A few decades ago male grooming was merely a case of deciding how short to cut your moustache, or finding a decent comb to slick back your hair (probably).
These days however it’s a veritable minefield. Men are so concerned with their image in this new metrosexual climate that the market for men’s grooming products is quickly catching up with the market for women’s. We are now living in an age when there is actually make-up being sold in shops, specifically marketed towards blokes – if we’d told our great-grandad’s that they’d have choked on their chewing tobacoo.
There are a lot of things to remember when preening ourselves these days, which in turn means that there are a lot of mistakes to be made. But fear not, we’re here to guide you through the minefield of common grooming mistakes and out of the other side, unscathed and looking fresh.
Drowning in cologne
This is by no means a recent mistake. For as long as there has been aftershave there have been overzealous blokes applying too much of it. The best way to right this wrong is by adhering to the following method: give your bottle two squirts into the air directly in front of yourself, walk into the cloud, stand for a second, and walk away. The perfect amount of cologne every time – fool proof.
Raggy facial hair
If you’re sporting a bit of facial hair – whether it be stubble, sideburns, or even a full beard – make sure to keep it neat and tidy. All too often we see guys who have had the right idea but just let it get out of hand. Avoiding the unkempt look means keeping your facial hair trimmed, removing any stragglers and carving a neck and jaw line. Think less caveman and more cavegentleman.
Nothing screams “I've had the same carton of milk in my fridge for 5 months and my bed-sheets smell like chip fat” like a set of long, grubby fingernails. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying you should be going for a weekly manicure to get your French tips done. What we are saying however, is just give them a trim once a week. It’s not difficult and it could mean the difference between you getting the job and not getting the job, bagging a date and not bagging a date – whatever it may be, it’s surely worth taking 2 minutes out of your day for.
Ignoring imminent baldness
It doesn’t matter how much you convince yourself that your comb-over is passable before you leave the house each morning, if you’re even having to think about it then it’s definitely not. This is probably the most difficult grooming mistake to overcome because it requires you to embrace your impending baldness. So take a deep breath, pick that razor up, and do what you know needs to be done. You’ll feel, and look better for it.
It can be a bit daunting as a bloke to head down to Superdrug and attempt to pick out a moisturiser. There’s so much on offer it can be difficult to select the right one. A lot of people will tell you than men’s moisturisers and women’s moisturisers are exactly the same but it’s not true; men’s skin is thicker than women’s so men’s moisturiser is designed to cater for that. Basically, just pick something with ‘MEN’ written on the front of it and you can’t go far wrong!
Neglecting your nose and ear hair
As far as we’re concerned on this one there is absolutely no excuse. “Oh but I don’t want to fork out for a trimmer” you might say, well what’s the problem with using scissors. Put yourself in the shoes of your date: who really wants to be sat across the dinner table in some fancy restaurant from a guy who has more hair sprouting out of his nose and ears than he does out of his head? Trust us, it’s not a good look, and it’s very easily remedied.
Letting your pubes run riot
If you expect your significant other to maintain their bush then really it’s only fair that you be expected do the same. This should be fairly obvious but there are plenty of blokes out there (so we’re told) who just don’t bother. We’re not suggesting that you need to book yourself in for a Brazilian or anything daft like that, but would it really hurt to have a quick tidy up with the scissors now and then, ey? The answer is no, no it wouldn’t, well, as long as you’re careful that is.
Going OTT with the body hair removal
At completely the opposite end of the spectrum is this common mistake. If you’re lathering yourself up in hair removal cream at every given opportunity and your chest is smoother than glass then you probably need to take a step back. Keeping things tidy is good, walking around looking like some sort of terrifying, living porcelain doll man is not. So when you’re keeping your body hair in check, take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Do I really need to wax my arse?” – The answer is probably no.