Here’s my full 12,000-word top-level guide on maximising your Looks, and before we get started, let’s have a look at what kind of results I got after implementing all the recommendations provided in here.
Actually, let me also add the following before your humblebragging alarm goes off: by the time you are finished reading this guide, which is only the condensed version of my knowledge on the topic, and which will be followed by 14 (!) additional posts to bring the conversation one level deeper, you will have realised that it takes a hell of a lot of effort to go all the way through. And having considered that, it surely doesn’t hurt sharing with you the results I got after putting in the effort.
*** *** ***
I moved to the country where I currently live two years ago, and initially I felt pretty much like a ghost: gone where the smiles, the glances, and all that . Sure, I was still catching the odd Indicator of Attraction here and there, but only because my radar was top-notch already. I was hardly impressed by this situation, and I was actually so puzzled that I did some online searching on the matter, and that’s when I went:
All right… so people over here ignore each other when they are out and about… that must be it…
Fast-forward two years, and this is where we are at: almost every day, I need to remind myself that the smiles and glances I receive when I’m out and about are not a given, they will either decrease or stop altogether one day; and as such, almost every day I need to remind myself to never ever get used to all that attention; and then, almost once a week, I need to remind myself that it’s not the girl’s fault when I approach her after she has shown a major Indicator of Attraction, only for her to tell me all giggly and blushy that she’s taken already: she just couldn’t help but show that IOA.
The city around me has not changed. The people around me have not changed. But one thing has changed during these two years: me. And here I share with you how I made it happen.
Two important things before we get started. First, here you will find my personal knowledge on maximising Looks, the condensed version of it actually, coming from my first-hand experience. This is enough to get you started and more, but keep in mind that there are entire blogs and websites on pretty much each single point we are going to discuss (let’s remember that this blog is mainly on using your Fundamentals, and for now we are looking at how to get them right first). And of course, I only know in details what was/is relevant to me (e.g. I have limited knowledge and zero experience on losing weight), and as such this cannot be considered a comprehensive “how-to” guide (no such things on this blog, “just” my first-hand experience combined with food for thought and interesting sources for you to explore).
Then, this post is huge, and as such your best bet is to bookmark it and come back a few times to fully absorb what explain.
I was thinking of also sharing first a few philosophical considerations on hard limits and all that, but that’s enough talking already: let’s do it!
➤ QUICK WINS
———⚬ Facial hair
———⚬ Dental floss
—-—–⚬ Ears/nose hair
➤ NOT-SO-QUICK WINS
———⚬ Full head of hair
———⚬ Receding hairline
—–● Hair styling
—–● Eating habits
—–● Body structure
—–● Building muscle
———⚬ Morning routine
———⚬ Evening routine
———⚬ Sun protection
—–● Body hair
Handling this point right is a quick win that can give you a considerable boost already. There are three possibilities when it comes to facial hair:
Just because you have been clean shaving all your life, or maybe you had a beard all your life, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best arrangement for you. Give some serious considerations to this point, try different possibilities and then go for the one which looks best on you. If you don’t have facial hair don’t worry about that, plenty of other things to leverage on this guide and we said we are not bothered in the slightest by the so-called “unchangeables”.
Still, if you can pull it off, my recommendation is to go for a stubble. Look at me: my facial aesthetics are fairly above average, but at the same time the masculinity features of my face are just the opposite, fairly below average (to this day that I’m 33, girls keep crushing on me starting at age 9-10, and it makes for awkward moments when you visit a friend and her daughter shuts down completely in a corner, but experience says that it will be over in a year or so). If you also consider that I don’t have a strong jawline, it becomes clear why switching from clean-shaven to stubble really did wonders for me: it gave me the masculine edge that I was missing Looks-wise. After trying a few different stubble trimmers from different brands, this is what I now use and recommend:
● Philips BT5206/16 Series 5000 Stubble Trimmer
I couldn’t be happier with that trimmer: it’s very precise, robust, and provides excellent value for money. Every few days I trim the stubble at 2.5mm, and then I apply this aftershave, which I found after a few tests and it’s just great:
● Nivea Men – Active Energy – Skin Revitaliser After Shave 2 in 1 Balm
Going back to the initial three grooming possibilities, if you want to go for a beard, either because you want to project a more “rugged” image of yourself, or maybe just because even with the stubble you keep looking too young, that’s perfectly ok as well. But let me tell you something here, which actually applies to the entire guide: I spent all my twenties with the wrong haircut, selling myself extremely short Looks-wise, because I was firmly convinced that that specific haircut looked great on me. Well, it just didn’t, and I was too stubborn to take into account the feedback I was constantly getting on my overly-short hair. One of the good things of my Tinder failure was that for the first time ever I did some searching on what makes a face attractive, and it became obvious that I was doing things completely wrong with my haircut. My own assumption was wrong, and I proceeded to implement a change, with fantastic results.
So, if you have a beard because you just want to look rugged, this is perfectly fine, since everything we do is for ourselves first, for the rest of the world then. But if you have a beard because you think it’s what looks best for you, well don’t be afraid to challenge that assumption every now and then. Maybe that’s the case indeed, or maybe not. And this applies no everything, I have just taken the beard as an example since we are at it.
One of my girlfriends kept “bothering” me to go and have my eyebrows done, and I kept dismissing her out of a prejudice, without giving any real consideration to what she was saying. Fact is, during my post-Tinder searching on what makes a face attractive, it also became obvious that I could have done with some trimming (men of this generation are surely the ones who have put the most effort ever Looks-wise, sign of the times).
Two key things here:
● Never ever use a razor if you want to do it yourself (the first time you really shouldn’t, then up to you)
● You still need to look masculine afterwards
I let the cosmetologist do her job, and she explained she was only going to straight-up and clear the ends a bit, plus clear the area below the eyebrows a little bit. Nothing was allowed on the area above the eyebrows, otherwise I would have looked like a woman or an effeminate man. After she did her job, the KPI for correct execution was simple: if people started to give me a strange look or actually make a joke, that would have meant she had pushed things too much in the woman/effeminate-man direction. But since nobody took notice, it meant she had done a perfect job: like the under-the-radar subliminal messages, this change was not consciously picked up by people, but just processed in the background. You gain a few extra points if you get the neat/masculine balance right. Every little helps.
