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Hey, you want to look more handsome than you already are, don’t you? Sure, who doesn’t—handsome wins you women, better customer service and because we live in a sick, sad, superficial world, even a higher salary. And thanks to this list, now being handsome is easier than ever. There’s expert advice, common sense pointers, and even a couple of tips to help you beat bad, ugly, un-handsome habits. But don’t waste your time reading this intro, become more handsome right now.
If you don’t have one, get one right away because having a barber is rule number one above all others—if the 24 following tips on this list fail, at least you’ll have a good haircut.
Think of it this way: Moisturizers are vitamins for your face, and so they make your mug look healthy. According to Dr. Terrence Keaney MD, Director of W for Men dermatology clinic, you should use a moisturizer at least once a day to keep your skin looking lovely.
Poor lifestyle choices can be a lot of fun, but they’ll also turn your eyes into fortresses of foulness. You’ve known about Visine since college, but commit this bit to memory: Creams keep away wrinkles; gels get rid of dark circles and bags. But wait, isn’t using a face moisturizer enough, you ask? Hell, sure, but it won’t work as well. Eye products are formulated specifically to deal with the thin skin around your sockets, but if you just can’t negotiate using eye creams while being a man, then consider this advice from Dr. Andrew Jacono, Director of the New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery: If your eyes are consistently puffy, it could be that you’re eating too much salt, which keeps water retained in the body. If they’re always dark, sleep at least seven hours a night, quit smoking, and treat your allergies, which are all common causes of under eye skin discoloration. Also, wear sunglasses and put SPF around your eyes when outside: squinting and UV rays are the leading cause of crows feet (that wrinkled skin next to your eye). And new, as of 2013, there’s Botox for your eyes and it can be used as a preventative or as a cure to crows feet. Sounds crazy, this injecting poisonous bacteria so near your eyes, but, confession: we tried it, because that’s our job. Verdict: It was quick, painless, had no side effects and if we looked funny, no one said anything. One treatment lasts up to six months.
Yup, there is actually a wrong way to wash your face, and it can leave you looking less handsome than if you didn’t wash at all. The culprit? Regular body soap which clogs up the smaller pores on your face and sucks up too much natural oil, leaving you mug looking like an old baseball mitt. So, learn this word and look for it on products: Non-comedogenic. It means the product is formulated specifically to deal with the skin on your face. Use a face wash once daily, except for shave day, when you should use a face scrub to exfoliate. And if you have a beard of significant length, don’t use any scrubs ever unless you want to spend the next couple of hours picking micro-beads out of your muff.
If you’re gonna be red and bloody in the face, let it be because you performed some heroic act, not because you still can’t figure out the right way to shave. Dermatologists say that the five blades in your cartridge do a swell job of slashing the strands off your chin, but they also swipe the oils your skin needs to avoid nicks, burns and un-handsome irritation. Therefore: Single blade safety razor, like your granddaddy.
Hands: Your first physical contact with another human being will (usually) be with your hands, so how your mitts look and feel matters. Wash them with soap and water, clean the gunk from under and around your nails with nail brush, clip your nails, and use a moisturizer every so often so you don’t feel or look like a snake.
Feet: If you like sandals, the beach, and sex (or all three), keep your situation clipped, rub a pumice stone over the ugliest parts and it’s okay to slap some cream on them every so often. We don’t have to tell you that nasty toenails and discolored, flakey feet aren’t helping your cause.
Did we just endure the Mani/Pedi for men? Meh, it’s up to you if you want to sit in a salon and let some lady clip and clean your nails and then rub your hands and feet. But if you do, ask that they don’t buff your nails or it will look very obvious that they did.
Because two words: Clooney and Clinton. But in order for grey to make you look great, it has to be kept groomed or it just looks schlepy, so keep up with your monthly hair cuts, trim your neck and shave. Past that, here are a few pointers courtesy of Vaughn, do-er of Bill Clinton’s hair: Silver hair is dryer than regular hair so use a moisturizing shampoo and/or a conditioner. Take care to use a hydrating hair product; it’s easy for products to dust up on dry, grey hair and flakes aren’t handsome. Grey hair looks finer and can yellow from too much sun exposure and hard water, shampoos for silver hair are made to off-set these issues.
Human? Then it’s impossible to be handsome apparently, because sweating is a thing that nature makes almost all of us do. So let’s be clear: Just try not to be a greasy, oily, sweaty mess when you need to look your best. How so? According to Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, founder of 5th Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center in New York: limiting booze and caffeine helps a lot. No fun, but then again neither are his other tips, like taking a cold shower after the gym and putting on antiperspirant before you go to bed (properly blocking sweat glands takes time). If you go to the gym, still go, but he says men who work out tend to sweat more, so be prepared. Same with overweight guys. Confused? Ready to give in? Well, then get this: If you want to, there’s an app for that, or really few medical procedures like Botox, Miradry, and something called Vaser, that can make you stop sweating from your underarms entirely .
Glasses are the carpet of the face—they tie everything together and they’ve gotta fit in the space they’re given. So if your wearing shades and/or RX, make sure you’ve got a good pair. Say our friends at Warby Parker, “It’s best to juxtapose the shape of the frame with the shape of your face: if you have a square face, choose rounder frames. If you have a round face, look for square shaped frames. Eyebrows should be above the top of the frame and your cheeks shouldn’t touch the bottom when you smile. Try on a bunch of pairs with this in mind and see which pairs feel right. And when in doubt, pick tortoiseshell.” Got that? Good. Next.
This includes a smart raincoat, a good coat for freezing temperatures, a light jacket, a top coat for formal occasions, and something leather.
Take a shower with soap, use deodorant, hell … you can even launder your clothes. Easiest tip yet! But what seems most perplexing to the potentially handsome person: the proper way to put on cologne. According to Chad Murawczyk, founder & CEO of fragrance specialists MiN New York, there are a few right ways. If you’ve got a spray, it’s a half a pump on each pulse point on your wrist, followed by a quick dab behind the ear. You can also spray twice in front of you and then step into the cloud—this way also scents your clothing. For oils, all you need are a few quick dabs on the back of your hands.
Get a tailor—a few tweaks on most of your shirts, pants and denim can make a favorable difference in your overall appearance. Own an iron or a steamer—wrinkles make you look unprepared. Press and/or dry clean your work clothes for the same reason. Have a smart suit. Be able to recognize when ring-around-the-collar and nasty, yellow armpit stains have won the war on your favorite shirt. Oh, and own a good, clean pair of shoes and sneakers. Women really do notice these things.