How to be well groomed

The aim of grooming is not to spend hours trying to look perfect, but to look clean, neat and presentable for both yourself and to others. This article covers the basics, the minimum that you need to do to look well groomed at all times. You will be glad to know that this can be achieved easily, using just a small amount of time, effort and money.

The trick is to pay attention to your grooming on a daily basis, and my suggestion is to base your grooming routine around a daily morning shower.

There is a follow on article "Advanced Grooming Tips", which you may like to read afterwards. These tips are perfect if you need to take your grooming up a level, for example, you have a job interview, are attending a special event, such as a wedding or black tie party, or are regularly in the media spotlight and need to look ultra well-groomed.

So, lets get started with basic grooming ..................

CLEANLINESS

One of the cornerstones of basic grooming is cleanliness. A person can't be well groomed if they look or smell dirty.

At the bare minimum, you should take a shower every morning. It is the quickest and easiest ways to maintain cleanliness. By spending only a few minutes in the shower each morning, you are going to look clean and smell fresh all day. You will also feel fresh and comfortable.

It is important that the soap or shower gel you use is chosen with care. Choose one that smells:

  • Clean, fresh and natural, such as a citrus or light floral scent.
  • Has a subtle rather than overpowering smell.
  • Smells expensive rather than cheap. It is better to use a non-fragranced soap rather than one that smells cheap.

By getting into the habit of having a shower every morning, you are also giving yourself the ideal opportunity to carry out a couple of other basic grooming tasks that need to be done on a regular basis - more about that later.


SMELL WELL GROOMED

In order to smell well groomed, as a bare minimum, you will need to use a deodorant or anti-perspirant. These will help you maintain that just out of the shower freshness, and prevent you from smelling sweaty later on in the day.

Deodorants and anti-perspirants.

Choose one that is either:

  • Fragrance free - if you don't wish to smell of anything.
  • One with a light and subtle, fresh or floral fragrance. Make sure it isn't overpowering.

For a special event, you may wish to wear an aftershave or perfume and I provide tips on how to choose and wear fragrance in my next article "Advanced Grooming Tips".

SKINCARE

Your skin needs to be kept clean, exfoliated and moisturised if it is to look healthy and well looked after.

Here is my suggestion for a basic skincare routine that can be incorporated into your morning shower routine.

For your shower every day, use a moisturising shower gel on both your face and body, but twice a week incorporate the following into your shower routine:

  • Wash your face with a facial wash that contains exfoliating granules. This will cleanse your skin and remove dead skin cells.
  • Wash your body with a shower gel that contains exfoliating granules. (Don't use it on your face or other delicate skin areas- it is too harsh.)
  • Use a foot file or pumice stone to exfoliate your feet and remove hard skin.

After your shower, and having dried off, I recommend moisturising your face with a light day moisturising cream, with inbuilt sun protection (SPF).

A couple of times a week, use a body lotion to moisturise the rest of your body.

Before you go to bed at night, remove any heavy make-up with facial cleansing lotion.

MAKE-UP

Make-up can help you to look well groomed. Its purpose is to cover up your flaws and enhance your natural beauty. To look well groomed, your aim is to achieve a no make-up look. Yes, you are wearing make-up, but you are applying it sparely.

Apply your make-up in the morning after you have had your shower and applied the light day moisturiser.

A basic "No make-up look" can be achieved by applying:

  • A light covering of foundation
  • A little blusher
  • Mascara
  • Subtle Pink Lip gloss

HAIR & HAIRSTYLES

In order to look well groomed, you need to carry out the minimum:

  • Keep your hair clean - wash your hair every other day.
  • Keep your hair in good condition - use a conditioner after every wash and have your hair trimmed regularly to keep it free of split ends.
  • Choose a simple, elegant, easy to care for style. Style ideas include a short layered style, the classic bob, or if you prefer something longer, a midi / shoulder length style, that can be worn down, or up in a ponytail or chic up-do.
  • Brush your hair every morning as a minimum.
  • Keep your hair neat - if after brushing it still doesn't look neat, tie it back or put it into an up-do.
  • Hair colour - nature knows best, so try to keep your hair its natural colour, or dye it a natural and elegant colour for a well groomed look.

