Men’s style and grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: Stun the sun this summer!
Good skin is more important that pale skin. Work on enhancing your natural skin tone than trying to change it with skin lightening or fairness creams. Follow a regular grooming regime: face scrub, face masque and a water based moisturiser at night, just before bed.
To prevent the skin from looking oily or greasy, use a toner twice a week – ideally at the end of the day. Simply add a few drops on a cotton ball, then wipe the face - especially the ‘T” point (forehead and nose).
For sun burn and dry skin, use a hydrating gel or serum which has anti-inflammatory and cooling properties. Apply as and when necessary.
Avoid wearing coloured lenses. However if you must, then the only colour you may use is hazel or brown, as it enhances dusky skin tones. You are however safest, keeping the eye colour looking as real and natural as possible.
Use a cooling and cleansing eye drop (only as advised by a specialist) to keep the base colour of your eyes looking as clear and white as possible. Ensure the eyes don’t look red or tired at any point of time.
Real men don’t pout and there’s no reason for you to do so either! Ensure your lips don’t look dry or chapped. Use a bees wax or butter based lip balm at night, just before you go to bed. The lip balm will keep your lips feeling and looking soft and supple.
Smoking can make the lips look darker, than they may actually be. If you have ‘smokers lips’ then use a lip buffer once a week, or as necessary to make the lips look cleaner and fresher.
Trim or remove the excessive hair on your body, including your chest and arms as this will make the skin look smooth and healthy.
Use a loofah scrub to clean the elbows, knees, ankles and knuckles. Doing so will make the areas look brighter and eliminate the outer layer of dark and dry skin. To add a gentle sheen to the skin, use a water based body lotion after a bath and before you get dressed.
Just as men with pale skin are prone to freckles, men with dusky or olive tone skin are susceptible to get sun spots and pigmentation marks from over exposure to the sun.
I suggest using an effective sunscreen, evenly all over the exposed areas. A SPF of 50+ is recommended. Remember, sunscreen must be applied a minimum of 15 minutes before you step out into the direct sun.
Colours to wear
If you have got an olive tone of skin that tends to tan rather than toast in the sun, then you have what is known as a ‘warm’ complexion. Lucky you, as this shade of skin actually suits a much wider palette of colours than those who have fair skin or a pale complexion.
The first rule with dressing to follow is to avoid matching your skin colour to the clothes, however plain and minimal you may like to style your look. If you like warm colours, ensure both the top and lower that you are wearing is distinctly different from your actual skin tone. Picking clothes that are a few shades lighter or darker than your skin colour should do the trick.
Secondly, avoid looking washed out with the shades and colours you wear. Having said that, faded prints always look good on dusky skin tones. This could be the print on a t-shirt, a shirt or any traditional or ethnic wear as well.
Shades and tones
The safest colour to match with a darker skin tone is white. White is not only my personal favourite, but also looks extremely sensual and enhances most dusky skin tones.
Earthy colours like sand, beige and creams, as well as black and grey, look beautiful on medium brown skin.
As and when you want to make a bold style statement, wear a metallic tone of copper. Gold can also look good, though it tends to be a bit over the top.
While black and blue are two key colours in any man’s work wardrobe (making up the majority of formal and corporate wear), it’s worth keeping these to a minimum to really make the most of your versatile skin tone, which allows you to carry a wide variety of colours.
Dull hues of olive, beige, brown and mustard are always safe options. You could occasionally wear dark tones of purple, blue (navy) or even burgundy (wine red) and also pastel tones of peach and yellow.
You can also embrace most shades of blue, except very light or pastel tones. Dark and Navy blue will both look good. In fact, a navy blue suit, sports cap or clean pair of jeans will all tremendously enhance and lift your natural skin tone.
White on white
You could be in a white vest, underwear, t-shirt, shirt, pyjamas, track pants or draw string trousers and rest assured you will look good. When you wear white, ensure all the garments have the same colour pigment and are an identical shade match. Nothing looks worse that combining two different shades of white together.
For a laid back, leisure or beach inspired summer look, wear white pyjamas with a soft semi open white shirt, vest or top. If your pyjamas or pants are made with a soft breathable fabric, then ensure to wear white underwear. Coloured underwear must never be worn with see through white lowers!
For formal wear, you can choose jewel tones of burgundy and blue. Pair these with anything black to create a sharp evening look.
A simple and ‘ready in a minute look’ would be to wear a full sleeve black top or shirt and black lowers under a jewel tone jacket, waistcoat or bandhgala.
Remember most evening looks must be complimented by a pair of black formal closed shoes.
Black and white
If you like sticking to the basics like I do, then you can never go wrong with a stark combination of wearing black and white together. This could be either a casual look or a tuxedo for a very formal occasion.
Both colours have the inherent quality of looking good with dusky skin tones and when done right can make you look (and feel) both attractive and sexy.
When it comes to accessories, I strongly recommend you opt for a “white metal” look or choose between silver or platinum accessories.
Keep in mind that gold accessories can look both loud and garish on dusky skin tones. This includes your jewellery, belt buckles, watches and sunglasses.
You can try out (manly) earrings for your ears. It gives a different dimension to your face and is sure to be something that catches the other persons eye. This could be a round or square ear stud in silver or black leather.
To draw more attention to your chest, you could wear a thick silver or platinum chain (plain or inter locked) under a semi open shirt or over a sports top. I would personally suggest keeping away from rings altogether, not because of your skin tone but because rings just don’t make the cut for most men!
(Author bio: The author is an image, style and grooming consultant and trainer.)
From HT Brunch, June 7, 2020
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