What’s the French for “can I lick your face?”
Since his last post, JC has been a busy boy. He’s moved to the South of France, chopped his beard, and started a new skincare regime. The results have been staggering.
Here he shares his top tips on refreshing your own look, with minimum effort and maximum impact. Plus he reveals how you too can have glamorous French women begging to lick your face. All with just a few simple organic skincare products, and a bottle of Bio-Oil. Over to you, JC…
Do you ever feel that you’ve been sporting the same look forever?
That you’ve got yourself stuck in a style rut?
Are your friends and family members dropping ever-less-subtle hints about ace hairdressers and miracle grooming products?
Brother, I’ve been there.
You see for many years I’ve had a big beard and long hair. For a Viking like myself, it’s been a superb “go to” option.
It’s served me well on muddy cross country courses, as I rallied my troops in the rain before big races.
Van drivers have yelled “KING IN THE NORTH!” at me when I’ve been out running.
Drunk young fellows with underwhelming stubble have begged me for advice on growing more manly beards.
And in bars and at parties tipsy women have yanked my man bun and beard, and stroked the stubble of my undercut while making strange purring noises.
In short, my old look was fine. While it lasted.
But recently it began to feel a little stale.
The compliments and cheeky comments started tailing off, for a number of reasons.
Big beards are far more common than they were. Many men wear their hair long, so it’s no longer a novelty or talking-point.
And, truth be told, I’d gotten lazy with my appearance.
I wouldn’t bother with my hair beyond washing it weekly and tying it up while still wet. It was lank and tired, and my natural curls had flattened out miserably. To my sartorial shame, I’d even let the undercut grow out scruffily.
My beard game was no stronger either.
I’d rarely comb or brush it, and had long since stopped using oil or wax as I knew I should. It was becoming less Tom Hardy in Hoxton, and more Tom Hanks in “Cast Away”.
Things came to a sudden head recently, when I upped sticks and moved to the South of France. If you enjoy being outdoors amongst the elements, it’s paradise. Year round sunshine, bright blue skies, and deep dark forests to run through.
But I’ve learned quickly that big beards and long hair do not play well with the natives. In fact, quite the opposite.
To the extent that my closest French friends here – male and female – organised a style intervention.
An actual style intervention.
Leading the vanguard were my Pyrenean pals JiJi and Michel. JiJi is an impossibly chic French female athlete, who could easily switch careers to become a fashion and wellbeing consultant. Michel is a super suave French osteopath, with salt-and-pepper hair and charm enough to spare. Together they make quite the team, as I’m sure you can imagine.
One afternoon after a run they sat me down with a black coffee and – ominously – a large Scotch.
“Your beard,” they said simply, “must go. Today.”
They’d even arranged somebody to do it for me. And so my new look began.
Off came the trademark long beard. With the chopped down version came a much needed eyebrow trim.
There followed a rather nerve wracking first visit to a local hairdresser, which tested my fledgling French language skills. I left minus any split ends, and with the undercut restored to its full sharp glory.
Within 24 hours of my chat with JiJi and Michel I looked at least ten years younger. I also felt much more confident. There was a swagger to my stride I hadn’t had in years.
This is when things really changed for me.
Suddenly I realised how little attention I’d been paying to my face, which had been part-hidden for years by the bushy beard. As an athlete my face is battered on a daily basis by sunshine, wind, snow – you name it. But I’d never given it any real attention.
Sure, I cleaned my beard with a beard wash.
But I didn’t use facial cleansers or moisturise regularly.
Nor, for that matter, had I bought a razor or shaving cream since I-don’t-know-when.
And although I’d always been conscious of some acne scars from my teenage years, I’d never got round to do anything about them.
It was time to buck up my ideas.
I did my research, and started applying Bio-Oil to my face twice daily. Bio-Oil has been used for decades to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. At only £20 it’s a steal. Within just a few weeks my ancient acne marks have started to fade slowly but surely.
Next up, I invested in a simple set of OWAY grooming products. Namely a Face and Beard Hydrating Cleanser, Softening Shave Cream, and Repairing Aftershave Balm. With them I’ve put together a practical daily skincare routine, that only takes me a few minutes.
Now, like you’d expect from a leading organic brand like OWAY this stuff is good.
And I do mean good.
As you may know, OWAY is a high-end Italian outfit that only uses the best organic and sustainable ingredients. Many are grown on their bio-farm in Bologna. Their products aren’t cheap, but they work like a dream and smell incredible. My beard was softer after just one application, and my skin looked noticeably younger and tighter.
But even after trying the products in my bathroom, I was completely unprepared for the reaction it got out in the world.
I stood in my office while two Catalan ladies I know sniffed my neck for a most enjoyable minute or two. “This is why we call you Jesus,” one of them said cryptically with a smile. (I still don’t know exactly what she meant, but I’m taking it as a compliment.)
Later that morning, one glamorous French woman looked me straight in the eye and asked if she could lick my face.
I could go on, but I’m sure you’re getting the picture.
To recap then…
It’s easy to let your personal grooming slip as you get older, especially under lockdown. But getting out of a rut is a lot easier and quicker than you may think.
Start by seeking the advice of male and female friends you know and trust. Ask them for frank and honest opinions on your hair and any facial hair. And listen to what they say, soldier – even if it stings to hear.
Then invest in the best fundamental skincare products you can afford. We stock OWAY on this site, and I swear by them. Yes, the price might seem high at first. But the rewards will be more than worth it, believe me.
With just a few minutes each morning and evening, you can transform your life. Your skin will look and feel younger and firmer. Best of all your confidence will get a huge boost from the compliments you’ll get from those around you.
And the verdict of my French friends on my progress so far?
“Much better JC. Beard better, eyebrows better, undercut better. You look younger and stronger. But your hair! Work to do still.”
And that work is exactly what we’ll cover in my next post. With the help of my great friend Georgie, an expert on all things hair-related.
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