50 Tips on Grooming, Style, and Living a Better Life

In life there are ways to do small things smarter that can have a significant impact on your quality of living. We've got 50 tips, tricks and hacks for what you wear, how you take care of yourself and getting the most out of life.
  1. Never say “Nice to meet you.” Ever been in one of those awkward situations where someone introduces you to someone else, you say, “nice to meet you,” and then it turns out you’ve met them 3 times before? Instead, always say, “Nice to see you,” or my personal go-to, “Hey, how are you?”  An even better alternative is to get specific depending on the occasion. “Thanks for coming,” or “Thanks for having us.”
  2. A man always uses the right tools for the job. In the case of grooming, you shouldn’t be ashamed of using $10 face lotion or $15 hair goop. That doesn’t mean you have to go around telling all your friends, but you should be proud to use grooming products you think are quality, worth the price and do what you're looking for.
  3. Get better service everywhere you go. Skip the formalities of talking to a stranger and trick yourself into being more friendly by pretending that you know the person. Think about those greetings you give and the faces you make when you’re happy to see someone you know. Do that, but with a stranger.
  4. How to properly use most hair pomades, gels, etc. Towel dry your hair when you get out of the shower, put a small amount of the stuff in your hands and rub them back and forth 10 times. Rub it into your hair, style loosely and let dry. Once dry, finish styling with your fingers. This helps avoid “hard hair” or a shiny finish.
  5. Make your body grooming upkeep much easier, get a body groomer. I’ve got a Norelco Bodygroom and recommend it.
  6. The easiest way to pull off the casual tie? With a sweater.
  7. Be attractive like Don Draper. Work on your confidence.
  8. Want to start dressing better? When you don’t know what to wear in the morning the default should be a button up shirt. You should choose to wear a t-shirt for a reason.
  9. Every guy should shave his head at least once in his life. You won't know if you look good unless you try it.
  10. Every guy should let his hair grow past his ears at least once in his life. Similarly, most of us have had a version of the same hair cut our entire lives. Have the courage to let it grow out and try something different.
  11. How to get the haircut you want: Be as specific and descriptive as possible. “Like I have it but shorter” doesn’t help much, since hair can change shape and texture when growing out. Instead, say, “My last cut was 2 months ago, I’d like to take about an inch and a half off all over, and make it look like it’s grown in a few weeks.” Going for something really specific? Find a picture of a guy who has what you want and take it with you.
  12. Keep those nails cut. Next time you’re on the toilet for 5-10 minutes, skip your next round of Angry Birds and use the time for grooming your finger and toe nails. The goal is to maintain a thin white line at all times.
  13. Style doesn't have to be expensive; I don't think I've ever spent more than $50 on jeans. Know what you're looking for, find a cheaper alternative, then buy them when they're on sale. But, if finer denim is important to you, don't feel bad in investing in that either, just like #2.
  14. There’s no excuse for not flossing at least 5 times a week. Pick up a flosser if you need a way of making it easier.
  15. The American Dental Association doesn’t specify whether to floss first or brush first, but it does say flossing first allows the fluoride in toothpaste to better reach between teeth.
  16. Which body wash should you buy? Whichever one is on sale, unless you have specifics you like (see #2). All that stuff works pretty much the same way. I avoid body wash whose normal price is cheaper, since I find it doesn't lather as well or go as far. So, whichever one of the more name brand / expensive options is on sale, go for that.
  17. Going through a tough break up? Make it easier on yourself: delete her number from your phone, block her on Facebook, get her out of your life. If you can't even do that, you'll never move on. More here.
  18. You know that feeling you get when you’ve finished dressing and you know you look good? You should strive for that feeling every time you dress. Those times where you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re not sure something matches correctly? Trust yourself, it probably doesn’t.
  19. Prevent collar curl. If your shirt has collar stay inserts, make sure to put them in before you leave the house. Always take them out before you wash and iron.
  20. You’re not living up to your full potential–and you know it. Think about your goals,  (You have goals right?), break them down into smaller milestones, and figure out what the next step is.
  21. Worried about your thinning hair? Give it more volume by blow drying it.Dress better
  22. Save that pretty face. Every guy should use lotion on his face after washing it in the morning. There’s nothing un-manly about taking care of yourself. It’ll help you look less tired, and you’ll thank me in 20 years. Find a moisturizer developed for the face like Every Man Jack’s Face Lotion.
