By Stan Mukoro

“I still look at myself and want to improve.”– David Beckham

Some men are labeled as egotistical if they are too concerned with how they look. I beg to differ. As today’s modern men we should be attentive to our looks. After all, it is our appearance that is the first impression. With these impressions being somewhat skin-deep, it pays to look and feel well. When women check us out, they notice every part.

They don’t miss a thing. Generally if a man neglects his personal hygiene then any woman he is trying to talk to will be turned completely off; that’s a guarantee. Label it as sensitive, metrosexual or self-absorbed, whatever phraseology you want to use, this new breed of men is growing in numbers and it’s more than a passing trend.

There is something admirable about men who do not compromise when it comes to maintaining their image.

stanHow we decide what to buy in a market that’s oversaturated with products is difficult. The number of available moisturizers, shaving creams, powders and toners is a scandalous assortment that both new and old companies are capitalizing on in the male vanity craze. It can be a bit overwhelming because most men do not typically spend a lot of time in stores perusing products. However, in an age where looks have a mounting importance in the social scene, good grooming habits equal confidence and success. Fortunately, I am here to help and share my own secrets on how to maintain a youthful appearance and keep people guessing your age.

Your face is the first thing people see. It should be cleansed in the morning, in the evening and shaven routinely. During my tenure as manager at Mercedes-Benz of Houston Greenway, I became a patient of Dr. Milton Moore, a dermatologist. He developed a line called Moore Unique Skin Care and I begin incorporating some of his products into my daily regimen. Dr. Moore’s Clear Skin Acne Wash mildly cleanses and exfoliates the face. Exfoliating keeps the skin looking young because it eliminates dead cells, unclogs pores and exposes hair follicles; allowing for a better shave.

When it comes to moisturizers, a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and Kiehl’s Facial Fuel softens the skin and lessens the chance of fine lines. If my face is feeling a little drier than usual, I mix the two products together and apply. If it looks a little oily, I only apply the Kiehl’s product. All skin types benefit from cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, a good moisturizer with sunblock should be applied in the morning.

Before putting another blade to your face, put together the perfect shaving kit. The shave you get depends on your skin type, products and the quality of razor or shaver used. Electric razors are more convenient and last longer. If you are a fan of reusable razors, a single-edged or double-edged multi-blade is best. My personal preference is an electric shaver because razor burn or cuts are less likely to occur. Whatever you fancy, make certain your shaving tools are cleaned and sanitized after each use and you clean and moisturize your face after you shave. Razor Rash Relief from the Moore Unique Skin Care line does an excellent job alleviating razor bumps. Stay away from alcohol-based aftershave products; they tend to dry the skin out.

Aside from shaping and shaving facial hair, the hair on your head also requires regular maintenance. A well-groomed man gets a regular haircut. By regular, I mean once a week or every 2 weeks. In hotter climates, hair grows faster therefore it needs to be cut more frequently. I think most men choose low maintenance hairstyles regardless of the length of the hair. The size and shape of your head and face as well as your features should be a determining factor.

The biggest mistake men make when it comes to hair is using too much product in the hair and choosing the wrong products. Water-based products, known as pomades, add moisture to hair, so it’s for dry hair. Matte (minimal shine) products are for normal hair. If you put shiny products on normal hair, it will become greasy. You have to balance everything. Using the right shampoo and conditioner regularly is very important when it comes to hair and scalp health. Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo and Hair Conditioner/Grooming Aid Formula 133 are among my favorite products because I get a thorough clean without any grease or product build-up.

Clean, healthy teeth and fresh breath are signs of a happy mouth. Your mouth gets quite a workout from talking, kissing, eating, drinking and yawning so give it the respect it deserves by brushing and flossing after each meal and visiting your dentist regularly. What happens in your mouth affects the rest of your body.

While it may have been abnormal many years ago, many men are getting regular manicures and pedicures. Regular treatment really helps keep the nails trimmed and healthy and also the skin on your hands and feet in good shape.

Like every other aspect of your style, your cologne should be chosen well. What you wear, when you wear it, where you spray it and how much you wear are the four cologne basics. Diet, skin sensitivity, weather and environment help determine what scent is best for you. Cologne can be worn
anytime but the time of day and type of event determine how light or heavy the scent is. Your pulse points: side of neck, chest, wrist and throat, are the best places to spray on. The cardinal rule for cologne is simply this, not everyone in the building should be able to smell you at the same time, only those standing closest to you. Apply small amounts in the right places for the optimal effect.

The great debate over what is considered “good grooming” has varied greatly over time. In the 21st century, it’s clear that more men are taking steps to look and feel their best so they can be their best. A little attention to your body goes a very long way toward heightening appeal and contrary to popular belief, is just as important for men as it is for women. Now breathe a sigh of relief because looking good just got easier.

*Stan Mukoro is an image consultant living in Atlanta, Georgia.
Contact info: [email protected]
Weekly tip: Avoid using scissors or tweezers to remove the unsightly hairs that sprout from your nose and ears. Invest in an electric nose hair trimmer.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.