The 50 Best Grooming Tips + Products for Men
Give us an engine rattle and we'll just step on the gas. But show us an oil pan full of troubled transmission parts and we'll spring into action--if not by hoisting a ratchet, then at least by lifting the hood on the yellow pages. We're no different in front of a medicine cabinet. In fact, if women didn't insist that we make ourselves presentable, we'd probably all walk around looking like Cro-Magnons. Clearly, motivation matters. That's why we asked a few ladies to write about the powerful impact of great scruff, skin, and scent to anchor Men's Health's fourth annual grooming awards. Their words, plus this year's crop of best new products and cutting-edge tips, will help you look your best. Read on and reap the rewards.
"Old" is all in the eyes
Wrinkles, bags, and dark circles in the delicate skin around your eyes increase your "apparent age" more than changes in other facial features do, according to new research from France. "As the skin loses collagen and elasticity, repetitive contractions like squinting can etch deep lines," says Rhoda Narins, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at NYU's school of medicine. Here's how to turn back the clock.
Keep your chin up
Gravity pulls fluid downhill as you sleep. The result? Puffy bags. Reduce them by slipping an extra pillow under your head.
Cover your assets
Wide-frame sunglasses or UV-protective prescription glasses can curb squinting and shield skin from the sun.
Freeze out lumps
Placing chilled spoons or cotton balls dipped in a 50/50 mix of cold water and milk over your eyes in the morning for 5 minutes can reduce swelling.
Can't wait for clear skin?
Skip the soap. Instead, wash twice a day with Zirh Wash facial cleanser ($14, zirh.com). Harvard researchers found that washing any less increased the incidence of acne lesions by up to 30 percent. Any more dries out your skin's delicate oil balance, says Kenneth Beer M.D., a dermatologist based in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Your lips require protective custody
Your lips can have as few as 10 layers of skin, compared with 20 or more elsewhere on your body. "Men are less likely to wear glosses and lipsticks, so their risk of lip cancer is three times higher," says Vilma Cokkinides, director of risk-factor surveillance at the American Cancer Society. Use a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher, and reapply it at least every 2 hours if you're in the sun. You should also add a protective swipe in the morning and at night before bed to stop splits and rehydrate the skin.
A menu can be a mirror
Your waistline isn't the only thing affected by what you cram in your belly. Some foods and ingredients can change your appearance in other ways.
People with diets rich in vitamin C decreased their odds of having fine lines and dryness by up to 11 percent, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To boost your C intake, eat papayas.
In the same study, a diet rich in linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid found in nuts, olive oil, and eggs) also showed age-preventive effects. What's more, Korean researchers found that skin treated with eicosapentaenoic acid (an omega-3 in fish oil) had 79 percent fewer collagen-destroying proteins after exposure to UV rays. Drizzle olive oil over cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) for a boost of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Increasing your daily intake of carbohydrates by 50 grams (a medium order of McDonald's fries) or fat by just 17 grams boosts your odds of having wrinkles by up to 36 percent---independent of both age and sun exposure--according to a British study. But you've already sworn off those deep-fried death sticks, right?
Adding 1 1/2 tablespoons of flaxseed to your diet could save your hair. Taiwanese researchers found that 50 milligrams a day of lignans, the disease-fighting compounds in flaxseed, slowed hair loss in 9 out of 10 participants in 6 months.
fashion ideas and fashion advice
Sunglasses: it may seem counterintuitive to invest in a wintertime accessory traditionally viewed as a sunny, warm-weather item. But spring is on the way and we’re also currently being exposed to crazy amounts of UV rays—and then, of course, there’s the reflective snow situation.
While New York Fashion Week’s Fall 2014 shows as a whole had a serious shortage of high heels, a number of major designers included impressively towering shoes amidst the abundance of flats. On the catwalk, Erin Fetherston’s dainty designs paired nicely with clear-sided pumps, while Marchesa featured intricate, strappy sandals. The season’s street style stars and front row celebrities proved that the craziest—and at times, most uncomfortable—high heels are far from dead. While we’ll happily slip into a beautiful pair of towering heels any day, we figured we could use a few tips from those in the fashion business who know the shoes best.
Gone are the days when sun-soakers had but one alternative, the revealing bikini, for sultry swimwear. While tankinis and mom-like one-pieces (you know the type…) unfortunately continue to maintain a strong beach- and pool-side presence, the one-pieces of today are taking sexy to whole new levels. If you’re still hesitant, we highly encourage you to rely on the slideshow above to change your mind. And when in doubt, remember the old adage that it’s always more alluring to leave a little something to the imagination.
Get a pair of boots while they last.
You can do prom on a budget and still have your dream dress. Look hot and still have money left over for cute shoes with these awesome under-$100 styles. Plus, shop tons more dresses by color, style, and trend!
Love is in the air, and whether you’re planning a special night out with your better half or stepping outside the norm on a unique date, we’ve found seven outfits that will flatter your figure and suit your rendezvous.
Even though we’ve hardly had time to digest the couture collections, tomorrow marks the official beginning of the fall 2014 season and that biannual industry ritual: Fashion Month. And what better way to kick off the marathon of shows, after-parties, flights, and appointments than with our A–Z guide to all things related to Fashion Week? Here, find out where to eat, what to pack, and who to keep your eye on from New York to London to Milan to Paris.
For many people, Valentine's Day can end up feeling like New Year's Eve: a whole lot of build-up for a pretty average night. However, if you're aiming to buck that tradition and make this holiday special, why not start with your wardrobe? As we like to say, an amazing night starts with an amazing dress. Or shoes. Or both.
Straightforward and foolproof as it may seem—”Just pick something red and sexy!”—the business of shopping for a perfect Valentine’s Day dress can be surprisingly tricky. Go too themey with a dangerously low-cut or heart-patterned design, and you’ll never pick up said dress the other 364 days of the year; go basic with your standby LBD and, well, that makes your special V-Day date seem not so special after all.
Even with all the love our editors give flats around here, they can’t deny the power of a great pair of heels. It’s a shoe style guaranteed to make everyone look taller and leaner in a way that even the most flattering ballerinas can’t, an instant confidence boost right before a big event, the difference between walking into a room and making an entrance. Who wouldn’t endure a few measly blisters for all that?
There’s something rather paradoxical about the way a fashion editor thinks. While on one hand, shopping is always, always, always on our minds, we’re also obsessed with purging our closets of superfluous items. Only owning mix-and-matchable styles we’ll wear all the time (the way French ladies do!) is one of our number one goals in life—and we think it should be yours, too.