Saturday, April 09, 2011

How to groom your eyebrow -- For Men

Written By Jessica Lothstein and brought to you by our content partner Men's Life Today -- Handpicked for you by our team.

Eyebrow Grooming for Men

Eyebrows are one of those mysterious facial features that can make a huge difference in your appearance … but generally go unnoticed unless something about them is terribly wrong (like, say, you’re still sporting a unibrow or accidentally singed them off over a barbecue -- it happens).

When it comes to eyebrow grooming for men, it boils down to three simple things: de-bulking, shaping and knowing where brows should start and end.

Really thick eyebrows may call for major eyebrow grooming, so you may want to visit a salon -- a trained aesthetician can do them the first time and give you a good reference point for maintaining them solo.

Still, most guys can whack these little weeds themselves at home. Just follow a few simple rules. …
First, you’ll need to have the right tools on hand: razor, small electric trimmer, grooming scissors and tweezers. Next, shower or wash your face before attempting to shave or tweeze the area. The hot water and steam open up your pores and follicles and soften the hair, making the process easier (and less painful). Plus, this will help prevent ingrown hairs.

Now you’re ready for the big browbeating. Here’s how.


First, get rid of excess hair in the middle and the outside ends. The inside edges of your brows should line up with the inside corner of your eyes -- anything else is in unibrow territory and should be removed. To determine where your brows should end, use this simple trick: Take a pencil and place one end at the outside edge of your nostril, then rotate it so that it points towards the outside edge of your eye -- that’s where the brow should end.

As for how to get rid of those stray border crossers, take a razor and use short light strokes but take heed: A razor allows more room for error -- remember Steve Carell’s slipup in The 40-Year-Old Virgin that left him browless? -- but the hair will grow back quickly. On the other hand, you can use tweezers to pluck these areas, but you’ll have to be extra-careful; repeated tweezing can cause permanent hair loss.


Next, ditch the bulk with grooming scissors or a small electric trimmer. You want to remove just enough hair so the brows look tamed, not overly trussed. You don’t want to cut the hair so short that it refuses to lie flat against your face.

If you have fine hair, brush it upward, then trim till it’s about 5 millimeters long. If you have coarse hair, pick out one hair and trim it slowly, a little at a time, till it’s short but still lies flat. Then use it as a marker for the rest of the hairs.

And slow down -- this isn’t a race. It should take you at least a few minutes to do a proper job.


To arch or not to arch … that is the question. And the answer depends on your face shape. If it’s long and skinny, or anchored by a particularly strong jawline, you should probably forget about sculpting your brows into an arch -- thicker, horizontal brows can help divide your face to make it look shorter and draw people’s gazes up and away from the jaw. On the other hand, if you have a round or square face, a prominent arch can create the illusion of a longer face.

As a general rule of thumb, the arch should peak directly above the pupil; make a note of where that is, then use tweezers to remove hairs directly underneath that point until you’ve defined the shape.

Five Gadgets to spice up your life

Written By Thomas P. Farley and brought to you by our content partner Men's Life Today -- Handpicked for you by our team.

5 Gadgets to Boot up Your Love Life

These gizmos will keep you and your lady together -- by giving you a little more space.

Sure you love your mate. But that doesn’t mean you have the same taste in everything. Never fear: Here are five relationship-saving products that will help preserve the peace (and your sanity).

In the Bedroom

Microplush Dual Control Electric Blanket

Not to make a blanket statement, but if you’re like most couples, you and your mate probably have different ideas about the ideal room temperature for sleeping. Do you like it warm, and she likes it roasty? It’s time to call a thermo-truce and invest in a dual-control electric blanket. Available in queen and king sizes, these spreads have two thermostats, each controlling the temperature on one side. This way, you can simmer while she sizzles. Now the only thing you’ll have to worry about is making sure she doesn’t steal the blanket in the middle of the night.

