If Gucci did grooming, this is what it would look like. I first heard/saw of Buly - full name L’Officine Universelle Buly - a few months ago when they were just about to open a counter in the new Dover Street Market. It has just gone onto MR PORTER, as a global online exclusive, so is much more widely available.
Here’s a bit of background. It was originally founded in 1803 in Paris and was rediscovered by owners, Mr Ramdane Touhami and Ms Victoire de Taillac, who reinvented the brand in 2014 and has since become highly-regarded for its naturally sourced products and handmade grooming accessories.
They sell over 700 products including tens of different types of combs and interior fragrance products.
Left - Buly - Crème Pogonotomienne - £33 from MRPORTER.COM
TheChicGeek says, “For something that looks so old, Buly is surprisingly refreshing. It is part of the trend for richly decorated products which give the impression of ancient manuscripts and knowledgable elders. These products look like something da Vinci or Michelangelo would have used and feel like a discovery. I've wanted to try some since I first saw it.
I tried the Crème Pogonotomienne (shaving cream). It's a mouthful and means to cut the beard in Greek. Buly is anti-plastic so all products come in metal tubes or glass packaging. This is a metal tube with a metal top and adds to the historical feeling. The reason, Mr Touhami says, is that plastic packaging, as you squeeze it, lets air into the product and therefore bacteria.
This is a light, white shaving cream containing burnt hinoki wood and goes on and washes off easily. The smell is strong. I think it smells like burnt marzipan and when I look at the ingredients it does contain sweet almond oil.
It’s often hard to review a shaving product as it’s usually as good or as sharp as your razor. Unless you have a reaction or breakouts, they are usually all pretty passable. That said, the smell of this makes shaving something different. You’re transported to the world of Buly; dusty mahogany drawers and stone floors making ancient magic. It’s not cheap, but it sure looks nice next to the sink, but, there is substance underneath all that beautiful packaging”.
Truefitt & Hill shows us how to get the perfect shave with their tips and extensive knowledge.
The key to a perfect shave is to prepare your skin, if possible shave during or after a hot shower. The heat and moisture helps to soften the beard and prepare the skin for the shave.
2. Apply a Pre Shave Oil
Designed to protect the skin from the razor blade, it softens the whiskers of the beard and helps the razor blade glide smoothly, reducing irritation and nourishing the skin. Work a little oil into the face and beard before applying shaving cream.
3. Apply Shaving Cream
Using a shaving brush helps to create a rich lather and lift each individual whisker, coating the whiskers with shaving cream and helping to give the smoothest shave possible.
Shave with or across the grain of your beard, and not against it. Shaving against the grain is the main cause for irritation and razor burn. Rinse the razor regularly and use a good quality blade remembering to replace the blade often. A dull blade is also a common cause for razor burn and irritation.
After shaving, rinse your face with cold water to close the pores of the skin. Pat the skin dry and apply a soothing and moisturizing aftershave balm.
Truefitt & Hill is the world's oldest barbershop with over 200 years of experience. In 1805, William Francis Truefitt opened his first Gentlemen's Barber Shop at 2 Cross-Lane, Long Acre London. In 1811 he moved the business to 40 Old Bond Street and established himself as "Court Hair Cutter" and "Court Head Dresser" where, along with his sole employee, his brother Peter, he was soon to become Wigmaker, by Royal Appointment to His Majesty, King George III. In 1911 Edwin Hill & Co. set up a barber shop at 23 Old Bond Street, and it was to this address H.P. Truefit (Francis Truefitt's nephew) moved in 1935 to form Truefitt & Hill. They moved to their present location in St James's Street in 1994.
They are currently barbers and Royal Warrant holders to H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh and have international outposts in Chicago, Toronto and Las Vegas.
Ideally if this is your first time growing a beard I would recommend a visit to a barber for advice. However, if you are unable to get to one, here are a few tips to help ensure that you get off to the right start.
Senior Barber at Gentlemen's Tonic, Imad Khaireddin
Whilst everyone experiences hair growth at different rates, you should typically allow the hair to grow in length for around 4-6 days. Ensure that your electric clipper has graded numbers and a half setting to allow for some flexibility in choosing your preferred length. The grades refer to the length of the hair in millimeters, for example grade 1 means the hair will be cut to between 1 -3 millimeters in length where as grade 2 represents between 2-6 millimeters in length.
Do make certain that you start with a dry beard. If you're unsure how short you would like your beard to be, it is best to start trimming with a higher clipper grade. You can then repeat the process with a lower grade if you wish. In cases where the thickness of the beard differs on various parts of the face it is best to use a short grade on the thicker areas such as the chin or moustache area, and a longer grade on the thinner areas to achieve an even finish.
When you are happy with the length, take some time tidying up your beard. Set your clipper on 0 and remove the clipper guard if you have been using one. The teeth should be closed. Tilting your head back slightly, use the flat side of your clipper to create a line from left to right above the Adam's apple. Use your own discretion but try not to take the line too high or too low. To create a natural finish to the beard, trim the neck area with the clippers on a grade lower than you used to trim the bulk of the beard. You can put a small amount of shave oil into the beard when finished to ensure it looks shiny and healthy.
Gentlemen's Tonic is a traditional yet contemporary barber in the heart of Mayfair. Combining traditional barber shop treatments such as wet shaves and hair cutting with spa treatments such as eyebrow threading and thai massage, Gentlemen's Tonic also have branches in the City of London, Houston, Texas and more recently Selfridges, Oxford Street. TheChicGeek is a fan of the post party "Hemingway" treatment which constitutes of a Bloody Mary, aromatherapy facial and massage.