As promised in last weeks article we present you with the Alister & Paine Guide to Shaving Gear. We’ve spent the past several weeks testing the goods from brands all over the world and, many nicks and cuts later, can finally take you step by step through the ritual of shaving.
After reading a ton of literature on mens grooming we’re pretty sure there are six steps to the perfect shave… step one is purchasing the right gear for the job, which is different from one man to the next.
Step Two is preparing for the shave. We’ve heard it both ways: do and don’t shave with hot water. Some experts claim the hot water signals the oil glands to pump out more oil than necessary, something a man with oily skin doesn’t need. They claim hot water also causes over stimulation of blood circulation resulting in damage of fragile blood vessels close to the skin’s surface. We’ve also been told that hot water softens the beard, opens pores and cleanses the skin. Either way, softening the beard is a good thing. The Pre-Shave Oil from Anthony Logistics is fragrance free and suitable for all skin types. I was weary of adding another step to my shaving ritual but now I don’t shave without this stuff. MSRP: $20
Step Three is pretty simple: lather up! Of all the shaving creams I tried I couldn’t find one I liked better than the glycerin based shaving cream from The Art of Shaving. It’s made with coconut oil and other essential oils and has a great silky texture that moisturizes the skin and leaves your face smooth as Kelly Rippa’s bottom. The one I fell in love with was unscented… but it also comes in lavender, lemon, and sandalwood. MSRP: $22
A good badger brush is an integral part of Step Three. We found that it was best to apply some water to the brush to help keep the skin moisturized and avoid the dreaded razor burn. I like the Swirl Silvertip Badger Brush not only because it’s a small work of art but if the stock market crashes again I’ll be glad I own this chunk of sterling silver manliness. Whatever brush you go with you’ll find they help you get a rich and warm lather that softens and lifts the beard, opening pores and bringing water to the skin while exfoliating with the tenderness of a newborn puppy. If you want to impress whoever shares your bathroom space we suggest picking up this $1,200 masterpiece while it’s on sale. Presently on sale for $600
Men have been defining themselves by the blade they carry for thousands of years… and for Step Four of the perfect shave it’s no different. In an attempt to be more of a Gentleman I picked up one of these straight razors by The Art of Shaving. Let me forewarn you that shaving with a straight razor is a lot like restoring an antique car: it requires a substantial investment in time and money and in the end you realize that technological advancements happen for a reason. That being said, there is something timeless about riding in a Model T Ford… and being able to shave yourself the way your grandfather did. These carbon steel razors are made by Thiers-Issard, a French razor manufacturer since 1884. MSRP: $225
Moisturizing after you shave is every bit as important as moisturizing before you shave. I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that you don’t need to throw alcohol on your face after you’ve shaved… in fact, you should probably leave the alcohol to Thursday night shenanigans in the Meat Packing District and opt for something, well, a little less alcoholic for your skin. Alcohol based after-shave dehydrates and irritates the skin. Anthony Logistics’ After Shave Balm is made of a complex of natural plant extracts in a greaseless quickly absorbed emulsion that moisturizes, soothes skin and calms razor burn. MSRP: $19.50
Sometimes all the pre-shave and post-shave moisturizers in the world won’t stop you from getting razor burn. Maybe you used a dull blade… maybe you rushed the morning ritual… or maybe you just have that one trouble spot that’s constantly catching fire.
We’d like to show you to the final step of the perfect shave: Treatment. There is no shortage of post shave treatments out there for razor burn. We found powders, serums, creams, sprays and styptic pens. This Post-Shave Repair from Menscience sprays a fine mist of salicylic acid, tea tree extract, azulene and allantoin to soothe the skin while combating razor burn and clogged pores. It’s 100% alcohol and oil free and evaporates almost immediately leaving your face feeling fresh and burn-free. MSRP: $28