En español | Here's the deal, men: You don't need a tattoo, ripped jeans or long hair (or any hair at all, for that matter) to look great; you don't need designer labels, a Rolex or a suit to look sharp; and you sure don't need joggers, a message tee or a baseball cap to look on-trend stylish. If the mature face and body in the mirror are not making you grin with snappy confidence, here are 10 master tips to getting heartthrob handsome and rebooting your star power.
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PHOTO BY: Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images; PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images; Jon Kopaloff/WireImage
1. Make dark jeans, an untucked top and a leather jacket your look
If there’s one universal uniform that never misses regardless of size, shape or weight, this is it. But let’s be clear: This is not about looking “younger” or “age appropriate.” You just want to hit the right balance between contemporary and well-dressed. Stick to neutral colors like gray, brown, black or navy for shirts, tees and jackets, and dark wash or black straight-leg jeans with a medium rise. Untucked looks modern. The leather jacket is the key ingredient to pull together the look, and a moto/biker/bomber style gives even the preppiest, most classic guys a modern edge, day or night.
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PHOTO BY: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images; Han Myung-Gu/WireImage
2. Change the look by swapping the shirt, jacket or shoes
When you want to look more polished or professional (for work, a meeting or an evening out, for example), just trade the leather jacket for a tailored blazer, a crisp button-down shirt or a polo shirt with collar. Ankle boots, loafers or lace-ups instantly upgrade jeans, but swapping sporty white or multicolor sneakers for a pair in black does the trick, too. Try a sleek bomber, field or chore jacket or even a ribbed turtleneck as dress-casual alternative to the blazer or leather jacket. Keep the jeans! Remember: The darker the wash, the dressier the jeans and the more easily they work as a pants substitute.
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PHOTO BY: Borja B. Hojas/NurPhoto via Getty Images; Marc Piasecki/GC Images; Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for WarnerMedia and AT&T
3. Learn how to accessorize, layer and add a pop of color
It’s little style twists that add personality to everyday clothes. Once you master the basics (tips number 1 and 2), try layering up. It’ll come in handy for chilly weather. It’s not for everyone, but for those who want a trendy touch, add one single pop of color. You might swap a neutral tee for one with stripes or in a bright color to slip under your moto jacket, let a pastel tee peep out under a sweater or add an eye-catching scarf at the neck on a cold day. Layer a cardigan, hoodie or vest over a tee and under any jacket or open shirt-jacket to add texture, style and warmth. While you’re at it, consider an Apple watch as a change from a traditional one. If you wear socks with your shoes, try more stylish colors and patterns instead of solid black or navy.
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PHOTO BY: Target (3); CVS
4. Improve your skin to look healthy
Men get discolorations, wrinkles, saggy skin, dry skin head to toe, under-eye circles and bags after 50, too. All guys — even those with scruff and beards — benefit from a daily skin-care routine of cleansing, moisturizing and SPF 30+ sunscreen. Here’s the incentive: UV rays are targeting your skin and encouraging dark spots, wrinkles and skin cancer daily. If you take five minutes day and night with a few drugstore products, you are covered. Simplify by washing with a hydrating cleanser like Dove Men+Care Hydrate Face Wash ($5, target.com), and applying a non-greasy SPF 30 sunscreen face lotion like Duke Cannon Standard Issue Broad Spectrum Face Lotion SPF 30 ($13, target.com) or CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 ($12, target.com) and a multitasking body lotion like Nivea Men Maximum Hydration 3 in 1 Nourishing Body Lotion ($9, cvs.com) on hands, face and body. When your skin is hydrated, plumped up and soft, it looks healthier and so do you. Wrinkles? They add character and show a life well lived; it’s sun damage you need to think about.
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PHOTO BY: Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Ulta Beauty (2)
5. Wake up your eyes
The eyes are where everything from excessive screen time to fatigue or a diet with too much salt or alcohol shows up. If you get a lot of “you look tired” comments, let an eye cream and bolder eyeglass frames take care of business. With consistent use, a de-puffing eye gel/cream with caffeine like RoC Multi-Correxion Hydrate + Plump Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream ($25, ulta.com) or Kiehl’s Since 1851 Eye Fuel ($24, ulta.com) de-bloats under-eye bags. Just keep your cream in the fridge (cold soothes and speeds the process) and tap it on first thing in the a.m. at the outer corners of your eyes where crow’s feet appear and under the eyes (not close to the lash line) in a half moon shape. Then head to your optical shop and trade your metal frames for a pair in tortoise or black to power up your eyes.
