WEARING A SHARP SUIT

Not only does it change how other people perceive you, but it can also alter the way you see the world.

This is according to a new study that found people who wear suits tend to focus on the bigger picture rather than on minor details.

Wearing a crisp-cut suit may make you feel more powerful than you think. Not only does it change how people perceive you, but it can also alter the way you see the world.  Foreign Secretary William Hague (centre), actor Brad Pitt and actress Angelina Jolie in London last year

Researchers at California State University, Northridge, describe people who put on formal clothing as abstract thinkers.

‘Putting on formal clothes makes us feel powerful, and that changes the basic way we see the world,’ Abraham Rutchick.

While the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs may have made it acceptable to wear jeans at work, the new study argues formal wear is better suited for the office environment.

Thinking abstractly can help in situations such as getting negative feedback on a piece of work, allowing the person to take a step back from the criticism.

Michael Slepian, another of the paper’s authors and a professor at Columbia Business School, said it could also help deal with financial situations by preventing impulse purchases.

The researchers performed a series of experiments in which students had to rate the formality of the clothes they had on.

They then answered a questionnaire designed to understand the way in which they think.

The researchers then asked the casually dressed participants to wear formal clothing, such as a suit, and found those who did began looking at the bigger picture when solving problems.

‘No matter how often you wear formal clothing, if you are wearing formal clothing, then you are likely in a context that’s not the intimate, comfortable, and more socially close setting with no dress code,’ says Slepian.

‘Thus, whether you wear formal clothing every workday, or only every wedding, my prediction is that we would find a similar influence because the clothing still feels formal in both situations.’

HOW TO GROW A BEARD OR MOUSTACHE

I thought this was obvious, but apparently not everyone agrees with me. Provided your employment and relationship allow, ideally you shouldn’t trim anything, neck and cheek lines included. You can always trim later; your first objective should be to grow out as much as possible to build a strong beard base and to see what you are working with at your fullest natural growth.

Don’t trim your moustache, train your moustache

Trimming the moustache is a mistake a lot of guys make initially, myself included. It’s easy to assume that maybe it’s okay to trim up the center and then just leave the ends of the moustache long to style a pseudo-handlebar, and if that works for you, great. But if you want to grow a true long moustache, get some moustache wax and start training it early to keep it out of your mouth. Again, it’s about seeing your fullest growth and building a foundation for a long full moustache.

Start using beard oil and Beard Dry Oil early

Beard product usage isn’t dictated by length, it’s dictated by the presence of facial hair. Start taking care of yours early and you’ll thank yourself later on. A properly conditioned and cared for beard is the only way to reach your fullest growth potential.

Develop your own total care regimen early

Figure out a routine that works for you and stick to it, every day. Personally, I wash my beard every morning, apply beard oil (usually Wisdom) after the shower, and Beard Dry Oil (also Wisdom) at night. Both applications are accompanied by a thorough brushing. Your own routine may be different, but pick one and make it yours.

Brush and/or comb your beard every day

Many men will notice as their beards grow out that they have weird bends or curves in the hair pattern and a daily brushing combined with use of Beard Dry Oil will help train the hairs to lie the way you want, ensuring an even beard that requires no trimming. Many also notice that as their beard gains length and weight, these curves settle down.

Be aware of your surroundings

The longer your beard and moustache get, the more likely they are to get caught in the zipper of a coat, burnt by an errant cigarette, or dipped in soup when you lean too far forward while eating. Take care to notice the little changes as your facial hair gets longer.

Judge your beard on its own merit, not by that of beards around you

Facial hair grows at different rates and in different patterns. Just because yours isn’t growing as fast as a friend’s doesn’t mean it won’t catch up, or perhaps be better one day.

Be patient

See above.  Facial hair grows at an average rate of only half an inch per month, and nearly everyone experiences a time where it seems like their beard and moustache aren’t growing. It happens, just be ready for it. By the same token, there will be times where it seems to grow two inches in a month. Celebrate those times, but don’t despair in the others. 

Figure out the best way to eat with your beard and moustache

For more helpful info, check out another recent post, Top 5 Tips For Eating With A Moustache. Careless eating can see multiple hairs pulled out, and many foreign substances that come into contact with your beard (food included) can dry it out and damage the hairs.

Track your progress

Whether you measure, or simply take a selfie every month (do it in the same shirt every time for the best results) to chart your progress, keep up with how your beard is doing. Over time, you’ll start to learn growth patterns and even see if particular seasons have a positive or negative effect on your beard. This knowledge will help you worry less during those times where it seems it’s not growing.

Growing a long beard and moustache isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and no marathon winner became a winner overnight. Put the time in and take care of your beard and you’ll grow the best beard you can.

PERFECT EYEBROWS

01of 06

Don’t Do Anything Dramatic (at First) 

Eyebrow grooming for dude-aligned people doesn’t necessarily mean removing a lot of hair, shaping them like an Instagram model, or creating high or dramatic arches. Some people just want to keep that classic masculine look, just a little cleaned up. A basic tune-up can make them look better. Sometimes, all it takes is trimming your brows, or taking out a couple of hairs occasionally. There are no rules, but the best way to keep them looking classic, is to keep them looking natural.

