The Essential Elements Of Grooming

January 26, 2012 6:00 AM

(Credit: Bolt Barbers)

By Alex Stillman

Let’s make this abundantly clear: poor grooming is not manly. A subtle grooming routine will significantly improve your quality of life, and is scientifically proven NOT to threaten your manhood. Purchasing things like facial products will not emasculate you. I promise. However, there’s no reason to get carried away. You should never have to spend more than $25 on any product; most of what you’ll see here can be found in the drugstore. I use Rite Aid, but you can find this stuff just about anywhere.
cetaphil The Essential Elements Of Grooming

Photo Credit: Cetaphil

Wash Your Face

Do this twice a day, every day. First when you shower in the morning (or just after you wake up), then in the evening, right before you go to bed. Everyone gets oily, and bacteria love oil.

There are a lot of good options here, but my personal favorite is the very simple Cetaphil ($11.49), which is cheap and easy to find (though its lack of foaming action is a turn-off for some folks).

st ives apricot scrub The Essential Elements Of Grooming

Photo Credit: St. Ives


Yes this is a skincare word, one that conjures images of pink loofahs and “treatments.” But let’s be real: exfoliating is just scraping gunk off. Skin cells on your face die and build up on your skin. This gets gross (plus, it gives those pesky bacteria a place to flourish). Once or twice a week, substitute a scrub for your regular face wash.

St. Ives Apricot Scrub ($4.29) is the definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t be deceived by its innocuous packaging; tiny, not-so-subtle grains of walnut shell make this feel like sandpaper — in a weirdly good way that’s totally worth it.

neutrogena moisterizer The Essential Elements Of Grooming

Photo Credit: Neutrogena


Moist, protected skin wrinkles less. Do you still want to look thirty by the time you’re forty? The sunny days in LA are plentiful and excellent, but those UV rays will play hell on your skin. Use something gentle and oil-free, with SPF, every morning.

Neutrogena ($10.99) has a great one that’s inexpensive, and light enough that you don’t feel like you’re slathering on zinc oxide every day.

yves saint laurent cologne nordstom The Essential Elements Of Grooming

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Smell Good

This is a splurge, but there’s a major difference between drugstore skincare products and drugstore cologne. The good stuff is worth it. Never EVER use too much, just a little on the wrists and behind the ears. Yves Saint Laurent ($59.00) at Nordstrom has the classic masculine scent.

wahl trimmer from target The Essential Elements Of Grooming

Photo Credit: Target


I shouldn’t have to explain this stuff, you know how to use it. Keep everything clean.

Most guys can just get by with little scissors, but if you keep facial hair, it’s worth it to invest in an electric trimmer. Wahl ($24.99) makes a good one, available at Target.

bolt barbers The Essential Elements Of Grooming

Photo Credit: Bolt Barbers

Where to go for a little help

Bolt Barbers: If you need some help grooming, Bolt Barbers is a fail-proof choice. Old-school tools, old-school services (shoe-shine, beer), and friendly service make this an excellent man-choice.

Scent Bar: It’s a bar for cologne. People with excellent taste will give you recommendations on excellent cologne. What’s not to like?

Alex Stillman is a journalism student and freelance writer in Los Angeles. He is a devout follower of fashion, football, and independent music.

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