A very useful ‘pour’ homme…

janjiraI don’t want you to think I’m kinky (actually why not? You can think what you like) but I do rather enjoy the sensation of hot wax on skin. And Janjira’s Therapy Massage Candle is a great way to experience the sensation. Because it’s made of soybean oil and coconut oil you can apply the melted ‘wax’ to the skin as a warming massage therapy. Lightly fragranced with grapefruit, tangerine and rhubarb it smells delightfully uplifting and the oils are quickly absorbed and non-greasy. Especially good for soothing dry hands and relaxing tired feet. Great fun too.

Available from www.janjira.co.uk

Grooming Guru Essentials: The Micro Pedi Man

Photo Martina ReganSuch a miserable old curmudgeon am I that I rarely rave about products to the point where I sound like I’ve just stumbled across Valhalla, but here’s one that I simply can’t enthuse about enough.

The Micro Pedi Man is essentially a mini-sander for your feet and is the perfect tool for getting your trotters ship shape for sandals. To be honest, I haven’t enjoyed using a grooming gadget this much since I first manscaped myself using the original Philips Bodygroom back in 2006. In fact, I’m worried I may be addicted to it (I’m eyeing it up lovingly as I type).

I don’t actually have the hugest amount of dry skin on my feet but what I do have has now vanished thanks to this nifty little summer essential. I swear to you, using is it just joyous! And the stuff that comes off! Oh!

 

Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.

Ask The Guru: How do I prevent ingrown toenails?

Ingrowing nails occur when a piece of the nail curves downward and grows into the skin piercing the flesh of the toe. Usually affecting the big toe, they can feel like a splinter, can be extremely painful and in more severe cases, can cause pus and bleeding.

Active, sporty people are particularly prone as are people who cut their nails too low.  Preventing them is simple enough though – for starters, make sure your shoes aren’t too snug and learn how to trim your nails properly. Always cut them straight across and don’t cut too low at the edge or down the side. The corner of the nail should be visible above the skin. Also, cut them after a bath or shower when they’re soft.

I prefer  to use a pair of spring toenail clippers and you get more leverage and they cut quickly and neatly and don’t tear at the nails as some inferior clippers can. The ones above are available from simplyfeet.co.uk. If you do get an annoying ingrown, though, visit your local podiatrist. One visit may be all that’s needed to get it sorted.

Grooming Guru Guides – get your feet ready for sandal weather

Anyone who follows me on Twitter (if you don’t look me up @grooming_guru) will know that my real bete noire is men in flip flops. Not men in flip flops on beaches – that’s fine. Not men wearing flip flops at home either. I can even excuse men who pop to the local shop for a pint of milk in them. But men wearing flip flops around town instead of shoes is a mortal fashion crime as far as I’m concerned.

Australians doing this I can forgive, because the flip-flop (or ‘thong’ as they say down under) is practically national costume but English men, with their flithy, sooty soles and gnarly trotters? No.  

So my fashion advice is to buy some decent summer footwear (Birkenstocks will do) and attend to those terrible trotters! And just in case you need a little help, here’s how to get yourself a pair of ‘plates’ you can be proud of…

Step 1: Exfoliate

Most men neglect their feet something rotten (and I chose my words carefully) during the winter and that plays havoc with their appearance come the strip-off season. Ill-fitting shoes, poor maintenance and general wear-and-tear cause calluses to build up on the heels and skin becomes dry, rough and unsightly.

To remedy this start by removing dead skin and calluses with a pumice stone or a foot file like the Margaret Dabbs Abrasive Foot File . Not only will removing this dead skin make your feet look better it’ll make them healthier too since, if left, dead skin can become soggy, making it the perfect home for bacteria and fungal spores. If you’re on a beach, by the way, try gently exfoliating feet with some wet sand – it’s a great way to remove any dead skin.

Step 2: Moisturise

Just as your mush needs moisturising, so do your feet. In fact, our extremities often have some of the driest skin on our bodies. But since the skin on your feet can be up to four times thicker than the stuff on your face you need a specially formulated foot moisturiser. I like Australian Bodycare Hand & Foot Cream  which is particularly good because it also contains anti-bacterial Tea Tree Oil to keep feet fresh and healthy.

Step 3: Trim

Toenails, like fingernails, tend to act as advertisments for your grooming routine. Neglect them and it says you don’t care about the finer details – or (worse still) the bits of you that aren’t on display. So keep your tonenails looking tip-top by investing in good quality pair of toenail clippers like Mekur’s Toe Nail Clippers. Start by soaking your feet in warm water for a while to soften the nails – this will make them much easier to cut.

Then cut each nail straight across the top, from edge to edge and avoid cutting down the side of the nails as this will only encourage the nail to grow inwards. If you’re a perfectionist, it’s worth spending a couple of minutes gently softening the edges with Boots’ 4 Way Buffer Block.

STEP 4: Protect.

Unlike hands our feet barely see the light of day for most of the year making them especially vulnerable to sunburn. What’s more, studies have shown that the survival rate of patients with malignant melanoma of the foot is significantly lower than if the melanoma is elsewhere on the body – partly because we simply don’t spot them in time. So check your feet regularly for any unusual moles and if you’re heading for the beach, or are just heading out in the sun wearing sandals don’t forget to protect feet with a sun cream.

STEP 4:  Finishing touches.

If feet are particularly palid on their first unveiling you can try giving them some temporary colour with a tinted moisturiser like Botanics Instant Glow Tinted Moisturiser. Because it’s not a fake tan you won’t get streaks but it will give you some subtle colour – and you can easily wash it off at the end of each day. And finally (and I know this is a subject that scares a lot of women) there’s the question of hair toes. In reality hairy toes are actually healthy toes, indicating there’s good circulation down there, but if you do want to remove the fur whatever you do don’t shave – it’ll leave stubble. Instead use small amount of Veet Hair Removal Cream or a Wax Strip.

And with that you’re done. Fantastic feet ready for anything. Except flip flops, obviously.

Note: If you suffer from diabetes, haemophilia or circulatory problems consult your doctor before using pedicure tools.


Grooming Guru Essentials: Elemis Tea Tree SOS Spray

One of skin problems I’m asked about most is the dreaded ‘bacne’ – shorthand for a spotty back. The problem with this affliction, as anyone who’s ever suffered from it will know, is that it’s a real bugger to treat such a difficult-to-reach area without help. Which is where this spray comes in.

Tea-tree is a natural antiseptic so is brilliant for spots, the spray itself is a cinch to use (you can easily reach those difficult bits) and it also gives great coverage thanks to it’s fine spray mist.

What’s more, it’s also great keeping feet fresh and healthy, is the perfect product to protect skin after waxing and also makes a great scalp freshener too. The ultimate multi-function skin-saver and a gym bag essential.

To get your hands on some click here

Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.