Will Fennell is one of Australia’s leading beauty and male grooming experts. As well as being a writer and consultant he’s also an accomplished TV Presenter, having appeared on programmes like 10 Years Younger in 10 Days, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy and Seven’s The Morning Show where he is the resident beauty and grooming expert. Fascinated to learn more about Aussie men’s attitudes to male grooming and a little more about Will’s own favourite products I thought I’d fire a few probing questions at him. And here are the results…
GG: So Will, what sparked your interest in male grooming?
WF: I woke at age twelve with a huge pimple on my chin. My Grandmother with all the best intentions articulated to me that methylated spirits would clear it up in no time. Over the next 48 hours I applied metho continuously. Suffice to say mother rushed me to the doctor with a first-degree burn. That pimple changed my life (and the idea that my gran was sane). Within weeks I was cleansing, toning and moisturising daily.
GG: What are your favourite men’s fragrances and why?
WF: I prefer light, fresh and fruity. But this is a tough one because I don’t really wear fragrance (especially when it is hot and humid in Sydney), but yet I need to review and test-drive them for my blog and DNA magazine. Last year I started to get my readers to review the fragrances instead of me, which was fun. At the moment I have a soft spot for A&F Fierce, but that might be because of the particular man wearing it. If I ever do wear anything, I love Honore’s Trip. It is 100% organic, with natural tangerine oil. The first spritz it’s like walking out into a citrus farm – delicious.
GG: Desert Island grooming product?
WF: It is a joke (OK, they make fun of me continuously) amongst my friends that I never leave the house without lip balm (OK, lip gloss), so I cant see me jumping from the ship before it sinks without grabbing my Christian Dior Lip Maximiser.
GG: Best grooming tip?
WF: When you start out keep things simple. I believe the biggest mistake men make (with all the best intentions in the world) is making their skin care routine too complex to stick to. Begin with two steps in the morning and two steps in the evening.
AM; 2 in 1 Cleanser Scrub (perfect as a pre-shave)
Daily Mosturiser (with a 15 or 30 SPF)
PM; Foaming Cleanser (to remove the SPF)
Repairing Moisturiser (containing any of the proven anti-aging ingredients like lactic acid, glycolic acid, antioxidants, peptides, copper)
WF: There are several excellent Aussie skin care companies, but my favourite is Ultraceuticals. Dr. Heber who formulates the well-respected cosmeceutical range is second to none when it comes to using proven ingredients that rely on scientific research and not anecdotal evidence. In the past I was critical of this range (like many cosmeceutical lines) as whilst it did the job, it didn’t feel good on the skin. His latest generation of skin care feels good and makes you look younger – bingo!
GG: Is there anything British men can learn from Australian men in terms of male grooming?
WG: We have grown up wearing sunscreen in Australia because of the fear we have of skin cancer; this has in turn saved Aussie men from aging as well. There is no other country in the world that takes sun protection as seriously as we do and the SPF rating here in Oz is heavily regulated. It has taken me years, but I am proud of the men I educate; nearly all of them wear sunscreen daily. It is quite simple – using a sunscreen moisturiser (an SPF of 15 will be adequate for daily use whilst inside working and much lighter in texture than a 30) will prevent you from incidental sun-induced aging. Remember it is easier to prevent aging than to reverse it!
GG: There’s often a stereotype of the typical Australian man: rough, rugged, positively ‘retrosexual’ if you will. Has this changed in recent years? And if so, what’s caused the change do you think?
WF: Hollywood and celebrity men looking good have had a huge effect on how Aussie men groom and dress. David Beckham may sound like Minnie Mouse but I admire him for helping men appreciate you could look good, retain your masculinity and still be good at playing with balls.
WF: Today I have bed hair and weeks worth of grey beard re-growth, so I give myself a 2…. Normally however I am about a 7 or 8. I used to be far more concerned (one could say high maintenance) with my hair etc. but as I have gotten older I have (thankfully) become more relaxed. My skin however is another matter – my healthy skin is the best advertisement for my clinic – I give my skin a 9.5!
GG: Finally, have you seen the latest pics of newly uber-groomed Shane Warne? What do you think?
WF: Best of luck to him, but I am sure Liz still turns the lights out before they root (Aussie slang for shag)!
For more info about Will go to www.willfennell.com.au You can also follow him on Twitter @WillFennell