A fair whack of the multimillion-pound grooming industry might be smoke and mirrors, but there are certain gadgets that are more essential than snake oil.
These are the tools to make you more handsome:
Because without one, you run the risk of bankrupting yourself in a barber’s chair. Or worse, being mistaken for someone who spends most of their free time scrawling stickmen on cave walls.
But just any old trimmer won’t do. You want something that gets the job done (and well), but it needs to have the battery power to last long enough for you to get the job done, too.
If our years of gazing mindlessly around barbershops (taking care not to catch the barber’s eye because that would be well awkward) have taught us anything, it’s that professionals prefer Wahl. Do yourself a solid – add the Blitz to your bathroom toolbox now.
Wahl Lithium Blitz Beard Trimmer, available at Boots, priced £69.99.
OK, so the most important thing with toothbrushes is that you have one – whether manual or electric – and that you know how to use it properly.
But just because electric toothbrushes haven’t been scientifically proven superior to their manual counterparts (research shows there’s not much in the difference between the two types of teeth-cleaners), there’s no denying they make the whole job much less of a pain in the neck (wrist?). Their rotating heads and 2-minute timer do most of the hard work for you, which means you’re probably more likely to clean your teeth when all you want to do is collapse straight into bed.
Oral-B Pro 3000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, available at Boots, priced £44.99.
Nose, Ear and Eyebrow Trimmer
It’s 2016, and it’s not OK. It’s just not OK to go about your business with unruly tufts unfurling from your facial orifices. So stop.
Here to help keep your mild case of hypertrichosis in check is a whole host of micro-trimmers designed specifically for trimming nose, ear and eyebrow hair. And as you might expect from something whose sole purpose is to cut tiny amounts of hair, there isn’t a whole lot to it – just make sure yours is of a reputable enough make not to nick.
Philips Nose, Ear & Eyebrow Trimmer, available at Selfridges, priced £13.
Despite claims to the contrary, flossing’s a lot more useful than a chocolate teapot. Sure, there might not be a mountain of hard evidence to prove its efficacy, but since when has scientific research come cheap?
The fact remains, most dentists advocate flossing as part of a good oral hygiene routine. And while the OG tape works perfectly well, an oral irrigator makes committing to the cause a lot easier.
Panasonic EW1211 Rechargeable Oral Irrigator, available at Shavers, priced £49.99.
Do you use an exfoliating product with plastic microbeads? Yeah? Then you should probably stop. Because not only are they set to be banned in the UK next year (on account of their environmental damage), they’re also – on a fundamental level – fairly crap.
If you want a good scrub – and you should, since dermatologists recommend exfoliating once a day to slough off dead skin cells – then invest in a tool that does it properly, i.e. gently and evenly.
Clarisonic’s Alpha Fit brush rotates to very gently scrub away any dead skin cells, leaving your mug looking brand new.
Clarisonic Alpha Fit, available at Clarisonic, priced £170.
Beard & Moustache Scissors
A choice inclusion admittedly, but if you’re bearded, quality facial hair scissors can buy you days between barber visits.
British brand Percy Nobleman’s are made from lightweight yet durable carbon steel, with sharp blades that guarantee a smart cut without tugging on your whiskers.
Percy Nobleman’s Beard & Moustache Scissors, available at Percy Nobleman, priced £14.99.
A hairdryer? Really? Isn’t a few vigorous towel rubs enough? To which we’d respond, have you ever tried sculpting a quiff with a bath towel?
Important for shaping voluminous looks like quiffs and pompadours, a hairdryer isn’t so much an express way to get the wet out as the tool you need to sculpt your highest hairstyles. It’s worth a look if you’ve got short hair too, helping to create texture and structure that can then be set in place with product.
Just don’t fall victim to high-end hairdryers and their Ferrari motors – something like Label.m’s modestly priced Tourmaline does the job perfectly, combining dual speed and heat settings with ionic technology that breaks down water molecules without zapping moisture.
label.m Tourmaline Dryer in Black, available at Toni&Guy, priced £46.95.
Unless your fingers are somehow miraculously spindlier than the teeth of a comb, you need one. Many men seem to operate under the misconception that a comb’s solely for those who wear their hair slicked back or to the side – but the truth is, no matter the length of your hair, you won’t achieve a natty finish without one.
There are myriad types out there – folding and non-folding, small and large – so take the time to consider which comb’s right for you. (Even if you do just end up using it to hold a nail in place when hanging a picture…)
N.B. Never to be abused as the unwitting accessory to a comb-over crime – if your hair’s more wispy than wavy, take action with our guide to making the most of what you’ve got.
Kent A 2T Comb, available at Kent, priced £4.20.
No one expects you to carve out time for twice-monthly manicures. You’re a man. You should always look well-groomed, but there’s something a little too Patrick Bateman about a pair of perfectly manicured mitts.
Still, a good manicure set has a place in even the most spartan of bathroom cabinets. Comprising nail scissors, tweezers, nail clippers and a nail file, it’s like a pen knife for looking polished.
Wondering where the pedicure set is? Some things, gentlemen, are best left to the professionals.
Men’s Manicure Set, available at Aspinal Of London, priced £80.
Not a gadget or tool per se, but crucial nonetheless. (Where else were you planning on stashing your gadgets and tools?)
Swerve the cheaper came-with-the-gift-set polyester and polyurethane options for a leather style – infinitely more stylish.
Barbour Aniline Leather Wash Bag, available at Selfridges, priced £70.