How to Look Like a Well-Groomed Man: a Rakish Grooming Regime
There’s a plethora of information out there on how to best develop a solid grooming regime, but information overload is a man’s worst enemy and often we here at The Rake see the average fellow shying away from his natural duty of adequately maintaining his appearance. As such, we have put together a list of rakishly-good grooming tips and tricks, enlisting the help of some of the industry’s most informed and respected in the area of men’s grooming.
It's said that first impressions count, but the last thing anyone will remember of you is your fragrance, which will be loitering long after you have left the encounter. The key tenets can be quickly and easily surmised: Individual, personal and distinctive. These are the three essential pillars for creating a lasting impression. Men - and women - are somewhat defined by their scents, so it’s important to find one that is completely unique and special to you. The appeal of finding your scent also lies in the fact that no scent is the same; scents react differently with each wearer, and of course change over time.
“The perfect scent evokes strong sensations and emotions. Aroma is vital, but only one part of the mix,” says Antonio Weiss, co-founder of London perfumist Thomas Clipper. “A scent needs to take you on a journey to somewhere special and meaningful, and it needs to do this for both the scent wearer, and their lovers, partners and friends who are ultimately the ones who experience the scent.”
Developed in the home of perfume - Grasse, France - Thomas Clipper is the pioneer of blending cologne for men. The signature ‘Unite Trio’ features a blend of three unique scents, formed to make a special combination for each and every man that wears it. “Our scents are designed to be blended together on skin, so a guy can make his own special scent combination every day,” says Weiss. “People shouldn't be pigeon-holed and it's important to us give men the ability to choose who they want to be, and to use a cologne to help express that individuality.”
The act of shaving means many different things to many different men: some loathe the experience, while some relish in the ritual. Society has become much more accepting of a groomed beard in the modern day, but the art form of shaving - and being clean-shaven - will never lose its charm… or purpose. If you find yourself shaving on the regular, it’s imperative that you not only use the right tools for the job, but that you cater for your skin’s needs pre and post shave.
Purveyors of damn-fine grooming goods, D.R. Harris is not only one of the world’s most trusted shaving brands but it has built upon a solid reputation since 1790. “It’s important to make sure that the skin is in the best position before and after shaving in order to minimise any adverse reactions. It’s a good idea to shave after a hot shower when the pores are open and the bristles have been softened, for example” explains Julian Moore, marketing manager, D.R. Harris. “Lather up a good shaving cream or soap using a shaving brush. Badger bristle is traditionally best for this. Using a brush to lather soap or cream on the face raises the bristles allowing a closer shave and also has an exfoliating effect, removing dead skin cells and grease, which also allows for a closer shave and healthier skin.”
We all know that we’ve been given one face and it’s up to us to maintain the outcome of its appearance. Sun exposure and constant abrasion welcomes wrinkles. Dirt and grime entices acne, and sleepless nights bring on puffy, dark eyes. Cleansing, toning and moisturising - once foreign words to the average man - have become apart of the modern-day vocabulary for those looking to give their skin the best chance of a healthy life.
“A good quality moisturiser is very important to utilise in your day-to-day grooming regime,” says Moore. “We spend so much time in artificially climate-controlled environments that a moisturising barrier makes a big difference.” Moore also goes on to explain the benefits of a good face wash which essentially rids the skin of dirt, grime and pollutants that build up throughout the day. “A face wash is a good idea as it removes oils that build up on the face. But it’s important not to over-wash, as you don’t want to dry the face out by removing all of its natural oils.”
Lugging around your aforementioned grooming essentials shouldn’t be an arduous - or embarrassing - task. Invest in a well-crafted dopp kit (wash bag) that will see you not only travel in style, but throughout many an adventure where your grooming essentials are most needed, i.e that planned safari to Africa you have coming up. “Having a wash bag to keep all your toiletries organised makes it much easier to find what you need quickly when you're travelling,” says Samuel Bail, co-founder of Troubadour; a luxury men’s accessory brand that aims to create products that combine a refined look with performance features. “A dopp kit that looks and feels good also adds sensory pleasure to life, which is important to all men.”
“It's also about looking after yourself; you can't do good in the world unless you look after yourself,” adds Weiss. “Giving yourself a few minutes each day to get confident, feel prepared for the day ahead and ready to face the world is of huge importance in our 'always on', 24/7 culture.”