Making a positive impression by attending to personal presentation, is something we as men should strive for, if achieving the best from almost any situation is the aim. Creating such an impression can be done by ensuring attention to detail when it comes to the fine art of grooming.
Special attention to all aspects of one's personal appearance will boost self-esteem and create a winning mindset, the very qualities that go hand in hand with successfulness in life.
The very fact that you are reading a bodybuilding publication suggests self improvement is an important personal goal, and indeed, developing one's muscles through consistent training and a sound nutritional approach are admirable steps toward an enhanced personal profile. However, take personal presentation one step further and wonderful things will happen.
"Where to next" you may ask. The purpose of this article is to answer that very question. Resident grooming expert, and bodybuilding champion, Anthony Catanzaro will fill in the blanks once again with a detailed analysis of how one can improve the way they look, and by virtue of this, the kind of impression they make.
No stranger to personal presentation, Anthony pays special attention to all the so called "pretty boy" aspects of male grooming. Things like skincare, hairstyle, fashion choices, and exfoliation.
In fact, as a male model, Anthony is paid to look good. Juxtapositioned with Anthony's insistence on perfect presentation is his approach to training, which is as hardcore as you can get, proving that one can take care of their appearance while still maintaining their masculinity.
But why should a man go to all the trouble of ensuring their grooming standards are high?
Wouldn't life be easier without all the extra hassle? Well, for one thing, adequate personal grooming, as explained in this article, is not immensely time consuming. According to Anthony, it can be easily structured into one's day, and will eventually become as routine as brushing one's teeth.
Secondly, and probably most importantly, correct grooming will create opportunities where none previously existed. Simply put, good looks will, to a large degree, attract attention, and impress: two factors needed to gain the edge in today's ultra-competitive world.
Furthermore, an enhanced appearance has been shown, in psychological studies, to create an impression of superiority and adeptness (1). Indeed, one's appearance should not be underestimated, if success in life is to be gained.
Improve your appearance today and gain the edge. With Anthony's help, and entertaining style of "telling it like it is", this article will help to achieve this for you.
Anthony, Just how important is grooming for the male? Exactly what should one consider when it comes to their overall appearance?
When it comes to your appearance, you should always try to look your best! I believe a lot of people today do not care enough about the way they look and dress.
I see guys with jeans down to their ankles and t-shirts long enough to cover their whole body! Now, I am a true believer in setting your own style, but that doesn't mean drape yourself in clothes that are three sizes too big or wear things just because you see a famous person on television wearing it.
I set my own style and trends. Remember, you can tell a lot about a person just by the way they dress.
What are the benefits to maintaining a good overall appearance?
The benefits to looking your best can help you tremendously. I know for a fact that if two people went in for the same job interview, and had the same amount of experience, but one guy took the time to look sharp with his appearance, and the other guy went in there with baggy jeans and didn't care about his appearance whatsoever, the job would be given to the guy that took the time to look good. Simply because the way he was dressed demanded respect!
It is so true even if it was a construction job, you wouldn't go to the interview with dirt all over your face, you would still want them to know that you care enough about your appearance. Ever hear of the expression "clothes make the man?"
If one wants to start improving their appearance, what are some good beginner's tips?
I always say your skin is what sets the tone for your appearance. Ever notice that people are always looking to get a tan to have a nice healthy glow? That's because it looks healthy! It gives off the impression of health and vibrancy.
Being pale and having a clammy color about you does not resemble a healthy person. Yes, it's what's on the inside that matters, but the person's appearance on the outside is an invitation to what lies beneath their skin!
What is the most effective way for a male to care for his skin? What are the best skin-care options?
In my opinion, the best thing for your skin is leave it alone! There are so many products out there, moisturizers, creams, lotions, oils: enough to make you wonder.
You have to understand that the skin is the largest organ of the body. So that means if you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin. If you do, it will travel into your blood stream and that would be poisonous.
