Pillar of Good Grooming: Marcello Mastroianni

In seminal films like "La Dolce Vita" and "Divorce Italian Style", Marcello Mastroianni embodies alienated antiheroes who always had a bit of a dazed or distanced look in their eyes. Despite Mastroianni’s estranged expression, his grooming always exuded self-assurance. A paragon of sprezzatura, he could sit with legs akimbo in a suit and still look suave. For an appearance that’s tidy but never overwrought, you need powerful products that work overtime when you're thrust into unexpected situations, be it chasing kooky bellas into fountains or engaging in impromptu lovemaking. Here are five steps to help you get the Mastroianni style, so you can walk confidently out the door and into your own dolce vita.

1. Keep it Smooth

While Mastroianni often loosened up his suits by skipping the tie, he remained sharp by keeping his face clean-shaven at all times. For over 50 years, Florence’s PRORASO shave cream has razed the whiskers of regular Giovannis and Italian screen gods alike. Its chief ingredient is shea butter, which softens the beard and moisturizes skin. Expect a shave close enough for that lip-locking close-up with a European bombshell.

2. Kill Them Softly

Mastroianni enjoyed half a century onscreen with leading ladies who were never fewer than 10 years his junior. To stay fresh-faced into your 70s, use a moisturizer like Billy Jealousy’s Combination Code, which uses green tea to hydrate skin and prevent wrinkles. It’s also packed with Vitamin A and E to provide an extra glow that Mediterranean tan.

3. Buon Giorno, Bello!

A skincare routine is difficult to stick to when you’re getting into absurd Felliniesque situations with women who keep you up all night. Make up for long, espresso- and cigarette-fueled nights with Nickel’s Morning After Rescue Gel, enriched with wheat-based proteins, menthol, and unroasted coffee to deliver a skin-firming, moisture-boosting jolt to your face.

4. Debonair Hair Without a Care

For a mane that looks mussed by a top-down ride in an Italian sports car, try Mr. Natty Pomade Wax Hair Preparation. The extra-light wax allows for styling that looks more natural and lived-in, especially with the minimal sheen characteristic of Mastroianni’s thick swirl of hair. Whether you’re leaning more towards sleek and slicked back or something that bold and blow-dried, this will impart a more leisurely touch.

5. Spritz-atura

One needs to possess extraordinary qualities to catch the attention of women like Sophia Loren or Catherine Deneuve. Some are innate. Others are learned—or applied.Panama 1924, a classic Italian fragrance that’s endured on the pulse points of Casanovas for decades, blends citrus, tobacco flower, and vanilla to suggest a contemplative man capable of a rollicking good time.

Photo: Arturo Zavattini

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