Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to do a great dating at bargain prices

Written By Belisa Vranich for our content partner Men's Life Today -- Handpicked for you by our team.

Million-dollar Dating at Bargain Prices

When times get tough, the financially challenged get romantic. That is, they can if they follow these thrifty -- but effective -- dating strategies.

Even if you’re not sitting on a trust fund or earning big bucks, you can still show a lady a great time on just a little dough. And if you are well-off, these tips can still help you date well, since the amount of money spent on a date doesn’t necessarily equal the amount of fun to be had. Follow these five low-cost dating strategies, and you’ll get great ROI (Romance on Investment).

Get Retro

Ask her about board games she liked as a kid. Then go out and actually get them. (Her sweet tooth for “Candyland” will only cost you $12.99 on eBay, or -- if you’re lucky -- she’ll say “Battleship,” only $11.95 on eBay.) She’ll squeal with surprise -- not in a Deliverance kind of way.
Why this works:
You asked about her past, you remembered her response, you went out, scouted for that game and found it. Women consider effort, especially when the process involves several steps, an amazing feat for guys. Use that to your advantage.
Do not drop hints beforehand -- she’ll inevitably think it’s bigger/shinier and be disappointed regardless of what you get. This way, she’s totally surprised.

Break a Sweat

Believe it or not, she’s been waiting for someone to take her to the park -- the one with the rubber tires and monkey bars. Just be sure to avoid after-school hours -- kick it up after the kiddies go home for dinner.
Why this works:
She gets to talk about herself. She’ll tell you about how she once cracked a tooth on the asphalt, did an amazing summersault off the swings and survived the wrath of mean girl Stacey Abramowitz in sixth grade. Bottom line: She’ll feel like you really know her and this little adventure has brought you together.
You haven’t done a standing flip off the top of the slide in at least a couple of years. Maybe you’ve grown, gained weight or just remember the ground as being farther away. Leave gymnastics to the pros.

Get Classic

Bring over some movies like Casablanca or Gone with the Wind. She’ll tag you a Renaissance man akin to Rick or Rhett (even if your real goal is to avoid having to sit through another contemporary chick flick). Alternative: Pick up season one of her favorite TV show (maybe it’s “Friends,” “Weeds” -- hopefully anything but “Sex and the City”).
Why this works:
Rather than scream “cheap date,” the evening will sing “romance.” Plus, you can top it off with some of your special gourmet popcorn (a la bag!).
Maybe she did say she liked Black Hawk Down, but resist the urge.

Be Silly
Whether it’s doing Mad Libs together or teaming up against another couple for charades, you’ll be taking advantage of the fact that the language and interaction part of her brain is bigger. See, while men like doing things in a parallel way (like sitting side by side watching sports), research shows women like face-to-face and verbal interaction.

Why this works: She gets back-and-forth time with you and gets to use words.
Learn what an adverb and a reflexive pronoun are before playing Mad Libs or you’ll look like a tool.

Give a Little
Ask her to join you at the soup kitchen. No, not to eat there, dummy -- to do volunteer work. Although you won’t label this a real “date,” afterward, you’ll enjoy the fresh afterglow of having done some good in the world, which will give you both a warm and fuzzy feeling that’s very … date-like.

Why this works: Wow, how cool, you care about others! What a breath of fresh air!
Make sure to pick a cause you really like -- your heartfelt mission to help will render you irresistible.

Belisa Vranich is a clinical psychologist, author and public speaker specializing in relationships and sex.

How you can protect your skin from Sun and Pollution

Written By Ravina Rawal for our content partner Men's Life Today -- Handpicked for you by our team.

Protect Your Skin From Sun and Pollution

The weather's getting all hot and smoggy, and you're wondering how your skin deals with the pollution our cities seem to be breathing under. Common sense tips certainly include the basics – like drinking lots of water, getting some exercise, a healthy diet and enough sleep. But you definitely need a few extra tools to win the battle against clogged pores, increasing acne and photo-aging! Here are five of the best:

1. Cleanse!

Use a mild cleanser on your face at least twice daily. “If your skin is excessively oily, try a cleanser with salicylic acid, and use a toner to temporarily battle large open pores,” recommends Dr. Narmada Matang, Head Medical Operations for Kaya Skin Clinic India. “Also, what you may not know is that the contact time of the cleanser makes a difference. Use your fingertips and keep the cleanser on for just 30 seconds before rinsing it off again. The product may be mild, but you can dry out your skin if you leave it on too long.” Oh, and if you've got baby-soft sensitive skin, you may want to try a non-foaming face cleanser. Dr. Matang also recommends a using a scrub on your face once a week. And if you have the time for facials, they’re great every six weeks or so to tackle clogged pores, blackheads and dead skin, allowing shiny younger skin to come through, resulting in a great glow.

2. Get a Great Shave

There’s nothing like a smooth shave to make your skin feel good and look even better. But instead of hurrying through it every morning, take the time to prepare your facial skin first. Start by opening up your pores, to make the shave smoother. If you shave in the shower, your pores are already prepped. If not, soak a towel in warm water and apply it to your skin for at least a minute. Next up: shaving cream. Remember to leave this on your stubble for a good two minutes so it has time to work, and you don’t end up with razor burn. When you’re done, wash up with cold water to close your pores, and pat dry.

3. And Then, Moisturise
You must moisturise after shaving. The beard area is especially prone to folliculitis and dryness, so moisturising needs to become an essential part of your daily routine if you want your girlfriend to go gaga over your soft skin. Can’t bear the grease? Try a water-based moisturiser.

4. Seal + Protect: Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen
This is our TOP tip. One of those slightly painful, but absolutely essentially additions to your morning routine. Shave, shower… sunscreen. “The most important thing you have to remember about protecting photoaging of the skin, is that the earlier you start the better, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors” says New Delhi-based consultant dermatologist Dr. Sanjiv Kandhari. He believes you should be using sunscreen irrespective of your age or season (it is just as important to protect yourself in the winter as it is in the summer). Get a good sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15, with both UVA and UVB protection. Slather it on every morning, and if you’re going to be outdoors a lot, reapply it every two-three hours. “There is a new finding that indicates that not only are UVA and UVB rays harmful, but also visible light,” says Kandhari. “They’re not available in India yet, but top skincare brands have started introducing sunscreens that covers the whole spectrum, including visible light.”

5. Look Hot, Stay Cool
An often-neglected area on the face is the skin around the eyes. If you don’t want to end up with those fine crinkly lines that we call ‘crow’s feet’, invest in a pair of large and funky sunglasses, and you’re good to go!