Holiday Gift Guide 2017: 7 Gifts That Last a Lifetime

Here’s an idea: this Christmas, instead of buying the man in your life something flashy, seek out an heirloom that’ll get use over many years – even a lifetime. Each piece is crafted intentionally by artisans preserving tradition. And while the prices reflect the old world craftsmanship and quality, remember: these are timeless investments with sentimental value.

And with that, here are 7 tokens deserving a look.

Moore and GIles Attache

Moore & Giles Standard Attaché

Globetrotters and businessmen on the go will delight in Moore & Giles’ Standard Attaché, a smooth leather briefcase made from titan-milled leather that combines chrome and vegetable tanning for a vibrant, burnished surface similar to that of high-end dress shoes.

But don’t let its sleek exterior fool you – the briefcase boasts serious substance, with functional design elements like a small padded computer compartment and a large compartment with an expandable gusset for document storage. Classic styling means the briefcase pairs well with any outfit, regardless of season.

SHOP: Moore & Giles Standard Attaché, $860

Junghans

Junghans Meister Handaufzug 38mm Stainless Steel and Leather Watch

A exemplum of masterly German watch-making, Junghans Meister Handaufzug is based on a design first built in the 1930s. This handwinding watch combines vintage aesthetic with contemporary technology (including a 42-hour power reserve). A luminous navy dial, slender calf leather strap, and lightweight design make the timepiece a staple suitable for daily wear. The stainless steel case and plexiglass dome ensure durability.

SHOP: Junghans Meister Handaufzug 38mm Stainless Steel and Leather Watch, $1280

Sandro Wool Blend Overcoat

 

Sandro Wool-Blend Overcoat

Add a bit of Parisian cool to his wardrobe with Sandro’s Wool-Blend Overcoat. Crisp tailoring and a streamlined fit – signatures of the Parisian fashion house – make the camel overcoat flattering no matter the occasion. He can dress it up with a shirt and slacks, or throw it over a sweater for weekend errands.

SHOP: Sandro Wool-Blend Overcoat, $645

ceramic

Terre Étoilée Ceramic Cocotte

This Christmas, give him – and your family – the gift of a lifetime of great meals.

Terre Étoilée cookware has been made by artisans in France since 1830. The cook in your life will appreciate the heavy ceramic of this cocotte, which maintains temperature to cook food evenly, and the bosses on the interior of the lid, which capture and redistribute moisture and flavor evenly. This cocotte is a mealtime lifesaver with a simple yet charming design.

SHOP: Terre Étoilée Ceramic Cocotte, $189

liliput

Kaweco Liliput Copper Fountain Pen, Medium Nib

The Kaweco Liliput Copper Fountain Pen (Medium Nib) is for the gentleman who appreciates the art of physically writing down thoughts and notations. The Liliput pen originally debuted in 1910 in Germany, and was re-released over a century later, in 2011. A smaller version of Kaweco’s Sport Fountain Pen, the Liliput Copper Fountain Pen transforms into full-size length once the cap is screwed on to the end of the barrel.

The raw copper body, which has an elegant silhouette, transforms beautifully over time. Frequent use will give the penny red pen a reddish brown patina that will protect it from daily wear.

SHOP: Kaweco Liliput Copper Fountain Pen, Medium Nib, $109


cashmere scarf

Johnstons of Elgin Fringed Cashmere Scarf

Treat your loved one to a luxurious cashmere scarf from a company that holds a Royal Warrant.

Johnstons of Elgin crafts time-honored knitwear he’ll treasure for a lifetime. Founded by Mr. Alexander Johnston over two centuries ago on the banks of the river Lossie in Scotland, the company continues to create knitwear in the same factory where it was founded, using traditional methods. Each scarf goes through 30 painstaking processes before it is delivered to stores.

This understated cashmere does a good job of keeping him warm while looking masculine.

SHOP: Johnstons of Elgin Fringed Cashmere Scarf, $175

hr_401-158-00_muhle-purist-safety-razor-briarwood

Muhle Purist Double Edge Safety Razor, Briarwood

Does he appreciate fine craftsmanship in his grooming tools? Then Muhle Purist Double Edge Safety Razor in Briarwood is a gift he’ll treasure for years to come. A collector’s piece with sinkside appeal, Muhle Purist Double Edge Safety Razor in Briarwood features a stunning briarwood handle, with reddish graining unique to each razor. Briarwood is prized for its aesthetic appeal and durability – it’s the same type of wood used to make high-end tobacco pipes.

