The Handbook - How To Guides
31 Days: Style Tips and Tricks
Volume 3

All the tips and tricks needed to shape up for 2011. Each day brings new, expert advice on how to look your best and live life to the fullest, while having a little fun doing it.

Personal Care

The Ideal Morning Routine

We ask a lot of ourselves in the morning. Groggy and grumpy, we're supposed to turn this sleepy, smelly beast into a presentable gentleman for the day. But with the right techniques (and the right products), you can cut your routine down to just under 15 minutes, resulting in more time to sleep in. Here, Matthew Taylor Ruggieri, founder of the new online apothecary The Motley, offers his tips for making the most of your morning routine.

Wash (Don't Strip) Your Face

While I don't suggest using regular oldd bar soap to wash your face, you can't argue with the convenience. Try the clay-enriched Deitanseki Charcoal Bar. Lather it up in the shower and rub your face in gentle circles. Its micro-porous ingredients clean deep, leaving you squeaky clean but not dried out.



Shampoo every other day, focusing on the hairline and behind the ears, where oil accumulates.

Shave with Care

Shaving in the shower not only saves time but it keeps your pores open—crucial for the closest, most effective shave. The steam has enough time to penetrate your face and hair follicles, not to mention it makes rinsing quick and simple.



Don't shave against the grain. For a closer shave, relather and shave again.

Treat Breakouts

Astringents can be a bit harsh, but using them sparingly really helps a lot. We recommend dabbing a bit of Kiehl's Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion on breakouts or recently shaved areas if you're prone to ingrown hairs. It takes about 30 seconds to swipe on and you'll notice drastic results.



Put on your deodorant and let the astringent dry before hitting the moisturizer.

Don't Fear Moisturizer

For some reason, men find this to be the least important part of their routine. Of course, if you have dry skin, the effects of moisturizing are obvious. However, for men with oily skin like myself, a good moisturizer in the morning actually helps decrease oil formulation. I use Urth Skin Care for Men's Face Balm with SPF.



Don't forget to protect your lips. Mountain Ocean's Lip Trip is the best and a stick lasts forever.

Tame Your Mane

I don't use a lot of product in my hair, but I always have Lock Stock and Barrel's Pucka Grooming Crème on hand. It's got a light base that provides a medium hold, a natural shine and a lot of texture. I don't want to look like I puttied up my hair.



Wash your hands, brush your teeth and you're good to go.


Insider Tip

While prepping your skin the evening before isn't exactly part of the routine, I'm all for this once-a-week no-frills facial. Mix Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay with apple cider vinegar to get rid of pimples, blackheads and uneven skin tones. It'll take 20 minutes of your time, but trust me, you (and everyone else) will notice a difference.

- Matthew


Food & Drink
Personal Care
A Month of Tips