Mastering The iPhone To Become A Better Lover [Feature]

Heart

Becoming a better lover isn’t all about your technique in the sack, folks, though that does have its advantages. No, the way to capture and keep yourself another human being who will let you into their lives and possibly their beds is to work on yourself. Grooming, clothing, cooking, thinking of others, and working on the issues in your own personality will all help you land and maintain a solid, happy relationship.

Let’s take a look at all the things that you can learn and practice to do just that, via iPhone apps.

Personal Grooming

Grooming is key, ladies and gentlemen. Having clean, well-styled hair, clean skin, and stylish facial hair is a signal that says, “yes, I take care of myself, and may even, therefore, take care of you.” Here are several apps that will help you become a better, cleaner, more presentable person person to attract that special someone through your attention to personal grooming.

Hairstyle Matters
Don't be that guy - check with your friends, first.

Don’t be that guy – check with your friends, first.

Both men and women can get in on the act with this app, which lets you take a photo of your own face and pop different hairstyles on it to see what you’d look like with a new do. Obviously, a hairstyle with longer hair than you currently have isn’t going to happen quickly, so you might want to plan ahead. There are some in-app purchases here for even more hairstyles, but the basic app is free.

Once you pick your new hairstyle, send it up to Facebook and let your friends comment before you actually go into the salon and make it happen.

App Store – Hairstyle Salon

Personal Style Advisor
Need a quick style? Find the right shop and style for you.

Need a quick style? Find the right shop and style for you.

Aveda makes beauty products for salons across the country. They also have a mobile app that lets you see various hair styles form both professional Aveda-trained hairstylists as well as community members who upload their own cuts and styles for all to see. What a great way to get ideas for your own hair or makeup, and recommendations on the product you’ll need to make it happen? There are videos and step-by-step instructions for creating the look you want, plus a hair consultation quiz that can help you pick the best product for your hair type. Along with a salon finder, of course, you’ll also get a one-tap mobile ordering solution for Aveda products.

So, yeah, it’s kind of advertising, but it’s also kind of awesome, if you like the upscale looks in the Aveda style repertoire. Not bad for a free app.

App Store – My Aveda Style

Facial Hair For The Fashionable Man
Goo?

Goo?

With beards and facial hair making somewhat of a comeback lately, you might be tempted to grow your whiskers out and groom them for that special date. But how? What type of look and style will work best on your face? Beard Me may have the answer, with the ability to take a photo and put an overlay of facial hair on your own pretty mug. There are over 40 different styles to choose from, and the app is an inexpensive $1.99, so you can’t go too wrong.

Of course, be sure to upload the Beard Me photo to Facebook in case you do, in fact go a bit too wrong with a wacky style or color. Just sayin’.

App Store – BeardMe

The Clothes Make The Man, or Woman

I look *just* like this guy. No. No I don't.

I look *just* like this guy. No. No I don’t.

Fashion! It’s something we all either dread or avoid, right? Ok, maybe not all of us. But what of those among you who have no clue how to dress up for a fancy date or dinner or night out? How will you ever find out?

iPhone apps, of course! Whether you’re gearing up for a fancy night on the town for Valentine’s Day or beginning a more thorough process of bringing your wardrobe up to date, here are three apps that will help you increase your sartorial intelligence just a bit more, making you even more desirable to those you want to impress.

Tie & Mirror
Over and under? Or was that under, then over? Gah!

Over and under? Or was that under, then over? Gah!

Here’s an app that can help anyone needing to put a tie on correctly learn how it’s done. Whether you’re putting a tie on your own neck or helping someone else get it right, Tie & Mirror provides ten different knots, both simple and complex, to wrap that tie around your neck, or the neck of someone special, in just the right way. The app uses the front camera to provide visual feedback on the same screen as the instructions, letting you use the app in just about any situation. Don’t have a mirror handy? Tie & Mirror to the rescue! Seems like if you need help tying that tie, Tie & Mirror is a bargain at $0.99.

Whether or not your date is a fancy one, this should help you present well, fooling whomever you might be meeting into sticking around for a bit.

Tie & Mirror – App Store

Frank and Oak
The power in the palm of your hand!

The power in the palm of your hand!

This one’s for the men in the room, because let’s face it, we need as much help as we can get in dressing ourselves. Clothing company, Modasuite, created a website, called Frank & Oak. Basically, it’s a personalized men’s fashin magazine, with a $50 monthly membership and newsletter. You enter your clothing prefs, read the fashion tips and articles, and–once a month–you’ll get up to five items sent to you for free. You try them on, send back the stuff you don’t like (again, without shipping cost), and pay for the things you want to keep. Most items are under $50, as well, so you’re not ordering super expensive hoodies from some designer that’s out to steal your money.