02of 06

Minimal Trimming 

Sometimes all that the brows need is some trimming, and no hair has to be removed from the follicle. Trimming helps keep brows in place, and makes them look lighter and more groomed. When trimming, follow along and sharpen the natural lines your eyebrows make—use eyebrow scissors, like the ones from Tweezerman.

Often, people end up taking out hair they don’t need to, when it’s the excess bulk that really needs to go. Trim first before you decide to remove any other hair, and then maintenance trim every three to four weeks.

03of 06

More Serious Cleanup 

If you have hair in the middle between your brows, you might want to trim this out. How much you take out is a personal choice, but the typical choice is to clean that area up and avoid anything close to a unibrow look. The most valuable thing to know when trimming eyebrow hair is where to stop. 

You don’t have to take away all of the hair. You can tweeze out single hairs from the middle by taking random thicker hairs, leaving the finer ones. This will thin out the area and make the hair look less noticeable, but prevent it from being so stark to be noticeable.

If you’re removing hair on the bottom part of the brow, make straight or slightly curved lines. Stick to just taking hair only outside the main shape.

Good tweezers make the job a lot easier and quicker because they grasp hair and don’t let it slide off. Tweezers with a slanted end work the best. To keep a lid on pain, tweeze right when you come out of the shower when your follicle is nice and relaxed. The hair will slide out easier.

04of 06

Eyebrow Shaping 

Eyebrow shaping for male-aligned people is usually different than it is for women-aligned people, and you need to be careful with making the middle (between brows) hairless. If you want it bare, here’s how to find where the absolute farthest in they should start: Use something straight (like a pencil) to form a line from the outer sides of the tip of your nose to your inner brows. Remember, this should be the farthest you go between the brows. You can choose to leave more hair than this.

Start slowly. You can always take more hair. If you take too much, you’ll have to wait for it to grow back or use a brow pencil. 

05of 06

Waxing 

Eyebrow waxing is quicker than tweezing, and it’s a better choice if you want a little definition, because waxing can get the very fine hairs that tweezing often misses. It’s not a good idea to wax your own brows if you’re new to grooming them, so tweeze first to get the feel. Go to a professional who is licensed and also is experienced in masculine-focused eyebrow waxing. Explain exactly what you want, before they begin waxing. Other professional options are threading, in which a string is used to remove hair, and sugaring, which is less painful than waxing and more gentle to the skin.

06of 06

Thickness 

Male eyebrows can be thick and still looked groomed, because men, in general, have large brows. The amount of thickness they end up with is there for a reason; it balances other facial features, like large eyes and lips, or an angular face shape.

BEARD TRIMMERS

Beard trimmers and shapers are a modern essential, as the modern man increasingly tends to move away from the clean-shaven look. 

The traditional form for these has long been like a pair of barber’s hair clippers – and, indeed, most of these can be used to trim your head hair to a Statham-esque stubble, or tame unruly body fuzz. However, there are now a few outliers that take a more innovative approach to beard management.

So If you’re looking for regular beard management or the occasional trim, what is the best beard trimmer/shaper? These ones are the sharpest, to put it bluntly. 

As with electric toothbrushes, never pay full price for a beard trimmer; they are bloody always on sale. Always. 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BEARD TRIMMER FOR YOU

When considering a beard trimmer there are several things to consider. The first one is length: some trimmers are only suitable for short beards, while others come with a range of heads or guards that can be used for bushy beards. 

Most trimmers can be used for body hair and the hair on the top of your head too, but if you want anything other than a skinhead, you’ll again want a trimmer that’s capable of longer length settings. 

Charge time may matter if you’re constantly on the move, and often these things take 8 hours or more to fully juice up. Realistically, that shouldn’t be a problem if you only trim once per day, but if you suffer from beard maintenance anxiety, you might favour a trimmer with an emergency ‘quick charge’ feature, giving a full trim after just a few minutes charging.

Watch out for consumables – while many trimmers have self-sharpening blades that last forever, some need oiling, and some even require regular replacement. 

As with electric toothbrushes, our biggest tip is : never pay the RRP on higher-end beard trimmers: grooming gadgets are regularly discounted, as reflected in our handy pricing widgets.

THE BEST BEARD TRIMMERS IN ORDER

1. PHILIPS SERIES 9000 BT9297/13

The best beard trimmer a man can get

SPECIFICATIONS
Max length: 7mm
Battery life: 60 mins
Charge time: 1 hour
Emergency charge: Not as such but charges quickly
Washable: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+Reliable, comfortable trimming+Easy to do detail and edging+Never needs oiling+100% waterproof
REASONS TO AVOID
Only for the shorter beardWhat is that laser for?

• Apologies if our pricing widgets are showing you a crazily high price for this device, this is due to technical issues. It should cost well under £100, as at John Lewis.

I have had one of these for 5 years and used it – usually in the shower – multiple times per week. And yes, admittedly the battery did eventually die (it now only works when the power cable is plugged in, although that in itself is a feature that some trimmers lack),  but I can’t really fault it for the price.

The headline feature here is an actual laser, which projects onto your face so you can cut extra straight lines in your beard. Needless to say, this is utterly useless, so let’s ignore that and press on to the non-headline features.

