Jonathan Van Ness‘ biggest piece of grooming advice doesn’t involve a pair of tweezers, an electric razor, or a random recipe for a DIY face mask. Shocking? For viewers of Queer Eye on Netflix, probably. Comforting? Very much so.
Instead, the breakout star of the hit reboot wants you to do something you’re probably not used to doing while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth.
“[Grooming] is an ongoing relationship, and it’s really meant to be fun,” Van Ness says.
Having fun with your grooming routine isn’t always simple, especially if you’re in a rush or having a busy, stressful day.
But here’s the thing: Those busy or tense moments are when you need it the most. Van Ness advises that guys change their perception when it comes to grooming, viewing it less as a begrudging obligation and more as an opportunity for self-care.
“Look at it as an evolving, fun sort of game,” Van Ness says. “Be a student, be playful… It’s a ritual where you can really let your feet land and breathe deep.”
For Van Ness, that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard in terms of time. For example, he only takes about five to ten minutes for his personal routine. And there’s one important takeaway from his own process.
“I’m not on the phone, not talking to someone, not posting on Instagram,” Van Ness says of the time he takes to breathe deep and enjoy some relaxation as he preps for the day. “I need more calm moments.”
With the recent premiere of Queer Eye‘s second season, though, those may be few and far between. Just as Van Ness is busy, so are many other guys. How can you perfect a self-care routine for the purpose of grooming while on a tight schedule?
Grooming On the Go
“Don’t get caught with your pants down,” Van Ness warns.
Instead of having to get ready and make it work on the fly, stay ready and arm yourself with the essentials. Van Ness recommends seven types of items and we’ve chosen our favourites so you’re never unprepared.
A day bag
Because let’s face it, not everything is going to fit in your pocket. Choose something compact, discrete, and durable, so that it’s prepared to last through everything, from your workday commute to a trip to the gym.
Sunscreen is key, especially during the warm summer months. Don’t skip out on the SPF. Instead, slip a small sunscreen into your bag and be ready to face the sun – without any burns.
You shouldn’t have to rely on friends or coworkers to spot that stray piece of food between your teeth. Instead, take on the task yourself and utilize the power of floss. You got this.
We could all use a little refreshing every once in a while. Those with oily skin types in particular will appreciate an occasional quick cleanse, especially when considering the dirt and gunk of the day’s debris.
Fun fact: your hands attract plenty of germs. Even more fun fact: you probably touch your face a lot without even knowing it. Hand sanitiser ensures that not only are your hands clean, but that no dirt will be transferred onto your precious face or result in acne.
The one thing worse than a weak handshake? A crusty one. Keep your hands soft with the help of a moisturising hand cream. They’ll improve your handshake exponentially.
The eyes have it. These creams help slow the signs of aging or sleeplessness by cooling, de-puffing, brightening, and calming the sensitive eye area. They’ll instantly help you look a little more awake.
And above all, the important thing is something you can’t quite pack in a bag: fun. That’s what grooming is meant to be.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health