How to Select Glasses that Compliment Your Face Shape: Infographic

How to Select Glasses that Complement Your Face Shape

I came across this handy infographic this morning and I liked it so much that I decided to do a quick blog post on it; for selfish reasons more than anything else.

The next time I need to get new frames, I’m going to pull up this blog post with this infographic on it, at the bottom. Then I’ll show it to the optometrist to help me pick the best frames for my face shape.

It can be difficult to self-diagnosis yourself on something like this, but I believe I have a heart-shaped face.

(I could be wrong, though!)

When I snapped this Instagram today to use as a reference, as well as going back and watching my newest webisodes of my new web series, Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest, I see a guy with a prominent forehead, high cheekbones, and a pointed chin.

While I’m not fully confident my current frames are the best for my face shape, I do know they’re my most favorite ever: I’ve had them for 2 years now and I have zero interest in getting new ones.

Granted, I only need my prescription eyeglasses to (legally) drive and whenever I’m in front of a computer screen. But considering I’m a commuter (nearly 2 hours round trip, daily) who is front of a computer all day long; plus, I am a blogger with my own YouTube channel, that means my glasses on my face most of my waking hours.

Hopefully, by me (selfishly) posting this infographic today, my readers and subscribers can personally benefit from it as well.

This, to me, is the perfect kind of infographic I can appreciate. It covers the kind of obscure yet relevant material that I don’t consciously spend time thinking about, but once I see it, makes me think, “Oh yeah! I’ve always wondered about that!”

Well, here it is. Enjoy.

[via Visualistan, image via FramesDirect.com]

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The Perfect Men’s Hairstyle for a Receding Hairline/Video and Pictures

The Perfect Men’s Hairstyle for a Receding Hairline/Video and Pictures

I’ve poured dozens of hours of my time into my YouTube videos, but none of them compare to as this one:

It’s constantly getting new views as well as grateful and positive comments.

Yet I’ve never actually watched it myself! I just lazily made it one night before I even had video editing software.

So I figured if that many men are searching all day long to learn more about having to manage their receding hairline, maybe I should start making more videos and writing more blog posts about it.

Granted, my hairline isn’t too bad for a 34 year-old.

Plus, as I mentioned in a follow up video, men typically put too much pressure on themselves once they realize their hair is thinning and/or receding; since in reality, they’re aren’t really being judged on that aspects by others.

But, as I explained in my original video, I know certain techniques to “downplay” the fact my hairline isn’t quite what it was at age 17.

For example, I never comb by hair straight up or straight down.

I also never keep it at that awkward quarter of an inch length, as it reveals how much my hair has thinned on top. If I buzz my hair all over, I do either a #1 or #2 guard; never a #3 or #4.

Also, I always keep my hair a #2 on the sides and back (unless I buzz it with a #1 all over, obviously), which better proportions that fact my forehead is a little bigger now and that my hair is a little bit thinner on top.

It’s taken me 34 years to finally discover the perfect hairstyle for myself. My hope is that I can help other men in the process.

If you Google “men’s hairstyles”, you’re much more likely to come across pictures of trendy, counter-cultural, and/or high maintenance hairstyles that most average dudes like me cannot appreciate.

So I’m going to help you out. Just go to your barber and pull up this blog post, with the video I made below, and show it to whoever is about it cut your hair.

But first, here is why I feel this is the perfect men’s hairstyle for a receding hairline: A) low maintenance, B) masculine, C) aesthetically appealing.

All you need is a $2 can of Maury’s pomade and about 20 seconds each morning, and you’re good for the rest of the day with this haircut.

It’s short enough to where the wind can’t blow it out of place.

So here it is; give this below info to your barber, and/or pull up this video on your phone:

  1. Leave about an inch and a half on top. In the event your hair is beginning to thin on top like mine, this leaves enough hair to expose that fact.

