Looking good and presentable takes up a good part of the day. The grooming kit in your purse or pocket is your personal ally and stressbuster. Not just to wick away a questionable odour, but to act as your first aid against anything that can go wrong with your appearance.
Whether you’re home or at work, or travelling to a different continent, the grooming kit is your pal. Think of those long flights to the beyond and back, the impromptu vacations or cool road trips that friends coax you into.
There’s nothing as relaxing as the scent of your own shampoo as you wash away a day in outdoors, or unwind with the aroma of your favourite hand lotion as you get ready for bed.
Travelling is all about letting your hair down and chilling out, but only if your grooming kit and essentials are in order. Otherwise, it becomes a treasure hunt in a strange town. Worse, it could turn into a wild goose change in a city where you don’t even speak the native tongue!
Personal grooming knows no barriers – but limit the size of your portable grooming kit
A grooming kit is a difference between your being dressed to the nines on every occasion and event, and you’re walking around like a homeless hippie.
Now we’ve established the importance of grooming, but does that mean a grooming kit can take over our entire baggage?
The answer is no. Unavoidable as it is to have every fold and tuck in order, the grooming kit cannot be bigger than an easy, one-handed carry-on. Not with today’s weight restrictions. Even if you’re not the bird of passage, you still need the grooming kit to be in apple-pie order. Easy to grab and go is the name of the game.
The home-bird needs a safety pin too! With a neatly-organised ensemble of personal hygiene products, fashion accessories, jewellery, and makeup products, your toilette is complete. You can add zing to your favourite wardrobe. Now all that remains is the perfect pair of heels or flip flops, and you’re ready to turn heads as you go about your day!
Personal grooming – constituents and handy cheat codes
Personal grooming is about presenting oneself in the best light every single day. Ever wonder why some people always look so put-together? It’s because they put out an eye for detail, and notice things before others notice them.
Need a haircut?
Are the nails trimmed and no grime of calluses abutting the fingers?
Yes, it is the little things you need to watch out for. Whatever job you hold, your hands are in use all day. Perhaps you wield instruments, type away at a keyboard, or drive around the city a lot. Your hands are constantly exposed to the vagaries of the elements.
The personal grooming powerhouse is the bath that you take. Both men and women would do well to follow the basic routine of cleansing, toning, and moisturising. The little details and the special focus on sensitive areas will make a difference to your overall appearance.
Lip care – and other sensitive areas
After you’ve been in a hot shower for a while, you will notice that tough membranes have loosened and soaked. This is the best time to loosen dead skin. Try massaging your lips in circles. Some suggest using a soft toothbrush but such scouring is hardly necessary.
Use your fingers instead to massage gently and get rid of layers of dead or dry skin. For a final clean-up, use a washcloth. In general, resist the temptation to bite your lips. Follow up a bath routine with moisturiser and lip balm.
Care for personal items and accessories
Remember, the cold winds, pollution-laden air in the city, and the occasional rain can catch you unawares. They wreak havoc on your hair and skin, not to mention cause a lot of wear and tear on your clothes and accessories.
Damage to your spectacles, the bags and personal items that you carry, are all part of the impression you give as soon as you walk into a room. If any part is frayed or damaged, take care of it soon. A faulty personal item denotes inattention to detail, or worse, indifference to the impression you give out. You certainly don’t want to appear like you don’t care.
Similarly, faults in appearance are equally damaging to your reputation. For women, a detail as tiny as split ends in the hair will make the entire hairdo look tired and worn out. Grooming for women, thus, includes regular haircuts.
What constitutes hair maintenance?
For both men and women, unkempt-looking hair is an instant demerit. What’s worse, the wrong hairstyle can age you faster than wrinkles or poor dressing taste. Split ends can be battled with regular trims and monthly haircuts.
Your hair grows about half an inch in 6 weeks, give or take. While this doesn’t sound like a lot, it is enough to make your hairstyle go out of shape. If you wish to maintain a certain slick appearance, have maintenance cuts every 4-6 weeks, and get a makeover at least once a year. This way you catch up on changes in your features and address them.
For men, ‘this-guy-just-had-a-haircut-finally’ is the worst look that you can sport. Instead of a dramatic upheaval of hair every few months, get regular cuts and maintain consistency of hair products.
A word on grooming kit products – quality and use
The hair and skin products you choose are a medium-term expenditure that you make. You use each can or bottle for 1-3 months before it is due for replacement. You can plan this expense so that it doesn’t break the bank.
Don’t stint on the product choices – go for the most reputed brands which declare their ingredient formula and testing procedures. Always do a patch-test for items that are used on the skin or come in direct contact with the body. Use trustworthy brands.
