GQ’s Christopher Riley on Face-Masks (You Need Them) & The Future of Men’s Style

First published in 1957 and printed in over twenty countries, GQ is the world’s leading men’s magazine.

Much like our M.O. at gentSac, GQ looks to educate and inspire its readers across lifestyle, culture style and grooming.

With such synergies between the two, it seems only fitting that GQ should come on board as a partner for gentSac’s most recent event, ‘gentStyle’.

Christopher Riley is the ‘Chief Sub Editor’ of GQ Australia (meaning he is across every word that goes to print). In the lead up to the event, we asked Christopher his opinion on the future of men’s style, his grooming routine – and of course, what ‘habits of excellence’ means to him.


GQ is one of the world’s leading men’s lifestyle magazines and is published in over twenty countries. What defines ‘lifestyle’ to Australian gents? 

Australian lifestyle has typically been associated with the outdoors and the incredible landscape that defines this country. That’s lead to the creation of lots of great Aussie brands who successfully communicated this narrative of the great outdoors and the Aussie bloke as this intrepid wanderer.

Nowadays that notion is a lot more fluid. Lifestyle, the cue is in the name, is simply about what you do in your life. So for the modern Australian gent this includes a whole range of things. It means going surfing on the weekend, watching the footy and camping trips with your mates. But it also means taking a proactive approach to your mental health, it means looking ahead and planning a career and maybe even a family. For many of us it’s about keeping up to date with current affairs, popular culture and fashion trends.

This is why it’s so exciting to be a part of a magazine that speaks to all those aspects of life. It’s a language we as Australians, and us at GQ, are constantly updating. It has new meaning each year and even each new season.


There’s a big focus on grooming in GQ – and as the Chief Sub Editor, you’re across all of it. What does your grooming routine look like currently and what areas of your routine need the most attention… and by that I mean: what will you be looking for when you next come in for a consultation with Shira?

My grooming routine entails moisturizing to an almost obsessive degree. (As I write this, I have four different moisturizers on my desk.) This includes a full body moisturize on Sunday that coincides with a sheet mask. Now, for anyone not facemasking at least once a week, I implore you – get started! Game changer. It’s a routine so self-consciously rooted in wellness and self-improvement I almost feel smug when I’m finished.

In terms of products, when my skin was getting particularly bad around 4 years ago, I started using a LaRoche-Posay package that included a toner, moisturizer and cleanser. This worked a charm for me and meant I had one-stop shop for all my needs. They discontinued the three pack and I now I can’t find the toner anywhere so I’m left in no man’s land.

The frustrating thing is, I’m happy to buy more products, but I don’t know which goes with which. How do I know this La Mer moisturizer complements this Hunter Lab cleanser? So what happens is I end up lost and confused in the cosmetic stores, call my girlfriend for help and inevitably leave overwhelmed.

So, Shira – I’m all yours!


Shira has prescribed Chris the all-in-one FaceTime Kit, featuring a daily cleanser, a once-a-week scrub for a deeper clean and a daily moisturiser that’s suitable for all skin types.





Recently in the GQ Australia online edition, you defined yourself as “someone with a strong penchant for colourful tracksuits and bold (read garish) sneakers”. What do you think defines men’s style 2019 – and where do you think men’s style is going in 2020?

Men’s clothing for a few years has been defined by streetwear. We have become more informal in our dress and also more creative in our embellishments and our accessorizing. All of which I’m here for. However, streetwear is an expression – not tied to the office or any other institution, it’s free from rules, it’s anti-establishment – in many ways it’s a rebellion against formal suiting and other aspects of traditional clothing.

And so with any protest movement, there comes a time when, if it becomes popular, it moves into the mainstream and ceases to have the potency of its original agenda. I’d say this is starting to happen with streetwear. We’re seeing a gradual but marked reaction against the ‘street’ elements in clothing for things like relaxed tailoring, colourful shirts with open chests etc.

While I think it’s fun to keep an eye on these trends and does help to ensure you don’t step out in anything too overtly ‘last season’, there’s a strong argument to be made here to ignore the trends and find your own identity in clothing. That’s why the colourful tracksuits and sneakers will be a part of my wardrobe even if Virgil Abloh tells me they’re no longer cool. I love dressing to reflect my mood – so if I’m out on the weekend with my girlfriend I don’t want a muted colour palette – I want to stand out. You should find these elements in clothing that excite you and say something about you are and build an aesthetic around that. Don’t be beholden to trends or rules.



GQ and gentSac have a lot in common in terms of creating content that looks to inspire both the inner and outer life of men. We do that through what we shorthand ‘habits of excellence’. What does ‘habits of excellence’ mean to you?

It means it doesn’t matter who is watching.

By that I mean, whether it is a paper in school that you know won’t be marked, a gesture that won’t get noticed but will be appreciated, or maybe it’s me making corrections to the magazine no one else will notice or even understand – you do all of these things to the best of your ability regardless of who is watching. You do these things because you have personal standards and you have made them a habit, not a choice you can turn off and on.



We’ve teamed up with GQ to offer all gentSac members a 21% discount on magazine subscription for the year. That means 6 issues of GQ for $49.95. Check out this link to access this special offer.


For more on men’s Style, check out our blog on men’s celebrity stylist, Jeff Lack.

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