I distinctly remember it took me 28 years to understand that flossing is the most important thing when it comes to dental hygiene, and by then I had had almost all my molars drilled. Ouch.
Since then, I’ve been flossing every single day religiously before going to bed, but still no point in waiting 28 years to start that habit, you can do better than that, and you will have less tartar on your teeth as a result.
And by the way, since my lawyer uncle is overworked already, let’s do a disclaimer and let’s get this formality out of the way once and for all:
All the information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
That passing sound was the sound of the disclaimer getting out of the way. Let’s proceed.
The same girlfriend also kept recommending me to switch from manual to electric toothbrush, and I kept dismissing her on this point as well, just like an idiot. Fact is, at the time I was not in peace with myself nor with the world around (maybe eventually I will write a post on that), and I had this “superior” attitude dismissing people left and right. Just by looking if someone has that kind of behaviour or not, you can quickly have an idea whether that person is in peace with himself/herself or not. To this day, I only still take decisions with my own head, but if someone has something to say, I actually listen to them, I evaluate whether they have a point or not, and then I take the decision myself.
Switching to electric toothbrush was another game changer to me. Despite the fact that I’ve always had the teeth cleaned once a year/every six months at the dentist’s, and despite the fact that I’ve always washed my teeth three times a day, every day, well despite all that, the colour of my teeth was not the best most of the time. Simply put, I’ve never had a good manual toothbrushing technique. And maybe you do, but in my case, I simply switched to electric toothbrush and… poof… That problem was gone. With amazing results, considering that now my teeth are natural-white at all time, not only during the X number of weeks after the cleaning. I still have that done once a year or every six months though, to go the extra mile.
As you already know by now, I decided not to use affiliate links on this blog. If you want to buy some of the same products I use, do your own research and get the best price you can from a reliable vendor (no point in falling for a “too good to be true” online scam). I own two electric toothbrushes: one is where I live, the other one at my parent’s house in my home town.
● Oral B PRO 2000
● Oral B PRO 2500
● “Cross Action” brush head
Contrary to what advertisers would like you to believe, that’s all you need. I seem to remember that at the time I dismissed the models below 2000 because they lagged behind in terms of rpm and motor power, but honestly it has been a long time. What I do remember exactly though, is that having 5 different brush heads, 10 different cleaning modes, Bluetooth connection, 3D mapping of how you wash your teeth, etc… well, having all that is simply pointless. Model 2000 already has two different cleaning modes, a normal one and “gentle” one, the latter of which I’ve never used. Absolutely no point in going beyond that, despite what the advertisers would like you to believe. The need for those extra features is not real, rather it’s artificial and created ad hoc to have you spend more of your hard-earned euro, dollars, pounds, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, or whatever the currency of your own country is. In here we see things for what they really are, the “out of the matrix” section is there for a reason.
I paid the two electric toothbrushes less than 20 euro each, taking advantage of offers, and the only real reason one would want to go for the 2500 rather than the 2000 is because the first comes with a travel custody, while the second doesn’t (true statement as of four years ago). Keep in mind that the same brand markets different models in different regions, and just by having a quick look I noticed that the 2000 is not available for my friends in the USA: there must be an equivalent model, just renamed differently.
My understanding, after discussing the subject several times with my dentist, is that mouthwash is the third most important of the three (i.e. the least important), unless you need to use it for a specific reason which the dentist has made you aware of already. There are (at least) four possibilities when it comes to mouthwash, but I don’t use any of them:
● Supermarket brands
● Clorexidina 0.06%
● Clorexidina 0.12%
● Clorexidina 0.20%
No comment on the supermarket brands. If I ever decided to start using mouthwash again, I would go with the 0.06% model, which I briefly used in the past. I also had to briefly use the 0.12% model for some specific medical reasons, and it stained my teeth terribly. They were literarily dark brown in a few areas, and I had to go for another teeth cleaning session. Still, when using something is not an option, you just use it. The 0.20% model is used after serious stuff like mouth surgery, and strangely enough in some countries you find it on sale at the supermarket just next to Listerine! This shouldn’t be the case, because if the 0.12% stained my teeth, I don’t even want to think about what the 0.20% could have done to them…
For full disclosure, recently I had to use the 0.12% again for four days, but this time my teeth were not stained as a result. Maybe it’s a matter of brand, who knows (I used Paroex this time around). But I’m still not going back with mouthwash for my daily routine.
The next bunch of quick wins are all in the “common knowledge” category, but it’s in the word “common” where things can go wrong, so let’s cover them. Hygiene is not something where you can score a few extra points, since hygiene is expected at all times. Hence, when it comes to hygiene, all you can do is to lose points if you do things wrong.
Using fragrances and smelling good is not mandatory, and as such I will talk about it in the “optional” section. On the other hand, what is mandatory is keeping your body odour under control and not smelling bad.
I’ve done quite a lot of experimenting over the years, trying different models by different brands, including expensive models with some “enhanced features”, only to find out that, as always, the best approach was: KISS . At some point my mother even bought me as a gift a “natural” CK deodorant, which was a complete failure, an overly-expensive complete failure actually.
These are the products I have used the most in my life:
● Nivea Pure Invisible
● Sanex Dermo Protector
The Nivea model works, and I used it for many years with good results, but it was always staining my shirts and T-shirts more than I wanted to. The Sanex model, simply put, is fucking awesome. It was another game changer to me, in terms of comfort this time. Then what works for me may not work for you, but we already all know this: here I only talk about my first-hand experience.
Note. Let’s take Nivea: I also tried some of the “men’s” models, but I found them subpar compared to the gender-neutral Pure Invisible. I don’t know if it’s the same where you live, but over here they have now created two different aisles at the supermarket, one with “women’s” deodorants, and another one with “men’s” deodorants. The Nivea model I was previously using is now in the “women’s” aisle, but I’m very much above that nonsense: things are only awkward in the measure you let them be so. Don’t feel awkward going in the “women’s” aisle, if the model you want is there. Do it with confidence, nonchalantly, like it’s really not a big deal at all – because it isn’t. And actually, as a bonus, you can also smile at the girls there and ping them. You never know, they may actually be receptive your ping :)
It must be impeccable at all times. Wash your teeth regularly, and have chewing gums on you when you go out, especially if you know you are going to eat or have drinks.
