Grooming Review: The Art of Choosing a Razor

23 02 2010

In honor of the new custom Double Edge Safety Razor from Baxter of California, the oldest grooming brand on the market today, AreYouBeing.com has put together a list of our favorite shaving tools.  These are based on quality, function and design.  So regardless of your budget or style preference, any one of these tools can help you achieve the perfect shave each and every time.

Baxter Safety Razor
Based on a design first introduced in the late 18th century, this razor is almost identical to the one my grandfather used.  For guys who were too afraid to use a straight razor, it was a huge innovation at the time, making shaving at home much safer.  Still, if you’re a Gillette guy (and we love this brand), using this razor may take you out of your comfort zone.  Don’t worry though.  Each razor – with knurling detailing on the handle to prevent slipping – comes packaged in a matte black gift box, which includes an instructional card and a pack of starter blades.  All that for just $60.

Baxter of California Safety Razor

HOMMAGE Madrid Razor
Whether you’re a world traveler, or just want people to think you are, the Madrid Razor from HOMMAGE is a must-have tool.  Perfect for the guy with limited counter space in the bathroom, the Madrid Razor – with its gun metal-hued stainless steel finish and ergonomic grip handle – sits in an upright position.  Why is this important?  For starters, it makes a strong statement (“I’m a man, I shave, and I’m not ashamed if anyone knows that I take a little extra time for myself.”), and the upright position allows the blade to air-dry, preventing corrosion, which helps maintain the longevity of your razor’s edge.  At $225, the Madrid Razor is definitely an investment, but one you can pass down to your son or nephew one day.

HOMMAGE Madrid Razor


The Art of Shaving Straight Razor

I’ve been in the grooming arena for a decade now, and even through working with The Art of Shaving on past grooming articles, I’ve never been brave enough to use a straight razor.  However, it’s one of the best tools for getting the closest shave.  If you’re feeling bold, checkout one of the many straight razors from the guys who made shaving cool again.  Handcrafted by Thiers-Issard, a prestigious French razor maker since 1884, the carbon steel blade (Starting at $135) is hollow ground to deliver a more comfortable shave and provide the sharpest edge. Not sure how to use it though?  Upon purchase of a Straight Razor, The Art of Shaving will provide you with a complimentary guide on how to use and maintain the razor at home.  You can even go into one of the many shops across the country for a personal tutorial, so soon enough you’ll be a shaving artist in your own right.

The Art of Shaving Straight Razor

Disclaimer: All brands mentioned above have provided AreYouBeing.com with product samples in exchange for editorial review.

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AreYouBeing’s Oscar Predictions

2 02 2010

The nominees for the 81st Annual Academy Awards was announced this morning, and the nominees are:

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

  • Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart” (Fox Searchlight)

  • George Clooney in “Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)
  • Colin Firth in “A Single Man” (The Weinstein Company)
  • Morgan Freeman in “Invictus” (Warner Bros.)
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment)

AYB’s Prediction: Though everyone is talking about George Clooney’s performance in “Up in the Air,” I think this will be the year that Jeremy Renner breaks out and catapults to A-list status as the Best Actor winner for his role in “The Hurt Locker.”

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Matt Damon in “Invictus” (Warner Bros.)
  • Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger” (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
  • Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones” (DreamWorks in association with Film4, Distributed by Paramount)
  • Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds” (The Weinstein Company)

AYB’s Prediction: Two words; Stanley Tucci.

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” (Warner Bros.)
  • Helen Mirren in “The Last Station” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Carey Mulligan in “An Education” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate)
  • Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia” (Sony Pictures Releasing)

AYB’s Prediction: Sandra may have taken home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in “The Blind Side,” but that was only because she wasn’t up against Meryl Streep in that category.  Streep created the perfect recipe in her starring role in “Julie & Julia,” and she will win top honors.

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Penélope Cruz in “Nine” (The Weinstein Company)
  • Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart” (Fox Searchlight)
  • Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)
  • Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate)

AYB’s Prediction: It’s a phrase we thought we’d never hear, but “The Oscar goes to Mo’Nique.”

Adapted Screenplay

  • “District 9” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
  • “An Education” (Sony Pictures Classics), Screenplay by Nick Hornby
  • “In the Loop” (IFC Films), Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate), Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
  • “Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios), Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

AYB’s Prediction: All of these films are deserving, but “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” is going to push aside the competition.

Original Screenplay

  • “The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment), Written by Mark Boal
  • “Inglourious Basterds” (The Weinstein Company), Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • “The Messenger” (Oscilloscope Laboratories), Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
  • “A Serious Man” (Focus Features), Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • “Up” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter; Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

AYB’s Prediction: Quentin Tarantino is revolutionary, and his spin on WWII brought some new life to the genre.  This is his year at the Oscars.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

  • “Coraline” (Focus Features), Henry Selick
  • “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (20th Century Fox), Wes Anderson
  • “The Princess and the Frog” (Walt Disney), John Musker and Ron Clements
  • “The Secret of Kells” (GKIDS), Tomm Moore
  • “Up” (Walt Disney), Pete Docter

AYB’s Prediction: While “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a favorite of ours at AYB, we predict that Disney will take home the trophy for their film, “Up.”

Achievement in Directing

  • “Avatar” (20th Century Fox), James Cameron
  • “The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment), Kathryn Bigelow
  • “Inglourious Basterds” (The Weinstein Company), Quentin Tarantino
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate), Lee Daniels
  • “Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios), Jason Reitman

AYB’s Prediction: While all the directors in this category deserve accolades for their film contributions this past year, Lee Daniels will be the one who comes out victorious.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

  • “Avatar” (20th Century Fox)
  • “The Blind Side” (Warner Bros.)
  • “District 9” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
  • “An Education” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • “The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment)
  • “Inglourious Basterds” (The Weinstein Company)
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate)
  • “A Serious Man” (Focus Features)
  • “Up” (Walt Disney)
  • “Up in the Air” (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios)

AYB’s Prediction: Though the Academy included 10 nominees in the “Best Motion Picture” category this year, there is no doubt in our minds that James Cameron’s “Avatar” will take home the big award.
See the full list of nominees here.

Photo Credits: Jeremy Renner (www.chud.com); Stanley Tucci (www.monstersandcritics.com); Meryl Streep (blog.pennlive.com); “Precious” Movie Poster (www.chud.com); “Up” Movie Poster (ryanhawiya.wordpress.com); Quentin Tarantino (flesheatingblog.wordpress.com); Lee Daniels (movieshrink.files.wordpress.com); Avatar Movie Poster (www.mannythemovieguy.com); Mo’Nique (blogs.bet.com)