For millions of men, the daily act of shaving… sucks. We tear our faces up with overpriced razors with blades that go dull quickly and foams that numb the face, deal with ingrown hairs and irritation, and more often than not have stubble within a few hours. That’s the reality that so many of us wake up to every day. It doesn’t have to work like that, though. Shaving doesn’t have to suck.
There are communities on the web that pride themselves on shaving the old-fashioned way, with a safety razor (or straightedge!), a brush, a high-quality cream or soap, and a combination of aftershaves selected with meticulous planning. The group eschews the multi-bladed monsters with their overpriced refills and the cans of foam and gels that mostly numb the face and don’t really help shaving that much… but…
The dirty secret in the “wet shaving community” is that the multi-blade systems work, and for many people work reasonably well. They can produce a clean and irritation-free shave. For many people, a quick shave and shower IS a part of life, and they’re good with that.
The problem is that it doesn’t work for everyone. The multi-bladed razors leave me irritated and with horrible ingrown hair issues due to my fairly sensitive skin and a very thick beard. That combination is disaster when combined with the drugstore razors. For me, wetshaving isn’t something I do because I enjoy it (I do enjoy it, but that’s secondary). Wetshaving is something I do because I HAVE to do it. I use a brush and a cream or soap because the exfoliation and beard softening effects help to prevent ingrown hairs. I use a good aftershave balm and witch hazel because they help to repair the damage done by scraping a sharp blade across my skin. I use a safety razor because it efficiently slices the hair in my beard off closely to the skin without going too far.
For many, that morning chore of shaving and just dealing with the pain of irritation and ingrowns is something they just don’t know how to avoid. For me, it was an accidental click on a blog that led me in the direction of wetshaving. One thing led to another, and over the couple of years I’ve been doing it I’ve now acquired creams, soaps, aftershaves, razors, blades, brushes… and it’s all been a good experience. Shaving went from something I dreaded to a way to kickstart my day in the right way. Rainy and cold outside? Sandalwood soap and aftershave. Hot and humid? It’s a Proraso shave, baby! Face irritated from a bad shave recently? Speick cures all.
The kicker, for me, has been that it doesn’t add that much time to my morning rituals around my shower. Instead of a 3 minute shave I might take up to 7 or 8 minutes. And it’s WORTH IT. I save money by not blowing through the 15 dollar cartridge refill packs every week or two, I save my face with good products, and I feel pretty good starting the day. If you haven’t tried wetshaving yet, there’s no time like the present.
Jeremy is a wet shaving expert and blogger. He runs popular wet shaving blog Punkrockshaving.blogspot.com.
More articles by Jeremy Mahler
I have just been reading The Bluebeards Revenge blog (as I do most Friday afternoons) and came across this one. Not sure what to make of it really but thought I would share it. What do you reckon guys? Is this genuine?
TAKEN FROM BLUEBEARDS REVENGE BLOG:
“Britain’s manliest man Sacha Harding is under investigation by West County cops after a marketing stunt that saw a soldier’s face ripped off by a lion.
The pair had been taking part in a shaving challenge at Dartmoor Zoo. The soldier fell against the bars of the lion’s cage during the ‘shave off’. It’s thought that the big cat sprayed him in the eyes with urine, which caused him to fall forward, allowing the lion to attack his head and face. His condition is said to be stable although it is not yet clear whether he is off the critical care lists.
Zoo keepers believe the man’s anxiety levels antagonised the animal. They point out that cats are very sensitive to smell and they believe that the lion decided to spray mark the victim to cover this odour. They also point out that he cut himself while taking part in the challenge which may have triggered a blood lust in this powerful beast.
The challenge was being run by ‘The Bluebeards Revenge’ – a shaving cream that is marketed as manly. This was intended to be the first in a series of challenges that would see Sacha Harding take on many different challengers. Now, Health and Safety bosses are checking whether the correct precautions were taken to ensure the stunt was safe. However, the company’s website openly claims to be opposed to ‘over the top health and safety clap trap’. It is expected that this will make it difficult for them to defend their actions.
Sacha Harding became Britain’s Manliest Man after winning a competition run in the Daily Express. 140,000 people voted the professional rugby player to first place. His prize has been to become the face of the shaving cream. A prize that tonight sees him helping Dartmoor Police with their investigation…“
Los Angeles’ leading barbershop giving a traditional cut-throat shave using Bluebeards Revenge shaving cream
In this traditional shaving documentary, Vinnie Morey and Trent Magnano talk about how their unique Hollywood barbershop (The Proper Barbershop), a blend of modern art, street culture blended with the traditional and old-fashioned, was born.
They discuss their open razor technique using Bluebeards Revenge shaving cream and how a traditional shave is “one of the last things a man can do to really enjoy a service that is not a manicure and pedicure you can do with your wife”.
The Proper Barbershop was created by Vinnie and Trent as a way of bringing back the classic old-fashioned barbershop to the modern world.
Vinnie and Trent are both very decorated barbers with a driving passion and true respect for the art and tradition of their craft.