I actually use baby soaps and shampoos, since they have the least amount of chemicals added to them. I also love using cologne, but I spray a little on my clothing, not my skin.
Do you use a particular band of baby soap and shampoo?
I love to use this soap called" PURPOSE" it's made by Johnson & Johnson. I also use Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo because it's very natural.
What is the best way to deal with blemishes?
They sell all different types of cover ups and concealers to hide blemishes. But again, most of that stuff is toxic, and can make your skin look older and dry!
What are the best treatments for blemishes do you think?
The best treatments would be to try work on them buy using a better soap. I used to have pimples and blemishes before I realized that my pores were clogged. Too many people think that dirt and oil clogs pores, when in fact pores are clogged by the soaps we use. Purpose is the soap I use and is non-clogging.
How do you personally care for your skin? What do you apply, prior to a photo shoot?
I always use the aforementioned soap called Purpose by Johnson & Johnson. It is good for me because I have oily skin thanks to my Italian family! This stuff is great!
I don't really rely on make up for my shoots. I don't like to have that look! I don't think a man looks good with added makeup unless it's done by someone who is a makeup artist. I have had the opportunity to work with some great make up artists, and I find the best ones are the ones that use the least amount of makeup. Again, less is always more for a man.
Can you think of an example where less would be more for a man, in terms of their appearance?
Like I said, when I'm doing a photo shoot, I don't use any make up at all! I remember one time I was on a talk show, and they used so much makeup on me that I looked like I was ready to be laid out in a coffin for a couple of days!
What are some of the worst things a male can do to his skin?
I think the worst thing a man can do is try to do his own make up to cover pimples, etc. It's best to work on the skin problems than to cover them up. This goes for woman as well. Also don't add anything to the face besides a good soap twice a day.
What is your view on the various natural body scrubs on the market?
Body scrubs are great because they exfoliate your skin which means they remove dead skin to bring out new fresh skin. Think of it like buffing your car.
When it comes to shaving, what is the best practice?
I only use one type of razor on my face as well as my body and that's MACH3!
This is a great razor with three blades for a super close shave. In my opinion, it's the best out there. Gillette really knows their stuff. It's true when they say in their logo the best a man can get! Hey maybe I well get an endorsement from them now!
For shaving cream, I use Avenue. This stuff has oatmeal in it. Hey, us bodybuilders love oatmeal. I even shave with it! This is great for those guys like me, who get razor bumps from shaving!
What is the best strategy for a bodybuilder who wants to maintain a shaved appearance? Waxing? Electrolysis?
I don't like to wax, so I don't! I shave my body once a week in the shower. I know a lot of guys that get the backs, legs, chest, arms, etc waxed and when I look at their skin afterwards, it is all irritated.
It actually looked better with hair. I use a MACH 3 razor in the shower and use soap instead of shaving cream. I only use shaving cream on my face.
Is the stubble look still in vogue? When would be the best time to use this look?
I have always been a true believer in a nice smooth face. But yeah there is nothing wrong with a little stubble. A lot of guys like goatees and side burns, I'm not into that but that's just me.
If I want a more rugged look, I won't shave for 3-5 days. Anytime after that, I will look like I have a beard! Hey, I'm Sicilian.
What is best for tanning? Natural, machine or fake? Which option do you take when preparing for a shoot, or bodybuilding contest?
I am always asked this question from people. My father in law used to think that I used to wear my bodybuilding pro-tan 24/7, since I am always pretty tan. I remember him saying, in that real life Soprano voice of his,
Which I never did by the way.
I myself use tanning beds, but not all the time. I have this great place where I tan in Howard Beach called VIP tanning. They treat me like family there.
I would have to say that the best way to tan is naturally of course. I know a lot of people out there will say the sun is bad for you but then why do plants and every living thing on earth grow from it.
Did you know that without the sun, we would not be here? The sun has gotten a bad rep over the last 10-15 years and this is why a lot of people are sick today.
Not just from the foods they eat, but from the lack of sunlight! I don't mean go live on the beach but yes, getting 20-30 min of natural sun a day can dramatically change your life!
