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A Manlier Shave

Shaving in this modern day and age has lost what I consider to be something special, something historically eloquent.
Today it is all very industrialised – we buy a new plastic razor with amount of blades and perhaps some vibration gizmo every couple of weeks, and the same for some foam which we shoot out of a can.

Perhaps I am a little old fashioned, but I enjoy the little quirks of taking some time over it and enjoying it.  Shaving should be something you can do and relax.  So for the past 5 years or so I’ve used practically the same tools – a high quality safety razor, a shaving brush, a wooden mixing bowl and shaving cream.

I’ve got really sensitive skin, so I’ve got to be quite careful with what I use cream-wise.  Well here’s my current setup for those who are interested.


The Razor

adjustable safety razor
This is the  from Merkur.  You really have to feel this razor to understand why it is something special.  It has a significant weight to it and feels perfectly balanced in the hand.  The metal is smooth to the touch and due to its weight it effortlessly glides down one’s face.

I’ve had mine for around 5 years now and there’s no sign that I’m going to need another one anytime soon.

The Futur razor pops up off from the top. Although this is quite expensive for a razor, as I said, the use you will get out of them is pretty phenomenal and the shave, which I haven’t even mentioned yet, is really very good, and what is a plus (and necessity, at least I think so) is that the single razor blade allows a precise line to be cut which is obviously very important for sideburns and edges of beards etc.  Okay, so that’s that for the razor.



The Cream

As I said above, I have very sensitive skin and so have looked pretty much everywhere for a shaving cream which doesn’t destroy my face. I’ve found the Liz Earle’s sensitive shave cream from her Men’s Skincare range (which includes other awesome products too).  Not really too much to say about this really but that it does the job and does it really well.  I should also note it’s used in conjunction with a shaving brush.

The Shaving Brush

I have a pretty standard brush, from the Men-u range, nothing too fancy but it seems to have worked smoothly apart from a hair or two falling out once in a while.  The brush is used to create the lather from the cream and also to raise the beard to allow water to be absorbed with more ease.

There are various degrees of bristle.  Badger is often the most expensive, having just the right softness and rigidity  however the one I have is fine and I see no immediate need to spend more money than I need to.


The Bowl

Before I had a bowl I was making the lather in my hand, which is fine but it’s not the same as making it in a bowl.

With your hand it ends up going everywhere and being messy whereas with a bowl it is all contained and you can really control it.  I have a teak bowl which used to have coconut soap in it (which brought me up in a rash) so I just got rid of the soap and use it as a bowl with the cream added when needed.



I’m not totally sure why moisturiser gets such bad rep for guys, but I’d rather my face wasn’t crumbling away, and I think my girlfriend would agree.  For shaving it’s as important as the shave as far as I’m concerned.  Once you’ve shaved it is very important to get protection and to get the good stuff back in there since you’ve just cut it from your face.

Again, I’ve had a hard time finding one which doesn’t burn my face further.  These two are the only ones I have found which seem to do the job for me.  The Liz Earle one is the better of the two – I find I only have to apply it once, twice at most, whereas the Simple moisturiser I have to apply at least two or three times each day (I have very dry skin).

I really cannot sing it’s praise enough, it just works wonders – it’s absorbed quickly and you feel like it really has gone in and is continually moisuturising.  Really worth it if you are having trouble finding something that will work for you.

The other option I’ve found is the Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light moisturiser which is much cheaper and similarly doesn’t have any bad side effects.  It’s good for moisturising but the effects could last longer.


Well that’s what I use to shave anyway, I hope you found it interesting/helpful!

Do share your thoughts!

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