Grooming

The 12 Grooming Tips All Stylish Men Know

How to look (and feel) better.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES, AESOP, TOM FORD
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Men's grooming is now an honored art. There's no shame involved. On the contrary, the shame is on you, and solely you, if you don't have a morning routine. The secret is to appear understated: be the man who looks after himself without a low-level radiation glow and the brows of typical Picasso portraiture.

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That means you find the bare essentials that work for you. For your skin type, and indeed, your hair type. The trick isn't to spend a fortune on a thousand different products, or to lock yourself in the bathroom for hours at a time. Rather, you should develop a daily routine that is quick, simple and—above all else—about maintenance.

Presenting: 12 easy grooming habits all men should adopt.

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1| Become a regular at your barbers

Get into the habit of regular stays in the barber's chair: if you've noticed your hair needs a trim, then others have too. That means you get proactive (as opposed to reactive). While some guys can settle for monthly appointments, your locks may still enjoy a growth spurt, thus requiring increased attention. Don't be surprised if it takes triweekly, or even fortnightly visits.

2| Know which hair products work for you

One size does not fit all, and the current rotation of men's products reflect this. If you've thicker, unruly hair, know that pomade and waxes are for you. The finer-headed should go for lighter products. Moreover, there's stuff for those with no hair at all.

The solution is simple: do your research. Products usually do what they say on the tin, and some light reading, in addition to some slight trial-and-error, will glean the right kit for your hair.

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3| Find your signature scent

Colognes and aftershaves are built to complement, not knock passers-by out cold. So, use sparingly, and rather than owning eight to ten average scents, find one or two classic blends that you really like.

Then, invest. Typically, woody, spicy or herby scents work in the winter, while lighter, citrus-based notes are better-suited to summer.

More: How to Find Your Signature Scent

Even James Bond needs a little grooming time

Photo by GETTY IMAGES.
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4| "Do a Dylan" with your toothbrush

If eyes are the window to your soul, your mouth is the gateway to your character. That means you present the best version of yourself, and let an electric toothbrush do the hard work for you.

According to a study by Sheffield University, rotating brushes reduce 11 percent more plaque than manual toothbrushes, and can also significantly reduce gum problems. And while you're at it, use a mouthwash after you brush first thing in the morning.

Photo by AMAZON.
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5| Scrub your face

Flannels won't cut it. A well-chosen scrub—concoctions specially designed to slough away deceased skin—is a weekly essential to keep skin in its best condition.

Your gleaming face shouldn't come at the planet's expensive, though. Opt for natural ingredients, like oats, or apricot kernels, as opposed to microbeads that work the way up the food chain, and end up on your plate. Bon appétit.

James Dean: an early advocate of the male grooming routine

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6| Manage your facial fuzz

In recent years, beards have surpassed trend status to become a regular fixture: amongst offices, amongst bars, amongst creative agencies resplendent with bean bags and 'blue skies thinking'. Whatever that means.

The newfound green light isn't without regulation, though. Maintenance is essential, and a decent beard trimmer will keep unsightly neck hairs at bay, and give some semblance of care. They're not even that expensive, either.

7| ...Or learn how to shave like an expert

Clean-shaven is just as permissible though. And, if you've got the stone jawline of a Givenchy campaign, actually encouraged.

Prepare your skin beforehand with a shave oil that'll help the razor easily glide, while soaking the blades in warm water will help your pores expand, reducing redness and irritation. If it still feels like a chore, leave your precious face in the hands of the experts and get a professional shave once a week.

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8| Put your best feet forward

They might not be on show that often, but a good footcare routine is still important. Take care of them after a bath or shower (when the skin is softest) using a pumice stone on any dead skin, before lathering a generous amount of moisturizer on.

Then, when summer rolls back around, you can wear your some incredibly sharp, utilitarian sandals, and cause minimal disgust in your holiday compatriots.

It's impossible not to pull a funny face when shaving. Even if you're David Hockney.

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9| Tackle dark circles

Eyes are not natural bag carriers. But, burn the candle at both ends, and you'll be the office Uncle Fester in no time at all.

Eliminate dark circles and puffiness with an eye cream, or a roll-on. Or better yet: just go to bed early, man.

Photo by CLINIQUE.
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10| Sort those eyebrows

Big eyebrows aren't a problem—see Clooney, Farrell, et al—but if they're meeting in the middle, you've got a problem on your hands (and in the middle of your face).

Naturally, eliminate a monobrow by focusing on the stragglers that stand apart from the main body of your slugs. Plucking is time-consuming, though so if needs be ask your barber to tidy your brows up when you're next in. If they're worth their salt, they'll offer to do it for you.

11| Nail your hand-care routine

Cutting your nails once a week—preferably after a bath or shower, to soften them and make them easier to trim—is basic. But that rough, flaky skin around the nail bed? Treat with a tiny bit of moisturizer every couple of days to smooth things over.

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Elvis getting an army-issue crewcut in 1958. You might want to go for something a little more subtle.

12| Wear sunscreen

Baz Luhrmann's 1999 sleeper hit was correct: "if I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it." It reduces aging. It reduces wrinkles. It reduces the risk of skin cancer, which, worryingly, is on the rise.

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We suggest adding a light SPF 15 moisturizer into your daily grooming routine, a two birds one stone job that will nourish and protect. Just like Baz said.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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