I personally think that the world needs to get away from their computers for a while, and go sit in the sun and absorb life as it was intended for us.
Do you agree with sun blockers?
I don't use sunblock. There are chemicals in sun block that I have found out that actually cause skin cancer. I recommend the sun for overall health but of course, you have to limit the time exposed to it.
I would say that 30 min a day is perfect. But if you're going to stay on the beach with family and friends for the day, wear white loose clothing and a hat to protect against over exposure.
Hair Care & Style
What products do you suggest a male use all of the time to improve the health of his hair?
I take a hair vitamin daily. This may not be needed, but it's worth the investment. I also have a client of mine who is a hairdresser, his name is Joe. I'm always asking him for the best products for my hair as far as gel, hairspray, etc.
Again, it's always best to use them in moderation since the hair is alive and can absorb anything you put in it. That's why dying your hair does so much damage.
The ammonia and other chemicals that are in it cause the hair to become weak and cause it to fall out easy. Your best bet is to talk with your hairdresser for the best possible methods and treatments.
What products do you use? Which ones do you specifically use when preparing for a modeling shoot?
I use baby shampoo and conditioner for my hair always. I also use styling gel, then a little hair spray when I'm finished.
What about hair wax?
Hate the sound of it, and have never tried it. It just doesn't seem natural.
What styling products are best, in your view?
That all depends on the style you're trying to achieve. This is a funny story: I was doing a recent Physique Bodyware photo shoot, when I was given this hair gel for my hair.
Well, little did I know that when I put it my hair, I was barely able to move my fingers through my hair, the gel was like CRAZY GLUE! This gel was not for my hair style. I have very soft hair, and I wear it a little long these days.
That stuff was more for a guy that had very short spiky type hair. This is a big mistake men make today. They think that gel is gel, but every product has a purpose. Think of it as using the right tool for the right job.
What are some of the worst hair care practices you know of?
This is funny. Some guys are clueless in how they want their hair cut or styled. But one thing is certain, and that is that hair does a lot for your face. In other words, can you imagine Elvis completely bald?
Elvis was known for his hair style. I happen to admire that type of style very much and have followed in that direction. I think that brings out the best in my face rather than just chopping it off or just combing it straight back. I think that every guy has to find what looks best on him.
A lot of guys look for the opinion of their wives or girlfriends, but there is one thing that is for certain, and that is most women don't want their men to look better than them! Which is probably why you see a lot of shaved heads today.
That is funny. So, who would suit a shaved head? Is there a particular head shape?
I have many friends at my gym that have their heads shaved. I think the shape of the head matters when going for that look. If someone's head is very oval at the top it tends to look a little funny. I have also noticed that having a tan really helps!
What is currently in fashion in terms of male hair styles?
Today, anything goes, which in a way is good because you can do your own thing. But you should keep in mind which style looks best for you.
What styles should one avoid?
I think the worst styles are the ones where the guy's hair does not fall in the right direction, or just doesn't look natural.
I'll exlpain: Donald Trump! No offence Donald, but what the hell are you thinking man? You have the money, Fix The Hair!
What are the best options for treating hair loss?
Today there are so many options for hair loss. I feel that a lot of it is diet. Guys have to understand that diet plays a huge role in the way you look and so does stress!
Here's an example; when I am under stressful conditions, or I stress out about something (which a lot of you might be saying - what do I have to be stressed out about?) but I haven't had the easiest life.
I lost both of my parents, and have encountered more than my share of stressful moments, trust me! I find that when I would look in the mirror, I could actually see the change in my face instantly!
So try to do things that will help manage stress and in turn, you will get the most out of the life in your hair, and your looks!
If one wants to start improving their wardrobe, what would you recommend?
Start by wearing more color! Life is color and too many people today wear way too much black! I love white clothing: White is actually my favorite color.
You will see. Wear a color that you would never really wear, and see the change that you will feel, and the energy from people that see you every day will be amazing. They will now feel more drawn to you. Remember, change brings change!
