The Grooming Artist News Roundup: February 2016

News-Roundup-Feb-2016

With the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day falling within a week of one another, you’ve got a lot to plan and prep these next two weeks! We’re coming to the rescue with Food & Wine’s resource of delicious and perfectly presentable Super Bowl foods, as well as a thoughtful guide for what to buy your lady for Valentine’s Day (that doesn’t involve the predictable).

We’ve also rounded up the latest in wet shaving news and techniques, from an intense barber showdown in England to our guide to a good neck shave.

Enjoy!

The (British) equivalent of the Olympics of barbering is heating up – barber Allan Stone of South Shields will go head to head with 14 other shaving professionals in March for the title of North East Best Wet Shaving Barber, and a place in the nationals. (Shields Gazette)

We tackled one of the hardest places to shave – the neck – by breaking it down into bite-sized steps. See part one here and part two here. (The Grooming Artist)

Wet shaving ties you into a long, esteemed tradition with its most famous roots in England. Here’s the history behind the Oldest Barbershop in the World, Truefitt & Hill. (The Grooming Artist)

Good food sets the tone for a party. Here’s Food & Wine’s recipe headquarters for fried, greasy Game Day favorites. (Food & Wine)

Just in time for Valentine’s Day: how to cure bad breath once and for all. (GQ)

Let’s do one better than running to CVS the night before Valentine’s Day to buy your significant other whatever’s left on the shelves. Win her heart and show her you made an effort with these fabulous suggestions for Valentine’s Day gifts. (Esquire)

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Our 5 Favorite Men’s Style and Grooming Blogs

There are many facets to a sharp, well-groomed gentleman. While we cover wet shaving and style here on The Grooming Artist, there are a number of worthy men’s blogs out there that we keep tabs on for the latest in fashion, etiquette, and lifestyle.

Here, we pick our five favorite men’s blogs of the moment. We hope you find a new favorite for yourself!

Enjoy!

Distilled Man

The Distilled Man

Website: thedistilledman.com

The Distilled Man is dedicated to fostering the modern-day gentleman. Kyle Ingham, founder of the blog, writes in his mission statement, “these days, a lot of guys grow up without many of the classic skills their fathers and grandfathers had.” We visit the blog for easy-to-apply advice on everything from how to increase your motivation to exercise to how to become an upstanding man that others look up to. There are also fun (and very useful) posts like ‘7 Habits of a Successful Bar Crawl’ and ‘How to Make Small Talk Without Feeling Small.’

Mr Porter

Mr Porter The Journal

Website: mrporter.com/journal

When it comes to luxury fashion and style advice, Mr Porter The Journal, published weekly, is indispensable. The Journal showcases the makers behind emerging and established brands, takes you behind the scenes of fashion trendsetters via day-in-the-life editorials, and of course, offers up tons of style cues. If you’re looking for high-fashion menswear news, make this website a regular visit.

He Spoke Style

He Spoke Style

Website: hespokestyle.com

If we gain style inspiration from Mr Porter, then we discover its real-life application via He Spoke Style. Created in 2013 by Brian Sacawa to “provide practical style advice, and to offer approachable, honest and relatable content for regular guys interested in menswear,” He Spoke Style offers a minimalist approach to style, grooming, and travel.

Sacawa is an expert at teaching you how to mix, match, and tailor the pieces you’ve got to get the most mileage out of them. Just visit the neatly organized Style Guide for every piece he owns styled into an outfit (and remixed several different ways). Outfit profiles always come with a spoonful of advice, whether it’s the history behind a piece or how to tie the look together.

One particular feature we like is the Advice page, where Sacawa answers readers’ questions.

Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness

Website: artofmanliness.com

With a book, nearly a million followers on Facebook, and a bevy of specialized contributors, The Art of Manliness is the juggernaut of men’s lifestyle blogs. In fact, we would argue that The Art of Manliness is far more than just a style or grooming blog; it’s an all-encompassing guide that uncovers the lost art of being a man.

Founded by Brett and Kate McKay in 2008, The Art of Manliness teaches you how to be a well-rounded man. Articles are a mix of vintage fascination (‘5 Types of Drivers: A Dossier from a 1955 Driver’s Ed Manual’) and modern-day know-how (‘The Minimal Wardrobe: How to Choose a Swiss Army Overcoat’).

The site is pulled together with a nostalgic design and Old World illustrations.

The Sharpologist

Sharpologist

Website: sharpologist.com

Mantic 59’s approach to shaving is nearly surgical, making his reviews and recommendations so rich with detail they’re worthy of a textbook for novice and veteran wet shavers alike. We rely on the blog’s honest, thorough approach to wet shaving, and appreciate Mantic 59’s insightful tips, accumulated through years of practicing the art.

