A CLOSE SHAVE

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Sometimes, doing something “old school” not only is more fun, but also makes life (and cocktails) better.

Words by: THE RAKISH BON VIVANT

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For example, shaving like your grandpa did—with a double edged safety razor—not only saves you a lot of money, but also results in a closer, more even shave (and is better for your skin).First, shaving with a safety razor can save you more than $300 a year, just on cartridges alone The price of Fusion blades, for instance, is around $30+ for a pack of 8, or around $4.00 per blade.In comparison, a package of high quality double-edge blades is around $1.50 for a pack of 10,or 15¢ a blade (which will last you about a week per blade). And, once you invest in a qualityrazor—a Merkur or Edwin Jagger are both great choices for around $40—you will have it for life.Plus, you feel like a badass every morning taking part in a ritual that great men like your grandfather, John Wayne, and John F. Kennedy all took part in.

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As the Art of Manliness put it, switching from a disposable razor to a double-edged safety razor “is like upgrading from a Pinto to a Mercedes.” A safety razor is a machine. Which means that you need to let the machine do the work for you.

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A quality, well-made razor will have sufficient weight on its own to exert the proper amount of pressure. Thus, bearing down on the razor will not result in a closer shave, but it may remove the top layer of skin, at best, if it doesn’t gouge you first (remember, you are holding a very sharp blade directly on your skin). Therefore, to make sure that you don’t use too much pressure grasp the razor at the bottom of the handle, which will force you to use less pressure on the blade.

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You can achieve this angle by raising or lowering the razor handle. This is particularly important when following contours such as around the chin or jaw line. Since most nicks or cuts happen when the blade first makes contact with the skin, make sure that the safety bar contacts the skin first and then lift the razor handle until you achieve the desired angle before beginning your stroke.And use short, slow, strokes with a safety razor. Precision, not speed, is the name of the game when holding a sharp, metal object against your face.

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You can often tighten the skin simply by flexing your facial muscles or using your free hand to pull the skin in the opposite direction of razor travel. Stretching your skin opens the hair follicle and exposes more of the hair, which allows it to be cut shorter.

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Your face will thank you!

Words by THE RAKISH BON VIVANT