You don’t have to label yourself as metrosexual or partake in the Guido-dominated ritual of GTL to get your groom on. Here are seven easy grooming routines to try if you need a boot o’ confidence and know that hygiene involves a little more than a shower and a swig of mouthwash.
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The so-called phenomenon of “manscaping” has been popularized by magazine articles and that infamous scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. But the act of stripping your chest and that beloved treasure trail is overrated — and totally unnecessary. If it’s something you care about, wax away. There are more than plenty of women who aren’t into the baby-bare abdomens featured in Gucci ads or on clichéd teen soap operas, though. Seek out a professional to get waxed if there’s a place you can’t trim the excessive parts yourself (a.k.a. your back and neck). Waxing stunts growth — and even ceases it for some — over time. And you’re not going to die. Just bring an Ibuprofen and pop that sucker the second your done.
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Another not-so-crucial step in prepping yourself to conquer the world with your dashing good looks, whitening your teeth has only gotten more common within the past few years. That means if you’re self conscious of a yellow grin, know there are plenty of other options besides doling out hundreds at the dentist or walking around the dorm with a duck-billed size gum mold in your mouth. We recommend Crest White Strips Pro ($30). You only have to put ‘em on once a day for two weeks (or just do a week, who’s counting), and they form to your teeth. You’ll just sound like a total dork with a retainer sticking to the roof of his mouth for 30 minutes for a few days.
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A favorite pastime of a plethora of boyfriends is watching their towel-clad girlfriend lather themselves with lotion after hopping out of the shower. We don’t merely do it to be sexy, though (but know requests to help out will most likely never be turned down!). Basic tap water contains a ton of dulling minerals, and hot water dries out your skin like crazy. Replenish it with a simple non-scented lotion after you hop out of the shower. Recognize the beauty of a no more itchy skin.
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This doesn’t have to involve heading to your nearest nail shop and gritting your teeth through gruesome small talk with neighboring female customers. (Exceptions are the men who hate nail files because the sound of a girl filing her nails makes you want to pull out your teeth—just wear your headphones and close your eyes.) Get a basic nail kit or a really nice clipper and just do it yourself:
First, clip ‘em if you’ve been totally lazy and are beginning to resemble a crack head. Then, clean out under your nails or no girl will ever let you finger her. Now for the best part: filing! This doesn’t have to suck, promise: Using short motions, move in one direction—NOT back and forth—and smooth out the jagged parts into a half-oval shape. A common part of a manicure involves pushing down your cuticles or cutting them (not easy to do without a lot of practice). When you remember it, just do this part when you get out of the shower with a warm washcloth—the cuticle is soft and malleable. Or apply a product Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream ($4) and push them down with your fingertips.
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It may sound like a menacing word. Exfoliator is just awesome, though. Okay, let us argue this a different way: Have you ever rolled around in the sand, maybe screwing a girl on the beach or something, and after rinsing off in the shower or whatever you feel like a new man? No? Well hypothetically, the texture from that sand was swiping off thousands of dead skin cells. We shed our skin, like snakes, but at a much slower rate. So then it just hangs out there and clogs our pores. You can use an exfoliator to speed this process up. Try a store-bought one out once a week, like L’Oreal for Men’s Expert Exfoliator ($4). Rub in a circular motion all over your sexy body and rinse off. Even easier: Pick a body wash with exfoliating beads in it like Suave Exfoliating Body Wash ($2).
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Let’s forgo the hygienic talk for a quick sec: skin cancer can be warded off with a simple 30-second task a couple times a day. Even if you’re a pale-ass MF or you “never burn,” you’re still not clear of UV rays that cause melanoma. You can even combine this point with the post-shower lotion and hey, you’re multitasking!
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Yes, this counts as a beauty routine! Why? ‘Cause you forgot to exfoliate and now millions of you’re sleeping with millions of dead skin cells every night. Also, your pillowcase is soaking up all your natural oils every time you put your precious head down, and then you’re rubbing your face all up in that buffet of body excrement for eight hours a night. This causes zits, blemishes, blackheads, and nothing else that is sexy. (And we haven’t even got to that discolored stain over there… and there) We know it’s a pain in the ass and cursing at the fitted sheet seems compulsory. Just wash those bad boys every laundry run (at least every two weeks, seriously, it’s not that hard). Or keep a clean spare set under your bed and spare yourself some time to procrastinate.
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(Previously published on March 3, 2011.)