To be trimmed regularly and to be kept free of dirt underneath. You don’t want to look like the old man you saw just last week with dirty black nails.
Ear cleansing sprays (recommended) and cotton swabs exist for a reason. Use them regularly.
If you have hair sticking out your nose and ears, just get a “nose & ear hair trimmer” and do yourself a favour.
*** *** ***
And that was it for the quick wins…
I don’t know about you reading it guys, but me writing it I feel exhausted by now haha. Seriously guys, bookmark this page and come back here a few times, or print it. It’s just too much info to fully digest in one go only.
Full head of hair
Getting the right haircut was the biggest game changer for me. There are six different face shapes apparently, and then hundreds of thousands of websites explaining which haircut goes best with which face shape. You can skim through that if you wish, or you can do just like I did: you find a nice saloon with a male hairdresser who has a real sense of masculine beauty (that means “gay” in my book btw, but maybe a hetero hairdresser can deliver just as well) and you let him do his job as he pleases, you literarily give him a blank cheque. As a “bonus” he may start hitting on you, and in one shot you will get experience of being at the receiving end of Routine Circle Game (TM lol), plus experience of being at the receiving end of an indirect approach, plus experience in keeping things cordial and like no big deal after you have rejected an escalation, but I’m getting waaay ahead of myself here.
Finding a good hairdresser or a good barber is never an easy feat, and I remember it always took me minimum two or three attempts in each of the many cities where I’ve lived so far. In my current city it took five attempts. The first three were just dismissed quickly after the haircut, I never thought of going back there. Then a woman acquittance of mine recommended her hairdresser to me, and I gave him a go. He was the first hairdresser ever who I let him do as he wanted, and things got surely better. But still, something always seemed off, the shape was just not right in certain places. Then one day I went again for the haircut, and I saw he had gone from very long hair tied on the back, to being razor-shaven at 5mm max. And I went like:
Whoa what happened?!
And he said:
It’s just hair…
I distinctly remembered thinking:
“Just hair…” All right…
And now please think of Lord Sugar firing a bunch of candidates in The Apprentice UK.
To wrap up this section, if/when you start growing your hair to change haircut, keep in mind the concept of “sweet spot” + “negative returns” to avoid a common trap related to that process.
This is a delicate point, since no man in history has ever been delighted to have lost his hair. Sure, on your way to losing hair people will tell you that it’s not a big deal, and that you can still leverage your confidence and sense of humour. Sure, the same people will tell you that actually it looks good on you, since it gives you a more mature look. Sure, and a bit more of that hamstering, but the fact still stands: given the possibility, no man in history would ever sign up to lose his hair there and then. Because if you’ve got hair still on your head, then you can decide to shave it, keep it short, whatever. But if you have lost it, you just don’t have that option.
Having made this important clarification, go ahead and fight the battle against your receding hairline with all you have and more, if you please. But also be ready for the possibility that, at some point, you may need to throw in the towel and take some appropriate measures. Look at my doctor: he’s 75, not a single hair on the top of his head until the very back, and then fairly long hair on the sides pointing up. And look at another doctor of mine, younger than the first one, maybe 60: again not a single hair on the top of his head until the very back, and then a crown of hair on the sides. A bit shorter than the first doctor, but the hair colour is dark black vs. light blonde for the other doctor, hence even more noticeable in contrast to the skin of his head. Those two hair styles may look good on them, since they are playing the role of the “mature” man, but do you really want to look like them just yet?!
At some point, you will need to acknowledge that you have lost the battle there, and since you still feel young (and maybe you actually are young), then I’d recommend you don’t look like those two doctors of mine just yet. So, you proceed to either shave your head completely, or keep your remaining hair extremely short (most electric razon start at 0.4mm). And since having lost your hair has now become an “unchangeable”, you accept it and proceed to re-focus all your efforts on the “changeables” only, as we always do.
Up to you to decide whether the time to call for that decision has come already, or not yet, but just make sure you make the right call here, because otherwise you will shift from trying to get some extra point to actually losing some here.
Yes, it’s “easy” for me to say all that right now, I know. But worry not my friend, since judging by the amount of hair I find in my hand every morning in the shower and after applying the styling cream, I think that I may be in line for some catching up with you fairly soon. We will carry on this conversation when we talk about constructing a dominant Vibe.
And now let’s go back to a more upbeat tone :)
Power is nothing without control, and having the right haircut is not enough if you don’t use the right product to style it. The first step here is to type “hair type chart” in your search engine, and in the “images” section you will see tables like this one:
The main parameter is “type”:
● Type 1 = smooth hair
● Type 2 = wavy hair
● Type 3 = curly hair
● Type 4 = coily hair
Then, the letters refer to either the volume (Type 1) or to the diameter of the wave, curl or coil. All tables you find will contain examples of women’s hair only, but that’s fine: it’s the really same thing for the purpose of what we are discussing in here.
Based on your hair type and your haircut, you will use one of the products below to style your hair:
● Wax and Clay (Paste, Glue, Putty)
● Hair tonic
Let’s consider my specific case: my hair type is 3A, and in my life I’ve tried everything from using nothing, to gel, wax, clay, cream, and mousse. Until I was keeping my hair fairly short, my go-to product was:
● L’Oreal – Studio Line – Out of bed fibre-cream #6
It was working great, keeping my hair in place without the stiffness and the “wet” look of the gel on one side, and without the stiffness and the curly-amplifying effect of the mousse on the other side. Now that my hair is a bit longer, that product is no longer the best one for me, and after some research I switched to:
● Sebastian – Twisted Line – Curl styling cream
It works just great, leaving the curls well-defined, soft and natural. It’s to be applied on damp hair, and you need to do some tests since there is a fine line between applying it when the hair is still too wet, and when it has become too dry instead: after some experimenting you will find the right balance for you. Then, after you have applied the product, you leave the hair drying up naturally, and after a couple of hours it will be fully dry and looking just great.
Here comes a question:
But I thought you were an “alpha”, why on Earth do you know so much about hair and hair styling?
My friend, seriously, elevate yourself above this “alpha” thing. This guide is on maximising Looks, the dominant and confident Vibe will be discussed in a different post, but you won’t see that word mentioned in there, not even once, since I just don’t like it.
