‘I like to get around… in the olfactory department!’
When it comes to looking good and feeling great Michael Xavier has it covered. Whether it’s late nights or early mornings, he always gives good grooming! You will recognise the dapper Mr Xavier from his stellar performance as Gaylord Ravenal in Show Boat at the Sheffield Crucible.
Now Michael is moments away from starring alongside actress Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum, playing screenwriter Joe Gillis. His encounter with faded silent film star Norma Desmond is the focus of the show! Thanks Michael for dropping buy to talk scents, scrubs and the secrets of your washbag!
(Michael will be seen playing Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard, which will run from 1 April 2016 at the English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES (020 7845 9300) until 7 May 2016. For more information visit www.eno.org )
Late nights and early mornings can take their toll, which products do you use to look and feel fresh?
No matter how tired I am, I always take the time to use Karin Herzog Vita-A-Kombi Day & Night Face Cream. I tend to by these from FeelUnique.com as it means I don’t need to traipse around the shops looking for them! When I shave I use Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Razor Bump Relief – it’s an ingrown hair and razor burn treatment. Also, I like to use Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Juvenate Body Cream to keep my skin firm!
Do you have a skincare routine?
I wouldn’t say it was a ‘routine’ as such. I try to wash my face every morning and night using Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub to get rid of any dead skin cells and moisturise with Kiehl’s Facial Fuel with SPF 15. It’s not oily which I like and blocks the sun’s harmful rays… that’s a MUST!
Do you have a signature fragrance?
To be honest I like to ‘get around’ in the olfactory department, one recent love is Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver. It was a gift from my friend Jolie Richardson after she caught me wearing a fragrance that was slightly offensive to her nostrils when we were working together on The Wars Of The Roses!
How important do you feel appearance is to your performances and why?
Appearance is an integral part of a performance. If you’re not looking like the character (wearing clothes he would wear, having a hair style and facial hair that he would have, smelling like he would smell) then you’re denying the audience an important visual aspect of that performance. It also affects my own performance. There’s nothing like going all out with a character and convincing yourself that you are that person for the length of the performance!
Have you ever had a wet shave?
Yes, all the time! I like having facial hair but I always keep it neat with a wet shave every couple of days. I like to use Penhaligon’s Nikel Shaving set that was given to me by a friend. It’s a great close shave!
How do you protect your skin from constant stage makeup?
Dermashield is a great product that coats the skin before applying makeup or glue (if needed). It’s a real skin-saver!
Which do you prefer, beard or clean shaven and why?
I always prefer a beard as I like the shape it gives my face. A more chiselled look is always preferred! I use a Trevor Sorbie Beard Grooming Kit to keep it looking refined and neat.
Which man (real or fictional) do you most admire for his personal style/grooming and why?
James Bond of course. Sharp suits, crisp haircuts and a martini attached to the palm!
Have you ever had any grooming disasters?
Yes. The day of my photo call for a show I was doing (Captain von Trapp in The Sound Of Music at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) the protective comb fell off my beard trimmer. I chopped a huge chunk out and had to colour it in with an eyeliner pencil. It took two weeks to grow back fully! Oops.
Do you ever have treatments, manicures, facials etc?
Not really. A sports massage is what I like to treat myself to. I was convinced to have a manicure once when waiting for my girlfriend to have one. She coated it with a ‘transparent’ varnish which looked SO shiny for weeks. EVERYONE kept asking me if I was wearing nail varnish. Not cool!
Bath or shower and with what?
Always a shower. I don’t have time for baths. I use Kiehl’s Body Fuel Wash – All-In-One Energizing Fuel Wash in the morning. Love it! I also have PRADA Amber Pour Homme (which is a fancy French way of saying for men) which I like to use before a night out. Smells yummy!
What is your earliest olfactory memory?
The smell of my Mum’s perfume and my Dad’s Cologne which smelt like Old Spice (but I’m sure it was something cooler than that) when my folks were going out to a dinner party. Happy memories.
Some roles are physically demanding, how do you prepare for this?
I go to the gym at least three times a week. I eat a blended fruit smoothie every morning, take a tonne of vitamin supplements and drink lots of water. I also try to avoid caffeine if I’m singing. It’s terribly dull but I’m healthier for it. When a job finishes I go out and eat and drink whatever it want! It’s my treat for having survived the job and the diet!
Is there one product that you just can’t live without?
Fudge Professional Structure Wax! It’s the BEST for styling my hair without looking greasy but retaining hold.
When and where are you happiest?
Around a dinner table eating with the people I love. That’s the best.
Grooming by Erica Schlegel using Sisley and Bumble & Bumble. Photography by Will Bremridge
1. Tom Ford Grey Vetiver - £64 for 50ml at Harrods
2. Michael xavier In Action
3. Kiehl's Razor Bump Relief - £26 for 100ml at Harrods
4. Trevor Sorbie Grooming Kit - £29 from Superdrug
5. Piers Brosnan As Bond
6. Prada Amber Pour Homme - £22.90 for 100ml from the perfume shop
7. Derma Shield, The Ultimate Skin Protection - £28 for 150ml at Derma Shield
8. Fudge Structure Wax £ 12.95 for 75 gm at mankind.co.uk
9. Michael Xavier as Captain von Trapp in The Sound Of Music