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CEO Raymond Cloosterman enjoys an authentic barber session at the office…

Appearances matter

Although there is always the expression that beauty comes from within, it is a stated fact that appearances do matter. If you run around town looking like a catoptrophe (someone with a phobia for mirrors) you can be pretty sure it will kill that great first impression or even your life, which would be very catastrophic, to say the least. If you don’t believe this fact, take a look at our post FROM ANCIENT TO URBAN SAMURAI and watch the video listed at the end. It will change the opinion that caring for the way you look is superficial. By all means, it might even save your life one day!

And before anyone starts arguing that it is so vain and not very manly to look after your looks, we have to inform you that making the best of what nature has given you isn’t vanity. It merely shows you’ve got self respect and we think that is a sign of manliness alright.

That first impression

Proper grooming is not only about attracting attention from the opposite sex. Looking good actually boosts your confidence which is far more important and helpful when trying to achieve many other goals in your life. A Princeton University Research Paper conducted in 2006 revealed that most people make up their mind about someone within a hundredths millisecond of looking at a face. Even when the time frame got extended to a much longer period, that first inkling about a person’s personality did not alter. So let’s be honest here. Every little effort you make and take to look good helps your cause and in more than one way.

Pick your style

For men this means taking care of your facial hair, to start with. And shaving or trimming are the most influential factors. If we talk about grooming routines a man has 3 options. The first would be to go au naturel, or go-with-the-grow. Due to the above mentioned reasons we advise you to ditch that option presto. Secondly men can join the hipster beard revolution and go-with-the-manicured-grow. A regularly trim for that nonchalant style is a must in this case or the attempt at looking cool and collected will fail miserably. And lastly a man could opt for the clean freshly shaven style. For the shaving part, we can give you a few tips to emerge from this event unscathed. After all, the art of perfect grooming is a daily ritual that should help you looking every bit your best. Not looking like you’ve battled the blade…

Groomed to perfection

PREP YOUR SKIN
Less irritation and a close shave begin with proper preparation. Make sure your skin is clean before you shave. Use warm water. And certainly not hot this causes your skin to dry out and that will upset your skin extra. Always use a cleanser and use a gentle scrub to remove dead skin cells and to help raise yours hairs. This ensures safer (fewer nicks) and smoother shaving.

1. LATHER UP
Shaving goes a lot smoother with a gel, foam or cream, you’ll probably know by now. This is because the properties in your shaving product help soften the hairs, allowing for an easier shave. Apply it in a circular motion so you won’t miss a spot.

blog groomed to perfection

2. BE GENTLE
Many people think and expect that by applying great pressure you get a closer shave. The opposite is in fact the effect. Today’s razors are so well designed that you get better result when you don’t push the razor aggressively into your skin. Instead let it gently touch the surface and let the blade do all the work.

3. TAKE IT SLOW
Shaving is not about living life to the max and getting it done as fast as possible. Take it slow and keep your moves short. This will help keep razorburn under wraps and is the least offensive to your skin.

4. FOLLOW THE GRAIN
To prevent skin irritation or unsightly cuts and bumps shave in the direction of your hair growth instead of going against it. Most often you will go downwards on your cheeks, jawline and face and upwards in the area of your neck. Not sure? Feel the stubble first and you’ll get a quick clue.

5. STAY SHARP
A dull razor blade can cause a lot of issues. Don’t use it for more than 5-10 sessions depending on the coarseness of your facial hair. And since you will probably use it daily, invest in a proper razor and quality blades, they do make a difference.

6. LIP LAST
The hairs on your lip are always thicker; the longer you leave the foam on, the more time it gets to soften those hairs, which will make shaving easier.

7. TAKE A DAY OFF
Best thing for your skin is to give it a break to recuperate. Try to not shave at least once a week. It will make the next shaving shift a lot smoother and easier.

Blog Groomed to Perfection 2

8. WET IT
Many men prefer to save in the shower and with good reason. The steam and water will open up the hair follicles and soften the hairs which helps to realize a closer shave. You can also use a hot wet flannel applied to the face for a few minutes.

9. MOISTURISE
Shaving will dry out your skin so apply a moisturizer. Try using the ANCIENT SAMURAI collection which features a shaving repair cream or lotion. It is excellent for sensitive skin, has calming properties and gives you a fabulous fragrance.

10. EARS & NOSE
By all means don’t forget your nose and ears! You might look like the bomb, freshly shaved and all, but sprouting stray hairs from nose and ears will not look very sexy…

We had an authentic barber session at selected Rituals stores in Amsterdam and The Hague recently. Get an impression on grooming and authentic shaving by watching our short video on the event.

This post is also available in: Dutch Spanish French Swedish

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1 Comments

  • July 15, 2015 Reply

    The Art of Shaving

    This article hit the mark on why grooming matters for men. You said it best when a man grooms himself, not only is his confidence level boosted, but a stranger’s opinion towards him is much more positive versus the man who is not. Your list on grooming perfection is incredibly beneficial and thorough. We’d like to express when it comes to number 3, take your time! Don’t rush it. Stretch the skin up or down so that you could get those areas that are tricky to shave. If you are using a straight-edge, make sure that you have the angle correct (we recommend between 20-30 degrees).

    Follow the steps found here and you will provide your face with an incredible close shave that will leave you walking away confidently.

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