alpha_m_image_consultingDo you spend as much time with your face buried in a mirror as your girl/wife/friend with bennies does?  If you do, you shouldn’t.  I mean, c’mon.  You’re a dude.  Unlike those walking train wrecks, you have no makeup to apply.  Thank you testosterone!

However, I would suggest to you that if you aren’t spending at least 15 minutes a day fighting to keep stray hairs, clogged pores, and dark circles at bay, then you might as well not even throw on that awesome tailored outfit for which you shelled out a couple week’s pay.  After all, if you don’t do the upkeep on what’s in the clothing, you are bringing it and yourself down.  Simply showering and throwing on great clothes is like jamming a four cylinder engine in a Corvette.  Sure, it might still look outwardly presentable, but it won’t be even sniffing the sweaty ass crack of its overall potential.

“Oh, but I don’t wanna be called a metro or anything like that, so as long as I shower, shave, and brush my teeth, I’m good, right?”

Wrong.  If they are calling you a metro, it means you look damned good, and you ought to wear the barb like a gold plated badge of glow in the dark honor.  It means you took the time to make sure the A game was brought, so let the envious swim in their secret admiration as they toil away in the irksome depths of their unstylish microcosm, buried under decades of their own self imposed mediocrity.

I am a metro.

I like great clothes, great scents, and kick ass accessories.  I generally dress to impress, and more often than not do so with great success, but I have a deep dark secret that I am going to share with you now.  It needs to be addressed because I feel many of you may be in this same closet, and I want you to know you are not alone. I have avoided discussing it for too long, and it is bugging me, so here it is – I have a unibrow.  I will give you a moment to snicker/sit there in slack jawed disbelief.  That’s right.  Mother Nature played a nasty little genetic prank right in the middle of my dome.  If left unchecked, it would easily qualify me for work as a Bert stunt double on Sesame Street.  Well, except for the whole having a hand up my ass directing my actions thing, that is.  If I wanted that, I’d just run for Congress.

But, I digress, I am indeed a fuzzy browed mutant, but you’d never know it.  Why?  Because I pluck, that’s why.  That’s right.  I pluck myself.  If you care about your image, you will learn to go vigorously pluck yourself too.  A five dollar pair of tweezers is a necessary investment for the discerning male.  I keep my brows well sculpted, and so should you, unibrow or not.  But that’s far from being the end of your personal hygiene obligations.  Hell, hair grows in all sorts of inconvenient places, as we all know.  It shoots out of our nose, our ears, and for some of us an amount sufficient to weave a Persian rug grows right on our asses.  For many of us, the ancient gene which programmed the bodies of our prehistoric predecessors to fur it up was for whatever reason never disabled, and even though you can’t help that unfortunate bit of genetic expression, you can keep it under control, and if you plan to get laid by a lady with a sense of sight, more than three teeth and no daddy issues, you’d better.

Most of the women I talk to have concurred with what I have come to understand as being the overall consensus among people with vaginas – they do not like excessive body hair.

They find it icky.  So what is the pelted man with a putting green growing out of his back to do?  Shave it, or better yet wax it.  Or even better still, have that shit fried off with laser and/or electrolysis treatments.  If you choose to take the least costly route by shaving it, remember to take the same precautions for other areas of the body as you would for your face.  Use pre-shave oil.  It softens the hairs, which brings them closer to the surface, making them easier for the razor to efficiently clear the area of unwanted stubble.

In addition to maximizing the razor’s efficiency and effectiveness, you also allow it to better exfoliate your skin.  That’s right.  In addition to smoothing the road, daily shaving also helps to remove dead skin cells from your mug, making you at least marginally prettier.  Now, this is primarily a concern for your face, I know, but it will minimize bumps and razor burn in other areas too.  Next, hop in the shower and get things heated up.  Apply your shave gel/cream when you skin and hair is noticeably heated and moisturized.  When hair is moist, it stands up better and is easier to remove, and as it warms, your skin also becomes more pliable, thus reducing the risk of the aforementioned bumps, burns, and nicks.  Shaving in the sink?  Who does that?!  I could go into further detail about the proper way to move the razor along your face, but if you don’t know that by now, you should go slap your dad upside the head right now for failing to educate you.  Oh, and he should have taught you to tie a tie, too.  If he didn’t … well … more on that in the future.

I cannot say enough about the importance of keeping hair under control.

If you have ear hair, buy a trimmer.  Most of them even come with nasal attachments for handling those nostril dwelling strands, too, so you have no excuses for looking like an Ewok’s uncle.  There are too many options available to handle it.  So, HANDLE IT!!! By the way, the same goes for the forest floor, gentlemen.  I find an electric trimmer with a number 3 guard shaves the man bush down to a nice depth, providing symmetry and leaving just enough fuzz for the presentation.  Think of it as parsley for your junk.  A little bit provides a bit of aesthetically pleasing flair, but too much is just pointless.  You don’t like a stifling, sweaty Brillo pillow, and neither does she.  Be considerate, fellas, because you never know when the little general might be receiving a surprise visit.  If you hope to have her to boarding your Millennium Falcon more than once, you can’t be smuggling Chewbacca in the cargo hold.

