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Over the last year, it’s become pretty obvious that facial hair is here to stay -- though not necessarily as a permanent fixture -- on the faces of many of your favorite famous faces. Some grew fuzz, shaved it off, then started over. Some stopped shaving altogether and grew full-out bushy beards. Other perma-shaved, clean-cut, all-American guys continued to inspire the rest of us.
To honor these beacons of facial hair management, we hereby institute the first ever Annual MLT Razor Awards. Here are the winners:
Most Stylish World Cupper: GERARD PIQUE
This devilishly handsome soccer player from Argentina even got reluctant females to watch soccer right to the last match! Sure, he’s got those dark eyes and that solid jaw. But how sexy is his well-trimmed beard? Folliclewise, note the tidiness of his cheek area. And check out the well-proportioned neck margins (where the beard ends and the rest of the neck prevails). His facial hair practically spells out “winner.”
Best Return-to-the-Razor: BRAD PITT
One would have though Pitt was working on the next Pirates of the Caribbean installment this past year, what with that rubber-banded growth protruding from his face that practically screamed “Ahoy!” Brave? Aye! But why cover up that perfect mug? Pitt bladed his face to its full former glory this summer. (Just for the record, we would shave every day for the rest of our lives if the good Lord were to gift us a face like his.)
Best Nouveau Goatee: TIM MCGRAW and KOBE BRYANT
The singer and the athlete tie for making this somewhat-tired, ubiquitous growth style seem cool and new again. Perfectly trimmed -- but not over-shaped -- their look whispers masculine and confident.
Best Use of Goatee to Reveal Character Traits by a Superhero: ROBERT DOWNEY JR.
Our favorite superheroes always have smooth cheeks … and we love them for it! But RDJ in Iron Man 2 used his razor skilfully while growing a rebel goatee. A superhero using facial growth to tell us about his inner demons? We consider this revolutionary.
Best Post-prepster Icon: ANDERSON COOPER
Here’s the perfect marriage of a bare, smooth, boyish face and the markings of maturity. CNN’s intrepid reporter Cooper remains boyish with his clean shave; but his silver-fox hair reminds us he’s been around -- and knows what he’s talking about!
Best Perma-staches: EDDIE MURPHY, JOHN WATERS (both pencil styles) and HULK HOGAN (horseshoe)
These guys are the die-hards: lifelong members of the Mustache Hall of Fame. To these men, we say: Congrats for staying true to your trademark growth.
Best Return-to-work De-bearding: JON HAMM
Hamm is a clean-shaven style icon on the TV series “Mad Men” (even if he is always on the verge of 5 o’clock shadow). Yet he had let loose on his hiatus with a full beard this year (perhaps to show off his facial hair’s range?). Most of us were relieved to find the barefaced Don Draper we love and admire when the new season started. For now, his position as Modern Retro American Style Paragon is safe.
Greatest Facial Hair Versatility: RYAN GOSLING
Gosling has looked fantastic with a nerd mustache, roll-out-of-bed stubble, a college boy’s full beard and a preppy, clean-shaven look … all in the span of 12 months! Our co-workers would totally mock us if we ever attempted this!
Best Swashbuckling Beard: JAKE GYLLENHAAL
Gyllenhaal needed something to compensate for that “abbreviated” battle outfit he dons in Prince of Persia. Luckily, he gets to wear a skilfully manicured just-barely-there beard that makes him look both rugged and noble.
The Clean-shaven Icon Award: JULIO IGLESIAS
The multilingual singer from Spain, loved the world over, has seldom dabbled with facial follicles over the almost half century he’s serenaded us. And true to form, this past year, Iglesias kept his chiseled face tan and classically clean-shaven.
Meanwhile, his son, ENRIQUE, definitely wins the award for Best Soul Patch! Hats off to a discreet hair tuft on a face every bit as smooth and handsome as daddy’s.