Another buzzword in product abuse. Do not fall into the trap of believing that more is better. For shampoo, conditioner, hair serum, body wash and scrubs, less is more. You can take a tiny amount and repeat the procedure for a more thorough wash if needed.
Where you can be liberal is when using lotion and lip balm or moisturiser. Still, it is better to use these products more often than to use more product.
A handy cheat code on personal grooming tips – Adopt the top-down approach
- Start with your crowning glory – your hair: You need shampoo, conditioner, oil, serum, and the occasional masque for your hair to remain clean and healthy.
- Find moisturiser for the face and body. As with face wash and body wash, use different moisturisers for face and body. Your facial skin is sensitive and needs a gentler product.
- Special work for the nose – this is a favourite spot for the body’s natural oils, whiteheads and blackheads to congregate. Channel professional grooming services at a salon you trust. You can also try home remedies with caution.
- Professional grooming tips include getting assessed for the skin type, face shape, the shape of the head, the kind of image you’d like to keep up, and getting the recommended fitting services from time to time.
- When you work in client-facing positions or are in the public eye as a result of your position, you need to have personal image consultants working for you. Something as simple as getting measured, tailor-made suits can enhance your silhouette. Shapewear, padded underwear and the choice of the right pair of shoes is the professional grooming that will set you apart.
- Carry stockings, leggings, and comfortable socks. A little snag in your favourite pair can be covered up using colourless nail polish.
- Treat your feet like royalty at all times. Wear footwear that allows them to breathe and offers support. Tight, uncomfortable footwear can damage your foot in just a few hours of wear. It can even give rise to fungal infections, bad-smelling feet, and the dreaded plantar fasciitis.
- After hours on end on your feet, giving your feet some TLC is as important as removing makeup and moisturising. Dab on Aloe Vera gel, a blend of oils (both scented and scent-free), and camphor/tea keep your feet smelling great and help in their rejuvenation.
You will notice that each point touched upon above has different implications for men and women. With the way fashion and trends pan out, the female grooming checklist is far longer than men’s.
A well-appointed grooming kit is the perfect aid when you’re away to a destination wedding or a trekking trip. Imagine, if you had all the nifty little things that help a bride shine on her wedding day!? It’s all possible if you plan ahead as you pack for the wedding. You will notice that friends will come to rely on you to make their travel packing checklist or for tips on how to look fresh and relaxed all the time.
Get the details of female grooming checklist right with this guide:
- There is no use lamenting that body hair is still considered unsightly. If you have lush growth, it must go away. Take care to book monthly or even bi-monthly sessions with your professional grooming hairstylist and salon worker.
- That said, self grooming tips can be your saviours too. Carry waxing strips, a pair of tweezers and hair removal cream to take care of unsightly hair that suddenly looks too stark to miss.
- Leave-in shampoo and dry shampoo in a can are your quick-fixes when you have back-to-back events. Hair grooming that normally takes hours can be handled off the cuff when you’re in a rush.
- Your manicure set goes wherever you go. Absolutely indispensable items are your nail cutter, nail file, nail buffer, and stencils. The stencils make your life easier when you need to get a dramatic design. Peel it off to reveal just-out-of-the salon nails in minutes!
- Balls of cotton: This is a no-brainer. You can do so much ranging from removing makeup to blending in different shades of blush.
- A paddle brush and comb in every one of your handbags. You’ll thank your lucky stars for carrying on when a sudden wind wreaks havoc with your locks.
- No number of hairpins and safety pins would be too many. You might even carry a travel-size bottle of hair serum and de-tangler to keep the hair tame and smooth.
- Depending on your work, it would help to have a pocket-size stain remover bottle. It would take care of spillage when you eat out. Most advanced formulas are safe for use on dry-clean-only cloth as well.
With these tools at arm’s length, grooming for women becomes a breeze.
Grooming tips for specific destinations depend on the climate – too dry? Pack an extra-strength moisturiser. A humid spot with lots of rain, water-proof shoes and hoods will save your hair and protect your feet.
Ever wonder why some people look put-together and neat with almost no special items of adornment, not even a complex hairstyle? Most of the time, it the confidence and air of self-assurance that bears them forward in style.
To get to this point where you look self-possessed and easy in your mind, you first need to iron out many flaws and get comfortable in your skin. This is a process of self-discovery and personality grooming.
Grooming tips for mind and body work out when you employ your discretion and wisdom. Keep in mind that experience and the quality of being self-aware help with physical and mental well-being.
Be smart about the way you procure and arrange each and every item in your grooming kit. When it’s well-organized, you are confident of finding anything you require at a moment’s notice. This will help you acquit yourself well and put your best foot forward in everything that you do each day.