Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Are you a metro sexual?

You tart...

Was often what I used to say to an old squaddie (soldier) room mate of mine, after he'd come back from the beauty salon, having had his eyebrows waxed.

'Johnboy' Scorer was a legend. He had all the patter with the laddies. He'd dress immaculately just going down the boozer and was more groomed than a pedigree poodle. I've got to give it to him, he would have women swmooing over him on any night out and we'd always seem him with a great big smile on his face the next morning. For the grief we used to give him for being a pretty boy, he pulled it off. The guy was 'sound as a pound' too, you'd expect him to be a bit of dick, but he was actually a really top bloke.

My first personal experience of male grooming was the obvious face shave. But in 2006, I was on a massage course with a couple of other ex squaddies and we had to shave our legs (massage on a daily basis, with hairs getting ripped out becomes tiresome) and they started doing their chests. "You pair of tarts" I said and their defence was, "the chicks dig it"...I was in, right then and there.

There's competition out there fellas

Part of survival is community acceptance and obviously procreation.  For that to happen there has to some form mutual attraction.  In todays society, there's increased emphasis on both sexes to look their best and attract attention from a potential mate.  Now let's be honest, if either party looks like a bag of shit, there aint gunna be much mating happening! 

Some level of grooming is achievable byall men, doesn't matter your age, shape or size. But you do need to the right look for you and your style.

Global revenues in male grooming are expected to reach $78 billion (£60bn) by 2023, according to research firm IMARC.

How Male Grooming Has Changed

Social media and mind-numbing 'scripted-reality' TV shows  have a massive impact on the way we look after ourselves.  Somehow. Some-how, Joey Essex has helped influence that (hand slaps face).  Combined with  a constant stream of comparing with friends and colleagues, easy access to celebrity culture, brands and influencers always selling to us, that it's ok and cool.

But what’s wrong with wanting to be a smoother, fresher version of our original selves?  Isn’t being happy and comfortable in our own skin the ultimate goal?  Whether that means a baby smooth chest, a weekly moustache trim or an all-year golden tan, I say go for it.

I've been pretty open minded to this world, though I do have my limits (back, sack and crack can go fuck yourself).  So here are a few of the things I've had a go at...

Face Masks

Clay- and charcoal-based masks are best for congested skin and clogged pores as these ingredients work to draw out impurities.  Sheet masks, another Asian trend, are good for use while traveling, as they come individually wrapped and can help replenish moisture sapped by low-humidity airplane cabins.

Mans-man tip: Face masks work like a booster for the skin – sudden breakout, hungover or feeling extra dry? There’s a mask for that.



A face wash designed specifically for your skin type will be PH-balanced to avoid leaving your skin feeling tight, uncomfortable or dry.

Outside of showering it’s not necessary to cleanse your face more than once a day – with the emphasis on a good scrub down to remove dirt and grime before bed.

Sonic cleansing brushes add a luxury element to the ritual and also offer a deeper cleanse; helpful if you live or work in a city and are exposed to air pollution all day.

Mans-man tip: Don’t be scared of oil-based cleansers, they won’t cause spots or blackheads and are kinder to dry and mature skin types.


Every day the human body sheds around 50 million flakes of skin, the equivalent of around 0.03 and 0.09g of skin every hour.  So a good exfoliation can help get rid of the very top layer of the epidermis, keeping pores clearer, reducing blemishes and making the skin look and feel smoother.

To start your day off right, leave the house with the skin protected against environmental aggressors such as sun and pollution – that means looking for formulas loaded with SPF and antioxidants.

Energising formulas can also help pep up tired looking skin and hide the evidence of nocturnal activity.

After sundown, the skin enters repair mode, so boost its internal functions with a specific night cream or nourishing formula designed to promote cell renewal and stave off the signs of ageing.

Mans-man tip: Adjust your routine for the seasons; upping the UV protection and using lighter gel/water-based textures in summer and layering on the hydration during the winter.

The hair cut

Keeping on top of your barnet has got be up there with most important and basic male grooming standard.  Just type in 'barber' in your search bar on instagram and you'll see so many cool styles and very talented barbers banging out some wicked cuts.

Currently the biggest trend being the faded style, with a bit of a 50's slick look on top.    The benefit of a bit of length being, you can style it for different occasions.

I've got a fair old mop, which needs a lot of maintenance and frankly it's aggro, especially in the humidity of Singapore.  It's hot.  It's dang hot.  I train twice-a-day too, which means it takes me longer in the shower.  it gets in the way and now-and nowww, it's receding more at the front, where I have to tie it in a bun.  In fact fuck it, I think I'm just going to get it cut. *

Mans-man tip: Get organised and into the habit of booking a regular cut, people really notice when you've sharpened up.

*And did.  Sooo much better.


You might as well skip this next bit if you can't grow any facial hair, or you look like shaggy from Scobby-doo.   This section is for real men (scoff-scoff).  Not really, there's a bit here for you too, don't worry.

Shaving is a friggin ball ache!  I'm biased when it comes to razor and will always route for the Gillette Mach 3.  Though in recent years, I've been going for the 5 O'clock shadow (again, because I've been told the chicks dig it).  It also takes up too much time in the mornings.  Nowadays I just groom the stubble and have taught myself how to use a proper cut throat razor.  It's great for getting a sharp-straight lines and close shave...plus, it definitely gives you extra mans-man points.