  2. Fade it with the clippers from a #4 down to a #2 on the sides and back. Do a “lower fade” in the back further down the back of your head; as opposed to the style where the fade begins immediately below the crown.

  3. Let the fade begin higher up on your crown, so that the fade from your 1.5 inch hair to the #4 actually begins on top of your head instead of the side. That helps prevent your hair from “fanning out” to an annoying diamond shape on the sides. It also places the bulk on your longer hair in the middle and front of your head, giving your hair a fuller look without the high maintenance of hair at the back of your head.

  4. Texturize the hair on top; which helps give it the appearance of more body.

  5. Cut your sideburns halfway down the year; it gives just enough of a stylistic edge without looking like you’re a washed out wannabe rock star.

  6. Trim the eyebrows and hairline on the sides with clippers.

  7. After washing the hair, immediately dry it with a towel, then dip your pointer and middle finger into a can of Murray’s pomade. Apply a pea sized amount on to the middle of your hairline first, then use the rest the remainder to the hair on top.

If I did I decent job of describing this, and you did a decent job of showing your barber your smart phone so they could see these pictures and the video, and you had them read those 7 steps, your hair should look something like a masculine, post rock star, post military, Millennial businessman. Or maybe it’s sort of like a much shorter version of rapper Macklemore’s hairstyle.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’m here to help!

I’ll close with this other video I made about how I fix my hair in the morning:

10 Ways Not to Dress Like a Soccer Dad

October 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm , by 

Eleven months.

Alternate title: “How Not to Look Like a Man in Your 40′s When You’re Really in Your 20′s or 30′s.”

In “Does Becoming a Parent Make You Less Cool?,” I proclaimed that I didn’t want to end up looking like a “bland soccer dad.” What does that even mean?

Let me take you back to my senior year of college. I was working an afternoon shift at Liberty University’s brand-new student center with my culturally aware, straight-talking friend, Anna.

“You totally look like a soccer dad right now,” she said.

At the time, I didn’t realize that was a bad thing, with my faded polo shirt tucked into my khaki cargo pants, paired with tennis shoes and a flat hairstyle that resembled Mike Brady on the first season of The Brady Bunch.

Over time, especially since getting married, I have learned how to dress as a culturally relevant man, not Nick Burns, your company’s computer guy.

So for any dads out there who are wanting to step up their game, I’m here to sincerely help. The truth is, Nick Burns (a Saturday Night Live character played by Jimmy Fallon) is a good place to start; regarding who not to look like. 

1. If you are a white man under the age of 40, nix the mustache. It makes you look a pervert. No one takes a young mustached Caucasian man seriously- hence the term, “ironic mustache.”

2. Lose the cell phone belt clip. Just place your phone in your pocket and leave it on vibrate. That way, no one has to hear “Sweet Home Alabama” every time someone calls you.

3. No white socks. Unless you’re playing sports or you’re Michael Jackson in 1985, white socks are nerdy.

4. Give away your pleated pants. Pleats went out with Sears catalogs and Zack Morris cell phones.

5. When it comes to your hairstyle, the key is not to look like a weatherman, who I feel are notorious for having a definite “side part” like the previously mentioned Season One Mike Brady. The truth is, the clean-cut, yet semi-messy “Ryan Seacrest” is the safest way to go right now.

6. Go black, or go brown; but don’t go both. If you are wearing a brown belt, don’t wear black pants or black shoes too; and vice versa.

7. When it comes to jeans, light and baggy says “Hey man, Creed’s coming into town and I’ve got front row tickets!”. Also, do not purchase jean shorts. Like the white man’s mustache, they have become a fashion joke, now referred to as “jorts.”

8. Unless you’re actively on duty in the military, there is no reason for your pants to have cargo pockets. Cargo pants equal “sloppy” except they are part of your required uniform.

9. When wearing a neck tie, which you sporadically should, only wear it with a long-sleeved, collared shirt. I’m sure you don’t want to look like Dwight Schrute.