For shorter beards (up to 7mm), there’s nothing to beat the 9000 Series. It goes through even wiry neck hair with ease, edges neatly, yet there’s never any danger of being cut or suffering irritation.

That’s despite the fact that you never ever need to oil it or replace the self-sharpening blades. Because it’s 100% waterproof you can use it in the shower and it’s very easy to clean. 

Bottom line: because Philips wanted this to have a premium feel, they put a laser in it. But the good news for beardies is that they also made it as good as a beard trimmer could be. The only bum note is that if you have a beard longer than 7mm, you can’t use this, unless you 3D print a longer comb attachment or something.

2. PANASONIC ER-GD60

The best beard trimmer for precision styling

SPECIFICATIONS
Max length: 10mm
Battery life: 50 mins
Charge time: 1 hour
Emergency charge: Not as such but charges quickly
Washable: Blade only
REASONS TO BUY
+Multiple attachments+Precision styling+Ergonomic handle
REASONS TO AVOID
Regular oiling required

We were a bit skeptical of this Panasonic trimmer at first, as it’s unlike any trimmer we’ve used before, but after getting used to it (that does take some time) it’s quickly become one of our favorite grooming tools.

Why is it so difficult to get used to? As you can see from the image, you don’t hold it like a traditional trimmer, as the cutting blades are in-line, rather than perpendicular, to the handle. This results in a lot more visibility while trimming, making it easier to create clean edges to your stubble.

This is also aided by the long and sharp cutting blades.

If you’re after more precision, the Panasonic comes with a detail attachment, which essentially covers 2/3s of the blade, and makes getting to those hard to reach places easier.

As well as the detail attachment, you’ll also get an adjustable comb with 20 cutting lengths from 0.5 – 10 mm. This makes getting your stubble the perfect length a breeze.

Unlike the Philips above, however, you do need to oil and replace the blades. Panasonic suggests oiling after every use, which is a bit of a hassle. It’s also has quite a plasticky quality but then, to be fair, they all do.

3. PHILIPS ONEBLADE PRO

Great for perma-stubble and shorter beards

SPECIFICATIONS
Max length: 10mm
Battery life: 90 mins
Charge time: 1 hour
Emergency charge?: No
Washable: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+Accurate edging+Cutting comb included
REASONS TO AVOID
Blade needs replacing regularlyExpensive

The Philips OneBlade is an odd-looking thing, with what appears to be a large Mach 3-style blade instead of the familiar cutting comb (although with the Pro models you get a cutting comb too). 

The main selling point here is the absence of razor burn: if you’ve found other trimmers leave your face a fiery red, you will find the OneBlade considerably more gentle. You’ll want to stand near the sink, use it in the shower, or keep a cordless vac nearby, mind: the way the head vibrates sends cut stubble all over the place.

The dual-sided blade is designed to cut more precisely than a comb and we find they last about 6 weeks to 3 months before needing to be replaced. That’s somewhat less than Philips’ claim of 4 months, but the replacement heads aren’t especially pricey or hard to find.

The battery runs for 90 minutes on a one-hour charge and it can handle beards up to 10mm via its adjustable comb head. I’d say it is suited to shorter trims on the whole – it’s most ideal for those who favour neither beards nor a smooth visage: it does perma-stubble brilliantly.

There are a number of versions of the OneBlade available at Amazon and elsewhere, and particularly if you suffer from facial irritation, they are all excellent.

The hardware of the non-‘Pro’ versions does have more of a tendency to wear out, however. That’s because rather than having an integral, adjustable comb for different lengths, they use interchangeable combs.

4. BRAUN BEARD TRIMMER BT3040

Best budget beard trimmer

SPECIFICATIONS
Max length: 20mm
Battery life: 60 mins
Charge time: 8 hours
Emergency charge?: No
Washable: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+Comfortable trimming+39 lengths, up to 21mm+Not bad for head and body hair
REASONS TO AVOID
Slow charging

We’re big fans of Braun shavers, clippers and trimmers: they’re rock solid, last forever and do the job without any fuss, and they tend to be pretty cheap too. If you’re looking for a good all-rounder to keep your beard looking its best, the BT3040 is well worth a look: with two combs and precision length settings you get 39 different lengths to play with, from five o’clock shadow to a luxuriantly long 21mm. 

That means it can double as a hair clipper too, and Braun also bundles a Gillette Fusion ProGlide for precision edging. It’s not the fastest to charge – it takes about eight hours to charge from flat, and needs charging again after an hour – but it’s an excellent all-rounder.

5. BABYLISS ISTUBBLE BEARD TRIMMER

Ideal for beards that need to be short and perfectly styled

SPECIFICATIONS
Max length: 5mm
Battery life: 90 mins
Charge time: 16 hours
Emergency charge?: Yes (90mins)
Washable: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+Very accurate+Emergency quick charge
REASONS TO AVOID
Not suitable for bushy beardsFull charge takes time

As much as we hate the fashion for adding an “i” prefix to make things sound modern, the iStubble is a smart shaver indeed: its trimmer guard is motorised, enabling you to set the length perfectly. 

You can expect around 45 minutes use from 90 minutes of charging, and if you forget to charge it completely there’s enough power for a single shave after just five minutes – although a full charge does take 16 hours. 

