Skincare and a good grooming routine are as important for men as for women. Model: Gaurav Kakkar (a fitness model and personal trainer)(Yatan Ahluwalia)
Skincare and a good grooming routine are as important for men as for women. Model: Gaurav Kakkar (a fitness model and personal trainer)(Yatan Ahluwalia)

Men’s style and grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: Everything you wanted to know about skincare and style

Expert advice on all your queries about looking good and dressing well
Hindustan Times | By Yatan Ahluwalia
UPDATED ON APR 12, 2020 02:10 AM IST

Many of you have written in with some style and grooming queries. Here are my answers to some often asked questions both about grooming as well as dressing smart also.

Decoding The Lead Look

Hair: Long. Styled to look messy with sharp strands all around. We used a hair wax to create the look. To remove hair wax from the hair, use warm water and an effective deep cleansing shampoo.

Eyes: Deep set dark brown eyes.

Brows: All natural. Almost joining at the centre to create a semi unibrow.

Face: Two - day old shadow stubble over the lips and the chin.

Grooming

1. Hair colour

Question: Should I colour my long hair?

Answer: Colour your hair only if you must and as necessary. A single block colour is ideal for long hair. If your hair is dark - try going in for a light brown shade. Refrain from highlights though - as they can look both mass market and outdated!!! As colour strips the hair of its nutrients and moisture, use a conditioner each time (and after) you use any hair colour. You may choose to colour your hair at home with a home colour kit or get it done professionally at a reputed and trusted salon.

2. Lip locked

Question: Can I use lip balm during the day?

Answer: Avoid using lip balms during the day as exposure to the sun can burn or dry your lips further! Prevention is better than cure: to keep them looking fresh, feeling soft and to prevent them from getting chapped, dry and flaky, apply a natural and nourishing lip balm on your lips - every night before you sleep. If you are a smoker, you will be amazed to discover that regular use of a lip balm can drastically reduce smoke (nicotine) stains and dark patches on your lips.

3. Dark circles

Question: I work night shifts and have dark circles, under my eyes. What can I do?

Answer: Contrary to popular belief, dark circles under the eyes are not caused by lack of sleep but by lack of water in the body. Here’s what you can do to prevent them: Drink at least 5 litres of water in a day, drink a glass of warm water with a teaspoon of (organic or natural) honey and a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice when you wake up in the morning and before you reach for your first cup of coffee or tea. This is also a great detox for the body, especially if you have binged on alcohol the night before. To visibly lighten the area: take a raw potato – wash, peel and grate it and place the grated potato on your eyelids and around the eyes (obviously with your eyes closed) for about 10 minutes or until the grated potato has become completely dry (wrap a towel around the neck so the water that comes out of the potatoes does not stain your clothes). You can repeat this once every 10 days or three times a month. The results are very visible and encouraging.

4. Puffy eyes

Question: What can I do for puffy or swollen eyes?

Answer: Puffy Eyes are often a result of lack of sleep, overworking on the computer, doing long overnight flights or driving endlessly behind the wheel. They can be prevented and treated naturally. Here’s how: when your eyes get puffy, splash some cold water on them. Repeat as often as necessary. Alternatively, you may soak some cotton balls in water and place it in the fridge for about an hour or two. When chilled, squeeze out the excess water and place the cotton on your eyes for a few minutes and the puffiness will disappear. You may also rinse your eyes with natural or organic rose water. This will also soothe your eyes, especially If they have been strained. If you wear lenses, spectacles or sunglasses - remove them for about three hours so the eyes can rest and refresh themselves.

5. Sunscreens

Question: How do I use a sunscreen?

Answer: Apply sunscreen if you are spending over an hour in the sun. Sunscreens and sun blocks protect you from harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Besides darkening and changing your skin colour, these rays can lead to dark spots, blemishes, freckles and even skin cancer in the long run. A SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30+ is recommended if you are in an urban setting and 50+ if you are by the sea or at a high altitude. Choose a light, oil free formulation that gets absorbed easily into the skin. To apply, dab some product onto the palms and massage onto the skin – especially the face, neck and hands – or any other area that may be exposed to the sun. Apply a thick coat, a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes before you step out. Your skin needs protection 365 days a year – except on a grey, wet or foggy day. For obvious reasons – do not bother using the product after sunset or if you are going to stay indoors.

Style

1. What lies beneath

Question: How much of my underwear should be seen?

Answer: Underwear should never be seen through your clothes, unless you are sporting a street look and wearing low hanging jeans. Even then, you should never show more than an inch of your underwear - this includes the waist band (with the branding) and a little bit of the fabric under it. While its safe for your underwear to ‘accidentally’ peep through a pair of casual jeans, track pants or shorts, one should never see it when you are wearing formal trousers or semi - formal pants. Having said that, don’t bother revealing your underwear at all if the brand, design or colour is not worth showing off at the first place!

2. Dress your shirt

Black & white metal plated cufflinks by Escaro Royale
Black & white metal plated cufflinks by Escaro Royale

Question: Can cufflinks be worn with casual shirts?

Answer: Yes, you can dress your casual shirts with a pair of cufflinks. This particular pair is light, eye catching and perfect for day or casual wear. Cufflinks may also be worn to work or a leisure weekend. I personally loved the eye-catching digital print. Your shirt should have a cuff that supports wearing cufflinks. If you are wearing a casual jacket over the shirt, ensure the cuff of your shirt and the cufflinks themselves are visible and can be seen.

3. Red or dead

Question: Can men wear red?

Answer: Colour does not have gender, we do! Yes, you may wear red in moderation, provided it’s at the right time, place and occasion. Red shirts will make heads turn at a party. Full or half sleeve red t-shirts and tops don’t just look sporty and trendy but will make you stand out in the crowd - especially at the gym, mall or at the movies. You may wear a casual red jacket for casual daywear, riding your bike, mountaineering and adventure sports. You may also wear red shorts and tracks for your morning run, workout or sports. Red trousers can be a bit over the top, but may be worn when you want to make a strong colour statement. Red socks can be worn with a pair of casual jeans, especially when you want a hint of colour to show through. Red shoes will always catch the eye and are also a strong fashion trend this year!

4. Platimun over silver

Platinum link neck chain by Platinum Guild International
Platinum link neck chain by Platinum Guild International

Question: What’s the best metal for accessories?

Answer: Jewellery and accessories for men always look both smarter and sexier when they are in white metal. My personal choice has always been silver over gold, but platinum is the new ‘go to’ metal. Platinum of course can be an investment and its versatility means it may be used for chains, cufflinks, ear studs and rings. Time to upgrade your accessories!

5. Buckle up

Casual blue cloth belt by Canali
Casual blue cloth belt by Canali

Question: How can I wear a casual belt?

Answer: Casual cloth belts can make or break your look. When wearing jeans, I suggest an eye catching and contrasting coloured belt; red, orange, yellow, blue or green to wear with your favourite pair of denims. Based on what you prefer and are comfortable carrying, your belt could be plain, printed or textured. For casual trousers, dual coloured, slim and plain belts are recommended as they look subtle, smart and sophisticated. Colours you can wear can include white, grey, black, olive green, beige and brown. Choose a belt that has a fuss free and simple buckle. The less attention the buckle draws to itself, the better. Having said that, ensure the two ends of your belt sit well over each other and that you don’t miss a single loop while putting it on. Unlike with formal belts, you do not need to match your casual belt with your shoes.

Author bio: The author is an image, style and grooming consultant and trainer.

From HT Brunch, April 12, 2020

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