Nick Wooster is the man of the moment. In fact he’s been the man of the moment for many years within the fashion industry elite. Perfectly groomed, poised, every garment is selected to perfection even when it includes a slouchy t-shirt with his fully tattooed arms on display, biker boots and that signature moustache. Forever on the target list for the street style stalker to capture a photo. Did I mention he was 56 years young?
How does he do it? It’s all in the grooming. You see gentlemen can spend a small fortune on their wardrobes, however, personal grooming is visible to the naked eye, as too are perfectly manicured nails during that first hand shake.
The male grooming industry is rapidly growing and the days of a splash of aftershave is no more. You only have to stroll into Liberty of London to be presented with an array of scents, organic face masks and cleansers to feel that you should (actually must) have at least three products to use for your morning and night skincare regime. Tom Ford even introduced the OUD scent collection for our friends from the Middle East to be able to shop exotic scents of cardamom and rose on their next trip to London.
“It’s high maintenance!” I hear you say? Not at all. London is abound with spas, barbers and walk-in salons to suit even the most bovine of men.
So, without further ado, here is the go-to list for London’s best grooming sanctuaries…
Gentleman’s Tonic The Mayfair branch of this international grooming brand is a cut above in my opinion. The perfect antidote for R&R away from the city. Choose from a selection of ‘lifestyle’ treatments or packages. A bespoke foot treatment, followed by eyelash tinting or a chest wax? For those who like to take charge fear not – ‘The Montgomery’ will suffice. A combination of Detox facial, back tone and tonic and express hand treatment. Should your diary not permit, don’t stress – Gentlemen’s Tonic can pay a visit to you with their home service. Understated yet rich in treatments.
Pankhurst London They got me at “Hello” or was it the sweet scent of lime and bay rum exuding from their products? You don’t have to be a man to fall into this luxurious haven of oh so masculine grooming to realize some things are just too good to pass-by. Hand-upholstered leather barber chairs by the artisans at Bentley motors sets the tone for their flawlessly smooth wet shave and hot towel face massage. Pankhurst’s Johnnie Walker Whiskey lounge is where to indulge in a tipple and talk business or share stories pre or post haircut. A Barber come Men’s club for those that believe style should be served before, during and after any consultation. www.pankhurstlondon.com
Neville If the Creative’s amongst you didn’t know of another reason to frequent Shoreditch, now you do. Neville is the epitome of a Barber of yesteryear with a dose of swank. In the thick of their meticulous beard, moustache and hair treatments are their close shaves and grooming packages, which include a shoe- shine for the modern man who appreciates what it takes to be dapper. If it’s tradition you want with swathes of pride and precision, Neville delivers. www.neville.co.uk
Murdock An establishment in its own right with six shops across London, I happened to visit Murdock in Sloane Street as it’s nestled within Hackett –a bonus! Indulgent and more of a lifestyle brand by offering colognes, candles and even umbrellas to tempt you after you’ve enjoyed the very relaxing manicure. Their express facial is ideal to revive and refresh if you have 30mins to spare.. Alternatively, try their Murdock London Luxury Full service, just don’t forget to book the afternoon off. www.murdocklondon.com
The Refinery From the moment you walk through the Brook Street entrance of the Refinery, you know you’re in for a grandiose session. If it’s an emporium of pampering you are after, The Refinery’s combination of gentleman’s club and Spa answers on every level.
The ritualistic microdermabrasion facial treatment, oozes the finer skin replenishing techniques every man should experience. www.the-refinery.com
We spoke with founder of Luxury Male Gift brand Otis Batterbee about his grooming etiquette.
Who is the Otis Batterbee man?
The Otis Batterbee man started off being just me – I launched the brand because I couldn’t find a wash bag that I liked. The Otis Batterbee man has evolved now and includes stylish gent’s such as Bryan Ferry and Robert Downey Junior.
Essential travel items for a long weekend away?
I used to try and take the kitchen sink away but you learn. I always travel light – often only one holdall with plenty of white shirts, a pair of white pumps, travel wallet, an eye mask and if it’s extremely far away I have been known to take some English Breakfast tea – just in case!
What is your morning grooming regime? Do you practice a skin regime?
I have quite sensitive skin so it’s Nivea classic style then a smear of Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate around the eyes. I go to Aveda Men’s Destination for a cut a throat shave – Stelios is amazing.
The one grooming product you can’t go without?
When travelling it has to be Tom Ford Skin Revitalizing Concentrate – it really works….
Your favourite grooming escape?
The Refinery at Harrods is the best – its housed in an Art Deco room and I get to check on our products which are sold next door!
What is your signature scent?
I keep going back to this number as it’s just so timeless and upbeat: Platinum Egoiste by Chanel
Your tip for the perfect grooming etiquette?
Always groom a couple of days in advance of an important event – if I am in grey London and heading of somewhere hot, is a hair-cut and close shave two days before departure.
For more information about Otis Batterbee, including a directory of stockists, visit www.otisbatterbee.com.