The Gentleman’s Guide to Manscaping 2015
by Raven Duran
The body of a man is comparable to the natural terrain of the outdoors; it's rugged in some places, rough, dry and unruly in others. Winter time can bring some especially tricky conditions if your manscape isn’t well kept. This type of care includes moisturizing, cleansing and protecting your skin from the elements. In this guide you’ll not only learn the fastest and easiest ways to achieve supreme grooming, we’ll make sure you feel damn good once it’s over.
SMELLING GOOD IS EVERYTHING
● Opt for non-scented or minimally scented body wash, antiperspirant and aftershave. This helps to avoid clashing scents and accidentally distorting your favorite fragrance.
● Apply lotion on the skin directly after a shower to lock in moisture. Then follow up with a spritz of cologne to the moisturized skin to get a longer lasting scent.
● Since most fragrances generally last about 4 hours, always keep a travel sized version of your favorite scent on-the-go. There’s nothing worse than a last minute date and no means of freshening up.
● Have you been wearing the same scent since college, or at a minimum for the last few years? Here’s a recommendation; change your fragrance at least twice a year. Why? The brain associates scents and smells with different memories and emotions, which is why a certain smell can take you right back to a specific time and place. You’re a new man in 2015, so give your lady a new scent to long for and you’ll be surprised how well she may respond. Then, when the time is right, switch back to your old scent every so often to give her flashbacks of the good ol’ days.
IT’S NOT SKIN; IT’S MAN HIDE
● Get a facial! Why? Most men don’t know what their skin type is and may often be using the wrong products for their skin. Get your skin checked out by a professional so they can recommend products tailored to your skin type. Oily skin, dry skin and combination skin all have different requirements and considering the skin is the largest organ of the body, it’s best to handle it with care.
● Don’t let your lover find herself kissing sandpaper. Apply lotion on the skin directly after a shower to lock in moisture. Find lotion with Vitamin E, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil or Shea Butter for some added moisture and nutrients your skin needs.
● SPF aka, Sunscreen Prevents Frying. That’s right guys, SPF is your friend. Although you may think you’re tough enough to go without SPF this winter season, your skin is taking a serious hit without it. Skin with less melanin is especially susceptible to damage from UV rays in prolonged exposure to the sun, so go ahead and grab a bottle of SPF for face and body and keep it in your glove box or backpack. That way you can enjoy your favorite outdoor activities without the fear of some serious skin-fry.
● How about that acne? You know, that hellish skin problem you just can’t get away from? Here are a few tips to abolish acne (and bacne) for good. Guys who are physically active tend to experience more body acne due to sweat and bacteria build up on the skin. Keep your back, face and any other acne-prone regions clean and dry, especially following a workout. Stay away from scented body wash and opt for one designed to treat acne like Neutrogena’s Body Clear Body Wash. You’ll also want to invest in a good alcohol-free toner such as Khiel’s Men’s Alcohol-Free Herbal Toner and wipe over clean skin after bathing to help eliminate any remaining bacteria and keep pores clean. Have you ever noticed your skin looks better in the summer? That’s most likely because you’re frequently in the sun and getting a good dose of Vitamin D. Recent research suggests that Vitamin D can help improve cystic acne by controlling the amount of oil produced in overactive sebaceous glands. So that means get some sun (especially in the winter months) or if you can’t, be sure to get your Vitamin D from foods like salmon, tuna, fortified orange juice and egg yolks.
● In addition to traditional brushing, chew on a Miswak stick once a day for flawless teeth and a kissable mouth round the clock. Miswak was used by the Babylonians some 7,000 years ago for oral hygiene and is pretty amazing at fighting bad breath. Benefits include whitening teeth, eliminating odors and toothaches, killing germs, and ceasing tooth decay. Oh and it can also be purchased on Amazon. Nice!
● Want a simple trick to find out if your breath is worthy of getting up close and personal? Lick the top of your hand and smell your saliva while it’s wet. I know it sounds gross but the truth is, if you try it and something smells off, it’s definitely time to brush.
● Keep a travel-sized mouthwash in your pocket or glove box to freshen up anytime. Also, it’s best to go with alcohol-free brands, most brands tote too much alcohol, which ends up drying the mouth and harboring ideal conditions for more bad-breath bacteria.