Queen size: $120

King size: $130

In the Den

JVC NX-D2 Dual iPod Dock Shelf System

So we’ve already established that your entertainment choices differ slightly from your S.O.’s. While your iPod is jam-packed with hair-band classics, the lady of the loft tends toward Yanni and John Tesh. What’s a self-respecting wannabe hard rocker like you to do when you both want to park your iPod in the living room docking station? JVC feels your pain and has just introduced the NX-D2, a shelf system with a dual iPod dock. With the NX-D2 (no relation, we’re told, to R2-D2), your iPods can snuggle up next to each other, each charging (though only one playing), perched above speakers that deliver 230 watts of power. Now your only dilemma will be: Who gets the remote? $400

In the Game Room

His and Hers Wii Remotes

You might not have a double remote for your JVC boom box, but why not have color-coded ones for your Nintendo Wii? Just unveiled in stores (appropriately enough) this Valentine’s Day, the Wii Remote is available in both pink and blue. The corresponding hue for your gender means that whether you’re playing “Wii Sports Resort” or “Legend of Zelda,” you’ll never again have to worry about picking up the “wrong” remote. (For the record, we’re not trying to reinforce color stereotypes, just trying to make life easier. OK? -- Editor) $55

In the Media Room
Brookstone Wireless TV Headphones

You’re nice and comfy in bed, your bag of nachos within easy reach, and things are about to get good. (We mean, your home team’s come back from the brink, and the game’s gone into extra innings.) But your woman is about to call a foul: It’s 1 a.m. and she has a big meeting tomorrow. Is it time to turn off the TV and head down to the den? Heck no! Just grab your wireless TV headphones. While your lady dreams of PowerPoint presentations, you can enjoy the game sound streamed directly to your ears. And as for the blinding light blaring from your 65-inch LCD into your lover’s eyes … geez, is there no making this chick happy? $50

In the Bathroom
Grohe Relexa Dual Shower System

Time to hit the showers.
Problem is, while you like the water pressure set to max and the temps scalding hot, your companion prefers a slightly gentler approach. With a little bit of ingenuity, your home spa can accommodate you both. Consider the Relexa systems from Grohe -- our pick for the Platinum Level Couples Gadget (see price below). Set on opposite walls of the shower with a ceiling rain shower fixture betwixt you, Relexa lets you each claim your side of the stall. (Bonus tip: For true bliss, keep your razors, shampoos and other shower paraphernalia on your respective sides.) Find the settings that work for each of you, and you’ll never have to adjust the shower knobs again. That is, unless you and your mate decide to meet in the middle.

From $3,500 (excluding installation)
Thomas P. Farley is an etiquette and lifestyle expert, as well as the editor of Modern Manners: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Social Graces.

The best cars for the go-getters out there

Written By Greg Melville and brought to you by our content partner Men's Life Today -- Handpicked for you by our team.

Best Cars for Go-getters

Slick, safe and cheap to fix, these autos are the hot choice for young men.

It doesn’t matter how much you pimp the family minivan: It will never be a date magnet. But now that you’re earning a steady paycheck, you’re ready to buy your own -- hopefully racier -- set of wheels. Ideally, you’ll find something sporty that won’t freak your parents out about safety or economy -- a task that’s easier today than ever.

“Almost all cars are coming with high safety ratings now, and they’ve never been more reliable,” says Armaan Almeida, automotive editor for Cars Direct, an auto research, rating and buying site. “That’s why manufacturers are starting to give such stout warranties.”

So don’t feel guilty about giving in to your driving id with these new and upcoming rides. Almeida helped recommend them for their top-of-class handling, safety and ease of repair when those inevitable dings appear. And they look a lot better at the curb on Saturday night than that old minivan.

2010 Chevy Camaro Coupe: $23,040
Yes, the Camaro. The 2010 completely redesigned model -- from the cocky sneer of its grill to its iPod USB port on the dash -- makes it cool to drive a Chevy for the first time since the Bee Gees were hip. The standard V-6 engine (though you can upgrade to a V-8) catapults you from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds and gets up to 29 miles per gallon on the highway. When you’re behind the wheel, the front air bags, antilock disc brakes and electronic stability-control system will keep you as safe as if you were driving a granny sedan.

