As both a reader of – and a contributor to – FashionBeans, my articles (as well as my wardrobe) are often inspired by these very pages. Last month, my grooming article focussed on guys who are experts in the field of taking care of themselves. ‘How To Tell If You’re A Men’s Grooming Addict’ detailed the journey from a passing interest in looking good, to owning six different kinds of body wash, and was inspired by ‘How To Tell If You’re A Menswear Addict’.
Now I’m not one for leeching off others’ creativity, but my recent theme of ‘admiring Matt Allison’s articles’ is going to continue. For this FashionBeans grooming instalment I want to build upon Matt’s ‘Streamlined Capsule Wardrobe’ and ‘Streamlined Accessories Collection’ with my very own ‘Ultimate Streamlined Grooming Routine’, completing a FashionBeans lifestyle guide.
The Ultimate Streamlined Grooming Routine
Let’s start with what the ‘Ultimate Streamlined Grooming Routine’ is, and why is it so important? Well just as we all can’t own a Burberry trench coat, a Hugo Boss suit and four different pairs of brown brogues, we can’t all have a fifteen product grooming routine worth more than a decent spec laptop.
This is where the aforementioned streamlining comes in. It’s a sort of desert island approach to luxury product selection. Imagine, if you will, that you’re only able to invest in four or five products but you still want to uphold a decent personal appearance – you’d need to make your product selection very carefully and spend your money wisely.
In order to help those with a smaller budget or limited interest in grooming improve their grooming credentials, I’ve set myself an imaginary limit of four or five essential products (notice how I’m only limiting myself to an imaginary limit). What follows are the products I would personally class as ‘essential’…
Product Number One: Moisturiser
A top quality moisturiser was an easy choice for my first product, and should be the focal point of your skincare routine. Tasked with moisturising (obviously), protecting, energising, smoothing, correcting, perfecting and refining your skin, without a good quality moisturiser you’re simply limiting your chances of grooming success.
In terms of your investment, the top skincare brands are where to start, as these guys have dedicated time and money into more than just marketing. They’ve done their research and their products include the best possible ingredients, tailored to your skin type. If I had to spend my money somewhere, a good moisturiser – like those recommended below – would be exactly where I’d start.
FashionBeans Tip: Not everyone will need a moisturiser to quench dehydration, but even if you have oily skin, a moisturiser-like product such as the ‘Murad Oil Control Mattifier’ will keep tabs on your congested complexion.
- Clinique Age Defense Hydrator Spf 15
- No7 For Men Anti Ageing Balm
- Clarinsmen Moisture Balm – Dry Skin
- Murad Oil Control Mattifier Spf 15 50ml
- Mens By Clinique M Protect Spf 21 100ml
- Elemis Men Daily Moisture Boost 50ml
Product Number Two: Face Wash
Like any leading lady, flashy striker or attention-seeking front man, there is always someone in the background doing the donkey work without whom success wouldn’t be possible. Your moisturiser and your face wash have the same relationship, which is why the latter is the next product into my desert island wash bag.
The key role of a face wash is to remove sweat, dirt and grime, oil, dead skin cells and other daily pollutants without causing dryness or irritation. The end result is a fresh looking complexion ready for your all-conquering moisturiser.
As with your moisturiser you’ll find better results and a wiser investment in the market leading product ranges. You may have a slightly bigger outlay to begin with, but your skin will thank you for the extra investment. Cheaper face wash alternatives tend to either do no more than just warm water, or are filled with harsh ingredients that dry out your skin. Not like these six:
- Kyoku For Men Daily Facial Cleanser 100ml
- Multi-action Face Wash Normal/dry Skin 100ml
- Elemis Men Deep Cleanse Facial Wash 200ml
- Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit 100ml
- Ole Henriksen On The Go Exhilarating Cleanser 207ml
- Clinique Anti-blemish Cleansing Foam
Product Number Three: Styling Product
As you’ll all be aware, your hairstyle is one of the most significant things about you, and it goes a long way to defining your look. Along with a great cut (getting yourself to a reputable stylist or salon is a must), a professional styling product is what will hold your style together. Scrimp and save on a cheap alternative and you could ruin all your hard work.
As I mentioned in my ‘Upgrade Your Grooming Routine’ article earlier in the year, I’m a massive fan of the Hairbond range of styling products. So if I had to spend my money on just one product, it would be from the collection below. Which one? That depends on your cut, your hair texture and the look you’re going for…
- Hairbond Molder: Separation and a matt finish with strong, yet flexible hold.
- Hairbond Distorter: Texture with a supple finish. Its flexible hold gives great results for thick hair.
- Hairbond Sculptor: A putty-like product gives texture and a natural finish.
- Hairbond Designer: Medium hold, texture and a more wet look finish.
Product Number Four/Five: Shave Cream/Shaving Gadget
The final products on my list complete your routine by tackling your facial hair. If you wet shave, then a professional shave cream will make the difference between an average, and an awesome shave.
Products like those below are designed to limit common concerns like razor burn and irritation in order to give you your closest ever shave. If I can convince my Dad to switch from forty years of Gillette to Anthony Logistics For Men then I’m sure FashionBeans readers will be even quicker on the uptake:
- Shave Cream Anthony Logistics
- Men-u Shave Creme 100ml
- Liz Earle Sensitive Shave Cream™ 100ml
- Sake Infused Shave Creme Normal Skin 177ml
- Mod Shave Cream 150ml
- Elemis Men Skin Soothe Shave Gel 150ml
For those among you who prefer not to wet shave, your choice of gadget will also play a vitally important role in the quality of your shave. Buying an electric shaver in or around the £20 mark may ‘do a job’ but it’s also much more likely to carve your face to shreds and will certainly not last as long.
These professional counterparts (which don’t actually have to break the bank) will offer up noticeable improvements in both performance and longevity:
- Philips Sensotouch Rq1151/17 Wet And Dry Electric Shaver
- Remington R7150 Black Diamond X Rotary Shaver
- Panasonic Es-rw30-s511 Twin Blade Foil Shaver
- Braun Blue Foil Shaver 340s-4
Back Them Up With Budget Grooming Heroes
It’s not all about big name brands and big price tags – if you hope to get the most out of your routine then you’re going to need some help plugging the gaps with some of the high street’s hidden gems:
- Original Face Scrub Bulldog Natural Skincare
- The Body Shop Ginger Anti Dandruff Shampoo
- Original Source For Men Black Mint Shower Gel 250ml
- Palmers Cocoa Butter Lotion 250ml
- Dove Men+care Sensitive Care Anti-perspirant Deodorant Spray 150ml
- Nivea For Men After Shave Soothing Balm 100ml
Have Your Say
I’ve had my say on the ‘Ultimate Streamlined Grooming Routine’, now it’s time you had yours. Agree, disagree, have a question, or want to share some product advice? Leave your comments below.