Take Your Scent From Day to Night

In the Will Ferrell comedy Anchorman, Paul Rudd’s character proudly proclaims that his cologne -- Sex Panther -- is “illegal in nine countries.” He goes on to brag about its lady-killing qualities: “They’ve done studies, you know. Sixty percent of the time, it works … every time.”

If your cologne has similar powers, you’re a lucky man. But seducing the ladies is probably not uppermost in your mind when you splash your scent on in the morning -- and it shouldn’t be. You’ve got to get through the workday first. The ideal, of course, would be a one-stop cologne solution for day and night. Something that, as Mehdi Lisi -- senior fragrance development manager for International Flavors and Fragrances -- says, would make you “feel fresh and clean in morning, go through the day feeling energized, and then become a machine of seduction at night.”

Unfortunately, chemistry -- both that of our bodies and that of cologne itself -- makes the one-application goal somewhat elusive. Made up largely of alcohol, cologne begins evaporating immediately upon touching your skin. As your body temperature warms, it dissipates even faster. By the end of the workday, chances are it will be long gone. So what’s the man in search of an all-day, all-purpose cologne to do? The experts have a few suggestions.

Most importantly, do not douse yourself with vast quantities of cologne to make it last. “Your office mates will kill you,” says A.J. Jones, an aesthetician at the Nickel Spa for Men in New York City. It’s far better to reapply later in the day than to go too heavy in the morning. And this should go without saying, but if you’ve hit the gym on your lunch break or after work, you’ve got to shower before reapplying cologne. Otherwise, you’re only going to exude a nasty mash-up of sweat and scent. Jones also suggests using multiple products -- such as body wash, deodorant, and aftershave or cologne -- from the same label. This will deliver the same scent to different parts of the body and in different intensities.

And there are ways to give your cologne a fighting chance at making it past the 5 p.m. whistle, says Sarah Horowitz, owner and chief perfumer of custom fragrance company Sarah Horowitz Parfums. For one, if you pour a bit into your hands and clap, it will help burn off the alcohol and reduce the cologne to its signature (and longest-lasting) elements. Another stratagem Horowitz offers is to layer the scent by applying it to places that will retain it longer: “Your skin radiates heat, but hair does not. Put some cologne on your hands and then smooth it into the back of your hair or onto your beard.” You can also dab a little on a jacket or shirt -- providing you’ve rubbed it into your hands first. Whatever you do, don’t spray cologne directly onto your clothing. You might smell good, but that big stain on your shirt will likely mitigate any positive effects.

And what of the holy grail? Is there a cologne that will allow you to strike the right notes at varying times of day? Indeed, there is. Colognes that contain two contrasting scents, such as citrus and wood, can help you create different impressions, says Lisi. Citrus, which has volatile molecules, will express itself early; as your workday wears on, however, the citrus notes will wear out and allow the sexier, more masculine woodsy notes to make their presence known. Consider it a two-tier approach. There are many types of cologne out there that will give you this one-two punch. Lisi recommends Diesel’s Only the Brave, Fierce by Abercrombie & Fitch, I Am King by Sean John and The One by Dolce & Gabbana.

Regardless of the one you choose, know that a signature scent is something by which people will remember you long after you’ve left the room. Choose and apply your cologne wisely: It will serve you well throughout the day and beyond. Overdo it, however, and you might start reminding people of a 1970s TV reporter -- one with a zero-percent chance of impressing anyone.

Turn Women on -- With Your Skin

If anything exemplifies the perplexing polarities of what women want, it’s men’s skin. She wants your face soft as a baby’s butt ... but with the rugged appearance of a veteran cowboy. She wants you to have that “JLo glow,” but the masculine version. She tells you to get regular melanoma screenings and to keep an eye out for suspicious moles -- all without keeping a pasty, Kabuki-white pallor. Go figure.

Here are five tips from the pros to achieve this feels-smooth-but-looks-rugged men’s skin dichotomy she finds so irresistible:

1. Drink up.

No, we’re not talking about beverages from a can or bottle -- we’re talking tea. Says Denise Vitello, spa director of the Mandarin Oriental in New York: Drinking warm ginger tea to support the circulation of blood will give you that flush chicks read as healthy and sexy (without the dripping sweat you get when you work out).

2. Read the labels.

No, not the protein and carb content in your protein shake (that’s another story), but rather the ones on your “products” -- from zit medication to sunblock. “The ingredients you put on your body are just as important as the ingredients you put in your body. Skin is the body's largest organ (it lives and dies) and needs nourishment to encourage regeneration of healthy skin cells,” explains Cecily Braden, president of Beauty Secrets, a company that produces organic skin care products for professional spa use.

