Top Post Shaving Tips by Britain’s best wet Shaving Barber

It was recently announced that Enver Yeshilbulut (image above)has just been named Britain’s best wet shaving barber for a second year running.

Owner of Kings Barbers Male Grooming in Kent, Enver beat off razor sharp competition from hundreds of other talented barbers to win Britain’s Best Shave 2019, a prestigious event which is run in partnership between The Bluebeards Revenge male grooming brand and the British Barbers’ Association.

The 35-year-old impressed the judges on a number of criteria, including shave preparation, razor technique, post-shave routine, health and safety, and overall efficiency.

Enjoying the smoothness of a barber-grade wet shave is about more than just your accuracy and patience with a traditional straight razor. In fact, the most important stage of your shave takes place once your razor’s sitting back in its stand.

With the help of Enver, he has given us the ultimate post-shave routine. These tips, will elevate your daily shave from a dragging disappointment to a gliding success.

How and why to use an alum block

Once you’ve finished slicing through your stubble, wash your face with clean warm water to remove any excess cream and hair. Next, it’s time to apply an antiseptic to wipe away any bad bacteria that’s still clinging to your skin. This will help to reduce the chances of infection, irritation, spotty outbreaks and even ingrown hairs.

The most common antiseptics used today are alcohol-based aftershaves, but Enver always recommends a more traditional approach: “Alcohol is a great antiseptic, but it’s also very good at drying out the skin and we want to avoid this when we finish shaving. These kinds of aftershave can also cause some irritation to those with sensitive skin. Instead, I’d always suggest using The Bluebeards Revenge Alum Block.”

Unsurprisingly, alum blocks are made from alum; a naturally occurring double sulphate salt. While they might sting a little upon application, they are second-to-none when it comes to cleansing your pores and maintaining vital hydration. They’re also fantastic at sealing off the tiny nicks and cuts that naturally occur during shaving – no more bloody blotches of tissue for you!

To use an alum block, simply run it under cold water before gliding it over your face. “When you find a spot that stings, simply take note,” says Enver. “The chances are you were a little fierce with your razor here so you might need to work a little on your technique next time around.”

How and why to apply a post-shave balm and moisturiser

Once you’ve finished going over your work with your alum block, give your face and neck a good splash with cold water and pat it dry with a soft towel. Notice we said pat, not rub. The difference here is minimal, but it’ll make all the difference.

“You should always finish a shave by applying The Bluebeards Revenge Post-Shave Balm,” believes Enver, “as this product is what separates those that suffer with razor rash from those that look forward to their next shave. Ingredients that should be sought out when choosing a post-shave balm include witch hazel, aloe vera, chamomile and other similar sorts that help to cleanse and soothe the skin.

With your favourite balm in hand, apply it in evenly in small circular motions to help penetrate yourpores. Be sure not to wipe the skin dry with a towel afterwards as well. Instead, let the balm soak into your skin naturally.

The most important thing to remember when caring for your skin post-shave is that it’s an on-going process. “Loads of my customers forget to continue caring for their skin in between shaves,” says Enver. “They watch me apply a post-shave balm and assume they’re good to go for another few days.”

The reality is that all men should be topping their skin up with the nutrients and moisture it needs on a daily basis. To this end, a daily moisturiser is essential and should be applied as often as required.

Feel Empowered – Top Tips for feeling Energised

Ahead of the release of her third book – this time focusing on boosting energy!Mind and body expert, business psychologist and nutritionist, Susan Scott (also known as The Energy Aunt) gives us her top tips for having more, better energy and feeling energised;

What are your top tips for better energy?

Tip 1:    Make time to eat.  Having three meals a day with a healthy snack in the morning and afternoon will balance your blood sugar levels.

Tip 2:    Eat good complex carbohydrates such as oats, wholegrains and brown rice.  Carbs are the fuel required for energy production in our cells but we need carbs that digest slowly so we don’t get a sugar rush.

