Groom Yourself to Perfection in 10 Steps

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Information & Advice

Groom Yourself to Perfection in 10 Steps

With so many products on the market it's easy to get confused about what to use and when, so we've put together this 10-step guide to fixing yourself up. Call it a face and body MOT

Lucie Tobin

Lucie Tobin

Health & Beauty Magazine Online Editor

Published 30th September 2008

With so many products on the market it's easy to get confused about what to use and when, so we've put together this 10-step guide to fixing yourself up. Call it a face and body MOT

1. Clean your face

Every few days, put aside 20 minutes to really clean your face. A deep cleanse gets rid of all the oil and dirt that's been lurking deep in your pores since the last time you played a game of rugby or changed a wheel. It also reduces oil build-up, improves your skin's tone and texture and makes you look sexier.

What to do
1.    Wash your face carefully with a cleanser such as Anthony Sport Foaming Facial Cleanser. Make sure you massage it into your whole face, your neck and behind your ears, then rinse thoroughly.
2.    Apply a face mask – try Nickel Exfoliating and Deep Cleansing Face Mask – to damp skin, avoiding the delicate eye area. Leave it on for as long as the pack tells you. Try relaxing in front of the TV while it works then rinse off and dry your face.
3.    You can now apply an anti-ageing serum, such as No7 Mens Protect & Perfect Serum. Serums contain anti-ageing ingredients that reduce further damage and boost the skin's elasticity.
4.    Finish off with a moisturiser, such as L'Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic SPF15. One of the best ways to prevent premature ageing is to use sunscreen so check your moisturiser contains SPF. 


2. Tidy up your eyebrows

Whether you're blessed with Noel Gallagher's monobrow or you just find the odd unruly hair growing out of your brows, it's good to give yourself a tidy-up from time to time. And plucking out the extra hairs from under your brow can actually lift your eyes and make your look younger. Tweezers anyone?

First of all, find the right equipment. For precise, easy-to-use, guaranteed sharp Tweezerman Wide Grip Tweezer. You'll also need a small pair of sharp scissors, such as Tweezerman Men Facial Hair Scissors. Before you start, wash your brows with cleanser to soften the skin and the hairs, just as you would before a shave.

Unruly hairs
Unless you're a masochist, you don't need to pluck long eyebrow hairs. Trimming with scissors should do the trick. Don't trim your whole eyebrow, just prune the obvious ones.

Between the brows
The trick to plucking between your brows is not to give yourself too wide a gap. To get the right line, hold a pen vertically touching the side of your nose, then tweeze out any hairs you can see on the inside edge of the pen. Pluck out one hair at a time in the direction of growth.

Under the brows
The important thing is to retain the natural shape of your brows while tweezing out the extra, less-dense hairs underneath and further out. This should give your eyes a lift but still look natural. Again, pluck one hair at a time in the direction of growth.


3. Sort your hair out

Your hair-do is always on display and says a lot about you, and it needn't be difficult to get right.

Get the right cut
Look around you and work out what you like. Is Christian Bale's choppy, textured look for you, or do you prefer to keep it simple with a shaved head? Need ideas? Ask around or surf the net.

Style it
Be realistic about the time you're likely to spend in front of the mirror in the morning. If it's not long, ask for a low-maintenance cut. The latest men's styling products make it easy to style and re-style your hair. Try Trevor Sorbie Mg styling clay or Brylcreem Styling Cream .


4. Trim your beard

Beards are becoming more fashionable again, but that's no excuse to let yours grow unchecked. The Brian Blessed look is most certainly not in.

Before you start
Gather your equipment. You'll need a pair of scissors such as Tweezerman Men Facial Hair Scissors or a beard trimmer such as the Remington Barba Beard Trimmer MB320 and a comb. Then shampoo your beard and leave it to dry. Don't trim your beard when it's wet as you might take it too short.

What to do
Decide how long you want it to be, then run the comb through a section of beard to the desired length and scissor or trim off the extra. Try cutting a small amount at first, just until you get used to what you’re doing. Use a beard trimmer on the closest setting to trim outside the line of the beard.

Alternatively, ask a barber to trim your beard for you.
 

5. Shine your teeth

Yellow teeth are a turn-off, so if your pearlies are not so white, it might be time to get some help.

