“Winning is like shaving – you do it every day or you wind up looking like a bum.” – Jack Kemp
We’re already a quarter of the way through Movember, and it feels like it only just started. (And from the looks of some of friends with lacklustre growing abilities, it’s going to be a long month.) Between raising money and taming that awesome ‘stache, we bet you haven’t stopped to think about what you’re going to do with it come December. But that’s okay, we’ve got you covered. This list of high calibre shaving products will have your face back to its smooth self in no time.
A good lather is half the shave…
Somewhere along the way, it seems, we lost the tradition of a man teaching his son the art of shaving. Although we care about our appearance more than ever, we’re using cheap products and not taking the time necessary for this crucial, daily ritual. One of the most important things (and we can’t stress this enough!) is avoiding cheap shaving cream.
A good shaving cream forms a layer between skin and water that makes a protective barrier for your skin while you’re shaving, as well as hydrates skin and prevents irritation. A bad one, well, doesn’t.
Although the popular brands are generally foam-based aerosols, usually the unnatural, perfumey ingredients used to create the gel-to-foam substance do an inferior job and are damaging to your skin in the long run.
The solution? Higher-quality shaving creams, of course. Tube and tub products are (generally speaking) alcohol-free and all-natural glycerin soaps, essentially meaning it has better ingredients and is easier on the skin now and later.
The top contenders: Menscience Advanced Shave Formula, a foamless cream made with an Aloe base and Tea Tree extract, it has some of the best reviews available and unclogs pores while preventing breakouts and ingrown hairs; Truefitt & Hill Authentic No. 10 Finest Shaving Cream, a simple cream with Willow Bark, Borage Oil, Sweet Almond Oil making this shaving cream extra rich and moisturizing; Feather “Nanka” Clear Shaving Gel, intended for professional barbershop use, Nanka is a non-greasy, fragrance-free cream whose claim to fame is softening the toughest beards and is sold in a convenient pump bottle for easy use.
The second half of the shaving battle is, of course, the razor…
The most common weapon of choice for men is the disposable blade, ’cause hey, it’s cheap, easy to use, and even easier to replace. A close second is the 4- or 5-blade razor you buy removable inserts for, for reasons similar to the disposable. In a distant third is the electric razor, for which you need a plug and the stamina to clean the blades and empty the cartridge after every shave.
The solution? Back to basics with the straight edge razor, a la Sweeney Todd, with, hopefully, a safer ending. North America’s largest online men’s grooming-products business has reported nearly double their sales numbers every year over the last four years of the straight razor.
A good quality razor can cost anywhere from $50 to $100+, and can last your entire life if you take care of it properly. The single blade is said to give a closer shave, leaving your face as smooth as the day you were born. Not only is it considered more manly, but it’s easy to clean and maintain and it costs you a fraction of what you would normally spend on any products over your shaving career.
Brands that made the clip: DOVO, one of the most popular straight razor brands in Canada, the blade is made from high quality carbon-steel and imported from Germany, and claims to achieve the highest degree of elasticity and resistance for the best shave; Wapieneca, made with a faux ivory handle, the blades were produced between 10 and 20 years ago and are being re-released in limited quantities, and the unique blade geometry gives any guy a truly authentic classic shave; Thiers Issard, hand-crafted in Thiers, France, this is a true straight razor blade for strong advocates, each blade bearing an elegant black mark that identifies it as an authentic, hollow ground-slinging blade.