Grooming Resolutions for 2012

As 2012 dawns and we step tentatively into the bright lights of another New Year, the natural reaction is to take stock, assess the passing of 2011 and make plans for the 12 months ahead. Most of you will be back at work, college or uni by now, fresh with a new wardrobe accumulated from Christmas presents and sale bargains and looking for this to be the year.

The first few weeks of January are awash with New Years resolutions, and for some of us that’s as long as they’ll last. The press are all over it with ‘get fit’ this, and ‘diet’ that, encouraging even the most unwilling to make a fresh start and change their lives for the better. So when I sat down to write my first article of 2012, I thought it was only right that I attempt to sum up what’s in store for men’s grooming in the year ahead.

With fewer trends to draw upon than my fashion writing colleagues, I decided to steer clear of the style predictions. I then dabbled (tentatively) down the health and fitness (and ‘New Year, New You’) route before I found myself assessing the fundamental principles of a well groomed modern gent. That’s when I set about creating a men’s grooming checklist for 2012, landing on my Grooming Resolutions 2012.

As we embark on another annual adventure I wanted to go back to the basic principles that make up a grooming routine, and hopefully make 2012 as happy, successful and as well groomed as possible.

1. Got A Problem? Find A Solution!

I’ve commented many times on these pages about grooming problems and my stance has never wavered – it’s vitally important to find a product that tailored to your specific concerns. You’re not going to combat sensitive skin with harsh products, and likewise you’ve got no hope of boosting thinning hair with a supermarket shampoo – you need targeted professional products.

I could (and have) written separate articles about each concern but for the purposes of this article I’ve tried to do a whistle-stop-tour of the main offenders and recommend the best product ranges on the market for each. So please, if you suffer from any grooming related problems, let 2012 be the year that you find a solution once and for all.

Best For Oily Skin
  • Men-u Healthy Facial Wash 100mlMen-u Healthy Facial Wash 100ml
  • Men-u Matt Moisturiser 100mlMen-u Matt Moisturiser 100ml
  • Men-u Matt Skin Refresh Gel 100mlMen-u Matt Skin Refresh Gel 100ml
  • Men-u D-tox Deep Clean Clay Mask 100mlMen-u D-tox Deep Clean Clay Mask 100ml
Best For Dry Skin/Sensitivity
  • Loreal Men Expert Hydra Sensitive Face Wash 150mlLoreal Men Expert Hydra Sensitive Face Wash 150ml
  • Loréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Sensitive 24hr Hydrating Cream 50mlLoréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Sensitive 24hr Hydrating Cream 50ml
  • Loréal Men Expert Hydra Sensitive Anti-razor Burn Shaving Gel 200mlLoréal Men Expert Hydra Sensitive Anti-razor Burn Shaving Gel 200ml
  • Men Expert By Loreal Paris Hydra Sensitive Post-shave Balm 100mlMen Expert By Loreal Paris Hydra Sensitive Post-shave Balm 100ml
Best For Acne
  • Murad Blemish Control Clarifying Cleanser 200mlMurad Blemish Control Clarifying Cleanser 200ml
  • Murad Oil-control Mattifier Spf15 50mlMurad Oil-control Mattifier Spf15 50ml
  • Murad Clarifying Toner 150mlMurad Clarifying Toner 150ml
  • Murad Acne Blemish Spot Treatment 15mlMurad Acne Blemish Spot Treatment 15ml
Best For Hair Loss/Thinning Hair
  • Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo 250mlAlpecin Caffeine Shampoo 250ml
  • Alpecin Liquid Hair Energizer 200mlAlpecin Liquid Hair Energizer 200ml
  • Kérastase Homme Capital Force Densifying Shampoo 250mlKérastase Homme Capital Force Densifying Shampoo 250ml
  • Kérastase Homme Soin Capital Force Densifying Activator Spray Treatment 125mlKérastase Homme Soin Capital Force Densifying Activator Spray Treatment 125ml
2. Shake Up Your Styling Options

I don’t mean literally give them a shake, that could get messy. But it’s worth considering if your choice of hair styling product is right for you. Often guys stick with a styling product they’ve loved for years even if it’s no longer right for their look or their hair type.

I’m a big fan of having two, or even three products on the go at one time. I tend to use a product with more of a matte hold when my hair is shorter, and something more pliable as my hair gets longer. Sometimes I even mix and match to get the right effect – it’s all about exploring your options.