“We both realised that there was a huge gap in the Los Angeles men’s grooming community,” said Vinnie. “In our view, too many men have never been to or even seen a real traditional barbershop!
“With that in mind, we decided to build a barbershop that has never been seen before. It was the most beautiful marriage of modern art, street culture blended with the traditional, old-fashioned barbershop. In that moment, The Proper was born!”
The Proper Barbershop is located on 7950 3rd St. Los Angeles.
“Come in today for a hot towel shave and a real barber’s haircut, and make sure to enjoy our fun-loving, easy-going atmosphere while you’re here,” added Vinnie.
“Relax with an X-Box, watch a funny movie, and have a cold beer in our back lounge. We set out to create the last true safe house for a man to come and enjoy being a man.”
Dave Alexander, grooming editor for About.com, has described The Bluebeards Revenge as a “must-have” product and one of the “best shaving creams” he has ever used.
”This product takes the traditional shaving cream and throws in a little science for a truly outstanding shave,” says the American grooming legend.
Dave, who has been About.com’s Guide to Men’s Hair since 2008, praised the fragrance for being “clean and light”, adding that “the product performed exceptionally well – among the best I’ve ever tried”.
“The Bluebeards Revenge can be used right out of the jar without a shaving brush. Of course, I highly recommend using one for maximum effectiveness and lather. In my tests, I tried the product both with and without a brush and the performance and lather were similar,” he explained.
”I enjoy the ritual of shaving, so I used the product with a brush and my trusty double-edge razor. The results were amazing,” added Dave, a licensed master stylist who has been cutting men’s hair for nearly two decades and has trained barbers and stylists across the USA.
Dave described the lather as “rich and creamy”, adding that it “held up during my entire shave”.
”The product left my skin smooth and moisturized to the point I didn’t really feel the need to use a separate moisturizer afterward. I also got an excellent, irritation free shave using The Bluebeard’s Revenge,” Dave Alexander, About.com.
“The cream created a very slick surface on my skin and I experienced no razor drag at all,” he said. “The shave was incredibly close and I got an excellent shave with just one pass of the razor – not something that happens all that often with other shave creams I’ve tried.
”The product left my skin smooth and moisturized to the point I didn’t really feel the need to use a separate moisturizer afterward. I also got an excellent, irritation free shave using The Bluebeard’s Revenge.”
But would Dave recommend the Bluebeards to his readers? “Absolutely. The performance was on par with some of the best shave creams I’ve tried (in fact, it now tops that list),” he said.
“Great performance, cool packaging, paraben-free. What’s not to love?”
You can read his full review by clicking here.
The Shaving Shack website has made The Good Web Guide, the definitive guide to life online.
The Good Web Guide is the online guide to the best sites on the internet.
“We have taken the slog and guesswork out of finding what is best about life online for our visitors across a wide range of lifestyle and consumer interests,” the guide says.
“Each of the sites we review is rated according to its unique offering, usability and efficiency.”
So what did the prestigious guide say about our website? “At The Shaving Shack, visitors can browse departments covering all manner of shaving related products, from Aftershave Balm & Lotions, Shaving Brushes and Shaving Cream to Wash Bags, Soap Bowls and Double Edge Razor Blades,” it said.
“All the best shaving brands can be found here with top names including Bluebeard’s Revenge, Dr Harris and Mitchell’s Wool Fat Soap Ltd helping to ensure the high quality of product in evidence across the site.”
You can see our page on the coveted guide by clicking here.
After using this cream for a number of months, I thought the time was right to add my two cents to the mass of reviews and discussion already surrounding this new entrant into the world of shaving creams.
To date, the creams I’ve shaved with have included ones by Proraso, Speick, Taylor of old Bond St, Cyril Salter and the Body Shop. Now I’ve enjoyed all of those creams, they all have their own unique qualities, but amongst that list it would probably be agreed that the Taylor and Salter creams were the high-end products. The ones that rise slightly above the others: in terms of scent, performance and that little extra luxury factor. They’re the creams you might choose for your weekend shaves when you have more time to pamper yourself, or the ones to splash out on as gifts or presents.
Well, I can now confidently say that the Bluebeards Revenge cream competes easily with those two ‘high-end’ creams and is fast becoming a favourite. It’s a very thick, dense cream which lathers easily and like the Taylor and Salter creams has a very wide margin in terms of how much water you can add to it. Some creams you add just a little too much water to and they become watery and ineffective, which can prove frustrating for the beginner looking to learn his or her lathering technique. With Bluebeards though you really have to go overboard with the water before you start to see a runny lather, making it perfect for those just starting out in the world of wet-shaving. Its density also means that it’ll last you a very long time.
I used this cream with my Muhle best-badger brush and my Omega boar, both times achieving a thick, lubricating layer of lather that stayed good for the entire shave and left my skin feeling smooth and clean. In terms of moisturising I find that with my dry skin I always have to use some sort of aftershave balm, with whatever soap or cream I’m using. I certainly didn’t feel any tautness or dryness when using this cream though, so I could see others having no need for any additional balm.