Tip 3:    Eat a varied diet of chicken, eggs, oily fish, wholegrains, pulses, fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds to provide the nutrients vital for the energy-making biochemical reactions in our cells.

Tip 4:    Have some good protein with each meal; meat, chicken, eggs, oily fish, cheese.  This slows the absorption of glucose into our bloodstream, preventing highs and lows in energy.

Tip 5:    Reduce or cut out caffeinated and sugary drinks such as coffee, cola, fruit juices.  These only provide a short energy boost then leave you crashing.

Tip 6:    Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day (around 1 ½ litres). The brain is 80% water and doesn’t function as well when its dehydrated.

Tip 7:    Avoid alcohol in the evening.  Although you feel it relaxes you, it’s a stimulant which disturbs sleep patterns.

Tip 8:    Find time to exercise for each day.  This doesn’t have to be the gym, but can be running up and down stairs, going for a brisk walk at lunchtime or doing some squats and lunges while you brush your teeth.  This increases blood flow to the brain, providing more oxygen to the neurones.

Tip 9:    Take regular breaks from intense focused work to recharge your energy.  Break each hour into 50 minutes of focused activity followed by a 10-minute break.

Tip 10:    Have an electronic-sundown 2 hours before you go to bed.  The light emitted from smartphones, tablets and computers suppresses the hormone melatonin that helps you sleep.

Tip 11:    Know your limits and priorities and do not over-commit yourself.  Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ when asked to do something that you really feel you don’t have the time, energy or capacity to do.

Tip 12:    Take time to relax and recharge.  Spend time with the family and friends, practice mindfulness, listen to music, read, do some gentle gardening.

Tip 13:    Use your full holiday allowance to help you unwind and recharge.

Tip 14:    Have an annual health MOT at your GP or supermarket pharmacy to check blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

Susan’s first two books were best-sellers (How to have an outstanding career and How to prevent burnout). This third book is due for release in April by Eclipse Publishing & Media

.

Prefectly understated – Jak Shoes

You know yourself when it come to buying a new pair of shoes, it’s all about sizing, get the size right and comfort and fit usually come along with them. When it comes to Jak Shoes sizing, is all important. All Jak sneakers fit true to size, while the toe-box on each sneaker is a little slimmer than your average – think of it as a fit more akin to a pair of Common Projects than the slightly wider Adidas Stan Smith. The sneakers insole is also incredibly comfortable right out of the box which makes every pair incredibly easy to wear right away. Which means they need less breaking in than other shoes. 

Every trainer by Jak Shoes is made instantly recognisable thanks to their refined appearance, impactful presentation and unique colourways that range from the classic Royal Navy and Black hues to the more progressive and equally popular Mustard and Grape designs. Their particular favourite, the Jak Olympic sneakers, come with a lightweight sports rubber sole and a subtle two-tone leather upper. The Olympics’ high-shine leather uppers and contrasting calfskin linings will make for a wonderfully low-key sneaker and will offer the perfect contrast to a grey tapered trouser for more formal occasions, think Summer Weddings, Proms etc. JAK was founded in 2014, in Lisbon, Portugal, by Isabel and José Maria. Part of JAK’s vision is to create products with modern design, that are made of high-quality materials and age beautifully over time. They pride themselves on creating sneakers and accessories for an urban lifestyle and everyday use.

Why Thank you – Axel Arigato

WORDS BY DANIEL RAMSDALE

Axel Arigato have consistently been bringing contemporary and unique sneakers and apparel to the fashion industry for 6 years now. For a brand that is only 6 years old, they have achieved enormous success already, cultivating a following of 472 thousand on Instagram, and appealing to a wide target market of both males and females aged 18-45.

