How To: Professional Grooming Tips for the Perfect Shave
Quite often, the road to becoming a real Gentleman begins with mastering a few, fundamental skills and perfecting some basic tips in professional grooming, will enable you to achieve that classically prepped look every day.
Our editor, Malcolm has perfected the art of beard grooming with some real finesse, but with the recent trend in facial hair, beards and moustaches – it leads the men in the other camp asking, what about us? We thought it’s about time, we dished out some valuable advice for the men that prefer that close shave over an abundance of beard. So, if you’re still wondering ‘How do I get the perfect shave?’ we know just the man to help…
We decided to reach out to Steven Funk, a true shaving expert and a real, dapper Gent to share a little wisdom when it comes to ‘achieving that perfect shave’. Steven is the founder and CEO of Cardinham Killigrew. Cardinham Killigrew is a men’s grooming brand, which is described as ‘ the purveyors of Fine Gentleman’s Shave Products and Curated Accessories, as well as promoters of the extraordinary and the affluent lifestyle’. They produce luxury shaving kits and men’s grooming products, which can be personalised to the preferences of every customer to transform shaving from a chore to a ritual…
The Cardinham Killigrew brand is very distinctive. Can you tell us where your brand draws influence from and how the ‘The House of Killigrew’ was established?
I started Cardinham Killigrew to create a really nice after shave balm that wasn’t filled with a lot of chemicals and fillers. I love post shave balms, but really good ones are expensive. That’s how I started. I spent almost a year researching oils, butters, how they absorbed, the things they do for the skin, formulas, etc and then I formulated my own. After lots of trial and error I found one that absorbed fast, wasn’t greasy and was loaded with beneficial oils and butters. Friends and family loved it…So, that’s how it began. I applied those same principles to all the products I’ve created since then. In doing so I build a world around the products, one of a gentleman’s lifestyle, playing polo, traveling, cooking, clothing and fashion, and accessories. The old World feel just complements the image I want to portray.
Cardinham Killigrew produces luxury Razors and Straight Razors. What is the difference between a Razor and a Straight Razor? Will different razors produce different results when shaving?
A classic razor typically refers to a safety razor. In our case we use premium double edged blades. Straight edges are fixed exposed blades without the safety edge guide . The safety razor basically guides the blade with a very small area of the blade exposed, limiting the chances of cutting yourself, but everyone cuts themselves at some point. The straight is a fully exposed blade. In reality with both, if your angle is right and you don’t go to the sides, you should have no issues. Straight edges are intimidating though for obvious reasons. Usually cuts from both occur when someone is rushing, not paying attention, or using a blade that is not properly sharpened or overly dull.
How should I shave with a straight razor?
SLOW. Take your time. When you rush bad things happen in just about everything you do in life, shaving is no different. Ensure your blade is properly sharpened. Gently tighten the skin with one hand and ensure the angle of the blade is correct, about 30 degrees, go in the direction the hair is growing, not against it. Using a straight razor is a practice of patience. One thing you can try is filling a balloon…cover with shave cream, and try to shave the balloon without popping it. This may help you figure out angles and appreciate speeds…
How can I get the closest shave?
Speed, preparation and good products. I’ve said it before, take your time. Shaving dry, rushing, using a dull blade, not properly hydrating the facial hair is foolish. Slow down for a second, take a breath. Have a fresh or fairly fresh blade. Take a hot shower or wash your face with hot soapy water, but don’t dry your face off, pat it, but leave it damp. After you apply shaving cream or soap, wait a minute, let it weaken the follicles of hair. Use a good shaving cream or soap, a pre shave oil and do multiple passes rather than just rushing through. Shave with the direction of the hair, not against it.
Can you recommend any men’s grooming products to protect the skin and prevent skin irritation when shaving?
Most irritation is caused by your actions. Shaving dry, not properly hydrating your facial hair before shaving, shaving against the grain of the hair, using a razor that you’ve been using for a month and is now dull, rushing. This is what causes most of your irritation. This said, if you use quality products and methods you should have very little irritation. Most issues are self-inflicted.
You stock a range of luxury Shaving Brushes. How do I choose the right shaving brush?
Like most shave enthusiasts I have an arsenal of shave products. About 5 razors and 3 brushes. I think with a lot of people it just becomes a hobby, not a chore. One of my slogans has been, turning shaving from a chore to a ritual. Something that can relax you and allow you to feel better about yourself. So, I have a few brushes…boar hair and a few badgers. Many people will say, this is the best or that is the best, but what really matters is your preference. I think these things can be subjective. Silvertip badger, regarded as the best can have a soft long life and is a hallmark in brushes, but sometimes I use a boar hair, it’s rougher and firmer. Perhaps at times lathers a soap better, perhaps lifts the follicle a little more. If I have a day of growth, perhaps a fine badger hair, little softer. I’d tell people to grab a few shaving brushes, a nice badger hair shaving brush, and perhaps a boar hair shaving brush or even a synthetic shaving brush. Play around with different shaving brushes for different hair growth levels, shaving products, that sort of thing. See what you like, not what someone tells you is the best.
What should be the ideal shaving routine?
You’ll find me with a 3 ‘o clock shadow a lot, but I usually have two shaving routines. One is the one where I am in a hurry and I can’t take all the time. Even in this scenario, I do take time to ensure my facial hair is soaked in hot soapy water. That said, once or twice a week I close the door and ensure I have 20 or 30 minutes to myself. I wash my face with hot soapy water, really massaging the facial hair. I pat this dry, not fully drying it. I then apply a light coating of a pre-shave oil to provide a little protection and glide. After this and overtop the oil, I whip a nice lather of shave soap. My shave soaps are really nice, they are infused with clays that provides extra glide as well as shea butter and goats milk. I take the time and do two or three passes, just breathing and relaxing. After this, with slightly damp skin I apply my aftershave balm and pat dry with a towel. My balms are just amazing and my skin feels silky smooth after.
Which one Cardinham Killigrew shaving products could you not live without?
I would definitely say the Cardinham Killigrew aftershave balm. I created the formula to beat every men’s grooming brand in the World. I studied the top brands and focused on trying to create a aftershave balm that eclipsed them. I’ve never found one even close.
Okay, now we all have one. Which man would you consider as the ultimate style icon?
I would have to say someone like a Leonardo Dicaprio for more of the Gentlemanly style and class side. Clooney would be a runner up. Clooney and Leo are the sort that stay above the headline gossip, live large but not in your face, and roll up and don’t really need to say anything to speak volumes.
Take a look at the unique shaving & beard grooming products over on Cardinham Killigrew and be sure to stop by Steven’s channel for some more tutorials for achieving the perfect shave.