This is a gift that keeps on giving day in and day out, as he’ll enjoy smooth, non-irritating shaves from the closed comb construction.

SHOP: Muhle Purist Double Edge Safety Razor, Briarwood, $195

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Shaving Myths Debunked: Should You Wet Shave in the Shower?

Shaving in the shower isn’t for everyone. Some men prefer it to sink shaving, while others scoff at the thought of shaving without much visual or auditory feedback.

There are many misconceptions about shower shaving, and we’re here to clear the air so you can make the best decision for yourself. Even if you’re a die-hard sink shaver, there are some instances – like needing to be at a work meeting pronto – where you don’t have the time to enjoy a long shave at the sink, but still want to get in a wet shave. When time is limited, a shower shave kills several birds with one stone. The trick is in the setup.

Below, we debunk several shower shaving myths and give you tips for shower shaving with finesse.

Note: If you are a novice wet shaver, we recommend first refining your technique at the sink, then moving to the shower once you’ve memorized the contours of your face and are confident in your shaving abilities.

See more articles in our Shaving Myths Debunked series here.


Myth: You’ll drop your razor because it’ll be too slippery.

Fact: Most DE razors have enough grip for a shower shave – and some even have knurling.

With a bit of practice, you can use just about any safety razor to shave in wet conditions. If you’re still worried, use a razor with a knurled handle, like the Muhle R89 Grande Closed Comb Safety Razor. Stay away from straight razors, since dropping one of these in the shower can mean losing a toe. Save straight razor shaving for the sink.


Myth: Your mirror will fog up and you won’t be able to see anything.

Fact: Fogless mirrors allow you to safely shave in the shower.

Not being able to see where you’re shaving is one of the biggest roadblocks to men trying out shower shaving.

While fogless mirrors don’t guarantee 100% visibility, they allow you to see where you’re making passes and negate the need to wipe off the mirror every few seconds. Upper West Collection’s No Fog Shower Mirror rotates and has an adjustable arm for easy positioning. This mirror even has an attached razor holder.

For extra insurance against fogging, do one of the following:

  • Rub bar soap or liquid soap on your mirror lightly.
  • Rub shampoo onto your mirror. Remove extra shampoo with a paper towel.
  • For longer-lasting defogging: make a vinegar mixture of one cup vinegar and one cup water. Spray the mixture onto the mirror and then wipe the mirror down. This method lasts for several days!

Myth: You can’t get any auditory feedback.

Fact: Turn off the water when you shave for excellent feedback.

Turn on the water and get shampoo, conditioner, and body wash done first. Save shaving for last. While you’re getting everything else cleaned up, the steam from the shower will open pores and soften facial hair so it’s more pliable during your shave. In fact, when hair is fully soaked with warm water for 3 minutes, cutting strength is reduced by at least 30%. Apply extra hair conditioner or shaving cream onto your face as you lather your hair and body for extra bristle softening.

Then, when you’re ready to shave, turn off the water. This will reduce the amount of fog as well produce excellent acoustics, since the hard wall surfaces of a bathroom, combined with a lack of soft furnishings, create a space that amplifies sound.


Myth: You’ll waste water.

Fact: Once again, just turn off the water when you shave.

If you prefer to have some water running to rinse your blade between passes, turn the water down to a trickle.


Myth: The shaving process will take too long.

Fact: Invest in a small shaving cubby to have everything where you need it, reducing prep and clean-up time.

A corner shaving cubby is petite enough not to get in the way, but spacious enough for all the essentials. Store your shaving cream, soap, scuttle, and pre-shave oil here. Shaving brushes and razors should be stored outside the shower in order to let them dry properly. Bring your brush and razor into the shower with you every time you shave.

How to Shave When You Have Acne

Whether you get the occasional zit or are struggling with adult acne, trying to shave with pimples may make wet shaving seem less art form and more balancing act. While shaving with acne is by no means easy, there are plenty of ways you can make the process less irritating for your skin.

Below, we’ve included tips for every step of your shaving routine. With a few adjustments (you may need to say goodbye to your shaving brush), you will see improvements in your skin and shave.

