Monday, 30 August 2010

Idle Summer Mornings (and Afternoons). August 1, 2010

With the week before last being nothing but hot and manic, with visits to recruitment agencies and interviews, Monday morning welcomed five complete days of idleness. Thanks must first go to Adam of Adam Of London with supplying me with the one of the loveliest suits I’ve ever owned and and drew compliments from all interviewers and nods of acceptance from a few Mods on the street.  

With a couple of successful interviews and a whole month to go before I start a new job the only thing I’ve to worry about is can I actually wait until my first wage packet to aquire another fine Whistle from Adam? 

Nothing beats that feeling from the time of being offered a job and to actually having to start it. And I have all of August for that until I start in the first week of September! And when Monday morning rolled around this week the obvious question arised “what the hell am I gonna do today?”

With time on my hands to ease myself in gently I could take pleasure in doing all morning rituals at a leisurely pace. First to come to mind was working on achieving the perfect shave. Something every man at some point or most days strives for. It has, I think, become something of a lost art, no longer a glorious tradition passed down from Father to Son, more a daily chore with cheap disposables. It was suggested to me a few weeks before to try or go back to “double edged – safety razors” and I’ll admit I was apprehensive. These razors looked like they could do a bit of damage and if my memory served me right, at 15 years of age, they often did.

Even so, it was off  into town to pick up a chrome safety razor  and blades. A full £1.92 for 6 stainless steel blades! And they were the dearest. The actual razor, I was pleased to notice felt like a precision made metal tool in my hand rather than cheap moulded plastic.

For years now I’ve believed that the single most important ingredient to a good shave is the use of a brush applying cream to my skin rather than fingers. A lot of shaving brushes  on the market will be made from boars’ hair, but these are much stiffer, pricklier and not nearly as comfortable as a badger brush which can be picked up from around £30, to some a little exrtravagant but worth every penny.

After using  small flannel/towel to wet my face with hot, not scalding water, for 3 to 4 minutes, and applying cream, not gel or foam, with the brush into a deep lather from a shaving bowl, the first thing I realised HAD to be done was conveniently, take my time.Choosing a  glycerine based cream would be the best move. Guiding the razor over my skin and not pressing down in the slightest. Years of use with a Mach 3′s and Wilkinson Quattro’s allowed quick sharp strokes. Not with a DE razor! And paradoxically, with a DE, using a lighter touch, a closer, smoother shave will be achieved! Also any burning sensation and red marks will start to go away immediately and disappear for good.

At completion it’s time for only cold water to be aplplied, maybe on the flannel/towel to properly close all pores and pat the skin dry.  A non-alcoholic aftershave or moisturiser is best applied rather than the all stinging alcoholic variety.

If you end up with a few nicks after your  first few shaves with a DE, don’t worry. Afetr a few days figuring out how it’s best used you’ll be amazed at the results it produces and wonder why you haven’t been shaving with one your whole life! Apparently ” this is one of  guy grooming secrets that separates the men from the boys “, so girlfriends can take note for future gift ideas! The English Shaving Co. is 
great place to start by the way girls!

A quick couple of glances at shaving company’s sites or shaving forums you’ll be amazed  at the variety of scented creams, brushes and razors and bowls. An opportunity now each day, not to get a necessary sleepy chore out of the way but to partake in a forgotten mens luxurious treat and to know it is possible to look and feel your very best every morning.

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