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My husband and I have a brand-new pact:Husband's beard

He won’t grow his beard back.

I won’t grow out my bangs.

Why?

Because I think he looks sexier clean-shaven.

He thinks I look sexier with a fringe.

If you find yourself in similar straits — in the market for ways to tweak your partner’s appearance so he doesn’t lose face — consider these five “under-the-radar” fixes:

1) Facial hair. Lots of older men grow a beard or mustache because:
a) they want to look cool;
b) they’re too lazy to shave;
c) it’s cold in the winter!;
d) they’re hoping to offset hair loss up top;
e) they want to hide wrinkles or spots.

If you hate face fur, say nothing; he’ll probably get the hint. Then, when he does shave, tell him he looks 10 years younger. If the message still isn’t getting through, encourage a contemporary stubble or a shaped, minimal look — as opposed to the full-on Father Time look (right).

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2) Skin care. Soap…water…what more could a guy need? Answer that question for him by booking a Valentine’s Day spa facial, mani-pedi, and (here comes the bait) full body scrub and massage. Tip the aesthetician to casually explain how consistent exfoliation and creams will rejuvenate his complexion. You can then easily encourage him to use a moisturizer, night cream or eye cream by mentioning that both George Clooney and Denzel Washington do. Neutrogena, L’Oréal Paris, Dove and Nivea all make affordable skin-care products for men.

3) Grooming. Do his teeth have you gnashing yours? Throw out his vintage brush and give him a sonic replacement — and a whitening session at the dentist. Lots of guys don’t realize how easy it is to brighten stains and discolorations.

4) Weight. Ditch the chips in favor of more salads and crunchy vegetables. Leave the scale in plain sight. Get a couples membership to your local gym, or rescue a shelter dog and take it for a daily walk together (which often becomes a daily talk together). Buy his-and-hers pedometers, then throw down the gauntlet: Which one of you can log more miles — and burn more calories — every day?

5) Clothes. Tell him his wardrobe hides his best assets. Though men this age will rarely admit it, they’re at least our equals in vanity. (Remember Jay Pritchett’s haste to buy hip new threads when he was mistaken for a mall-walker in Modern Family?)

Whatever your husband’s clothing style — preppy, business casual, sporty, whatever — don’t try to overhaul it; you’d only be invading his comfort zone. You can, however, update his basics: Integrate contemporary eyeglasses, modern-fit jeans or khakis, shoe-boots, colorful-thus-cool socks, a long scarf (very hip these days) and a slim new wallet (two credit cards max, please).

Whatever new pact the two of you devise as a result of his makeover is up to you.

For beauty and style tips for women 50+, check out The Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age.

Photo: 1001 Slide/istockphoto

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