamin shot with Stoer’s Power Mask, £35, which rescues stressed skin with the formula packed with vitamins A, C, E and Pro B5 to support your skin’s natural defences. Cosmetics are real multi-taskers, so we love Murad’s Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture (£55, myrad.co.uk) which contains SPF30 to protect skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays while conditioning at the same time. The vitamin C and patented repair system help reverse skin damage and Ectoin – produced by organisms which thrive in the harshest conditions on the planet – helps hydrate the skin by preventing moisture loss. Created by a dermatologist and trained pharmacist, use this morning and night to see a vast difference. We also like the Clinique Maximum Hydrator (£32, clinique.co.uk). Not only does it do the job, the packaging is sleek, simple and understated, so it’s the perfect gym bag buddy. It’s particularly good for dry skin, as it helps skin hold onto moisture.
While there are plenty of blendable concealers available to hide spots or tired eyes, if you suffer from oily skin
or are particularly blemish-prone, it’s best to treat areas
of concern as well as conceal. It’s long been an ingredient in many skincare items aimed at oily T-zones, and tea tree
is well-known to help soothe and cleanse areas prone to spots and blemishes. For a non-messy answer to an annoying pimple before a big event, try The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Targeted Gel (£7, thebodyshop.com). It comes in a discreet small tube, allowing for the perfect wallet
or pocket-sized skin solution. Lookout for products like this which have an in-built applicator, as touching skin with greasy or dirty fingers can cause breakouts and
spread bacteria around the face. Don’t forget to clean the product to avoid germs and make the most of its antibacterial properties.
Fake tans have come on leaps and bounds, meaning with careful application and sufficient preparation it’s easier than ever to bronze pre-event. While it might not be a regular thing if you’re time-poor, there are plenty of products to create a glow from the comfort of your own home. If you’re not going to use your tan regularly enough to justify buying one for your body and your face, opt for one that’s sensitive enough to use on your face and apply to arms and legs if required. Be sure to exfoliate using a glove or mild exfoliating cleanser.
For an even, natural looking glow, we like the Clinique for Men Face Bronzer (£19.50 for 60ml, clinique.co.uk). Just be sure to blend evenly and steer clear of your shirt collar when applying to avoid giveaways. If in doubt, the Clinique bronzer washes off, so any mistakes are easily rectified with a flannel or wet wipe.
Of course, there’s little better than a great smelling fragrance. Luxurious bottles and strong, sexy scents make Tom Ford a winner in the high-end category, but there are plenty of budget-friendly aftershaves which are scent-sational. Paco Rabanne is a favourite, boasting scents that smell delicious and are also long lasting. We like the classic 1 Million Eau de Toilette (£43.50 for 50ml, available from boots.com) and Jack Black’s Blue Mark Eau de Parfum (£57 for 100ml, mankind.co.uk and amazon.co.uk). A fresh blend of watermint, cilantro and bergamot, the top notes give way to Japanese juniper, ginger, driftwood and Patchouli, this is sophisticated scent that lasts all day.
When it comes to style and grooming, there are plenty of experts offering advice – here’s looking at you Jim Chapman! For hair ideas, look no further than YouTube for free, quick and easy styles for when you’re strapped for time and products. Naturally, different people have different hair types, meaning there certainly isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to your ‘do. Manes have moved on, and while we can still find you a sticky brightly-coloured hair gel, there are now plenty of alternatives to keep your style in check. Pomades and waxes both give medium holds to styles, and work well if you have shorter hair. Dry shampoos and salt sprays work well if you opt for a longer length – the dry shampoo will help you avoid over washing and greasiness, and salt spray helps to give texture to avoid a limp look. If you’re the proud owner of a beard, don’t forget to look after and condition it regularly for the best facial fuzz in town. ■