10. Fact: There is a reason no one ever asks anymore; “boxers or briefs?” That’s because it goes without saying. Boxers.

Passing the Mic:

Can you think of anything to add to my list? Maybe you’ll give me enough material here to write “10 More Ways Not to Look Like a Soccer Dad.”

 

 

Spring Cleaning and Closet Purging: If You Haven’t Worn That Item of Clothing Within the Past Year, You’re Not Going to Wear It This Year Either, So Get Rid of It!

This black vest I wore at my 10 Year Class Reunion two years ago is now in the give-way bag. (June 2009)

I am in the third week of my new job.  That means I have now worn all my best quality and best matching “outfits” to work.  It’s  during week three that the mediocre stuff comes out of the closet.  Those weird-fitting collared shirts that pooch out in the stomach and make me look 30 pounds heavier.  The sweaters that are a little too short and expose my belt.  The purple shirt.

And for the fact that we are official in Spring now, I’m taking full advantage of my current “Spring Cleaning” mindset: This week as I wear the clothes in my closet that I don’t wear often, at the end of each day I am choosing officially whether to get rid of it (by giving it away) or keeping it.  For example, today I wore my khaki vest to work.  I think I’ve realized I like the idea of vests more than I actually like wearing them.  When I got home today, the khaki vest went into the give-way bag.

Despite the fact I bought this sweater in 2006, it still deserves a place in my closet now in 2011. (April 2011 at my sister's last day of work before leaving on maternity)

For me, I often keep items of clothes too long because of my pride of how long I’m able to keep them around.  But styles change and so do the ways things are supposed to fit.  Jeans from five years ago are going to be lighter and baggier than jeans I buy now.  Some clothes are nearly timeless; most are not.  Feel free to join me in my closet purging campaign:

If You Haven’t Worn That Item of Clothing Within the Past Year, You’re Not Going to Wear It This Year Either, So Get Rid of It!

Goodbye, Black Vest of June 2009. We had a good run.

The Model Paradox: Ken and Barbie Vs. Homer and Marge

Truthfully, do we prefer to see perfect airbrushed models or just reminders of our own bodies?  Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder or does how we spend money on magazines what we actually believe?

America has always had a love/hate relationship with Barbie and Ken. Unsurprisingly, it exactly reflects the way we both worship and curse the models we see everyday on TV and in movies and magazines. During the Fall season of 2009, there was a lot of Internet buzz about a model named Lizzie Miller who was featured in the September issue of Glamour magazine. The picture showed her proudly smiling, displaying her nude yet self-censored body, seeming both unaware and apathetic about the fact she has a “belly”, stretch marks, and thick legs.  The letters and emails poured in by the masses, praising the magazine for showing the beauty of a “normal” woman. While Glamour has been known to feature plus size women on the cover, like Queen Latifah in May 2004, the magazine mainly uses thinner models instead on a regular basis.

But, if normal sized and average looking people are what the general public really wants to see and even the magazine editors know this, why consistently do we continue to see models with perfect abs and bodies with less than 2% body fat? Because when it really comes down to it, we don’t truly want to see a model who reminds us of what our own bodies look like. The proof? Lean models sell more magazines. Bottom line. And we the average people are the ones buying.

In 2006 Dove soap began their Self-Esteem Fund campaign, featuring “real women” in their TV and Internet ads.  While the ad campaign is still active as of today, according to their website it will be ending after 2010, for whatever reason.  But even if these ads with “realistic models” help sell more soap, why are there still skinny, muscular, sexually provocative models on the covers of fashion, beauty, and even health magazines?  Because despite increased sales of soap, the image of the person on the cover of a magazine is largely what sells it. And on a regular basis, I continue to see the real life equivalent of Ken and Barbie on fashion, beauty, and health mags, not Homer and Marge Simpson.

