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ALPHA MALE: 6 Ways to Look Better in the New Year

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


The new you for 2013 begins with six smart grooming tips, all right here.

For many, the start of the New Year signals a time to reflect on the year that just past; Still others set daunting resolutions that plague the first quarter of the year only to be abandoned hastily thereafter. But should there not be a compromise between what was and what will be? Who you were and who you want to be? There are some simple lifesyle tips that can help you approach the bigger issues in your life that you want to change.

What I suggest is to look at yourself right now and take some simple steps to improve today so that your annual self appraisal is actionable and your goals for the new year can be achieved without the inherent anxiety of interminable self-improvement checkpoints. Over the next couple of weeks, let us address several areas in your lifestyle- from your hygeine to your wardobe to your extracurricular activities- that you can affect right now and should assist you in achieving those longer term resolutions for a new you.

Start with grooming

Sometimes, the only motivation a guy needs for a little self improvement is a fresh shave and a haircut. But whether you have a beard or stay baby skin smooth, start your year off with an overall better grooming regimen. And do not be afraid to spend a couple of bucks on some better quality products to help your cause. Here are some of my grooming do's and don'ts:

  • Do: Brush at least twice a day and floss. It is proven to promote better health and it is a simple habit to start which can discipline you to manage the bigger changes you want to make in your life.

  • Don't: Skip physical, dental and eye exams yearly. Again, self-discipline in small ways leads to your ability to make bigger changes. Respect your body first by taking a look "under the hood" before you think that gym workout is the cure all.

  • Do: Exfoliate and moisturize your skin. Guys, it is not just a feminine quality to care about maintaining great looking skin. After all, your skin is the biggest organ you have. We all get older and our body chemistry changes. But additional factors like cancers from sun damage and even work stress affect your skin just like high blood pressure affects your heart. I shower daily with a soap high in natural oils, but with mild natural exfoliating substances like beach sand or carbon. I use a facial scrub once or twice a week for deeper pore cleaning. And I apply a daily face moisturizer with a low PF after I get out of the shower and wear sunglasses regularly to help protect my exposed face and eyes outdoors in the sun. These steps do not take much effort or time and you may not see immediate results. But once it becomes habit, your skin will thank you 10 years from now when you look in the mirror and a younger guy is still staring back. You may even get an unexpected compliment or two.

  • Don't: Eat a lot of fried foods. I am not saying never because, yes, fried tastes so darn good. But studies show part of a good skin care regimen is also saying no to saturated fats and oily or greasy foods because they impact your skin too. Who wants to be an adult at any age with a big pimple or discolored skin blotches that could have been preventable? Not a good look, bro.

  • Do: Shave after showering. Even if you have a beard and just maintain the strays along your profile and neckline, I find I get a better shave after I shower because the skin has been softened already and is less prone to nicks and razor burn. Use a mild, odorless shave cream (not gel) to prevent further irritation from the ingredients used for the fragrance and a decent after shave lotion that has natural ingredients with soothing attributes such as aloe. Stay away from the super market sprays or harsh liquids.

  • Don't: Shy away from cologne. Your deodorants, shave creams, after shave lotions and moisturisers should be pretty free of fragrances so they do not interfere with the scent you want to apply to carry you through the day. And you can use different colognes and fragrances for different occasions, times of year, etc. I tend to stick to a signature scent, usually something woodsy. But that's me. Find one or two you like and apply one in the morning. Gents, that does not mean bathe in it, but rather a quick pump, maybe two, but that is it. (The fairer sex is known to have stronger sniffers than we men.) If you are going out after work, keep a small test spritzer at work or in the car and refresh with a half spritz before that big date.

These grooming suggestions are some simple ways you can start to change your habits, feel a little better about yourself and start to look at the bigger changes you want to make in the New Year. It is always better to walk before you run. Start with these tips, even one of them, and see what works for you. Eventually, you won't even notice the small changes you made, but their impact will help prepare you to see those bigger resolutions through.

Robert Babigian is owner of WHARF Clothing & Wares, a menswear retail boutique located at 212 Westminster Street in Providence, RI. A native Rhode Islander, Rob started WHARF after 2 decades in marketing and sales to fulfill his desire to combine his loves of consumer branding, small business and style that would fulfill a niche for desirable men's clothing in the Providence market. The apparel and accessories found at WHARF reflect Rob's own personal aesthetic—a combination of traditional New England staples mixed with modern fits, construction and fabrics blended together with a touch of European style. For more tips or to shop the store, stop in and see Rob and his staff or reach them online at shopwharf.com.


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