Step 3: Mow-Town
When shopping around for a cartridge razor, pay attention to the handle, particularly the weight—an instrument with a heavier grip, like Harry’s The Winston ($20, harrys.com), will help you achieve even strokes. If you’re battling thicker stubble, opt for the industrial-strength power of the Gillette Fusion ProGlide ($13, gillette.com), or the Schick Hydro 5 ($14, schickhydro.com), whose four-blade cartridges will have your beard wondering why it even bothered growing in the first place. First shave with the grain, then lather up again and go against it (it’s cool, trust us). The second step isn’t for everyone, though. “For those with curly hair,” Cheung explains, “when you shave against the grain on the second pass, [hairs] can get under the skin,” causing ingrown hairs. If time is of the essence, rely on an electric razor like the Philips Norelco Shaver 4100 ($70, usa.philips.com) to get you out the door faster; if your style involves some detailing, we recommend the Conair i-Stubble facial trimmer
Step 4: Close Up Shop
Whatever you do, don’t skip the after-shave solution. It closes the pores (preventing them from filling up with dirt and grime throughout the day) and acts as a protective barrier. “You’ve pretty much taken off a micro layer of skin, so you want to protect yourself from the elements,” Cheung says. “I like balms because they don’t have alcohol.” Check out Kiehl’s Ultimate Men’s After-Shave Balm ($18, kiehls.com), and be sure to apply it evenly to the area you just shaved.