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Get with the grooming program, guys

In the book How to Talk to Girls, 8-year-old author Alec Greven offers this timeless advice, "If you like a girl, comb your hair and don't wear sweats."

Your taste in women has undoubtedly progressed beyond the playground set, but, if you're like most men, your grooming go-tos may not have completely matured.

And while ladies still love a clean-cut mate, the tools of the trade now go well beyond bar soap and a comb.

Raising the Bar

For the man who still insists on showering with a bar of soap, upgrade to Fresh's Umbrian Clay Treatment Bar ($38 at Sephora). Designed to treat skin from head to toe, this bar is ideal for those with problem skin including acne, eczema and rosacea. Even ingrown hairs will fall victim to the bar's mineral-rich, absorbent and anti-inflammatory charms. Umbrian Clay Treatment Bar can even be used as a treatment mask or a spot treatment: Simply lather up and leave on skin for five minutes before rinsing clean with lukewarm water.

An Unblemished Record

Now that you're of a certain age, you no longer worry about breakouts right? Not so for many men, with one out of every four guys still suffering from the plague of the pimple. Thermaclear, an at-home acne-clearing device, uses a two-second Thermal Pulse Technology similar to the laser technology used by dermatologists. The device neutralizes acne-causing bacteria under the surface of the skin, so breakouts disappear up to four times faster than usual. Money may not be able to buy you love, but $150 will get you an ace in the hole in the fight against unwelcome bumps and blemishes.

Face the Future

Luxury skin care collection Alford & Hoff has set out to redefine the modern man's medicine cabinet. It's no longer just about getting grime-free; this newsworthy line aims to arm men everywhere with weapons against wrinkles, free-radicals and environmental stressors, thanks to cleansers, moisturizers, eye treatments, microdermabrasion creams and beyond. And with celebrity fans of the line including Joe Theismann, Lawrence Taylor and Al Michaels, having great skin is officially masculine; $35 and up at Neiman Marcus.

Grooming Basics

When it comes to men and hair, there are a few hard and fast rules: Nose hair? Trim it. Ear hair? Ban it. Women are much less concerned about the hair on your head than most men think. Turns out, having hair in the wrong places is much more of a turnoff than not having hair in the right places. That said, a unibrow has wrecked even the most rugged of good looks. Here's a simple test: Place your pointer finger between your eyebrows . . . if there's hair there, it's time to divide and conquer. Head to an expert aesthetician at Verdecia Salon & Spa at 715 S Howard Ave. in Tampa to banish unwanted hair with their brow-shaping services for men, $15 and up; or opt for beard and mustache trims from $10.

Carolyn Brundage is the founder of PrettyCity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail Carolyn at carolyn@prettycity.com

Get with the grooming program, guys 06/19/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 19, 2009 5:30am]

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