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Maxim's Style Guide: Learn to Shave Properly

Welcome to the Maxim Style guide. It’s been a long time coming, but we made it, and over the next 10 weeks we’ll be bringing you everything from grooming tips, tricks, and products, to the threads you should be rocking, and the life you should be living.

This fount of lifestyle lore is brought to you in conjunction with Gillette, so let’s kick off with something suitable: shave. And let’s face it (see what I did there?), millions of men, and that includes you, get it wrong. Not us. We’re experts. But we see you!  You’re that 18-34 year-old man with rash, bumps, spots, and little pieces of toilet tissue stuck to your faces. You’ve probably been shaving for a few years now. Still haven’t got it down? We’re here to help. With just a few small changes to your routine you can escape the burn, the bumps, and the nicks. And we’re calling in the Big Guns; specialists in shave and skin to help you negotiate your neck without slitting it.

Man Shaving

First, your razor. If you’ve been scraping that same dull blade over your face for the last four years, stop. For the best shave, you want a fresh blade. That doesn’t mean change your blade every shave, but as soon as you feel a drag, switch up.

Now the shave.  Eric Malka, CEO and Co-Founder of The Art of Shaving has divided this delicate process into four simple steps.

Step 1: The Pregame. When your beard is dry, it’s tough. Soak it in water like a sponge and it softens and expands. That makes it easier to cut. So shower first. It’s like rocket science.

shave cream and shave gel

Step 2: Lube up. We’re talking pre-shave oil applied first to protect the skin and soften the beard, followed by shave cream or shave soap. I asked Mr. Malka, "Do we really need a shave oil and a shave cream?" He said ‘Yes!’ exclamation mark and all. Double the protection apparently. Just do it.

Gillette Razor


Step 3: Technology and Technique. Mr. Malka recommends the Art of Shaving Razor, and he would, he’s the CEO, but seriously, it’s the perfect weight, with the perfect balance and comfort giving control that’s pretty much…perfect.  Plus, you can use the razor with Mach3 or Fusion blades from Gillette. Sweet. Once you’ve got that down, it’s technique time: shave with the grain. You see when you shave against the grain, and it hurts, and you cut yourself? Believe it or not, that’s wrong. If you really need that closer shave, relather and shave against the grain very lightly, but only after you’ve gone with the grain first. If you do cut yourself here, and you shouldn’t, but if you do, use an antiseptic Alum Block instead of ripped up tissue. Genius.

man shaving

Step 4: Cool off. Rinse your face with cool water, pat dry and apply an aftershave. Not like Kevin McCallister. No. That was alcohol based, and your face is not the place for that. An aftershave gel will cool, not burn, and if it’s good, it will help refresh, regenerate, and rejuvenate the skin. These are all good things. Embrace them.