"Enjoy effortlessly masquerading behind a character moustache while drinking your favourite tea or coffee. Every mug has a different design on each side to explore your favourite masculine expression! Choose between feisty Fu-Magnum, ambigues Mustafa-Chaplin and cheeky Maurice-Poirot!"
Appearance is everything - whether on the job or when job hunting - according to the results of a recent survey, commissioned by Gillette and conducted by Harris Interactive®, on the topic of grooming among male job candidates and male employees1. The survey of HR Professionals reveals that a well-groomed guy is more likely to stand out and climb the corporate ladder faster.
Grooming for Job Seekers:
Nearly two-thirds (66%) of HR professionals believe that a candidate's physical appearance is very important or important in distinguishing them from other job candidates.
When meeting a job candidate for the first time, more HR professionals agree that being well-groomed (90%) is important or very important in making a good first impression than the firmness of a candidate's handshake (59%) or how he smells (72%).
Other factors that the vast majority of HR professionals are likely to deem important or very important in making a good first impression include being appropriately dressed (94%) and the amount of eye contact made (93%).
More than 9 in 10 (92%) HR professionals agree that a candidate who takes the time to be well-groomed exudes confidence.
Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) HR professionals agree that the more well-groomed the job candidate, the better impression they get of him.
More than 8 in 10 (81%) HR professionals agree that they take special note of job candidates who are well-groomed.
A majority of HR professionals (52%) believe that being clean-shaven is an extremely important or important aspect of personal grooming in making a good first impression when meeting a job candidate for the first time.
Other aspects of grooming--besides a clean shave--that are also extremely important or important to most HR professionals, include the absence of body odor (91%) and hair that is well-cut and styled (60%).
One in four (25%) HR professionals believe facial stubble is one of the biggest red flags when meeting a job candidate for the first time.
Other red flags, according to a majority of HR professionals, include body odor or sweat stains (93%) and wrinkled, ill-fitting, or inappropriate clothing (73%).
The top three aspects of physical appearance that men often neglect, according to HR professionals, are their fingernails (59%), clothing (27%), and shaving/body odor (23%).
If a candidate comes to a job interview unkempt, 71% of HR professionals conclude that he is unprofessional and more than half (55%) conclude that he is not seriously interested in the position.
Grooming on the Job:
More than 8 in 10 HR professionals (84%) agree that well-groomed male employees climb the corporate ladder faster than those who are not well-groomed.
More than 6 in 10 HR professionals (61%) believe that an employee who is well-groomed is more likely to have better rapport with his superiors than those who are not well-groomed.
Two-thirds of HR professionals (66%) conclude that an employee is not professional if he regularly comes to work looking unkempt.
More than half of HR professionals (58%) say that their workplace incorporates personal grooming into their employment policies and procedures, however HR professionals still report that nearly 1 in 5 employees (18%), on average, are not well-groomed.
What has been your experience with grooming and success?
Image: txd on Flickr
"Only five US presidents have sported full beards, and another four had moustaches of varying degrees of glory. These were all during the half century run of the dozen Presidents between Lincoln and Taft, of whom only Andrew Johnson and McKinley were clean-shaven.
The Republicans have historically been the hairier party. Every Republican candidate from 1856 to 1892 (with the arguable exception of 1860) had a beard, with a later run of moustaches on Roosevelt in 1904, Taft in 1908 and Roosevelt and Taft in 1912 followed by a final beard in 1916 (and a postscript for the moustache in 1944 and 1948). We should not forget also the vast mutton-chop whiskers of Chester A. Arthur, who was elected Vice-President on the Republican ticket in 1880 but served most of that term as President after the assassination of the bearded Garfield.
The Democrats have never had a properly bearded candidate; the only successful Democrat who even went as far as a moustache was Grover Cleveland, who won the popular vote three times running in 1884, 1888 and 1892. (Cleveland lost the electoral college in 1888 to Benjamin Harrison, so far the last American President with a proper beard.) The hairiest Democrat was Winfield Scott Hancock, whose huge moustache did not help him in the 1880 election, and Democrats with moustaches lost in 1864 and 1904."
According to the Ron Christensen Sr., inventor of Revolt Lubricating Liquid, by using the product on his razor, it allows him to get over 350 shaves from a single razor cartridge. That's a year's worth of shaves.