As I was saying, the difference between getting the hair styling right or wrong is just like night and day, especially if your hair is wavy or curly, so you need to get it right. If I travel somewhere and I don’t have the styling cream on me, my hair pretty much looks like an unspecified block of something on the top of my head, and that’s how you go from gaining some extra points to losing them instead.
Moving on, don’t disregard the hair drier either. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been using ionic hair dryers, and when I’m in a hotel and I need to use their own cheap hair dryer, well the difference between the two is very much clear. Do yourself a favour and get a professional hair drier, not from the consumer electronics store at the mall next to you, but from a hair-products retailer: most likely it will be cheaper that the “high end” product from the consumer electronics store, and of superior quality. The Italians are strong in this market, and the hair dryer I bought for myself is:
● Gamma Più – Ion ceramic S (plus diffuser)
Before going into the details of bulking, cutting, macros, etc, it’s important to build some knowledge on good eating habits first.
Luckily for me, I never had to cook for myself until I was 25. As long as I was living at home with my parents, my mother always cooked delicious and healthy things. During the university years I was going the canteen every day, lunch and dinner, and if on one hand that arrangement was surely not ideal, on the other hand it was not bad either. Then I got a job and I moved once again to a still different city, and that’s when things went wrong: first off, I don’t have and never had a passion for cooking, then I had no idea whatsoever of what was healthy and what not at the time, and that combination was just a “recipe” for disaster. Things got out of control for two years, and the results of my subpar eating habits we clearly showing in my body and in my face. At some point, a close friend of mine mentioned he was reading this book:
● “The Food Hourglass” by Dr Kris Verburgh
He explained to me what he had learned from the book, and then he lent it to me. That book was a real blessing to me, since it gave an idea of what to eat more, of what to eat less, and of what not to eat at all. I’m sure many other good books on this topic are available for sale, but that one was the one I used at the time (when I was not lifting), and it helped me greatly. By all means, don’t take everything written on that book like gospel, feel free to do your own research, and feel free to disregard a few things, either if they don’t look right to start with or after some personal experimentations of yours. What I can tell you is that I took on board most of his recommendations, and the results I got were good: I started to look leaner fairly quickly, especially on my face, and people around me took notice immediately. It’s incredible just how much unhealthy eating habits can drag you down in terms of Looks.
I don’t remember whether it was because of this book or some other sources, but I stopped eating carbs altogether at some point. Fact is, I’m already skinny to begin with, and as result of that drastic decision I was literarily disappearing into my clothes, so I proceeded to reintegrate the carbs. As with anything in life, a balance is essential, and that drastic decision wasn’t needed in my case, and it’s possibly not needed in anyone’s case.
This section is just to get you started on the basic principles of healthy eating habits, and it’s enough if you are not planning to put on some muscle. But since building muscle is good and highly recommended to everyone, further down we will talk about the diet aspect associated to building muscle. And just to stress the importance of lifting a bit more, let’s highlight once again that it’s beneficial not “only” to for your Looks, but also and more importantly for you to develop a more masculine Vibe.
If I was to provide one and only one recommendation from this entire section, that would be: always have a big portion of vegetables with your meat, fish, eggs, whatever. And no, potatoes don’t count as vegetables.
The triad here is:
Which in English means:
The key thing is understanding which bucket you fall into, and then draw the relevant considerations when it comes to building muscle and diet, which we will cover in the next two sections. I’m fairly sure everyone already knows in which category they are here.
Rules of the Gym:
Et voilà! These are the rules of the gym, ordered by importance. Rule #1 is what you need to remember at all times, then the others are in logical order: first you properly warm-up, then you make sure that the movements during the series are impeccable, and finally you remember to be constantly increasing weight if you manage to complete all required movements while maintaining correct execution.
But let’s not re-invent the wheel in here: Jay from “A Workout Routine” .com has an entire website focusing on building muscle, have a look at the Links section and you will find the relevant links for you to follow.
More specifically, I included links to the two main articles which I consulted at the time:
● “The ultimate weight training workout routine”
● “The muscle building workout routine”
A lot of good info on that website, and I recommend you have a good look at it, both if your immediate objective is putting on some muscle, or losing weight first. And for your information, there is also a workout routine for people just getting started at the gym, or going back after a long pause. There is a word associated to that, “beginner”, and let me quote Jay for the accurate definition of that concept:
“I and most others consider a beginner to be anyone who has been weight training for LESS than 6 months consistently and intelligently” – Jay
Nobody likes to be referred to as a “beginner”, but since you are now fully aware of gym rule #1, aka don’t injure yourself, make sure you start with the beginner routine if you fit the above description. “We don’t need another hero,” as someone once sang.
I’ll be writing specific separate posts for each one of the rules of the gym, plus my take on the importance of stretching, and on the correct gym outfit, which if your gym looks anything like mine, then most people get it wrong there too. Here’s another question:
Did you just say that most people get gym outfit “wrong”?
Did I just say so?! I beg your pardon then, what I meant was completely wrong ;)
And if you think that I’m referring to you, just remember that I’m not taking a shot at you, I’m just expressing my view on the matter.
[here it is: The Daygamer’s gym outfit]
Here you need to consider where you are in terms of body structure, and take the appropriate measures accordingly.
If you are skinny just like I am, then the way to go is to lift and have a caloric surplus in order to put on muscle, while at the same time keeping fat in check (aka “slow bulk method”).
If on the other hand you are on the overweight/fat side, your main priority will be to get rid of some of those extra kilos/pounds/stones/whatever.
But let’s not reinvent the wheel in this section either, let’s have a look at the sources I used back in the day to get my knowledge up to scratch. Jay has some very interesting info on diet too, so feel free to have a look at his articles on the subject. If I’m not mistaken, I seem to remember that part of the info I was looking for was missing from the free resources available on Jay’s website though, and at the time was contained in his premium pack for sale “Superior Muscle Growth” (he also has “Superior Fat Loss” for sale). I’m sure the premium pack is worth every penny, still I decided to explore the greatness of the World Wide Web a bit more, and I found some juicy information at “Ripped Body” .com (Links):
● “Complete diet nutrition set-up guide”
● “How to bulk”
Those two guides, in addition to the book by Kris Verburgh mentioned previously and some extra diet info from “A Workout Routine” .com, are all I’ve ever read on the topic. And why did I “limit” myself to those “few sources” only? Because that’s all you need. In terms of relevant knowledge needed to set up your diet plan, these sources will bring you up there in the area of “ever-diminishing returns”. Feel free to research the topic a bit more if you please, but frankly speaking you would be better off just re-focusing the extra effort somewhere else: the parameters to max out when you want to improve your Fundamentals are many, as you may have noticed already.
