“Men spend a massive 59mins in front of the mirror daily. Rework your regimen”
In a new survey published this week, it’s revealed that men spend an average of 59 minutes a day grooming. An entire hour. Of grooming.
This study shows that, as well as immaculately manicured fingernails, some people have too much time on their hands. To the rescue as ever, we’ve come up with a great list of grooming hacks to make sure you maintain that impeccable beard trim, while keeping a bit more time to spend on rewarding pursuits such as box-sets and barbells. You’re welcome.
Tame your mop
“This has an absolutely knockout smell and works on short, textured cuts right through to longer, messy styles and, of course, quiffs. Best used on dry or slightly damp hair, rub a 2p-sized amount into your palms and apply. To wash it out, put shampoo onto your hair when it’s dry, lather it and then rinse.”
Owner of Joe and Co, Joe Mills
Black and White wax, £4.65
“Nivea’s Post Shave Balm is an incredibly reliable formulation that suits every skin type. It leaves your face feeling soft without any greasy residue. In fact, it’s so good that girls use it as a pre-make up primer as well. Elsewhere, if your eyebrows or beard need taming on the fly, use some lip balm to smooth them down.”
Make up artist and beauty editor, Emma White Turle
Nivea Post-Shave Balm, £3.50
Smooth things out
“I always keep a bottle of Baby Oil mixed with water on me. A few drops of water is enough. When it’s diluted you can use the oil as a moisturizer on dry skin all over your body and it won’t be greasy. You can also use it in your hair to smooth it out, a little bit like a serum.”
Men’s hair and make up artist, Desmond Van Staden
Baby Oil, £1.33
“It’s a mouthful, yes, but this is a makeup artist’s secret weapon. A slightly thicker moisturiser, it can be used as a face mask, cleanser, and even to shave with. It will make your skin feel soft but not greasy. If you need a product in your wash bag that will deal with many jobs in one go, this is it.”
Hair and make up stylist, Oscar Alexander
Save your skin
“Skin cancer and ageing are two reasons to make sure you don’t leave the house without SPF on your face,” says tanning expert James Read – a man whose day job involves ensuring Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s skin remains sun damage-free.
UV rays tinker with your skin’s DNA, causing cancer, and degrade its collagen, which saps your face’s elasticity and eventually leaves it wrinkle-ridden. But it’s not just holiday beams that do the damage; the dangerous rays penetrate cloud cover, meaning even in winter you need protection. Look for a moisturiser that includes SPF, says Read.
Even out your features
Your ears probably aren’t level, so using them as a guide when you trim your sideburns makes your face looks wonky. Instead of just lining up with the tragus (the fleshy bit in the middle of your ear) make them match your face. If you’ve got a weak chin, shorter is better, while round faces are helped by going long. First, trim the left side. “It’s the more difficult side,” says Man Made London‘s head barber, Tom Bell. Put your index finger at the bottom and, looking in a mirror, do the same on the other side. Then just shave to match.
Forget the washing
Grooming lore says daily washing is the route to a brittle barnet. But while that’s true for shoulder-length locks, your short back and sides needs regular attention, says Lilly Dillon, trichologist and master barber at Ruffians.
Short and fine hairs rapidly transfer oil from root to tip, so hair gets greasy quicker. For fine hair, Dillon recommends washing daily and, if it’s brushing your collar, conditioning at the ends only. For thick hair, shampoo just three times a week, conditioning every time. Try to match washes to gym day to avoid post-workout sweat head.
Thicken your locks
Ditch the wet-look gels; oil-slick hair is not the answer. Instead, opt for lightweight, matte-effect products, as they help hair to look lustrous while going easy on the grease. “My two go-to styling products for men are Thickening Tonic, as it instantly gives more bulk to the hair and it doesn’t need heat to work, and Pure-Formance Grooming Clay,” says Aveda master barber, Stel Nicolaou . Whatever you do, use no more than a 2p-sized amount of clay or you’ll overdo it. The dry, textured finish is what you’re aiming for, giving you hair that looks full instead of fine.
Use avocado post-lunch
Avocado might be your morning staple, but according to grooming YouTuber Robin James, it could also hold the key to an afternoon pick-me-up. “Full of useful fatty acids and antioxidants, avocado is great for your skin. An eye cream such as this one from Kiehl’s gives you all of the breakfast favourite’s benefits – glowing, elastic skin – without having to plaster your face with the stuff.” Perfect for when you need to look fresh for that 4.30pm meeting.
Creamy eye treatment, £34, kiehls.co.uk
Daily espressos might put the jump leads on your morning and speed up menial office tasks, but serious java breath is no good for office cohesion or getting more facetime with the boss. So try switching your rocket fuel of choice occasionally: research from the US National Centre for Biotechnology Information found that green tea is more effective at combating bad breath than chewing gum. Next time you’re due a group creative meeting, swig a quick mug to make sure that what you say smells as sweet as it sounds.
Green tea, £2.29, garraways.co.uk