NAILS

Your nails are one of the first things that people notice about you and can make or break whether you look well groomed or not.

As a minimum, your nails need to look:

  • Clean - If you shower everyday, they will get cleaned when you shower. If they get dirty, due to a dirty job or hobby, use a nail brush to clean them, or wear gloves to protect them.
  • Neat and elegantly shaped -The aim is to have natural, feminine looking nails. Leave some of the white tip showing on all of your nails, and shape it into a short, rounded tip. You don't want nails that are cut so short they look like they have been chewed, or so long that they look like talons.
  • Moisturised - Use a hand cream to keep your nails, hands and cuticles soft and moisturised.
  • Neat cuticles - The cuticles are found at the base of the nail and can look dry, cracked and overgrown. They can be pushed back with a wooden manicure stick.
  • Toenails - Keep these clipped short and clean. If they need clipping, you can quickly do this in the bathroom after your shower. Your toenails will be soft, so easier to cut.

To make looking after your hands and nails easier, you may like this tip. If you use a computer regularly, keep a nail file and tube of hand cream near by. You are likely to use them if you can see them. Also keep a nail file in your handbag.

HAIR REMOVAL

In order to look well groomed, a certain amount of hair removal from both the face and body may need to be carried out.

During and after your morning shower is an ideal time to remove unwanted hair - the heat and steam opens the pores up and makes it easier to remove hair.

  • During your morning shower, you can quickly remove hair from your underarms and legs with a razor.
  • After your morning shower, you can remove surplus facial hair, for example on your top lip or chin, with tweezers or wax strips.
  • Then apply your moisturisers as normal.


EYEBROWS

Beautifully shaped, well groomed eyebrows frame your eyes, and are an important part of creating a well groomed look.

Most of my basic grooming tips can be carried out a home, but I recommend visiting a professional when it comes to eyebrows.

I find going to a beauty salon is the easiest way to keep my eyebrows looking well groomed and it only takes 10 to 15 minutes. I have mine waxed every couple of months, but you can have them threaded.

Your eyebrows need to be shaped to complement the shape of your face and eyes. A natural, soft and gently curving eyebrow shape suits most women.

In-between visits to the beauty salon, you can use eyebrow tweezers to pluck out hairs as they regrow and keep your eyebrows neat.

TEETH AND ORAL HYGIENE

A key part of looking and being well groomed is paying attention to our teeth and oral hygiene.

It is important to have clean teeth and fresh smelling breath. When you have good oral hygiene no-one notices, but if you have bad breath, everyone notices.

  • Clean your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and before bed. If you can brush them after lunch, do so.
  • Floss your teeth to remove plaque and debris from between the teeth and along the gum line.
  • Use a mouth wash to reduce bacteria and make your breath smell fresh.
  • Visit the dentist regularly - every six months for a check-up. Some people like to visit the hygienist more regularly.

ADVANCED GROOMING

You may like to read the second grooming article "Advanced Grooming". It covers:

  • Cleanliness - For tips on how to go beyond basic cleanliness, how your daily shower can turn into an enjoyable daily ritual and using a bath.
  • Advanced skincare - such as facials and CTM (Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise).
  • Advanced Hair Removal Techniques
  • Advanced teeth and oral hygiene
  • Advanced Nails - Advanced nail grooming ideas for special occasions.
  • Advanced Make-up - There is a more sophisticated version of the no make-up look which is easy to learn. It is perfect for occasions when you want to look ultra groomed and flawless.
  • To smell classy and luxurious - the next step is to wear a perfume or body spray. This advanced grooming article covers how to choose and wear a perfume.


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