These days there is an app for everything, and there are many apps to calculate your macros and all that. I myself took a different approach, and I created an Excel spreadsheet to achieve the same objective. First off, I much rather prefer doing serious stuff on my iMac rather than on my phone. Then, since I did the spreadsheet myself, I’ve got full control of what goes on there in terms of assumptions, calculations, etc.
Eventually I will write two separate posts on the temporal evolution of my macros, plus a detailed zoom on my weekly diet plan.
This point is extremely important, but in all fairness, everything we have discussed so far is important. Still, fashion is where you can have the quickest “return on the effort put in”, together with grooming. If you think about it, building muscle requires time, since there is only so much muscle mass you can put on per week, and if you manage to increase weight at a faster weekly rate than that, then guess what?! You are surely putting on some fat along the way.
Fashion and grooming, on the other hand, can both give an incredibly quick boost to your Looks, you “just” need to get them right. And that’s what we are here for :)
Let’s start with the Rules of Men’s Fashion:
I will be writing separate posts on each of those points, with some personal considerations and examples, but keeping in mind that we don’t reinvent the wheel in here, please head over to Darius’s “Sexy Style for Joe” .com (Links) and use it as your reference point for men’s fashion. The focus in there is for you to look masculine and sexy, and Darius gets the balance just right. Back in the day I found his content extremely useful, since it gave me a practical framework to work with, plus specific looks for me to just copy (ehm… I meant “to take inspirations from”… sure…), and to this day I still put in practice his recommendations every day, since that way of dressing has now become part of who I am. In the Links section I included links to his website and his Pinterest channel.
When you join his mailing list, you receive a free e-book straight away, then one email per day for five days to, “show you how to fix (or at the very least how to start addressing) all five major sex appeal killers in your image”. At the time he also had a sneak peek of his premium course (“The Wow! Factor”) available somewhere on his website, and I followed his guidelines from that sneak peek religiously when I was in the market for my first leather jacket ever, with great end results. Seriously guys, you know that I don’t use affiliate links in here, and I don’t even know Darius in person nor have I ever spoken to him, so you know that I don’t have a hidden agenda when I say: have a very close look at his material, and at the examples of the different looks in his Pinterest channel, since the info he provides is just top-notch. And if you are going to ignore what I’ve just said, do so at your own risk ;)
Darius explains that there are five different styles when it comes to looking sexy:
Then, and this corollary is a personal opinion of mine, many more fashion styles are possible. Actually, most people around you will be using one of these “many more fashion styles”, but problem is (for them) that these styles have really nothing to do with looking sexy:
● clueless / boring / Nice Guy
● hippie / artist / emo / ect.
But I thought that suiting-up was good for looking good, and there are many dudes that look just fine in their suits?
Let’s put it this way: YMMV, but to me whenever you wear a suit you are either playing the Provider role, or attempting to play the Money card (even though most people are convinced to be leveraging Status, since wearing a suit can make people feel “important”, but these days the threshold to be granted Status through Money is much much higher than just wearing a suit). We discussed part of this already in the introductory post to this section on Fundamentals, but putting aside the problems with both of those types of game, let’s just say that a suit is simply not sexy. And if you happen to know, either from your workplace or maybe from your favourite bar, a good-looking dude who is doing well with the ladies while wearing a suit, consider this: the reason why he’s doing well is because he most likely has many attraction parameters in check, plus a good baseline to start with, plus Vibe and Social Calibration on point, and he’s doing well despite his suit. Try putting him in an Elegant-Edgy look and see what happens: my idea is that he will be doing way better in terms of generating attraction with that different look. And by the way, this logic mechanism we have just seen is the reason why fashion brands use models to wear their products in the ads: those models represent the conventionally-attractive male or female beauty already, and whatever they are wearing in the ad will look way better as a result.
Going back to the suit: don’t take my word for it, and let’s see what girls around me have told me on the matter, either directly or indirectly. A couple of years back, on a mild summer day, I had to go to a corporate event and I was fully suited-up: slim-fit wool dark blue suit, perfectly fit light blue custom shirt, spectacular thin tie made of superior fabric, shiny dress shoes, everything Made in Italy – for daytime in a sunny day that combination is just as good as it gets for a suit. Back home from the event, I walked all the high street, as usual, and at the time I already managed to get part of the attention back, having started to implement the recommendations from Darius. I was really curious to see how the suit would have performed in that scenario, since I had an idea of where the benchmark was with other outfits already. I walked all the high street and this is what I got: Not. A. Single. Smile. Nor. Glance. When I start sharing examples of my average day, to make specific points when relevant, you will understand the gravity of that previous statement. Not a single smile nor glance, I literarily felt repellent to modern women in that suit. Sure, let’s say for completeness that one single test may not be enough when we consider all the randomness associated to life, but still… Outside of the Western world, suits may still be in vogue with the ladies, I don’t know. But here where I live? Suit = attraction killer in my book. YMMV.
Another example for you. Long time ago my go-to work outfit was: slim-fit wool suit trousers, slim fit shirt, thin elegant tie, nice belt, dress shoes. Going back home when the girlfriend of the time was visiting me, she would always tell me how she was put off by that look, and that she would have preferred me much more in a more casual outfit, that elegant outfit was just an attraction killer for her: too neat, too corporate… Fact is, your girlfriend has all the interest in you looking as attractive as possible in her eyes, so feedback like that should not be disregarded: it’s sincere feedback, since when you get yourself an emotionally healthy girl, you know she’s not playing some kind of games when she says things like that.
What?! My friend, seriously, elevate yourself above acronyms and “always/never” definitive statements. As long as you use acronyms like that, it means you are still somewhat bitter towards women, and women can smell residual bitterness from miles away. Just saying, and let’s proceed now.
