• 10 Ways To Improve Your Shaving Technique

    Posted by Patrick Levesque
    It seems everyone is always on the quest for the perfect shave - after all, a great shave really affects your overall look and also the way you feel. When you have a great shave, you're that much more ready to take on the world. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but you know what I mean - a great shave is important!

    With this in mind, I thought I'd share 10 Tips To Improve Your Shaving Technique that I incorporate into my own personal grooming routine. Everyone's skin and facial hair is different, but there are certain things you can do across the board to improve your shave. Let's get to them, shall we?

    10. Shave In The Shower

    If possible, shaving in the shower is a great way to get a better shave because the hot water and steam will help to relax your face, open up your pores, and softens up your whiskers. This will make for a closer, less irritating shave. If you're like me and require a mirror to shave, then just make sure you get a mirror for your shower. Simple as that! 
    Shaving in the shower also helps save time in your morning routine. Rather than showering, then getting set up at the sink for your shave, you're combining the steps and being more efficient. 

    9. Scrub Before You Shave 
    For some reason, some people have told me that they thought you were supposed to scrub after you shave - the thought of doing that makes my blood go cold! Taking a blade to your face is harsh enough - you don't need to go rubbing it with an exfoliant afterwards! 

    It's scrubbing before the shave that matters. Just like with shaving in the shower, this is going to prepare your face for the best possible shave. By using a scrub, you are getting rid of dead skin cells and excess oil and dirt that can clog your razor. You are also loosening up the beard hairs and whiskers so they're ready to go when you're ready to shave. 

    Regardless of shaving, you want to use a scrub a few times a week anyway to keep your skin looking fresh a radiant, as opposed to dull. Scrubbing before you shave just happens to be the best time to do it and an easy way to remember to exfoliate every few days. When you use a scrub, this can replace your cleanser step as you will also be cleansing your face at the same time. One of my favourite scrubs right now is the Urth Face Scrub, but there are also several others to choose from as well. 

    8. Shave With The Grain

    You may or may not already know this, but you should shave with the grain to avoid irritation and ingrown hairs. For me, I then make a second pass against the grain, then follow up with a third with the grain again. I find this allows me to get the closest shave possible, while not angering the hairs on my face. 
    Ingrown hairs are the worst, but I find I barely ever get them anymore with the incorporation of techniques such as these into my routine. 

    7. Use A Good Quality Razor, That Is Not Dull

    There are so many razors on the market this days ranging from one blade to twenty. Well, maybe not twenty, but the numbers seem to keep increasing. I believe that the Mach 3s are still the best and anything more than the three blades on this razor is too much. Mach 3s provide a great shave, every time and you can keep them sharp by ensure that it's clean after every use. 

    One of the biggest complaints we hear these days is how expensive blades are (including Mach 3s). Well, you should know that you can prolong the life of your blades (even disposables) by using the RazorPit  razor sharpener. It actually does work and I find I don't need to change my blade for three months at a time! Insane right? 

    In addition to Mach 3s, Safety Razors (going back to the Old School) are one of the best ways to get a good shave without being too harsh on your face. You also save a lot of money on blades because these blades are very inexpensive. With Safety Razors, you have to take a bit more time with your shave and practice makes perfect, but the people that shave with these swear by it. Many people who suffer from ingrown hairs and razor burn have switched to Safety Razors for this reason and no longer have the same issues. 

    6. Use A Good Quality Shave Cream/Gel

    Using a quality shaving cream can make all the difference. So, if you're using that foamy/airy stuff, you may choose to reconsider. Remember, you're taking a blade to your face so you want to make it as gentle and experience by using a denser shaving cream or gel that is going to hydrate and soothe your skin in the process. 
    Some of my favorites include the Supreme Cream from Jack Black, all of the Geo. F. Trumper Shaving Creams, and Ursa Major Shave Cream to name a few. That being said, there are plenty of other award winning shaving creams and gels to choose from that you may prefer yourself. 

