While we all know that a wet shave beats an electric shave every time, many of us are still using the wrong kit. A drizzle of warm water and an old Bic safety really isn’t going to cut it — or, more likely, it will cut it, nick it, scratch it and cause a whole mess of pain for your face. And no-one wants that.
Instead, let us guide you — one hand on the razor — steadily through a new shaving routine. Beginning with a proper shaving soap and a brush to apply it, to the aftercare that’ll ensure your face stays happy even in these cold winter months. Trust us, you’ll never have had a smoother shave…
Invest in the best when it comes to shaving soap
In its quaint little dish, you could be forgiven for think that shaving soap is for people of the past. In fact, nothing could be further from the sudsy truth. A good quality, silky shaving soap is an indispensable weapon in any modern grooming arsenal — used to simultaneously soften the skin and lift up your hairs so your razor glides effortlessly across your skin. And James Bond used one in Skyfall, so…
We’ve got a handful of recommendations here. Acqua di Parma has an impressive new Barbiere range, and the smoothest product on show is its soft shaving cream. Erring on the side of liquid soap, it is scented with pomegranate seed oil and basil extract. Floris offers a triple-milled shea butter soap housed in a wooden shaving bowl, and Czech & Speake’s spun aluminium tin contains a coconut-tinged soap ideal for the traveller.
Acqua di Parma Barbiere Soft Shaving Cream
Floris No. 89 Shaving Soap and Bowl
Czech & Speake Travel Shaving Dish
Buy a brush that won’t fall apart after a shave or two
It’s time to brush up on your shaving technique, gents! Too many of us rush brushless through our morning routines, failing to lift errant hairs from our faces for the razor to catch. And there’s nothing worse than spying a rogue, untrimmed hair halfway through your day. So, to avoid such unpleasantries, choose a well-made, reliable brush that’ll remain in your bathroom cabinet for years to come.
Floris, whose inimitable grooming products are available on the Gentleman’s Journal eStore, is the gold standard here — quite literally. The British brand’s Briarwood and Gold Plate Brush is soft, dense and wholly dependable. Equally, Mühle’s quirky hexagonal offering is made from carefully selected Silvertip badger hair. Or, for a sleeker, more understated take on the shaving brush, the design of Acqua di Parma’s takes inspiration from its Colonia aftershave bottle.
Floris Briarwood & Gold Plate Shaving Brush
Mühle Hexagon Silver Shaving Brush
Acqua di Parma Barbiere Shaving Brush
Your razor should fill you with comfort and confidence
Look, we all like the idea of being a tough guy. We like the thought of flicking open a straight razor and going all Hemingway on our faces, taking a couple of quick, broad strokes across our stubbly cheeks and nodding contentedly at the results. But that’s not how real life works. Try that, and you’ll end up in hospital. But it’s not all bad news — don’t retreat to your Bic just yet. Instead, opt for something a little more engineered that will give you the confidence to shave swiftly and neatly.
Something like Edwin Jagger‘s traditional razor, crafted from Sheffield steel and complete with red anodised aluminium handle. Or you could go for D.R. Harris’ safety razor, with an ebony handle so sophisticated you’ll end up leaving it out sink-side for any guests to see. Alternatively, opt for a modern style with Mühle’s award-winning hexagonal green razor.
Edwin Jagger Red Safety Razor
D.R. Harris 3-Piece Ebony Safety Razor
Mühle Hexagon Silvertip Safety Razor
Make sure to moisturise — using creams, balms or lotions
You’ve lathered up, brushed your hairs on end and shaved them off in style. But your shaving routine shouldn’t end there. Not by a long shot. You’ve de-fuzzed your face, but now it’s time to make sure that it doesn’t dry out. And that, gents, means moisturiser. There are so many types to choose from that you’re not so much spoilt for choice as intimidated by it — but here are three of the best.
From Acqua di Parma, this cream is fast-absorbing and formulated to be lightweight and instantly hydrating — ideal if you find yourself frequently sleeping through your alarm and speed-shaving (not a pursuit we’d encourage). Le Labo is on hand if you’ve got a little more time, and fancy massaging an avocado and rosemary-scented balm into your face and neck. Or, for a fully-drenched whack of hydration, turn to Aesop — whose Moroccan Neroli Lotion battles skin aggravation with a mixture of botanical oils.
Acqua di Parma Barbiere Moisturising Face Cream
Le Labo After-Shave Balm
Aesop Moroccan Neroli Post Shaving Lotion
Spritz through the pain with some quality aftershave
And now the main event! Most of us will have one choice aftershave on our shelf; a bottle that we reach for and spritz on every morning. But how many of us actually use aftershave properly? As the name suggests, these scents were first formulated to apply antiseptic to a freshly-shaved face and protect any nicks or cuts from infection — and you should be applying aftershave almost as soon as you sweep the final stroke of your razor. Here are the best to have on hand.
Creed has Aventus; a bastion of Britishness in an iconic bottle. Launched to celebrate the brand’s 250th anniversary at the beginning of the last decade, it is a swirl of bergamot, blackcurrant and vanilla. Floris, too, has a quintessentially English gentleman’s fragrance in its No. 89 — complete with a touch of spicy nutmeg. Or, if you’re looking for a statement bottle, Penhaligon’s is on hand with its stag-topped, brandy-tinged Lord George.
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