Taking a punt on a new product without trying it on your hair or researching it first has obvious risks, so my advice would be to ask your barber or stylist to try out a new product next time you go for a chop, or opt for one of these tried and tested hair products to improve your styling credentials…

Six Of The Best Hair Products
  • Sebastian Professional Craft Clay 50gSebastian Professional Craft Clay 50g
  • American Crew Fiber 85gmAmerican Crew Fiber 85gm
  • Hairbond Sculptor Professional Hair Putty 100mlHairbond Sculptor Professional Hair Putty 100ml
  • Speciality By Bumble & Bumble Styling Surf Spray 125mlSpeciality By Bumble & Bumble Styling Surf Spray 125ml
  • Label.m Curl Cream 150mlLabel.m Curl Cream 150ml
  • Redken For Men Cool Finish Invigorating Conditioner 300mlRedken For Men Cool Finish Invigorating Conditioner 300ml
3. Get The Basics Right

With hundreds of products and routines it’s very easy to forget about the basics. Sometimes we get caught up on expensive super creams without taking care of the finer details that will make sure we are well turned out at all times. Fresh breath and impeccable hygiene are a given, but what other basics did you neglect in 2011? My money is on your hands and feet.

Not as glamorous as your hair style or your complexion I’ll admit, but taking good care of your hands and feet should be compulsory for a modern gent. Lets be frank – no one (and I mean no one) wants to be felt up by sand paper hands. And unkempt (not to mention dirty) nails are surely one of the biggest turn offs imaginable?

Get the basics right with these essentials and your path to grooming perfection in 2012 will be a much smoother ride.

  • Tweezerman His Essential Grooming KitTweezerman His Essential Grooming Kit
  • Tweezerman Slant Tweezer – BlackTweezerman Slant Tweezer - Black
  • Tweezerman Deluxe TrimmerTweezerman Deluxe Trimmer
  • Tweezerman Stainless Steel Nail ScissorsTweezerman Stainless Steel Nail Scissors
  • Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Foot Cream For Dry Or Damaged Feet 100mlNeutrogena Norwegian Formula Foot Cream For Dry Or Damaged Feet 100ml
  • Gehwol Foot Cream Extra 75mlGehwol Foot Cream Extra 75ml
  • Henri Lloyd Ocean Mineral Hand Protection Cream Spf6 75mlHenri Lloyd Ocean Mineral Hand Protection Cream Spf6 75ml
  • Clarins Men Active Hand CareClarins Men Active Hand Care
4. React To The Climate

It’s no secret that the weather and other external factors have a huge effect on our skin. With the central heating, biting winds and downpours of the winter months you may find that your complexion is currently dry, or lacking energy. While we’re still in the grips of winter, its all about hydration and putting some life back in to our skin. These four products are all designed to moisturise, energise and help your skin combat whatever the winter weather throws at it.

  • Elemis Men Sos Survival Cream 50mlElemis Men Sos Survival Cream 50ml
  • Loréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic Turbo Booster 50mlLoréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic Turbo Booster 50ml
  • Alpha H Triple Action Cleanser With Triclosan 200mlAlpha H Triple Action Cleanser With Triclosan 200ml
  • Brave Soldier Lip Defender 8gBrave Soldier Lip Defender 8g

As the weather and external factors change in the year ahead, it’s important that your skin care regime changes with it and adapts to your surroundings. By the time summer comes around (or even sooner if you’re going away on holiday) the need for SPF protection goes into overdrive. I’ve picked four of my favourite products to help you ensure all areas of your skin – your face, lips and body – are adequately covered in 2012.

  • Lab Series Daily Moisture Defence Lotion Spf15 100mlLab Series Daily Moisture Defence Lotion Spf15 100ml
  • Murad Waterproof Sunblock Spf30 125mlMurad Waterproof Sunblock Spf30 125ml
  • Kyoku For Men Lip Fuel Spf15 10mlKyoku For Men Lip Fuel Spf15 10ml
  • Riemann P20 Once A Day 10 Hours Sun Protection Spf20 100mlRiemann P20 Once A Day 10 Hours Sun Protection Spf20 100ml
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Treat Yourself

Last but by no means least, my final tip for a successfully groomed 2012 is to treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be every month, and it doesn’t have to be a weekend away at a spa with you and the boys, but there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a little luxury.

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to receive a complementary facial from a Murad professional and liked it so much I’ve been having them every couple of months since. There’s nothing emasculating about improving your complexion, or having a relaxing massage, so let 2012 be the year you embrace one of these ideas…

  • A barbershop shave.
  • Treating yourself to a range of luxury products.
  • Getting a facial.
  • Shunning the £9 ‘Super Cut’ and getting your hair cut by a professional stylist.
  • A relaxing massage.
  • Some ‘male’ waxing.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, successful and well groomed 2012!

Duncan