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7 lessons we learnt from Queer Eye Grooming Expert Jonathan Van Ness

Welcome henny,

Queer Eye is one of the biggest ‘cult’ shows to come from the Netflix camp since Stranger Things and the reboot of the original ‘Queer Eye For The Straight Guy’ has hit everybody right in the feels. From Karamo’s confidence building to Antoni’ avocado love, we all have a bit that we can relate to.

Our favourite though has to be Jonathan Van Ness (JVN), the show’s groomer and style kween. Known for his Emmy nominated ‘Gay Of Thrones’ video series as well as his red carpet hairstyles, JVN was the perfect candidate to complete the Fab 5. His hilariously witty quotes throughout the show have already been made into some of 2018’s best memes (there’s a lot in this article), but it was his incredibly insightful grooming tips throughout the show that really took our fancy.

Fierceness is coming @queereye #mensgrooming #queereye #selfcare

A post shared by Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) on

We’re going to breakdown our 7 favourite grooming tips you can absorb into your own grooming regime without breaking the bank.

 1. ‘Slay To The Gods’

Shaping and chopping your facial hair is something almost every man is facing on a day-to-day basis and with the beard revolution not letting up anytime soon, it’s so important to make sure you know what works for you. A great tip JVN gave in Episode 4, ‘To Gay Or Not Too Gay” was to put your finger on your Adam’s apple to judge the right length for your beard. We’ve been doing it all week and it most certainly works.

Keeping your beard to the shape of your face and jawline will accentuate all the best bits of your face without covering it like a baggy t-shirt. Once you have your line, trimming couldn’t be easier; work your way down to the line to make sure your hair grows in one direction and to avoid cutting into that lovely shape.

2. Spray, Delay and Walk Away’

Perfume, cologne or after-shave; whatever you call it at home, smelling nice is essential to keep up your fully groomed look. A great little tip when applying cologne is to ‘spray’, ‘delay’ and then ‘walk away’. By avoiding directly applying after-shave to your neck and face, you rid any chance of burning or rashes that may provoke the skin to break out. Also, something we’re sure Tan will appreciate is that you avoid leaving a high concentration of aftershave all over your clothes – I know I don’t like a wet mark.

Once described as a ‘yeti’, QE’s second makeovee, Neal Reddy really shone to this, Sashay-ing away like he belonged on RuPaul’s drag race.

Stache power ??? @don.ixon #mensgrooming #beard #shape

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3. Struggs to Func?

In episode 5, we were introduced to Bobby Camp, the hard-working Dad of 3. With such a busy schedule, JVN professed Bobby was ‘Struggs To Func’ – struggling to function. A great tip to keep that blood pressure down and your skin glowing is to use essential oils.

Some of our favourites include Lavender and Tea Tree and there are a bunch of products out there and on Mankind that boast some of these and their naturally active properties.

Tea Tree is probably one of the most important in the list as it’s anti-bacterial and anti-microbial which will not only help any breakouts in your skin, especially before that big date, but it will also give you a radiant glow to keep this winter weather away.

 4. ‘Yas Cory Yas’

If you’ve even watched a snipped of Queer Eye, you will probably have seen JVN at his best screaming ‘yas’ ‘queen’ ‘slay’ or ‘henny’, just some of the words I’ve recently adopted into my everyday vocabulary. During his time with Cory from Episode 3, he introduces a Pomade (Pom-ahde) to help lift Cory’s hair off his face.

When applying any sort of pomade to your coiffure, first thing to do is make sure you really get it in between all your fingers and across both hands to ensure full coverage when applying. Then, you want to start at the back of your head, slowly working around all the sides before you slowly move upwards towards the top of your head. This will help with the shape and direction of your hair and give it a much fuller look.

5. Clay Masks – A Sunday thing

One-way to really get that ‘hold me until the pain goes away’ look is introducing a clay mask into your weekend grooming regime.

The clay mask will help to stimulate your pores and ask all of the bad toxins to come out to the surface, making sure you rid of them before your time to shine. A common mistake many make is to do a clay mask the morning before a big meeting or presentation. This can be seriously detrimental as you could be walking into the room looking like blackhead central.

6. MYOF – Make Your Own Exfoliant

JVN gave us a new perspective on the necessity of exfoliants when he along with Cory and his daughters made a simple exfoliant scrub in their back garden. Mixing together coconut oil and sugar to get a mix of the rough texture and the moisturising nature of the scrub. Adding an essential oil can really help make it smell fantastic and double up on some of the benefits of this skincare practice.

Using an exfoliant even just once a week can have a positive long-term effect on your skin as it rids it of the waste and toxins that are sitting under the surface. Your skin will feel smoother and look a lot brighter too.

We can’t get enough of @jvn ! #jonathanvanness #queereye @queereye @netflix

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7. Get Your Green Stick

Cosmetics for men are something we’ve really been hot on recently with many already preaching the benefits of cosmetics use, including foundation, concealer and green stick. We’re introduced to Green Stick right at the start of the series and even Karamo admitted to having no clue about it, however it can work wonders for you.

Our first makeovee, Tom had lupus, which caused a red undertone to his skin and cause flaring upon his cheeks and nose, especially in the sun. One-way JVN helped reduce the redness on Tom’s face was through green stick. By applying a small amount on his nose and cheeks, the redness died down quickly, making it stand out a lot less and help Tom get back to his colour.

Just remember ‘if you can see it, you’ve gone and put too much on honey’.

Like this content? Check out our piece on Stoer Skincare for Men, and keep up to speed with the Mankind blog.



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Born and raised in the cultural melting pot of Leicester, I’ve grown up, admiring style and grooming trends from across the world. Keep up with me as I’ll be sharing some of the most important rules when it comes to grooming, fashion and winning in life.