Grooming Artist News Roundup: September 2017

Autumn heralds a bounteous season for gentlemanly pursuits. The casual shorts and breezy shirts of summer are replaced by a noticeably more grown-up and structured wardrobe. We switch out our zesty shaving creams for something richer, darker, smokier (more on that in the links below). As such, this Grooming Artist Roundup is dedicated to celebrating the new season.

We begin with the unofficial start of fall: Labor Day. Esquire provides a stress-free Labor Day weekend packing list so you can spend your last summer days in style, while Food Network dishes out simple standby recipes for the grill.

Once the leaves change color and you feel that first chill in the air, it’s time to work hydrating moisturizers into your daily routine; Esquire picks 6 options to prevent chapped skin. You also can’t be without a blazer, one of the biggest trends we saw on the fall runways. MR PORTER serves up 6 options along with styling tips.

And finally, we’ve included some wonderful wet shaving articles. Sharpologist condenses his encyclopedic knowledge of wet shaving into “10 Commandments of Wet Shaving,” while Men’s Journal picks 14 all-natural shaving creams to try if you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to enjoy your shave.


Turns out, there is a good use for foam shaving cream: removing makeup stains from clothing, according to Kim Kardashian. (This Is Insider)

Men’s Journal’s 14 best all-natural shaving products. (Men’s Journal)

The 6 best shaving creams for fall. (Grooming Artist)

The 10 Commandments of Wet Shaving, via Sharpologist. (Grooming Artist)

One man’s journey to discovering and embracing the safety razor. (The Z Review)

8 ways to wear a blazer, just in time for fall. (MR PORTER)

Transition your skincare into cooler weather with these 6 Esquire-approved moisturizers. (Esquire)

Out of town for the long weekend? Here’s what to pack for Labor Day style. (Esquire)

Spending the holiday at home instead? Here are 30 cookout classics. (Food Network)

Sharpologist: 10 Commandments of Wet Shaving

Think about when you first started wet shaving. You had to figure out which type of blade suited your skin and beard best, how to hold the razor so as to not apply too much pressure, and countless other details that, when mastered, produced the kind of shave that reminded you why you left your cartridge. While there is much helpful information online, it can be a lot to sort through and absorb when you’re just getting started.

Sometimes it’s more effective to have an easy-to-reference guide that gets to the point, especially if you’re just about to embark on a shave. That’s why we wanted to share Sharpologist’s “10 Commandments of Wet Shaving.” For those new to wet shaving, take these tips in stride to better your shave. For veterans, let these commandments remind you of proper form.

And keep in mind that as with any wet shaving advice, YMMV (your mileage may vary). The last commandment reprimands alcohol-based aftershaves, but if your D.R. Harris Aftershave Splash is the only product that’ll reduce redness and acne post-shave, keep at it.


Via Sharpologist:

  1. Thou Shalt Prepare Thyself Properly

Thoroughly anoint thyself with a gentle facial cleanser and warm water, for cleanliness is next to shaveliness.


  1. Thou Shalt Use As Few Blades As Necessary

For more shall tempt the demons of irritation.


  1. Thou Shalt Use A Sharp Blade

Those same demons of irritation shalt seek another way to tempt those who are overly parsimonious.


  1. Remember To Honor Thy Grain

Knoweth the directions thy stubble grow in.  For knowing thyself is the key to happiness.  But neither shall thou be a slave to it’s mercy, by wielding the correct tool and the correct ways.


  1. Thou Shalt Reduce Thy Stubble

For the attempt to eliminate it completely and forever shall surely fail.


  1. Thou Shalt Not Overly Stretch Thy Skin

Flattening thy skin shall be rewarded; dramatic stretching is a sign of the disbeliever.


  1. Thou Shalt Use The Lightest Possible Touch

For pressure begets depression, which in-turn begets another temptation of the demons of irritation.


  1. Thou Shalt Take Thy Strokes Modestly

Remember to honor thy shave by taking short strokes, for long strokes shall forsaken it.


  1. Thou Shalt Take Thy Time

For impatience will surely tempt thee to take the Lord’s name in vain.


