Feeling ragged? Looking worse? Tidy up for the silly season

You've been pushing the boat out. Burning the candle at both ends, and in the middle too, probably. Working hard, playing harder. It's about to be office party time, where you have to make an appearance.

And, being the boss or a senior manager, you need to look the part as well as acting the part.

With the pre-Christmas rush and the demands of work, play, home and kids, chances are you look a bit rough around the edges.

I have it on good authority that women can dive into their makeup purse and make amends pretty swiftly. They don't call it an arsenal for nothing. But men have to take a more creative approach to emergency reparations.

So if appearance counts – and it does in some professions and for high-level executives – you can call in the professionals.

First, your face. Dr Sean Arendse, a cosmetic physician in Melbourne's Toorak, says there are some last-minute "rejuvenating" treatments that can instantly smooth, plump and brighten the skin with no downtime. A lunchtime appointment could have your tired and emotional dial glowing with good cheer and health for an event the same evening.

"The treatments with the best results involve a laser, and most of these need four to six sessions, three or four weeks apart for the optimum results," Dr Arendse says. "Some clients — especially men — do not have the time to commit to that, and are coming in instead for a HydraFacial."

This one-off treatment targets typically male concerns such as blackheads and rough, flaky skin. It involves exfoliation, a light acid peel, and what Dr Arendse calls 'vortex extractions', which is another way of saying he will get the dirt and gunk out of your pores.

Anything more radical such as Botox (which, anecdotally, more and more men in the corporate world are using are better left for less time-sensitive occasions because of the risk of bruising. Women can cover the evidence with makeup. Men can't (not successfully, anyway).

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A close shave goes a long way to refreshing your look. More and more of the specialist barbers that are springing up on city streets are also offering neck tidy-ups. Think of it as a bit like having your shoes buffed. It's all about the details.

Many of the 'good' salons welcome walk-in trims at this time of year to instantly sharpen your look. Jacky Chan of OscarOscar salon in Melbourne's St Kilda says if there is no time, product can achieve the desired effect. "Dry shampoos give the grit to refresh the hair," Chan says.

"If your hair's longer, spray some volumiser directly into the roots. Don't be afraid of product. It's a man's best ally in the party season."

So that's the face and the hair covered. You can also get your nails buffed, and your teeth shone to a pearly white — especially if they're going to be seen in the harsh glare of the dance floor and its oddly revealing ultra-violet glow.

A new tie's a good investment, too.

But the key to a man's soul though is his eyes, and they're a dead giveaway if you've been overindulging. Puffy, red, bleary — none of these is a good look. So what to do?

There's some minor cosmetic work you can have done, such as injectable fillers, to empty out those bags. Muscle freezers can work on crow's feet and saggy upper eyes. Eye creams that tighten up the skin under the eyes work well, I'm told.

And then there's haemorrhoid cream that — so the story goes — models (or is it air hostesses?) apply to get rid of excess eye baggage. I've never tried it myself, though if you do choose to give it a go, maybe use a fresh tube.

A while ago, Man Scape spoke about eyes with American plastic surgeon Frederic Brandt.

Brandt, known as "Dr Botox", says there are plenty of non-invasive ways to help a partied-out eye area. Sunscreen is especially important, as is diet.

Brandt named five simple, cheap and relatively painless ways to get the eye area looking less lived-in:

  • Decrease your salt intake.
  • Ditch the cigarettes — smoke is a killer when it comes to eyes.
  • Wear sunglasses.
  • Drink a cup of coffee — the caffeine helps reduce puffiness.
  • Get to bed earlier.

How will you get through a month of solid partying and still look good when 2015 rolls around?

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