Alexander the Great told his soldiers to be clean shaven so that the enemy couldn’t pull on their beards in battle. And how did ol’ Alex and his boys do it? With a straight razor. You’ve seen the straight razor in your barbershop, and you’ve felt your barber use it on the back of your neck. Now you’re ready to give it a try — on your face.
The Straightforward Essentials
Face it: you need a change in the shaving department. We’re here to tell you that a straight razor shave is a good shave, especially if you’re willing to take a little extra time every morning and you appreciate history and a good deal of custom. You don’t need to go nuts purchasing everything you see on the newest hipster shaving website, but you also can’t just buy a straight razor and call it a day. We’ve got your essentials.
Make Mr. Todd Proud
There’s something to be said for the simplicity of a straight razor shave. In spite of all the shaving gadgets available to the millennial man, the straight razor market is stronger now than it’s ever been. It may involve a little bit of blood at first and a few extra minutes of work, but using a straight razor makes for a close shave and involves a routine that feels timeless and empowering. If you’re ready to step up your shave game, here are the top five straight blades you ought to consider.
A Collection of Vintage Straight Razors
For many, shaving is a daily nuisance. Not so for everyone, we recently learned when GP writer Mike Henson shared his love of the straight razor shave. We asked him to catalogue his antique collection and got more than we bargained for in passion, history, and a set of beautiful tools.
Rough: The Way Your Face Likes It
One of the easiest ways to achieve clearer, cleaner, flake-free skin is to regularly rid your face of all the crap that builds up on and in it, but that’s no easy feat. The best way to defeat face gunk is to scrub it out. Here are our five favorite men’s face scrubs to get you started.
Always Be Closing
The present state of business prizes efficiency above all else: large outputs from small teams, multitasking, checking email while jogging, jogging while conference calling, working vacations. In this paradigm a leisurely lunch gums up the works. But the reality is that a face-to-face over charred ribeyes and bone-dry martinis can replace a week’s worth of email exchanges. One good single-pump handshake and a knowing smile is good for a billion retweets. The power lunch, like the double-breasted suit, is not back: it never went away. To do it right you’ll need a few accoutrements, which you’ll find right here. We’ll see you at Dorsia.
The first thing you should do after washing and shaving your visage should be to apply a high-quality moisturizer. You need to restore nutrients and hydration to your empty epidermis and protect against UV rays and premature wrinkles. You’re a handsome dude — keep yourself that way. Commit to being blemish free, skin cancer free, flake free, wrinkle free; let’s aim to have clear, soft, touchable, youthful skin. Let’s start with these, the best facial moisturizers for men.
36 gifts for the well-dressed gent
If you’re a stylish gent, you’re acutely aware of each seasonal shift. Spring affords chances to wear lighter, refreshed colors; summer is time for light material and sunglasses; autumn means breaking out a chunky cardigan. But it’s winter when a man can truly shine. He can layer. He can sport rich fabrics and hulking boots, overcoats and purposeful accessories. When there is such a wide, deep array of options in the winter wardrobe world, what exactly do you give the man who lives stylishly? We’re here to turn that dilemma into fruitful present curation. So brew up some nog, get out the wrapping paper (even if you’re giving to yourself) and check out our top picks in these important categories of winter style for the well dressed man.
Grizzly Adams, you are not
Straight edge razors, Dollar Shave Club, electric, Mach 3, safety razors…for the clean-shaven out there, options truly abound. For those of us who opt for a little or a lot of facial hair, though, companies seem less inclined to provide choices. Keeping that beard trim and looking good is important regardless of season, particularly when research has shown women are more attracted to men with heavy stubble than their clean-shaven counterparts. In the interest of cleaning up this situation, we’ve rounded up our favorite beard trimmers.
Thermo-Electric Cooling Technology — that’s not a term you expect to read on an electric razor’s spec sheet. Thankfully, there’s no need to butcher that science-speak in front of a sales associate; just ask for CoolTec. Fulfilling the next step in shaving innovations from Braun, it’s the world’s first razor that actively cools the skin via an integrated electro-ceramic cooling element in the head. To find out all grooming innovations the CoolTec has to offer, check out the video above.
Essentials for the daily grind
Dali said intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings. Clearly, you’ve got both in spades — all that’s lacking is better preparation. Small upgrades can make big differences in organization, confidence and execution, and luckily for you, we’ve dug up the must-have office essentials to help you stay focused on conquering the office, one job done well at a time. Heed our advice and maybe you’ll be patting backs soon.
Essentials for a Smooth Trip
Travel pros. You’ve seen them. You’ve envied them. They glide through check-in, make the body-scan look like a photo shoot and sightsee like locals. Sure, part of it might be their passport with 200 stamps, but the right kit makes a world of difference, too. Whether you’re embarking on a shuttle flight or a trip around the globe, there are a few pieces of gear that will improve life on the road dramatically. We’ve got ‘em.
Groom like a big boy
When’s the last time you tried out a new grooming product you didn’t swipe from a hotel? Now eliminate the items your better half brought home. That’s what we thought. Just because it’s what your dad or your roommate in college used, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you. Luckily for your too-busy-to-possibly-stumble-into-a-drug-store self, Birchbox Man is a service that’s designed to take the hassle out of finding your next go-to grooming supplies and tools. Learn more by clicking into the post, or join now below.
