The kind on your shirt, not your face. (We’ll get to those later.) Because nothing says, “I don’t care about how I look” quite like a frumpy button-down. Commit to a cleaner, more professional look — it’s easier than you think. For a quick solution, put aluminum foil under the ironing board cover. “The foil reflects the heat back, which eliminates creases faster,” says Linda Cobb, author of Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean. Still won’t come out? Your clothes might be too dry. Try ironing while they’re still damp.
Think of a scarf as punctuation on your look—subtle, declarative, or simply the piece that holds everything together. It’s functional, yet adds a layer of sophistication and complexity without being too fussy, says New York-based designer John Varvatos. If you’re unsure about how to make it work, ask your girlfriend or a salesperson.
So many men’s personal styles are evolutionary, not revolutionary, Varvatos says. “Don’t be afraid to stir things up. Your style will never progress if you’re not open to experimenting with accessories,” he says. “As you boost your confidence, you may even develop a signature style that others will notice.”
Fight Dry Skin:
Your epidermis suffers the most as the season changes. “Winter can leave your skin dry, and harsh, scented soaps make it even worse,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine. This makes your skin look dull and lifeless, while feeling tight and rigid. The solution? “After showering, make sure to pat — not scrub — yourself dry,” says Gohara. Use a cream afterward, which has more oil and less water than lotion. “Slather up directly after the shower, when the water hasn’t evaporated off the skin yet,” she explains. “The cream will lock in the extra moisture.” Try the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Anti-Wrinkle Cream, which moisturizes and fights against signs of aging.
Start with your diet, and don’t just blame chocolate and fries for those unseemly breakouts; carbs may be the real culprit. “They cause acne by raising blood cortisol and insulin levels,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine. An Australian study found that people who ate a diet high in protein and lower in carbs had twice the decrease in pimples. “Antioxidants are also great for the skin because they combat free radical damage,” Gohara says. Two surprising sources of antioxidants? Raisins and ginger root.
Get the Perfect Haircut:
Women may dig Adam Levine’s tousled bedhead, but that doesn’t mean you should try and pull it off. “Many men pick hairstyles that look good on guys on TV and in magazines,” says Craig the Barber, CEO of the Grooming Concierge. “But those styles were designed specifically for those men and don’t necessarily work for everyone.” Use Craig’s guide (below) to choose the right cut for your face type.
Oval: Symmetrical, with eyes evenly spaced and one eye-width distance between them. “They can pull off any haircut,” Craig says, “because the eyes, nose, and mouth are well proportioned.”
Round: A full and round jaw line and in many cases, a round hairline. “Styles with height will help lengthen the face,” Craig says.
Pear: Narrow forehead, broad jaw line. Opt for a “round” haircut with the sides equal to the top, which will help balance the face.
Triangular: Wide hairline, broad jaw line, and narrow chin. “Keep your hair short so the top of your head isn’t the focal point,” Craig says.
Square: If your cheekbones, forehead, and jaw are the same width, you can pull off most hairstyles — except for flattops, which will make your face look even squarer.
Find the Perfect Leather Jacket:
A quality leather jacket is something every guy should invest in because it adds instant class. Just make sure it’s the right texture. “Leather either makes me want to touch you or run from you,” says Lauren Solomon, a professional image consultant and president of LS Image Associates. “If the material looks too tough, people aren’t going to want to approach you.” Look for a quality coat in black or brown, like one of these Men’s Health-approved Timeless Leather Jackets.
Whiten Your Teeth:
When picking an at-home whitener, use common sense. “Don’t be fooled by false whitening claims,” says Gerard Kugel, M.D., an associate dean of research at the Tufts University school of dental medicine. Simply put: Stronger bleach concentrations work faster. If you want a complete overhaul from a home kit, look for a carbamide peroxide concentration of at least 10 percent. In a German study, in-office trays whitened teeth six shades in three sessions ($500 to $1,000), and the at-home variety required seven uses ($300 to $600).
Whitening strips required 32 applications ($20 to $150). But you can’t just suck a strip and forget it. Use a whitening toothpaste to keep the shine from fading, and a whitening floss — the plaque-heavy areas between your teeth soak up colors. And watch the coffee, juice, and wine; they’re oral-bling killers.
Score Instant Compliments:
Look to Johnny Depp and Justin Timber lake for inspiration. Both of those men know the trans formative power that a great set of specs can hold. “Wearing different glasses is the easiest way to switch up your look,” says Lauren Solomon, a professional image consultant and president of LS Image Associates. “People notice your face first and will note the difference immediately.”
Preserve Your Mug:
The winter weather isn’t easy on your skin. “Cold weather reduces skin temperature,” “This means it produces less oil in the winter, causing it to dry out.” Thankfully, it’s a simple fix. Use a tinted moisturizer to banish both dryness and that dreaded ashen skin-tone. Try the BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 35 from Lab Series. It’s a subtle glow, so fear not—it won’t leave you looking like Pauly D.
Simplify Your Billfold:
The Costanza wallet should be committed to the Smithsonian—and never seen in public again. Ditch the punch cards, and even the photos of the kids (save them on your phone instead). Limit the billfold to your ID, your cash, and two credit cards. Try this one from Coach. It’s extra-slim, forcing you to travel light.