How to look as sharp as your suit
When it comes to looking and feeling your best, what you wear is only part of the story.
Good news though, we’re not about to tell you that you need to start spending hours in the bathroom, or an arm and a leg on hundreds of different products. We’ve been chatting to the guys over at new male grooming brand grüum, who like to keep things simple. They believe that when it comes to looking after your face, it’s often the small things that make the biggest difference.
Whether you’re clean shaven, bearded or sporting stubble, here are grüum’s fuss-free grooming tips, so you can look as sharp as your suit.
When it comes to perfecting that smooth, clean-shaven look, the trick that a lot of guys miss is proper preparation. Steam is your friend when it comes to shaving (it opens your pores and softens the hair) so we’d always recommend a hot shower to kick things off. Before you apply your shave gel, give your face a good scrub with a gentle exfoliating wash. This will help to bring any ingrown hairs out of hiding and diminish any friction so you’re less likely to cut yourself (tissue-paper-face is never a good look).
We can’t stress enough the importance of using a fresh sharp blade. No matter how well you do everything else, an old blunt blade just won’t cut it. If you’re a regular shaver, we’d recommend a fresh blade weekly, or if you don’t shave so often, fortnightly should be fine.
Don’t press down too hard when you shave; it won’t give you any closer a result, it’ll just upset your skin. Shave with the grain (the direction that your hair naturally grows) using short, light strokes.
Seal the deal with some decent post-shave care. One of our favourite (but little-known) products is post-shave tonic. Also known as toner, it’s used to close your pores and kill any bacteria left lingering on the skin after shaving. Finally, you’ll need to re-hydrate with a light moisturiser. Apply a thin layer all over your face and you’ll be good to go.
BOSS OF THE BEARD
There was a time when ‘suit’ and ‘beard’ would have been a very unlikely combo, but thankfully it’s 2017, and the world has pretty much come to terms with the fact that having a beard doesn’t mean you have to look like a hobo.
When it comes to beards, maintenance is key, so tidy things up with a beard trimmer once a week. Keep an eye on your neckline; you’ll want it low enough to avoid the dreaded ‘chinstrap’ (never a good look) but high enough that you don’t look like a werewolf. As a rule of thumb, place 2 fingers just above your Adam’s apple, and draw an imaginary line up to your ears. If you’re struggling, go and see your barber. Even if you don’t go regularly, at least you’ll know you’ve got a decent shape to follow.
Keep things clean and fresh by washing your beard with a gentle beard wash. Although you might be tempted to use your regular shampoo (hair is hair, right?), please don’t. The skin on your face is much more sensitive than your scalp, so a regular shampoo is likely to leave you feeling dry and irritated. Not ideal!
To give your beard some extra oomph (ideal for a special occasion) dry it with a hairdryer on a cool setting. Once you’re dry, give it a gentle run through with a beard brush or comb. This will help to tame any stubborn hairs, training them to sit in a downward direction.
It’s easy to go fall into an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach when it comes to the skin underneath your beard, but just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not important. Dry skin is one of the most common causes of beard itch, so keep things moisturised by massaging a few drops of beard oil right down onto the skin.
Give your beard some holding power by finishing off with a beard wax. Rub a small amount into your fingertips and style as desired.
Although the stubble look may appear effortless, unfortunately it’s not just a case of letting it grow and hoping for the best. When stubble is done right, you’ve got a perfect combination of rugged yet put-together, but get it wrong and you’re running the risk of looking like you’re in need of a decent night’s sleep.
When it comes to keeping your stubble in check, your trimmer will be your new best friend. Use something with different grading options, keeping it slightly longer on your cheeks and chin, but going shorter as you get below your jawline, gradually blending the hair down past your Adam’s apple.
To maintain the shape, apply a shave gel that isn’t too foamy so you can see what you’re doing (our clear danne shave gel is ideal for this), and carefully shave around the edges with a sharp razor. You want this to be neat, but try not to go too harsh with the line – ‘stencil stubble’ is never a good look!
Bright, healthy looking skin is the perfect accompaniment for pulling off stubble. We recommend using a daily gentle exfoliating wash to ditch dead skin cells. It’s also brilliant for getting rid of that annoying and all-too-common stubble itch. Next, give your face a quick spritz of facial tonic (toner) and give it a wipe with a cotton pad, focusing on your forehead and nose. Not only is this super refreshing (trust us), it also works to kill spot-causing bacteria, and prevents annoying shine cropping up throughout the day. Finish things off with a light moisturiser, and if your stubble is on the longer side, give it a quick run through with some beard oil.
Skincare a new ball game for you? Not a seasoned wet-shaver? Desperately trying to tame your whiskers to no avail? The guys at grüum have got loads more tips and advice available on their blog. Or give them a shout on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Their tailored grooming kits contain everything you need to take care of your face and if you take their 3-step survey, they’ll let you know which products are best for you and give you 50% off your first order.