Common shaving mistakes & how to avoid them

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As avid followers, you know we’re keen on ensuring you look and feel your best for a good price. As our avid followers, you also know that you shave and have your different approach to it. The question is, is your way, the best way?

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 months, you’ll have not heard of Harry’s…if you’ve been running around town, you will have.

Harry’s believe that you shouldn’t have to compromise when it comes to the products you use, so they’ve designed a grooming brand to be effective and to provide a great experience. The team of more than 600 engineers, designers, craftsmen, and chemists make Harry’s products from the finest materials and ingredients to ensure they perform as well as they possibly can.

We have to agree with what they mention in their mission statement. The craftsmanship of their razor, meant the razor glided over our skin and provided a neat shave. They’re so committed to a good shave, they’ve helped us devise these mistakes you may be encountering when shaving, and how to avoid them.

Mistake One: Poor Skin Prep
Many men and women don’t prep their skin appropriately before shaving. Splashing a few drops of water on your skin doesn’t do the trick, and over prepping can cause your skin to become irritated. Men with a bushy beard or heavy stubble do require a little more prep, but generally, prepping your skin doesn’t have to be complicated.

How to Avoid: Gentlemen, shave either during or right after a warm shower. Ladies, try to stick to shaving in the shower. The steam from the hot water allows the outer layer of your hair to soften, giving you a much cleaner and safer shave. If you have a beard, be sure to use an electric razor (set on low) to trim your hair before shaving.

Harry's, Shaving, Men's Grooming, Grooming, Shave, High Street Gent

Mistake Two: Not Paying attention to Grain Pattern
If you don’t know which way your hair grows, chances are you’re irritating your skin when you shave.

How to avoid: When your hair is growing out, slide your fingers across your skin so you can physically feel which way your hair grows. When you shave, you want to first shave in the direction your hairs because the hair is still long. Your second pass should go against the grain, since the hair will be shorter, thus relieving your skin from any tugging.

Mistake Three: Too Much Pressure
Despite popular the belief that pressing down harder will give you a closer shave, it actually leads to lots of painful cuts and nicks.

How to avoid: Gently glide your razor across your skin, being careful to avoid too much pressure. Using shaving cream can help the razor move smoothly, giving you a much closer shave.

Mistake Four: Using Too Much Or Too Little Shaving Cream
Not using the appropriate amount of shaving cream can have the same irritable consequences as not prepping your skin correctly. Too much shaving cream will cause your skin to become too slimy, leading to a higher risk for cuts. On the other hand, too little shaving cream will not allow your hair to soften up, leading to a rougher shave.

How to avoid: Always use an almond sized portion of shaving cream. If the area you’re shaving is larger, then it’s okay to add a little more, but be careful not to add a lot more.

*Helpful tip: Shaving creams that also provide hydration, like Harry’s shaving gel will give you soft skin and a smooth shave.

Harry's, Shaving, Men's Grooming, Grooming, Shave, High Street Gent

Mistake Five: Using Products Not Made For Shaving

Using body wash, soap, and shower gel can seem like a nice alternative when you’re out of shaving cream. However, products that are not designed especially for shaving can cause trauma to your skin and razor. Soap removes dirt and oils from your skin, contributing to a rougher shave.

How to avoid: Stick to products that are made for shaving

Mistake Six: Improperly Storing Your Razor

If you leave your razor on the shower ledge or bathroom sink, you’re accelerating the dulling process of your razor. Bacteria and excess water will quickly diminish the blade. However, leaving it in a drawer or cabinet can lead to the growth of bacteria.

How to avoid: Invest in a quality razor stand, such as this one. It’s designed especially for keeping your razor above water and bacteria, letting it dry before your next use.

Mistake Seven: Using An Old Blade

Using a dull razor is the easiest way to end up with lots of cuts and nicks, no matter how well you prep your skin.

How to avoid: You should be changing out your blades every 6-8 shaves. While that may seem like a lot of runs to the store, subscription services like Harry’s ensure you receive quality razors right to your door. You can even customize your own delivery schedule based on how often you shave, so you never have to worry about when to change out your blade again.

Try Harry’s for yourself and make practice, perfection. Start your trial for only £3.95 here.

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The Ultimate Guide to Shaver Options: Which Shaver is the Manliest?