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe: $22,000
Behold Hyundai’s first coupe. And if you can peel your eyes away from the sculpted, European-looking body of this four-cylinder rear-wheel-drive Adonis (or Aphrodite, if it makes you more comfortable), there’s just as much to drool over beneath the skin. There are the beefy 12.6-inch disc brakes; the electronic stability control; Bluetooth capability; front, side and curtain air bags; and even the soft feel of the leather-wrapped manual-shift knob. For a few extra grand, we recommend bumping up to the 306-horsepower, V-6 version. Close your eyes in it, and you’ll feel like you’re purring along in a $50,000 sports car. On second thought, maybe keep your eyes open.

2010 Mazda 3 5-door: $19,230
If you lug a lot of gear, like bike equipment or a surfboard, a coupe won’t cut it. That’s why the newly revised hatchback version of the top car bargain for the past half-decade makes so much sense. Open the rear door of the Mazda 3, fold down the backseats, and you’ve got a sporty gear shed on wheels -- complete with a 4-cylinder engine that gets 29 mpg on the highway, a satellite radio-compatible six-speaker stereo system and a roomy air bag-laden cockpit.

2009 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V-6: $28,805
We agree that the dependable Accord sedan is about as exciting as a chess match. But the coupe version manages to strike a near-perfect balance between fun and utility. On the one hand, you’ve got the trademark Accord high resale value (that alone justifying a price higher than the other buggies featured here), safety, low maintenance (no tune-ups needed for the first 100,000 miles), and the knowledge that it’ll last longer than most modern marriages. On the other, this six-banger peels across the pavement from 0 to 60 so fast (actually 5.3 seconds) that the music blaring from the 270-watt, seven-speaker sound system barely has a chance to keep up.

2009 Nissan Altima: $19,900
Maybe it’s the four doors, but there’s something more professional and slightly less ostentatious about the four-cylinder Altima than the other rides here. It’s definitely the right choice if you’re working out of your car or taking long road trips. After all, the sub-$20,000 price and 31 mpg highway efficiency make business sense. There’s enough room to hold your high school basketball team’s starting frontcourt comfortably in back -- or all your sales samples -- and the Altima consistently receives the highest safety and reliability marks of any car in its class.

Greg Melville is a former Men's Journal editor. He has contributed to The New York Times, Popular Mechanics and other publications. He wrote the book Greasy Rider, for which he drove cross country in a car fueled completely on discarded fry oil (that car is not listed above).

Ten SmartPhone Apps which gives you the edge

Written By Thomas P. Farley and brought to you by our content partner Men's Life Today -- Handpicked for you by our team.

10 Smartphone Apps to Help You Get Ahead

How to succeed in business? There's an app for that. If you want to be in career-competitive mode while mobile, here are 10 of our favorite applications for your smartphone.

When you traded up to your new smartphone, you vowed to use it for something besides Tap Tap Revenge and Bejewled, right? How’s that vow holding up?

If your downloading habits still trend more toward play instead of work, it’s probably time to mix it up a bit. Never before has so much organizing power and information been entrusted to the palm of your hand. And while Apple is the undisputed leader in this arena (its App Store has more than 100,000 different offerings), other cell phone, software and search companies have gotten into the mix now too, giving you compelling options for just about any next-generation smartphone you own. (And if you still have a “dumb” phone, skip to the end to see what apps are available to you.)

Want to be master of the universe? Start your reign by downloading these 10 applications:

1. Dragon Dictation
No matter how skilled you are at typing on a touch-screen keyboard, you can still talk a whole lot faster. Enter Dragon Dictation, an app that uses incredibly accurate speech recognition to translate your words into text that you can paste right into your emails.

Gives you an edge by: Freeing you up from hunting and pecking so you can focus on your message


App Store



2. OpenTable
Never deal with a busy signal -- or a snooty reservation taker -- at a restaurant again. This app lets you make restaurant reservations at any one of more than 11,000 participating establishments throughout the U.S. and the world.

