While shaving remains a pesky chore, with me opting for the scruffy 5 ‘o clock shadow look more often than not, I have always been a sucker for a nice shaving cream and aftershave.
Now that I am shaving my entire head, the Don Johnson circa Miami Vice look just isn’t an option nearly as much as it used to be—if at all. Aloe is necessary, as are grainy exfoliates and a blade that can pivot to provide the closest nick-free shave possible.
Long story short: I could always use grooming tips—as we all can. And these blogs aren’t stingy.
1. The Urban Gentleman
With a companion magazine around since 2008, The Urban Gentleman is a one-stop shop for all dude needs. Video tutorials are embedded into the site, so one can master using a facial cleansing brush if he so desires, alongside very real debates like electric shaver versus old school razor. Speaking of such debates, a recent piece about Japanese jeans versus Italian was nothing short of eye (and wallet) opening. Prices can begin at $195 and careen toward $450, dependent upon your income (and willingness to splurge on said luxury). Urban Gent’s got you covered on everything from skincare to jeans to murses, manbags and manscaping. You read that correctly.
2. Ape to Gentleman
A dose of Darwinism and away we go! Ape is big on listicles, so you’ll find a Top 10 Grooming Brands, a Top 10 Hair Gels and a Top 10 Candles—yes, candles for men—within minutes of hitting the site. This is not the Yankee Candle route (meaning there is no “fresh cut grass” or “sweet college grad” to smell upon lighting any of the candles assembled). Just masculine yet not overpowering scents, with leather being the closest to anything you’d recognize as something you encounter in your life.
3. Man For Himself
Described as “a lifestyle blog that cuts across everything from grooming to nutrition,” MforH (I personally would be running with M4H) is particularly keen on the fragrance end of grooming, eschewing traditional “reviews” in favor of straightforward breakdowns (i.e. what it is, where to get it, how much it costs, etc.). Their “Latest” section is really where it’s at, though; right now it’s all summer, summer, summer, with odes to sea salt spray aplenty. Plus there’s a listicle dedicated to eradicating razor burn that changed my game.
4. The Male Stylist
Rare is the blog that takes on social media, but that’s exactly what Male does, and is. A recent article about taking a break from Instagram, if not bailing entirely, graced the main page and the candor was refreshing, even while tongue was slightly planted in cheek for the sake of the tone of the piece. Male is about reclaiming all things Male, down to the suit. Oh yeah, the suit. It’s on a pedestal on the site, with the tailor getting a lot of love, too. Male manages to pull off sartorial tutorials, which is quite the feat.
5. Tools of Men
“From beard to blade and everything in between.” Indeed. “Avoid a Bloodbath” is the catchiest title this side of “Suicide Squad”—a step-by-step guide to one shaving his own head. Heavy on prep work, a hot shower is one of a few pre-shaving steps recommended, as the shaft of the hair follicle is moistened. Tools of Men is eco-conscious too—they talk sunscreen and surfing with a degree of confidence that positively permeates each piece. Their goal is for you not to be one.
6. The Grooming Guru
Based in the UK, The Grooming Guru has street cred like no other. Founder Lee Kynaston is known as one of Britain’s most experienced grooming experts, snapping up awards dedicated to grooming journalism most guys don’t even know exist. “The Happy Bear” soon followed, a line of products dedicated to all things shaving. “Great-looking goatees, bang-on beards, tip-top ’staches and no beard dandruff,” Bear proclaims… well, happily. You’ll be happy, too.
Photo: iStock/Ape to Gentleman