Moving on, once you’ve waged follicular war and won, you should spend a little time dealing with your largest organ, and by that I mean your skin, not your one eyed captain, you sophomoric putz.  Another advantage we have over our estrogen fueled counterparts is that our skin is thicker than theirs, and thus retains its elasticity longer and wrinkles more slowly, a biological blessing for which women hate us.  This does not mean that we don’t have an obligation to take care of it to the best of our abilities and budget, however.  Sorry, they don’t get a pass on that, and neither do we.  Taking care of your skin is the simplest thing you can do to keep your youthful glow and swagger.

Step one, wash face.  Step two, exfoliate.  Yes, exfoliate.

For the uninitiated, that means using a mildly abrasive cream/face wash to remove dead skin cells from the surface, thus allowing the vibrant, living tissue underneath to shine through.  “That sounds like too much trouble, Chance!” you might be thinking.  Trust me, it takes all of 60 seconds.  You are hopefully spending at least that much time when simply washing your face with regular soap.  Apply it, rub it in, rinse it off.  Easy peezy.  To recap:  Wash.  Exfoliate.  Doing just those two things will help give your face that pregnant lady glow and help you look your most youthful and energetic.  Now, and this is totally up to you, I would recommend also using a twice a day maintenance regimen of applying a layer of uv blocking skin cream by day, and a restoring nutrient based product at night.  This will not only significantly lessen the negative effects of environmental pollutants, but help you avoid dark, puffy circles under your eyes.  Unless you’re dating a raccoon, it’s not attractive.  Take care of your skin, and it’ll take care of you.

Let us now delve into the proper care of your teeth and nails.

If you’re like me (and if you are, you’re probably pretty awesome) you chew those nails like a World of Warcraft dork on a bag of Funions.  While nail gnawing is a great stress reliever, it’s bad for your tooth enamel, and it’s bad for your overall image.  That’s why taking the time to care for both is of the utmost importance.  Creating a swaggered up style means being streamlined from head to toe.  You can be the best dresser on the planet, and have it all put together, but if you miss just one aspect, especially if it involves your claws or jaws, it’ll stand out like the proverbial dick on a snowman.

People notice when you fail to address either.  I can’t really tell you much about the teeth, except for brush, floss, man up to a bottle of Listerine, and maybe use a water pick if you have the means at least twice a day.

As for your nails, oh brother do I see so many men screwing the pooch all over the ends of their digits.

Women notice your nails.  Hell, I notice them for that matter.  Nails are a little thing, but taking care of them says to a woman that you take time to pay attention to details, which they love.  If you care about how you present yourself, she knows you will reflect well on her.  Plus, if your nails are all Freddy Kruegarfied, you can bet those fingers will be going nowhere near her fun places.  Believe that. Invest in some clippers, emery boards, buffing pads, and cuticle sticks.  If you invest just five minutes of your downtime, you can keep that keratin polished, squared off, and looking good.  It’s easier than a drunk co-ed to do, too.  Clip them till they are squared off at the ends.  Use the sticks to push back those unsightly cuticles, give them a quick rub with the buffing pads till they shine, and you are good to go my brothers.

To that end, get a manicure now and then.  Oh, you didn’t know men did that?  We do.  Well, the better groomed amongst us do, at any rate.  Actually, get a pedicure while you’re at it too.  Sooner or later, if you play your cards right, you and your lady are going to be enjoying a little nekkid frivolity, and nothing can slam the brakes on that Kodak moment faster than nasty ass toenails and dry, peeling skin on your dogs.  Foot care is a pain, and I hate messing with it personally, but it is a necessary evil.  Again…attention to details always, always, ALWAYS pays off in the end, so go down to a local spa, sit your Neanderthal backside down in the chair, and allow the clipper ninjas to work their magic.  It’s relaxing as all hell, too, I must add.  It will be the best forty bucks you have ever spent outside of Vegas, I assure you.

Do all of these things, which collectively take very little time, and your game and appeal will skyrocket.

Remember how much more confident you felt when you discovered the power of dressing well?  Develop a personal grooming regimen to compliment the wardrobe, and you will feel even better, and in turn be even more confident, which as we know is the key to making the ladies a little soggy down south.

Now go out and buy yourself some quality skin care and grooming products.  There is a wide variety of skin care products out there, and you may be a little confused as to which ones are better.  A good rule of thumb to follow here is that old truth about getting what you pay for.  If you need an expert opinion on the matter, don’t hesitate to hit up Aaron Marino’s Alpha M Image Consulting skin care and grooming guides on Youtube, or point your browser to  Peace, love, and bacon, my well groomed brothers!

by Chance White