How to always look polished as a gentleman: Grooming edition

Here are the things I absolutely love about gentlemen that stick out to me, and things I observed most gentlemen have in common. Some of this is from Debrett’s, most of this is personal experience. I am Gia, an etiquette consultant based in Los Angeles. Sign up to my newsletter for etiquette techniques straight to your inbox. This post contains affiliates. Full disclosure here.

First rule: Keep it simple.

Grooming 

Grooming is attractive. I’m going to keep this simple and break it down. Grooming is not complicated, but it has to be consistent, and that is not always easy.

Something I always tell my ladies: 

  • Hair, skin, nails 

Hair:

  • Wash, no need to put in product, if you do, less is more.
  • Keep your hair out of your face. Do not side sweep, Do not put bangs over your eyes. You have gorgeous features, high cheeks, a jaw. I love seeing a man’s face and eyes. I love touching a man’s hairline by the ears. Avoid comb overs. Embrace silver hairs. They are so attractive and James Bond to me. Never dye your hair. If you are 20 something and going grey. Go with it. If you do dye it, make sure it is a beautiful silvery grey, because there is dignified grey, and then a ratty grey. Go to an expert. Do not do it yourself if you are not an expert in hair dying. You will regret it. I speak from several lamentable experiences. 

  • For facial hair, if you are under 40, keep your face clean. If you want to look older, embrace your baby face, because age will destroy you. Age will naturally not be forgiving.
  • It is also higher maintenance if you do have facial hair. All the beard oils, the trimming. My husband shaves his face with flat razor blades and can tell you the history of each of his blades with German steel originating from England, and all that. He has bloody towels permanently stained from when he first started it years ago. Facial hair truly is an art form. But something interesting, is using a blade lasts much longer and he doesn’t have a 5:00 shadow with it.

Skin:

  • Keep it simple. Once a year, go to a facialist. Ask for extractions. I would normally say go quarterly, but men are probably not going to keep up with it. Do it around your birthday to remember it easily. You just want to see where your skin is and keep an appointment to get an expert to explain to you your skin’s needs.
  • As I said, keep it simple. Men shave, so they naturally look younger for longer, because shaving exfoliates their skin. Wash your face twice a day. In the shower in the morning and in the sink at night if you were outside, especially to get all the pollution out of your face. 
  • When you wash your face, notice where your face is dry and apply moisturizer there. If you know you are going to a place with brutal elements, remember to use sunscreen.

Nails:

  • Keep them cut, clean, and file away sharp or jagged edges. Enough said. 

Scent:

  • Say your under arms start sweating, you have glands, it is natural. You are hopefully a human being. Instead of wearing deodorant, or caking on antiperspirant, go over in the sink and wash and soap your under arms. 
  • Rule of thumb: if you smell yourself, do something about it right away.
  • Change and wash your trousers. If you are wearing the same trousers or pants over and over, remember that you have glands between your legs that push our sweat that make your clothes smell and grow bacteria. Do not keep using the same trousers over and over.
  • If you notice your feet smell when you take off your socks of if you were out and about in sandals, wash your feet right away. It takes 2 minutes, and you immediately feel fantastic and fresh. 

  • When it comes to wearing fragrance, less is more. You can draw people in with a little bit, and repel people with too much. You should not be able to walk away from someone yet they still smell that you are there. 
  • Laundry detergent counts as fragrance if you do not use cologne.
  • Cologne is also inappropriate professionally. Do not wear fragrance at work. Wear it socially only. Wear it at home. I personally spritz myself right before bed also to help me fall asleep, and just to feel luxurious with lilac. 

Shop Men’s Grooming

That’s it for grooming for now. If you have anything to add, I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below. Sign up to my newsletter for etiquette techniques here, and visit dixonetiquette.com for etiquette classes with me.