Gives you an edge by: Making client entertaining a snap, even in an unfamiliar city


Android Market, App Catalog, App World, App Store



3. Mint
If the idea of having real-time access to all your banking, investment and payable information sounds enticing, check out this app. With this one program, you’ll achieve financial omniscience.
Gives you an edge by: Freeing you from worry about overdrafts and missed bill payments


App Store


Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost a mint. It’s free!

4. RedLaser
Remember how George H.W. Bush marveled at supermarket barcode scanners years after they’d been introduced? Imagine what he’d think of this app, which allows you to scan any barcoded product with your phone’s camera and call up comparison prices before you buy.

Gives you an edge by:

Helping you save money on office supplies for your small business


App Store

Price (MSRP):


5. Quick office
Create and edit Microsoft Word documents and Excel spreadsheets -- and with some phones, you can create PowerPoint presentations too.

Gives you an edge by:

Saving you the trouble of powering up your computer to work on a document that needs minimal changes.


App Catalog, App Store, App World

Price (MSRP):

From $9.99 to $30, depending on phone and functionality

6. Newspapers
Another sign of the newsprint apocalypse, this app provides instant access to 70 papers around the globe, from TheNew York Times to Le Monde.
Gives you an edge by: Providing international news and perspective without the need for you to haul six dozen newspapers in your briefcase


Android Market, App Store, App World



7. Qik
If your phone has a video camera, just point, aim and shoot to create videos you can stream and post to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Gives you an edge by: Turning your phone into a videoconferencer capable of broadcasting important meetings and events to employees in remote locations


Android Market, App Store, App World, Ovi Store



8. Cheap Gas!
The name says it all, and in this economy, what sales executive doesn’t need to watch his petrol budget? Use the phone’s GPS to geo-locate the least expensive gas around

Gives you an edge by: Saving road warriors precious fuel dollars, not to mention the wasted time circling around in search of bargains


App Store



9. iFitness
Can’t tear yourself away from your desk long enough to get to the gym? Then just close your office door, fire up this app and follow the picture instructions for more than 230 exercises. Also allows you to track your fitness progress and even upload your own exercises and photos.

Gives you an edge by: Offering instruction on the right way to work out and get in shape -- wherever you are


App Store

Price (MSRP):


10. Todo
List lovers will think they’ve died and gone to heaven with this app, which allows you to keep a digital running list of your daily tasks. You can sync it with your calendar and set it to send you reminder notifications.

Gives you an edge by: Purging random slips of paper from your life and giving you at-a-glance access to your project priorities


App Store

Price (MSRP):


Finally, if you’re employing a less-evolved cell phone (one lacking sophisticated iPhone-type apps), you too can now access programs that turbocharge your mobile’s intelligence. There’s a new-ish generation of hardware called feature phones (typically recognizable by their larger screens and touch-screen functionality) that are less expensive than smartphones but that can still do a few cool tricks. Look for feature-phone apps at Web such sites as GetJar, which offers roughly 60,000 applications for nearly 2,000 different phones. You can still improve your cell game, even with a cheaper model.

KEY: App Store (Apple); Android Market (Google); App Catalog (Palm); App World (BlackBerry); Ovi Store (Nokia)

Thomas P. Farley is a career writer for Men’s Life Today. An etiquette and lifestyle expert, he is also the editor of Modern Manners: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Social Graces.

How to get the best gift for your dad - The best gift guide

Written By Sanjiv Bhattacharya and brought to you by our content partner Men's Life Today -- Handpicked for you by our team.

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Dad

Do you even remember what you gave your dad last Christmas, or the Christmas before that? If you don’t, then he probably doesn’t either -- or doesn’t want to, anyway. This year, gift him one of the father-son experiences described below, or come up with one of your own. Either way, neither one of you will forget it anytime soon.

