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We asked our friends at MR PORTER.COM, the men’s style destination with same-day delivery in Manhattan and London, for expert style advice. This week’s topic: must-have grooming products.
Unlike looking good in a tuxedo, being well-groomed is a full-time pursuit, which benefits from consistency, routine and a certain amount of dedication. As with exercise, and eating, if you’re one of those people whose personal trainer makes them eat six micro-meals a day (we do so enjoy joining you lot for dinners out, by the way) getting yourself into a daily rhythm helps a lot, and with a little patience, the results can be fast and dramatic. Here’s the MR PORTER guide, then, to grooming your way through the course of a day.
7 AM: The shower
Both a hygienic necessity and an emotional crutch, the shower is your gateway into the world of the living — so it will help your general well-being if set out to make it as pleasant as possible. Jump in prepared with a few options — if you’ve got up on time and want to look and smell like a million dollars dipped in sandalwood and suede,Tom Daxon‘sResin Sacrais a particularly opulent variety of shower gel, which can be followed up with a matching body lotion to further moisturise and smooth your skin. If you want to greet the day a little less guns-blazing, then we recommendRen‘s lightNeroli And Grapefruit Body Wash, which should both stimulate the circulation (thanks to Neroli’s aromatherapeutic qualities) and tone the skin (as the cold-pressed grapefruit oil used in this formulation both reduces oil and minimises pores). Hair care is a deep enough topic to constitute a whole guide in itself — but, for the moment, the most important thing is to identify your hair type and issues and pick a shampoo and conditioner accordingly. Stockholm-based brandSachajuanis a good place to start here, given that it supplies a range of shampoos for different hair types, from normal to dry, including a revolutionary and highly effective anti-dandruffScalp Shampoo— remarkable in its category in that it smells like rosemary oil and ginger rather than toilet cleaner.
8AM: The brush and shave
We understand that at this point in the morning many people can barely open their eyes, but it’s crucial to pay attention here, as this is a time at which your day can really take a turn for the worse if you’re not careful. Brushing your teeth before you leave the house goes beyond style — it’s basic consideration for everyone that has to stand next to you on the tube — but you can certainly carry it off with finesse by trying out Foreo‘s innovative Issa toothbrush, which employs high intensity vibrations and a hygienic silicone brush to offer users nothing less than the smile of the future. Shaving, of course, is crucial and full of pitfalls (in order of unpleasantness, ascending: cuts, burns, the dreaded bumps). We can’t help you hold your hand steady, but we recommend (a) that you prep your skin properly with a pre-shave lotion (D R Harris‘ Arlington is a mild astringent with a citus-fern scent that slightly lifts the hair bristles, allowing you to cut them closer to the skin); (b) don’t skimp on the shaving cream (see the new grooming range from Penhaligon’s for inspiration); and (c) use a fresh razor for each shave (the sharper the razor, the less drag on the skin and hair bristles, therefore, the less irritation). The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to invest in a traditional safety razor from Baxter of California — the initial outlay is considerable, but the sturdy design can be refilled with standard razor blades, which come at a fraction of the cost of disposables and replacement heads. Once that business is out of the way cleanse deeply with Ren’s Hot Cloth Cleanser and then moisturise — it’s the best way to avoid the sudden appearance of rashes and blemishes during your 11am meeting. Finally, remember the deodorant (again, your commuting cohorts will thank you).
1PM: The gym
At this time of day you may really be at your local, sizing up a pulled pork slider and wondering whether to go for that fourth coffee, you know, to push you through the afternoon. But for the purposes of this guide, let’s assume that you did what you promised this January and joined the virtuous ranks of those that make it to the gym at lunchtime. Grooming-wise, somewhat obviously, showertime is the first crucial step here — though if you can restrict the amount of grimacing and straining you put your face through during your work-out, that’s also good. It’s an awful drag rummaging around in the kit bag for seven different bottles to take with you for your post-treadmill hose down, so make your life easier by equipping yourself withPankhurst‘sHead To Toe Shampoo. It not only does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s an attractive tin to boot. Post-shower, be sure to wash your face, as the sweat produced during exercise can cause irritation and blemishes if left on the skin. And as your skin, like those weird muscles on your inner thigh you didn’t even know existed, has just been through a lot, it’s best to use a gentle cleansing product such as theBlind Barber‘sWild Watermint Cleanseror, if you’re serious about avoiding red face in your 2pm video conference, tryM.E. Skin Lab‘s all-naturalCleanser 27, which also has a mild exfoliating effect.
7PM: A quiet night in
Screenwriting genius Mr Dalton Trumbo spent a lot of time in the bath — in fact, that’s where he did most of his writing. The result?
. Now, we’re not promising anything, but surely this is evidence enough that everyone has time for a bath once in a while — and that the results can be beneficial. Actually, they almost always are, though not usually in the form of epic scripts. Bathing is fantastic for opening pores, exfoliating dead skin and, most importantly — if you leave your iPhone in the bedroom — chilling out. If you take a bath between 7pm and 9pm (later than that can keep you up) you can make the most of all three benefits by washing your face (the steam and heat of the bath will help this penetrate deep into the pores) with a gentle cleanser fromPerricone MDand using a bar soap to scrub down the rest of your body (wait 15 to 20 minutes after you jump in, so the skin has had time to soften). Optional extras for the man who wants to put the “treat” in “treatment” include Foreo’s Luna, a sonic-pulse-emitting device that, when used on a low frequency setting, has an anti-ageing effect on the skin. Just try not to drop it in the water. After you jump out go forAēsop‘sGeranium Leaf Body Balmto maintain your skin’s glowing hydration.
8PM: A big night out
It’s Taxi Driver time: take a look in that mirror, psyche yourself up and decide who you’re going to be tonight for that party/ dinner/ generic do. Or at least what he’s going to smell like. In the same way that you might match your watch with an outfit or occasion, you should match a scent to your mood, and keep several options on hand in case of troublesome swings. Feeling confident and outgoing? Go for Byredo‘s Mister Marvellous — if the name alone doesn’t make your soul jiggle, its exotic notes of mandarin leaf and black amber will. For a more patrician sophistication, try D.S. & Durga‘s Sir Cologne or Floris‘ No.89 aftershave — the former has a rich, masculine base while the latter was a favourite of the late Mr Ian Fleming. Coyly raise one eyebrow, tip your Martini glass to your lips and imagine what that smells like (citrussy on application with a warm sandalwood base that deepens as you wear). Of course, one of the most difficult attitudes to maintain around other human beings post 7pm is a certain degree of mystique. But you don’t have to try so hard: Tom Daxon has concocted a spray-on version in the form of Reverie. It’s a fougère fragrance (meaning “fern-like”, think Brut for consenting adults), that combines contrasting notes (citrussy elemi, cool and languid iris, spicy rosemary and cypriol) in a rather intoxicating and unusual maelstrom of scent. Much better than the ice-breaker you’re currently rehearsing with your reflection.
11PM: And so to bed
Sorry, no, you don’t get the night off. In fact, your skin is particularly prone to undesirable irritations while you sleep, getting increasingly dehydrated as the night goes on. We therefore recommend both a night cream (the results of these tend to be dramatic — prepare to be amazed) and, if you’re really looking to behave, supplements. Biotin, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids are all good for both skin and hair health. But, you cry, what about your mind? Groom that a bit before you drift off with a copy ofThe MR PORTER Paperback, and aTom Dixoncandleto help you relax. Snuff it out like a Dickensian gent, lie back, and try not to think of all the grooming you’re going to have to go through, once more, tomorrow.
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