Hey there beautiful people! Remember when I mentioned some new series that would launch on the Blog in the month of February? (relevant post). Well, I’m excited to announce that today’s the day we kick off the first of those series, aptly entitled “Manly Mondays”. This project is a collaboration between me and my better half, let’s call him Mr. Bear, and will focus on skincare, fashion and lifestyle interests from a male perspective.
Mr. Bear has been an avid supporter of my blogging venture from day one and we had talked about ways for him to become more involved. We weren’t sure how to go about it – whether he should start a blog of his own or post on this one. In the end, we decided that a limited feature on my blog was the way to go. And then we named it Manly Mondays. The naming process took a few seconds. I cannot speak to any other series out there like this because I didn’t Google it or anything. Though, I’m sure there must be. For example, this past Monday, on Instagram, I discovered that there is such a thing as man crush Mondays (#mcm). So there’s that.
Anyway, on the first Monday of every month, I will be handing my beloved little space on the net over to Mr. Bear to write about whatever he fancies (well, within reason, of course). Today, he is giving us his perspective on achieving “a perfect shave”.
Take it away, Mr. Bear…..
As my pen name suggests, I am a hairy fella. That’s the hand I’ve been dealt and I cope just fine. Hence, a good shave is always vital (in my humble opinion), if you’re not bearded! I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of the “5 ‘o’clock shadow”. Besides, I don’t really carry off any sort of facial hair. Nothing beats the feeling of a close, smooth shave and Kimmy can attest to that! Gents, for the sake of your significant other’s face, shaving is a must. Especially if you have thick, stubbly facial hair like I do. Kimmy appreciates that I shave regularly, for smooth and stubble free kisses. Trust me, stubble can feel like a cheese grater.
I’ve probably been shaving for about 20 years; therefore, I’ve tried many different products! Over the past 5 years, I’ve settled on a few key must haves to accomplish a perfect shave. For baby smooth skin, these are my favorites and what I’m currently using:
Step one: a clean face is very important! After thoroughly washing with warm water and my face wash, I like to use a scrub. It not only gets rid of dead skin cells and dry skin, but helps with raising the hair. Currently, I’m using Clinique’s Face Scrub. I find it to be the perfect texture, not too coarse and yet creamy. Ensure you always use warm water as it helps to open pores and, most essentially, softens the hair and your face to help with an irritation-free shave.
Next up is the *Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil. I’ve only recently started using the oil, but oh my – it is heavenly! It further helps with softening your skin and hair. Apply a penny sized amount on your palms and apply evenly over your damp face.
We now move on to applying the shaving cream. A word to the wise, invest in a shaving brush. It is much better than applying your shaving cream with your fingers. I’ve been using them for about 8 years and, now, I can’t imagine not using a brush. The more expensive ones are made with pure Badger hair, like the Art of Shaving one in the photo below. If you cannot afford one of the pricier Badger ones (or don’t want to use that type of brush), synthetic ones work just fine. However, the badger brushes do serve a purpose as the hairs are naturally anti-bacterial. (Tip: The one I have is slightly smaller than the regular size and was received in *a complete kit which makes it a better deal). Using a brush helps create a thick lather, softens and raises the beard for a closer shave!
Next up is probably the most important component for a smooth, close shave: the shaving cream. I’ve been using the *Art of Shaving Cream for a number of years and it is the holy grail of shaving products! I can’t imagine using the generic canned products. It may seem expensive at $25.00 USD but the tub lasts me nearly a year! *The Ocean Kelp is a newer scent I’m trying, but I also enjoy the Lavender.
A little of this cream goes a long way, so just a dab in the tub will suffice. Then wet your brush with warm water and sweep across your face circular strokes. The cream is better applied with a brush, so I repeat: invest in one. I honestly can’t imagine shaving without this cream. It’s rich, thick and creamy and produces an amazing lather. It’s the perfect buffer between your face and the blade.
We now move on to the blade. I have tried many different shaving blades over the years. In recent times, I’ve lost count of how many blades they’re stuffing into razors in the endless pursuit of a closer shave. Foregoing those, I have settled on a cheap disposable! They work just as well. My razor of choice is the Gillette Sensor 2 Plus with a lubrastrip for added comfort and moisture. The main reason I use a disposable is hygiene. After ever use, I toss it away. I do not reuse. With the many different reusable razors and blades I’d previously used, I would always experience breakouts and skin irritation. In my opinion, this is due to the bacteria festering in between uses. As it would be far too expensive to throw out the reusable blades after each use, the disposables are a more economical option. A pack of 5 is about $5.00 USD.
Always remember to shave with the grain of the hair and never against. I rinse the blade under warm water after ever stroke. Try to keep your strokes short and do not repeat excessively to avoid friction (and therefore, razor burn). Ensure to catch those hairs under your nostrils, around your lips, ears and lower neck. After you’re sure you’ve caught everything, rinse your face with cool water to close your pores.
Now you’re ready for the finishing touch. I avoid aftershave balms and lotions as they generally dry my face (in addition to the stinging/burning). As we live in The Bahamas, the sun is beaming all year round and Kimmy ensures I use SPF! In order to avoid applying multiple products on my face, I just use a good lotion with SPF 30 or higher.
Currently, I’m using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF 30. It’s very soothing after a shave and fends off the rays. It’s not too thick and is easy to rub in. I hate the thick, oily SPF products that are excessively white and take forever to apply.
Never forget, one of the first things people notice about you is your face. Whether you like to maintain a beard, or prefer a bare face, let’s keep it well groomed! It not only sets you up for the day ahead, but your significant other will thank you as well.
That’s it for now.
Got an extra minute? Check out Beauty Isles’ Asian Face Mask Giveaway! Two winners will be selected!
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