"It will basically get rid of the need of 95 percent of razor blades out there."
Get rid of 95% of razor blades? Just exactly how, mister?
Christensen is a mechanical engineer who got fed up with buying razor blades so often and began searching for ways to increase the life of the blades about six years ago. According to him, water left on the blades causes them to rust, which dulls them, and by keeping water off of the metal, he found that he could make the blades last much longer.
Christensen's solution is a blend of mineral oils and aloe and vitamin E which is used to store both razors and spare blades in. He recently received a US patent for his product.
Revolt Lubricating Liquid is available online, or if you're looking for a homemade solution, try using straight mineral oil to store your razor head.
"In a special section for staff with facial hair and beards, it says that those with "excessive facial hair" cannot expect the face mask to provide protection unless they are clean-shaven.
"Therefore, healthcare workers with facial hair, including stubble, are advised to remove it at the beginning of a shift" if they are likely to be exposed to infection due to the procedures they have to perform for swine flu patients."
This leaves me wondering where those health workers are putting their beards...
"Google will tell you the study of beards is called pogonology. So will Malcolm Payne. He's the professor who holds the Michaelis chair of fine art at the University of Cape Town, and who for the past 18 months has been working on a pogonology exhibition - paintings of beards, 27 so far.
"Beard mythology is quite a rich field," says the professor, who once had a beard himself but found it itchy. "My images hover between merkin and beard. Some say they remind them of female pubic hair formations."
According to a UK department store, Debenhams, men are increasingly drawn to having their eyebrows professionally groomed, with 40% of their customers made up of men.
"They are going for a treatment called "threading," an ancient method of hair removal which originated in India in which a thin twine of cotton thread is rolled over the offending area, plucking the hair from the follicle level."
I'm not sure what to think of this... Manscaping trends are rapidly approaching the level of grooming usually thought of as 'for women only'.
Are any of you considering getting the 'guybrow' professionally groomed?
"Men's BYB shaving cream is specially designed to treat sensitive and irritated skin, when it nourishes, soothes while shaving. BYB only focus on the private part of the man. BYB makes it smooth and fresh, so no wonder why the ladies call it "The New Woman's Best Friend - For Men."
"In Texas, only barbers are licensed to trim beards, and they are unhappy that cosmetologists are cutting into their market. This fight illustrates the effects of occupational licensing -- legal restrictions on workers' ability to enter certain markets."
Master Well Comb is another of those shaving and hair product companies that have been around a long time, but I had never heard of them until a couple of weeks ago. They've been making hair products and shaving stuff for over 60 years, and they're based out of Illinois.
I got the chance to take the Master Shaving Mug Soap for a test run last week, and although I was kind of skeptical of the quality before lathering up, I ended up appreciating it for what it is - a soap, not a cream - instead of judging against my favorite creams.
The soap lathered up nicely, and it had an interesting scent - it reminded me of old-time barbershops. The shave I got was solid, with no irritated areas or raw patches (I kind of expected it after reading that it was a 'soap', not lubricating like a cream or gel). I did notice the tendency for the soap to dry on my face while shaving, but with a little warm water, it lathered back up immediately.
The company says that the soap has "The masculine scent of Lilac Vegetol", but I didn't catch a whiff of lilac (and I'm not sure what vegetol is. Anyone?). The scent was light and didn't stick around after rinsing, which is something I appreciate.
If you like to shave with a soap instead of a cream, Master Shaving Mug Soap is a good pick, and while I'm probably going to stick with my favorite cream, the Master Shaving Mug Soap is going to stay in my cabinet for when I want something a little different.
It might be wise to start planning your winter facial hair strategy now, so you'll get a good head-start if you live in a part of the world with brutal winters. For those without cold temperatures, you can stop reading right here.
For those of us who are regularly out in the elements, whether we're braving a commute, climbing a crag, or cranking out some miles on the bicycle, some serious facial protection comes in really handy in December.
