The 2015 Badger & Blade Award Winners

RoyalShave

It’s the end of the year, a time when all those “best of” lists start rolling out. One list in particular that many of us in the wet shaving community look forward to is Badger & Blade’s 2015 Award Winners.

Since 2005, Badger & Blade has been a trusted resource for novice and advanced wet shavers alike. Over the years, Badger & Blade has put a lot of products through the wringer, subjecting them to intense critical feedback via the forums. So we trust the Badger & Blade folks to discern items that are truly exceptional.

Badger & Blade started a tradition last year of handing out awards to their best products. While the focus is on wet shaving, we like how the categories hit all matter of artisanally crafted, distinctive goods, including leather goods, Whisky (New Year’s Eve is tomorrow, after all), and shoes. While not every item is affordably priced (the loafers will put a $680 dent in your wallet), there are some great suggestions to pass along to your significant other for that next big gifting holiday.

The list is below; RoyalShave is proud to carry many of the shaving products mentioned.

Since taste is personal, we have this question for our readers: do you agree with the award winners in each category? What would your picks be if you were to make a similar list?

1. Straight Razor: Feather Artist Club

2. Leather Goods: Maxwell Scott

3. Digestif: Underberg

4. Best Fragrance: Imaginary Authors: Memoirs of a Trespasser

5. Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo Party Loafers

6. DE Razor: PILS

Get yours at RoyalShave here.

7. Shaving Cream: Castle Forbes

Get yours at RoyalShave here.

8. Travel Accessory: Czech & Speake Traveler Cologne Collection

Get the full-size aftershave at RoyalShave here.

9. Mentionable Unmentionables: MeUndies and Smartwool Socks

10. Aftershave: Floid

Get yours at RoyalShave here.

11. Whisky: Yamazaki 18

12. Shaving Brush Over $150: Pearlescent Grey Plisson No. 12, High Mountain White

13. Shaving Soap: Klar

Get yours at RoyalShave here.

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How to Shave Your Neck with Minimal Discomfort, Part 1

Hispanic man getting his beard shaved in a barber shop

The neck is tricky, and many wet shavers will tell you it’s their most troublesome spot to shave. Get too close and you end up with nicks, cuts, ingrown hairs, and razor burn; don’t get close enough and you don’t get a good shave.

To help you successfully navigate this unique terrain, we’ve put together a guide to shaving your neck with minimal irritation. Check back for Part 2 soon!

Determine your hair growth patterns

Hair grain – the direction your hairs grow in – doesn’t always go the same direction on your face and neck. Because shaving with the grain gives you the most irritation-free results, it’s a good idea to map your hair grain first so you know what you’re dealing with. Grow your facial hair out for a day or two, then use your finger to stroke your hair in different directions to determine hair growth patterns.

Use a hair grain map like this one to record everything, and keep the map with you when you shave.

Practice proper prep

Even before you start whipping up your shaving lather, you should prime your skin. The skin on your neck is thinner and thereby more sensitive than that on your face, so you must take extra precaution.

We recommend doing the following right out of the shower, when skin is most soft and pores are open:

Start by exfoliating your face with a gentle scrub like Triumph & Disaster Rock & Roll Suicide Face Scrub, which will remove excess debris, sebum, and blackheads that can leave skin bumpy and irritated. A scrub is particularly effective for those with ingrown hairs.

If you don’t have a facial scrub available to you, you can also scrub your neck with a warm, wet cloth. Or just wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser, like Baxter of California Daily Face Wash. The key is to get your neck clean without removing protective natural oils.

Try pre-shave oil

A pre-shave oil is not an absolute necessity, but it is worth a try. Oils penetrate more deeply and faster into skin than soaps, lotions, and creams, so they can really drill in moisturizing ingredients. Truefitt and Hill Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil is well-loved by our customers for its ability to reduce razor bumps.

Apply pre-shave oil after washing your face and before applying shaving cream.

Use cold water

Typically when you think of a luxurious wet shave, warm water is a given. But there are plenty of wet shavers who believe that cold water does the trick for an irritation-free neck shave. There are two ways to go about this: Warm water prep + cold water shave or cold water prep + cold water shave.

The idea is that warm water brings nerve endings closer to the skin’s surface, causing redness and increasing inflammation.

Use a DE razor with less of the head exposed + a good blade

If you’re a cartridge shaver, consider trying a razor with fewer blades, like a safety razor or straight razor. It will take some time and practice, but once you’ve learned how to maneuver the contours of your face and neck your skin will thank you for it. A single blade will always mean less irritation and/or ingrown hairs.

If you are currently a safety razor shaver, any DE razor with less of the blade exposed will be gentler on skin. Adjustable DE razors allow you to adjust the razor for a more aggressive or milder shave – dial up on your face; down on your neck.

Some have also had success with slant bar razors, which cut hair at an angle rather than straight on (like the Merkur 37C HD Slant Safety Razor).

Finally, pairing the right razor with a super sharp blade, like those from Feather, gets you an efficient cut the first time around.

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Congratulations to the RoyalShave Movember Giveaway Winners!

Movember-Giveaway

After a month-long friendly competition amongst bearded and moustached men across the states, we’ve finally chosen our winners for the RoyalShave Movember Giveaway!

The envelope, please…

Natural – Dean Wankel (Facebook)

Dean Wankle

Styled # 1 – Jeff Bittner (Facebook)

Jeff Bittner Styled

Styled # 2 – Matthew Sketch (Facebook)

Matthew Sketch

Freestyle – Brian Warneck (Instagram)

beardremoval

Each winner will receive a men’s grooming care package worth over $200!

In addition, RoyalShave pledged to donate $5 for each individual participant, so will be donating $115 to the Movember Foundation thanks to all the entries we received!

Thank you to all who took the time to enter our giveaway in support of men’s health!

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The Grooming Artist News Roundup: December 2015

December-2015

As we approach the end of the year, we look forward to spending time with family, taking a break, and maybe getting the perfect holiday gift under the Christmas tree. So for this December edition of The Grooming Artist News Roundup, we’ve scoured the web for interesting places to visit, some even from the comfort of your own home (read on for details).

We’ve also included our wet shaving gift guide for luxurious Christmas presents, and news from the beard and moustache front that’s sure to bring a smile to your face.

All of us at RoyalShave appreciate your continued support over the years, and we hope you have a very merry holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

The Stache Shield, a moustache shield, is now fully funded on Kickstarter and we’re not sure if it’s genius or just plain odd. (Details)

Beards are now getting in on the holiday spirit as more and more men deck theirs out in glitter (really). (Today)

Many of us visit theme parks this time of year. This theme park in Wales is powered entirely by solar energy and people. (Mashable)

The Grooming Artist Wet Shaving Holiday Gift Guide is out – encourage your significant other to take notes. (The Grooming Artist)

For new wet shavers and veterans alike, The Manliness Kit’s guide to getting the best out of your shaving brush is a must read. (The Manliness Kit)

In case your schedule doesn’t allow for a holiday break, you can still visit distant sites from the comfort of your home. Google Street view now allows you explore the ruins of Petra, Jordan. (The Verge)

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