The Packing List: Grooming
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The things you need to stay handsome even if you are thousands of miles away from your apartment’s bathroom.

STYLING GLUE

Obviously if you have a close-cropped head or your hair is long enough that it can be left on its own without the need for styling implements, skip this. But I’d venture a guess that I’m like most guys who need a little help in the “let my hair stay in place” category. German brand got2b sells 1.25-ounce tubes of their famous glue and gel, enough for about a week’s worth of travels.

NAIL CLIPPERS

Long nails (and hang nails) are gnarly. They pick up dirt from everywhere—dirt that is a pain in the ass to lather off. Whenever I am going out for a nice dinner by myself or with friends, I never feel “completely scrubbed” unless I trim my nails. I almost always end up looking down on my hands and fidgeting at their state. Fingernails grow faster than toenails, and either never seem to stay short enough to last the entire trip. My personal favorite is a purple clipper with a built-in clippings catcher from Marionnaud that I got from Paris. I like it because of the catcher, mais surtout I like it because it was the very first thing I bought in France, and I bought it by speaking completely in French. (I’ve replaced it thrice since, but it’s the same model.)

Obviously, you may want to consider a complete grooming kit, like the Buxton Manicure/Pedicure Kit ($17.99) above. Again, you may not need to clip your nails more than once or twice in a typical vacation, but the convenience of not seeing black crud wedged in your fingers is worth it.

CONDITIONER

Conditioners are not as commonplace at hotel bathrooms compared to shampoos, which doesn’t really make a lot of sense because conditioning regularly is a lot better than shampooing daily. Since you can reasonably expect that the housekeeping staff will provide you with the latter, bringing a container of the former, like IGK’s 30,000 Feet conditioner ($25.25) makes sense.

TRAVEL-SIZED FRAGRANCE

A small tin or spray bottle of perfume goes a long way when you travel. I always make it a point to smell good even if I’ve been on my feet all day. It’s also a good pick-me-up when travel fatigue is beginning to set in. Juniper Ridge Solid Perfume in Coastal Pine ($17)

RAZOR AND SHAVING CREAM

In the same vein as nail clippers help fix the minor annoyance of long nails and the dirt that gets in them, so does shaving get rid of a weeklong growth. Be warned: The free one- or two-bladed razors that some hotels will be happy to provide you are terrible. They’re flimsy, do not shave evenly, and take more swipes to clean your mug. You’re better off bringing the one you use at home or by picking up disposable razors with four or five blades, such as Schick’s Quattro Titanium ($9.49).

As for shaving cream, your conditioner works just as well. Alternatively, the tubs in most travel bottle sets are for small-quantity items that you won’t use daily, such as the gel you use when you take a razor to your face.

Photo by Patrick Coddou on Unsplash

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