By Chris Pence 

Designer stubble has sprouted on the mugs of such titans of trend-setting as Brad Pitt, David Beckham, and U2 lead singer Bono to name a few. These A-listers never seem to step outside without sporting facial hair that looks like it was cut by the nimble fingers of a $1,000-an-hour stylist.

Designer stubble isn’t the sole domain of the style elite. Anyone can reap the benefits of this look, said Kate Young, owner of Salon Space in North Haven, Conn. Young was trained at top style academies in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. She has over ten years of experience as a stylist and five as an editorial stylist. If it involves fashion and style, Young has conquered it, including designer stubble.

“Designer stubble tells the world, ‘I have a little mystery to me,’” Young said. “It imbues a touch of that ‘bad boy’ appeal women love and lends instant maturity. It’s also a great way to harden soft features.” 

According to Young, keeping your sculpted scruff from looking sloppy requires a few tricks:

Tight outlines
A sharp outline around the jaw is essential. Establishing your line too far down the neck will make it look like you don’t know how to shave.

Edgers to the rescue
An edger is more forgiving if you make a mistake, so use it to get a general line. Then use your razor for precision and shaving your neck.

Even Steven
An edger with length settings is a powerful ally. When your hair is one-quarter inch long, choose a low setting and apply consistent pressure for even closeness. Patchy is not cool.

Consult the pros
Want to see how it’s done? Visit your local salon. Let your hair grow out so your stylist will have something to work with. The lines they draw can serve as guidelines to do it yourself next time.