69 things every gay man should know about looking good

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  1. Smile more. Also, don’t walk around with a pissed-off look on your face. Practice a neutral expression instead. You’ll win more money at poker and won’t show off your crow’s-feet.
  2. If you’re over 30, use an eye cream and a moisturizer.
  3. Want to look younger in two minutes? Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. Use a facial scrub once a week and a moisturizer with alpha hydroxy acid every day.
  4. Red, prematurely aged skin makes you look older, so wear a sunscreen/moisturizer combo. Make sure the sunscreen contains zinc oxide and is recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation (www.skincancer.org).
  5. Don’t tan. In Living Well: The Gay Man’s Essential Health Guide, Doctor Peter Shalit wrote: “The same ultraviolet rays from the sun that make your skin tan also damage the elastic fibers in the skin, causing wrinkles. Sunlight can also damage the skin cells and lead to freckling, age spots, and skin cancer.”
  6. If you want to use a self-tanner, buy a high-end brand. Do a test patch on a hidden portion of your body so you don’t walk around with orange fingerprints on your face.
  7. When you go on vacation, use a self-tanner with a sunblock instead of tanning for real. If you keep applying it, your tan will last much longer.
  8. Use a toner to dig the dirt out of your pores. Find one that contains little or no alcohol.
  9. If you have oily skin, use a moisturizer or finishing product that reduces shine (again, avoid anything with a high alcohol content). Or, splash cold water on your face a few times a day.
  10. To keep your skin looking good, drink lots of water. From Men Like Us: The GMHC Complete Guide to Gay Men’s Sexual, Physical, and Emotional Well-Being by Daniel Wolff: “Drinking at least eight large glasses of water per day (coffee, beer, and soda don’t count) is a key to health, moisturizing your skin and helping flush out the impurities that cause blemishes.”
  11. Ditch that harsh soap in favor of one that moisturizes your skin. If you’re worried about smelling girlish, get unscented soap.
  12. Don’t buy cheap cologne and don’t apply more than two or three squirts.
  13. If you usually nick yourself while shaving, experiment with different creams and razors. If that doesn’t work, apply a thick moisturizer right before you shave.
  14. If necessary, shave the back of your neck once a week.
  15. Buy a rechargeable electric razor. You can use it to shave twice in one day without harming your face, trim hard-to-reach places, and shave in the car when you’re late for work.
  16. If the hair on your chest and legs is getting too bushy for your liking, buy some electric clippers.
  17. Use those clippers (or a beard trimmer) to keep your facial hair tidy.
  18. Trim your pubic hair so your dick looks longer. And, if you shave your balls, Men Like Us recommends washing with an antibacterial soap beforehand to cut down on the risk of infection and using an over-the-counter cortisone cream afterward to prevent itching.
  19. If you have one long eyebrow, pluck the hairs in the center. Tweeze stray hairs too (but don’t overdo it).
  20. Trim your nose hair. Also check for hairs on the outside of your nose.
  21. If necessary, trim or pluck your ear hair. Or try electrolysis.
  22. Get rid of your back hair. Nearly all of us have it, but most of us don’t like it. Shave, use Nair, or get it waxed. For an allegedly permanent solution, try laser hair removal (for more on that, turn to page 18).
  23. Use a conditioner after you shampoo so you don’t walk around with a million split ends. If your hair is especially dry or frizzy, try a leave-in conditioner.
  24. Use gel. It will add shine, plus camouflage split ends and gray hair.
  25. Splurge and go to an expensive hair salon. Hopefully you’ll get a flattering, stylish cut. If you don’t want to keep shelling out the big bucks, just go back to the salon when it’s time to change your hairstyle.
  26. If you dye your hair at home, choose an upscale brand. Test it on a hidden strand of hair during the day so you can check the color in sunlight. Ask a friend for help. S/he can give you a second opinion, and cheer you up if you aren’t happy with the results.
  27. Better yet, don’t dye it at all. Go gray, then work the daddy look.
  28. Ditch the rug unless you consistently hear “I didn’t know you wore a toupee!” Work the virile sex pig look.
  29. If your hair is thinning, keep it short. You won’t fool anyone by combing your hair forward or growing a ponytail.
  30. If you’re losing your hair and want to keep it, try these remedies in this order: generic minoxidil, extra-strength Rogaine and Propecia (a hair-growth drug that’s available by prescription). According to Men Like Us, use of extra-strength Rogaine grows an average of 39 hairs per square centimeter, and Propecia adds an average of 107 more hairs per circular inch.
  31. Certain medications and vitamins (such as too much vitamin A) can make your hair fall out. If you’re experiencing sudden hair loss, check your meds and your diet.
  32. Want to look and feel better? Take multivitamins in moderation. Here’s another beauty tip: try a vitamin blend specially formulated to improve your hair, skin and nails.
