Men and Make-up: How Not to Glisten When Your Stock Plummets

Do men use cosmetics? Should they?

We know that men get laser treatments, face lifts, chemical peels, Botox® and fillers.

But applying a little bronzing powder is a different story. Or is it?

I am not advocating that men apply make-up (not that there is anything wrong with that). I wonder though, how many men reach into their wives’ or girlfriends’ make-up bag to find concealer for their acne? I don’t know, but I suspect quite a few.

A product that might be worth the cost (and preserve your masculinity) is an anti-shine gel. This one, made by Shiseido, was recently mentioned in the Wall Street Journal (not exactly Men’s Vogue).

Male faces naturally produce more sebum, some more than others. If you’re a professional and your face has a tendency to glisten when your hedge fund takes a dive in the afternoon, then having a product like this might be useful. And no less manly.

A Proper Shave

It is a truth universally acknowledged that women are in want of men with a close shave. To get that baby soft cheek you have to start with a proper shave.

First, determine the type of beard you have. Do you have fine, straight hair, or thick curly hair?

Most men with thick or curly hair should not shave against the grain. Doing so causes the hairs to be cut below the surface of the skin. When the hair regrows it becomes trapped and instead of growing out, curls back on itself and grows inward. This causes inflamed, red bumps (a condition called pseudofolliculitis barbae), that are further injured the next time you shave.

Men with fine, straight hair can shave against the grain, getting the closest shave possible.

  1. Wash your face with warm water and soap first. The best time to shave is after you shower; the warm soap and water will soften the hairs, making for a smoother, closer shave.
  2. Lather with a good thick shaving cream, massaging the hairs in a circular motion. If you have one (or hope to get one for Christmas) a badger shave brush helps to lift the hairs, soften them, and spread the shaving cream evenly. Use a quality shaving cream or gel — I like a Neutrogena Men’s Razor Defense, a gel for people prone to ingrown hairs; or, if all your suits are Armani, then you might prefer these excellent shave creams from John Varvatos or from The Art of Shaving.
  3. With a clean razor, shave in the direction of the hair growth. Rinse the blade under warm water after each pass because hairs and shaving cream stuck in the blades will prevent the blade from cutting cleanly and can cause nicks. Look carefully at your beard, the hairs often grow in different directions at the sideburns, the middle of the cheeks, the chin and the neck. In some men, the hair on the neck actually grows in the complete opposite direction as on their face!
  4. If you have thick or curly hair, or if you are prone to razor bumps, then skip this step and go to number 5. If not, then reapply the shaving cream and shave again in the opposite direction. This will give you the closest possible shave but will pose the greatest risk for ingrown hairs.
  5. Rinse your face vigorously with cool water, carefully removing the residue from the shave cream, then pat dry.

Photo credit: FFC, CircaSassy

Losing Your Hair? Nix the Cigs this Year

Well, we have come to the end of another year. When you look into the mirror and reflect on 2007 do you notice that your hairline has given up ground that it once held? You’re not alone. As you can tell from the sheer number of ads in the newspaper sports section, male pattern baldness (or androgenic alopecia) is a common disorder. It affects up to 50% of adult men and a large percentage of adult women.

There are countless remedies from laser combs to hair transplant surgery to treat baldness, many of which work, most of which don’t. A new study published in the Archives of Dermatology has shown there might be a way to help your hair loss, and actually SAVE you money.

The study found that men who smoked were more likely to have hair loss than those who didn’t. They also found that there was a direct relationship between how much they smoked and how much hair loss they lost.

The reason why smoking causes hair loss is not clear. It might be that it affects circulation, restricting blood supply to the hair follicles, or it might be that it leads to an excess of androgenic hormones which trigger the change in the hair.

The benefits to your health from quitting smoking make a long list. You can now add “To keep a full head of hair” to the bottom. Perhaps it’s just the motivation you need to quit for the new year.