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The History of Wet Shaving: Truefitt & Hill

hr_423-003_truefitt-and-hill-shaving-cream-tub

If you’re a wet shaver, you’ve probably been indoctrinated in the three Ts of traditional wet shaving: Taylor of Old Bond Street, Trumper, and Truefitt & Hill. All three brands are based in Britain and are even located in the same shopping district. Preserving the nostalgic elements of wet shaving, these brands are considered to be the best in the world.

At RoyalShave we understand that one of the wonderful things about practicing wet shaving is that it links us with a rich historical past. It’s a legacy that we carry on every time we start whipping up a lather, or put a razor to our face. As such, today we will be taking you back in time to the rise of the standard-bearing Truefitt & Hill, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the Oldest Barbershop in the World.

Check  back for our next wet shaving history lesson soon!

The Beginning

Up until the early 1800s, British men and women wore powdered wigs. Grooming regimens focused on making these wigs look lavish, a feat usually accomplished at the barbershop. But by about the beginning of the 19th century, barbershops began offering more options for pomades and hair products, allowing the vogue to sway on the side of natural, shorter hair.

In 1805 William Francis Truefitt opened one of the first barbershops in London, quickly becoming known as an exceptional barber who helped Britain’s gentry look equally regal for society events as for everyday. Soon Truefitt received the highly revered Royal Warrant to His Majesty, King George III, becoming the Court Hair Cutter, Court Hair Dresser, and Wigmaker.

An Esteemed Clientale

In additional to serving the Royal Family, Truefitt boasted as his clientele some of the most notable figures of the time – according to the Truefitt & Hill website, “glancing at Truefitt’s appointment books is like reading entries from a ‘Who’s Who’ of distinguished society and names of those who shaped the history of the world…”

Among these famous patrons was Sir Winston Churchill and William Gladstone, the Duke of Wellington, as well as entertainment figures like Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, and Fred Astaire.

In 1935 Truefitt acquired the hairdressing business of Edwin S. Hill & Co., moving into Edwin Hill’s old space at 23 Old Bond Street and becoming the Truefitt & Hill we know today.

Long-Running Royal Ties

Since the brand’s inception, it has served the Monarchs of Great Britain for nine consecutive reigns, and to this day Truefitt’s barbers visit the Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle to attend to the Royal Family.

Find out more about Truefitt & Hill on their website, and shop Truefitt & Hill at RoyalShave.

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How to Shave Your Neck with Minimal Discomfort, Part 2

Relaxed young man with shaving cream on his face and ready to get his beard shaved

Welcome to Part 2 of How to Shave Your Neck with Minimal Discomfort! Today we will be focusing on tricks to get the smoothest, closest shave possible while minimizing irritation in this extremely sensitive area.

Try them out, let us know which tricks work for you, and tell us what your own techniques are for conquering the neck shave!

Also, remember to check out Part 1 here.

Let shaving soap or cream sit on your neck before you shave

You’ll notice a big difference between shaving your neck immediately upon application of shaving cream/soap vs. shaving your neck last, after the lubricant has had a chance to absorb into follicles and soften them. Once moisturized, your facial hair should be easier to cut (and you should experience less irritation).

Flatten your neck skin

Lean forward and tilt your head back slightly to stretch out the skin on your neck. To cover the areas right underneath your jaw, tilt your head down and flatten your jawline.

Don’t put pressure on the razor

The skin on your neck is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on your face, so resist the urge to press down hard to shear more hair. Instead, opt for short strokes and a shallow angle. Shave across the grain – don’t go against the grain in such a sensitive area – and do a second pass across the grain if stubble is still showing.

It’s normal to have leftover stubble after the second pass – but for your skin’s sake, we suggest you make peace with that tiny amount of shadow and avoid a third pass.

Finish up by toning and moisturizing

Rinse your neck with warm water, then cool water. Follow with aftershave/toner.

Toner cleans up all the remaining gunk on your face – extra lather, dead skin – while disinfecting so you don’t end up with clogged pores and razor bumps. Choose from toner or witch hazel to sanitize your skin post-shave – you can also try an aftershave like Prospector Co. KC Atwood Aftershave Splash, which has witch hazel built right in.

Seal the deal with an aftershave balm like Brickell Instant Relief After Shave to soothe skin and create an emollient barrier between you and the elements. When the weather is extra dry and chilly, we also suggest layering a moisturizer on top to prevent scaliness (Triumph & Disaster Gameface Moisturizer Tube is a customer favorite).

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