Man shaving face in the mirror with electric razor

You will spend about 45 days of your life shaving. That’s 1 092 hours or 65 520 minutes of dragging a blade across your face and watching your beard go down the drain. The latest trend of full beards have picked up quite a bit in the last while. But many men are still clean shaven, either because they don’t like hair sprouting from their face or their employer would frown upon the bushy look.

The Manliest Shaving Method

Since the creation of the first disposable razor and thereafter the electric shaver, lots of men have opted for the convenience of these fancy inventions. But lately men are realizing that it’s not all about buying the cheapest foam and throwaway razor blades.

A lot of men are rediscovering the pleasures of an old-school wet shave with a straight blade razor or safety razors. Add a bit of fancy soap and a cool shaving brush, and you’ve got your very own barbershop at home! The Economist has reported that sales of disposable razors are falling. This includes prominent brands such as Schick and Gillette.

After a while shaving might start feeling like a schlep, a daily chore you are obliged to do. But when you remember that it’s your manly privilege to make hair sprout from your chin, you’ll start looking at shaving a bit differently again. Your daily shaving routine can be a moment of self-indulgence each morning or evening. Take a moment out of your busy daily routine to deliberately slow down and take care of yourself.

There is just something about the traditional straight razor that makes you feel like a real man. They are also sometimes called a “cutthroat” razor, living on the edge of getting it right or slicing your throat open. When you’re done, admiring your clean cut face, it’s a great moment of satisfaction.

You could also opt for a safety razor, which is a little bit less dangerous. You can pop in a fresh blade every few weeks. Both straight and safety razors are much more environmentally-friendly. There’s no plastic involved. And both razor types will give you a closer shave than any electric shaver ever could.

Selecting Your Gear

Shaving & Grooming from ManlyStuff.ie

The following are a few items that will make your straight or safety razor experience more pleasant. The razor, a scuttle and a brush. You can decide whether you want to use shaving soap or just stick with shaving cream from a can. And don’t forget the aftershave to keep the germs away after using an open blade on your face.

The scuttle is also called a “lather bowl”. It basically looks like a flat cup. This one is very important if you will be using soap, you can whip up a lather storm with your brush in it.

Next the shaving brush. Don’t go for the cheapest option you can find. Rather look for a badger or horsehair brush that will last you a lifetime if you look after it properly. You want a brush with a lot of hair packed close together to assist with the lathering process as well as applying the foam to your face.

The sharpening strop is important if you decide to use the straight blade razor. When do you need to sharpen the blade? When it starts pulling your hair out, instead of cutting it.

The debate of shaving soap vs. shaving cream is in the end a personal choice. But if you want to stick with the full-on traditional shaving experience, try investing in a good soap.

And then, selecting the actual razor. The following are a few options, including complete kits with all the gear you need to start experiencing the traditional shaving method.

BOG Shave Ready Straight Razor

A classic straight razor with modern appeal. This is a high quality razor that will offer you the best shave of your life! With the 4” stainless-steel blade you will be able to quickly tame your beard. The blade folds into the handle for convenient storage inside the tin carry case or safely in your bathroom cabinet. You also get a luxurious velvet bag to neatly fit into your suitcase when travelling.

Shop here.

Parker SRB Straight Edge Barber Razor

A professional grade stainless steel blade that is much stronger than cheaper aluminum. The snap/lock blade holder guarantees you insert the blades securely. Five Shark stainless steel half-blades are included with purchase. These are designed to fit in perfectly in straight edge razors. The end of the blade has a rounded tip to minimize cuts.

Shop here.

KingOfHearts™ Classic Barber Beard Shaver

Everything you need to start your traditional shaving experience! The shaver has a classic wooden handle with the straight 6″ stainless steel blade fitting tightly into it. This whole kit has a great vintage feel to it. The synthetic bristle brush will outlast your trial and error lathering attempts. The straight razor sharpening strap is made of split leather that will help you maintain an impeccably sharp razor at all times.

Shop here.

GBS 5 Piece Shaving Set

The set includes a stainless steel barber straight edge shaver and leather case, a badger-hair chrome brush and chrome stand and a chrome shave soap bowl. You also receive 25 free blades plus a GBS soap.  With this razor you can save money on expensive cartridge refills. The razor will not rust or tarnish. The stand is great for drying your brush properly after use.

Shop here.