Things to keep in mind here:
● Avoid round glasses
● Go for polarized lenses (sunglasses)
● Avoid blue lenses (sunglasses)
There is some unawareness and/or misinformation when it comes to choosing the right pair of glasses or sunglasses. In particular, quite a few people don’t realise that they are either hindering their looks by wearing round glasses, or not doing their eyes a favour going for non-polarized and/or blue lenses. Feel free to have a look at the dedicated post for the rationale behind those three recommendations above.
I will also write a separate post with examples of single pieces of garment from my wardrobe, and it will go one level deeper compared to this top-level conversation.
There are five different skin types:
● Dry = characterised by almost invisible pores, dull rough complexion, red patches, lack of elasticity and more visible fine lines.
● Combination = shiny, and characterised by enlarged pores and blackheads. The skin tends to be dry or normal in some areas, and oily in other areas (typically the T-zone: nose, forehead, and chin).
● Oily = shiny, and characterised by enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples or other blemishes. Some dry or normal areas, typical of the Combination skin type, are absent here.
● Sensitive = subject to redness, itching, burning and dryness.
● Normal = everything else, as you may have guessed.
I personally have Combination skin, and for most of my life I did nothing about it (clap, clap, clap). In all fairness, it has never been a major blocking point to me, this must be said, but it was somewhat holding me back in terms of Looks, especially towards the end of the day, and this must be said as well. When I decided to boost my Looks, this was the first thing I tackled, mainly because it was long overdue.
Side important note: you may have noticed that I keep saying “this I started it at 30”, “this I started it at 31”, etc. My personal example proves once again, as if it was needed, how much more you take care of yourself once you are happy about your life, and me at 30 I took some drastic measures: I was coming from five years of disorientation and subtle to not-so-subtle unhappiness caused by both the country I was living in at the time and my then job. I finally decided to change both of them, and I killed two birds with a stone when I found a job I was really interested in and passionate of, in a country where I was happy to be going to live in (still happy of that decision as of today), and that was when I went back to living life at its fullest.
Back to the skin. Feel free to do your own research, a lot of manufacturers have specific tests on their website for you to take and have an idea of what your skin type is. Keeping in mind that I have combination skin, this is my daily routine:
How often? Every. Single. Day.
After a lot of research and experimenting, trying fairly expensive models as well, I was reminded of the effectiveness of the KISS principle  when I eventually opted for the following combination:
● Clarins Men – 2 in 1 Exfoliating Cleanser
● Nivea Sun – UV face – Shine control SPF50 (moisturiser + sunscreen)
The 2 in 1 cleanser by Clarins Men is just fantastic, and it gives you the same result (possibly better) than a “cleanser plus exfoliating tonic” combination by similarly priced or even more expensive brands. I have two different bottles in the bathroom, one in the shower and the other one on the sink, so that I always have one handy when I need it either in the morning during the shower, or as part of the evening routine.
The moisturiser is extremely important for people with combination skin (and oily skin as well I guess), since the cleanser dries up our skin, and if you don’t hydrate it afterwards, the skin itself will compensate by producing extra sebum as a result, meaning that your skin will look even shinier during the day, hardly what you want. The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is also very important, since the damages that UV rays can do to your skin are many. In some Countries Nivea doesn’t market the SPF50 model, hence just go for the SPF30 one instead, the extra protection between the two is not that huge (welcome again to the concept of “ever-diminishing returns”). Also, some of the products you use as part of the evening routine may require you to wear SPF the day after.
How often? When I can be bothered.
Here I prefer not to provide any brand recommendation. I have a favourite one, which is not Clarins Men, nor Nivea, nor Clinique Men, nor other similarly priced brands, but feel free to try different models by different brands yourself. The price target can get quite high with this routine, since here we enter the realm of the “anti-age” products.
These are the steps I personally follow:
● Clarins Men Exfoliating Cleanser
● Pre-treatment base
● Eye cream
● Purifying mask
The puryfying mask twice a week in theory, when I can be bothered in practice.
All year round I use the SPF50 moisturiser as part of the morning routine, since it has a double advantage of moisturising my face leaving a matte finish to it, plus offering protection against UV rays, and this is just an excellent combination. Then, when summer arrives and the sun starts hitting again, in the morning I apply sun cream on my body as well: on my neck and my arms if I know I will be wearing a T-shirts/polo during the day, otherwise on my neck only. The benefits of doing so will become very much clear in the longer term, and if you protect your skin from the sun now, those horrible creases will not appear on your skin in a few years. My go-to product is:
● Nivea Sun – Protect & Hydrate – SPF30 (or 50+)
I’d say, get at least a SFP30 sun cream, the it’s a matter of personal preference in terms of consistency, stickiness and smell of the sun cream.
I’ve been just recently reminded of something: getting the recommended amount of quality sleep every night is fundamental to your Looks. Let’s take my week so far (as on Friday evening right now): last Sunday I spent literarily all day getting started with this post, and I managed to complete the quick-wins section and a bit more. Now keep you humblebragging alarm in check please, but I need to share with you that I have a huge 27” 5K iMac, and the light and the sharpness going out of that monitor is just incredible. The monitor looks fantastic in terms of image quality (“exceptional” seems a better word actually), but it comes at a price, since my eyes are sensitive and last Sunday evening they were burning like hell. I went to bed very late, knackered, and it took me forever to fall asleep. Then I woke up after maybe five hours of non-quality sleep to go to work, and I just felt horrible.
On Monday evening then, I had to take the day off from writing this post, since my eyes were still recovering, and then on Tuesday I had fun writing the “I’m not taking a shot at you” post, and Wed, Thu and Fri back on this post. Long story short, for the last three days I went to bed late and after spending many hours in front of this powerful screen, each time I struggled to fall asleep, and the quality of the sleep was just not there. Guess what: I look like a wreckage, especially yesterday, and my face looks extremely fatigued. I’m not doing myself a favour, if you know what I mean, but I’ve only just started with this blog and I like writing posts in here too much!
Let’s wear our problem-solver hat and let’s look for solutions now. Let’s consider these two parameters:
● The hours of sleep
● The sleep quality
In terms of number of hours, the general consensus seems to be that the ideal range is between 7 and 9 hours of sleep, not less, but not even more. Problem is though, the “timer” starts when you feel asleep, not when you go to bed. And this brings us to the second point.
