The Shave of a Lifetime

During a recent trip to Spa 1851, Kiehl’s spa on New York’s Upper East Side, this writer got more than just the ultimate straight razor shave. The decadent multi-step whisker removal offered at Kiehl’s was nothing short of a rebirth.

The “Ultimate Close Shavers Squadron Service” includes no fewer than ten steps (as well as four towels, both hot and cold, used in service of the recipient’s comfort). Through it all, Kiehl’s Master Barber Justin Virgil was kind enough to narrate as he shaved. As he sums it up: “The Kiehl's shave is combines the main aspects of a time-honored barber shave with the benefits of Kiehl's formulas.” The best part? It's easier to bring the routine home than you might think. Here, Virgil breaks down the ritual in all its glory:

Hot Towel #1

To start, I use a rosemary-infused hot towel to cleanse surface debris/oil, open pores, and soften beard hair.

The Oil

Next comes the Kiehl's pre shave oil, Formula #31-0. This lubricating layer protects the skin and helps soften hair further. It has a great spearmint-cedarwood fragrance and a nice warming sensation.

The Cream

Next comes our Close Shavers Squadron White Eagle shave cream. The emollients in this cream condition skin and help hair stand on end. It’s also offers another level of lubrication while providing an energized, invigorating feeling with the menthol and camphor.

Hot Towel #2

Another hot towel is used to further soften the hair and to melt the product into the skin and beard for maximum protection.

The Foam

I like this because it harkens back to original barber shaves and also helps to keep the face moist throughout the shave. It's especially important since a barber shave takes much longer than an at-home shave.

The Shave

During all these steps, I’m analyzing the hair’s growth pattern. During the shave, I go with the grain to avoid irritation. I continually massage product over the skin to re-establish the protective barrier and raise the hair.

Hot Towel #3

After the shave I like a third hot towel to cleanse away leftover cream, oil, or loose whiskers.

The Tonic

I use our Kiehl's Energizing Tonic, with caffiene, vitamin E, and bamboo extract, to soothe, calm, and prepare the skin for the moisturizer to come.

Cold Towel

This further soothes the skin and closes the pores. It has a surprisingly firming effect on the skin too.

The Moisturizer

Finally I use the Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture treatment with SPF to moisturize the skin and to protect it from sun damage.

Bring it Home

Instead of a hot towel, try a hot shower. Also, rinse the skin with warm water after the shave to get all the extra product and whiskers off. Then splash the face with cold water to soothe and firm the skin.

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