A complete head-to-toe selection of 2018’s best grooming products perfect for the creative. Photographed by: Dominic Phua/Daydream

Blessed with a taste for all things refined, it wasn’t that difficult to boil down the winning products that every creative should have on the grooming shelf. Whether it’s for a moment of indulgence or to fix superficial issues (backed up with science and technology, no less) as a result of their high-stress schedule, these products were found to give the desired results to fit their lifestyle.


Shampoo:  Brew Daily Shampoo, $29, Redken

Daily Shampoo, Redken Brews. Photo: Redken

It takes a village (of products) and lots of technique to get your mane into the perfect coif before you face the day. Over the hours, sweat, pollution, and sebum build up which, on top allows the trapping of microbes, can leave your scalp susceptible to clogged follicles, dandruff and scalp pimples. Not something you’d want to worry about when you’ve got deadlines to meet. Enter Redken Brews’s Daily Shampoo. The gentle formula cleanses your scalp and hair gently thoroughly, washing daily grime down the drain. What we love is that it’s infused with malt extracts (also a key ingredient in beer) that’s packed with essential amino acids and B vitamins to condition your hair while all that cleansing is happening. Hair is left feeling soft and manageable after every wash.

Conditioner: Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Care Conditioner, $40, Percy & Reed at Sephora

Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Care Conditioner, Percy & Reed at Sephora. Photo: Sephora

Don’t be fooled by the packaging – it’s what’s inside here that matters. This concoction leaves the hair feeling nourished thanks to provitamin B5 and grapeseed oil in its formula. Raspberry seed oil leaves a healthy sheen when you leave your hair to air dry, while sunflower seed oil offers some level of sun protection. Sounds like it might weight your hair down with all those oils, but we trust out girlfriends when they say they like how soft our hair feels whenever they run their fingers through.

Hair Styling Product: Hero Pomade in Matte, $44, We Need A Hero 

Hero Pomade in Matte, We Need A Hero. Photo: We Need A Hero

We love the sheen pomades leave, but there are just days where an all-natural look appears more “approachable”. We Need A Hero’s Hero Pomade in Matte is our go-to for that out-of-bed look. We like that it gives the hold and matte finish of a clay, but the pliability of a pomade, so you can change your hairstyle any time in the day. Great for when you have ad hoc meetings and you need to look a little more put together.


Facial Tool: ReFa Carat Ray, $380, ReFa at Sephora 

ReFa Carat Ray, ReFa at Sephora. Photo: Sephora

It’s easy to pass this off as a gimmicky tool, but one late night and an extra handful of peanuts to get a project together can spell disaster to your face. Relieving puffiness and water retention just became easier when we introduced ReFa’s Carat Ray into our “emergency” routine. A quick 5 minute rolling session after a morning shower is all it takes to drain the lymphatic system, encourage healthy blood flow, and induce a healthy flush to the face, so you don’t have to come to work looking like crap even if you feel that way. Time for a cuppa.

Electric Shaver: ES-CV50 Shaver, $499, Panasonic 

ES-CV50 Shaver, Panasonic. Photo: Panasonic

A shaver is a shaver is a shaver? Wrong. Panasonic’s ES-CV50 has a shaving sensor that adjusts its speed automatically according to your beard density so you the experience is just right. No nicks, no cuts, and close shave sans razor burns. What more can you ask for from a shaver?

Cleanser: Hydrating Cleanser, $52, Dr Kevin Chua

Hydrating Cleanser, Dr Kevin Chua Aesthetics. Photo: Dr Kevin Chua Aesthetics

If there’s anything we’ve learnt is that the more you keep yourself hydrated, the more your skin (and body) will behave. So starting your skincare routine off with a hydrating cleanser is imperative to get the ball rolling and one we liked is Dr Kevin Chua’s Hydrating Cleanser. The non-foaming cleanser’s short ingredient list consists of vitamins C&E which neutralise free radicals while hydrolyzed wheat germ and carrot protein hydrate and condition the skin, leaving it soft and supple. What imparts a healthy glow is the mulberry and papaya extract that both work in tandem to gently slough away dead skin and inhibit melanin production.