It’s not suitable for Santa or hipsters – the maximum cutting length is 5mm – but if you prefer your beard to be short then the iStubble is one of the best shavers to keep it that way.

6. PHILIPS BT7202/13 SERIES 7000

Excellent trimmer that cleans up after itself (allegedly)

SPECIFICATIONS
Max length: 10mm
Battery life: 60 mins
Charge time: 1 hour
Emergency charge?: No
Washable: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+Very good performance+At least tries to catch cut hairs
REASONS TO AVOID
Doesn’t catch all hair by any meansRRP is too high (but it is often discounted, so no worries)

We used to carpool for work, and one of our colleagues would jump in the passenger seat of our car and immediately fire up his electric shaver – something we weren’t happy about until we realised he was leaving his DNA everywhere and framed him for a series of murders. 

If only he’d bought the Philips, which has an integrated vacuum system to catch most of the facial fallout. It promises to catch 90% of your cuttings (albeit in lab conditions), so that should mean less cleaning up after each cut. 

In my experience, you still need to clean up after, just as you do with any other beard trimmer. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that, as with its ‘laser-guided’ trimmer, Philips has again come up with a trimmer whose ‘bonus feature’ is a pure gimmick to catch your attention.

On the other hand, also like the laser-trim-o-matic, this is an excellent beard tamer, so long as you aren’t too fussed about its headline feature.

The lockable cutter has 20 settings from 0.5mm to 10mm and you’ll get around an hour of shaving from a single charge. Also as with the laser one, don’t pay the RRP as it’s frequently available for much less.

7. WAHL 9854-802 LITHIUM ION GROOMING STATION

Emergency charging for disorganised people in a hurry

SPECIFICATIONS
Max length: 12mm
Battery life: 180 mins
Charge time: 1 hour
Emergency charge?: Yes (1 minute)
Washable: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+Super-fast emergency charge+Lots of accessories
REASONS TO AVOID
Fairly basicYou’ll lose the accessories

Rechargeable batteries are all well and good, but most of us have been caught out by the battery trap: you’re halfway through a trim or a tidy-up and the battery’s flat, often catching hairs in the blades as the trimmer dies – and sod’s law means it happens when you’re in a hurry to meet someone or get to work and don’t have time to wait for your cutter to recharge. 

Wahl feels your pain, and it’s come up with a charging system that delivers enough power for a trim in just one minute. The Grooming Station comes with four heads and seven combs enabling you to trim to up to 12mm and to trim close-cropped hair on your scalp too.

8. REMINGTON MB050 DURABLADE HYBRID TRIMMER

This affordable hybrid trimmer-cum-shaver does the job

SPECIFICATIONS
Max length: 6mm
Battery life: 60 mins
Charge time: 4 hour
Emergency charge: No
Washable: Yes
REASONS TO BUY
+Remains sharp for 5-years+USB charger+Grippy handle+Compact+Closer shaves than most trimmers
REASONS TO AVOID
Don’t expect a ‘fine’ shaveNot very powerful trimmer

The Remington Durablade is another favourite grooming tool of ours. It’s a hybrid trimmer and shaver, which has both positive and negative point

The Durable is capable of a closer shave than many of the trimmers on this list, it’s lightweight, and you never need to replace the blades.

But, while it does undaboutable offer a closer shave, it’s not as good as a traditional electric shaver, and it’s not as powerful as other trimmers on this list.

It’s a classic jack of all trades, master of none.

That being said, it’s an incredibly useful little tool to take away one holidays or when travelling for business, and great for quick touch up jobs, when time is off the essence.

RAZORS

What to look for:

Blade type: Seek a stainless steel blade for hygienic purposes and premium sharpness.

  • Razor head: Flexibility is everything for a safety razor, so look for one that locks the blade in place firmly and can be angled across the face for precision shaving. It’s worth bearing in mind that most cartridge razors have typical pivotal heads to perform basic shaves.
  • Maintenance: A quick rinse and wiping of the blades every few shaves suffices for cartridge razors, whereas straight razors require more to preserve shelf life, like cleaning the razor lock system.
  • Length and weight: Consider a smaller grip for better balance or a razor with some heft to let the weight do the shaving for you.
  • Special features: It’s always worth noting that any cartridge razor with lubrication strips or multiple blades work best to provide smoother strokes.

Gillette SkinGuard Razor

transparent gif

Best for: Sensitive skin and those who suffer from razor bumps
What to know: Raised blades to minimise skin contact
Our verdict: Shaving is one of the most irritating habits you can have, but it’s still necessary for anyone who doesn’t want a beard. If you’re going to be dragging a razor across your face on regular basis and are worried about damaging your skin, then try out Gillette’s SkinGuard Razor. It features raised blades to minimise skin contact, and a comfort guard between the blades to cushion the skin, and reduce tugging and pulling. Included with the razor are five cartridge refills. 
£31.10 at Amazon