3. Don’t suffer.

“Waiting to reach for the ChapStick and having your lips crack puts you at risk for lip cancer,” warns certified plastic surgical nurse Joan Dallal. So don’t think you’re pulling some kind of macho move by holding out -- you're just being mucho dumb. Bonus unfortunateness: “Men also have to reapply sunblock more often than women because they sweat more,” says Dallal.

4. Foresee your future.

“Your skin is nothing like your mom’s or sister’s -- it’s oilier and more acidic than women’s skin,” says Dr. Isabel Souffront, an internist specializing in cosmetic skin care. “Sure it’s denser, thicker and firmer because you have more collagen than women, but unless you take care of it, expect it to thin quickly and to have deep lines.” Bottom line: Pass the skin cream, bro.

5. Take time to shave.

“Rushing in the a.m. can really end up hurting your face if you’re multitasking and not paying attention,” warns Kristen Haines, winner of the Juli B Style Skincare Professional Esthetician of the Year award. What’s that, you say? You already shaved with too much pressure, against the grain, using a dubious razor? Soften the blow by reaching for moisturizer instead of aftershave.

You think she’s looking at your shoes or your bulging biceps? Nah, the first thing she notices is your skin, “so take that extra minute or two to pull that razor across your face and use the right product,” recommends Haines. “There is nothing sexier than a smooth, irresistible face.”

Turbocharge Your Shaving Kit

Shaving cream and a razor are just a start. To take your personal grooming to the next level, equip your Dopp bag with these tools.

The humble Dopp kit -- named after its early 20th century inventor, leather craftsman Charles Doppelt -- has come a long way since it was a standard-issue razor-and-toothbrush carrier for WWII GIs. Just as modern man’s grooming needs have evolved to include more than a bar of soap and bucket of warm water, so have the innards of his Dopp kit.

Think of it as your personal arsenal of grooming weapons -- whether you’re headed off on a relief mission or simply prepping for another war at the office. Here’s everything you need:

1. Face wash
Put down the bar of soap and step away from the sink. Seriously. Now. Soap is drying and irritating. The trick here is to dissolve dirt and clean skin without stripping away all the oil, which can actually cause your skin to overcompensate by producing excess oil. And remember, when it comes to your face, you don’t want to over-cleanse. Once a day, preferably before you shave, is enough.

What to look for:

If you have dry skin, select a cream-based cleanser. If your face looks like an oil spill, look for an oil-free, soap-free liquid. And if you’re especially prone to breakouts, choose one that contains salicylic acid.

2. Pre-shave oil
Think of this as a primer for the second coat (that would be the shave cream). It softens skin and hairs to prevent razor burn and provides a super-slick surface for the razor to glide across.

What to look for:

Opt for natural plant-based softeners like coconut oil or olive oil, instead of petroleum-based products, which can clog pores.

3. Sensitive skin shave cream
Even if you don’t think you have sensitive skin, choosing a “sensitive skin” cream, gel or foam can help protect against redness and irritation.

What to look for:

Opt for one that contains aloe, glycerin and mineral oil -- key ingredients that soften and soothe. 

4. Shaving brush
This old-school tool is making a major comeback thanks to properly educated barbers and sophisticated consumers. It doesn’t just feel good on your skin, it’s backed by actual science: The gentle action of the bristles exfoliates skin and removes dead skin cells, then fluffs up your whiskers so they’re standing straight up for a closer shave.

What to look for:

Select one made out of badger hair -- it’s more expensive than boar but is higher-quality and softer on your face. (Plus, it will last a lifetime.)

5. Razor
If you’re still using the cheap disposable kind or one with too few blades, it’s time for a major upgrade.

What to look for:

Research has actually demonstrated the benefits of multiple-blade razors. The basic science is that the first blade engages the hair and pulls it out of the follicle so that the subsequent blades can cut the hair further down the shaft. Translation: a closer, smoother shave with less risk of nicks and cuts.

6. Styptic pencil
This short, medicated stick is a blast from the past that helps stop bleeding fast if you get a nick or cut. It stings but it works.

What to look for:

Aluminum sulfate in the ingredient list.

7. Aftershave
Use an aftershave gel or balm to calm the skin and reduce irritation.

What to look for:

Skip alcohol-based products, which can cause irritation and dryness. Instead, choose one that contains aloe and vitamin E -- Mother Nature’s original soothing and healing agents.

