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Even though we live in a world of swipe rights and multiple scrolls, the old-fashioned one-on-one doesn’t change. And that means bringing your A-game to your first date (and every date thereafter). Unclipped nails or un-groomed hair might just tilt the romance in the wrong direction. Which is why we have put together a quick men’s grooming checklist that you could use before the much-awaited date night.

Men's grooming essentials

Keep a check on your facial fuzz

Date-night or not, ensure that your beard doesn’t channel the unkempt vibe. Whether it’s a beard or a stubble you are sporting, tidy up a bit and follow the basic stylist-recommended beard hygiene. Wash your beard with a face wash or a mild shampoo to give it a clean look. While the face is still damp, apply a non-sticky, light beard oil to give the hair a natural-looking soft sheen.

Men's grooming essentials

Opt for the close shave

Shave before you head out as that instantly takes the fatigue off your face. If your schedule allows a 45-minute detour, book yourself the classic royal shave ritual at Truefitt & Hill. It begins with a scrub after the skin is prepped with hot towelling. Remember to calm skin with an energizing after-shave balm. Our pick is the Truefitt & Hill Trafalgar After Shave with accents of cedar, sandalwood, and jasmine on a moisturising base of lanolin and aloe.

Banish the shine but not the glow

Sheet masks are non-messy and super convenient when you want a glow on the go. Repechage Fusion Chocofina Moisturizing Face Mask, gives immediate brightening and calming results and it takes just 20 minutes. Its neutral, somewhat earthy fragrance is perfect for the guy who doesn’t want to smell of cream and roses. Innisfree Its Real Squeeze Aloe Vera Sheet Mask is also a pick-me-up for skin types from dry to oily. If you don’t mind a bit of a mess but are keen to nip the oily T-zone, try Dead Sea and Bamboo Charcoal powder face mask by Love Organically. To quickly cleanse and refresh oily skin, consider a balancing toner. Our pick is the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energising Tonic.

Men's grooming essentials

Never neglect nail grooming

The most underrated in the men’s grooming checklist is a manicure. “Manicured nails are non-negotiable. Expressive hand gestures to guide you through your conversations won’t look good if your nails look dirty,” states Samir Srivastava, CEO, JCB Spa & Salon. Even if you don’t opt for a full-blown manicure, make sure you trim your nails. Follow up with hancream – we recommend any L’Occitane hand cream.

Men's grooming essentials

Choose the right fragrance

Applying a fragrance is the finishing touch, but a scent figures pretty high on the list of factors deciding attractiveness. Find one that balances subtle and overpowering scents. Refreshing clean colognes, and aquatic and woody-amber fragrances work well for first dates, when you wish to impress and not overwhelm. Our top picks would be Acqua di Gio Armani or Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille.

Men's grooming essentials

Finally, mouth fresheners

Take care of your dental hygiene and definitely floss or use a mouthwash before you head out. For when you need to head to the date right after work, keep mints handy. “And don’t forget to bring a great attitude,” reminds Srivastava. “Though times have changed, everyone still appreciates good, gentlemanly manners.”

All images: Courtesy 123RF & Tom Ford

Aparrna Gupta

Gupta is a beauty enthusiast, always ready to unravel the journey behind the bottle. Drawing from her decade-long experience as a beauty editor at The Times of India and Verve magazine, this literature post graduate from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University, continues her tryst with beauty as she consults with brands on content and product development. Her blog immerses her readers into the luxurious universe of fragrances, wellness and skincare. Her articles have been featured in Vogue India, Harper’s Bazaar India, Femina and L’Officiel India.