Far from being superficial, a concern with one's external appearance is deeply ingrained within our nature as humans. After all, a potential mate's attractiveness ranks as one of the top traits of interest to the opposite sex. In addition, research suggests that more attractive individuals might actually earn more in the long term.
Fortunately for you, even if you weren't as lucky in the genetic lottery as Brad Pitt, there are a number of tactics you can avail yourself of in the service of making the most of what you were given. Here we list our top 10 tips to help you look like the best version of yourself — and increase your share of life's treasures.
#1 Pluck unwanted hair
Nose hair, ear hair or scraggly hair that's poking out anywhere else on your face isn't sexy. Get rid of excess hair in these areas by using tweezers. Grasp each strand firmly and pull in the direction of the hair growth. Once a week, check your face for new hairs that might have popped up. If you have unruly eyebrows or a unibrow, consider getting your brows professionally waxed or shaped — it doesn't cost much, and this way you won't end up with any grooming accidents.
#2 Exercise before you go out
When you've got a big night out planned and you want to look your best for it, sneak in a sweat session a couple of hours before your event. Ideally, you should mix cardio with weight-bearing exercises, concentrating on doing reps that engage your major muscle groups (particularly if you're short on time), as this technique will make your muscles look ultra-toned for several hours. Plus, exercising will boost your confidence and give your skin a healthy glow.
#3 Practice good posture
By standing up straight, you'll automatically look leaner, with more defined musculature. You'll also project more confidence, an attribute that most people find very appealing. When you're standing up properly, your weight should rest more on your toes than your heels, your abs should be taut and pulled toward your belly, and your shoulders should be rolled back.
#4 Take care of your mouth
Brush your teeth regularly with whitening toothpaste, floss every night and whiten your teeth with a home kit twice a year. Everyone finds a healthy set of teeth and gums attractive, and not taking care of your mouth can be downright repulsive. Go one step further and get soft lips by running your toothbrush lightly over them to slough off dead skin. Then, in the morning, apply a non-noticeable lip chap and switch to a heavy-duty, super-intensive healing balm before bed.
#5 Invest in skin care
To ensure that the products you buy will work for you, figure out your skin type. Men with oily or acne-prone skin will benefit from a facial wash containing a 2% salicylic acid concentration, while guys with dry skin should seek out a cleanser with a creamy texture. Your skin-care arsenal should also include a hydrating moisturizer, an eye cream to reduce any signs of aging, sunscreen to protect against the damaging effects of UV rays, and an exfoliator to make your skin brighter and help unclog pores by getting rid of debris and dead cells. If you have an aversion to male beauty products, fear not: there are other ways to obtain healthier looking skin.
#6 Match your face to your hair and facial hair
A haircut and facial hair style that are based on your face shape can make a monumental difference in your appearance. A square-shaped face, for example, suits most short- to medium-length haircuts and can take on a variety of facial hair styles. Talk to your barber about employing tricks like a longer front to conceal a high forehead or strategically growing facial hair to render a soft jaw line or a small chin less noticeable. Whatever combo of hair and facial hair you settle on, always take pride in grooming. That means maintaining healthy hair with regular cuts, changing your razor blade often, investing in shaving cream, and making sure your facial hair has sharply defined edges.
Picking the right hairstyle is a lot harder than it seems. The wrong cut can make anyone look a little off. So, the folks over at Birchbox created a handy chart that matches the best hairstyles and cuts to your face shape.
#7 Cultivate a classic wardrobe
There are two reasons timeless pieces are the backbone of any stylish man's wardrobe:
- Assembling a collection of basics — including a navy suit or blazer, white dress shirts, dark denim, easy-to-layer tees, neutral-colored cardigans, and an all-purpose trench — means that you'll always appear effortlessly elegant
- By adding trendy items to an otherwise classic ensemble, you instantly freshen up your look and come off as having an amazing sense of style.
#8 Wear clothes that fit
You can shell out for all the upscale designer wool suits and cashmere sweaters you want, but if your clothes don't fit you properly, you'll seem like you have more money than style. The biggest mistake men make when it comes to ill-fitting clothing is to favor baggy apparel over more body-conscious designs. Even if you're on the heavyset side, clothing that holds close to your body (but isn't skin-tight) is the most flattering.
#9 Know your flaws
Taking an honest assessment of your body and face can go a long way toward helping you make the most of your appearance. When you know your weak points, you'll be able to minimize them or conceal them to your advantage. For example, some clever work on your barber's part can take the focus off a receding hairline. Additionally, accepting your spare tire means you can get rid of pieces that add bulk, such as double blazers, and start shopping for clothes that create the illusion of a more V-shaped physique, like two-button blazers in lightweight fabrics.
#10 Eat and drink right
Make a concerted effort to eat right and you'll have won half the battle in looking your personal best. Your body is like a machine, and refueling that machine with high-quality fuel will profoundly affect how efficiently it runs in addition to how much fat you store, the clarity of your skin, and the strength of your hair and nails. There's no magic to it: Just make sure you include plenty of lean protein in your diet from poultry and fish, fill up your plate with green veggies, and favor antioxidant-filled fruit for dessert. Finally, hydrate properly by consuming eight glasses of water daily.