    5. Use A Good After Shave Product

    I don't want to sound like a broken record, but you've just taken a blade to your face so it's important to make sure you soothe & repair afterwards. 

    Think of it like when you work out or play a game of sports. Technically, you should be stretching afterward so that you're in good shape for the next game, right? Well, the same goes for shaving. If you take care of your skin afterward, you're skill will be that much more able to handle your next shave. 

    Of course there are several after shave products to choose from, but my all time favorite has to be the Post Shave Repair from Menscience. It's just a spray, but jam-packed with great ingredients to calm your skin down and help prevent razor burn, ingrown hairs, etc. I love the fact that it comes out almost like a mist because it absorbs very quickly and in a matter of seconds, I'm ready to apply my moisturizer. I also like this because I'm not putting a moisturizer on top of an aftershave lotion. It's just that much lighter, but to each their own. 

    4. Have A Plan For Nicks & Cuts

    Every now and then when you're not paying attention, rushing, or something has thrown your routine off a bit, you get a nick or cut. Ideally, these are few and far between but you want to be equipped and ready just in case it happens.

    A great way to help stop bleeding is with an alum block or styptic pencil. This helps to clot the blood so the boo-boo is minimized. Another personal trick I came up with is using a dab of your clay mask to stop the bleeding and speed healing. It's so much better than using toilet paper and works like a charm. There are several face masks to choose from - a clay one works best. 

    3. Moisturize

    Regardless of shaving, moisturizing is one of the most important parts of your skincare routine. It helps to protect and repair your face and even helps with anti-aging. As previously mentioned, because men take a blade to their faces, it's important to take extra care in between shaves so that your face is fully prepared to handle each and every shave. Your face will thank you and you'll be a much happier camper when you look in the mirror. Moisturizer morning and night, every day! One of my favourite moisturizers is the Vitamin E Face Moisturizer from (MALIN+GOETZ). Again, many other options available as well, including ones with SPF. 

    2. Take Your Time 

    This seems like a no-brainer, but this is where things can go back and where you'll get the nicks and cuts if you rush. Give yourself ample time to shave so that you are ensuring that you are careful and not aggressive. 
    If you think you are going to be rushed in the morning, shave the night before so that you don't have to rush as much in the AM. You might rush eating your breakfast or eat it on the go, but shaving is certainly something you don't want to speed up too much. 

    1. Give Your Face A Break

    Lastly, give your face a break. If you don't have to shave on the weekends, don't. Your skin deserves a break every now and then. You'll notice the difference after letting your skin rest between shaves longer than normal. Your first shave "back" will leave your skin feeling amazing. Personally, I try to give myself a break whenever possible. 

    Hopefully, these tips and suggestions will help you improve and enjoy your shaves that much more. Happy shaving, gentlemen! 
  • How To Use A Safety Razor

    Posted by Patrick Levesque

    In the above video, Patrick talks to you about safety razors and why they're better... The finest German workmanship and the best combination of features come together to create these must-have heavy duty razor. Below are some tips on shaving with a safety razor:

    The secret to getting better results from using a double edged safety razor is to take the time to learn the proper technique and develop the skills necessary skills to use this kind of razor. Here are some helpful hints. 

    Be Habitual

    Make it habit to change your blade once a week, on a set day, so that it becomes part of your shaving routine. A quality double-edged blade will provide about a week’s worth of good shaves. 

    Easy Does It 

    Don’t apply too much pressure! Allow the weight of the razor to exert the pressure. Glide the blade along the skin without adding any pressure. If you push too hard, the result is razor burn as you remove the top layer of skin cells, if
    not more. 

    Be Strong

    Hold the razor firmly and direct it where you want it to go. Some shavers favor short strokes, others prefer long sweeping strokes. Which is right for you will depend largely on your particular beard conditions. Generally speaking, the coarser or thicker the beard, the shorter the stroke should be. A very fine or sparse beard will present less
    resistance to the razor and permit a long, smooth stroke. 

