I’m Let’s get ready for the day with our favorite guys who give good face. It’s a new series called #GRWM (“Get Ready With Me”), where we wake up with our friends and uncover their hidden grooming secrets, documenting every step of the way. This week, we’re getting ready in Los Angeles with…

Gregory Davalos, fashion influencer, @gregorydava

“When a woman talks about feminism I get it,” says Gregory Davalos, a fashion influencer who’s amassed over 130,000 followers on Instagram. “I’m a male in a female-dominated industry where girls make much more money. I get the gender divide.”

Greg and I are hanging out in Long Beach, CA, for the Agenda show aka the biggest fashion trade show for surf, streetwear and skateboarding gear. This year, grooming took centerstage with a handful of brands from Baxter of California, Uppercut to Blind Barber all representing at the show’s The Essentials section.

Greg, who’s getting ready with us in a hotel room, has become one of the most sought out fashion influencers in Los Angeles. Known for his casual, laid-back style and clean, minimalist photographs (his younger brother is his photographer), he jet sets all around the world in search of a good ‘gram.

But it wasn’t always like this. He didn’t wake up with hundreds of thousands of followers overnight. According to Greg, he had to work hard at it. He went from working full-time in fashion on the wholesale end and then worked with Instagram influencers. “That job really taught me how to be a good influencer,” he says. “It’s all about being professional, responding to emails on time and being a good person.”

It also takes passion and drive. More so, in 2017, you have to be different. It seems as if becoming a social influencer has become a profession more and more young people are latching onto. But with so much competition and self-touted “influencers” out there, how does one even stand out as unique? Before even getting his face beat, we asked Greg to give us his best advice for anyone wanting to get into this field.

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Gregory Davalos

Photo by Bukunmi Grace/Very Good Light

  1. Focus. Perks? Travel? Free things? Sure, they’re great, but they don’t get you a long-lasting career. “It’s about passion and what you’re really good at,” says Greg. “Whether that’s food, travel or what not, you have to know that you can’t really change yourself and what you stand for overnight. Your followers will be confused.” Greg suggests seeing what you want to be known for and how you’ll get there.
  2. Find your niche. “You have to think early on how you’ll be different, the market it so saturated already,” Greg says. “Whether it’s the business of blogging or a coffee shop, how are you going to be different? You can’t just post a photo of you with skinny jeans and a Chanel bag with a brick background. It has to be editorial.” That means not only posting premium content, but ensuring you find a unique angle to who you are.
  3. Find you audience. “Is it Nordstrom or Kohl’s?” Greg asks. “If you’re looking from a fashion lens, who is he or she? You have to think about this even before you begin. You have to appease that audience.”
  4. Have brands recognize you. “When I first started I reached out to every brand and I was like, ‘I’m buying my own clothes because I love it, can you repost?” Some brands wouldn’t respond, but the others that did repost got Gregory many more followings. “Forever 21, for instance, has millions and millions of followers. If you can have a couple of posts there, you’re going to grow.”
  5. Make love to photos. Instagram is still the platform of choice when it comes to photographs. That means, you really have to up your photography game. “I remember reading Man Repeller years ago and it was so, so cool. They’re making the ordinary extraordinary. That’s what blogging is about. You can be on Hollywood Boulevard in a rinky dink place but you can make it seem and look so cool, so editorial. It’s that illusion that you aspire for.”

Now back to your normal programming…

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Gregory Davalos

Photo by Bukunmi Grace/Very Good Light

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Gregory Davalos

Photo by Bukunmi Grace/Very Good Light

“I’m a freak about my face being dirty. I’ll wash it three times a day. I use Skin Laundry because it’a gentle. It comes in a foam cleanser. It’s been game changing. I first got into it from a recommendation but I won’t use anything else, I really do swear by it.

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Gregory Davalos

Photo by Bukunmi Grace/Very Good Light

“Then, I’ll use a serum from Glossier Super Bounce on my face. For me, I travel a lot so my skin is exposed to so many different elements. One day I’ll be in Sedona freezing, the next in Miami. The serum relates my skin. It makes it neutral. I buy all my shit from Glossier and I love the brand. It’s simple, effective and straightforward.”

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Gregory Davalos

Photo by Bukunmi Grace/Very Good Light

“Then, when I shave, I’ll use a microdermabrasion scrub from Dr. Brandt. There’s nothing more gross than shave bumps. This is a great exfoliant before you shave to prevent that. Then I’ll shave my chest with the exfoliator as well when I’m shaving that.”

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Gregory Davalos

Photo by Bukunmi Grace/Very Good Light

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Gregory Davalos

Photo by Bukunmi Grace/Very Good Light

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Gregory Davalos

Photo by Bukunmi Grace/Very Good Light

“I then mask. I actually love masking. There’s this great one from Dr. Brandt that’s magnetic. It’s for anti-aging and I’ll use it a few times a month. It’s really cool as there’s this metal piece that will cling to the mask and remove itself.”

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Gregory Davalos

Photo by Bukunmi Grace/Very Good Light

“I then will use a La Mer refining mask or a night serum or moisturizer. You really have to moisturize to get the best results from your skin. I think that with guys, there’s so many products out there you really don’t know where to start. But just go talk to your girlfriend. Ask a friend. See what you need to do with your skin.”