Merkur Futur

transparent gif

Best for: Straight razor shaves
What to know: It’s sharp AF when locked into the highest setting
Our verdict: Critical acclaim alone has placed this stunning razor on most “best of” lists. The Futur is a modern take on the classic double-edged razor that blends full adjustability, balance, and style into a gorgeously ergonomic design. It’s super-aggressive on the shave end with multiple settings that leverage different cutting angles, catering to all facial contours, and is great whether you’re a left or right-handed. The shave remains consistent from start to finish with the blade gap slicing through hair instantly and scooping up shaving residue for an effortless cleanup. A chrome-plated, matte finish guarantees sustainability for years on end.
£54.45 at Amazon

Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide Razor

transparent gif

Best for: Effortless shaves
What to know: A single AAA battery powers up the razor
Our verdict: The notion of a razor sporting a gryo ball in the handle screams gimmicky – but as the saying goes, don’t knock it ’till you try it. The next-gen Fusion5 Proglide model supersedes grooming expectations, with an orange ball hinge offering the kind of flexibility that inspires you to experiment with facial styles. The pivoting razor blade cartridge does a fantastic job of snatching stubble and uses thinner blades for decreased facial resistance, doing away with any frustrations associated with pulling and tugging. But it’s the electronic functionality of the Proglide that clearly steals the show, delivering pleasant micropulses on the skin to give you a better glide. And it’s a super cost-efficient alternative to more expensive razors. 
£21.01 at Amazon

Philips OneBlade

transparent gif

Best for: Facial styling
What to know: It’s an all-in-one grooming system
Our verdict: Ingenuity, thy name is Philips OneBlade. This is a shaver, trimmer and styler, combined together in a sleek unibody design with a unique shaving head that seamlessly follows the contours on your face. Getting around facial indentations is a breeze as the teeth of the comb can easily get in between tough spots – like clefts – to clear out fuzz, thanks to its rapidly oscillating blades. It’s this same guarded teeth enclosure around the razor that acts as a comb, guiding thicker hair directly into the cutter to achieve soft, non-irritable skin. Each blade is designed to last up to four months on an average of two shaves per week.
£44.97 at Amazon

Parker 96R

transparent gif

Best for: Muscular types
What to know: Merkur blades perform best with this model, according to most owners
Our verdict: Athletic types with big hands will find comfort in this long-handled razor. It has a fully textured and long non-slip handle that allows big fists to get a good grip, while providing excellent shave control. You’ll find the blade gap is tight enough to get close to the skin without you needing to applying any extra pressure. The brass frame and easy blade replacement system via butterfly design makes it an ideal companion for professional shavers.
£23.99 at Amazon

Weishi Long Handle Safety Razor

transparent gif

Best for: Classic shavers
What to know: This is a good beginner product for those new to safety razors
Our verdict: Some guys just want something that resembles their old man’s razor. The Weishi Long Handle is as close as you can get to an old-fashioned look that’ll bring you back to your first-ever shave. The build quality is impressive when you factor in how affordable it is, while the lengthy handle accommodates huge hands and provides good heft, letting the razor do all the work. It’s something you’ll be proud to pass onto the next generation.
£14.98 at Amazon

Rockwell 2C Razor

transparent gif

Best for: Cowardly shavers
What to know: The handle has been constructed from high-end chromed zinc alloys.
Our verdict: Shaving can be intimidating for those with little experience. Rockwell helps boost your confidence with its line of safety razors, personalised to ensure the safest shaves possible. The 2C features patented adjustable shave settings to accommodate any skin type and stubble length – adjusting it to Size-1 makes it nearly impossible to cut your face. It’s a solid option for any amateur whose biggest fears are nicks. The build quality is also remarkable.
£29 at Amazon

Bolin Webb R1 Razor

transparent gif

Best for: Pretentious shavers
What to know: It uses a Gillette Mach 3 razor head
Our verdict: A succinct demonstration of modern design and engineering, the R1 exudes sophisticated swag with a contoured handle to help you manage beard outlining with ease. The blades are evenly sharp and have the ability to tackle all forms of body hair, be it one you face, chest, or arms. Not to mention that the striking appearance looks super slick in your bathroom, especially when docked on the eye-catching Gravity Razor Stand
£60 at Amazon

Dorco Classic Razor

transparent gif

Best for: Bang for your buck
What to know: Perfect for quick shaves as there’s no messing about with changing blade fittings
The verdict: The classic design may be simple, but this razor is anything but – it’s a highly innovative piece of (shaving) kit. The world’s first razor to utilise seven precision-aligned blades, the new Dorco Classic calls itself the “ultimate shave”. They’re big words, but it’s got the skills to back them up: the blades are slimmer and longer lasting thanks to its open structure design, while a rubber-mounted guard bar helps you trace the contours of your face with the pivoting, flexible head. Plus, a lubricating strip containing antioxidants heals razor burn and helps sooth sensitive skin.
£8.74 at Dorco 

Baxter of California Safety Razor

transparent gif

Best for: Well-kept beards
What to know: It’s designed for traditional wet shaving
The verdict: Beautifully crafted, Baxter’s nickel-plated shaver is perfectly balanced so that you can safely glide it across your skin without applying any extra pressure – the end result is a non-irritant, ingrown-free face. A chrome finish and decorative handle adds to its lavish look. Much like the brand’s other award-winning grooming products, Baxter packages the razor smartly in a black gift box, with starter blades and an instruction card for newbies.
£54.53 at Amazon