There’s still plenty of reasons to get on board with a bare face. Apart from standing out from the bearded crowd, facial hair often goes greyer faster than what’s on your head, so getting rid could suddenly take years off.

There are other reasons too. Because of the exfoliation the razor gives, it allows your skin to get the most out of masks, scrubs and serums while helping to minimise spots and blemishes. Providing you follow all the right pre and post-shaving steps.

Five Steps For A Good Shave

  1. Feel the heat: Shaving after a warm bath or shower helps to soften the stubble and open the pores, resulting in a much closer shave.
  2. Preparation: Exfoliating or using an electronic cleansing brush makes light work for your razor by lifting the hairs, help to avoid in-growns in the process.
  3. Leave tricky spots until last: Start with flat areas like the cheeks. 
  4. From there move on to the upper lip, then take your time to avoid any nicks around fiddly areas like the chin and the ears.
  5. Cool the burn: A final splash of cold water will help close the pores, then apply a post-shave balm to nourish and cool the skin.

Beard Care

So you’ve joined the ranks of bearded men. Welcome to the club, your welcome pack is in the post. But the hard work isn’t over: facial hair requires constant maintenance to look its best.

Frequent cleansing is a beard grooming basic, not just to stop it smelling like last Tuesday’s lasagne, but to prevent a build-up of oil and dirt, which can lead to beardruff and acne. Boost this with a nourishing beard oil which will condition the hair from the inside out and look after the skin beneath.

Mans-man tip: Regularly combing your facial hair stimulates blood flow to the follicles, which promotes healthy growth and distributes any oil to the dryer ends of the beard and get a professional to shape and style it.



Body hair removal and the method you use is a matter of preference. Shaving requires preparation and can cause irritation, especially in sensitive areas. Waxing and sugaring is initially painful (less over time) and gives a longer lasting smoother look. Laser hair removal, including handheld IPL devices, is the most expensive and the only permanent solution to unwanted short and curlies.

For those who want to keep their chest rug, underarms and groin tidy, a body hair trimmer is the easiest solution. Prefer to stay as nature intended? Well, contrary to the popular myth, body hair is not unhygienic, so go caveman go.

Mans man tip:  Make sure you keep a track of time, if you're using hair removal creams, particularly in more 'sensitive' areas...you have been warned!


Right, this one I've not actually done, but have seen guys do so, particularly for fitness modelling, ultimately, because it shows off better definition.  But you don't want to come out the booth looking like Ross from Friends ( "two twos!!!").  The occasional sun bed I find is nice (when I'm in the UK) to bring a bit of colour back.  Just be conscious on time exposed.

Mans man Tip: Get out in the sunshine.  Aim for at least 15-20 mins in the midday sun, that approximately 10,000IU (a normal Vitamin D capsule is around 5000IU-but obviously won't give you a tan).  Do some research on sun creams, as there's a lot of debate on whether they're actually good for us or not-your shout.


Hands & Feet

Your hands and feet are likely to be the hardest working extremities on your body.  They’re also often the most neglected, and as a result can pick up ailments from dermatitis and eczema to cracked heels and fungal infections.

Regularly moisturising your hands and feet and paying attention to the nails will improve their condition and keep certain conditions under control.

Mans man tip: Use clippers and tidy up after you've pinged them across the room-the missus goes mad otherwise.


As well being separated into different ‘families’ or categories (such as woody or floral), fragrances are offered in a variety of concentrations, which affects how long they last. The weakest is eau de cologne, then eau de toilette and the strongest (and typically most expensive) is eau de parfum.

Mans man Tip: Don’t over do it by spraying all over and all over your shirt, especially JOOP-just no!



I'm dark skinned and been told, gypsy looking.  I have big bushy eyebrows, that don't meet in the middle and that's because I keep on top of them (I have too, otherwise I'd look like the donor kebab guy).

There's nothing wrong with a uni-brow, except chicks don't like them and when they're talking to you, all that's going through their mind is 'god, would I wouldn't give for some tweezers right now'.

I'm not into waxing, threading, tinting or whatever, but you should definitely never shave your uni-brow!

For better advice than what I can give, check out this video below...

Dressing for the occasion

It goes without saying your outfit says a lot about you.   I predominantly work with professional businessmen, so although the body is important with the shirt off,  looking smart, professional and on point is more important when your shirt's on.

Here's a a handy graphic of how you ought to be holding yourself in your smart work attire.

Another top tip (it drives me mad when I see this), bottom button should be undone!  If you have a three button jacket, the top two buttons should be fastened (yes definitely the top one).  If it's a two button jacket, then again bottom button should be undone. Same goes for waist coats.

The tradition of this, is said to have come from back in the day, when King Henry VII was so fat, he couldn't do the bottom button up.  Ouch!

Looking the muts nuts

At the end of the day, there's nothing wrong with looking after yourself, if it makes you feel better and more confident.  Just be careful you don't go too far ie, having silicon six pack implants etc.  

I'm actually considering a bit of botox soon (and I'm only 35), but I'm told that prevention is better than cure.  I'm starting to see folds now that I want to address, but I'll keep you posted on that one...

One way or another we're all doing it, so embrace it and go pluck-shave-smooth-whiten away.

Keep it real folks


Want to look in good shape with a shirt on and off?  Let's have a chat and see how I can help with your training and diet.  


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