Glow-Inducing Mask: Reboot Mask, $79, Ceramiracle

Reboot Mask, Ceramiracle. Photo: Ceramiracle

Long nights and high stress levels can jam up bodily functions, including your 28-day skin cycle. Doesn’t help that the older you get, the slower the cycle gets, resulting in dull, wrinkly skin that has seen better days. Ceramiracle’s Reboot Mask helps to slough off stubborn dead skin cells with exfoliating black volcanic sand, while a whole slew of bioferment essences including ginseng, Korean mugwort and grape help to nourish the skin with vitamins and minerals and revitalise tired skin.

Toner: Blue Energy Skin Toner, $42, Laneige 

Blue Energy Skin Toner, Laneige Homme. Photo: Laneige

You’ll be surprised at what just a couple of drops of this can do to your skin. The gel-like toner harnesses the power of deep sea water and spirulina so lacklustre skin is brought back to life with the chock full of goodness like essential minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants that these ingredients are packed with. We also like that it acts as an aftershave, relieving redness and irritation with its soothing properties.

Essence: Blue Energy Essence In Lotion, $45, Laneige 

Blue Energy Essence In Lotion, Laneige Homme. Photo: Laneige

Much like the toner, the Essence In Lotion tap on the hydrating and soothing powers of deep sea water and spirulina to energise lacklustre skin. This, however, leaves a protective barrier to lock in moisture, so your skin is left moisturised and protected from the harsh environment. When the skin is left glowing and youthful, we know this stuff is actually working and we like that.

Serum: Intensive HA+ Hydrating Serum, $198, Porcelain 

Intense Hydrating Serum HA+, Porcelain. Photo: Porcelain

Everyone likes a quick fix, and one we just added to our grooming stash is Porcelain’s Intense Hydrating Serum HA+. The star ingredient here is hyaluronic acid, which draws in moisture from the environment, plumping up fine lines and encouraging healthy, glowing skin. We also realised that breakouts and irritation are greatly reduced the more we use it, thanks to its soothing blend of cucumber and aloe vera extracts and probiotics in its ingredient list. It won’t be long before we convert this quick fix into a regular fixture in our skincare routine.

Line Eraser: BX Wrinkle Corrector, $229 (15ml),  Sothys 

BX Wrinkle Corrector, Sothys. Photo: Sothys

It’ll take more than just a cream to erase deep wrinkles, but the appearance of fine lines can be easily taken care of and slowed down with Sothys’ BX Wrinkle corrector. The Dermo-Relaxing Peptide Complex and Ultra-Moisturizing Complex found in this formula work in tandem plump up fine lines and blur their appearance, while at the same time preventing it from getting worse.

Eye Treatment: ReFa Eye Veil Cream, $88, ReFa  at Sephora

ReFa Eye Veil, ReFa at Sephora. Photo: Sephora

Sick of getting the whole “Late night?” comment from your colleagues? Slip ReFa Eye Veil in your skin care routine to gradually reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark under eye circles that may plague you. The potent combination of anti-ageing adipophilin, nutrient-rich yeast extracts and skin-conditioning stoechiol (a lavender-derived compound) helps to defy the onset of ageing around the eye area, while encouraging a brighter appearance. Just don’t forget to actually slip in at least 8 hours of slumber because at the end of the day, as much as we love this product, creams can only do so much to help.

Moisturiser: Coconut Water Cream, $55, First Aid Beauty at Sephora 

Coconut Water Cream, First Aid Beauty at Sephora. Photo: Sephora

What’s not to love about coconut water? After all, it’s loaded with minerals and electrolytes that revive and recharge the body. But what if it’s infused in an oil-free moisturiser? Looking at how our skin looked more vibrant and feeling soft even after washing this off, it’s safe to say that this works and will be repurchased when the tub is done.

