Back in my grandfather's day, a man invested in his appearance. This meant a well-made suit and a trip to the barbershop for a haircut, shave, and manicure. Yes, I said manicure. Those guys understood that neat, clean nails make a man look sophisticated and put together—there's no point in wearing an executive's suit if your hands scream lumberjack. And who ever decided that ragged nails and rough cuticles make a man masculine, anyway? I've asked quite a few women and the consensus is that dirty or wild-looking nails are a huge turnoff. And the only thing worse than unkempt claws are feet that could belong to a caveman.
Summer may be just around the corner, but before you throw on a pair of sandals you should think twice about the state of those toes.
Luckily, the general consensus on men's manicures and pedicures is quickly changing for the better. Celebrities get them. Athletes get them. I've even spotted a few NFL players next to me at the nail salon recently and they looked pretty content getting their calves massaged and their feet buffed. If you're not periodically visiting a manicurist to clean things up, now's the time to give it a try. Don't worry if you're hiding a pair of dragon feet; a good manicurist has seen it all and can take care of ingrown nails and calluses and will whip your nails into way better shape than you can at home.
What to know: Ask the manicurist to trim your cuticles and buff your nails for a healthy shine, but don't allow him/her to apply clear polish (it looks too artificial on a man). At home, maintain your newly sculpted hands and feet with an all-in-one nail file and buffer (try the Tweezerman Shape and Shine Nail Tool). Occasionally soaking your hands and feet in soapy water and applying a good hand cream every night before bed will keep skin soft and prevent calluses from forming. We recommend Buckler's Chapped Skin Remedy for a heavy-duty, fragrance-free moisture treatment.
Where to go: Don't want to be the only guy in a nail salon? Here are two salons that cater specifically to men (see more recommendations in our upcoming June/July issue).
The Shave, Beverly Hills, California Get a proper "Fingernail Clip 'N Clean" for $40 at this luxurious barbershop that offers men's haircuts, shaves, massages, and more. Settle in with a complimentary whiskey or beer and relax while the experts work their magic.
Spiff For Men, New York City, New York Make like your grandfather in this reasonably priced midtown Manhattan salon with the "Spiff Classic Shave." For $68 you get a deluxe straight-razor shave, manicure, scalp massage, and shoeshine. They also offer an annual membership that includes unlimited haircuts, manicures, and shoeshines. Sign us up!
—Madison Ruggieri, co-founder of TheMotley. Follow her @themotley.