Mühle R41 Grande Open Comb Safety Razor

transparent gif

Best for: Mid-level shavers
What to know: Open-comb safety razors lubricate and protect the skin better than closed-comb razors 
The verdict: Any guy bored with intermediate shaving and looking to enter the next stage should consider owning this safety razor. Shorter than the Merkur Futur, the Mühle R41 is easy to maintain, with contours that prevent blade-clogging or nicks. It features a statement handle with a decorative line pattern that makes it easier to grip during wet shaves. Single-cutting action ensures a silky skin texture only a true shaving connoisseur can appreciate.
£27.86 at Amazon

Harry’s Truman Razor

transparent gif

Best for: Low cost
What to know: Cartridge refills cost £7.50 for a 4-pack
The verdict:  This German-engineered five-blade cutter does a great job of gliding through stubble and allows shaving gels and creams to rinse off easily. The specially designed cartridge features a “Gothic Arch” blade that’s positioned 30 to 45 degrees for elite shave control, and a precision trimmer can touch up sideburns and tackle hairs trapped above the upper lip region. Flexible rubber hinges and a nourishing strip infused with aloe vera and vitamin E round out the Truman’s notable attributes. Choose from multiple colours (blue, orange, olive) to give your countertop some pop.
£8 at Harrys

BIC Flex 5 Hybrid Razor

transparent gif

Best For: Gym and travel junkies
What to Know: It’s far superior to those multipack single-use disposables
Our verdict: Since 1975, BIC has manufactured more than 60 billion razors. How’s that for heritage? Even with that, the company hasn’t exactly garnered the greatest reputation among the grooming consensus; it’s labeled the cheapest in terms of performance and value. Well, the Flex 5 Hybrid has silenced skeptics by combining convenience with (way) better-than-expected quality. Between its exclusive hybrid technology and five flexible blades — *five* — the razor actually comes pretty close to the shave you’re used to with the *other* guys. Does it give you that fresh-from-the-barber shave? Probably not, but it isn’t going to leave you with the knicks and irritation associated with the other throwaway blades at the same price.
£8.99 at Amazon


We Also Recommend


American Crew Ultra Gliding Shave Oil

transparent gif

Before picking up your facial grooming tool, make sure those whiskers are lifted and ready to cut. When times doesn’t allow for a quick shower, rely on a pre-shave oil to condition your skin for proper razor glide. American Crew’s sleek ointment is one of our current favorites, employing botanical ingredients that boast anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties. It also doubles as a quality beard oil that helps soften hairs.
£6.73 at Amazon

Clinique For Men Face Scrub

transparent gif

Exfoliating should be part of every pre-shave routine, making way for a smoother shaving canvas for your blade of choice. Here is a facial scrub that puts in serious work by purging your kisser of excess dry skin and grime. Fine grains gently buff away dead skin cells and refreshes your skin for the day. Men of all complexion types (normal, oily, sensitive, etc.) should have it in their shower caddy.
£24.98 at Amazon

Cremo Cooling Shave Cream

transparent gif

Next, you’ll want to follow up with a superior shaving cream that develops a warm, rich lather and keeps hairs straight. Cremo sells some of the market’s best-reviewed and cost-friendly options, though we’re fond of the Cooling Shave Cream because of its refreshing and skin-invigorating properties. It creates a thin layer of protection to minimise the risk of razor burn and spoils your mug with natural additives like aloe and macadamia seed oil. No harmful fragrances. No parabens.
£13.90 at Amazon

Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Aftershave

transparent gif

Inflammation or redness is a typical side-effect of shaving and you would be remiss to not apply some form of aftershave right away. Pacific Shaving remains one of our favorite post-shave relievers, and also doubles up as a moisturiser with mild cooling agents and skin-healing properties to care for injuries. Its blend of naturally-derived caffeine and organic ingredients makes it a must for sensitive skin. The budget-friendly value is another incentive for you to stock up.
£9.99 at Amazon

Jack Black Bump Fix, Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Solution

transparent gif

Pseudofolliculitis barbae, aka razor bumps, is just one of the conditions that comes with shaving but lucky for you, Jack Black makes treating those blemishes simpler with a post-shave formula that reduces ingrown hairs, while “preventing new ones from forming.” It doubles as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and free hairs trapped underneath skin by clearing pores of blackheads. The potent mix of plant extracts, herbs and healing botanicals keeps skin hydrated and healed.
£27.50 at Amazon

Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit

transparent gif

Herschel’s Chapter Travel Kit is the on-the-move home for your entire shaving set. This toiletry bag shares the attractive construction of the brand’s signature weekender bags, combining an attractive minimalist design with sturdy aesthetics to hold your heavy artillery of razors and other grooming essentials. A limited lifetime warranty promises that each kit is capable of sustaining the damage of exposed blades and leaked shaving creams. Choose from a variety of colours to match your personal style or razor handle.
£26.20 at Amazon


Cartridge vs. Double Edge


Every gent with a penchant for the clean-shaven look should know a few things about particular blades. For instance:

  • Both cartridge and double edge options are the most affordable shaving options out there
  • Cartridge-based razors are designed to last for a few shaves, but provide the closest shave
  • Double-edged razors are built for long-term shaves and work best to prevent acne
  • Razors are the perfect introduction tool to shaving and lay the foundation for more expert devices like straight razorselectric shavers, and beard trimmers
  • Shaving facilitates the removal of dead skin, therefore helping to prevent blemishes

SHOWER GELS

With hundreds of shower gels available on the market, finding the best one is nothing short of a drudging task. Shower gels offer numerous benefits, and some contain a variety of natural elements, including potent oils, scents and vitamins. Questioning the difference between using a bar of soap and a shower gel? Studies have shown that gel cleansers are less likely to unsettle your skin’s pH levels than soap, as those brick-shaped substances supposedly strip the skin of its essential oils.