    Wrong Angle Will Lead To Mangle

    Keep your blade at a 30 degree angle alongside the skin with each stroke - Of course with the many angles of your face it will not always be possible, this angle is the ideal angle the blade should be when you can. By adjusting the razor handle (raising or lowering) you will be able to better realize this angle and this is especially important when following the outlines of your face, including the jawline and chin. People find that short, brief strokes work best. 

    First Contact

    The majority of nicks occur when the blade first makes contact. . Prevent this from happening by bring the safety bar in contact with the skin first, then adjust the razor handle until you achieve the 30 degree angle. Once you’ve done this, go ahead and begin your stroke. With experience and practice, this won’t be necessary. 

    Stretch It Out

    Keep your skin as taut as possible so that the blade moves more easily across your face. Tightening of skin can be achieved by flexing facial muscles (tightening upper lip, for example), or manually tightening the skin by pulling it in the opposite direction of the razor. 

    Go slow!

    The best shave (close AND comfortable) comes with being patient. You need to shave repeatedly to get in order to get faster at it. It’s just like typing - you have to practise to get better at it. Once you have your technique down, it should take you 5-10 minutes to shave. 

  • Shaving Creams & Gels: What's The Difference?

    Posted by Patrick Levesque
    A few weeks ago, Jamie and Patrick were on CTV Morning Live to talk about the difference a quality shaving cream or gel can make and the various options that are available today. Each brand/product has its own unique qualities and benefits. 
    One of the brands that was discussed was Geo F. Trumper. This shaving cream is very dense and generates a very good lather. As a result, a little goes a long way and it lasts you a long time. A dense shaving cream such as this is particularly beneficial when you're using a safety razor. You really want to make sure your face is protected as those blades are quite sharp. There are various scents to choose from so you can either find the one you love best, or switch it up every now and then. Another brand that was featured was eShave. Although a different consistency, its the same where a little goes a long way and again, various scents to choose from. Both of these creams work very well with a brush because they generate a great lather and are available in jars. Another great cream that was discussed was Urth Shave Formula, but you can check out a vast selection of shaving creams here. 
    Another cream discussed was in a category of its own and that's the Shavestick from Menskin. Yes, this is shaving cream on a stick and it works really well. Applying the stick to a wet face starts the lather on contact. It's great for someone who travels because it's small, compact, and fast. 
    There are creams that don't lather which some might prefer - especially if you have sensitive skin. Menscience Advanced Shave Formulaand (Malin+Goetz) Vitamin E Shaving Cream are two examples. 
    Moving on from creams, shaving gels were also discussed. This is a shaving product that goes on relatively clear (no lather) so you can see where you are shaving. This is particularly beneficial to people who like to keep a bit of facial hair. That way they can see where they've shaved and maintain lines with more ease. Popular shaving gels include Jack Black Beard Lube, Recipe For Men Clear Shaving Gel, and Anthony Logistics Shave Gel just to name a few. 
    Check out all things shaving here
  • How To Get The Best Shave

    Posted by Jamie Beuthin

    1. Shave in the shower 

    The shower creates the ideal environment for the best possible shave - the heat from the water opens up the pores, and softens your facial hair so that the hair is cut more easily. Think about it - if your stubble is hard, the blade will have to work that much harder in order to cut the hair. 

    2. Prepare your skin for shaving with a scrub and/or pre shave oil 

    Preparation is a huge part in getting the best shave. I am a big advocate of using a face scrub/exfoliant right before you shave. A scrub will prepare the surface of your skin for shaving by removing dead skin cells and loosening facial that may be trapped under the skin, with a smoother surface for the blade to glide across, you'll get a closer shave with less irritation. If you shave every day, don't use the scrub every day too. 3-4 times a week is sufficient. On the days you don't use the scrub, you can always try using a pre-shave oil which will provide extra glide (this equates to less friction and therefore less irritation). The pre shave oil will also have the added benefit of softening stubble so that the blade cuts it with less effort so there is essentially less "drag". If you have particularly dense or coarse beard hair you may want to consider using a pre shave oil every time you shave for the added benefits that this product will provide. 

