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The modern gent

The key to this season’s masculine look is making sure you’re well groomed. We show you how…

  • By Charlene Stubbs, Alpha magazine
  • Published: 09:48 October 1, 2012
  • alpha

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Men’s skin is thicker than women’s so you need to use men-specific products.

The perfect wet shave

Ditch your three-pack of plastic razors and go old school with a proper shave. If you don’t have time to hit the salon, follow these simple steps for smoother skin from Jelena Jakovljevic Bin Drai, founder of Chocolate by Jelena.

The key to a good shave is preparation, so try to keep your skin well moisturised
at all times. Not only does this smooth the surface of the skin to make the razor glide easier, but  it also makes stubble softer and less resilient. Slathering moisturiser on the night before a  shave is a good idea.

Whether you shave in the shower or over the sink, make sure your face is thoroughly wet  before you tackle the blade. Make it either the last thing you do in the shower or fill your sink  up with plenty of hot water and splash your skin thoroughly. Skin needs to be soaking wet to get the best results and avoid razor burn.

Add your shaving cream to a wet brush and apply it directly to your face. Use plenty of cream and work it up to a rich lather. Using a razor, shave in downward strokes, ensuring that the blade stays wet at all times. Rinse your razor between every few strokes. Shave with a  gentle pressure, allowing the razor to guide you along the contours of your face. Avoid shaving too quickly as you may end up cutting yourself.

When all the stubble has been removed, gently pat skin dry with a towel, taking care not to rub and irritate the area. Finish off by applying toner or aftershave balm, which is gentle on the skin and won’t dry it out.

Sleek and easy does it

“For a modern take on sleek and sophisticated style, look towards the ubergroomed barnets of the 1940s, with a hint of 1950s volume,” says Claude Hachache, style director and manager of Toni & Guy. “The key to this look is to keep it sleek and groomed at all times. It’s also best to have a bit of length through the top part of your hair, with it cut slightly shorter at the sides.”

Here’s how: “Using the tail end of a finetooth comb, part the hair on one side of the
head before applying Label.m Gel (Dh64) throughout. Swoop the top sections of
the hair backwards and away from the parting with the comb, taking care not to
brush the hair too tightly so that it retains a bit of volume.

Finish off by slicking the sides back so they blend in easily with the top of the hair. The gel, which is integral to the style, should hold the hair in place . Make sure to tuck the comb in your jacket for touch-ups throughout the day.”

Treat your mane

Hands up – who’s guilty of using their shower gel to wash their hair? Thought so. You may not have discovered that little bald patch yet, but unless you want to, you need to start treating and strengthening your hair now. We’re big fans of the Redken for Men Mint Line, which – we’ll admit – comes with the added bonus of a slight scalp tingle in the shower. Give it a minute after application before you start massaging it into your head and wait for the magic to happen. And yes, to get its full strengthening power, you need to use the conditioner as well. Available at Loft Fifth Avenue.

Refine your skin

Your skin actually produces more excess sebum than women’s skin, which might not mean that much to you now, but it certainly could spell danger for the future. Add to that the fact that your skin also renews itself at a slower rate than your better half’s, and you’ve got a recipe for dead skin cells hanging around on your face. This excess sebum and dead skin clogs up your pores, which leads to spots, blackheads and ingrown facial hairs. Not pretty when you’re out and about. So it’s important to keep your oily dead skin in check.

The only way to do this is to add exfoliation to your daily routine, which isn’t as hard as you’d think, thanks to our latest two-in-one discovery. Clarins Exfoliating Cleanser (Dh135) gets right to the grime and dirt that sits on your skin’s surface. Not only does it give your skin a deep cleanse, the gentle exfoliation beads in the wash will help to refine your skin’s texture, which makes shaving easier.

De-puff dark circles

If you’re a suit who works hard and plays even harder, then there’s no escaping those dark circles under your eyes. It’s not only the ladies who suffer from puffy bags in the eye area. Look alert at your next meeting by using Clinique’s Anti-Fatique Cooling Eye Gel (Dh165) regularly. This nifty roller-ball applicator slides gel serum on to your skin and will help to cool and refresh tired eyes.

Gently roll the ball over your skin on your under-eye area. Start at the inner corner of your eye, roll outwards to the outer corner and repeat. You can then dab and press any excess serum into your skin.

Age gracefully

Men’s skin is thicker than women’s so you need to use men-specific products – it
won’t do you any favours rummaging through your wife’s beauty bag looking for her moisturiser. According to Dubai make-up artist Michelle Waldron, finding a moisturising product with a good SPF and using it daily is the key to keeping your youthful good looks. “Antiageing products should be used by men from their mid twenties,” she says.

“Men generally only use one product, so try to look for one that fights wrinkles and protects your skin at the same time.” Sisley’s All Day All Year (Dh1,345) is well worth the investment as it offers UVA and UVB protection, plus it’s fragrance-free. You might also want to consider adding a shaving balm to your regime, as men’s skin can also be sensitive due to shaving – opt for a product that has calming properties in it. Dermalogica’s Redness Relief (Dh197) from its Ultra Calming range is a good choice.

Top tips
  • If you suffer from ingrown hairs, exfoliate the affected area to help rid it of dead skin cells and freshen up the complexion. Change the blade of your razor often, as a sharp blade gives a closer shave and glides much easier across the skin than a blunt blade, which can cause irritation.
     
  • If you’re not confident with a blade then don’t scrimp on your dirhams and head to a salon for a professional shave.

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