For most men, shaving is just another chore that we put up with as part of our daily routine. We’re tired and rushed in the mornings, so it tends to be a forced and hurried affair. Not to mention, sometimes it can be painful.
I hope to change this attitude. With the right tools at your disposal, you’ll begin to look forward to shaving every morning!
I believe a man should reward himself with a proper shave to start his day off right. After all, it’s the face we show the world when we walk out the door. Barring a job at a hipster cocktail lounge, it’s also the preferred look in a work setting and has an impact on how employers perceive you. So shouldn’t your face feel its absolute best?
As I listed in my Brief History of Shaving post, there are various methods to choose from when it comes to removing pesky facial growth. I am by no means a shaving purist – I don’t use a safety razor nor do I risk my life with a straight edge!
But having tried several different shaving methods and products over the years, I’ve tailored my routine to suit my own needs. Everyone is different, but I hope some of my tips will prove helpful in your quest for the perfect shave.
First, wash your face in the shower with a cleanser or exfoliator to prep the skin. If you’re shaving every day, I wouldn’t recommend using an exfoliator each time – it’s too harsh on your skin. Instead, try using it three times a week and a cleanser the rest of the time. Just after a shower is the ideal time to shave because the heat and steam opens your pores and prepares your face for pampering.
In my humble opinion, this is the most important step in the process. The key to getting the closest shave is to stimulate your skin and open up your pores. Don’t skip this step!
The next tool that you need in your arsenal is a genuine badger brush. Badger hair is known to be the best for absorbing water and feels great on your face. I can’t overstate the importance of a good brush as part of your shaving arsenal. Invest in a quality badger brush and it will last you for years; I’ve had mine for over five. FMMS is keen on badger brushes by Baxter, but any brand will do, as long as you make sure it’s genuine. Synthetic brushes do not lather as well and feel much more coarse.
Dip your brush in hot water and swirl it around your face. Once your face and brush are sufficiently wet, you’ll need to pair your brush with the next tool in your arsenal – shaving cream.
Having a high quality shaving cream is very important. It will lather well (but not overly so) and feel great on your skin, while ensuring minimal irritation; We like the Art of Shaving Unscented Cream. If you’re used to the run-of-the-mill shaving creams from a can, this stuff is gonna feel like a million bucks – and the unscented option won’t overpower your aftershave or cologne.
Swirl your badger brush into the shaving cream until you get a little bit on the tip of your brush. The beauty of the badger brush is that it will create lots of lather from a small amount of shaving cream. Using circular motions, apply lather all over your face. This is my favourite part of the whole process for three reasons: One – it spreads the shaving cream evenly across the shaving surface; Two – it further exfoliates your skin to clear off any dead skin cells; And three – it feels luxurious, like a foamy face massage. To ensure a proper lather, I would suggest going at it for about 30 seconds.
For razor selection, I’m really digging the new Gillette Fusion ProGlide with Flexball. A long name, but this guy does everything the ProGlide can do and feels even smoother thanks to its flexible, pivoting head. I find it works better than traditional disposable razor heads. Gillette has recently introduced a subscription service in the U.S. to compete with recent online successes like Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s. Hopefully, this will help foster competition and bring down prices.
When using a razor blade, remember to shave with the grain on the first pass to avoid irritation. If your skin can handle it, feel free to go against the grain on the second. Be sure not to go over the same area too many times as this can also cause irritation. Once you’re done, rinse your face with cold water – this will close your pores. Finish off with a non-alcoholic aftershave. Gone are the days of our fathers using harsh products like Aqua Velva and causing a fire to break out on their faces to prove their manhood. A mild product with natural ingredients is best for your skin. We like the certified organic Miessence After Shave Balm – your face will thank you.
Let the aftershave set in for about a minute and finish off with a mild moisturizer. This will make your skin that much softer for the lucky lady(ies) in your life.
And that’s it! You’re ready to start the day looking and feeling smooth.
By adding just a few tools to your morning routine, you’ll begin to savour your shaving time. You’ll feel more fresh and energetic to start the day.
Just try not to touch your face too much. Oh and try not to stare at yourself too much either. It’ll be hard when you realize how smooth your skin is. You’ll truly bring your best face forward and feel like a million bucks.
And in order to make that much cash, stick with the smooth look at the office. You’re more likely to get that promotion!