The physical ideal self is what so many consumers are looking to become. It’s a nearly impossible image that we may be able to get close to, but never actually permanently attain for ourselves, unless we own a gym.  And that perceived void in our lives to feel beautiful or sexy (or maybe simply to feel worthy of being in a healthy relationship) largely helps to magazines to sell, by feeding into our subconscious. It’s the image that some people keep stuck in the front of their minds when they work out or when make a conscious decision to eat grilled salmon and a salad instead of a bucket of fried chicken and a 48 ounce soda.

We blame the magazines and media for bombarding us with unrealistic models. And it makes us feel good when magazines do display people that remind us of ourselves. For about five minutes. Then a flash of a shirtless Ryan Reynolds or Jennifer Aniston wearing nothing but a men’s tie on the cover of GQ changes that. We can say we want to see imperfection, but how we spend our money directly affects what images continue to show up on magazines covers and retail ads.  Tired of seeing unrealistic models?  Stop reading and buying those kind of magazines until they only feature people who look like you and me.

But that obviously will never happen.  Because our love/hate relationship with models is somehwat like a kid who goes to Disney World for the first time but is old enough to know that Mickey Mouse is not actually a 6 foot tall mutant mouse, but instead a college student in a really expensive costume.  Even so, this child is no less excited even though he or she knows it is just a fantasy.  And that’s just what models are- a fantasy, both equally demotivating and inspiring.

A) Why I Could Never Be a Cartoon Character, and B) Who I Would Be If I Was an Action Figure

Granted, most cartoon characters only have four fingers on each hand and wear the same outfit everyday.  So in that case, none of us (assuming…) could be a cartoon character, accordingly.  But with action figures, it’s a whole different story.

Since the 7th grade, I haven’t been able to commit to a haircut.  I am constantly growing my hair out to a new hairstyle until it eventually gets too long and I start back over again with a buzz cut.  There is a progressive series of hairstyles I go by that has been subconsciously modeled after Jewish actors (I have an Asperger-like obsession with all things Jewish; most people have learned to overlook it by now).  I start with the David Schwimmer, then Zack Effron, next Joseph Gordon-Levitt, then David Arquette/Bronson Pinchot, and lastly, the Zack Braff.  But it’s not just the lack of a consistent hairstyle that prevents me from being a cartoon character who looks the same day after day, throughout the years.  I’ve got three different pairs of glasses, though often I don’t wear them at all.  Plus an enviable collection of hats, from ball caps to fedoras to “old man caps”.  Sometimes I grow a beard for a week or two.  I’m just not a physically consistent kind of guy.

Last week, I went back to the Nashville Chocolate Kitchen after having visited there for the first time a week ago, and when I walked in, the staff remembered me by name (which in addition to their unimaginably awesome gourmet sweet treats, is one of the things they are known for).  I was impressed that they recognized me since the first time was I there, they met the “glasses off, hair pushed-to-the-side” version of me and this time it was the “glasses on, hair pushed back” version.  I felt compelled to explain my change in appearance to them, but I refrained since they obviously could handle it.

I just think that I particularly don’t have what it takes to be comfortable in being physically consistent regarding my appearance.  Like The Boss says in his 1984 hit “Dancing in the Dark”, “Man, I’m just tired and bored with myself… I want to change my clothes, my hair, my face.”

But my realization is ultimately that I am not an easily recognizable person, in general. My hair, clothes, and accessories just simply help distract fro my indistinguishableness.  I am a default-looking man of classic proportions; like the host of a show on The Food Network or HGTV.  Since being featured in American Baby magazine this month, I’ve had more than one person tell me they didn’t realize that was me until they saw my name- the picture didn’t clue them in at all.

I try to imagine if I was an action figure based on a fictional character, who I would be.  Throughout the past decade, countless people have told me I look like Clark Kent.  And I see that, but the problem is that Clark Kent was already a large muscular man in a business suit, before turning into Superman.  At 5’ 9” and weighing in the low 150’s, I have a frame similar to Bruce Springsteen or Greg Kinnear.