  1. Thou Shalt Not Use Alcohol In Thou’s After Shave Preparation

For such a shaving mélange will do thou no good in the fullness of time.

6 Best Shaving Cream Scents for Fall

Scent is indelibly tied to memory. Perhaps, come autumn, a whiff of tobacco smoke reminds you of your granddad smoking his cigar pipe in his library, or the scent of sandalwood takes you back to crisp autumn hikes with friends during your youth. As the weather cools down and we try our best to get warm, we gravitate towards these familiar smells, and many of us switch our cologne from the light, zesty scents of spring and summer to something headier. It’s also possible to capture scent memories – while making your wet shaving ritual feel ever so seasonal – with a fall shaving cream.

The following six shaving creams feature fragrance accords of the darker, richer variety. Think smoky vetiver, earthy patchouli, and hints of leather and aromatic spices. Give them a try along with warm lather from a shaving scuttle for a comforting fall shave.

Simpsons Shaving Cream – Lavender and Vetivert

If fall conjures up scents of smoky firewood, look for vetiver or vertivert (the essential oil of the vetiver plant) in your shaving cream. Simpsons Shaving Cream in Lavender and Vetivert has an earthy base punctuated with woody, smoky top notes and floral, minty undertones.

The glycerin-based formula contains aloe for an irritation-free shave.

SHOP: Simpsons Shaving Cream – Lavender and Vetivert

Kent Luxury Shaving Soap

Kent Luxury Shave Soap features a beautiful fougère fragrance with a base of heady, rich patchouli lifted by extracts of pine, clove, and lavender. The soap’s fragrance finishes with lasting base notes of nutmeg, cedarwood, vanilla, musk, and sandalwood.

Made from natural lanolin sourced from English sheep wool, this shaving soap is decadently creamy, providing your skin with the extra cushion and moisture it needs as the temperatures and humidity dip.

SHOP: Kent Luxury Shaving Soap

Taylor of Old Bond Street Luxury Shaving Cream Bowl – Sandalwood

Reviewers have called Taylor of Old Bond Street Luxury Shaving Cream Bowl in Sandalwood a “hyper-masculine scent that’s highly addictive.” A year-round bestseller, this shaving cream is particularly beguiling in the fall, boasting a deep fougère fragrance with top notes of lavender, rosemary, liquid amber, and geranium, opening to a heart of fern and orange blossom.

SHOP: Taylor of Old Bond Street Luxury Shaving Cream Bowl – Sandalwood

Castle Forbes Essential Oil Shaving Cream – Cedarwood and Sandalwood

A sophisticated woody fragrance grounded in cedarwood and sandalwood essential oils, Castle Forbes Essential Oil Shaving Cream is distinctly masculine. Thankfully, the scent is quite light so it won’t conflict with any aftershave cologne you apply afterwards.

An ultra-moisturizing formulation of coconut oil and glycerin provides thick, creamy lather for maximum lubrication, and it’s gentle on all skin types.

SHOP: Castle Forbes Essential Oil Shaving Cream

Truefitt and Hill Shaving Cream – Grafton

The gold standard autumnal fragrance, Truefitt & Hill Grafton was formulated in 1983 at the suggestion of one of HMS Grafton’s officers, who while being attended to by a Truefitt’s barber took a liking to the aroma and suggested it be named after the gracious line of HMS battleships.

A classic masculine fougère with a green herbaceous opening, Grafton has a heart of dry, spicy floral resting on a base of rich, woody amber and leather.

Grafton Shaving Cream captures this warm, aromatic scent while soothing your skin with glycerin and coconut oil.

SHOP: Truefitt & Hill Grafton Shaving Cream

RazoRock Zi’ Peppino Shaving Soap

RazoRock Zi’ Peppino Shaving Soap is rife with the scent woody, fresh tobacco flower, topped with a hint of spice. A lightweight fall fragrance, this shaving soap is perfect for gentlemen who don’t like fall fragrances that are too heady. The soap’s consistency lies somewhere in between a shaving cream and shaving soap, so you’ll easy produce mountains of lather. A bonus? The formula is vegan friendly.

