With all the latest products and new-age grooming devices on the market it’s never been easier to maintain your distinct look. Men are discovering better (and easier) methods which enhances skin, gives you six pack abs, speeds up beard growth, extends your sex life and whatever else you deem important.
Yet, despite the waves of sponsored content pushing the latest shiny object on Instagram and the like, sometimes we fall off. When you do, you find yourself in a grooming rut: Your body hair runs wild; your hairstyle doesn’t change from office to leisure; and you forget about cutting your toe nails regularly. Make no mistake about it, all these and more get noticed by your partner, friends and even that hottie at the gym you check-out in between sets. Yikes!
But not to worry, because this post will tell you how to sidestep primping pitfalls with ease.
1. Don’t neglect feet
If there’s one thing men neglect more than their back - I’ll get to that in a minute - it’s your feet. There is nothing worse than peeling off your socks and … BAM! Parading around toenails that requires a flap disc to grind them down, only then beset by a nostril-stinging odour.
Here’s how to get the pedicured look (and smell) without stepping foot in your local pedicure salon.
(1) Clip your nails every two weeks, it only takes a few minutes of your time. There’s no exception to this rule. (2) If you have stank-ass feet, apply a body spray on your feet before putting socks each morning. A body spray neutralises sweat bacteria and will help to stave-off nauseating foot stank.
2. SPF and protect
Side note: I mentioned this is another post which you can read about by clicking here, yet I can’t stress this enough.
To keep yourself looking younger and to protect from the harsh Australian sun - SPF and protect. Why, because short term UV exposure burns skin cells, while longer term UV exposure leaves you looking older and more prone to wrinkles, lines and other skin blemishes.*
This advice is not just limited to the skin on your face, your lips need protecting from harmful UV rays too. (See grooming mistake #5.)
3. All front, no back
Maybe it is because we can’t actually see what’s going on behind there you neglect it. But, that doesn’t mean you should forget about it altogether. Yes, I’m talking about back hair.
When you start to notice shag-like carpet hair on your shoulders, it’s time to either (1) Get busy with the body hair trimmer (2) Book yourself in for a professional wax job.
4. Skimping and skipping on haircuts
Like him or hate him, Becks always sports a sharp trim these days. While we don’t have a crew of stylists on hand each morning to get us photoshoot ready, this doesn’t mean you should skimp and skip on a decent cut.
A good haircut, one that shapes your face, accentuates your features, may make you appear younger and taller ... and what man doesn’t like feeling like a million bucks when you step out with your new undercut with obligatory skin fade, I know I do.
A skilled barber will do more than just trim your back and sides
While the $10 ‘best cuts’ barber next door to your local Coles might sound like a killer deal, there’s a reason to find an experienced barber and frequent them every 2-4 weeks. (Two weeks for touch ups, four for a full cut.)
A skilled barber will do more than just trim your back and sides, they can advise you on all things hairstyle. If they’re experienced enough they can recommend the best type of cut to match hair growth pattern and the shape of your face.
So why skimp on a few bucks with a cut you’re never happy with? Don’t do it.
5. Keep your lips in check
The skin on your lips is thinner than on the rest of your face, which means it’s prone to dryness and cracking from cold and dry air, and wind and sun damage. At all times you need to keep this thin layer of skin hydrated and protected from the elements.
The solution: A handy pocket-sized lip salve will keep you covered at all times. This alone will keep skin strong, smooth and less susceptible to cold sores, fissures and cracking.
When selecting a salve, be on the lookout for these ingredients:
- Cocoa butter;
- Shea butter;
- Algae (nourishes and defends skin);
- Vitamin E;
- Rosehip oil;
- Peppermint oil.
6. Ear cuts (yes, you read that right)
One of life’s cruelest jokes is that as most of us get older, hair falls out where we want it to grow and grows where we don’t want it to grow. This leads us to the one orifice which requires landscaping, your ears.
Here’s how to groom the inside and outside of your ears.
- Tweezer, invest in a quality pair of tweezers. Ensure they are air travel friendly, too.
- Ears (and nose) have substantial amounts of hair - invest in a grooming trimmer
- If you find ear (and nose) hair grows back quickly and is generally thick and coarse, waxing is the best option for the longest results.
7. Over-product your hair
Never over-product your hair. This is a grooming sin I see guys commit every day, where you can see the flakers or white residue from clumps of pomade and wax cemented onto hair strands. It’s not necessary. A five cent coins worth of pomade will do for most guys.
Don’t be afraid to mix your styling products up. Use different products to create different looks; one conservative for work, another more stylish for when you’re heading out on the town.
There you have it, nothing too drastic, just the details which never go unnoticed with your appearance.
*Amaro-Ortiz A, Yan B, D’Orazio JA. Ultraviolet radiation, aging and the skin: prevention of damage by topical cAMP manipulation. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2014;19(5):6202-6219. doi:10.3390/molecules19056202.