In terms of sleep quality, there are many factors at play, including but not limited to:
● The bed “hardware” (mattress, bed base, pillow)
● Light in the room
● Pre-sleep habit
As I explained in the “no affiliate links in here” post, money to me is a tool, not an end, and I treat it as such. All this to say that I spent top dollar (euro actually) to have the bed “hardware” in place. Just my pillow is a Tempur priced at 140 euro, and the reason I mention this is not to show off that I can effortlessly spend this amount of money on a pillow, rather it’s to show off my dedication to live a life of quality. A few colleagues of mine, who as we saw in the other post are paid as much as me or even more, they just go for cheap stuff since to them money is an end, and they live miserably as a result. They are miserable not because they buy cheap stuff – not everyone can pay top dollar for things – they are miserable because it’s their negative outlook of life making them behave like that: counting the pennies is their reaction to the miserable mindset they have, not the cause of it, since they could easily spend as much as I do. And the fact that their they are counting the pennies as a hobby rather than out of necessity, this fact clearly shows by the way they talk and rationalise things when discussing topics related to money. Actually, my brother also has fallen into this behaviour as of recently, and I’ve not yet understood what to do about it. Don’t be like them please: spend as much as you can afford on things which have a direct impact on the quality of your life, like the mattress, the slatted bed base, and the pillow. Life will smile much more at you as a result.
Having a completely dark room is also essential, and I remember in my UK stint I was putting paperboard on the windows to darken the room as much as possible. Then I bought some “light-blocking” curtains, which were definitely better, but still. Back in mainland Europe now, I’m glad to have windows with roller shutters, and I sleep like a baby these days :)
And now for the blue light coming from your smartphone, tablet, and desktop. If you are exposed to blue light before going to bed, this will have serious negative consequences on the quality of your sleep, and what happened to me this week is just a proof of that. Feel free to do some research on the topic to get some precise facts, here we remain on the actionable side of things. I already had a specific app on my phone, and until this morning I was using the manufacture’s Night Shift on my iMac. Back then when I bought this iMac, I immediately set the Night Shift to be on at all times, since this 5K screen is just that aggressive on my eyes (gorgeous though). I was using the Night Shift just make the screen warmer and reduce blue light, since there wasn’t a “proper” Dark Mode back then, and in fairness to Apple, that was a big improvement compared to the unfiltered mode already.
Then this morning, after still another night of terrible sleep quality, I woke up and I installed f.lux, and now my set-up is:
● f.lux + Night Shift for desktop
● Twilight for mobile
Do yourself a favour and get the above apps as well. I have set flux to be on at all times with the following “custom colours”:
● Daylight 3500K/4000K
● Sunset 2700K
● Bedtime 2200K
[Note: back then I was using Light Mode on the iMac. Now that I’ve transitioned to the “proper” Dark Mode, my setting is Daylight 5500, Sunset 3600, Bedtime 3000, with Night Shift on at all times in addition to flux]
Just a fantastic improvement, it’s now 11PM (on a Friday night, this blog is just too much fun!), and after writing for four hours straight my eyes are relaxed and I feel much better compared to the equivalent situation last evening. I’ve got the impression I will sleep just fine tonight. Thanks f.lux :) Actually, I may consider sending over a donation, just like I recently did with Wikipedia.
I’m a former swimmer, and as such shaving legs is not taboo to me, since I was doing it pretty consistently at the time, especially before competitions (there was a real advantage by doing that, both before and after the full-leg racing swimsuits were introduced). The first time I shaved my legs I was 14, and just for some old memories, I did it with the rest of the team directly in the lockers room of the swimming pool where we had gone for an important competition, using a razor (one each, of course) and a mix of water and soap as pre-shave product: those were the days!
I then upgraded to shaving foam while still using the razor, then my girlfriend of the time wanted to have fun practicing using wax on my legs, then I started using the wax myself but that didn’t last very long at all (it fucking hurts on the calves, excuse my French), and finally I switched to an electric razor. For many years I was just removing the razor guide altogether and shaving at the min possible length (0.4 mm), but eventually I didn’t like it anymore that short, and so I switched to 4-5mm instead.
Now I do it twice a year maybe (I’ve not been paying attention to the exact frequency) and I just look better like that (despite what a bunch of clueless men keep saying, girls don’t like bears). Fact is, back in the day it was a different society, not a problem going to the beach with boardshorts and fully shaved legs, actually it may have been cool since only athletes were taking that measure at the time. But in these days of ever more feminised society and sexual uncertainty, I’d rather keep a “straighter” image, also to keep male attention at bay (another future post in the pipeline). And by the way, here you can see the effect of social conditioning in action.
I don’t have much hair on the chest, but it can grow very long and a couple of girls suggested to get rid of that since it looks ugly AF. Considering that I eventually started listening to relevant feedback, now I just pass the electric razon every now and then at 0.4 mm, but only when things get out of control, since along the way it actually gives a more masculine edge.
Arms and armpits
I recommend you take no action there, especially in this age where masculinity keeps being challenged by the day, and men are seen more like an accessory than anything else (another post to come, this pipeline is getting crowded real quick).
I recommend you keep the hair very short on the shaft itself (just careful not to cut yourself), and say 5-7 mm on the base: it will look much neater, and you won’t have girls taking a little break to remove hair off their mouth. Whoops… did I just say that?!
A lot of guys get fixated with height, and it seems that if you are below 6” (183 cm) you don’t even classify as a human being these days. And to that I say: RUBBISH!
Look at me: I’m “only” 5”10 (178 cm), I don’t “even” have a chiselled jawline, and my eyes are slightly… I don’t even remember what that word is, but the angle is a tiny bit down-facing rather than up-facing. Horror, shame, disaster… right? You know what instead: as douchebag as it sounds, I spend the day collecting Indicators of Attraction wherever I go. And why is that? Because my Looks are maxed out, I’ve got pretty much all attraction parameters in check in terms of what’s achievable with my baseline, and I have a rock-solid Vibe.