Shave and a happy wallet, two bits
Tired of feeling like they were “paying a tax on razors imported from the future”, the smart gentlemen behind Harry’s (Warby Parker co-founder, Jeff Raider, and his partner, Andy Katz-Mayfield) set out to make a well-groomed face affordable. What they’ve created is much better than a disposable and much (much!) cheaper than said “future” razors.
That's nothing to sneeze at
Look on your bookshelf, in your armoire, wherever you stash your toiletries. We’d bet a shiny buffalo nickel you’ve got one bottle of cologne there, maybe a second collecting dust. That one you’ve got smells like getting socked with a powdery diaper, but the the packaging made you think of white sand, bracing saltwater and azure skies. What happened? More to the point, how did you end up with that bottle? For all the energy men expend making decisions about what to buy (we should know), we put comparatively little effort into cologne. That changes now. We’re going to take some of the guesswork out by testing men’s cologne here at GP, starting with a look at five men’s fragrances from niche brands we like.
Old School, High Quality, No BS
In the constant pursuit of a high-quality, stylish lifestyle, it’s understandable that we men may stray from the path a time or two — a truck stop frozen burrito here, a discount-grade pair of white socks there. Most times, though, we regret purchasing shoddy products. Owen & Fred, The Store For Men is a response to just such disappointing gimmickry, providing the superbly crafted choice for everything from dopp kits to ties to kitchen accessories and all the rest.
A Locals Bar
We’d like to regale you with stories of the good old days, when men would go down to the local soapmaker’s shop to refill their scuttle with something fresh and handmade and honest. But we’ll do you one better: Get ye to New York’s Hudson Valley — or at least to the Hudson Made website…
Pheromones are not enough
“Backpacker’s Cologne” sounds more like a euphemism for “smells like you haven’t showered in a while” than a natural fragrance made using pre-industrial perfume techniques — but that’s just what it is, camper. Juniper Ridge harvests wild plants from seven locations in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California and the Desert Southwest, extracting the essential oils…
Care for your skin, Kiwi-style
These days, fame increasingly comes with the chance to delve into product development. Jordan transfered his ups into sneakers; Dre’s cashed in his booth skills on headphones; Beckham shills underwear — these all make perfect sense. Former New Zealand cricket star Dion Nash turned his right-armed bowling skills into… a men’s grooming line. It seems…
It puts the lotion on
Is treating your face well too effeminate for you? Get over yourself. Unless you’ve got the symmetry of Matt Bomer or go by first name “Tom”, last name “Hardy”, there’s no good reason to glorify skin like a catcher’s mitt. Ursa Major Fortifying Face Balm ($36) is a great option for topical care this summer….
You’re well-dressed and fit, you drive a nice car and even your girlfriend is easy on the eyes. But you still park your face under the hot sun, thinking that you’re invincible. If you don’t want to resemble a baseball glove twenty years from now, you should be wary of sun damage to both your…
Cures what scales ya
Are you the misinformed-type who thinks a “little” sunburn builds a base tan? Soothe your peeling skin with C.O. Bigelow Lotio Mentholus No. 002 ($25), a natural topical analgesic of .1% camphor, suspended in lemon, lavender, peppermint and rosemary oil, designed to pamper your epidermis without leaving you smelling like a high school locker room….
Clean (smelling) jeans
We all know that wearing jeans just once out of the washer isn’t enough, unless you’re one of those unfortunate souls looking to revive the acid-washed glory days of the 80s. Two times maybe. Three times…well, that’s when they just start to stretch in all the right places, sag nicely, and feel great. Things only…
After months of holing ourselves up during winter, the sun is finally making a warm comeback, and unless you have dedicated your life to playing World of Warcraft, you’ll be outside soaking up some vitamin D. Thankfully, we all know what The Situation doesn’t seem to understand — that intense exposure to the sun is…
No ID required
The next time you’re in need of lip protection, stop stealing the cherry gloss from your better half’s purse, and grab some Sierra Nevada Natural lip balm ($1). It’s made from cascade hop oils and other all-natural ingredients, for a hint a Sierra Nevada flavor, minus the 5.6% ABV buzz. Keep a stick in your…
Shave and save
Few things pillage your wallet in such shocking fashion like re-upping your razor blade stash. Michael Durbin, CEO and founder of Dollarshaveclub.com was fed up with the price gouging going on in today’s $2.6 billion grooming market, and set out to change the game. As the name implies, for as low as $1 a month…
Bring the barbershop home
Imperial Barber Products is a new grooming brand, inspired by the founding team’s collective 26 years of experience in the LA and NYC barbershop scene. The made in the U.S.A. line started off with the classic pomade, which the brand boasts is the strongest water-based pomade in the country, and should be good for those…
Travel sheets to the wind
We can deal with the TSA airport security shuffle but the frenzy to keep grooming items down to the correct but annoyingly small 3 ounces is all but intolerable. To cut back on some of that hassle, consider using the cool and amazingly convenient Travelon Toiletry Sheets ($5). Each small plastic travel pack holds 50…
Ditch your eye baggage
You work your ass off to get ahead in everything. You rise early and go to bed late. You eat well, exercise, and spend time with those you love. And everyone can tell you live life to the fullest, not from the pep in your step, or the smile on your face, but from the…
The first in a series of new technical pieces called the Advanced Projects Series, Mission Workshop has infused the classic military field jacket with their thoughtful, modern touch as well as a heavy dose of the murdered out look we can’t get enough of right now. Made from Swiss fabric called Schoeller c_change, the Eiger…