Our perfect shave is best on what we call the four elements of a perfect shave. Which is prepare, lather up, shave and moisturize. We believe that when somebody uses all four of these steps together, they are going to come out with the crafted perfect shave.
Preparing can either be a hot shower or hot towel that's needed to get heat to their face to soften beard hairs. Then we have our pre-shave oil which is one of our best products. We also have pre-shave gel as well. Beard hair is like a copper coil. It is very hard to cut unless you start to soften it with products, with heat and water. That's all in the prepare step. You are getting your beard hairs ready almost like marinating a steak. You want to make sure that you are preparing the skin because that is really what is going to set you up for the perfect shave.
Lathering up is the process of putting the shaving cream on. We use brushes at The Art of Shaving which are natural badger hair brushes that retain heat and they give you a warm lather when you put them under hot water. This is the best way to mimic what the barbers are doing. Barbers use hot lather machines. It's really hard for a person at home to have a hot lather machine and maintain it. A shaving brush is a great way to get the same benefits of a lather machine. Having a nice, warm, thick lather hydrates and protects the skin so that the razor will glide better. This Art of Shaving lather process can be found on YouTube.
Shave part is where you use a properly weighted and balanced razor. This will provide a smoother razor glide and help to minimize razor burn. Razor blades should be changed after three to five uses, or when you feel it tugging at your beard as you shave. You rinse your face with cool water, and then apply our alcohol-free after shave balm.
Moisturize step is using the hydrating toner to leave your face with a finishing feeling of freshness and revitalization.
What products would you recommend as a basic start off?
We actually sell really great kits in our stores. We call them our full-size or our 4-Elements kits. They come with pre-shave, shaving cream, shaving brush, and after shave. Our after shaves are lotion-based because we believe that you should never be splashing alcohol on your face — because it can cause redness and irritation. No matter what your budget is ... you can always get the full perfect shave with purchase of our starter or full-size kits. You pair it with whatever shaving instrument you are using. We always say start with the product and then figure out the razor that you need. You always want to use a high-quality razor, in terms of sharpness and cleanliness. You want to make sure you are changing your razors out. It really depends on a person's face. We have gorgeous handles that are properly weighted and balanced. Some people like to use safety razors and we even sell straight razors.
What is pre-shave oil?
It is a really nice, simple basic formula. You take a little of it in your hand. It feels very similar to the consistency of like a light olive oil. You place it on your skin where you are going to shave, especially the neck area. Just very little of it will put a light layer. What that does is it helps protect the skin as you shave. The oil itself also helps to start softening the beard hairs to make for an easier shave.
Is The Art of Shaving concept related to the older traditional ways of shaving?
We have always been based on the traditional. We have learned so much from the traditional shave — since the 1920s when the barber was a central part of the dapper gentleman's life. They had that barbering moment that was truly to themselves. We believe that the moment was truly where you could be indulgent. We really throw back to that time a lot. So many times people have tried to make shaving a quicker and easier process, and because they have done that — they are sacrificing closeness, cleanness and softness. So we really do pull a lot from the traditional, but then we also have the benefit of current technology.
Can customers buy all their products online?
Absolutely, they can order things online. If they can't get into the store, we can get them set up online. We also have a really great replenishment service, where they can sign up to have their products automatically sent to them every three or six months – depending on when they need it. We always encourage people to go in the store, but we make sure that we can get you your products no matter where you are.