● Winter is that unfortunate time of year when lips take a lot of abuse from bitter cold and changing conditions. With holiday cuddling rising and along with chances for lip-to-lip encounters, it’s important to keep your lips ultra soft and healthy. An easy trick to keep your lips constantly in prime condition is to softly brush your toothbrush over your lips to slough off dead skin and then rinse with cool water. Once you’ve finished apply lip balm and you’re ready to go.
NAILS, THE FORGOTTEN STEP
● Most women would agree that there’s almost nothing sexier than a man’s hands. But often times men let their hands become totally unkempt due to working out or working with their hands. A great way to show women you care about yourself (and them) is to keep your fingernails and hands clean. Hit the drugstore and grab a nail brush to keep in your medicine cabinet.
● Trim your nails once a week and use your trusty nail brush to clean underneath your nail bed and wash away built up bacteria. When things heat up this winter it’s best to have hands worthy of being around.
LOCK UP YOUR LOCKS
● Looking for the most versatile men’s hairstyles for 2015? Check out the classic Pompadour, the Caesar, the Classic Combover (can be worn diagonal or tall), the Quiff (for tall styles), or the Undercut (extremely popular this year).
● Now that “Movember” is over, get back to the well-groomed version of yourself you’ve been waiting for. Invest in a good body trimmer for your chest and stomach and go with the grain to avoid skin irritation. Trimmers like VS Sassoon’s i-Groom Body Groomer is an all-in-one body grooming tool made to tackle even the hedgiest of regions.
● Back hair... back there? It could be time to consider waxing. Some places on your body may be better suited for wax to maximize the time between new hair growth. Shaving can irritate the sensitive skin of the back and your results will most likely be short lived. Waxing for some can be a bit painful, but with a couple of aspirin and a little aloe vera gel, you’ll be well on your way to brining sexy back in no time. No pun intended.
● And while we’re at it, let’s ditch the extra facial hair. We know you don’t notice (or mind) those few straggly ear hairs, nose hairs or the three hairs coming out of the mole on your neck, but “sexy” is definitely not how they’d be described. Do yourself a giant favor and get in the routine of plucking unwanted facial hairs. After shaving go for your tweezers and pluck any hairs missed by your razor and remove your unibrow and other unsightly friends quickly and easily. Never used a pair of tweezers before? That’s okay. Hold your tweezers between your index and thumb fingers and grasp each hair firmly by the angled end and pull in the direction of the hair growth. If you have especially wild eyebrows consider getting professionally waxed (which is easy for you and pretty inexpensive to go every couple weeks).
● Many men this year are sporting longer hair that requires more attention than other styles. Looking for a great way to keep long hair healthy and tangle-free? Introducing, the Man-Bun. The Man-Bun is no stranger to our longer-lock wearing friends. You’ve probably seen Orlando Bloom or Chris Hemsworth pridefully showcasing theirs, but for you, the Man-Bun should be worn nightly. That’s right, applying a dime-sized amount of leave-in conditioner such as His Mix Leave-In Conditioner then gently twisting long hair into a bun and securing it at night can keep hair from rubbing against bed surfaces that cause friction and damage the hair shaft. This will prevent breakage and tangles for much healthier hair all around.
● When was the last time you deep-conditioned your hair? I’ll wait for it … yeah, that’s what I thought. With all the snowboarding, camping, hiking and working out your hair is experiencing a lot of drying and sun exposure this winter. Deep-conditioning treatments can make a world of difference for your hair and scalp. Conditioning treatments contain a combination of nutrients and moisturizing ingredients to hydrate your hair shaft and soften damaged hair. So go ahead, load on a hair mask once a week and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes to achieve an instantly healthier scalp and mane. Don’t forget to rinse extra well with warm water and towel dry.
THE 2015 “LESS IS MORE” GROOMING APPROACH
● Streamline your grooming routine, and remember, less is more. This year go for a minimalist approach. Go through your medicine cabinets and eliminate any grooming products that haven’t been used in six months. What is your normal grooming routine? Shower, shave, style and go? If so, keep only the products that fit into this routine and abolish the ones that don’t.
● What about style? Clean out your closet and keep only pieces that are versatile and multipurpose. Don’t be afraid to minimize your look by losing the tie and the over embellished wardrobe. A simple blazer and t-shirt are perfect for a night out or a simply designed overcoat and button up are formal yet incredibly classic and sexy. This year let your physical features be the highlight. Remember, it’s the man that makes the clothes!