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The first thing most people learn about me is I hate mornings. I'm also not a big fan of shaving. In fact, for the past few years, I've grown pretty long beards during the winter and rarely trim them. There are a few reasons for this; first, I have terrible shaving bumps. Second, I look much younger than I am and shaving jut makes it worse. Lastly, it takes time to shave and I'd rather have that time to sleep.

Over the past year however, it's become important that I shave most days for my job, so I decided to do some research on how to do it without getting shaving bumps. I asked my very skilled barber and he told me I was using too much pressure and the blade was pulling the hairs, or scraping over ingrown hairs and aggravating my skin. So his advice was just use less force; this helped some but not enough. I researched more and found the Art of Manliness blog was very helpful and created a shaving routine designed to make it an enjoyable habit rather than a chore. Here's how:

Start with Good Tools

I use an old-fashioned safety razor, a badger hair shaving brush which you can see below, a nice Cornsilk colored Lacoste hand towel, Every Man Jack Face Lotion, Every Man Jack Face Scrub, and basically any shaving cream that comes in a can and costs less than two bucks.

The Routine

While enjoying a hot shower make sure to get your face and beard warm and wet, the steam helps open your pours, and use your face scrub. Which of course is an exfoliate but some guys don't seem to like to call it that. Do this at the end of your shower and get out as soon as you are done.

Wipe down the mirror so you can get a good look at the beard you are going to master, and the face you are going to free from behind the stubble.

Spray your shaving cream into a coffee cup and use the badger hair brush to transfer the shaving cream from cup to your face, applying it in a circular motion. This allows the bristles to lift you beard and put cream underneath the bristles for a less irritating shave.

Once your visage has been suitably covered in shaving cream, hold the safety razor at about a 45 degree angle to the floor and begin to make short, VERY LIGHT strokes along your face with the grain of your beard. Be careful! Just because it's called a safety razor doesn't mean it isn't a SHARP BLASTED RAZOR!

As you complete this process (all areas are shaved), rinse off any remaining cream and apply your post shave lotion, you will want to stay away from lotions with alcohol because it will dry out your skin. Read the directions on your lotion. If it is an apply and leave then do that. If it is not, then wash off with warm water, and finish the whole event with several splashes of the coldest water you have. This will close up your pours, and of course make you look like Sean Connery as Bond.


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