A few weeks ago I took the plunge and after almost 20 years of sporting a beard and mustache, I switched to a goatee, which means that the edges of my jaw are now exposed to people in a way that hasn’t happened in a long, long time.
The reaction? Almost no guys noticed, and almost all the women I know immediately knew what had changed. I’d say it’s been 95% positive and I have heard nice things like “makes you look younger” and, my favorite, “Mmmm… nice. Sexy.” Yeah, I’ll take that one any time. 🙂
My kids weren’t so sure and when I first showed up with the new facial appearance they all agreed they didn’t like it so much. Fast forward a few hours and they were no longer even aware of it or paying attention. No problem.
What’s funny is that I experienced “new car syndrome” when I shaved and then suddenly I was surrounded by guys with goatees. At restaurants, the bookstore, the library, everyone from senior executives to homeless people were sporting the same facial hair that I’d just selected. Moral of the story? If I’m not going to shave like Hugh Jackman did for his Wolverine role, I ain’t going to be unique on facial hair alone.
More to the point, suddenly having most of my face supposed to be just smooth skin brings up a challenge I haven’t faced in years: how the heck do you accomplish that?
Women who are reading this are probably scratching their head right about now, thinking “uh, shave?” but it turns out that it’s not quite that simple because there are a lot of different ways to shave with quite a lot of different shaving devices.
So far, I’ve been using shaving cream and a three-blade razor, but I have to admit I’m not too thrilled and it generally seems to leave my neck a bit red and uncomfortable. I used to have an electric razor, aeons ago when I didn’t have a beard, but I don’t recall that it worked very well (though my beard does seem to be stiffer than it was when I was in the peach fuzz stage).
The worst thing is that a beard let me be really lazy about my personal grooming (doesn’t that just sound like an advertisement?) and I’d clean up the beard approximately every 7-10 days or so, including using a beard trimmer to keep it short. Looked good enough (I guess, never really got any feedback either way).
Now I feel like I can’t get away with it, and even 2-3 days growth is leaving me looking fairly scruffy, which isn’t quite the look I seek. Not so good.
Problem is, and I just have to admit it, I kinda don’t know much about how to shave effectively, efficiently, and without irritating my skin. 🙂
I’m hoping that I can find a good electric razor that will make it reasonably easy to keep the stubble to a minimum, and I’ve asked on Twitter for recommendations, just to find that there are as many recommendations as there are people who answered. No two guys seem to use the same gizmo. Not so helpful!
Hence this blog post. Guys, what do you use, in terms of equipment, foams, lotions, aftershaves, etc, to keep your facial skin reasonably smooth and attractive? How often do you do it? Gals, what do your partners do?
My face, and, by extension, everyone who has to look at my face, thanks you. 🙂