8. Electric nose and ear hair trimmer
You don’t need two separate tools -- one will do.

What to look for:

Look for an electric rotary version: It uses a rotary blade system that cuts in a circular motion to trim along the inside of the walls without getting too close. Other key features to look for are a built-in LED light (to help guide you in those dark cavities) and an integrated vacuum system (to collect hair as it trims).

9. Moisturizer
Contrary to every TV ad, face cream isn’t just about preventing wrinkles and fine lines: It helps keep your skin hydrated, protects against sun and wind, and can even promote skin cell regeneration.

What to look for:

If your skin is dry, look for ingredients like shea butter and aloe. If you’re prone to breakouts, look for an oil-free version labeled “noncomedogenic.” Either way, always choose one that contains sunscreen. (The American Academy of Dermatology recently upgraded its minimum SPF recommendation from 15 to 30.)

10. Eye cream
The finest, most delicate skin on your face is around your eyes. That’s also the first place to show signs of aging (like puffiness, crow’s feet and dark circles).

What to look for:

If your main objective is to reduce puffiness, pick a product that contains cucumber and caffeine (to soothe and tighten) with a roll-on application -- the simple act of rolling it on helps redistribute lymphatic buildup under the eye skin. To combat dark under-eye circles, look for a product with vitamin K -- studies have shown it can be an effective treatment because our body uses this vitamin in clotting.

11. Lip balm
Let’s face it: No one wants to kiss a pair of cracked smackers.

What to look for:

A non-petroleum-based product. It moisturizes without drying and promotes faster healing.

12. Stainless steel
This blanket category goes for all those little metal doodads: grooming scissors, nail clippers and tweezers. And when we say stainless steel, we mean it: You might be tempted to cut corners and go for the cheapest versions, but when you’re manscaping and clipping your sensitive zones, do you really want to risk diving in with rusty, dull blades? Didn’t think so. >

What to look for:

Select tools that can accommodate the size of your mitts. More and more companies are coming out with “man-sized” grooming tools for this very reason.

13. Hair styling products
Here you have many options, including gel, for an all-day, extra-strong hold with a bit of a wet look a la “Mad Men,” or paste/putty for a textured and spiky bed-head look.

What to look for:

If you’re a gel guy, look for a glycerin-based version for added moisture. If you swing for the paste/putty league but can’t decide which team to join, remember this: Putty offers a stronger hold (similar to a gel), while paste allows you to go back and restyle your mop throughout the day.

How Shaving Sharpens Your Life

Shaving accomplishes much more than just removing hair from your face. Here, we reveal the surprising benefits that accompany the right cut.

As even cavemen knew thousands of years ago, the act of shaving removes facial hair (except, their method involved sharp rocks, which couldn’t have been much fun and which made removing neck stubble, in particular, an adventure akin to dodging the dreaded follicle-saurus). What they -- and maybe a smart iPhone-carrying, Wii-playing guy like you -- didn’t realize is that the act of face-blading can also boost job prospects, improve skin health, curb wrinkles, and according to scientific research, make you more attractive. Here’s how.

At Work
Fair or not, people make assumptions about what job you’re suited for based on whether you’re clean-shaven or bearded, according to a Stockholm University study. The psychologists heading the study collected photos of men with and without facial hair and asked subjects to decide which job best fit each man.

The results were surprising: Apparently, having a beard is a positive for a college professor or scientist, but the opposite is true for white-collar jobs. If you’re a lawyer, budding executive or salesman, your favorability goes up once the stubble is shorn. Keep this in mind next time you’re weighing whether or not to come back from vacation with the Grizzly Adams look. 

In the Fountain of Youth
Using a razor keeps the skin healthier and holds acne at bay. It all has to do with exfoliation, the mild removal of the top layer of dead skin. “This helps cleanse your pores and reduce microscopic pimples that could ultimately lead to full-blown pimples visible to the naked eye,” says Dr. Daniel Sheehan, a dermatologist at the Medical College of Georgia.

A second benefit to exfoliation: It stimulates collagen production in the skin, which promotes elasticity and a younger, more vibrant glow.

Behind the Foliage
Dr. John C. Browning, a dermatologist at the University of Texas, notes that beards block you from applying moisturizer, the lack of which can speed up wrinkling. “It also allows others to fully see your face and takes away any assumption that the reason you have facial hair is because you need to hide behind something,” he says.

There’s a caveat, though: “Having a clean-shaven face exposes you to the sun’s rays more, so it’s important to apply sunscreen,” says Browning. “In case you’re worried about not getting enough vitamin D, which your body produces when you expose your skin to sunlight, take dietary supplements.”