SHOP: RazoRock Zi’ Peppino Shaving Soap

The RoyalShave Guide to Post-Shave Products

Your skin is at its most vulnerable after a shave. You’ve just abraded the top layer of skin, and with it your natural protective oils. Your skin will also be drier due to the use of shaving soap or cream. To ensure your face stays irritation-free over the course of the day, you’ll need to replenish with a tailored post-shave ritual. Below, we cover six aftershave products to consider, and mark which skin types befit each product.

Remember, before using any products: wash your face with cold water to tighten up blood vessels and reduce redness and swelling.

Aftershave Splash

Best for: Normal or oily skin

Aftershave splash is an antiseptic with a lingering scent, although the scent is lighter than a dedicated cologne. Aftershave splashes usually contain alcohol to kill bacteria and are antiseptic in nature, meaning they constrict blood vessels to tighten pores and smooth skin.

While these properties are immensely beneficial for plenty of wet shavers, gentlemen with dry or sensitive skin will want to avoid aftershave splashes in general, due to alcohol content. Alcohol can be too drying for sensitive or dry skin, especially right after a shave when skin is particularly vulnerable. If you have sensitive skin and still want to use an aftershave splash, look for one with witch hazel in place of alcohol.

SHOP: Geo F. Trumer Aftershave

Aftershave Lotion

Best for: Normal, dry, or sensitive skin

Aftershave lotion is thicker in consistency than aftershave splash, and ranges in consistency from liquid to cream. Non-greasy, an aftershave lotion absorbs quickly to cool and refresh skin while replacing lost moisture. Unlike aftershave splash, aftershave lotion won’t dry out skin. Conditioning agents and antioxidants defend skin from unwanted elements post-shave.

Aftershave splash also has a subtler scent and tends not to contain alcohol, so it won’t irritate dry or sensitive skin.

SHOP: The Art of Shaving Ocean Kelp Aftershave Lotion

Aftershave Balm

Best for: Normal, dry, or sensitive skin

Aftershave balm has the thickest consistency of all the aftershave varieties, making it highly emollient and soothing for those with dry or sensitive skin. We also recommend aftershave balm for men of all skin types during the winter, when the climate is cold and dry. When it comes to application, a little goes a long way. Depending on the thickness of your balm, you can use anywhere from a dime-sized amount to a quarter-sized amount. While some balms contain alcohol, the best contain none, substituting less-irritating essential oils.

With a subtler fragrance than splash and lotion, aftershave balm is a good choice if you regularly apply cologne and don’t want a conflicting fragrance.

SHOP: Proraso Aftershave Balm – Green, Refreshing and Toning

Alum Block

Best for: All skin types

An alum block is a necessity for all skin types. Made of potassium alum, these products have several important functions: they stop bleeding from nicks, they are antiseptics that kill bacteria, and they provide feedback for your shave. Running an alum block across your face will make sensitive areas sting, so you’ll know where you applied too much pressure or the wrong angle. Less stinging = a better shave. This feedback can be used to improve future shaves.

There are other reasons you should add an alum block to your shave routine – see them in our Alum Block 101 post here.

SHOP: Osma Alum Block


Best for: All skin types

When you’ve got a big nick and need to stop the bleeding fast, a styptic will do the job. Made with aluminum sulfate or potassium aluminum sulfate, a styptic can come in either a pencil or a pen form. But be careful: because a styptic is a stronger astringent than an alum block, it will also sting more.

SHOP: RoyalShave Alum Pen


Best for: All skin types except dry or sensitive skin

To smell fresh long after you’ve set your razor down, spritz on cologne. Keep in mind that you cannot substitute cologne for aftershave, since a cologne doesn’t have antiseptic properties. However, do match your aftershave scent with your cologne, or you’ll risk offensive odor mixing.

Because fragrance and alcohol are some of the top skin irritants, it’s best to avoid using cologne if you have reactive or dry skin.

SHOP: Truefitt & Hill Cologne

%d bloggers like this: