Mark Toner founded NZ men’s grooming website after returning to NZ from London. A trained-lawyer, Mark got into the beauty business to give kiwi men the choices that Brits and Yanks have enjoyed for years. express gets his top tips.

Have you noticed any differences between most straight and most gay men’s grooming rituals?

As one doesn’t want to generalize so I’ll defer to what the market research tells us. Gay men have been early adopters of male specific grooming products and now demand more advanced products to target specific concerns – clay masks, eye cream, night moisturisers for example. Recent surveys reveal that gay men spend more time getting ready in the morning than their straight counterparts – thus more attention to detail in his shower, shave and skin care routine.


What are the most common grooming mistakes you have come across and what are the best ways of avoiding them?

Not investing in the prep for a shave. The hair on your face is thick and can be as tough, which makes it uncomfortable to shave. Try a pre-shave oil first then apply a quality shaving formula that is full of moisturizing ingredients and let it sit on your face for a couple of minutes after you lather, before you shave. This will soften your hair, and you will experience better glide with your razor and a closer, more comfortable shave.

Not using SPF daily. The daily use of SPF is the easiest and most effective way to protect the skin from skin cancer and prevent signs of aging. You can use all the moisturizer and anti-aging formulas in the world, but if you’re not actively protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, you’re fighting a losing battle.

Not including an exfoliator in one’s weekly ritual. Using a facial scrub washes away dirt, pollution and the dry skin which otherwise can trap oils and sweat during the summer months causing breakouts.


Enduring rather than enjoying a daily shave. Not all our father’s taught us to shave properly and most guys can benefit from adding a few steps into their shaving ritual. For example, dragging a razor across un-exfoliated skin will push dead skin into pores, causing red bumps and irritation. Our grooming 101 series on the website is proving popular and is offering all men some extra bathroom tips.

We have seen an influx of men’s facial products invade the supermarket shelves over the few years – why is it worth purchasing more expensive products like the ones you sell?

Try googling some of the ingredients of $7.99 supermarket products that men are applying daily to their biggest asset – their face; just to clarify!

Article | Oliver Hall. Photo | Tux Hika. Check out Mark’s website: