Dudes Wanna Know: How Can I Fix My Mug?

I get various texts and Facebook messages from dudes asking me about beauty advice. Yes, real men who want to know more about their skin and how to take care of it!

So here’s my annual “This is how to take care of your face, dudes,” post. If you have questions, email me at mentervention@gmail.com and I’ll keep you anonymous.

KEEPING THE MUG CLEAN

1. Exfoliate 1-2 times a week

You guys have it great because you exfoliate every few days — it’s called shaving. This instantly takes off layers of skin, plus your hair, so that’s why you guys look like you age in retrograde (George Clooney) and 55-year-old women in Hollywood have issues getting roles playing people their own age. Chances are, though, you aren’t shaving your forehead or nose (maybe you are? I’m not here to discriminate, as I shave my own face. I know you’re probably disgusted by me now, but there is no hair on this mug outside of my eyebrows), so you need something you can use once or twice a week to exfoliate your entire face AND prevent ingrown hairs after you shave.

Low-end option: Mix brown sugar with olive oil to make a paste, and use it to scrub your skin.

Middle grade: Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Wash, $22

High-end: Clarisonic. Yes, that contraption your girlfriend has. If you wonder how sexy beasts like Charlie Hunnam or Idris Elba have gorgeous, clear skin, chances are they have a Clarisonic. (I don’t know if they actually own one.)  If your girlfriend or wife has one, get another brush head and share. It times your wash, so you know how long to spend on each area of your face. The brush bristles remove dirt better than a wash cloth and it’s kind of like a spa experience you can get down with in the shower.

Ryan knows what’s up.

If you buy your own, there’s a $99 travel option (the Mia) and the $149 option (the Mia 2) and the Aria ($199). I’m going to be honest: I don’t think there’s a huge difference. The Aria has 3 speeds instead of two, it’s bigger; the Mia is smaller. They all come with a charger and usually a face wash made by Clarisonic. You will need a cleanser to use with this, but use something gentle (not an exfoliator).

2. Cleanse

The rest of the week, you should be cleansing your skin twice a day, plus every time you sweat. (Don’t act like you’ve never thought about skipping a shower and going straight to the Playstation after a workout…)

You should have a mild cleanser that gets rid of dirt and bacteria. If you deal with breakouts, I’d suggest avoiding acne cleansers, because some tend to be too drying to use both morning and night. Spot treat instead.

A nice cleanser that has zero sulfates (which can dry out your skin) and a ton of aloe (hydrating) is Ursa Major’s Fantastic Face Wash ($26). You need a dime size amount. Put on your fingertips, and lather it on to damp skin for a minute, then rinse with cool water.

BONUS: Are you getting old as sh*t? Or feel like you’re quickly approaching that point? Find a cleanser with alpha and beta hydroxy acids. It’s very easy to find these, because they literally say it on the bottle. Or, they’ll say they contain:

Lactic acid

Glycolic acid

Salicylic acid (found in acne treatment products)

Citric acid

A great anti-aging face wash+ acne-clearing wash: Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel ($35 – but on sale here for $17).

3. Protect and Hydrate 

I would separate these, but I figure if I can get you to wear sunscreen, I’ll try to make it easy on you. SPF MOISTURIZER SHOULD BE YOUR JAM. Melanoma has been on the rise for the past decade. If you are in the sun or drive a car, you are at risk of getting melanoma. Please wear sunscreen.

Minimum SPF you should be wearing: 30

Type of sunscreen: there are chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. Try to go with physical sunscreens, which are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Many people complain of the white residue they leave behind, but I’ve found several that don’t — for women. Finding a good SPF 30 moisturizer made with physical sunscreen for men has been a doozy for me to find, so here are a few that combine both physical and chemical sunscreen:

MD Complete Anti-Aging Sunscreen Moisturizer ($25)

Dr. Lancer Sun Shield ($48) (just sunscreen)

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel + UV Guard ($38)

4. Breakouts and Ingrown Hairs

Do yourself a favor and get this Drying Lotion from Mario Badescu ($17). It helps take down the size of the blemish and the redness. If you have an ingrown hair, slap some on the sucker! It will make it come to a head so you can pop it and get the hair out with tweezers. (You’re welcome for that visual.) (PS: every dude should own this pair of tweezers. Precision is key.)

Like I mentioned earlier, the exfoliation step will help with your ratchet ingrowns.

5. Blackheads

Do you have blackheads? That’s disgusting. (Just kidding! Actually, it’s more distracting than anything, so fix it.) My brother is going to kill me for sharing this, but the first thing I do when I see him is give him a facial and get all of the effing crap out of his pores. It really makes all the difference.

Things you can do to help keep your pores clean:

Wear sunscreen! Seriously. Blackheads aren’t dirt. I mean, they are, but the reason why they’re black is because they’ve been oxidized by the sun. The more you know.

Use a pore strip once or twice a month. It’s disgustingly satisfying seeing all that gunk come out on it.

Use a face mask once a week! This is not a joke. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, get over to Target and grab a Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask ($4). The mud is going to help remove impurities from your skin.

Michael Bublé sings and uses face masks. He is a woman’s dream.

However, if you want to go for the gold, Glam Glow Mud is the best. I’ve gotten all the guys in the office hooked on this stuff. It’s $69, but you don’t need much. Don’t pile on the mud. Instead, smooth a thin layer over your skin, let it dry, then wash off in circular motions.

6. Night time moisturizer

You need to moisturize your skin every night before you go to bed, because your skin is dehydrated between the hours of 11PM and 2AM. This will help with keeping your skin looking youthful, too. I’d suggest Clinique for Men, but if you don’t want to try it, head to the drugstore and pick up an anti-aging face moisturizer that women use (like Olay).

Clinique for Men Maximum Hydrator ($32)

And remember, if you really want to keep your skin in pristine shape, stay in a dark hole, alone, where you won’t be tempted to eat crappy food, be stressed, laugh or smile, since all of those can create wear and tear on your skin.

Full list of items I suggested: here.

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I Do Declare: Take No Sh*t in 2015

Many people resolute resolve (sue me, I’m tired) to “start” things in 2015:

  • Start working out
  • Start calling your parents weekly
  • Start living your passion

For me, it’s simple as not doing something. And that something is this:

dealing with bullsh*t.

Apologies for the language, but it’s really the only way I can describe it. I’ve done this in the past — putting up with treatment I don’t deserve, or doing things for people that I really don’t want to do, just to appease them. And when I say past, I’m referring to as recently as December 31st, 2014.

When you’re in a relationship, you’re willing to put up with crap because you’re tied to the other person. Not literally, obviously. And not by law in some cases. But because you’ve shared experiences with them, and because you care for them more than just on a friendly level, you deal with things that might not be acceptable.

But ask any woman, and she’ll tell you that she’s probably put up with her own fair share of shiz from men who aren’t her significant other — people she has no obligation to. They’re people she knows on a surface level, or she used to know really well, but doesn’t know them personally. Or hasn’t seen them in years.

I have done this with all kinds of men: acquaintances from my hometown, guys my friends have dated; guys I used to date seven years ago. My dad likes to call me a bum magnet, and went as far as to ask me where I found these “complete psychopaths.” And I figured out that it’s not me finding them. It’s them finding me. (And that’s the truly horrifying, if not comforting part of it all — I didn’t seek them out.) I’ve been (mostly) single the past five years, so some of these situations are not romantic interests.

I’ll give you a few examples:

This dude.

A person I knew from Texas has contacted me recently, buttering me up for God knows what reason — but I know there is one, because I know there are ulterior motives involved. (There’s always at least one motive these days.) I am polite and thank him for his compliments, but I’m not giving in to his requests to meet up. Because you know what? I don’t want to. I have zero obligation to, actually. I’ve been down that road with him, and frankly, I don’t need the association, and I also don’t need the drama or exhaustion, either. He’s not my boyfriend; he’s not my brother… I don’t want to deal with it. He’s brilliant, and wish him all the best, but until I see a change in his behavior, we’re not getting drinks, and I’m not following him on Instagram. (And I’m not holding my breath, either.)

The last example involves an ex on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know why I refer to him as an “ex,” because we barely dated. But it lasted long enough, and he asked me not to see other people, so I guess we were in a relationship? If we were, he had a peculiar way of treating me like his girlfriend. Anyway, we had a very turbulent romance, and I was absolutely humiliated by the end of it.

Two years ago, he ended up asking for forgiveness, let me know he got his life together on various fronts, and he apologized for everything he had ever done to me. Considering I had forgiven him years ago, I was thrilled he had reached a point in his life where he could find peace and comfort in himself and with God. And our conversations, although few and far between, since then were great. But the NYE conversation went south BIG TIME. It got to a point where I was genuinely uncomfortable and struggling to find a tactful response (cue thousands of emojis). I even avoided the conversation for a few hours. Basically, it went from me making a joke about making out (which we had a few times — he was my boyfriend once, after all) to him crossing the line and making a few comments that would make anyone blush. I was so baffled and infuriated by the whole thing that I told him I was sad for him if he was drunk, and I was also sad for him if he wasn’t. I didn’t do anything to provoke or lead him to those comments, and the fact that he thought he could talk to me like that really pissed me off.

This angered him, and thus came all of the condescending, terrible comments that I was once accustomed to receiving back in college. You know, when I was 19. News flash: I’m a grown woman now. I’ve lived a life. A small portion of it, but still, I’ve had a lot more experiences in this world now than I did at 19. Needless to say, I wasn’t having it.

I don’t deserve that type of treatment, and by the way: I HAVEN’T SEEN HIM IN YEARS. I’m disheartened to think of how he would talk to someone he’s regularly dating. Mostly, I’m disappointed that nothing has changed.

I ended up cutting the cord right then and there. You know why?

I don’t need the bullsh*t.

So do yourself a favor, and stop the bloody madness. I’m ripping these situations straight from my life and my friends lives (sorry!), so I hope you can relate and will move forward this year by:

  • Ignoring your ex’s calls and texts. They are not strong enough to stop contacting you, so you’re going to have to grow a pair and do it yourself.
  • Stop feeling bad for people who bring problems upon themselves. They have to want to change themselves.
  • Stop believing people will change, when they consistently prove to you that they can’t and won’t. (That’s what we like to call “madness.”)
  • Stop falling back into old habits and relationships because it’s “comfortable.” You’re missing out on the better experiences waiting to be had.
  • Stop doing things just because other people want you to or depend on you — people who have no business depending on you in the first place. I think you should have empathy for others, but learn to love and protect yourself first.

Here’s to taking no sh*t in 2015.

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