The Lazy Gentleman’s Guide To Grooming
The world can be sorted into two types of people: those who have the time and inclination to commit to a 15-step Korean skincare regimen and, well, those who don’t. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with putting in a little extra effort, and if that involves using a chilled jade roller every morning and an LED mask at night – and, crucially, you enjoy those activities – then, as you were. But we’re also conscious that not everyone wants to take the labour-intensive approach, especially when you could be rewatching Bridgerton for the third time this month. If you want to look great but don’t want to spend all of your time pursuing it, then read on for five ways to lessen your grooming burden.
Concealer is your secret weapon
Not the kind of man who wears makeup? Try dabbing some concealer on your morning-after eye bags or blemishes and then we’ll talk. See, what did we tell you? There’s no shame in using some cosmetic wizardry to minimise imperfections and the idea that applying a skin-coloured substance to your face somehow negates manliness is, frankly, absurd. Plus, it takes short of a minute to apply, making it an idle groomer’s dream. British brand War Paint for Men make products that specifically cater to the needs of men’s skin (which tends to be thicker and oilier than women’s). Meanwhile, TOM FORD’s twist-up variety is ideal if you’re on-the-go.
Try multipurpose products
We wouldn’t blame you if you’ve got a negative opinion of multi-use products. But, luckily, they’ve come a long way in recent years with innovative dermatologists and brands developing next-generation lotions and potions perfect for those in a hurry. Susanne Kaufmann, a relatively new addition to MR PORTER’s shelves, for example, offers a two-for-one shampoo and body wash that’s packed with protective ingredients such as rosehip and soluble silk that won’t dry out your skin or scalp. Meanwhile, London-based duo Saunders & Long have gone hell for lather with a super-charged five-in-one formulation dubbed The Long Weekender that can be used as a (deep breath) shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream and hair balm. Phew.
Treat yourself to a gift set
Similarly maligned in the grooming rankings are gift sets. But we’re not talking about the unopened trio of body wash from a well-meaning aunt that you unwrapped the Christmas before last and still sits languishing on the bathroom shelf. Skincare brands have upped their game in this regard, with kits including a cleanser, exfoliator and moisturiser (and often more) designed to work harmoniously with one another in one convenient box. If you don’t want to spend too much time thinking about how to mix-and-match different products from different brands, these packages offer a ready-made routine without any of the hassle of working out if ingredients can safely be used in conjunction with one another. Clinique For Men’s three-step system has been a best-seller since the 1960s, but Dr. Barbara Sturm, Horace and La Mer all produce handy little sets based on specific skin types and concerns.
Sleep on it
Particularly relevant to note for those who do not consider themselves so-called “morning people”: sometimes grooming really is as easy as getting some shut eye. Nighttime is actually when your skin does most of its heavy lifting. While you’re snoozing, it’s repairing UV damage, replenishing collagen reserves and generally preparing itself for a new day. To help it on its way, you can slather on a high-performance serum, moisturiser or mask like Grown Alchemist’s Regenerating Night Cream, which contains omega fatty acids and neuro-peptides to boost collagen production, plumping and perking up skin in the process. Et voilà: maximum results with minimal exertion required.
Skip the shampoo
If you’re still shampooing your hair every day, consider scaling back. Unlike your body, there’s no need to cleanse your head that often. In fact, it can strip your hair and scalp of natural oils and cause lacklustre locks in the process. Over-washing is also one of the prime suspects in cases of dandruff. That being said, you also don’t want to look like you’ve taken to using cooking grease as a styling aid. Enter dry shampoo. A quick spritz of the stuff will provide a welcome refresh and banish any oily patches. Note, though, that certain sprays can leave behind a chalky, white residue, so if your hair is darker, it’s wise to use it at night so any tossing and turning does the job of working the product in.
Illustration by Mr Thomas Pullin