How to look - and feel - better
1 | Become a regular at your barbers
Book your next appointment while you're there for roughly 4 weeks time, and stick to it. Too many men wait for the 'forlorn tugging of your locks' stage before doing anything about it. Basically, if you've noticed your hair needs a cut, then other people have too. The trick is to be proactive, not reactive – and having a regular place you trust will cut down on the 'oh my God what if he messes this up' anxiety dramatically.
2 | Know which hair products work for you
Hair products for men have got a bit more confusing since the Brylcreem your Granddad swore by, so make sure you're clued up on what each product is for. Thicker hair and messy styles can handle waxes and pomades, but if your hair's thinner, then lighter products and sprays will give your barnet some staying power. Ask your barber if you're a bit in the dark, but the right product can make all the difference.
3 | Find your signature scent
Aftershave isn't supposed to be loud or obvious. You don't want people to stop in their tracks and notice (if they do, you've worn too much). Rather, it should become a subtle part of your overall presence. Rather than owning 8-10 average quality bottles you pick from each morning at random, find one or two classic scents you really like and invest in them. Typically woody, spicy or herby scents suit the winter months, while lighter, citrusy scents work best in spring and summer.
4 | "Do a Dylan" with your toothbrush
Two things every woman notices: your shoes, and your smile. When it comes to the latter, there is no longer any excuse for ignoring advances in technology. Electric toothbrushes are designed to do most the work for you, plus, they're better for your health: according to a study by Sheffield University, rotating brushes reduce 11% more plaque than manual toothbrushes, and can also significantly reduce gum problems. And while you're at it, use a mouthwash after you brush first thing in the morning.
5 | Learn how to manscape properly
Trimming your pubic is not only perfectly acceptable in 2017, it's polite. And no, we're not talking about the porn star look either – just aim for what you'd appreciate in a partner, i.e. keep things neat and tidy. Top tip: keep whatever device you use for this sensitive task separate from what you shave your face with. There are plenty of electric razors on the market designed for the nether region's unique challenges without having to fill your Mach 3 with short and curlies.
6 | Scrub your face
Use a microbead-free scrub on a Monday morning to scrub the weekend off your face, and every other day of the week go for a plain face wash that's less abrasive. You'll be looking better than you feel in no time.
7 | Manage your facial fuzz
Unless you're planning to move out into the wilderness to find yourself, facial hair of any length needs to be tamed and maintained if you want to be taken seriously. You don't have to spend much on a beard trimmer, so pick one up and get into a weekly habit of tidying up. Don't, however, go too far. More David Gandy, less Bebe from Eastenders.
8 | ...Or learn how to shave like an expert
You might not have time in the morning for an extensive wet-shaving routine, but learning the basics of a good shave is important. Preparing your skin beforehand with a shave oil will help the razor glide over your hairs, while soaking the blades in warm water will help your pores expand, allowing the hair to come off your face with less redness and irritation. If it still feels like a chore, leave your precious face in the hands of the experts and get a professional shave once a week.
9 | Put your best feet forward
They might not be on show that often, but a good footcare routine is still important. Take care of them after a bath or shower (when the skin is softest) using a pummice stone on any dead skin, before lathering a generous amount of moisturiser on. Then when summer rolls back around, you can wear your flip flops and cause an absolute minimal of disgust in others.