Philips Norelco QT4021 Stubble Trimmer

According to reporter Douglas Quenqua in yesterday’s NY Times, big name electric razor manufacturers like Conair and Philips Norelco are transitioning their old fashioned “beard trimmers” into “stubble trimmers.” Inspired by the sexy, stubbly faces of actors like Jon Hamm and George Clooney, regular guys are actively seeking the unshaven look — and apparently these devices can help.

Sure, there are several gadget-oriented ways to achieve this slightly hairy look, but the most effective ironically involves a good, traditional shave. Says, Quenqua:

For men who can’t be bothered, there is a kind of follicular rhythm method: Decide which day you need to look stylish, then shave all the way to the skin two to three days before that. (Just remember, again, to clean around the edges before you suit up.)

Good shave = good stubble.

- Marisa

Tempted to Dry-Shave? Don’t.

September 22, 2011

cooked spaghetti, easier to cut . . .

I’ve done it. You’ve done it. We’ve all done it: raced back to the bathroom to take care of that unsightly patch of hair on your chin or knee or underarm. The patch you missed because you were thinking about coffee or your 8:15 meeting or your three year old who was parked in the bathroom door frame screaming “watch out bad guys!” at the top of his lungs while wearing nothing more than his rain boots and a super hero cape.

Now late, already dressed, and cursing your inability to focus on the first round of shaving, you whip out the razor and attack the hairs directly — no shaving product, no water, nothing.

Ouch.

As I write this my right armpit is reliving the pain of my last — and final — dry-shave (last summer, spaghetti strap dress, late for a wedding). The result: a red, bumpy rash that accompanied me through the ceremony and reception and into the next week.

Ouch.

Don’t dry-shave. It’s not worth it. Pacific Shaving’s Stan Ades wisely advises (using a food-oriented metaphor that the Italian in me loves): “Think of your whiskers like pieces of spaghetti. If you try to cut through it dry and uncooked, it results in a sharp, jagged edge. Cut through that same noodle once it’s cooked and wet and you’ll get much smoother results.”

- Marisa

Helianthus Annuus

Ever wonder about the oil behind your All Natural Shaving Oil?

Well, it’s pretty amazing stuff.

Sunflower seed oil or Helianthus Annuus if you want to get technical — and Latin — is a powerhouse emollient (beauty speak for moisturizer).

Seriously, this is not your average oil. Though tiny, sunflower seeds produce a potent lubricant packed with vitamins A,B, D, and E, minerals and lecithin. It’s easily absorbed, works with all skin types and can even prevent cell damage from free radicals.

And you were just hoping for a nick-free shave?

- Marisa

3 (oz) is the Magic Number

September 8, 2011

small, but mighty

I just got home from a week on the West Coast — a gear-heavy camping trip that required the checking of significant baggage. Like most frequent travelers, I do everything in my power to avoid the checking of any bags and let go with great resistance when required to send my bags into the belly of the plane.

It’s a leap of faith, really. Will my stuff actually meet me in Reno, Bangkok, Newark? Will my under things be untouched and my toiletries intact?

I comfort myself by packing a carry-on designed to carry me through. In addition to a spare pair of underwear, I outfit myself with a handful of personal care products — in TSA-approved sizes, 3 oz or under — that will keep me looking fine over a day or two without my luggage.

Once it became an unavoidable part of flying, I took the 3 oz limit as a challenge and worked to find goods that fit the bill. In my bag: mini toothpaste (.75 oz); jar of moisturizer (2 oz); contact lens solution (transferred into 3 oz travel bottle); lip balm (.15 oz) and shaving oil (.5 oz).

Beauty routine, miniaturized.

What’s in your carry-on?

- Marisa

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