The mobile app recreates the online experience, letting you keep all your preferences and sign in info in your pocket, as well as accessing the site in a more mobile friendly way. With the iPhone app, you’ll be able to shop by category, tag your favorite items for later browsing, share and earn store credit, redeem gift cards, get push notifications for new stuff, and share your favorites on Facebook and Twitter, you clothes horse, you.

Frank & Oak – App Store

Cloth

Once you’ve started buying those ties and super stylish threads, you’ll need a way to organize them so you can mix and match on the fly. Remembering which shirt goes with which pants, cardigan, or hoodie is a lot of brain work. Why not just pass that effort along to Cloth, a slick new iPhone app that lets you take pictures of your outfits, organize and categorize them, and even share out to your adoring social network fans, earning points and badges in the process.

There’s even a new in-app upgrade that lets Cloth use real-time weather data from wunderground.com to help advise you as to which of your several amazing outfits you should wear based on the local weather outside. How cool is that? The upgrade also gets you some sweet photo editing and filter capabilities, as well.

This free app will certainly help all of us keep track of what’s in our closet, so we can choose the perfect outfit for that perfect Valentine’s Day date, party, or private evening in. Ooh, la la.

Cloth – App Store

The Way To The Heart Is The Stomach

Made with lurve. And caramel.

Made with lurve. And caramel.

Anyone knows that the key to anyone’s heart is their stomach, gender stereotypes be damned. If you can make that special someone the perfect meal, you’re way closer to being a better lover than someone who has to continually order out. Making a meal for another human being is a delight for both the cook and the recipient, feeding both mind and soul, if done well. What better way to show you care than with a meal you make yourself?

The problem is, how? First off is confidence. As Julia Child said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” Equally important for us cooking newbs, however, is a good cooking app or three.

Check these out for a special dinnerdate, or any time you want to make your significant other feel just a bit more significant.

Epicurious
Here there be romantic dinners, arr.

Here there be romantic dinners, arr.

The grandaddy of cooking apps, Epicurious is a free universal app which pulls data from the award-winning website of the same name. You can browse tons of featured recipes in all sorts of categories, from Weeknight Dinners to Cool Cocktails, as well as search the huge database for recipes by keyword, filter by ingredient, what’s healthy, in season, holiday, and more. Once you find the perfect meal to create for your sweetie, you can save recipes to a favorites list, and then use the personalized shopping list created from the ingredients needed in each of the saved recipes.

Getting help in cooking the meal is just as simple, with intelligible step-by-step directions and gorgeous photos of the process of cooking, not just the prettified final product.

Epicurious – App Store

Kitchen Knife Skills: Essentials for the Confident Cook
Careful of those fingertips.

Careful of those fingertips.

Obviously, if you haven’t made anything more taxing than a bowl of cereal yet in your life, there’s gonna be a learning curve. One of the best things you can do is learn a few essential skills, like how to properly handle a knife. I spent some time as a prep cook in the food service kitchens of UCLA learning how to properly cut vegetables, but if you don’t have that kind of time — or job aspirations — Kitchen Knife Skills might be the best bet.

This app will help you build skills with your knives, helping you become better with a slice and a dice. There are 36 video tutorials starring Food Network chef, Sarah Copeland, to help you gain knife mastery, with beginning and more advanced techniques covered. Even if you already have a grasp of the basics, this app may teach you a few things. There are dozens of guided interactive photos and step-by-step instructions to complement the videos, and a pretty extensive knife buying guide to boot. If you’re looking to get your chop on this Valentine’s Day, this $1.99 app (on sale) should help quite a bit.

Kitchen Knife Skills – App Store

50 best-ever baking recipes from olive Magazine
*This* is how you say, "be mine."

*This* is how you say, “be mine.”

As Lilo said, “Desserts!” You can’t have a successful romantic dinner without them. It’s scientifically proven (not really). That said, there are a ton of baking apps out there, but this collection from olive Magazine is just delicious looking. And useful!

There are over 50 different dessert recipes here, with a list of baked goods that include celebration cakes, giant cakes, smaller cakes, cookies, biscuits, tarts, pies, pastries, sweet bread, and muffins. Say it with me now: muffins! Each delectable recipe has a full sized photo, an ingredients list and simple step-by-step directions to get you whipping up a lemon drizzle loaf in no time. There are even shopping recommendations to get just the right ingredients for your love desserts. Seriously, give it a look. It may be $4.99, but it’s certainly delicious-looking.

50 best-ever baking recipes from olive Magazine – App Store

Howdy, Partner

Guys, gals, ladies, gentlemen! In order to keep that special someone in your life, you’ve got to work on your relationship. I know! It’s Scary! However, there are many iPhone apps out there to point you in the right direction. So, while cooking the perfect meal, dressing well, and bathing regularly are important, if you’re a selfish jerk on the inside, it won’t matter.

With that in mind, check out the following three apps that will help you connect and communicate to become a better person and partner in your own right. Still, bathe regularly, ok?

Duet
Accept. Totally.

