David Beckham’s design for living well

When it comes to growing older, you might want to consider David Beckham’s rules.

With the soccer superstar and spokesmodel, what you see is literally what you get. It’s all real, with nary a pharmaceutical injection or clever bit of scalpel work to tighten up any wobbly edges.

“Someone was like, ‘Botox is looking really good on David Beckham,’” recalls the 42-year-old soccer legend, talking about a social media rumor during a Jan. 16 interview with Britain’s Evening Standard. “And I was like, ‘But I’ve got so many lines and wrinkles. How can someone think that?’”

While Beckham is not opposed to the concept of the old nip-and-tuck, he is happy with how he looks. “So, definitely, cosmetic surgery might be OK for some people,” he continues. “I’m not saying it’s bad. But for me, personally, never. Never. I have no interest in doing anything like that, ever. Growing old gracefully is my thing. I would never inject my face. Or my backside, obviously.”

But that’s not to say that Beckham doesn’t advocate proper care for men to look their best. In one of his latest ventures, Beckham is partnering with L’Oréal Luxe on a 13-product men’s grooming line called House 99 that consists of hair and skin products ranging from moisturizers for tattooed skin to beard balms. Launching in 19 countries, House 99 will be available in the United States via Ulta starting March 4.

As one of the most famous and photogenic faces in the sporting world, Beckham is no stranger to looking good for the camera and his fans. With House 99, he has emphasized that male grooming should be viewed with the same seriousness as any daily hygiene protocol. 

“For me, grooming is not only about how you look, but how you feel,” he explains in a preview of the new line. “It’s about being comfortable, trying new things and shaping your next look. I created House 99 to give people the inspiration as well as the right products to experiment and feel completely at home doing so. House 99 is here to support men, to give them the tools they need to create whatever look they are going for.”

House 99 got its name, according to L’Oreal, by merging two components: “House reflects David’s goal to build an inclusive community of grooming aficionados, to share style tips and recommendations in order to conquer every look and inspire new creations.”

As for “99,” the number he has tattooed on his hand, was the year he married Victoria, his eldest son Brooklyn was born and Manchester United, the team on which he was a player, won the treble, or three trophies in one season.

Skincare had been a bond between Beckham and Victoria, the former Spice Girl turned fashion designer, while they were dating. 

“I had sunburn one week and she turned up with a big aloe vera leaf,” he says in the Evening Standard interview. “Not the whole pot, but like a whole leaf. That was the start of my male grooming.”  

Of course, there are some disadvantages to having a famous face. “I am always conscious of it because I don’t get to walk down the street and not take a selfie at some point or not be recognized,” he continues. “I’m OK with it. I’m not rude to people if they come up and ask me. I’ve come to terms with how my life is.”

And life has been very good lately for Beckham. Not only is House 99 launching, but he is also fulfilling a long-standing professional dream of having a soccer team of his own. In January, Beckham announced his partnership in a new Major League Soccer franchise that will be based in Miami. While many details on this new endeavor are still in the planning stage, including the name of the team and when it would officially launch, this is a professional peak for an athlete who captained England’s national team and played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris St.-Germain and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

“Anything I do in my life — business, family — I’m in 120 percent,” Beckham said at a press conference announcing the Miami deal. “And that’s the only way I see to be successful. I’ve played this game for many years. I’ve been lucky to have played in some of the biggest clubs in the world, under some of the biggest managers, with some of the best players.”

Beckham circled back to family by bringing a personal aspect to his Miami announcement. “I promised my son, who is here today, that I wouldn’t get emotional,” he said, trying but not quite succeeding. “But it’s very hard.”

Beckham’s devotion to family has become a defining aspect of his life. Victoria Beckham’s Instagram account offers a remarkably candid view of life in the Beckhams’ West London home with their children Brooklyn, 18, Cruz, 15, Romeo, 12, and Harper, 6. Family life comes through in some playful and wonderfully unlikely social media snapshots:  He can be seen sewing doll dresses for daughter Harper, mounting a stepladder to hang Halloween decorations and happily serving up a birthday cake shaped like a cartoon caterpillar.

But that behavior is hardly for the sake of social media publicity. As he told a Goldman Sachs conference audience last November, his work/life balance swings heavily and unapologetically to life.

“Everyone’s busy, everyone has obligations, but my obligations (are) always my children, my family,” he observes. “It’s my one commitment that I try to never fail at, because I think that it’s my number-one priority. They’re the people that are there for me when I fail at things, when I’m successful and they’re the people that stand behind me.”  

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