Say goodbye to the swim shorts and sun cream, winter is on its way, and that means shelving the summer scents and digging out the body moisturiser once more (thanks, central heating). It is, of course, a whole new season, so that means pondering some major questions when it comes to your grooming regime.
Is makeup for men the next big thing? Is it time to ditch shampoo? Which hairstyles are the biggest catwalk hits? Should we be growing long hair or buzzing it all off? What’s the deal with facial hair?
Yes, the very idea of a grooming trend may sound ridiculous at first but, as with fashion, they very much exist and change all the time. What’s more, the dozens of new inventions and technologies that drop each year can actually improve the way you look, and who doesn’t want that? Want to groom your way stylishly through the autumn and into the depths of winter? Take note.
7 Men’s Grooming Trends For Autumn/Winter 2018
There’s something about a sudden drop in the mercury that makes smelling like a dip in the Côte d’Azur seem a bit, well, wrong. It’s time to switch to a seasonally appropriate scent – but which?
For autumn/winter 2018, the olfactory onus is on sensual fragrances: deep, complex aromas made up of leather, wood and tonka bean. You want to smell like a fetish club crossed with a coffee house, essentially.
Tom Ford is a key player in this arena (sensual fragrances, not fetish clubs). The designer’s new Ombré Leather scent is not dissimilar to his original best-seller, Tuscan Leather, but with notes cardamom, jasmine and vetiver. The latest addition to Acqua Di Parma’s signature Colonia line – Colonia Sandalo – is an equally deeply layered scent that relies on Indian sandalwood as well as surprisingly warm balsamic notes. We’ll have what he’s having.
Makeup For Men Is A Thing
In April, singer-songwriter John Mayer posted a makeup tutorial on Instagram. A few weeks previous, Get Out actor Daniel Kaluuya spoke openly about wearing Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty range to the 2018 Oscars. Fast forward a few months and Chanel has launched a dedicated eyebrow pencil, tinted foundation and lip balm for blokes.
These events all point to two things. 1) Hollywood style icons are finally admitting it’s not all water, vegetables and getting eight hours a night. 2) Makeup for men could be about to go mainstream.
That’s not to say you need to ramraid your local pharmacy. After something that looks like your skin, only better? A subtle foundation will do that. Wolverine-style brows? A gel comb has got you covered. Oily skin and breakouts? Double up with matte powder and a concealer stick. In combination, these are enough kit to camouflage late nights, hide blemishes and generally make you a more handsome fella. No judgement here.
Which styles have the strongest chance of trickling down to your local barber though? “Graphic shapes are back for afro hair, back to old school flat tops and hip-hop shapes,” says top session stylist Tyler Johnston.
Rave is back too; haircuts that mimic the ’90s with curtains and bowl cuts, layers are longer with stronger outline shapes. Forward crops are bang-on with hard-edged fringes and army cuts with gradual fades. Texture wise, go dry matt or gloss.” So, in short, the least stylish decade of the last half-century is now the most stylish.
Join The ‘No-Poo’ Movement
Wait, where are you going? We promise it’s not as gross as it sounds. The no-poo movement refers to a growing number of guys (particularly those with textured hair and curly hair) reducing the number of times they wash their locks with shampoo.
And why would anyone want to do that, you ask? Well, it seems some of us are over-doing it, which can be just as bad as not doing it at all; increasing oil production and stripping the hair of moisture, simultaneously making it greasy and dry. To make things worse, lots of shampoos rely on harsh chemicals like sodium laureth and lauryl sulphates to lather, which can irritate the skin.
‘No-poo’ doesn’t mean you have to live with a dirty ‘do, this is where co-washing (short for ‘conditioner-only washing’) comes in. Wash your hair as usual, but use a cleansing conditioner instead. The result is something more squeaky-clean that screwed-up straw.
Pollution Proofing Skincare Is Here
Hundreds of cities across the globe are at or exceed the air pollution limits set by the World Health Organisation. Think about that for a second. Because short of investing in a pure oxygen chamber or walking around in a surgical mask we have to, quite literally, suck it up.
There’s more bad news. General health issues aside, gases like nitrogen dioxide cause us to age faster than we would without them (thanks, diesel), bring about dry skin and can even spur dermatological issues like eczema. Cue a swathe of brands launching toxic avengers.
‘Anti-pollution’ is now more than just a grooming buzzword, with brands like Clinique, Clarins and Ren launching everything from creams to jellies designed to form an invisible shield between the air and skin. Use them over your regular moisturiser or on their own. Yes, you’ll still be fighting the traffic on the commute every morning, but at least you’ll look younger while doing so. Suck it, smog.
Be Your Own Dermatologist
‘If you want something doing right, do it yourself’ is not a phrase that usually applies to professional skincare. However, the growing range of at-home devices is at least making it possible.
If American Psycho was set in 2018, Patrick Bateman 2.0 would almost definitely own some blue light acne treatment kit, which uses sonic pulses to blitz away blemishes and breakouts in timed 30-minute doses; or a a high-tech LED eye mask that visibly reduces crow’s feet after just two weeks of daily usage.
With these tools, you can treat congested skin from the privacy of your own bathroom as often as you need, without ever having to make an appointment again.
The Moustache Is Here To Stay
If we learned one thing from recent fashion weeks, it’s that fashion editors love a seventies-inspired moustache. And thanks to shows like The Deuce, there’s also a high count on Netflix and the red carpet. Meaning top lip topiary is here to stay.
“What was once an annual Movember thing has grown into a style statement and a progression from the beard for guys who still want some form of facial fur,” says men’s style blogger and author of The Chic Geek, Marcus Jaye.
Of course, if you’re currently clean shaven you’ll want to grow a beard first to make sure you can actually cultivate a decent enough lip tickler before shaving the rest off. The advice is simple: if you can’t, don’t.