Jesse Kornbluth on a shaving product perfect for you.
In the screenplay I’m writing, there’s a dinner scene, a gathering of friends on a Saturday night. Most are parents, so they do just what you expect — they talk about their kids. Their hostess, who has a good reason not to talk about her daughter, changes the subject.
“I see all these commercials,” she says. “And in every one, the guy hasn’t shaved for, like, 5 days, and yet a beautiful woman wants to press her face against his. How does this happen?”
“Because women tell us they like rough, aggressive, masculine men,” an advertising executive says.
Every woman at that table disagrees.
And so do I. In the Cialis commercials, the guy’s got enough beard to sand a model plane, but as soon as he gives his wife “the look,” she gives him bedroom eyes. In real life, the men I know who are most successful with women shave twice a day — in the morning for business, at night for romance. [Note: This does not seem to apply to men under 30, who not only don’t shave but also wear beanies indoors. They still attract women. Mystifying.]
Men who don’t want to commit dermabrasion on their women and women who don’t want their faces sandpapered may be interested in a shaving product that gives men, as the soap ads used to say, “skin you love to touch.” My friend Joe Conason recommended Proraso Shave Cream to me, and as I can’t recall the last time he was wrong about anything, I rocketed to Amazon and bought some. I thank him. More to the point, so does my wife.
Proraso is an Italian product, formulated by a venerable company in Florence in 1948. More often than not, the man who used it dispensed a small amount in a bowl and applied it with a brush. That’s no longer common, but don’t let the absence of a shaving ritual stop you.
The ingredients remain unchanged. All natural, of course. With additives: eucalyptus, menthol and, recently aloe. [To buy Proraso Shaving Cream with Eucalyptus & Menthol from Amazon, click here. To buy Proraso Protective and Moisturizing Shaving Cream with Aloe and Vitamin E, click here. To buy Proraso Shaving Cream with Sandalwood, click here. Or to buy Proraso Shaving Cream in the aerosal can you’re familiar with, click here.] I favor the Aloe and Vitamin E cream, but only because I don’t like scent.
Some advice. Start by washing your face with hot water. Soap your face until you’ve got some lather. Then squeeze a dollop of Proraso on the palm of your hand. Rub it on your face. Does it bubble up into the rich lather you get from an aerosol can? No. You may want to wet your hands and rub your face more. Will that give you a rich, foamy lather? No. But you’re now ready to shave.
You should notice two things. First, your skin is smoother and fractionally tighter, as if you had applied a hot towel and then, as Paul Newman used to do, dunked your face in cold water. Second, depending on the cream, your face will smell so delightful that cologne or aftershave is overkill.
Then there’s the economic factor. Proraso costs five times more than the shaving cream I buy on sale at Duane-Reed. But it lasts for months.
Finally, there’s the coolness factor. From the box to the tube, the barber-pole packaging is Italian old school. As Proraso is not a widely known brand, it’s a gift and a conversation starter. (Or, as she rubs her face against yours, a conversation ender.)
This article originally appeared on The Head Butler.