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Archive for the ‘Hygiene’ Category

Losing the socks as the heat returns

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Spring is here and as the temperature continues to rise many will get the urge to break out the Top-Siders or loafers and go sockless to celebrate the return of the sun.  This is all well and good and a valued observance in preparation for the summer but the consequence can be shoes and feet that will peel paint.

So how do we enjoy the weather without repelling those around us?  Here are a few simple things you can do to:

First, wash your feet.  When your in the shower give your feet a good scrub.  This will help keep the bacteria that causes foot odor to a minimum.  Additionally you can rub a little hand sanitizer on your feet to help kill off the stink causing bacteria.

Second, use an antibacterial foot/shoe spray.  Use this on your shoes.  When you take them off at the end of the day give them a good spray and let them sit.  When morning comes and its time to put them back on they will be fresh and ready.

Third, cedar shoe trees.  After giving your shoes a spray insert cedar she trees into your shoes.  The wood will help absorb moisture and the cedar oils will help add a nice scent to the shoes.

If you follow these tips smelly feet won’t be a symptom of your summer because success shouldn’t stink.








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How to care for your shaving brush

Monday, June 28th, 2010

By: Nick Gibbens

Shaving brushes are experiencing something of a resurgence at the moment. As wet shaving is regaining popularity, many men are rediscovering what a pleasurable experience shaving can be.  Adding to the pleasure of this experience are the quality products available, including the badger shaving brush.

Incorporating a badger brush into your shaving procedure can help you to generate a rich lather, which can raise and relax the hair on your face, improving the quality of the shave. The badger hair is also great for massaging the face and adds to the luxurious nature of wet shaving.

However, when you use a shaving brush it is important to look after it in order to benefit from its fine qualities. There are a wide variety of shaving brushes out there and you can make a choice depending on its firmness, but each kind needs to be maintained well to ensure its longevity.

A badger shaving brush can provide over 10 years of service, if it is used and cared for correctly. When using the brush is important not to allow the brush hairs to splay through excessive force. The brush should also be cleaned every time following use.

To properly clean your brush, rinse with warm water and shake off excess moisture. This natural product should be kept on a drip stand, with the hairs pointing downwards.

Make sure you pay careful attention to how you handle the brush and you will be able to enjoy all it’s benefits for years.

This article was kindly provided by Nick Gibbens from the Shaving Shack, which stocks a great selection of razors, creams and shaving brushes.

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The joys of a traditional Barber shop

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

For many man a haircut is nothing more than a menial, unimportant chore that must be completed periodically.  For these men it is generally acceptable to simply stop in the local Supercuts or  similar fast food hair cutter to get it over with.  The result of a visit to one of these hair cutters is usually a bad experience and a worse result.

Similar to shoes, a haircut is a part of your look that can help bring it all together and it says a lot about a man’s view of himself and style.  Hair like clothes can be trendy, timeless, carefully crafted, or impulsive.  For this reason I feel for a man to get a quality result they must immediately rule out chain assembly line hair cutters.  With this option out of the way, one might then move on to salons.  It is possible for a man to get a decent haircut at a salon but there is something lost in the experience as they are generally targeted to women.  The final reason to look for a barber shop is that as in so many professions, the best at something do it all the time and take pride in what they do.  Those who cut hair at a salon cut primarily women’s hair and usually charge a similarly high price to cut a man’s hair.  Barbers, especially barbers who cut hair at exclusively men’s shops, are second to none at this skill.

I myself use a traditional barber shop in Boston and have always been very pleased with the results, but it is the experience that has helped turn my periodic visit into something that I look forward too.  My barbershop has walls of stained hardwood, comfortable chairs and an accommodating hostess that always greets visitors with a smile.  Notice I said “my barbershop”.  It isn’t just somewhere I get my hair cut it is somewhere I visit with friends receive a great service.

The experience for me starts with a short conversation with the barber about what I want.  This conversation usually evolves into “the usual” or some slight variation of this.  After a few minutes and a good conversations,  the barber washes, dries and combs my hair leaving me ready for anything.  Another option offered includes a proper wet shave, which I would recommend.  I think this, to a man, is what a day at the spa is to a women. One of the best parts is is the price which almost anyone could argue is too low for what they provide.

To those of you who have not experienced the joys of a traditional barber, start searching.  A great way to do a little research and read some reviews to help you find a great barber is though Yelp, if it is available for your area.

For those who don’t use a traditional barbershop I can only recommend you at least give it a try.

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Soap and Brush

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Now that you have your safety razor you need some quality shaving soap to complete the experience. I compare the difference between shaving with a quality product and shaving with a drugstore foam or gel to eating unsatisfying, fat free, low calorie health food and eating a delicious, rich, flavorful and decadent meal. After such a meal you feel satisfied and nourished. This is how you and your skin will feel after shaving with such a product.

shaving creamFor some time I used products by The Art of Shaving, specifically their lavender line.   It  is rich, not very perfumed, and leaves your face feeling smooth and hydrated.  I shaved with everything included in the  line,  pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and truefittandhillcreampost-shave balm.  In the past I never shaved with an oil and I am still not sold on its contribution to a good shave.  After these ran out I decided to try some other products in the hope that I could settle on a favorite.  After going through some others with no luck I sent out for a sample kit from Truefitt & Hill.  This is something I highly recommend. For $16 you get samples of all the flavors of shaving cream, balm and cologne that Truefitt & Hill produce. After using all my samples I was able to find the one I loved and place an order.  I’m currently using their West Indian Limes shaving cream and balm and  couldn’t be happier.  It is incredibly rich and has a fresh lime scent perfect for summer.

Aside from shaving cream I recommend a shaving brush.  The best ones can run well over $100 but less expensive models can  work well too.  The main differences between the expensive brushes and the inexpensive ones is quality of the hair used, quality of manufacture, and aesthetics.  I have a cheaper one that has worked fine for me but after a few years of use it about ready to be replaced.

Get out there get some samples and find a product that fits you and helps start you off to a good day…. you wont regret it.

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Shaving…your father’s way

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

I used to shave with multi-blade razors and green gel but eventually wanted to feel a stronger connection to the men and style that I knew.  I also grew sick of paying at least $2 for a blade cartridge that would attach to the end of a poorly made plastic handle.  This is a common marketing technique involving selling you a product (the handle) for a low price, and then sell you something that you must keep replacing for much more (blade cartridges).  After looking into it I discovered how cheap blades were for safety razors.  A pack of high quality razors, bought online, including shipping will only cost about $0.70 each.

Next I had to find the right razor and learn how to use it because shaving with a safety razor takes some different skills.  After some research I settled on the Futur by Merkur.  The design is very clean and classic and is available in gold, silver, and brushed steel.    At about $65 it is a bit of a shock for those of us who are used to buying cheap razors at CVS but it should be seen as an investment.  This is not a razor that will last you 1 year or 5 but 30.

Merkur's Futur

Next I had to buy some razors.  I chose to just go with Merkur’s razors which are platinum coated and perform beautifully, but there are other brands out there that are also very nice…. and cheap.

Here are two good resources:

ClassicShaving.com

They have a lot of great products at reasonable prices.

I also watched some videos on Youtube.com to get the basics of how I should shave with a safety razor.  I highly recommend the following video, and others by the same author.  They include valuable product reviews, techniques, and tips.

Shaving tips and tricks

Once you are set up and have mastered the techniques of shaving with a safety razor shaving becomes a much more enjoyable part of your day.  For me it is a part of my morning routine that I look forward too.


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