Macleans Ice Whitening Gel is a great whitening toothpaste for daily use, or, for more extreme cleaning, try Boots Expert Teeth Whitening Kit.

A treatment from your dentist will be most effective. If you don't already see your dentist and hygienist at least twice a year, make an appointment.


6. Exfoliate

Exfoliation is scrubbing off the top layer of dead cells from your skin to reveal a healthy-looking glow. Men have bigger pores and hairier skin than women, meaning they collect more dirt, so it's important to exfoliate your back, chest and face regularly with products made especially for men.

You should probably exfoliate between one and three times a week. Doing it every day could prove too harsh for your skin.

What to do
1.    Wet your skin then massage a blob of exfoliating cleanser such as King of Shaves Antibacterial Face Scrub or Boots Expert Sensitive Cleansing Face Scrub into your face. For a more effective scrub, use a sponge or exfoliating gloves to massage the cleanser into your face.
2.    Rinse your face with cold water and pat dry with a towel.
3.    In the bath or shower, massage a body scrub (something like Clinique Skin Supplies for Men Exfoliating Body Wash or Botanics Cleansing Body Scrub) into your chest and back. A loofah will help you get to those hard-to-reach places.
4.    Get out of the bath or shower and pat yourself dry.
5.    Then moisturise.


7. De-fuzz

Men are increasingly looking into removing excess body hair, although many prefer to remain hairy and proud. Areas to de-fuzz include the back, chest, back of neck, genital area, legs, toes and knuckles. There are a few options for getting rid of the fuzz.

Shaving
A great short-term solution, but it can cause razor burn, stubble and irritation.

If you choose to shave, always use shaving gel (try King of Shaves AlphaGlide Sensitive Shaving Gel) and soothe your skin afterwards with a balm such as Nivea for men Sensitive Soothing After Shave Balm.

Depilatory cream
These creams dissolve the hair above the skin leaving hair to grow back more slowly than it would if you'd shaved. Men's hair is thicker so you need a cream designed for men such as Veet For Men Hair Removal Gel Cream.

Waxing
In exchange for a moment of pain, waxing leaves you hair free for up to four weeks. If you want to do it yourself, try convenient Veet Debut Sensitive Skin Ready to Use Hair Removal Wax Strips


8. Cut your nails

Your hands are almost always on show, so why not keep them looking smart? A quick tidy up once a week should be enough.

What to do
1.    Wash your hands thoroughly.
2.    Clean under your nails then clip them straight across.
3.    You might want to try a cuticle cream such as No7 Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Care. Massaging it in to your cuticles makes your nails grow better.
4.    Regardless of whether you think your cuticles need attention, you should always moisturise thoroughly after a manicure to keep your hands looking smooth and feeling soft. Try Clarins Men Ideal Hand Care.


9. Fix your feet

Even if you're not thinking of wearing sandals any time soon, a pedicure can work wonders for tired feet. Here's the basic gist. You don't have to do all the steps, but the foot soak is pretty important.

What to do
1.    Soak your feet for five to ten minutes in a bowl of warm water with some Boots Soothing Foot Bath.
2.    Dry and spray with antiseptic spray.
3.    Clean under your nails then clip them straight across.
4.    Massage an exfoliating foot lotion into your feet then rinse them in the foot bath.
5.    Use a pedifile to smooth your callouses (don't take them off completely).
6.    Massage your feet and legs with a decent foot moisturiser, and then sprinkle on some foot powder.

If you've got any health problems affecting your feet (diabetes, fungus, ingrown toenails, athlete's foot, etc), consult your doctor or a chiropodist before giving yourself a pedicure


10. Moisturise

Moisturising is an inexpensive way to look younger instantly. And using one that contains SPF is one of the best things you can do to prevent further premature ageing. You can moisturise your whole body, but the bits that are exposed to the elements probably need it most often.

What to use
·    Nivea Rich Care Body Moisturiser – Great for your whole body.
·    Botanics For Men Anti-ageing Moisturiser SPF 15 – Perfect for anti-ageing moisturisation.
·    Botanics For Men Intensive Moisturiser Dry Skin SPF12 – One for dry skin.
·    L'Oreal Men Expert Tanning Moisturiser; Contains a small amount of tanning ingredient so you can build up a tan slowly.


Words by Cat Leonard


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