According to Yatan, a clean shaved, well-groomed look works best; Vikram Khatkar (model, fitness and personal trainer) (Yatan Ahluwalia)
According to Yatan, a clean shaved, well-groomed look works best; Vikram Khatkar (model, fitness and personal trainer) (Yatan Ahluwalia)

Men’s style and grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: Valentine’s Day special

Here’s the perfect grooming guide to help you decide your outfit and dazzle your date this Valentine’s Day
By Yatan Ahluwalia
PUBLISHED ON FEB 13, 2021 08:35 PM IST

Decoding the lead look:

Hair: Faded on the sides and longer on top. Left all natural with no products used for styling.

Brows: Thick and bushy.

Face: Well-groomed and clean shaved.

Skin: We used a water-based moisturiser to hydrate the skin.

Lips: Fresh, buffed and stain free thick lips.

Body: Toned and in shape. The hair was trimmed for the skin to look and feel smooth.

Hair

Hair & Style: Get a haircut or trim done. You may also wish to try a new hairstyle – one that you are sure that will look good and work well on you. Remember, it’s never too late (or early) to try out a new look and date night is the perfect occasion to do it. Ensure there’s no unwanted hair over the ears or under the hairline, the back and along the sides. If you must use a styling product, ensure it does not feel too sticky, crisp or coarse when your partner runs their fingers through it.

Facial Hair: Shave that beard off, if you haven’t done so already! A clean look just won’t make you look well-groomed but make you look more trusted and accessible as well. If you yet prefer to sport a beard, ensure it’s been trimmed to look short, sharp and well maintained. At all costs, your beard shouldn’t feel rough, pokey or uncomfortable for either of you.

Brows, Nose & Ears: Trim and shape the brows. Refer to my previous columns on how this can be done to enhance your natural facial features. Cut and snip the long (and unwanted) strands of hair that stick out from your nose and ears and make you look unkempt.

Face

The 20 - minute skin care regime to look flawless

1.Use a face masque: Most face masques go into the pores to clean and remove hidden dirt, sweat, grime and pollutants. Leave the masque on until dry, then wash off to reveal a fresh and bright complexion.

Regular use of face masques tighten the skin and prevent it from sagging.

Time taken: 16 minutes

2.Scrub well: Apply a coarse and effective face scrub to remove dead skin, reduce blackheads and give the skin a buffed and clean appearance.

Scrubs exfoliate and give the skin a polished appearance.

Time taken: 2 minutes

3.Tone: Apply an astringent or toner on a cotton ball and wipe the face with it, especially the forehead and nose or what is popularly called the ‘T’ point. This removes the excessive oil from the skins surface and makes the skin appear matt and squeaky clean.

Especially useful for men with oily or acne prone skin.

Time taken: 2 minutes

Body

If you are sexy, show it!

1.Work on the body: If you aren’t a regular gym guy, spend about twenty minutes doing a quick stretch to activate your body for what lies ahead. Follow any tried or tested regime that works for you. You could opt for a quick jog or run, cycle around the block or take a dance class to charge your body from head to toe. If you are a gym regular, do a short and quick workout about four hours in advance. Whatever fitness regime you choose to do, ensure you don’t burn all your energy out!

2.Get rid of that hair: Based on your personal preferences or that of your partner, trim or remove the body hair as, where and if necessary. You may use a hair clipper or a hair removal cream. Areas to target: the chest, back, fold areas, arms and legs. Removing excessive hair will make your skin more sensitive to touch as well as allow it to breathe and stay dry, especially when it gets sweaty under the sheets.

3.Moisturise: Use an unscented body lotion to make the skin on your body feel smooth and sensual. Apply after a shower, once you have dried your body well. Allow the lotion to get absorbed into the skin, before you get dressed and ready.

Personal Care

Feel good, inside out

1.Armpits: Use an effective water based deodorant roll on or stick. Apply after a shower on skin that has been wiped and dried well.

2.Fold Areas: Dry well after a shower. Ensure you don’t leave any moisture behind as this tends to smell foul and feel uncomfortable.

3.Chest & Back: Use an alcohol-free deodorant spray on the skin, from a distance of about six inches. Ensure the product does not come into any direct contact with your clothes or accessories.

Hands & Feet

It’s all in the details

Cut those long nails! There’s nothing worse than having nails that scratch and hurt your partner. Ensure the tips of the nails are smooth and buffed after they have been cut.