With that in mind, here's a little beard-growing humor for you:
"Each year, the editors of Esquire produce a special issue of the magazine devoted to men's style called The Big Black Book, which has been wildly successful. Using the same pragmatic, highly illustrated approach, and laced with Esquire's trademark humor, Esquire The Handbook of Style brings readers vital information on every aspect of a man's wardrobe, from suits and shirts, to shoes and neckties, to watches and other accessories. The style-minded reader will find useful advice on suit fabrics and cuts, the right kind of trousers for his build, the essential outerwear to own, how to dress properly for an occasion, how to tie a tie, how to pack for a trip, grooming strategies, and much, much more. A compact and sophisticated accessory in its own right, Esquire The Handbook of Style will be the style bible for the well-dressed man for years to come."
"Grooming Secrets For Men is loaded with at-home techniques that will help you improve your appearance immediately. After trying David's amazing solutions, you will know how to have terrific looking skin at any age, how to tame unwanted body hair, and how to look your best in all situations. Grooming Secrets For Men is the first step to a better you. Become that man today and start impressing your friends, colleagues, and love interests."
OK, this one's not about grooming, per se, but makes a great conversation piece:One Thousand Beards:
"Allan Peterkin's One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair traces the beard's (and the razor's) storied past, including styles, regulations and cultural significance from the ancient Egyptians to the present day. The breezy and concise illustrated volume also covers the various religious meanings of beards, facial hair in gay culture, bearded ladies and the beard as interpreted by Freud. Peterkin includes instructions for washing, dying, trimming and shaving all kinds of beards from Amish-style to the Franz Josef."
I admit it. I don't have a shaving stand for my razor, and I am probably not going to go out and buy one. So unless someone wants to give me this stand or this one, I'm going to have to make my own. I started looking for instructions, and found this great tutorial from Instructables:
"Well, beyond an undying passion for sporting the most awe inspiring beard, mustache or goatee known to man, it takes the voting help of friends, family and fellow facial hair enthusiasts. In collaboration with the Wahl Let it Grow Tour, the Man of the Year contest allows people to vote for the top facial hair all-star in the beard, mustache and goatee categories for each of the 12 cities the Tour buzzes through."
I don't know about you, but when I have a 3 day weekend, I'm always tempted to start a beard. I like to shave at night, so after Thursday night's shave, I know I won't have to shave again until Monday night on a 3 day weekend. So on Friday and Saturday, I leave the razor in the cabinet, and my face enjoys some time off.
But once I've let it grow for 2 or 3 days, I start to see that it might be nice to have a goatee again, or a Fu Manchu moustache, or even some Neil Young mutton-chops, and so I think about shaving just part of it off. Once I've got the razor out, and my face lathered up, I may decide to go for a clean shave for the coming week. Because if I show up Monday morning with a partial beard, people might be thinking that I'm gonna grow a Grizzly Adams style beard, and that might start something of a trend (and not being a trend-setter, I'll probably disappoint).
And if I start a beard, I have to either trim it neatly, or shave around the outside to shape it, and then I always wonder at what point it's really a beard and not just a scruffy face. 1/4 inch? 1/2 inch long?
So at this point in the 3 day weekend, I've got some hard choices to make: commit to a beard, have another day of scruff, or head straight for the Merkur and get down to it.
Is it just me, or does this happen to you as well?
One of the most frustrating things about any sharpened implement is getting it back to a razor edge. From a pocketknife to a straight razor to an ax, a fine edge is the key to a close shave.
The best book I've found by far is the Razor Edge Book of Sharpening. This book features practical information in a straight forward way, and will have you sharpening every blade in your house like a pro.
"Universally recognized as "The Bible of The Cutting Edge", this book belongs in the library of anyone who is serious about sharpening. Written by Guinness world record holder John Juranitch, it contains all the knowledge and insights gained during his more than 40 years in the sharpening industry.
The 145 page book is crammed with photos, illustrations and cutting edge secrets you won't find anywhere else. Its 14 chapters cover topics like how to choose a knife, sharpening theories and applications, steeling, using a hone and much, much more. You'll get answers to the most asked questions. You'll learn the truth about common myths like why you should never use oil on a hone. And you'll get the insights necessary to put a great edge on knives, axes, fish hooks, arrowheads, chain saws and other tools.
It's a history, a handbook, a reference manual that is the simplest, most complete way to give yourself a razor edge on sharpening."
Here's a video clip of the author shaving with an ax. Yes, an ax.