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The Exfoliator: How to stage a grooming intervention

March 21st 2012

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Our resident man on the good, the bad and the downright repellent from the world of male grooming. This week: what to do if your innamorato’s charms are more lethario than lothario

Telling your man he’s let himself go requires a foolproof plan of action; text messages or passing remarks are unlikely to penetrate the veil of delusion. One must stage an intervention when he is "in flagrante delicto": sprawled on the sofa butt-trumpeting along to Sky Sports; studying the contents of his earhole; snacking while on the loo...

The average coupled man is often oblivious to his shortcomings. The poor guy probably hasn’t even noticed his regression into a Neanderthal. And if he has clocked the breeze on the back of his head or the fact that his trousers no longer button up, he’s probably living in the warm, fuzzy comfort of denial.

The trickiest subjects, however, are the men who don’t see the point in changing their appearance (check out Gerard Butler, above, for an example of a hopeless case). Unlike women, men don’t instinctively groom to improve their self-esteem or to get validation from their peers – they do it for an isolated moment in time for the sole purpose of attracting a mate (that would be you). And now that you’ve committed to him, he really can't see the point in making an effort any more.

To avoid accusations of nagging, it’s important to enlist the support of his nearest and dearest to the intervention. If you're still in touch with any of his ex-partners, now is the time to deploy them: the criticism will both hit home - and remind him how lucky he is not to have ended up with her. Failing that, a mutual gay best friend should do the trick. Even if he has a tendency to go overboard with the fake tan and insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that snoods are acceptable headwear, chances are most heterosexual men will take everything a gay man says in relation to appearance as gospel.

With your team fully assembled, it’s important to provide some tools for recovery as soon as you’ve broken the news: a session with a qualified spa therapist, some soap and, of course, a full-length mirror.

If he needs professional help

The Rubio at Gentlemen’s Tonic
£180 for 165mins
Includes haircut and finish, wet shave, express facial, hand treatment and Swedish massage.
Available at Gentlemen’s Tonic, 31a Bruton Place, Mayfair, London W1J 6NN; 020 7297 4343. Available at all GT locations in London; see gentlemenstonic.com for more details

The Palmero £125
Includes haircut and consultation, expert shave, premier scalp and hair treatment with London's master barber, Carmelo Guastella. Bespoke packages for grooms-to-be also available.
Available at Melogy Men’s Grooming Ltd. St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, London, NW1 2AR; 020 7383 0027; melogy.com

Hyalogy O2 Hydraderm Facial £225 for 70 minutes
The ultimate high-tech facial for men with skin specialist Sherron Holder-Culver.
Available at 3 Jubilee Place, Chelsea, London, SW3; 020 7351 3332; sherron@stephen-price.com; spandco.co.uk

Elemis Time For Men Skin IQ Facial £118 for 75mins
An anti-ageing booster for workaholic, jet-lagged men.
Available at Elemis spas around the world; see elemis.com for more details

Spring To Life Day Spa Package £215
Includes 25 min wellness consultation, 25 min back, neck and shoulder massage; 50 min Re-hydrating facial, two-course Champagne lunch in the spa lounge, full use of the thermal floors with amphitheatre, sauna, steam room, swimming and vitality pools.
Available at EspaLIFE at The Corinthia, Whitehall Place London SW1A 2BD; 020 7321 3050

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