Overall then this is a very high-quality cream, which catches the eye and the curiosity with the boldness of its statements and presentation, then wins you over with its alluring scent and top-notch performance. An excellent cream I’d highly recommend. Richard Wall
The scent of the cream is very nice: warm and spicy yet quite mellow at the same time. I can certainly see what Bluebeards mean when they describe it as ‘barbershop with a modern twist’. The strength of the scent is I’d say about average: you get a good whiff of it whilst shaving and it lingers a little in the bathroom after you’re finished, but it doesn’t dominate a room like Tabac or a strong sandalwood scent does.
In terms of its claims to reduce beard growth using the ingredient decelerine I’d have to study and use the cream over a concerted period of time before coming to any conclusions. So far I’ve just added the Bluebeards to my rotation of soaps and creams, so can’t say with any certainty whether it does reduce the stubble. But there are plenty of reports singing decelerine’s praises, so I guess it’s working for some folk out there.
The packaging of Bluebeards is certainly eye-catching. With the skull and crossbones and bright blue background this is definitely the first one your eye would be drawn to in a line-up of creams, particularly when pitted against the more traditional products with their conservative and classic designs. Personally I prefer the more classic, traditional approach to packaging, but that’s just me. The tub does though have an advantage over its rivals in terms of being smaller, and therefore easier to include in your travel bag. Plus being all plastic it’s easy to recycle when you eventually do manage to empty it.
Overall then this is a very high-quality cream, which catches the eye and the curiosity with the boldness of its statements and presentation, then wins you over with its alluring scent and top-notch performance. An excellent cream I’d highly recommend.
More articles by Richard Wall
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Men all around the world, including England batsman Kevin Pietersen, Stoke City defender Robert Huth and rugby star Sacha Harding, grew a moustache or “Mo” for the recent Movember campaign.
Here at The Shaving Shack, we decided to giveaway a luxurious Bluebeards Revenge shaving set to the man who grew the most creative and interesting moustache.
Well here is our winner, one Earl Spriggs, who grew an awesome ‘Mo’ that could be best named ‘the connoisseur Mo’.
The Movember movement sew men start November clean-shaven and grow a “Mo” as a hairy ribbon, raising awareness of men’s health and prostate cancer.
This year saw a number of excellent entries from the Leeds office of international law firm Hammonds LLP.
The guys from Hammonds spent the last four weeks growing moustaches to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research, the firm’s chosen charity for 2010/2011.
The Leeds office of Hammonds said it hopes to raise in excess of £5,000 from its ‘Grow a Mo’ challenge.
We would like to thank everyone who entered our Movember competition. We had some amazing entries, the best of which can be seen by clicking here.
A new study claims today’s modern man would rather invest time and money refining himself and his lifestyles and putting his family first.
According to the survey, carried out by shaving firm Wilkinson Sword, spending time with family and loved ones tops the list of the modern man’s priorities with 65%.
Grooming and taking care of appearances came in as the second most important priority with 30%. It appears the modern man is now trying to smash the clichés of the lager lout, with drinking coming in third on 16%, followed by gaming (14%), clubbing (11%), and casual sex (8%).
The research of men aged between 25 and 34 also claims “British men are returning to the golden age of their grandfathers in terms of time honoured traditional dress, manners and shaving etiquette”.
Nearly 30% of men feel the best definition of masculinity is ‘a well-mannered man’, followed by ‘a clean shaven man’ (27%), with half of those questioned emphasising that being clean-shaven makes them both look and feel confident.
The study also found that 92% of men buy their own razors, while 71% buy their own skincare products.
The boffins at Wilkinson Sword claim this new trend towards personal grooming can be attributed to the “troubled economic climate of modern times”, as men respond to this “by looking back to smarter, simpler and more secure times”.
“This new breed of man longs for authenticity and craftsmanship, for connoisseurship and chivalry, and looks to an old template of masculinity to find it. His grooming and dressing habits are inspired by and evoke his grandfather – he buys bespoke suits and shirts, savours fine wines and whiskeys, and lists positively Edwardian-sounding traditional pastimes such as shooting, fishing and cycling,” the report said.
Mark Tungate, author of Marketing to Men and Luxury World, sees this new trend as a living act of cultural remembering. “We’ve forgotten how good it feels to be well-groomed” he says, “when I got married I had a manicure, a barbered shave, and then put on a bespoke suit made for the occasion and I felt so sharp. It was like I’d turned into the best possible version of me.”
Karen Williams, Senior Product Manager of Male Systems at Wilkinson Sword, added: “The report findings suggest that young men want to look and feel smarter and healthier, and shaving is a quick and easy way for them to achieve this.”
Wilkinson Sword launched its much-hyped Hyrdo cartridge based razor in the UK back in October of this year. Reports suggest the firm has spent a whopping £20m on marketing the product, covering TV, print and digital advertising.
The new razor claims to introduce “revolutionary” technology, including a gel reservoir to hydrate skin during shaving, and new skin guards to help prevent skin getting trapped between blades.
It will go head-to-head with Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide razor, which launches in the UK in January 2011.
The new Hydro razor comes with either three or five blades, costing £5.99 and £7.99 respectively.
Follow Nick Gibbens on Twitter @nickgibbens