Goods for the well-groomed

Stuck on the stubble? the clean shave look has become a daily ritual for some, while others rarely need to get the razor out. Each man is different, but one thing they have in common when they do want a nicely shaven face is getting the closest shave possible. Here are some tips to help you avoid that 5 o’clock shadow creeping up on you at noon. We chatted with Salon Blanc’s owner and lead stylist, Alan Vuong, who gave us some tips to help you can get a closer shave.

The first is to prep your skin. “Using a hot towel before you shave will help open your pores and expose more of your hair follicles,” says Vuong. “Even applying oil before you lather up helps softens the coarse facial hair and prevent ingrown hair.” The next tip is to lather up with a great shaving cream, like Clinique’s Cream Shave ($15). This product not only helps your razor glide smoothly, but also contains ingredients that help protect your skin even after shaving and leaves your skin soft. Similar to Clinique’s Cream Shave, try Lab Series Maximum Comfort Shave Cream ($25), which is formulated for all skin types and doesn’t leave your pores feeling clogged. The last tip Vuong gave us to getting a closer shave is to use the proper tools. Having a good razor, shaving cream and other products to help prep and protect your skin before and after your shave will give you a good shave resulting in soft and smooth skin, without any scars or irritation. The Art of Shaving sells sets of razors, fine bristle brushes and stands made from high quality materials (sets range from $200 to $600). With the razors compatible with the Gillette Mach3 razor blades, these stylish sets give you everything you need to help you get that perfect gentleman look.

But keeping it clean doesn’t necessarily mean sporting a completely stubble-free face. Bearded fellows have their own rules to live by, lest they look like Grizzly Adams or Zach Galifianakis in character. The Bearded Gentleman ($14.95) is a facial-hair bible of sorts, helping the razor-challenged achieve a well-kempt beard or moustache. Meanwhile The Mr Porter Paperback: The Manual for a Stylish Life ($35) goes beyond hair (facial or otherwise) and, as its name implies, serves as the essential tome for all things stylish.