Night Moisturiser: no2ctuelle Detox Resurfacing Overnight Cream, $179, Sothys 

no2ctuelle Detox Resurfacing Overnight Cream, Sothys. Photo: Sothys

On nights you’re home way past your bedtime with an early call time the next day, it’s a good idea to slap this on before you hit the sack if you want to look like you clocked in a full 8 hours of sleep. Stabilized vitamin C gives an an antioxidant boost to neutralise free radicals you’ve accumulated throughout the day, while nasturtium extracts optimises oxygen assimilation in the skin while you sleep. At the same time, shea polyphenols and and yeast extracts work to detoxify the skin, so you know you’ll wake up with skin that looks fresh and well-rested.

Sunscreen: SPF50 UV Protecting Fluid, $180, La Mer 

SPF 50 UV Protecting Fluid, La Mer. Photo: La Mer

Even if you’re exposed to the sun in short bouts running from meeting to meeting, it is imperative to slip sunscreen into your skincare routine because sun damage is a big cause for health concerns. While you’re at it, why not pick La Mer’s SPF 50 UV Protecting Fluid that is infused with the brand’s signature Miracle Broth to repair, renew, and regenerate old and fatigued skin cells? Lightweight and luxurious, your skin will not only be well-protected from the damaging sun rays, but will also grow to become healthier and more resilient over time with continued use.


Body Scrub: Fuji Green Tea™ Body Scrub, $32.90, The Body Shop 

Fuji Green Tea™ Body Scrub, The Body Shop. Photo: The Body Shop

A long day at work calls for a long moment in the bath. With the taps off, of course. Take a moment and indulge in a well-deserved body scrub like The Body Shop’s Fuji Green Tea™ Body Scrub that rids your skin of scaliness from dead skin buildup. The refreshing scent of green tea is also enough to invigorate the senses, making you set and ready for another day at work the next day. 

Body Wash: Botanist Body Wash, $40, Bjork & Berries at Escentials 

Botanist Body Wash, Bjork & Berries at Escentials. Photo: Escentials

We love the feel-good factor natural products leave, but not all of them show good results. This, however, not only smells like a walk through a garden of crisp fresh greens (thanks to the the blackcurrant leaf, birch leaf, and tea extracts), the linseed oil in this formula also leaves the skin feeling conditioned without leaving any tacky residue, making it great for this humid climate.

Daytime Scent: Dior Sauvage, $152 (100ml), Dior Homme 

Sauvage Eau de Toilette, Dior. Photo: Dior

You’d want to leave a good impression wherever you go, whether it’s to your colleagues in the office or to your clients during meetings. Which is why a good day scent is important, and one that received compliments was Dior’s Sauvage Eau de Toilette. Light and crisp, the fragrance opens with a sparkling burst of citrus, before drying down to an unforgettable spicy-woody mist with notes of black and Sichuan peppers, vetiver, and cedarwood.

Evening Scent: Colonia Intensa Eau de Cologne, $140, Acqua Di Parma at Escentials 

Colonia Intensa Eau de Cologne, Acqua Di Parma at Escentials. Photo: Escentials

Special client events and date nights (yes, hard-working creatives are human too) call for special scents. One that was right up our alley is Acqua Di Parma’s Eau de Cologne that opened with a balsamic citrus note from the Sicilian lemon and Calabrian bergamot in its fragrance list. Aromatics like cardamom, leather and ginger in its drydown makes a refined and masculine appearance not too long after, making it an elegant evening fragrance for a gentleman with good taste.


Produced by: Syed Zulfadhli

Photography: Dominic Phua/Daydream

Styling: Chloe Cheng/Daydream

Assisted by: Alfred Phang/Daydream 

written by.

Syed Zulfadhli

Syed Zulfadhli knows a thing or two... thousand about skincare and grooming.
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