Be a Man, Put a Naked Blade against Your Skin

Man shaving face in the mirror with electric razor

So, are you brave enough to switch to the traditional shaving method? Or are you too scared you might slice an artery and bleed out while trying to prove your manliness?
Once you’ve experienced the glorious feeling of an ultra-close shave, you won’t go back to any other method. In the beginning you might cut yourself a few times, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you will agree that using a straight edge razor is truly the manliest shaving method of them all.

This article was contributed by Andries from manomics/shaving. Manomics.com is a men’s lifestyle site that focuses on topics such as grooming, health and fitness.

Winter Grüuming Tips for Men

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Winter is well and truly upon us and whilst the majority will have swapped short sleeve tees for jumpers, and denim jackets for parkas, just how many of us have actually thought about the changes we should be making to our grooming routines? The good news is that just a few small changes can make all the difference.

Below are the top tips you can put into place straight away to protect yourself from the elements this winter – tried and tested with the subscription service from Grüum.

Taking care of your skin is the single most important thing you can do for your appearance. Sure, a sense of style helps, but the best clothing in the world can’t cover up unsightly bumps and blemishes. Even if you think you’re a skin care expert — and chances are you’re not — this refresher course from the basic to the advanced will remind you of what you should be including in your skin care regime.

As a man, your skin is unique and using female or unisex products just won’t cut it. The reason for the differences is due to testosterone. The biggest differences are: your skin is 25% thicker than a woman’s, primarily due to having higher collagen density than a woman, providing a stronger structural base for the skin. This means less creasing and folding of the skin, also known as wrinkles.

This is also a big reason why men’s faces hold up better over time, if taken care of.

Exfoliating Face Wash

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Twenty years ago, it was a miracle if men’s grooming including anything more than washing the face with a bar of soap. Unfortunately, using a simple soap is about as bad as doing nothing at all: It can leave your skin taut and thirsty. Instead, use a cleanser that strikes a delicate balance between tough and tender. Look no further that Grüum…for a naturally fresh fragrance gel face wash that’s suitable for all skin types that is strong enough to cut through those overactive male sebaceous glands yet gentle enough to be used every day. This gel smells good, not too potent for first thing in the morning, but leaves your face feeling fresh.

For example: Grüum‘s gentle everyday cleanser gives a real deep clean, without stripping the skin. Designed to work with all skin types, you can count on kóri to help you look your best. A combination of Witch hazel, Aloe Vera, Orange and Eucalyptus work in harmony to combat dryness, soothe the skin, whilst keeping oil at bay. Sounds like a win to us.

No artificial colours or synthetic fragrances. EDTA free.

Face Tonic

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A face tonic is just the opening act for facial cleansing. Men’s skin is naturally thicker than women’s, with larger pores that roll out the red carpet for nasty debris. No one likes to look at bumps and blackheads, and scrubbing will help smooth your complexion for a clearer, cleaner appearance it can often be left looking shiny! No one wants shiny. It also softens the skin as a first step toward a less gruesome shaving experience. With Grüum the combination in the little bottle means you don’t have to scrub away, scratching your skin, it softly cleanses with a cracking scent too.

After using for a few weeks, it feels natural and clean, it also washes away simply leaving you feeling fresh.

For Example: It takes just a second to add gösta to your skincare routine, and the benefits clearly outweigh the effort. Do you ever find your face looking shiny throughout the day? Does your skin feel irritated after shaving? Or perhaps you’re having some trouble with blackheads and breakouts? These common (and very annoying) problems can easily be improved with the facial tonic.

Grüum believe in the goodness of nature, so they’ve loaded their facial toner with honest, natural ingredients. Soothing Chamomile, Rosemary Oil, and Aloe Vera give the skin some real TLC, whilst Witch Hazel works to kill bacteria and refresh your complexion.

No artificial colours or synthetic fragrances. EDTA free.

Moisturiser

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Even the mildest facial cleansers can leave your skin feeling just plain parched. And don’t think you can cheat the system by using one fortified with a laundry list of special moisturising agents. The truth is that every guy, even those with oily skin, needs to replenish the moisture content of their skin. Something as routine as showering or washing your face with hot water can open pores and allow valuable water to escape. A moisturiser like Grüum is light and breathy, minutes after putting it on it felt as though nothing was there, it wasn’t oily, thick or gloopy, it was a pleasure to use.

This whole process was pretty simple in and out the shower too, so it won’t add time to your routine, even though they’re few products.

