Exclusive: King of Shaves makes shaving even smoother with their new Hyperglide razor

HYPERGLIDEIt’s unusual for me to lose my composure when introduced to a new grooming product. My usual press launch poker face (mastered over the years in order not to offend PRs when I am miserably underwhelmed) rarely fails me. But it did several months back when Will King, founder of King of Shaves, gave me a sneak preview of his new Hypergilde razor.

Dipping the head of the razor into a glass of water he asked me to try it out on my actual face (the bits that aren’t bearded anyway). Usually, I’m reluctant to do this, especially when sitting in a crowded restaurant, but since I was in a good mood I thought I’d comply with his request. Rather embarrassingly, when I placed the cartridge against my face I let out an audible gasp  – something Will sorely regrets not capturing on his smartphone. The reason for this involuntary emotional outburst lies in the fact that the Hyperglide feels totally different to any other razor when it makes contact with your skin.

This is because it features a high-tech, ultra-thin polymer that’s chemically-bound to the razor cartridge and which creates a layer of lubrication delivering friction levels even lower than that of ice or Teflon. It’s difficult to describe how this actually feels but imagine an ‘intimate lubricant’ applied to your face and you kind of get the picture.

Hyperglide-Handle-Holder-v1Other razors have toyed with lubricants, of course, but what makes this one so special is that, because it’s chemically bonded to the razor, it doesn’t leave a residue, peel off or snag. The result is a razor that doesn’t just deliver a great shave but one that feels genuinely pleasant to have against the skin.

What’s more, the coating means that, if you were stuck, you could probably shave without a foam, cream or gel  (all you’d need is some water) though obviously using a shave prep is always the best idea. As an extra bonus the razor and blade pack comes with a nifty little transparent holder that you can stick onto your bathroom wall or mirror so your razor’s always at hand.

As you can tell, I was genuinely excited when I fist tried the Hyperglide for myself (and I am notoriously hard to impress) so huge respect to Will for delivering a clever, innovative and fun product, as well as one that delivers a great shave.

Hyperglide-Handle-Front-v1The King of Shaves Hypergilde launches on 16th January. For more info go to shave.com

Wilkinson Sword add controllable power to their Hydro 5 razor

Given the fact that I have a beard and therefore only use a razor on my cheeks (yes, the ones on my face) it’s fair to say razors rarely get me excited. But I feel as though I have a certain responsibility to report what’s going on in the shaving market so I’m here to tell you Wilkinson Sword have a new version of their Hydro shaver out.

I’m actually a big fan of the Hydro – it’s the razor I use myself to do the bits around my beard thesedays – but I use the manual version. Battery-powered razors have always left me a bit cold. But if you’re a fan of them you’ll love the Hydro 5 Power Select because it’s the first razor that enables you to customise the vibrations.

Featuring a built-in microprocessor the Hydro 5 Power Select allows you to switch at will between three levels of blade vibration. What’s more, it also tells you when the battery’s running low. Sadly, it won’t tell you which direction to shave in (now there’s an idea!) but it’s undoubtedly one step closer towards the ultimate “bespoke” shave.

The Wilkinson Sword Hydro Power Select costs £12.99 and is available from all good supermarkets and retailers nationwide.

Insider Interview: Brendan Murdock, founder of Murdock

Established in London’s trendy Shoreditch in 2006 Murdock has become a prime destination for guys seeking good grooming and barbering in a classic, stylish but unstuffy environment. The ultimate example of an instant heritage brand (i.e. sounds as though it’s been around for decades but hasn’t) it’s been such a success that there are now sores at Liberty, in Mayfair and in Covent Garden.

Building on the success of the barbershops they’ve even branched out into their own skincare products, accessories, candles and fine fragrances – the Patchouli one being one of my own favourites (and I’m very fussy about my patchouli fragrances). 

Here I find out what makes founder Brendan Murdock tick and manage to get some invaluable grooming tips from him in the process. 

GG: What’s the biggest mistake men make when it comes to shaving? 

BM: The biggest mistake is undoubtedly lack of preparation. The best shaving results will be achieved when the skin and facial hair is prepared, a combination of a hot flannel or water, pre-shave oil, and perhaps a badger brush to apply the cream.  The pre-shave oil softens the whiskers and prepares the skin for the razor’s edge.

The fine tips of the hairs on the brush create a smooth and creamy lather, while the remarkable softness of badger hair cleanses the face gently, ensuring a comfortable and close shave. The action of a razor is quite harsh and surface skin cells are removed.  If the skin and facial hair is not prepared you may suffer from an itchy, sore face post-shave.

GG: What trends in male grooming have you noticed of late?

BM:Men have gained more confidence when it comes to shaving, and are becoming increasingly inquisitive as to how to perfect the art. When we first opened in 2006, gentleman would simply purchase a shave cream to shave. Most customers were not even using post shave balms after shaving, despite complaining of sore, red faces after shaving!

Today, men are more informed and educated about best grooming practice. Coupled with more visible brand and places to visit for grooming, more educated choices are made.

GG: What are your favourite men’s fragrances and why? 

BM: Green Irish Tweed by House of CREED. I’ve been loyal to the scent for many years; it now represents familiarity and comfort.

