Tan France’s Lazy Man’s Guide To Skincare

27 May 2020
Tan France, Skincare, Skin Routine, Style columnist, Grooming secret, Self-care, Lockdown
Our style columnist on how to groom smart, not hard

At work, I spend an awful lot of time in front of hyper-modern, super- advanced, 4K  cameras. Those capture about six times more than the VHS of the ’90s. I don’t wear a face full of makeup – despite working in the entertainment industry, where most men and women do. It feels like a mask, I hate it. But, you know, with those gigantic screens we have in our homes come more pixels – and more detail captured, pore-by-pore, in every frame. It’s enough to make you think twice about your grooming. And hey, maybe you have experienced a similar thing when a friend with a brand new smartphone rocks up, insisting on taking a zillion photos of you on its one billion megapixel sensor.

Regardless of the fact that I can’t stand makeup, I still have to play the game, and be camera-ready just about every second of the day, from the moment I leave the house. So you’d better believe I’ve got that routine on lockdown.

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While on camera, rather than burying my face under a mountain of product, I focus on my areas of concern, and then leave everything else alone. For me – and many men – the issue is under my eyes, slightly towards the nose. I put the slightest patch of concealer, just in the crook of my eye, and blend it in with my finger or brush. Literally, that’s it. Sometimes, I will use a dry wand or comb to brush my eyebrows up.

Yes, I do like to brag that I am the cheapest talent on any set I am on: I don’t do makeup, and I always, always, always do my own hair. And you’d better believe that’s a point of pride.

Whether or not you’re on camera regularly, there’s no reason to fret about your skin if you’ve done the work to prepare your face beforehand. If you don’t want to worry – and don’t want to wear makeup – then do the work!

The work doesn’t need to be exhaustive, just smart. There are things you can do to take care of your skin, and they don’t need to be clinical and complex. Every day, I wash my face, put on serum and moisturiser. Once a week I make my patented face mask (I’ve shared the recipe and GQ will divulge it pretty soon, but without spoiling it, one conversation 15 years ago changed my grooming routine, forever). And that’s about it. I don’t have wrinkles. I stay out of the sun. I drink a lot of water – that’s the main thing that’s going to clear your skin. Hunt around and experiment with a few brands, until you find the sweet spot for your complexion. I’ve settled into a fabulous routine with Tata Harper, and couldn’t be happier.

Don’t get me wrong – every now and then I do get a blemish. I will cover that one spot with concealer. Everyone should have a stick in their toiletry bag. Even the top supermodels of the world are going to get blemishes. Just use a tiny bit of concealer. Nobody will ever know.

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Really, skincare is self-care. It’s how to look fresh. It’s how to look healthy. It’s how to avoid those wrinkles. And yes, yes! We embrace age. I know we’re lucky to have aged. But it doesn’t mean you can’t look your very best.

When it comes to self-care, I’m actually rather lazy. People assume that, with what I do for work, I must spend lots of time taking care of myself. I don’t. Lazy people, we are revolutionary. We will find a way to make sure we can continue to be as lazy as we are. Those simple steps above are my way of hacking looking great. And considering I’m 36 years old with blessedly few wrinkles, something
is working.

I spend a lot of time on the pages of this magazine, on television, on Instagram, on YouTube – on any platform that I can find – talking about the power of a fantastic outfit. That power is real: they can express who we are, they can elevate how we feel, they can transform how we are perceived by the world around us.

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But none of that counts if we don’t take care of our grooming. A crisp blazer can’t distract from lifeless skin. A statement sneaker might be the second thing people see after our tired eyes, or overgrown hair. Grooming is the glue that holds our looks together. If you want only a single takeaway, make it this: your skin is one of the biggest style upgrades you can make. Don’t neglect it.