Preparation

Clean your skin

Take a warm shower before you begin shaving. The steam will soften your skin and facial hair. Pliable facial hair means you’ll encounter less tugging while shaving. Less tugging = less irritation, which is a major plus for acne-prone skin.

If you are unable to take a shower before you shave, warm a towel and place it on your face for 3 minutes to similar effect.

While in the shower, use a facial cleanser that removes excess oil without drying out your skin. Liquid soaps tend to be less drying than bar soaps. We’ve heard great things about Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, Clean & Clear Essentials Foaming Facial Cleanser, and Olay Foaming Face Wash (all recommended by Acne.org). Avoid washing your face with a washcloth or scrubber. Vigorous scrubbing will only irritate skin and exacerbate acne.

Squeeze pimples

Normally we wouldn’t recommend going anywhere near a pimple. But when you’ve got acne and need to shave, it’s more hygienic to pop the pimple yourself before the shave than to let the razor pop it for you. Popping a pimple pre-shave and cleaning up afterwards will reduce the amount and spread of bacteria on your face. If the razor pops your pimple, it’ll introduce bacteria to the rest of your skin.

To squeeze a pimple safely, reference this link.

Apply pre-shave – or not

There are plenty of men on both sides of the fence here. Pre-shave oil softens hair for a smoother shave, but Sharpologist argues it can clog pores. Our verdict? Try a non-comedogenic pre-shave oil (which doesn’t clog pores). If you find it too heavy, stop using it. You can also try a pre-shave lotion, which is lighter in consistency than oil. We like Edwin Jagger Hydrating Pre-Shave Lotion, designed with aloe vera to protect sensitive skin.

During the shave

Use an alcohol-free shaving cream

Alcohol is too drying for acne-prone skin. Use an alcohol-free shaving cream formulated for sensitive skin, like Taylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Street Shaving Cream.

Never use old towels

Towels are breeding grounds for bacteria. If you’re using yesterday’s towel for today’s shave (without laundering it first), you’re just reintroducing bacteria to your face. Opt for a pack of barber towels, which are inexpensive and lint-free, so you can switch out towels every time you shave.

Don’t use a shaving brush

Like towels, shaving brushes are microbial hotbeds. Typically, cleaning a brush post-shave means simply rinsing with water, so the brush may still harbor bacteria the next time you use it. The solution? Apply shaving cream with your fingers. Suavecito makes a well-loved brushless shaving cream.

Say no to cartridge razors

More blades = more irritation. A 4-blade cartridge has 4 separate blades, each of which can lift and irritate skin, pop pimples, and make acne worse. A single blade razor – AKA a safety razor – with low aggressiveness (less of the blade is exposed) will give you a clean cut without traumatizing skin. The Feather AS-D2 is known for delivering a gentle yet effective shave, while the Merkur Progress offers 5 aggressiveness settings for personalized control.

Bypass pimples

Avoid shaving over pimples if possible. This can pop whiteheads as well as spread bacteria over already sensitive, freshly shaved skin. If you accidentally cut yourself, quickly apply a topical antibiotic or use a styptic pen to stop the bleeding.

Shave with the grain using light pressure

It’s true that shaving against the grain gets you a closer cut, but doing so with acne causes more nicks and irritation than it’s worth. Instead, shave with the grain with little to no pressure on the razor. Safety razors do not require much pressure to cleanly cut hair. In fact, pressing down on the razor will only produce more friction.

Rinse your razor with hot running water between passes.

After the shave

Disinfect the razor with rubbing alcohol

Eliminate all traces of bacteria by dousing your razor with rubbing alcohol. Remember to do this again before your next shave.

Clean and tone your skin

It’s important to remove all traces of shaving cream, as it can clog pores. Rinse your face with warm water, followed by cool water to close pores. Run an alum block over shaved areas, leave it on for a minute, and then rinse. Pat your face dry.

Instead of an alum block, you can try an alcohol-free astringent toner like Prospector Co. KC Atwood Aftershave Splash, which contains antiseptic witch hazel. If you use a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide acne treatment, wait until your skin is dry for application.

2017 Grooming Artist Father’s Day Gift Guide

We owe a lot to our fathers. For many of us, they were the ones who showed us how to use a safety razor for the first time. They also stood by us during our less than palatable adolescent stages. So this year, let’s not buy him another tie for Father’s Day, shall we? Instead, let’s hone in on something he’ll love and actually use.