Rent a Beast
There may be a dad in America who doesn’t get a kick out of a Mercedes-Benz SLS with the gullwing doors or a gleaming new Porsche Panamera. It’s possible. But so is life on Venus. So why not take your dad’s car into the garage for a full wash, wax and detail, and rent some dream wheels for a day? Pick a cozy restaurant 200 miles away, set the GPS and just drive. Remember to bring a camera. He’ll want it framed.

Get Tickets for Game Day
Whether it’s football, baseball or college basketball, there’s a sport that gets your dad’s blood pumping. So get tickets one day for just you and him. It doesn’t matter if they’re in the nosebleeds; you’ll yell and cheer and eat hotdogs. After all, this is why sport was invented: for fathers and sons to bond. Let it happen.

Catch a Gig
Not all of the bands in your dad’s record collection are getting wheeled around nursing homes. Many are still performing. Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen all played this year -- and that’s just the B’s. Your dad will never forget the day you sent him down memory lane. And you know what? It beats Justin Bieber.

Go Fish
Just because the snow’s thick on the ground doesn’t mean you and dad can’t go fishing. You just need to pack differently: mittens instead of a sunhat, a thermos instead of a cooler. To spend an afternoon on the ice, bobbing through crust for walleye or perch, has all the lazy bliss of summer fishing -- but with a dangerous edge. Quality time slows down on a lake, and conversation often veers into uncharted waters. As Herbert Hoover said, “All men are equal before fish.”

Fix It
Fathers long for the day that their sons might ask to help build or mend something around the house. It doesn’t matter what it is -- fixing a motorbike, laying down some tile, mending a fence or building shelves. What matters is that you build more than just shelves when you work on a project like that together. Find that project, mention it to the old man and watch the happiness spread across his face.

Shoot and Score
Here’s a Second Amendment remedy you can believe in: Shooting. It’s a blast. And it’s as American as apple pie. Spend a father-and-son afternoon on the firing range unloading with every kind of gun you ever saw on TV. If dad’s the NRA type, a day on the firing range is nothing short of a slice of heaven. But even if he’s not, he’ll still have the time of his life. Because all men are boys and all boys love guns.

Spend a Day at the Races
The sport of kings and degenerate gamblers, horse racing is also a great day out for the family. The sheer spectacle of the crowds, the thoroughbreds, the thundering hooves. The surge of excitement when the gates snap open and the galloping begins. Share a little flutter with the old man and shout yourself hoarse. If either one of you wins, it’ll be a day he’ll talk about for years. ;

Be a Chef
The father-son team is a beautiful thing. At the holidays, even more so. So here’s how to do it, to be the son of all sons. Just as the giant family dinner looms, suggest to your dad that you and he make the dinner for a change. Just the two of you, a team of two. Your mother will love putting her feet up, and your dad, just watch him swell with pride. Top it off with matching aprons and chef’s hats.

Now, here is a good time that everyone should try at least once: Indoor skydiving in a vertical wind-tunnel. As a giant fan blows up at you, you’re above the ground, supported by a cushion of air. An instructor teaches you how to do somersaults, flips and tricks. You and your father can be an acrobatic sky troupe together, tumbling in unison. ; ;

Go Rock ’n’ Roll Bowling
There are some things in life that are universally popular, regardless of age, gender or background -- like ice cream. Or a night of rock ’n’ roll bowling. Your dad may be a bowling fanatic, in which case this is a slam dunk. But even if he’s not -- and this is the beauty of bowling -- he’ll have a great time. It’s said that the families who bowl together, stick together. You could make it just a father-son thing, or get the whole family involved. Either way, Dad’s the team leader, needless to say.

Sanjiv Bhattacharya writes for titles like GQ, Details and LA Weekly. His first book, Secrets and Wives: The Hidden World of Mormon Polygamywill be out in spring of 2011.

How to use Facebook properly

Written By Thomas P. Farley and brought to you by our content partner Men's Life Today -- Handpicked for you by our team.

Whether you call it a time-saver or a time-sap, Facebook is the second most popular site in the world, and in India – just after Google. has surpassed the almighty Google as the most trafficked website in the U.S. -- and the second most popular site in the world.