What is currently in fashion? What will the summer fashions be?
I know that color will be more in for men this year; you will start seeing the colors that women are wearing, but now making them similar for us guys to wear.
How important is the right style of clothing? Does it really have a big impact on the impression one makes?
Yes absolutely! I always said I will never be a follower in life; I will create my own style based on what is best for me. You don't want to look like the guy next to you. If you want to be different, then you have to look different.
In turn, people will remember you by saying things like, "oh yeah that guy dresses cool" or "that guy has a cool hair style".
What type of shoes would you recommend a guy wear to make that impression?
Shoes in general today are rarely worn. Everyone is looking to wear $200 sneakers but it's not about that, it's about looking different while still being comfortable. Buy nice Italian leather shoes, and you won't go wrong!
What are some current fashion disasters, in your view?
The pants that guys wear that are so baggy, you would think that they were once 150 lbs overweight. That goes for the shirts as well. Today, some guy at the gym had on a black t-shirt with blue bats on them! I was like "Hey, batman!"
It's OK because this guy always jumps into the machine your working on and doesn't even ask to work in. Oh well, maybe now he will fly away into the night!
What are some of your favorite clothes, and why? What do you prefer to wear?
I don't want anyone to think that I go to bed with a tux on, but I like to dress up when I go out or when I'm in front of the camera. But when I'm home, I just like to dress comfortably.
What do you wear at the gym? Is style important in this type of environment?
I believe style should go with you wherever you go! What you wear, what you say, how you speak, what you eat, how you walk, how you carry yourself will leave impressions on others.
I know a lot of people may say "well I don't care what that person thinks of me", or "I don't care what I look like". The truth of the matter is, you would not be reading this article if you felt that way.
Everybody wants to be the best they can be so where ever you are, the gym, the office, out with the guys or on a date, show your personality with how you groom yourself, trust me, it will change your life forever!
How should a male take care of their nails? How much time would you spend on this aspect of grooming?
Being Italian and living so close to Howard Beach, I'm around a lot of guys that get their nails manicured. This is something I would do if I felt like it, but what is most important is clean nails.
They don't need to have clear polish on them, but they should be clean. You would be surprised at how many people, especially women, will examine a guys hands.
What aspects of oral hygiene should one consider?
I like to use baking soda when I brush my teeth. This is great for getting rid of bad breath! Also, use a mouth wash twice a day as this is great for your gums.
As a model, grooming is obviously very important for you. How much time would you spend grooming? How much time would you recommend the average man spend on grooming?
It all depends, but like I always say "a little powder and paint will make you what you aint". I only take around 15-minutes to get ready. It doesn't take long to look your best once you practice it for a while.
But understand this: if you care enough about the way you look, you will not only be benefiting yourself, but others around you as well. Not to mention if you have children.
My father played a big part in the way I take care of my looks today. I remember being a little boy and going shopping with him and he would teach me about colors and would show me how to pick out the best suits etc. I remember being 10 years old at my brothers wedding, and my father was wearing a baby blue tux with a pair of shoes that were baby blue with white.
At that time, this was the style. But I'll never forget this one beautiful young woman who worked at the catering hall walking up to my father and she was just in awe of how he was dressed. Mind you he was 60 years old at that time. But nonetheless, grabbed attention from everyone because of how he used to dress and carry himself.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my father for what he instilled in me many years ago. He is a huge part of the man I became today.
Thank you dad... I'll always love you!
Creating that all important first impression could be the most important stop toward success. Covering one's bases, by ensuring all aspects of grooming are adhered to will undoubtedly lead to positive changes in self-esteem and increased opportunities.
As Anthony says, improving your appearance really will change your life for the better. Who better to give such advice than a guy who is internationally renowned for his looks, and ability to motivate. Make some positive changes in your grooming habits today, and change your life for the better.
- Aronson,. E.(1984). The Social Animal. W. H. Freeman and Company.