High standards of personal grooming have always been a feature of successful male models. In recent years, men have taken more of an interest in aspects of personal grooming, with sales of men's grooming products reaching $19.7 billion worldwide in 2009, according to ReportLinker. It is especially important for male models to understand how grooming products work and how to apply them.
A clean-shaven face is a requirement for male models (unless they are booked for a photographic shoot that requires facial hair). One way to get a close shave is not to shave first thing after waking up in the morning. You should wait to allow any facial puffiness that may have built up while sleeping to subside. You will be able to see when the skin is tight and elastic by inspecting your look in a mirror under bright--but not harsh--lighting.
Always cleanse your skin with an exfoliating product to remove any dead cells. To prepare your face for shaving, rinse thoroughly with warm water, then use a shaving cream or gel containing vitamin A or Aloe Vera. Vitamin A and Aloe Vera will keep your skin moist and soft, according to Modeling Agencies Revealed. Always use a new blade for shaving, as used blades can pull at the hair and cause cuts as the uneven surface drags over the skin. Always shave in the direction that the hair grows on your face (which is known as shaving with the grain). Shaving against the grain can cause reddish skin irritation known as razor burn. Following your shave, apply a moisturizing aftershave balm that doesn't contain oil or alcohol. Oil will clog the pores of the skin, and alcohol will dry the skin.
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Neat, clean fingernails are essential. Never use nail clippers because they can split the nail beyond the point where the clippers bite, which will cause your nails to look ragged. Nails should always be kept trim and shaped with regular filing. On the Linda Rose website, hand model Leland Schwantes is quoted as saying that he prefers to use a metal nail file rather than an emery board, because filing is done closer to the skin. Metal files will not chafe the skin of the finger tips in the way that an emery board will.
Remove chest and back hair so that your muscle tone and tanned skin are displayed to their best advantage. Waxing is a good solution for removing chest and back hair because it leaves your skin smooth and only has to be repeated every two or three weeks, depending on the rate of hair re-growth. If you shave your body hair, do not shave right down to the skin, as this could leave unsightly razor burn. Instead, Campus Men, an advice website for men, recommends you leave about one sixteenth of an inch of hair, which won't be visible in photographs.
Peter Lancett has been writing professionally for 10 years. He has five novels and a series of award-winning illustrated books currently distributed internationally. Lancett writes for film and television alongside his work for Demand Studios. He has traveled extensively and has lived in England and New Zealand.