Founded in Sweden in 2013 by Albin Johansson and Mark Svarvdh, Axel Arigato has been built on contemporary fashion injected with counter-cultural references. None other than Japanese, with Arigato meaning “Thankyou” in English. From right at the very start, the Swedish label have preached that it’s all about showcasing the imagery they began with, and channelling that through various cultural references. These references mainly consist of music, art and architecture, which illustrate the brand image they want to globally project.

Both Albin and Mark started the label after spotting a gap in the market for affordable footwear that also combined couture quality. This is very much the reason for their meteoric rise in such a short time, with the brand known amongst the industry as the go-to for high end footwear with an affordable price tag

2015 however was the year where the wider fashion industry really started to take note of Axel Arigato, as they were initially in disbelief that the brand was producing 1 new sneaker style every week. It was considered that only the big dogs within the industry could achieve such a task, so when it was first heard that a brand only a year old and with a team of only two were achieving such a feat, bruh. This approach, coupled with a strategy focused solely on social media to build communities, has resulted in the brand already selling in over 100 countries. Oh, and let’s not forget, both founders didn’t even have any formal fashion education! Mad stuff.

Fast forward to 2019 and Axel Arigato has expanded their product offerings from sneakers to leather accessory goods and garments.  Japanese architectural minimalism and counter cultural references continue to provide inspiration for their offerings, resulting in unique designs that people justhaven’t seen before. This is why in my opinion we can expect the labels garments to reach the success of their sneakers, as their designs embody street aesthetic but offer that wide commercial value which reflect their huge, diverse target market.

To add, the brand look set to further their success on the brick and mortar scene with pop up stores held in Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm over the past year. Expanding their presence away from their already popular stores in Gothenburg, London and Paris. And with a host of collaborations with the likes of Samsung and CAT recently, the label born in Gothenburg looks set to continue to take the fashion industry by storm.

Let me tell you a story – The Cotton Story

It’s no secret that the fashion industry has changed, and our consumption of products has skyrocketed. Now, compared to just 16 years ago, the average person buys 60% more clothing and keeps them for half as long. 80 BILLION pieces of clothing are consumed each year – this is insane!The solution for the fashion industry is reaching a level of sustainable and environmentally responsible production and consumption. Brands like The Cotton Story have accepted this challenge and are doing their small part now to change the world. Fast fashion is like fast food – it’s no good for anyone!

The Cotton Story was founded with a simple but lofty aim; to offer luxury everyday clothing at a fraction of the usual price. They believe it’s time that clothing made with the finest materials should be available to everyone at an honest price. And they believe factories they’re made in should be ethically and sustainably run.

 The brand want was to flip this on its head, creating high-quality casual wear and delivering it to our customers at a fair price. They’re able to do this because they come directly to you, choosing not to work with department stores and retailers and in doing so, avoiding surcharges they pass on to their customers.

The Cotton Story wanted to create items that not only have a style you’ll love forever, but are of a quality that will last a lifetime.  By working directly with their factories, they are not only able to focus on creating beautiful products and delivering these to you at a fair price, but they can ensure they have the highest standards for both the welfare of the workers and the quality of their products. Remarkable standards. Remarkable quality. Remarkable price.

As a consumer the best way to enact change is with your wallet. Demand transparency, ask the hard questions and don’t settle for poorly constructed garments that fall to pieces after a few wears.The Cotton Story is only a small company but they are committed to growing sustainably and producing responsibly. There are three ways they ensure their manufacturing process has as little impact as possible and supports positive manufacturing techniques and workplaces:

1.      Recycling: All plastic, metal and oil by-products are responsibly recycled.

2.     Small Batch Production: by producing small batches they don’t overstock, it’s why you’ll never see them on sale pushing things you don’t need.

3.     Family run factories: Their garments are made in small scale, family run factories in Portugal, that pay a fair wage, support the European economy and deliver quality.

235 million tonnes of clothing were sent to landfill in the UK in 2017. While buying a t-shirt isn’t going to change the world overnight, purchasing a product that has a smaller environmental footprint and lasts longer is a step in the right direction.