So now you ask: What makes for a premium shower gel? Answer: A variety of things. For starters, it should possess high-quality ingredients like grapefruit or bergamot oil – basically, all the good stuff that does wonders for your skin type depending on its sensitivity level. Like shaving gels, observe whether it lathers well, as the suds produced from shower gels can strengthen skin cleansing. Bonus points if it carries an amazing, long-lasting scent.

These aren’t exactly the type of results you’ll get from supermarket brands, which is why we’ve compiled this collection of elite options based on consumer feedback, expert reviews and hands-on experience to help narrow things down. Here’s a look at the 10 best shower gels that deserve a spot somewhere on your shower rack.

L’Occitane L’Occitan Shower Gel

transparent gif

Best for: Purifying against toxins and germs
L’Occitane’s shower gel replicates the rugged scent of its Eau de Toilette with finesse – cleaning your skin with a blended touch of authentic A.O.C. lavender and the peppery, nutmeg scent of burnt wood. Deep cleansing action is expected as the shower remedy integrates Lavandin extracts into the mix, which creates a moisturising effect to keep skin infections from developing.
£16.43 at Amazon

Lynx Black

transparent gif

Best for: A great scent
Lynx Black bears the sudsy mannerisms of an elite shower gel, with bergamot and frozen pear notes to inspire social grace. Lynx spared no expense in formulating this debonair wash, collaborating with fragrance icon Ann Gottlieb to develop it in conjunction with legendary fragrance house Firmenich. The history of both perfume staples alone endorses this shower gel’s elite status, and you can bask in all its opulence at an unbeatable low price.
£8.99 for a pack of 3 at Amazon

Scaramouche and Fandango Body Wash

transparent gif

Best for: Refreshing the skin
The UK-based Scaramouche and Fandango has one of the most revitalising and underrated body washes out there. Composed of Brazilian papaya and vitamin E, this gel delivers an enticing scent tailored for dapper dons, along with an incredible lather effect that preserves all minerals and leaves no post-shower residue. Not to mention that it’s oil, silicone and paraben-free. Combined in a double pack with the brand’s shampoo, it’s an absolute steal for the price.
£14.99 at Amazon

Dove Men+Care Cool Fresh Body And Face Wash

transparent gif

Best for: Hydrating your skin
Dove continues to meet the needs of flakey groomists with its solid line of grooming solutions. The brand uses its patented MicroMoisture to hydrate your skin, tackling dryness and iritation. It’s a clinically proven formula and promises to leave you exuding a cool, invigorating scent. Unlike some gels, it won’t leave any residue and washes away first time.
£3.50 at Amazon

Anthony Invigorating Rush Hair + Body Wash

transparent gif

Best for: All skin types
Anthony’s 2-in-1 solution functions as a three-tier cleansing system that jolts the body with energy. It starts by stimulating senses with eucalyptus extract, then your skin absorbs birch leaf properties and inflammation is calmed thanks to Canadian balsam. Avocado and wheat protein distribute moisture, leaving vitamin B5 to rejuvenate skin (and hair) when applied. Dry or oily, normal or sensitive, it can treat every skin type effectively – and wash your hair too. 
£26 at Amazon

Neal’s Yard Remedies Geranium & Orange Shower Gel

transparent gif

Best for: Free from toxic chemicals
Neal’s Yard Remedies is one of the most ethical cosmetic ranges out there, scoring top marks for safe ingredients, sustainable production, and environmental impact. The brand uses organic products wherever possible, and this shower gel contains a refreshing burst of geranium flower and orange oils to revive your senses. Naturally, it’s also free from animal testing and suitable for vegans, which means you can smell and feel great. 
£15.00 at Amazon

Molton Brown Black Peppercorn Body Wash

transparent gif

Best for: A soothing, relaxing wash
This one remains a favourite for its concentrated formula, distinguished appearance and intoxicating aroma. Grooming connoisseurs can take solace in knowing that the zestful body wash eliminates skin toxins, whereas fitness freaks can rely on it to boost circulation and relax muscles post workout. Amazingly cleansed and fragrant-ready, Molton Brown has created potentially the most invigorating aroma-therapeutic shower scent out there.
£20 at John Lewis

Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa Hair & Shower Gel

transparent gif

Best for: Him and her
Acqua di Parma’s golden elixir just permeates luxury, from its deep scent to the traditional bottle. The combination of coconut oil and wheat protein leave your skin delicately smooth, whereas the blend of Sicilian citrus, jasmine, verbena, and Bulgarian rose create a sensual elegant, gender-neutral odour that your partner can soak herself in, too. It even doubles as a hair wash.
£33 at John Lewis