Read on for our Father’s Day gift suggestions for dad based on his interests.

The Golfer

Picnic at Ascot Golf Trunk Organizer, $45.99

If dad’s idea of the perfect day involves teeing it up on the green, the Picnic at Ascot Golf Trunk Organizer will have him doing it more carefree than ever. The Golf Trunk Organizer handles all the little bits and pieces involved with a round of golf, providing storage for shoes, spikes, gloves, balls, tees, and a towel. This way, he can focus on tackling the back nine rather than a golf ball gone rogue.

The Stylish Fitness Buff

Chronos, $99

There are plenty of fitness tracking watches out there. But let’s be honest – most of them are not that attractive for the fashionable crowd, or at least don’t disguise as an actual watch well. For the dad who likes to get his 10,000 steps in and track his daily fitness in style, we highly recommend  Chronos. It’s a smart disc that attaches to the back of any watch, effectively turning it into a smartwatch. So dad won’t have to give up his beloved Montblanc to track his fitness.

Chronos syncs with a smartphone app to also control music, notifications, and alerts using vibrations and LED.

The Globetrotter

G-Ro Luggage, $449

Whether dad takes regular business trips or enjoys jetsetting around the world, his face will light up when he receives the G-Ro Carry-On. Designed for the modern commuter, the carry-on innovates with saucer-sized, indestructible wheels that keep the bag streamlined on the outside. A four-stage telescopic handle is the longest in the industry, providing shock absorption that powers over uneven surfaces.

The inside is cavernous and comes with an optional charging station so dad can stay connected on the go.

The Sailor

Mizzen + Mane Dress Shirts, $125

Dad’s cabin cruiser is his second home, and he’ll frequently take it for a spin after work. But problems arise when his office button-up can’t stand the sweat and movement from nautical adventuring. Mizzen + Mane dress shirts are made from performance fabrics – polyester and spandex – to wick sweat quickly. And four-way stretch means he can helm the ship without being restricted by stiff clothing.

These shirts are also brilliant for the boardroom: no more embarrassing wet spots during presentations. If you’re really looking to treat dad, also pick up a few of their casual pieces, which range from henleys to short sleeves.

The Grooming Artist

RoyalShave Merkur 34C Chrome Safety Razor Set, $124.95

For your old man, shaving is a ritual he treasures each and every morning. Gift him beautifully made wet shaving products to add to his collection with the RoyalShave Merkur 34C Chrome Safety Razor Set. The set features Merkur’s classic 34C HD Safety Razor. Midweight construction applies just enough pressure for effortless passes, and the stubby handle enhances maneuverability. Two-piece construction allows dad to easily change blades and clean the razor.

RoyalShave Lemon Sandalwood Soap, a brush stand, a first grade badger brush, and a pack of Merkur blades make this gift set shave ready.

The Cook

Bison Airlighter, $79.95

As any dad who loves to grill knows, getting the coal lit is the most unappealing part of the BBQ process. Lighter fluid and newspaper don’t work well, and chimney starters are messy. Enter the Bison Airlighter, a precise way to get a grill, fireplace, or campfire started. The Bison Airlighter is a lighter and fan that ignites coal in 10 seconds – so your old man can get to the fun part faster.

The Handyman

InstruMMents 01 Dimensioning Instrument, $149

Dad may say he has all the tools he needs, but that won’t be the case once he lays his eyes upon the InstruMMents 01 Dimensioning Instrument. This sleek app-connected pen has a wheel on the end; roll the wheel across any surface (straight, curved, or contoured) and it’ll calculate the dimensions in any unit you need. The app then logs the info and allows you to access it anywhere as well as share it on the go.

In other words, InstruMMents 01 beats the tape measure at its own game.

The Sartorialist

Moore & Giles Fine Leather Eyeglass Case, $135

Dad always leaves the house looking like he just stepped out of a GQ fashion editorial, and he wore bespoke before it was cool. Instead of taking the risk of purchasing a piece he’ll never wear, opt for something that’ll care for what he already owns. The Moore & Giles Fine Leather Eyeglass Case comes in beautiful Titan Milled leather, and the suede interior is available in 5 colorways, so there’s sure to be one that suits his tastes.

This simple eyeglass case will hold his glasses in style.

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