When it comes to choosing the right moisturiser, make sure that you avoid certain chemicals, sulphates and parabens as they are amongst the main causes of skin problems. Also, to get the best results our of your moisturising sessions, it’s important to have a simple grooming routine consisting of cleansing, toning and finally hydration with a moisturiser. These simple steps are crucial during winter considering that your skin is more likely to be exposed to the elements.

For Example: kåre daily moisturiser is the essential finishing touch to your skincare routine. Cleansing your face with a gentle face wash (kori does the job very well) creates the ideal base to allow moisturiser to penetrate the skin and lock in that goodness.

Packed with the natural goodness of Chamomile, Rosemary Oil, and Green Tea extract, kåre is kind to sensitive skin and great at soothing post-shave irritation.

No artificial colours or synthetic fragrances. EDTA free.

Look after the whiskers

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If you’re still backing the beard trend then it’s important to consider how to look after the whiskers this winter. Keep things simple by making it a two-step process.

1) Use a beard shampoo when you shower, this will clean the beard hair thoroughly and keep it healthy.

2) Use a beard oil after washing.

Beard oils help to reduce beard dandruff (it’s a thing) and also moisturise the beard hairs and skin below.

In addition

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Shaving is notorious for upsetting your skin, particularly if it’s sensitive. The natural formulation of danne shave gel works to keep your skin happy. Soothing Aloe Vera helps to combat post-shave irritation, whilst Witch Hazel keeps bacteria at bay.

However, one that smells amazing is often a clear winner in our eyes! Like this…

For Example: danne is the perfect sidekick for any style of shave, it’s the robin to your razor. Use as a clear gel for precision and visibility, or lather up to create a gentle foam. Forget harsh artificial fragrances, danne is au natural, with Orange and Eucalyptus for a fresh subtle scent.

Looking better for less

Grüum works in several very easy steps, so you can achieve the and receive the right products for YOU.

  1. Tell them about you: Take our 3-step survey about your face and style.
  2. Build your kit: They’ll hand pick a selection of products perfect for you.
  3. We deliver to your door: They’ll send your kit direct to your home or work.
  4. Enjoy the benefits: See the difference in the mirror and in your wallet.

Another added bonus is that you never have to feel trapped with a subscription service! With Grüum you’re never tied in. The flexible approach means you can change, pause or cancel your kit at any time. Simple.

If you’re looking to treat yourself or the man in your life, we’d whole heatedly recommend Grüum as not only a great gift, but also something that’s great for the face! The simplistic design and easy-hold shavers are a classy touch on the regular ‘bic’.

To browse and shop the full Grüum range, please click here.

Spice up your Beard Care Regime

ManCave Natural Grooming have released 3 new Beard Care products into the regime, bringing the range total up to 13 products.

With the introduction of these new products we also see ManCave breaking into the Beard Care sector, a new area of the men’s grooming market for the brand. The ManCave Beard Care range features a Beard Wash, Beard Control and the all-important Beard Oil, with premium ingredients including Argan & Hemp Oil, Vitamin E, Bergamot, Mandarin & Shea Butter.

After the previous success of premium fragrances such as Cedarwood and Lemon & Oak, ManCave have also developed an additional scent exclusively for the new beard collection. BlackSpice is a fresh and woody spice fragrance including natural hints of Black Pepper, Bergamot, Cardamom, Ginger & Patchouli.

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Winter means skin brutality, especially for your face. And it’s winter now, so it’s worth knowing how to take care of that moneymaker of yours and of course your face fuzz. And no, there’s absolutely nothing unmanly about making sure you have cracking skin. But, that doesn’t mean you should adopt your girlfriend’s daily 10-step anti-aging, herbal-infused, citrus-scented, green-masked facial cleaning ritual.

It’s really much simpler than that.

After all, imagine that you are about to approach a pretty girl at a bar / lounge / club. You’re well dressed, confident and ready to charm. But one small problem, you just stepped inside and the tolls of the cold, windy day have cracked your lips, made your cheeks red and irritable, and your nose blotchy and dry. Not a good look, no matter how smooth you are. So don’t handicap that charming personality of yours by not taking care of your style and your skin. From the dimple in your tie to the pimple on your face, remember that your entire appearance is sending a message.

When it comes to your beard care regime, you need to be sure not only are the products good for your beard, but they’re great for your skin.

I’ve blogged about my firm favourite when it comes to grooming ManCave before, it’s great. Versatile. Worthwhile. Proven. And, a little goes a long way.

We’ve been using the new and hot ‘black spice’ range from manCave for around 2 weeks now- they definitely deliver on its promise of providing quality, masculine bathroom products for men at a price that few can argue with. We strongly recommend checking out the full range on their website to find all the ingredients and product details so you can buy with peace-of-mind. You can also check their reviews on Boots and see hundreds of other UK customer lauding their quality and fragrance. Thanks to ManCave we have changed from cavemen to gentlemen in one trip to the bathroom…

For our previous articles on ManCave, please see ‘Climb out the ManCave during Winter‘.

How to achieve the perfect home shave…

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For many years the traditional wet shave has been an acceptable means of pampering for men all over the globe, and with barbering’s popularity boosted by current fashion trends, chaps are desperately searching for ways to re-enact this luxury in the comfort of their own homes.

Luckily, premium men’s grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge has provided High Street Journal with its top tips for achieving the perfect home shave.

Put simply, the perfect home shave can be broken down in to three steps: preparation, the shave, and skin protection.

Preparation:

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Hot towels are used in barbershops to soften the follicles of your facial hair, producing a shave with less razor resistance and irritation. At home, this can be achieved by taking a hot shower and shaving with warm water. Removing impurities and build ups of dirt that cling to the skin and facial hair with a mild face scrub will also help to produce a smoother shave overall. Pre-shave oil should also be used to moisturise your face and beard prior to applying a shaving cream. This provides a crucial layer of lubrication to help protect your skin from cuts during your shave.

The shave:

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Combining a shaving brush with a rich, luxurious shaving cream will allow you to reach the same levels of relaxation that are achieved in your local barber’s chair. An almond-sized dollop of The Bluebeards Revenge Shaving Cream will whip up a fantastic lather when added to a little water. Spreading this across your jawline with a shaving brush will help to exfoliate the skin while lifting stubborn hairs in preparation for your first pass.

A quality razor with a sharp blade is essential when in the pursuit of a fine shave, whether it’s a double-edge safety razor, a straight razor, or a modern cartridge razor. For the closest finish, start your first pass by shaving in the direction of your hair’s natural growth, then shave across the grain, and finally against it. With every change of direction it’s important to re-lather. If your skin is a tad sensitive, then a three-pass shave may not be for you, so avoid shaving against the grain.

Protection:

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Always start by rinsing your face with cold water to help close the skin’s pores and remove any excess shaving cream.

Hopefully you’ll finish your shave cut-free. But if not, then seek the help of an alum block. Alum blocks are designed to help seal cuts and are a great first step in protecting your skin post-shave. Nothing looks more ridiculous than wads of toilet paper clinging to your face, and an alum block will certainly remove this embarrassment. But be warned, they sting a little upon application.

Finish your manly pampering session by applying a high quality post-shave balm to help reduce irritation and redness in between shaves. When selecting a post-shave balm, always look for ingredients that possess a ‘cooling’ effect such as Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, or even Prickly Pear!

Has Bluebeard sought revenge?

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We must admit we’re not ones for usual embracing the wet shave, but when The Bluebeards Revenge got in touch with the offer of testing out one of their shaving sets, naturally, we was only too happy to oblige.

The Bluebeards Revenge describe themselves as “the ultimate shaving experience for real men”. As a real man (as opposed to those pretend ones), we jumped at the suggestion of trying out the ‘Scimitar’ Razor Kit, which is basically a cut-throat razor.

The Bluebeard’s Revenge is aimed at men with facial hair that grows at a rate of knots. With its ‘Bum Fluff Brigade’ and ‘Not for girls!’ slogans, some naysayers may consider it to be a little immature, but as a fan of tongue-in-cheek humour, I’m rather fond of The Bluebeards Revenge.

As novices when it comes to wet shaving, we must admit the products have been easy on our skin and a pleasure to use. If you’re a first time wet-shaver, with quite coarse facial hair, you’ll have no nicks, cuts and definitely won’t need an eye patch after use.

On this occasion, luckily, we’ll have to say Bluebeard hasn’t sought revenge, but he has provided us with a smooth chin and a great kit for shaving. It’s definitely worth a look!

Visit www.bluebeards-revenge.co.uk to stock up on a full range of manly grooming product and read more expert tips.