Accept. Totally.

Duet by Crush + Lovely aims to be that special place where you and your partner can emote at each other in private. You can send cute little messages, called duets, to your current or potential partners, propose ideas for new romantic ideas, send personal video messages, and build a collaborative list of all the things you’ve done with and to each other in your endless love-fest. Once you pair with another person in a duet, you can add notes, photos, and videos in a sort of digital lockbox that gets saved forever.

Remembering the ones closest to you every day is the point, on Valentine’s Day and every day, and Duet seems like a delightful, intentional way to do just that, using a little app technology to support the process. And, like all the best things in life, it’s free.

Duet – App Store

Avocado
Mi iPhone es su iPhone, no?

Mi iPhone es su iPhone, no?

Oddly named social app Avocado is another sweet couple-centric app that encourages and supports you to stay connected with your partner wherever you may be. It’s a private space for the two of you to collect memories and life experiences. It features fast, private messaging, photos and a shared media gallery, shared lists for things like groceries or new ideas for date night, and data encryption for those racy pictures you send to your special lover across the continent while away on business. There are fun little stickers to put on drawings and sketches you can create right in the app, and even hugs and kisses to “send to your boo, making their day.”

Free app Avocado was created by a husband-and-wife team to help other couples create beautiful and secure digital experiences. They named it after the avocado fruit because it grows in pairs, only bears fruit when paired with another tree or grown in a family, and was the symbol of love and fertility to the ancient Aztecs. The more you know, right?

Avocado – App Store

Tokii
I wonder what her mood meter is?

I wonder what her mood meter is?

Did you know that one of the best ways to be a better partner is to listen to and express feelings? Well, Tokii plans to help you do just that with an app centered on communication between you and that special someone, whether you’re in the beginning of the relationship, or at an advanced anniversary. Tokii provides games, interactive play, and relationship advice for you all within this one free app. The content is created by a team of experts for different relationship types: just met, long distance, newlywed, or long term relationship.

There’s a mood meter to help you both communicate how you feel on a given day, or just send a playful love note. You can play discovery games on your own (knowing yourself is important, too!) or compare and compete with a partner. The app syncs up with the Tokii.com website, so it’s always available, wherever you are.

Tokii – App Store

Heal Thyself

Let’s face it, even if you focus on your relationship, dress better, learn how to cook, and practice better grooming habits, the only person you’ll always be in a relationship with is you. In fact, you will be a better person to be around if you take the time to work on your self, first and foremost.

That doesn’t mean you need to eschew all relationships until you reach some sort of inner nirvana state, but it does meant that spending a little time, every day to become more confident, happy, and to engage in positive behaviors will help you become a better person, which is ultimately what makes you a better partner and lover.

That said, here are a few iPhone apps that can help you with you.

Lift

Checking in for motivation!

What’s the best thing you can do to form positive habits? Do them, of course. Lift is an app that encourages you to do just that, a little at a time, with its unique combination of user-definable goal setting and social support networks. You create an easily achieved goal, or choose one that other Lift users have already created. Every time you engage in the behavior, like “drink more water,” “exercise more,” or “tell my partner I love her,” you tap the Lift app to track it.

Over time, you’ll create a graph of how often you engage in any given behavior, and other folks in the Lift community can can Like your habit check-in, creating a little feedback loop of pure motivation. If you’re looking to become a better person, do it by doing, and Lift could be the free app that helps you along the way.

Lift – App Store

LiveHappy
Don't worry, be happy.

Don’t worry, be happy.

Happiness is a key factor in how you live your life. When we’re happy with our life, we’re easier to be around, view the world as a generally good place to live, and engage in fewer self-destructive activities. LiveHappy takes the exercises from The How Of Happiness, by professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, and puts them into an app that lets you work on changing your outlook on life, working toward a sunnier disposition. You’ll work on setting and evaluating goals, tracking positive moods and happy days, keeping a gratitude journal, thanking people for their positive contributions to your life, and remembering acts of kindness. There’s even a personality analysis section, as well as some information on the science of happiness, all in this one $0.99 app.

LiveHappy – App Store

iStress
This isn't too stressful, is it?

This isn’t too stressful, is it?

Chronic stress has been linked to physical illness, depression, anxiety, and–ironically–more stress. iStress, by PsiApps, was created to focus on all areas of stress reduction, like monitoring, relaxation, positive self-talk, humor, and attitude improvement to help you feel less stressed, more truly yourself. That’s who your partner wants you to be, anyhow, right?

The $0.99 iStress helps you take control of your own stress level and the resulting emotions with a daily and weekly record of stress levels, as well as the thoughts and emotions that surround those stress levels. The app also features two relaxation exercises to help calm yourself down, a page of humor to help you take small things a little less intensely, encouraging sayings, and even an inspirational poem that you can read when life seems to be doing its utmost best to grind you down.

iStress – App Store

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About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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