For many men, grooming is an activity which is restricted to either a horse’s stable or to the bathroom of the modern ‘metrosexual’. Unfortunately, that word still has the power to strike fear into the heart of many a sartorially inclined gentleman, with its dreaded connotations of decadence and unmasculine superficiality. But let’s not forget: this is the twenty-first century and the modern man moisturises.
This fact, far from being a sign of cultural emasculation, simply means that more men are willing to invest in ensuring that their bodies look and feel better, for longer. Bearing in mind that the life expectancy of a British man at the time of writing is 81.6 years, this can only be taken as a thoroughly sensible development. It’s becoming increasingly clear that, when it comes to keeping your skin radiant and your hair luscious, the sooner you take action the better. That means it’s never too early to invest in some well-formulated grooming products.
And as far as well-formulated grooming products go, you won’t find a more thoughtfully curated selection than The Rake Atelier’s. With the right cream, balm, or instrument for all your grooming requirements, we advise you to find the products that work best for you and then stick to them. This will avoid subjecting your skin to the strain of unnecessary change, as well as saving you time and money. Once you’ve devised a routine and accustomed yourself to it, you can experiment with minor modifications – such as a different aftershave or fragrance – for special occasions. Our grooming edit contains all the products that will form the bedrock of your hair and skincare regimen.
Face the Facts
Unless you’re rocking Raf Simon’s AW18 balaclava trend (and if you are, please stop), then your face is going to be the part of your body that people see most often. It’s therefore very important to care for your countenance. A good moisturiser is the most valuable gift you can give to your visage. Otis Skincare’s daily moisturiser contains hyaluronic acid to provide long-lasting hydration while reducing fine lines and plumping the skin. After you’ve exfoliated, CBN's regenerative cream will replenish your skin’s natural oils, combating stress and delaying the onset of wrinkles. And Neville’s eye shield is perfect for protecting the delicate skin around your eyes.
Beware the Hair
A high-quality shampoo is your first line of defence against greasiness, frizziness, dryness – basically any misfortune that might befall your head. It will also bolster your hair’s natural shine and bouncy texture. Think of it as your head’s very own sword and shield. David Mallet has shampoos dedicated both to volumising and hydrating your hair without disrupting the scalp’s natural pH balance; each shampoo is rich in vitamins and protein in order to strengthen and nourish your hair. The Australian brand's salt spray uses salt from the Murray river in NSW to give your hair grip and protection.
Blades of Glory
It’s easy to forget that shaving, something most men do most days, is the act of literally dragging a razor-sharp blade across one’s face. So it’s important to have the right kit to avoid unsightly cuts and patchiness. Thomas Clipper – as the name suggests – is an expert in precision hair removal, and the brand's Mark K razor is probably the best a man can get. The manufacturing process is so intense that only a limited number of razors can be made each month; but the wait is well worth it. For a truly refined shaving experience, it's hard to beat a shaving bowl made from 5000-year-old semi-fossilised oak - complete with natural juniper-scented shaving soap made in limited quantities in North Yorkshire. Then restore your skin’s moisture using Chenot’s energising post-shave serum.
Comb the Look
Combing is one of the most criminally overlooked activities in the average grooming routine. Besides eliminating knots and frizz, using a well-made fine-toothed comb will strengthen the fibres in your hair. Italian brand Mess of Blues has a selection of luxury combs, beautifully crafted from beechwood. The stylish combs come in a vibrantly coloured leather pouch to ensure the wood is well protected.
In Fragrante Delicto
One of the most important accessories a man can own is a signature scent; one that both impresses and allures. For everyday use, a distinctive aftershave will help you to command attention at business meetings, and Panama’s aftershave comes with the benefit of moisturising your skin. To take things up a notch, this cologne by Antica Barbiera Colla is simultaneously musky and refreshing. For evening events, an eau de toilette contains just the right amount of perfume (usually about 10%) to leave a lasting impression. Floris London is Savile Row’s favourite perfumer, and the No. 89 is perhaps its best-loved scent.
In the Bag
Finally, no grooming arsenal would be complete without its own dedicated armoury. A washbag is not only supremely practical for storage and transport purposes, it’s also the perfect excuse to splash out on a stylish accessory that will evoke refinement and sophistication in both your bathroom and suitcase. With zips and straps for added functionality, washbags from British leather experts Pickett are marvellously masculine.