To achieve an elegant look, one has to value personal grooming.
verb (used with object) to tend carefully as to person and dress; make neat or tidy.
Self Grooming is not vanity.
In fact, proper grooming takes the ‘spotlight’ away from yourself. People can pay attention to you, and what you’re saying and REALLY get to know you as a person.
They are not going to think, ‘Gosh, her hair looks untidy.’ Or try to politely look away when he/she notices your dirty fingernails.
Personal grooming is about presenting yourself in the best possible way.
It tells people what you think of yourself. Read about what is your image saying about you.
Someone once said, “The cornerstone of elegance must be represented by a bar of soap.”
Maybe from her time, a bar of soap was all she had. Today we have help from many places, friends, beauty counters, magazines. It is simply impossible to not know at least a little about grooming.
The lack of personal grooming is easily identified and will ruin your elegant appearance.
Here are some examples :
The Mirror Test
Do a mirror self-examination test! Take some time to look yourself in the mirror.
The breakdown MUST-DOs of Personal Grooming:
A person with good personal grooming always seem to have clear, even complexion.
If you do not have good skin, establish a skin care regime that works for you.
Other basic good skin care tips are to wear sunscreen, exercise regularly, sleep well and drink lots of water.
Naturally, there are periods of our lives where we don’t have perfect complexions. Some of us are fighting zits. A good concealer helps mask those imperfections as a spotty face is distracting.
This is a concealer
which you dab on your spot and then blend it into your skin. You may puff some powder on your face or continue with foundation make up (if you want more coverage.)
Of course, do not rely just on concealer for a smooth complexion. See a dermatologist if you run out of solutions.
Hair around the lips must be removed at all times. And inbetween the eyebrows – if you’re monobrowed.
I wouldn’t recommend shaving as it is believed that it will grow back thicker and darker. I’ve used an Light-Based IPL Hair remover after waxing (or shaving, in desperate times), to minimise the hair growth and permanently removed. I haven’t had professional treatment, but it seems to slow down its growth that I can ignore that part (and my underarms) for at least a year.
Eye brows should be shaped about once in six weeks and maintained every week.
There is a lot of information online about shaping your eyebrows. If it is your first time, please see an eyebrow specialist or a beautician. After that, you can maintain it by tweezing new stray hairs every morning or using an eyebrow stencil. I do this, though I still get my eyebrows professionally shaped every now and then.
Aim for a fresh, healthy appearance whether you use little or a lot of make up.
You have to apply grooming principles as well to ensure that your make up is done properly and neatly.
This means that your make up should be done elegantly, free of smudges.
Wear heavier make up in the evening, such as bolder eyeliner strokes.
A Make-up Newbie?
Learn how via Make Up Video Tutorials.
“But I don’t wear make up?”
Personal Grooming for hair means that hair should be clean, neat, tidy and elegantly styled.
You should wash your hair every other day. Good hair etiquette also means never scratching your head, combing your hair or attempting to tie your hair in public.
Find a hairstyle that suits the shape of your face. Also consider your lifestyle, when choosing a hairstyle. If you have a fairly busy schedule, opt for a low maintenance hairstyle.
A medium long to should hairstyle is the most versatile. You can wear it up or down, straighten it or curl it, tie up in a casual pony tail or leave it as it is. This is for those who enjoy doing their hair.
Check out some Sophisticated Hairstyle videos.
This page Sophisticated Hairstyle Gallery might give you more ideas.
If you wear a different color to your natural hair, be sure to get your roots down regularly.
Exercise and Posture
Personal grooming applied to the body means you take care of it. You’ll feed it good nutritious food, and you’ll rest it well.
Exercise affects your core muscles and that is what gives you good posture. That reason is good enough to engage in exercise! I know when I’m not getting enough exercise when I start to slouch. My stomach muscles become weak.
When you exercise, you build your self-esteem and confidence because you feel good about yourself. You feel better when you find the clothes you want to wear, not clothes you are trying to fit into.
I have some girls writing to me about how their mothers never taught them grooming and are bad examples themselves. Fret not, I’ve always believed that your desires will teach you want you want to know.
In general, hair from your legs, underarms, bikini lines should be removed at all times and your upper thighs and arms too if your natural body hair is long and dark. As mentioned earlier, consider investing into a Light-Based IPL Hair remover for convenience of grooming.
For your face, upper lip should be removed and eyebrows should be shaped (Face Section).
Personal grooming for nails means they should always be clean and shaped.
Ideally, your nails should be polished or buffed, or coated with a clear protective coat. Whether nails should be long or short depends on your lifestyle.
Dirty fingernails are a rude shock, not to mention it causes harm to your health. In my opinion, the most elegant look is the French manicure. It is a polished look. They make your nails look clean, neat and healthy.
Don’t forget your toenails. Learn how to do a french manicure.
Lastly, personal grooming also implies dressing well, elegantly and appropriately. Read more about this on Dressing Elegantly.
Beware of Fashion Faux Pas.
Favorite Grooming/Beauty Products
Here are a few of my favorite beauty and grooming products.
Lifelong (pink) Hairbrush
The pink one is mine on the right, which was bought on a trip to Japan. I should have bought it online in the USA, because it is cheaper. I have no regrets though, as I generally hang on to my brushes for a very long time. It is really something else. The Mason Pearson Hair Brush has a long history and heritage, though I’m sure there are many similar ones that are cheaper out there.
DIY Hair Removal System
My home use IPL semi-permanent hair removal system! Mine is an older model, and this is the latest: Light-Based IPL Hair Removal System For Home Use
Lighted Make Up Mirror
This Conair Oval Double-Sided Lighted Mirror
is awesome. It is great for putting on make up especially with the magnified mirror. I use it when I’m giving my pores a cleanse or when I’m putting mascara on my lower lashes.
Nano Ionic NanoCare Facial Steamer
is so inexpensive now. I bought one about 6 years ago (and it still works – not all the functions though) and it cost me $600. At that time, nano technology was relatively new and I enjoy steaming my face at home because it is relaxing.
At the end of the day, grooming is highly individualistic. These are just some suggestions. To achieve an elegant look, your personal grooming has to be immaculate. There’s no way around it.
These are some basic principles of how to groom yourself to achieve an elegant look. Howver, to complete the look also depends on how you dress and how you carry yourself. Remember, presenting yourself to the world with a clean, neat and pleasant look is an act of kindness.