Now that Movember is behind us—I’m all for the cause, but some people just don’t look too fly with haphazard staches—it’s time to focus on getting your man coiffed for the holidays, especially if he wants to keep the facial hair around. The fact is, many men don’t fully comprehend the value and art of proper grooming. Let’s face it: it’s much easier to whip out a razor, squirt on some shaving cream and chisel away at that five o’clock shadow.
This is not to say go out and find a straight razor for him, pop on a YouTube tutorial and wish for the best. Start small and work up to a straight razor; until then, treat him to a shave somewhere like Original Grooming Experts in Toronto, The Belmont Barbershop, Vancouver, or Montreal’s Les Mecs Cheveux. Even if he is taken aback when you introduce him to shave culture this Christmas, it won’t be long before he’s thanking you. Besides, who wants an untamed jungle scraping against your face while snogging? (Not us!)
The first step in any pre-shave or grooming ritual should always be to exfoliate. Using a hot facecloth or hand towel, lightly pad down the face. Though it’s ideal to use an exfoliating scrub, even an exfoliating cloth can help flake away dead skin to prepare it for the shave. Run some hot water, submerse the cloth then wring it out before applying to the face.
Now it’s time to start shaving. Since nobody wants a slip of hand à la Sweeney Todd in their living room, get him an electric trimmer. There are plenty of great products on the market but a favourite is Philips’ BeardTrimmer 9000. Start at the top of the jawline and slowly carve out the design, trimming high whiskers and loose ends to create a guide for the final look. Once outlined, focus on those detail areas like the upper lip and lower chin. Tip: line up the upper whiskers just below the cheekbone and above the jawline to accentuate bone structure.
After the shave, it’s all about pampering—a necessary stage to preserve the work he has done and to treat the skin after being poked and prodded. Re-apply a warm, damp cloth or towel to the face and remove any loose stubble, then tighten up those pores with a natural toner. This will help prep the skin before rubbing on moisturizers and conditioners. Proceed with Beard Lube and facial moisturizers. He might be weary of moisturizing at first but, trust us, he’ll be thanking you down the road when his skin is looking supple while his mates’ are looking less-than-peachy.
Prep your face with Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub from Kiehl’s, the perfect wake-me-up exfoliator for early morning shaves. Pair it with any of Kiehl’s products targeted for men and he’ll be thrilled with the outcome.
Treat your man like a king and gift him a Hammam Stripe Hand Towel from West Elm, monogramed with his initials of course, to towel down before and after a shave.
$11, can be monogramed at extra cost, West Elm
Meet Philips’ BeardTrimmer 9000. It’s lightweight, waterproof design is good enough for most, but flip it around to find its best feature—the precision guiding laser. Pop your man on Pinterest and get inspired, then send him off to the water closet for a good ol’ trim session. The best part: its laser can even be used to align art on a wall!
$109, The Bay
Aside from a good exfoliating scrub, the most important item in anyone’s face-care ritual should be toner. This natural blend of tea tree and witch hazel, from Australia’s Thursday Plantation, will soothe dry skin while clearing out acne-causing bacteria courtesy of tea tree oil’s natural properties.
The only way to preserve youthful skin is through routine maintenance. This doesn’t mean lathering on 16 creams each day, or layering on three anti-wrinkle hydrating masks. Men like things simple, so Neutrogena created Triple Protect Face Lotion, which not only moisturizes skin but also protects it from sun damage.
What better way to finish off a pre-trim session than with some of Jack Black’s Beard Lube? Apply sparingly throughout the beard to moisturize the skin and lighten up even the roughest whiskers. The concoction of jojoba oil and macadamia nut oil breaks down beneath the skin to soften new hair growth and reduce irritation, leaving his chin feeling soft and fresh.
$37, Holt Renfrew