Baxter Of California Invigorating Body Wash

transparent gif

Best for: Softer skin
California’s most reputable men’s grooming line builds on its trendsetting lineage with a hydrating shower gel that neutralises dirt and debris without compromising moisture. A pungent aroma of Italian lime and bergamot pomegranate tantalises the senses, while skin softening agents help produce velvety results. We strongly recommend pairing it with the Baxter of California’s Deodorant for a euphoric scent-sual high.
£18 at Mankind

Old Spice Original Shower Gel

transparent gif

Best for: Everlasting smell
A good shower gel maintains its scent for long stretches, working in tandem with your deodorant. This urbane gel gives off a pungently masculine aroma that locks into the skin for up to 7 hours daily, so is good enough to get you through an entire workday without you resorting to the stale cologne housed in your office drawer. More surprising is how the product performs just as amazing as it smells, with a super-rich lather factor that comforts skin with gentle foam. Its inexpensive cost also means you can stock up on two (or more) without breaking the bank.
£2.99 at Boots

MENS MOISTURISER

Want rid of tired eyes, dry skin, and blemishes? Boost your daily routine with the cosmetic necessities that you need for flawless skin. 

From Chanel and Tom Ford to Bulldog and Kiehl’s, and from post-workout moisturiser to anti-blemish treatments, we’ve got you covered. And if only the latest moisturisers will do? Check out our list of the best new grooming items this week.

What is moisturiser and why do I need it?

A moisturiser should be the first tool in your arsenal for avoiding dry and tired skin. When combined with a good face wash it helps to rehydrate your skin’s outer layers so you look your best around the clock. This is especially when it comes to your face as it’s the most exposed part of your body to the elements. Need some more motivation to lather your face every morning? Moisturisers that contain SPF help to protect your face from sun damage and any potential skin cancer-related woes.

What time of day should I use moisturiser?

We recommend using these moisturisers twice a day, in the morning and the evening. A daily routine would be to wash your face with a mild cleanser and follow this with one of our picks here. However, this can differ depending on product, skin-type, time of year and even your environment. Since your skin hydration needs will vary according to the seasons you’ll want to continue to try new products through the year.

What moisturiser is best for tattoo aftercare?

Careful, this is a common misconception. Bepanthen, which is an ointment rather than a moisturiser, is the recommended product for tattoo aftercare and you’ll want to apply it every 3-6 hours for around a fortnight after you’ve been inked. So as much as these moisturisers will revitalise your mug, they’re no good for keeping heart-shaped “Mum” tat in tip top shape.

What other grooming products work best with a moisturiser?

To each man his own, but we’d recommend pairing your moisturiser with a good men’s face wash at the very least. Then have a think about mixing an exfoliator into the process that’ll diminish dirt and get shot of dead skin cells. And if you’re in need of a more intensive refresh? Try slapping on a face mask when the moment calls for it.

A GUIDE TO AFTERSHAVE

From the pool to the office, the pub to The Ivy, our pick of the likes of Byredo and Comme Des Garçons will see you right whatever the occasion. Like a sharp haircut or a crisp shirt, the right fragrance is the discrete necessity that every man needs. So we’ve taken the hard work out of finding a new men’s aftershave for you. But first, a quick guide to fragrances…

What’s the difference between an aftershave, eau de toilette and eau de parfum? 

A lot of men unknowingly use the terms interchangeably, but they actually refer to different things. Aftershave contains less perfume oil (around one to four per cent) and typically contains soothing ingredients such as aloe vera. The oil concentration here is perfect for post-shaving. The scent, as a result of its low oil level, lasts around three hours.

An eau de toilette contains more perfume oil than the aftershave (typically around four to eight per cent). This higher concentration means that if you put it on post-shaving, your skin is likely to turn blotchy and red. An eau de toilette lasts around six to eight hours.

If you’re looking for something that will (fingers crossed) last the whole day, then grab yourself an eau de parfum. Containing eight to 15 per cent perfume oil, these are the strongest fragrances you’ll find on the shelves. If you are after something even stronger, you can get simple parfums, but these are rarer and are only distributed by the likes of Saint Laurent and Givenchy.

What are the properties of a fragrance?

Fragrances are complex and it can often take perfumers up to a year to create one. Typically fragrances, along with whatever else a perfumer wants to add (for example, citrus notes or sandlewood), are made up of the following ingredients: ambergris, bergamot, neroli, oud, patchouli, vetiver, orris and tonka bean. While we could tell you all you need to know about these, we’ve already done that with this nifty guide to fragrances.

For now we bring you our roundup of the finest men’s aftershaves, eau de toilettes and eau de parfums. You’ll never smell better.

BEARD STYLING CREAM

BEARD STYLING CREAM

BARBIERE

Acqua di Parma Barbiere Beard Styling Cream, 50ml

A beard grooming essential for the perfect look. Its soft and moldable texture is ideal for all-day beard control and style definition. Enriched with vegetal oils, the formula nourishes and conditions the beard for a soft yet non-greasy touch. Lightly scented with notes of Colonia.

£29.00

www.acquadiparma.com