I also like the scents by Carthusia they are light and summery and remind me of wonderful holidays in Italy.

I really enjoy wearing our Murdock Patchouli Cologne too. It’s a subltle, sensuous and mysterious scent, suitable for all seasons; great all year round.

GG: What’s your best shaving tip? 

BM: Always use a post shave balm after each shave.  Shaving strips the skin of essential oils and you must ensure that the skin is moisturised and soothed post-shave.

GG: What’s your best skincare tip?

BM: Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise.

GG: Desert island grooming product?

BM: Naturally sunblock is an essential. However, I would not be complete without a bottle of Murdock Patchouli Cologne; capturing my more bohemian and free-thinking style for the desert island.

GG: Body hair. To trim or not trim? 

BM: If, for example, you are an athlete and your decision to wax or trim is to enhance your performance in your chosen field, then I am in favour. Conversely, if your decision to wax or trim is purely based on vanity, then I am not as convinced. For me, masculinity is reflected in natural body hair; to wax or trim detracts from this. Ultimately, the decision lies with the individual; each to their own.

GG: Fantasy grooming product? 

BM: A miracle cream that prevents hair loss and baldness, without any side effects!

To check out what Murdock has to offer go to www.murdocklondon.com

Want to beat razor burn? Then take a match to it!

I’ve long been a fan of alum – the old (and I mean old) treatment for razor cuts and nicks – for several years now. Used since Egyptian times, it’s an absolutely brilliant astringent, aftershave product and a natural styptic, stopping bloodflow and closing wounds almost instantly.

The traditional alum blocks are excellent but these novel, disposable ‘matchstick’ versions from The Legends London are a little more practical and hygienic and are ideal for travel too. You simply moisten the tip of one with a little water and apply to any nicks, cuts or razor burn.

If you’re one of those clumsy shavers who always leaves the house covered in bits of loo paper these are a must so give them a try.

Five books cost £5 with each book containing 20 matches. Available from thelegendsbarbershop.com

Noxzema Protective Shave: a blast from my past

Once upon a time, way back in the 1980s, when male grooming was still in its infancy, if a vaguely exotic skincare product  emerged I would cling to it. At the time few of my friends really bothered with fancy shaving gear or moisturisers but I was obsessed. And Noxzema – iconic American shaving brand – was one of the products I fought hard to get hold of.

Thankfully, a new UK distributor has recent brought it to the masses over here. Back in the eighties I seem to remember it stocked by the odd barber shop and advertised in the back of trendy style mags. The first time I smelt the bracing Methol version I was captivated, so much so that I actually couldn’t wait to shave (a concept hard for me to imagine these days) and the moment I smelt it again this morning I was instantly transported back to 1987.

As a brand Noxzema has been around for yonks, launching its first shave cream in the Fifties and the shaving foams 30 years ago, so having lasted this long you know it’s doing something right.

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of shaving foams, finding them too drying but the Noxzema ones are an exception. They’re rich, creamy, refreshing, dermatologically tested and deliver great results. What’s more (and I know these things matter to many) there’s also something reassuring about the delightfully solid and chunky cans they come in.

Noxzema is available nationwide priced £5.95 for a 300ml can. There are five variants but it’s the Menthol one that will also ways do it for me. For more info go to www.noxzemaproducts.com

Nivea For Men’s Sensitive Hydro Gel – the perfect cure for ‘stubble dandruff’!

Having sported a beard (or at least something approximating one) for something like 10 years now I’m acutely aware that it can bring with it a few little ‘problems’. Apart from the itchiness and odour isssues after you’ve slurped your way through a bowl of spaghetti vongole (my fave pasta dish) there’s the dreaded ‘beard dandruff’ to contend with too.  And there’s nothing worse than scratching your chin and ending up a snowglobe.

Part of the problem is that stubble tends to wick moisture away from the skin where it’s allowed to evaporate. This means that the skin under your bristles often ends up dry, flaky and itchy. The solution, of course, is to use a good moisturiser. Unfortunately, many can leave sticky residues on your beard so Nivea For Men have come up with a stubble-friendly version.

Their Sensitive Hydro Gel is the ideal way to hydrate skin under stubble because it’s lightweight, non greasy and easily absorbed. Since it also contains organic Chamomile and Aloe Vera it also has skin-calming, anti-inflammatory properties too.  If you’ve got stubble this is an essential.

Nivea For Men’s Sensitive Hydro Gel is available from Boots.

Grooming Guru Essentials: The Razorpit

Let’s face it, whilst shaving might be a pain in the neck it’s the constant expense of buying blades that’s the real killer. And that’s before you consider the eco-nightmare of tossing all that metal and plastic into the bin. Well, that’s where this genius little device from Denmark comes in. It uses a small silicone plate to miraculously sharpen blades and keep them free of dead skin, stubble and grime (a much better solution than cleaning your razor with a toothbrush which can dull the blades). The result? Your razor stays sharper, for longer. I must admit I was sceptical at first but tried it on a blunt blade I was about to throw out and it gave it a whole new lease of life. Ok, so there’s an initial outlay but you’ll soon recoup that trust me. Cutting-edge stuff, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Buy RazorPit – Razor Blade Sharpener from Jesper Hvejsel on Vimeo.

 

To buy the RazorPit click here.

Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.