Whatever you happen to think of it, if you haven't been living in a cave the last few years (and maybe even if you have), you’re probably using it in some manner. Need someone’s contact info?

Check. Birthday minders? Ditto. Photos and videos to share? Done and done. Random thoughts to send into the ether? Well, you know the drill.

But as quickly as Facebook has become an integral part of the way we communicate with friends (and “friends”), it has also raised concerns. How much sharing is too much sharing? What do Facebook and its marketing partners really know about you? And what are they doing with all of that juicy data? Men’s Life
Today reached out to David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World, for tips on getting the best out of Facebook while avoiding its potential dark side.

Don’t Be Daft
For starters, says Kirkpatrick, if there’s something with the potential to embarrass, don’t post it. Despite how secure you believe your privacy settings to be, modern society is littered with Internet roadkill, like jobs lost and relationships shattered simply because a user didn’t think twice before posting. “This is a shockingly common-sense rule that many people disregard”, says Kirkpatrick. But don’t go too far in the opposite direction, he advises. “If you never post anything of interest, you’re less likely to have anything of interest come back to you”.

Friendly Fire
If your standards for accepting friends have been, shall we say, less than discerning, Kirkpatrick suggests it could be time to do some pruning. “One of the classic errors is to accept every friend request you receive”, he says. The problem with such loose standards? “You’re empowering these individuals over your information”.
It may also be time to shed people you do know, but who don’t reflect your sensibility or values (see “jobs lost”, above). “If you’re beginning to question their judgment, hide them from your news feed or unfriend them entirely”. If we were to discard all but those whom we consider true-blue buddies, says Kirkpatrick, many of us would wind up eliminating three-quarters of our so-called friends.

App Happy
Here’s a little heads-up: Third-party apps gain access to your personal information when you
install them. (And yes, “Mafia Wars” and “Farmville” fans, that includes you). So be picky.
“Something that looks cool, but which I’ve never heard of and that only a couple of my friends are using? I’m not going to adopt it”, Kirkpatrick says flatly. If you already have an app installed but haven’t used it in a while, delete it. Why? Because even if you’re not doing anything with it, chances are its developers are still doing something with your data.

Fortunately, right before you install any app, Facebook will remind you that you’re about to hand over access to your info. The choice to “allow” is up to you. Pretty simple.

Privacy Protection
Although he concedes that navigating Facebook’s privacy settings can be like trying to solve a Chinese puzzle, Kirkpatrick says an investment of 45 minutes should be enough to establish settings you’re comfortable with. For advice on how to get started, he recommends the site (Search for “privacy settings”).

To be on the safe side, a good across-the-board option is “friends only”. If you have a burning desire to make your life an open book for exes, frenemies and strangers, go ahead and use “everyone”. If you’re particularly guarded about your information, there’s a custom setting called “only me” -- though if you choose this option, you might just want to delete your Facebook account altogether and go back to calling your friends on a landline. Tedious, yes, but no privacy worries!

Target: You
And what about those ads in the margin that seem to know a little too much about you? They don’t concern Kirkpatrick terribly. If Facebook is doing its job and serving adverts that jibe with your interests, you might welcome seeing some of them. And if you don’t, “they’re easy to disregard”, Kirkpatrick points out, explaining that one of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s core tenets is that advertising should not disrupt the user experience.

Despite articles like this one, Kirkpatrick knows that many of you will continue to throw caution to the wind. “Facebook is loosening inhibitions about self-display”, he acknowledges, “and we’re becoming a more transparent people”. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, he adds, but if you’re going to share, just be sure you do it wisely -- or be ready for your mom, crazy ex, nosy co-worker and the rest of the world to know your business.

Thomas P. Farley
is a regular writer for Men’s Life Today. A manners and lifestyle expert, he is also the creator of the blog, and the host of the web television show “New York Insider TV.” Follow him on Twitter at mistermanners and newyorkinsider.