  33. If you don’t drink milk, take calcium pills. Men get osteoporosis too.
  34. Stand up straight. You’ll appear taller and more confident. It will also minimize your gut.
  35. Get your gut and your butt to the gym. From Men Like Us: “An exercise routine tones your muscles, burns fat, lowers cholesterol, boosts your immune system, strengthens your heart, expands your range of motion, elevates your mood, and does about three dozen other good things.”
  36. If you want to lose weight, stop talking about it and actually do something. Brad Pitt and Mark Wahlberg weren’t born with six-packs--they had to work for them. You know the drill: diet and exercise.
  37. Don’t wear old rags to the gym. Invest in cute, flattering gym clothes (and a nice gym bag). Don’t wear overly revealing clothes in an attempt to get noticed.
  38. Listen to fashion and grooming advice from your friends and relatives--especially if more than one person says the same thing.
  39. Disregard advice from jealous, unsupportive friends. Don’t go clothes shopping with them, either.
  40. Dress your age. In Husband Hunting Made Easy, Patrick Price wrote, “If you’re well groomed and in shape, you can be dignified and attractive at any age.”
  41. Don’t get caught in a time warp. Change your overall look every once in a while.
  42. On the other hand, don’t go overboard in terms of following fads--especially as you get older.
  43. Pay attention to what others are wearing and buy a few new things every season.
  44. Clean out your closet. Donate dated items to charity and toss your ratty old underwear.
  45. Buy nice boxers or briefs for special occasions.
  46. Don’t buy clothes just because they’re on sale.
  47. Don’t buy cheap shoes.
  48. Replace your sneakers before they fall apart.
  49. Don’t wear sneakers with dress pants unless you have a long, strenuous walk to work.
  50. Don’t wear socks with sandals under any circumstances. Do not wear white socks with dark pants and dark shoes.
  51. If your pants or shorts have belt loops, wear a belt.
  52. Dress to hide your flaws. Many women have mastered the art of doing this, so seek advice from a female friend if necessary.
  53. Keep your shirt on in bars and clubs. From The Fran Lebowitz Reader: “After a few moments of dancing you are likely to become quite warm. This should not be taken as a cue to remove your shirt. If one of your fellow dancers should be interested in your progress at the gym, rest assured that he will not be too shy to ask.”
  54. Walk into a bar like you can’t wait to meet everyone and they can’t wait to meet you. That attitude will make you seem approachable. You’ll also expect the best from each encounter.
  55. Make an effort to shave and wear decent clothes on the weekend. You’ll feel better about yourself. Also, Murphy’s Law dictates that you’ll run into the stud of your dreams while wearing flip-flops, sweat pants and a dirty, faded T-shirt.
  56. Wear less jewelry as you get older.
  57. Replace your glasses and sunglasses once a year. Ask the salesperson and, more importantly, a friend for advice.
  58. Want to emphasize your eyes? Have your eyelashes dyed (by a professional in a reputable salon). It doesn’t cost much and will fade in a few weeks.
  59. Get enough sleep. From Husband Hunting Made Easy: “Never underestimate the renewal power of sleep. It’s the cheapest beauty ritual available, but often the most abused.”
  60. Become the kind of guy you want to sleep with.
  61. Don’t smoke. From Living Well: “Smokers wrinkle earlier and more heavily than nonsmokers. Studies have shown that smokers are perceived as five to ten years older than nonsmokers of the same age.”
  62. Drugs also age you prematurely. Don’t believe us? Look at any picture of Judy Garland taken after 1965.
  63. Have your teeth bleached professionally. Or, to whiten them without spending a bundle, try the new Crest Whitestrips.
  64. Check your breath. If it’s bad (or if anyone acts like it is), try to fix it. In addition to the usual remedies brush your tongue, which will remove stinky dead skin cells (you can also buy a tongue scraper). If nothing works, see your dentist or doctor.
  65. Get a manicure and pedicure. Watch what they do so you can give yourself manicures at home. At the very least, buy a nail file to even out your nails.
  66. Use a nail brush (or the toothbrush your ex left behind) to keep your nails clean and shiny.
  67. Pumice your feet and trim your toenails regularly. That way you won’t draw blood when your feet brush up against a guy in bed. Also, your toenails won’t punch holes in your socks.
  68. Develop several interests so you will become more fascinating (and attractive) to other men. Extracurricular activities will help you meet men who do more than watch TV and go out to bars (not that there’s anything wrong with those activities).
  69. Act confident. Stop telling yourself that you’re too this or too that. People with a lot less to work with seem to be doing just fine, so get out there. Besides, you’ll enjoy life more if you don’t listen to that nasty little voice in your head.

Words by Matthew Kennedy

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