    3. Use a better quality shave cream 

    Not all shaving creams are created equal, and using a better quality shaving cream can make the world of difference in the quality of your shaving experience. Opt for a more dense cream or gel, that provides a protective, cushioning barrier between the blade and your skin. If you have a goatee or mustache, you may want to consider using a foamless, transparent gel so that you can get a more precise cut line because you can see where the blade is passing over on your face. Also bear in mind that although the ticket price for a better shaving cream may be higher than a cheap one, in most cases you'll get a lot more shaves out of a tube or jar of the better stuff, so the cost difference in the long run is minimal or even works out to be better. 

    4. Always shave with a sharp blade 

    It's pretty much a no brainer that if your razor blade is dull you are going to run into a host of shaving issues. Using sharp blade every time will give you a better shave. You're probably thinking to yourself, but blades are so expensive, I can't afford to use a new blade every time, which is what I feel I'd need to do in order to use a sharp blade every time. Well the good news is that you have options. If you want to stick with a cartridge razor like Gillette, Schick, etc (My blade of choice is the Mach 3), you can actually sharpen your own blades with aRazorpit. The Razorpit basically removes oil, dirt, hair and other residues on the edge of your blade that running it under water cannot remove. It's a wise investment that will pay itself off very quickly. Sometimes the simplest things can be the most effective. If you're feeling adventurous and maybe a bit nostalgic you can try your hand at using a traditional safety razor - this is what your grandfather would have used. It's a sharp, single blade that with the right technique can deliver one of the best shaves. The cost of the blades for this type of razor is very affordable too, so the initial investment in the hardware will pay itself off quickly too. You can't really rush a shave with a safety razor so if you're the kind of guy that shaves in a minute because you're late for work, it's probably best to stick with a cartridge razor. 

    5. Use an aftershave 

    No matter which way you slice it (pun intended), at the end of the day you are taking a blade to the surface of you skin, and it's going to have somewhat of a stressful impact on your face. If you're doing everything right (see above), then that impact should be minimized, but I believe it's essential to treat your skin post-shave with a product that hydrates and soothes. There are lots of options - balms, gels, creams, even aftershave sprays. Experiment with what works best for you. Generally speaking its best to opt for an alcohol free aftershave unless you want an extra kick after your shave, but the alcohol can be drying so beware.
  • How To Treat Razor Cuts & Nicks

    Posted by Patrick Levesque

    Considering how often we shave, you're bound to run into a few cuts and nicks now and then - hopefully this isn't the norm for you though. Before I get into how to treat them when you do run into them, I'd like to ensure you're doing what you can to prevent getting them in the first place:

    1. Use quality shaving cream. Using an "airy" shaving cream that does little in terms of protecting your face will do just that - do very little to protect your face. Quality shaving cream = a quality shave.
    2. Ensure you aren't using a dull blade. Shaving with a dull blade is extremely abrasive on your skin and guaranteed to cause bleeding. 
    3. Be patient. If you start carelessly rushing through your shaving process, you obviously increase the chances of accidentally cutting yourself. Be careful! 
    There are other steps you can take in prevention, but those are a few of the key things to keep in mind for now. With that covered, if you do happen to run into a nick or cut, what do you do?

    Of course everyone knows the toilet paper method. Put a tiny piece of toilet paper where the nick or cut is and wait until the bleeding has stopped before your remove it. The problem with this is that often time, when you remove the toilet paper, it tears the would open again and the bleeding starts again. 

    Another way you can treat bleeding is with a styptic pencil. By applying this to the nick or cut, it helps to stop the bleeding. If you don't have one, you can try using an ice cube to the cut to help stop the bleeding. 
    Personally, my favorite way to treat nicks and cuts is by applying a small amount of a clay mask to the area. Once it has dried off, I rinse with cool water and it's as if nothing ever happened! The Menscience Facial Cleansing Mask has long been my go-to for this.  

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