Editor's Picks, Grooming

The latest grooming trends are all about tender touch

The latest grooming trends are all about tender touch

As the menswear season swings back into a real-life tactility that practically begs to be touched in person, the biggest grooming trends reflect an equal sense of this stimulation.

When was the last time someone said one felt soft to the touch? What was a physical prod, push, or poke that has been burned into the retinas of one’s visual senses when a touch was reciprocated? What is intriguing about the illusion of this memory, whether it can be answered using the 4W+1H journalism of equation or not, rests in its specificity but the general answer that comes after much pondering would be pleasure. Giving pleasure is receiving pleasure in the touch domain whether it be intentional or accidental like the stroking of one’s neck when kissing or the brushing of bare thighs under the table. In a world increasingly overwhelmed by the digital, the biggest grooming trends of the season reflect what we have been biologically programmed to do—acknowledging the vulnerability of our bodies and their need for nurturing that only comes down with slowing down. The compliments that one feels pleasingly pliant? Just another reason to try one of them. 

Atmospheric Allure

Far from the classic skin scents that often use musky, woody, or “clean-laundry” notes to mimic the smell of tender flesh, these leave an ambiguous (never mind if its ingredients are listed in its name) but inherent radiance on the skin depending on one’s chemistry with them—no two people will experience the same scent and their dry down often lingers close to the skin, practically demanding someone gets up close. 

In The Zone

Do a little dance, make a little love—the louche silhouettes from the season expose three new erogenous zones for one’s tender touch: the back of the knees, the small of one’s back, and the tip of one’s ears. And unlike the usual suspects that need more scrubbing or buffing, the three require a lighter touch of moisture which means no grease, residue, or even the wait before one gets dressed. 

A Fresh Start

No matter what a full-coverage concealer says on its box, website, or from the mouth of its social-media famous user, it is always noticeable on the skin. And if one wants to hit the sweet spot of what a good concealer instead should be — not quite matte or dewy but naturally luminous just like how soft skin genuinely looks — these are it with one more trait. They require no setting powder to stay put. 

Capital Soft

Going by many a moniker like the nineties movie star cut, soft-boy hair with some kind of Gallic cool to it, or as hairstylists would say “the Linda-E style”, the versatility of the nineties soft-crop lends itself to one’s mood of the moment. Swept to one side for seriousness or slicked back for sport but one has to make sure his haircare contains ingredients for scalp care, by way of skincare. The magic words are “pre and probiotics”, “scalp microbiome”, and “gentle” from start to finish off a routine. 

Twin Peaks

Lip balms have now hit the textural lushness of creams and oils (and sometimes, with a similar price point), but the best ones teeter between sensorial indulgence and practicality like these ones. They cost a pretty penny but an explanation for the latter property we mentioned is that they keep one’s twin set plumped and nourished for longer than their drugstore comparisons. 

Flood Type

A light slather of these products packed with nutrients, essences, and all-the-good stuff is refreshing on a hot day but it is also wise to break them out of one’s refrigerator in an emergency. Scientists and journalists call it “skin-flooding” but in the interest of simplicity, a thick layer of each be it layered from lightness to heaviness in terms of texture or simply by itself is the quickest way to soften the skin up when it gets tight and testy. 

Photography Edmund Lee
Styling Izwan Abdullah

Makeup Sharman | Pika Makeup
Hair Juujuugon
Styling Assistants Manfred Lu, Liew Hui Ying
Photography Assistant Zane Chang
Models Rome | The Models Lab, Paul, Milo

Once you are done with this story, click here to catch up with our March 2024 issue.