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Parnell Man

The Parnell Darling, September 2004

Metrosexual, retrosexual, letcherosexual may just be labels. But they are indicative of the fact that men are taking more of an interest in their appearance and grooming.

Television programmes such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and What Not to Wear have made men more aware that first impressions do count.

Looking good, says Parnell image consultant, Susan Axford is more than choosing a well fitting suit and great shirt and tie.
"The garment is just the start. Appearance is head to toe and good grooming is the finishing touch. Think of it as a fashion accessory."

Skin care companies report that men are becoming increasingly keen to look after their skin.

Not so long ago most men would swipe their girlfriend's/wife's moisturiser. Up to five years ago, seventy-five percent of male skincare was bought by women for men, but now men are taking responsibility themselves.

You will get better results if you use a product designed for men. Not all men are created equal; some have oily skin, others are sensitive, so ask a consultant, who will recommend the best product for your skin type. A simple regime is a great start - cleanse, tone and moisturise. Sun block is important.
Did you know that the average man trims 25 feet of whiskers during his lifetime, says Susan.

"To get a more comfortable shave, wait at least 30 minutes after getting up in the morning before shaving. That allows facial muscles to tighten and gives whiskers a chance to stand away from the skin."

Wet shaving is kinder to the skin, though on a regular basis it may be irritating to men with dry or sensitive skin. Consider alternating between electric and wet shaving.

The texture of beard hair is like copper wire; soften with hot facecloth before shaving.

Remember grooming is an essential ingredient of a smart image.

"Thank you for a great consultation. I really, really enjoyed the whole experience, and have raved about it ever since. I am ready to get out there with notes in my bag for guidance. Thanks again for one of the best value appointments I've ever had."

-   Suzanne, Torbay

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