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PHOTO BY: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images; Jamie McCarthy/WireImage; Jason Mendez/Getty Images
6. Take control of your hair
A haircut — or should I say your head “look” (to be no-hair inclusive) — is not just about grooming. Its job is to make the most of whatever hair you have or don’t have. Opt for a shorter look or close crop instead of trying to hide balding or sparse areas with a comb-over. You will look modern and confident. The same goes for gray hair. Let incoming gray at the sides or hairline add flattering silvery highlights, and whatever you do, don’t dye it! Tame your hair extras, too. Brow, nose and ear hair need maintenance. Wild, wiry hairs sprouting from ears and nose aren’t cute. Resist the temptation to trim them yourself unless you have a DIY trimmer or blunt-tip nose scissor and are handy. Any barber can do it for you.
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PHOTO BY: Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage; Gregg DeGuire/WireImage; Gary Gershoff/Getty Images
7. Keep facial hair groomed
Here’s the truth. Facial stubble and beards can look cool at 50 to 70-plus, but so can a smooth, clean shave. The advantage of shaving is that it sloughs off dead cells and stimulates collagen production to keep older skin looking fresh. Stubble — when maintained — looks sexy and lets you off the every-day-shaving hook, but know that there’s good stubble and bad. If yours comes in patchy, spotty or uneven, do yourself a favor and shave. A short, trimmed beard is very trendy and not just for the idea of having a beard. It can restore structure to the lower face and camouflage weight gain, a double chin, a saggy jawline or a diminished upper lip. You can try out scruff or a beard and see how it goes the way celebs do! Facial hair is so easily reversible and unlike clothes requires no spending to make a real change.
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PHOTO BY: CVS (2); Target (2)
8. Brighten your smile and breath
Fixing chipped, cracked or missing teeth, whitening the color and prepping dry lips with balm make a huge difference in your appearance. Yellow, stained teeth (and their sidekick bad breath) can cancel out the most amazing smile and impede your social life in seconds (even on Zoom or FaceTime). Schedule regular dental and hygiene checkups for maintenance and make DIY whitening a part of your daily brushing and flossing routine. A high-tech brightening toothpaste like Crest 3D White Brilliance + Whitening Two-Step Toothpaste ($17, cvs.com) or Colgate Optic White Advanced Whitening Toothpaste with 2% Hydrogen Peroxide in Sparkling White can help stain removal if you’re not into strips, even for heavy coffee and red wine fans (says my husband the dentist). Wear a lip balm with sun protection like Sun Bum SPF 30 Coconut Lip Balm ($4, cvs.com) outdoors, a minty breath-freshening version like Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm Peppermint ($3, target.com) indoors — mask or no mask.
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PHOTO BY: Walgreens (3); Nordstrom
9. Smell good
This is something others notice but even your best friends won’t tell you about. It’s more about good hygiene and fresh clothing than wearing an actual aftershave or cologne. (Most men I spoke to said multistep routines, pricey products and too much scent were big turnoffs.) One quick solution is a daily swipe with a deodorant and shower wash, scented or unscented. In-shower multitaskers like Alberto VO5 Men’s 3-In-1 Shampoo, Conditioner & Body Wash in Ocean Surge ($1, walgreens.com) and He’s a 10 Miracle 3-In-1 Shampoo, Conditioner & Body Wash ($18, walgreens.com) are a growing time-saving trend to streamline your routine but check every self-care box. Mist on a lightly scented body spray with a clean outdoorsy smell like Jack Black All-Over Body Spray ($30, nordstrom.com) or Calvin Klein Eternity for Men Aqua Body Spray ($15, walgreens.com) after a shower or during the day for a fresh pick-me-up.
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PHOTO BY: MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Neil Mockford/GC Images
10. Empty your pockets and watch your body language
Bad posture is rampant these days as men (and women) huddle over their cellphones and laptops. Not only is this bad for your spine and health (think headaches, neck and shoulder pain!), but it wrecks your posture, looks and the way your clothes fit. Hunching makes your shoulders sag, your neck push forward, your jawline gain a double chin and your belly protrude. Stand, walk and sit up straight. Make an effort to pull your shoulders back and down and tighten your core. And finally, empty your pockets. Replace your fat wallet with a slim version that holds only essential cards and ID and get rid of belt-mounted cellphone holsters: All add unwanted bumps and bulges to waist and hips.
My final word: Whether you’re retired, work from home or are still in the 9-to-5 game: How you look says something about your self-respect, confidence, taste and opinions before you even open your mouth. Spruce up for others … but do it for yourself most of all.
Lois Joy Johnson is a beauty and style editor who focuses on women 50 and older. She was the beauty and style editor at Ladies’ Home Journal and a founding editor of More magazine. She has written three books: The Makeup Wakeup, The Wardrobe Wakeup and The Woman's Wakeup.
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