In Love
Two studies offer good news for the clean team. The first was conducted by the international market intelligence company Synovate. It found that 26 percent of American women prefer men with beards, while the other 74 percent go for clean-shaven guys. (The highest ratio of women who prefer men who use razors comes from South Africa, at 94 percent; the lowest is Canada, at a still whopping 70 percent.)

The second study came from scientists at Barry University in Florida and the University of Louisville. In it, a group of men and women were given pictures of whiskerless and bearded guys, and they were asked to rate them on certain specific traits. The findings: Clean-shaven men were regarded as more appealing, more agreeable, younger and more mature.

10 Healthy Habits That Make You Handsome

There are easier, more effective, ways to look like a million bucks than by plunking down that much on some surgical solution -- the way some Hollywood pretty-boy wannabe would. And just your luck: all involve treating your body better. It’s true, a healthier lifestyle can actually boost your physical appearance -- targeting everything from your complexion, to those bags under your eyes, to the sheen of your hair.

Follow these 10 simple health and nutrition tips to make the face staring at you in the mirror hotter than ever.

1. Care about skin care.
Too often, this advice is sloughed off like dead epidermal cells. But listen anyway: Use moisturizers to keep your skin from drying out -- and more importantly, apply sunscreen to curb premature aging and undue damage from ultraviolet rays bound to resurface in the form of leather-textured moles or other such unpleasantnesses.

“If men would simply do this, it would make the biggest difference in their appearance,” says Dr. Leslie Baumann, a dermatologist and author of the best-seller The Skin Type Solution. Make it a habit, like shaving or brushing your teeth, she suggests.

2. Butt out.
As in, stop smoking. “Cigarettes cause worse wrinkling than the sun,” stresses Dr. Brooke Seckel, a plastic surgeon and author of Save Your Face -- The Revolutionary 6-Step Nonsurgical Facial Rejuvenation Program. Smoking robs the skin of collagen and elastin -- which give the skin texture, strength and elasticity -- and in turn speeds up the aging process. Cigarette use can also give the skin a grayish tone. Hot!

3. Eat right.
A healthy diet equals a more glowing complexion, shinier hair and a fitter you.

“The key is to stay well balanced,” says Jim White, a fitness and nutrition expert, and a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. “Oatmeal is a great power food. It’s loaded with fiber and can help manage hunger and lower cholesterol. Cottage cheese, meanwhile, is low in sugar and high in protein and calcium.”

Overall, stick closely to a Mediterranean-type diet, with few high-fat meats and larger amounts of grains, fish and olive oil.

4. Sleep.
Get the recommended eight hours a night, at least. “Sleeping restores all organs of the body, including the skin, which is the body’s largest organ,” notes Seckel. “It also reduces tension and anxiety, lessening crow’s feet, frown lines and worry lines.”

Lack of sleep also causes those dreaded circles under your eyes. (See our Facebook photos.)

5. Hydrate.
“Skin needs water to function properly, especially to fight damage caused by the sun,” says Baumann. Drinking the recommended eight glasses a day additionally flushes toxins from the body and brings nutrients to the deep layer of the skin (the dermis).

6. Slenderize.
Trimming down will not only improve your appearance but also reduce your risk of stroke, diabetes, cancer and other diseases.

“Don’t go on some radical diet. Instead think about portion control,” says White. “Shave your calorie intake by 500 a day by cutting back on some vices like fried foods, and you’ll lose a sensible pound or two a week.”

7. Be pro-antioxidant.
Antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E found in fruits and vegetables are essential. They promote skin repair and elasticity and also reduce your risk for heart disease and cancer, says White.

8. Do cardio.
A cardio workout regimen lowers stress, makes you happier and gives your skin a glow. “Do any kind of aerobic exercise that will raise your heart rate above baseline for half an hour a day, says Dr. Douglas Peterson, a sports medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic. “It could be going for a walk, taking a bike ride or using the elliptical -- something that works up a sweat a little. Don’t do too much too fast or you’ll get injured and quit. Exercise should be fun, and you should feel good doing it.”

9. Watch the booze.
“Alcohol causes swelling of the tissues, especially puffy eyes, and often leads to bad eating habits -- causing weight gain -- and smoking,” warns Seckel.

10. Stand tall.
Good posture really is a good thing. Core strength training will get rid of that unseemly slouch. (Plus, a new set of six pack abs is definitely an appearance improvement.) Dr. Peterson recommends light resistance training two to three times a week to strengthen core muscles. A certified personal trainer can work with you on a regimen that you can follow at home.