The MR PORTER Team’s Grooming Secrets
The everyday essentials you’ll find in our bathroom cabinets.
At MR PORTER, we believe that good style doesn’t stop with your wardrobe. Clothes, after all, can only get you so far. Gone are the days when a man could get away with a quick shave and a splash of water and face the day. To make a good impression, you have to have a good grooming regime; the one precedes the other as sure as day precedes night. You’d be surprised how far a spritz of the right fragrance, or a dab of brightening eye cream can get you.
With so many products and tools on offer, it’s hard to know where to start. But don’t worry. Whether you are looking to take your grooming regime to the next level or simply upgrading the contents of your bathroom cabinet, read on to discover the 22 essential products and tools the MR PORTER team can’t do without.
I’m a sucker for packaging as well as results with my grooming products, and the Lavett & Chin brand ticks both boxes. This shaving lotion slides gently on the skin, smells refreshing and the dispenser is easy to use: three essentials for when I’m still half asleep in the morning.
I’m always a little reluctant to use the Buly 1803 Pommade Virginale Face Cream because it looks as if it should be in a gallery, not a bathroom. It is a very effective moisturiser – I use it morning and night – and is easy to pack. Despite the name, it would be an exaggeration to say it’s given me a virgin-like complexion – those days are long gone – but hopefully a healthy glow.
I have cropped, quite fine hair and Sachajuan Ocean Mist Texturizing Spray gives it some texture and a slight tousled look. I spray it on before drying and after that, use a dash of Oribe Rough Luxury Molding Wax to give it some shape. I suspect that all sounds a little poncy. Oh well.
As you approach your mid-thirties, you find the recovery time after late nights and long working weeks becomes even longer. Tom Ford Beauty’s Anti-Fatigue Eye Treatment combats those dreaded panda eyes, helping you to look alert every morning.
Having a beard or stubble demands upkeep – gone are the days when you could just grow and forget. I love the fact that D R Harris Beard Oil looks like it is fresh out of an apothecary. I don’t believe men should spend hours grooming, which is why I favour this beard oil. I use it sparingly twice a day, morning and night, and it guarantees my beard looks clean and sharp.
I was introduced to Crème de la Mer by my wife, who swears by it. After her ranting and raving about how great it was, I tried it and have been hooked ever since. I especially enjoy how firm my face feels, and looks, after I put it on in the morning. This is a staple of my daily routine – and an attempt to preserve my youth.
Lab Series Instant Eye Lift is amazing at reducing under-eye bags and puffiness (in my case, due to lack of sleep). I keep this refrigerated and apply it after I moisturise the rest of my face. The cool temperature of the eye cream alone is enough to wake me up before I have my morning coffees (yes, I have a few before leaving the apartment).
I am obsessed with oud. Historically, it is one of the most alluring (and expensive) fragrances. When I discovered Byredo’s Oud Immortel, I instantly wanted to wear it every day, but with a bit of self-restraint, I have managed to reserve it for special occasions only.
I’ve got fairly long hair, which tends to veer on the uncontrollable side, but I’ve always struggled with the concept of spending time washing it just to smother it in product and get it dirty again. Pankhurst London Leave-In Styling Conditioner keeps my hair looking clean and healthy, with a hold that lasts all day.
In a bid to cut down on coffee, I’ve been looking for supplements that will give me a much needed boost. The Nue Co. Energy Food + Prebiotic, a blend of maca, beetroot, goji berries and brown rice protein, delivers slow-release energy throughout the day.
I recently bought my first bottle of Frédéric Malle Monsieur eau de parfum. It’s just fresh enough to put a spring in my step as spring approaches, but the amber undertones keep it masculine and warm.
I swear by a good, once-a-week exfoliating scrub, such as this one from Dr. Barbara Sturm. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Dr Barbara Sturm? She sounds like a typical Hollywood quack.” Fair enough. Before I tried her stuff, I probably would have agreed with you. There’s the name, for a start, which could have been plucked straight out of a Hammer horror movie from the 1960s. Then there are her infamous treatments, which include a face cream made with your own blood (or, as the Daily Mail reported it, “your own BLOOD”). But I challenge you to give her products a go and not become a convert.
Lab Series Daily Moisture Defense Lotion absorbs easily, and doesn’t have that characteristic sunscreen scent (it has SPF protection). Lovely smell when you’re on the beach; a tad depressing when you’re waiting for the train.
I prefer a nice, non-mint toothpaste, because “fresh breath” doesn’t have to imply the prefix “minty”. I keep a few tubes of Buly 1803’s fantastic apple-flavoured toothpaste sequestered about my person at all times.
I have been using Malin + Goetz Peppermint Shampoo for years. It’s gentle enough to use every day, while the extract stimulates the scalp with a refreshing tingle – a great way to start the morning.
On days when I’m feeling particularly worn out, I find that nothing works better at reducing the tell-tale signs of tiredness than covering them up completely. A couple of dabs of Tom Ford Beauty’s Concealer Stick under the eye, or to hide an unwelcome blemish, and no one is any the wiser. It’s compact enough to slide into any pocket – perfect for discreet touch-ups.
Looking after your nails should be a weekly procedure, not merely the preserve of beach holiday prep. I recommend Czech & Speake’s Leather-Bound Manicure Set. It contains all the necessary tools to make sure your nails look professionally manicured at all times.
In the past, I wouldn’t have considered buying a hand cream, but Buly 1803 Pommade Concrète Balm stands out from the crowd (and not just because of the packaging). It contains shea butter, an underrated moisturiser that won’t leave your hands greasy.
The D R Harris Three-Piece Safety Razor is the best grooming investment I’ve ever made. Shaving with a single blade is truly as quick and easy as shaving with a seven-tier monster. Plus, it has the added benefit of a closer, cleaner shave.
I keep coming back to Patricks M2 pomade because of its amazing scent, perfect hold and travel-friendly packaging. The brand doesn’t shout about it, but it uses several ingredients that are great for preventing hair loss.
Illustrations by Mr Joe McKendry