So maybe Peter Parker (Spiderman) is the best option.  Though I could be Dexter (played by Michael C. Hall).  Or Bruce Banner on The Incredible Hulk TV series (played by Bill Bixby).  Or Maxwell Smart of Get Smart and/or Inspector Gadget (both played/voiced by Jewish actor Don Adams- surprisingly, I have also been told many times I look like both).  I would totally make a better action figure than I would a cartoon character because action figures typically have several different versions of themselves: There’s He-Man in his robe (Adam), He-Man with the revolving chest as it gets damaged (Battle Armor), “Flying Fists” He-Man…  But cartoons typically never change.  (Maggie Simpson is like 21 years old in human years, “but in Simpson years”, she’s still a baby.)

I am easily disguisable.  Coincidently, it’s in my nature to be a chameleon; not only in appearance but also in personality.  I would make a great spy.  If nothing else, I can very easily get away with going back every five minutes to get more free samples at grocery stores.

Unsurprisingly, I enlisted the help of facebook friends by asking them this question: “If I was an action figure based on a fictional character, who would I be? In other words, which action figure would you choose to best represent me?”  Interestingly, they mostly named powerful intellectual mutants.  I’ll take that as a compliment.  But it’s funny to see how their perception differs from mine.  My choices were pretty much normal men without superpowers or super strength.

Who others said should represent me as an action figure:

Clark Kent

The Beast from X-Men

Leonardo, the leader of the Ninja Turtles

Captain Planet (nice underwear!)

My Buddy

Stretch Armstrong

 

Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic of The Fantastic Four)

Maxwell Smart, the only fully human action figure any other person said I reminded them of

Who I said should represent me:

Peter Parker (before he turns into Spiderman)

Sam Witwicky (played by Jewish actor Shia LaBeouf in the Transformers movies)

Dexter Morgan

Bruce Banner (before he gets P.O.'d about Nancy Pelosi and turns into The Incredible Hulk)

But really… I’m just glad no one said Pee Wee Herman!

 

The Funny Thing about Old Goofy Pictures of Ourselves

Old pictures are funny.  But that means current pictures may eventually become funny too.


No matter who you are, you didn’t look cool in 1992.  That was a brutal year was for clothing fashion and hairstyles:  Both male and female mullets, pale blue jeans, neon and/or gold accessories.  It was just atrocious.  But at the time, people didn’t necessarily realize how laughable they truly looked.  (I was aware, but that was also the year I started Junior High, so by default I felt especially awkward.)

But 1992 isn’t the only year where if we look back through our old snapshots, we’d see an embarrassing version of not only ourselves but also of each other.  The general rule is that pictures of ourselves from at least ten years ago are definitely going to be funny.  I remember clearly thinking in 1995 (freshman year of high school), “There is nothing about right now that I will be able to come back and laugh at in the future.”  But while I was thinking that to myself, I was wearing a hooded flannel shirt with Airwalks and my hair was parted down the middle like Sean from Boy Meets World.  Though I was probably trying to look more like Corey’s older Eric at the time.

Of course it’s not just outdated fashion that makes these old snapshots so goofy.  Physically, were we most likely a bit different back then, too.  A while back, a guy from work brought in a picture of himself from the mid ‘90’s when he was about 50 pounds lighter and still had hair (and his hair was still brown).  It was interesting to watch people’s reactions as he showed the picture to people individually.  What was the best response?  “Wow, look at that stud!”  Or laugh and say, “That was you?  You looked funny back then.”  Either way, it’s a weird situation to be put in.

And that brings me to this point: Ten years from now, there’s a good chance that we will laugh at pictures of ourselves from the year 2010; despite how normal-looking and not funny-looking we think we look now.  So in one sense, we can never really look normal.  It’s funny how in an attempt to appear to be modern, we inevitably set ourselves up to be outdated.