10 Grooming Mistakes Men Make and Women Notice (and how to Fix Them!)

10 Grooming Mistakes Men Make and Women Notice (and how to Fix Them!)

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grooming mistakes men make

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Mar 1 2024 | 8 min read

We’re big on debunking myths here at Style Girlfriend about what women notice, and what they definitely don’t on guys. For instance? Your watch. So long as the strap’s not velcro, it’s honestly not that interesting to us. What we do notice? Grooming gaffes! And there are plenty we see guys making, from jagged fingernails to stinky breath.

Fortunately, nailing your look is a lot easier (and cheaper!) with good grooming than fancy accessories.

Watch the video and check out the most common grooming mistakes – and their easy fixes! – below

Grooming Mistake #1: Using the same lotion during the day and at night

grooming routines
image via Homepolish

Women notice a preternaturally wrinkly and sun spot-strewn face. Your aim as you age should be refined Clooney, not leather-faced Marlboro Man! That’s why you need two face lotions: one for the day with SPF, and one for night that helps repair your skin while you sleep.

During the day, your skin gets subjected to UV rays, pollution, and all kinds of environmental stresses, so creams designed for use during the day are primarily focused on protection and support. Daytime moisturizers with SPF will protect you from UV rays when you’re walking around outside. They also tend to be more lightweight, so you don’t feel greasy or look shiny.

Like the rest of your body, your skin uses sleep time to repair and restore, so night cream is focused on moisture and recovery. The result is that night face creams are often rich, thicker, or heavier than day cream. These moisturizers are richer and don’t contain SPF. Many include ingredients like retinoids and glycolic acid—these are usually exclusive to night formulas since they can make your skin sensitive to the sun, so you wouldn’t want to be walking around wearing them.

Of course, if the thought of owning  – and wearing! – two different face lotions is just too much to handle, go with one daytime moisturizer that has SPF! And yes, wear it to bed, too.

Grooming Mistake #2: amateur manscaping

A woman’s not going to complain about manscaping—trimming the hair on your body—she just wants it done well!

Maybe you’re a cyclist who wants to be as aerodynamic as possible, or maybe you just want to show off a smoother chest on the beach. If you’re looking to get everything under control, follow these steps.

  1. Avoid skin irritations like razor burn, itching, or stubble by first trimming with scissors that you’ve cleaned with rubbing alcohol, then move onto trimmers, setting the guard length to your desired length.
  2. 2) If you ARE going to shave it all off – wherever it may be -be sure to use a clear shaving gel so you can see what you’re working with, literally.
  3. Afterwards, use an aftershave balm that’s alcohol- and fragrance-free to reduce the chance of irritation.  

Grooming Mistake #3: bad breath

Okay, first things first. Baseline is brushing twice a day and flossing daily (okay, fine, every couple days?!), since food particles that get stuck in your mouth wind up promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue, which is what causes bad breath. You’ll also want to replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months, or after you get sick. And don’t forget to brush the tongue, too!

Also, drink lots of water which which helps you make more spit (gross, I know!) to wash away those pieces of food and bacteria that get gunked up in your teeth.

Bad breath still a problem? You may need to be one of those people who brushes their teeth in the office or dorm bathroom after lunch. That’s okay. It’s better than being the guy with bad breath. Always.

Just a heads up—persistent bad breath may be a warning sign of gum disease, so be sure to see your dentist regularly—at least twice a year, too. Hey, the good news is it’s treatable!

Grooming Mistake #4: Not taking control of hair loss

men's rogaine

Women love a man who’s proactive! Too many guys notice that their hair is thinning and wai—and wait…and wait—to do anything about it.

If you notice your hair isn’t what it used to be, don’t wait! Start a regimen to treat hair loss like Rogaine® ASAP. So many people—men and women—treat thinning hair too late. Applying Rogaine Foam twice a day every day puts you back in control of your hair, where you want to be. By using Rogaine at the first signs of thinning hair, you can help remedy hair loss and sustain the density of hair you have for fuller hair, longer.