  23. A guy should always have a blazer he can wear with jeans. Most times a suit jacket won’t work, you need something shorter. Try a pattern like herringbone.
  24. Different scents for different events. Consider having a fresh, light cologne for the daytime and work hours, and a more full-bodied scent for evenings and going out.
  25. The proper way to put on cologne: Hold your arm straight out and spray towards your chest. You only need one, two tops. Don’t spray it into the air and walk into it; that smelly water is expensive and this method wastes most of it. If you’ve got a bottle with no spray, apply small dabs under your ears and to your wrists.
  26. Don’t pop your pimples. You can scar your face, and it takes longer for the inflammation to go down. This may not be realistic advice if you look like Rudolph the morning of your big interview, but taking care of them once they show up is the wrong way to deal with them. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends using a wash that includes salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Combat the blemish before it shows up and you’ll never have a morning surprise again. Over the counter products don’t seem to help? Go see a dermatologist, they’re not just for teenagers. Adult acne can require different methods of treatment than your teenage acne needed.
  27. And, while you’re there, ask them for some solutions if you’re affected by outbreaks on your back. Some simple phone calls and quick consults can get you on the path of not being embarrassed to take your shirt off.
  28. Carry a pocket knife. You’ll be absolutely surprised how often you’ll use it. I recommend a Victornox Swiss Army knife. From opening boxes, tightening screws, to getting a splinter out with the tweezers, they always come in handy. Remember before you got a smart phone you wondered if you really needed it? And now that you have one, you could never go back? You’ll feel the same way about a pocket knife.
  29. The next time you have private access to your significant other’s closet, mark down their sizes for a few of their favorite shirts, dresses, shoes, bras and underwear. Ring size may be useful eventually.
  30. A few years ago it was common to wear your jeans a little too long to the point that the bottoms got walked on and frayed. It was cool at the time, but jean style has moved on to a more fitted look. If you haven’t yet, you should. No more frayed wide leg jeans.
  31. Have a big date after work and no time to go home to freshen up? There are several new products on the market just for this dilemma. Keep the jungle less swampy with Fresh Balls, a cream; or Dry Goods, a spray. The standard bearer, and super cheap option is Gold Bond, but the scent can leave something to be desired, especially if getting intimate is in the plan.
  32. Always have one spare birthday card and one spare multi-purpose card for emergencies.
  33. Rejection is just an emotion. Learn to not take it personally or you’ll never be as successful as you want to be.
  34. Dark or patterned underwear will mask ”normal wear and tear.”
  35. Unless your doctor has told you otherwise for some reason, pick up a bottle of multivitamins. With our fast paced food culture, it’s easy to miss out on the essentials.
  36. You’re doing the woman you love a real disservice if you haven’t convinced her of the benefits of ordering a steak less than medium-well.
  37. Don’t fall into the trap of buying something because it’s heavily on sale. A $600 suit marked down to $250 still means you have to spend $250.
  38. If you haven’t called your mom in a week then you don’t have time to catch up on the DVR.
  39. If you haven’t called your best friend in a month then you don’t have time to play video games.
  40. It only costs $30 to replace your entire underwear collection. Why are you forcing yourself to wear ratty skivvies from who knows how long ago? For the cost of one round of mixed drinks, everyday can be nice underwear day.
  41. Moderation is good. In moderation.
  42. You can make someone’s day with a single sentence. Why would you not?
  43. White athletic socks should only be worn with athletic shoes.
  44. Never split the check on a first date.
  45. Lost or forgot your collar stays? Use a set of large paperclips. (hat tip)
  46. You have to stop worrying you’re going to offend someone and really go for it. The worst case is you lose something you never really had, the best case is you get what you want.
  47. When you've met the right person you'll know. If you don't know, you haven't.
  48. What can you learn if you're the smartest or most experienced person in the room? Find a smarter room.
  49. If you wake up one morning and you're fat because you can't get yourself to go to the gym, don't give up. You may just hate going to the gym. Instead try interval sprinting, pick up a recreational sport (kickball is popular these days), or find a park with a jungle gym. Think about other gym alternatives like getting a kettlebell and a $15 pull-up bar.
  50. The right boot can be the perfect “in between” dress shoe. I have a pair of Dakota Mid-Laces by Frye and love them. They look great casual, business casual, and smart casual.
Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.