If you have the time, pamper yourself with a good manicure and pedicure. Get this done at a place where the hygiene standards are good and well maintained.

Generously apply a hand and foot cream to soften the skin, especially if your hands or feet are normally rough to touch.

Fragrances

Rule the sheets by smelling good

For the body, choose a good fragrance that has sensual notes and a long-lasting smell. Apply directly on your pulse points as well as the centre of your chest.

Do not go overboard with the application. Putting too much fragrance isn’t going to help and may actually work against you with it overpowering your own natural smell. A few gentle sprays is normally enough and should do the trick.

Sensual masculine scents: Musk, Vanilla, Wood, Ylang Ylang and Sandalwood.

Ensure your mouth smells just as good, if not better than your body. Brush your teeth well, making them look as clean and spotless as possible. Do not try any last-minute bleaching process to whiten the teeth, as this can sometimes have adverse and unwanted side effects.

If you are a smoker, check if your partner or date is uncomfortable with the smell of smoke. Avoid foods that leave a distinct after smell and this includes raw onions, garlic, asparagus, fennel and fenugreek.

Use a mouthwash to kill any stale smell, especially that of tobacco, alcohol and food.

Play Safe

Last, but certainly not the least – ensure to play as safe as possible. Choose a protection that you both will enjoy. There are plenty of variants – textures or flavours that you can experiment with.

Use a lubricant as and when necessary. Do not use oils that can burn, cause allergies, produce unwanted friction or heat.

Understand the needs of your partner and remember the special night isn’t only about you!

The two best grooming sets for men

1.L’Occitane

The range of luxury skincare products from L’Occitane are free of silicones and phenoxyethanol
The range of luxury skincare products from L’Occitane are free of silicones and phenoxyethanol

The luxury skin care brand has curated their first clean skincare range for men. The newly revamped Cade range is made with Cade essential oil, The essential oil is known to contain protective and soothing compounds, making it the perfect ingredient to care for men’s skin naturally.

The products in this range include a beard oil, face cleanser, face mask, as well as a revitalising and shaving cream.

My verdict: The range smell great, feels good and each has a relevant purpose. All products are free of silicones and phenoxyethanol which makes them a must have on your dresser.

Product rating: 5 / 5

2.Pilgrim

The range of Vinotherapy products from Pilgrim come packed with antioxidants which can help counter ageing and revitalise skin with a youthful glow
The range of Vinotherapy products from Pilgrim come packed with antioxidants which can help counter ageing and revitalise skin with a youthful glow

Pilgrim, the vegan beauty brand has launched a range of unisex anti - ageing skin care products with vine extracts called ‘Secrets of Vinothérapie, Bordeaux, France’. The range is based on the French concept of Vinotherapy and contains anti-ageing ingredients like Vine Extracts, Retinol, Vitamin C & Mulberry.

The range includes Red Vine Face Wash with Vitamin C & Aloe, Red Vine Body Lotion with Shea-Cocoa Butter & Aloe, Red Vine Undereye Cream with Retinol & Vitamin C. Red Vine Lip Balm with Mulberry, Red Vine Night Gel Crème with Retinol, Mulberry & Vit. C and more.

My verdict: The products feel good and seem effective. They come packed with antioxidants which can help counter ageing and revitalise skin with a youthful glow.

Product rating: 4 / 5

3. The Pleasure Band

Pleasure Band by The Leather Story For Men’s Style & Grooming enhances pleasure for you and your partner
Pleasure Band by The Leather Story For Men’s Style & Grooming enhances pleasure for you and your partner

Finally a sexual wellness accessory made exclusively for men. This soft and comfortable genuine leather band, aptly called the pleasure band is hand made and comes fitted with corrosion free metal studs. The band enhances pleasure for you and your partner, prevents early climax, improves performance and increases sensation.

The band wraps around the base, works with all lubricants and is easy to clean. Since the clasps are adjustable, one size fit’s all. The band comes in an easy to carry, smart leather pouch which allows you to slide it into your pocket or man bag for that special date.

To use: Wrap the band around the shaft, then adjust the clasps to fit you securely. Do not keep it on continuously for more than 30 minutes. Wipe with a sanitiser after each use.

The author is an Image, Style & Grooming consultant & trainer

From HT Brunch, February 14, 2021

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