Grooming Mistake #5: Skipping SPF

man sunburn
via SaltStrong.com

Yep, we’re talking about SPF twice. That’s how important it is!

Guys, you’ve gotta use a moisturizer with SPF every single day. Not just at the beach, or on a hike. We’re talking: to work, to class, to the grocery store! It’s the only way to ward off wrinkles, age spots, and yes, skin cancer. There are plenty of options out that aren’t too greasy, so take the time to find one you like to ensure you actually wear it.

Grooming Mistake #6: Wearing too much cologne

It’s been said that “fragrance should be discovered, not announced.” That means you want a woman to notice your scent as you get close to her—not when you walk in the door of the restaurant for your date.

If you’ve been told (or suspect) that you’re wearing too much, listen up. Here’s how to nail your fragrance application:

  1. Apply cologne after you’re out of the shower and towel dried, but before you’ve gotten dressed. That’s right: we’re talking’ nekkid (or at least in a towel).
  2. Keep things simple with one spray directly to your chest. Worried it’s not enough? Don’t be. Your body heat will continue to push the scent out the rest of the day.

If you’re still concerned one spray’s not enough, consider buying a more concentrated version of your favorite scent – one with a higher percentage of perfume oil or essence, which will last longer.

Grooming Mistake #7: Keeping the same hairstyle forever

On the one hand, don’t fix what ain’t broke, but on the other…do you really want to see a picture of yourself in twenty years and have NO idea what year it was taken? Life is too long to not experiment with your hair.

Had a buzz cut all your life? Maybe now’s the time to grow it out. Been rocking a man bun since college? If it’s starting to feel like a security blanket, it could be time to snip snip. I love seeing a man’s face light up when I say, “Hey, did you do something different with your hair?” Women notice these things, guys!

The good thing about changing your hairstyle? It’s just hair! If you hate it, you can just grow it back to the length it was before. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new favorite look as it grows out to what you had before.

Grooming Mistake #8: Jagged fingernails

holding hands
image: Michal Rzepecki/HuffPost

Trim your fingernails regularly with small clippers (those giant clippers are not ‘man-size’ clippers – they’re for toes only!!), working your way across in 3-4 clips for a rounded—not a straight across—line.

Everyday, clean underneath your nails, scraping away whatever’s worked its way down there.

And finally, moisturize! You don’t need a fancy hand lotion, whatever you use on your body will do (you DO use a body lotion, right??). That said, a hand moisturizer does offer a good bang for your buck in terms of a little bit going a long way.

Grooming Mistake #9: One word: unibrow

bert unibrow

Just like with every other body part you may manscape, there’s no shame in removing hair from between your two eyebrows. You may find you feel more confident…after you get over feeling silly for caring “too much” about how your eyebrows look. You can pluck or wax at home, or see a professional who can do it for you.

If you’re looking for a more permanent fix, consider laser hair removal, which takes about half a dozen treatments but will tackle the problem for good. Just be sure to have a consultation first as the treatment doesn’t work effectively on all hair types.  

Grooming Mistake #10: Flaky lips

You think women want to be kissing lips that are dry, cracking, or flaky? Think again!

There are a few culprits here: Salty and spicy food can dry out your lips—not just because it makes you lick your lips more often. And attention: mouth breathers, breathing through your mouth dries out your lips, so whenever possible, breathe through your nose instead.

So what can you do? Use lip balm regularly. It’s seriously worth it to buy a jumbo-pack and distribute one to every coat and bag you own. Don’t like scented lip balms? My favorite is petroleum jelly – it’s super-moisturizing. And cheap!

You can also exfoliate flaky lips with a dry toothbrush. And resist the urge to pick at them! It’ll just make it worth.  

Oh, and that good ol’ cure-all: drink more water! That hydration will help keep your lips—and everywhere else—from getting dry.

Tell me:

What’s one grooming upgrade you’ve made in your life that’s made a big difference?

Presented in collaboration with Rogaine. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Style Girlfriend possible!

I started Style Girlfriend to help guys look, feel, and act their best.