Please, get off certain forums, get off dating apps, and start living the real life in the real world. If you are doing things right, girls are not going to take measurements of the angle of your eyes when you approach them, nor are they going to pull a tape off their pocket and measure your height. I can guarantee you that the real-life difference between 5”10 and 6” is fucking inexistent, considering that most men these days have the vibe of a cute little kitten, irrespective of their height: if you are doing things right, in a hypothetical comparison with an average or even fairly above average taller guy, in the eyes of the girls you smash him with your confident/dominant Vibe only, even before putting on the table your lean physique, on-point grooming and sexy fashion.
The way it goes is the following: someone doesn’t feel “enough” since it falls short of some made-up finger-in-the-hair mathematical criteria, and as a result his vibe is shit. This in turn hinders his results with women (what a surprise), and he becomes wrongly convinced that it all boils down to the mathematical criteria itself. Well, no!! Let’s make it clear: if either me or you were born looking just like Nick Bateman, girls will literarily be queuing up at our front door, and that would have been a fine thing for us to happen at birth. But since it didn’t go that way, we stop feeling sorry for ourselves, we put in the effort instead, and we get the results we can achieve with our starting baseline. No, we won’t match Nick Bateman even after deploying all the effort we can realistically put in and then some, but guess what: that distant-in-time previous version of ourselves will just look ridiculous in comparison to our new selves. And as such, we stop complaining and we put in the effort, no whining allowed, for crying out loud (aka FFS).
This initial intro to the Height section was for the guys who spend their day feeling sorry for themselves and blaming externalities for their lack of results. That’s the wrong mindset, and someone needed to point that out to them. And now, let’s start talking to the guys who are not blaming someone/something else for their current situation, and they are actually looking for solutions rather than excuses :)
Ps: it’s now 1AM and after spending six hours straight in from of the aggressive 5K iMac screen, my eyes are fresh as a rose. This f.lux is really that good! Let’s call it a day for today.
All right, here we are again. We were talking about giving a little boost to your height, since it surely doesn’t hurt when your height is at or above the men’s average of the country where you live. Let’s take a close friend of mine: he’s 5”7 (170 cm) and his problems when it comes to dating are not a result of his height, but more of him matching the stereotypical Nice Guy description to a T in terms of all Looks, Vibe and Social Calibration. Still, he could do with extra 2” (5 cm), and so, what are his options?
At times I read guys on the forums talking about elevator shoes, and when I fly easyJet there is always some advertisement of an elevator shoes company claiming that their shoes can give an “invisible” boost to people’s height of up to 3” (7.5 cm). And this is all very well, but what if you don’t like the very look of those shoes, since those manufacturers are not exactly designer nor luxury brands?
Fear not, my friend. There are several designers brand selling taller models of shoes, and I’ll give you an example just now. Let’s consider Hogan, a high-end Italian shoes manufacturer: they have two separate lines that can give quite a significant boost to your height, while still scoring well looks-wise. The “Interactive” model is where you can have the bigger boost, and not that I’ve measured it, but I think you gain at least 2” (5 cm) with this model and maybe even more. I personally don’t like that model since it’s too tall for my liking, but it’s a fact that they look nice and they are worlds apart from the elevator shoes in terms of image. Another Hogan model which gives you a smaller but still relevant boost is the “H321”, and I’m actually considering the black leather model, since it looks great and I don’t mind slightly taller shoes especially at winter. We are talking about top dollar here, but I’m sure less expensive manufacturers have similar “tall” lines which look very nice.
This is just a cherry on the cake, and I recommend you focus on the cake first. Still, I seem to remember that I was very excited when I was in the market looking for some fragrances, because wearing a fragrance is a quick (little) boost you get straight away, there and then, if you get it right. And also, it’s only normal for guys to get a confidence boost and some extra positive energy by using the “right” fragrance, given all the subliminal messages which the advertisers keep sending in our direction.
Back in the day I used these two websites to read reviews, understand which fragrance to use when (day/night, season) and its performance (duration, projection):
I seem to remember that external search engines were working better than their own search engine, and if this is still the case you are better off putting “fragrantica/basenote + [model of interest]” into the search engine.
Let me just go and see the fragrances I own (for your info, I’ve not used any of them in more than a year):
● Dior – Sauvage EDT:
My favourite, all seasons, long lasting, very good projection.
● Jean Paul Gaultiere – Le Male EDT (PUIG edition):
Very good, fall/winter, long lasting, very good projection.
● Chanel – Allure Homme Sport EDT:
Delicate, summer, weak duration and projection.
● Bulgari – Aqua EDT 2009:
Delicate, summer, weak duration and projection.
● Giorgio Armani – Acqua di Gio EDT 2009:
Summer, in theory good when used in moderation, but too commercial though.
● Chanel – Blue EDT:
A girls’ favourite, too bad it gives me headache and I wrote it off for that reason.
● Emporio Armani – Stronger with you EDT:
Way too sweet, and it gives me headache.
I’ve tried and bought a few more, but it’s not worth mentioning them. And you know what? Time to give Sauvage and Le Male another go, they just smell too great!
That was it for the top-level part on maximising Looks. Now on my side there are 14 (!) posts to write, in order to bring some conversations one level deeper compared to here, and on your side there is quite a lot of research to do on your own specific situation, and a lot of reading of the relevant sources provided (Links).
Yes, it’s a hell of a lot of work, but keep in mind the results I got after putting in the effort myself, we saw them at the very beginning of this post. Sure, I had a good baseline to start with already, but I was selling myself extremely short, and maybe right now you are selling yourself extremely short.
When you think about it, it’s a good thing that all this effort is required to max out Fundamentals (Looks in here, more to follow): it’s a real barrier to entry, and a lot of people give up along the way, leaving better off the few strong-willed guys who decide to go all the way through. Be one of these guys, my friend, and if you have read this far you are on the right track already.
By all means, stay tuned for all the posts that I’m going to release in the coming days, and let’s wrap up this post with me sharing a secret with you:
You see that button below this post and in the sidebar? It’s to keep you posted of new posts through notifications. And you know what? You may even subscribe to this blog, so that you will never miss a post ever again. Let’s make it clear: no, just pressing that button won’t give an immediate boost to your Looks, but fact is, it won’t make them worse either ;)
Take care my friend.
 SMV is relative, it depends where the average is. David Gandy and the like should have no problem anywhere they go, but for “normal” people this point is crucial.
 “Keep It Simple Stupid”, something I always strive to remember.