As a young kid I was taught to respect women and my elders. Was of course introduced to the birds and the bees and the ceremonious rite of passage learning how to ride my bike. But I was never taught about Grooming 101. Sure, I woke up early every Saturday morning to get a weekly haircut, sat Indian style on the bathroom floor in amazement as my stepfather trimmed and snipped away at this glorious mustache and beard; but that’s about it. Even in college, when most of us experimented with a ton of new and exciting ventures, I engaged in maintaining my upper lip peach fuzz with an electric shaver. Exciting, huh?
But on my 30th birthday I was determined to get a grown man shave once and for all. Picture it: August 2007. A fancy upscale men’s salon. A barber, a razor and a bowl of shaving cream. The result: cheek burns and a slight case of keloids. Literally, I was scarred for life. So why revisit shaving now? Designed with my needs in mind, I was convinced the Bevel system would not only provide me with the close shave I deserved but the confidence and strength to tackle a post-puberty fear.
Once I decided to get over my fears and become a Bevel Man, I had no idea what the journey would entail. But I was still ready to take that giant leap of faith. After procuring the starter kit, which consisted of a safety razor, badger brush, a box of 20 blades, Restoring Balm, Priming Oil and Shaving Cream, the next step was a Facetime tutorial with someone from Bevel’s Customer Success team, and a selfie photo shoot.
Why the photoshoot? To map out your hair grain to ensure a proper and perfect shave. After a week of patiently waiting, I received my results carefully mapping out the direction of my hair grain growth from chin to cheek to jawline and underneath the neck, mustache and the beard.
Soon, I was ready to take the plunge and join the new shaving fraternity. But first things first: face prep. Before you start, a key step is to soften your face with warm water, or in my case, slather on an organic scrub to soften the facial hairs, followed by a nickel sized application of the Priming Oil.
Relax for a few minutes to allow the lavender in the oil to penetrate skin’s surface and create a barrier to protect your skin as you shave. While you wait, remove the brass weighted razor from the packaging, disassemble and carefully remove the blades from the box. Finally, place a fresh blade onto the open instrument and tightly twist until both blade and razor meet and lock securely in place.
Next up is your shave cream. Using the badger hair brush, [dampen the bristles slightly before use] place a small amount of the aloe vera-based shave cream directly on the bristles and using circular movements lather onto the skin to create the desired consistency until all regions are covered; if needed wet the brush and re-apply if the product dries. Now you’re ready.
Face prep? Check. All instruments assembled? Check. Then after a quick prayer, I closed my eyes and placed the heavy steel on my cheek at a thirty degree angle, then gently allowed the weight of the razor to glide 2-3 inches downward before coming to a complete stop. I slowly opened my eyes and saw a smooth and clean patch of skin.
I continued to apply moderate pressure making short, deliberate strokes to allow the razor to perform a close finish. Referring to the grain maps, I conquered every region like a pro, taking breaks to rinse out the excess product in-between strokes, stopping to pose and give my best Billy Dee Williams impressions, feeling myself, feeling like a Classic Man. Satisfied with the finished look, I immediately rinsed the razor in cool water, gave it a quick wipe down, then placed it on a clean towel to dry.
After a quick splash of cool water to remove any excess shaving cream and a quick once over, I saw a close shave free of nicks, scrapes or bruises. Squeeze a small amount of the Restoring Balm, which is alcohol-free and chocked full of good-for-your-skin ingredients, like Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Tea Tree. I applied over my freshly shaved faced and instantly felt renewed and and powerful having achieved what I felt was an impossible feat.
Will I shave again? Yes and yes. And to think it took me almost 40 years to join this brotherhood. Fast forward a week later and my skin is still bump free and smooth thanks to some guidance from the Bevel team. I can proudly say I am an official card holding member of the #Bevelfam fraternity. Join today!