Thursday, April 23, 2015

An idiots guide to shaving

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the Man Made salon in central London to meet with the lovely folk from Cornerstone, a fairly new shaving subscription service and sample some of their products. 

While I have tried the kit I received as a sample once (and I have to say, was impressed), I do want to try it out a few times before giving a firm view on whether I would recommend it (all of the signs so far are positive) so keep a beady eye out for that one coming up. What struck me however when talking with the founder of the company, Oliver was his passion for the products and for shaving in general. When we first sat down and I asked the very simple question, “why”, the response resonated with me. 

What was the response? Dad’s, you’re all pretty bobbins at actually teaching your sons to shave properly (I’m paraphrasing here). It resonated so much that I tried to remember if my own dad had taken me to one side and suggested any tips to avoid shaving becoming a pain in the neck (literally). Nothing, squat, zip diddly - there was no father/son bonding moment over a razor blade as the thirteen year old me removed the first semblance of bum fluff from my face.

That lack of knowledge has resulted in me shaving like an amateur (and suffering) for well over twenty years. While writing this blog has opened my eyes (and pores) to new techniques and products, I felt compelled to share with you the Cornerstone six steps to a smooth, comfortable shave (and this acts as a rather nice warm up to my actual review of the products I used).

These tips have been taken directly from the amazing shaving guide I received and after following each step to the letter I have to say it made a big difference to my shaving experience - so why not share? Why not indeed.

Step One 

Before shaving take a warm shower to open up the pores in your face and soften the stubble. By doing this it should make it easier for your razor to cut each hair, giving a closer and more comfortable shave.

Step Two

Gently exfoliate your neck and beard area. By using an exfoliator with beads or grit like grains in a circular motion you can free an ingrown hairs and wash away any grime from the pores. This should leave a smoother surface for the razor to pass over and in theory reduce any cuts.

Step Three

Apply a shaving cream or gel of choice - from my experience, using a low lather gel or cream results in a better shave as the razor glides better over the face and doesn’t clog as much leaving stripes that require further attention.

Step Four

Make sure you have a fresh, sharp razor. There is no point following these steps if you are going to attempt to shave using a razor that has all of the sharpness of a blunt butter knife. The sharper the blade, the fewer passes of the beard area that are required.

Step Five

When shaving don’t press too hard and avoid shaving against the direction of hair growth. Going against the direction of growth results in hairs being cut at differing lengths, encourages ingrown hairs and that my readers is the main cause of the redness and itchy feeling.

Step Six

Rinse off any remaining shaving gel or cream with cold water. Not only does this spank you wide awake but it also serves to close the pores. Using a post shave balm, cream or serum is a crucial step, it helps to replenish your skin’s natural moisture and keep any skin irritation at bay.

There you go, six simple steps that have changed the way I shave. Yes, it takes longer to shave, but those extra minutes remove any danger of razor burn, I didn’t cut my face to ribbons and not a jot of irritation. For this I am truly thankful!

Choose your products carefully, chop and change to find what suits you personally and your own skin type, but if you follow this great guidance from Cornerstone then in my opinion you can’t go wrong.

Why not take a look at the Cornerstone website here and see if they can help you like they have helped me.

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