Like a blinking neon sign in the drear of never ending winter, (a gross overstatement in Saudi Arabia) Valentines is a beacon for men, all men, everywhere to do something!
If flowers haven't arrived all year, this is the time to give them. If dinner at a swank restaurant isn't usually in budget, the wallet is pried open and off to dinner two go. At the very least, a man should book an appointment for a neat hair cut (neck hair is a 'no') and a great shave.
This little preamble serves as a segway to discussion about my favorite masculine feature - facial hair! Some women like a clean shaven man. Indeed, depending on the face and the character, the clean shave may be THE way to go. My preference leans toward the hyper-masculine, sadly, the soft and clean shaven cheek holds moderate to no allure for me. Give me some stubble at least!
In the Middle East I've encountered, on a large scale, the best shaves I've ever seen! I thought I knew good facial hair before. I was sadly misinformed. Like a person waking from a stupor, an ignorant posing as a sophisticate, a naïve ingénue I admit it - I knew nothing! In North America and Europe there are great shaves and then...this disturbing trend toward the aggressive "old dutch" hipster beard.
Aside: I'm not a fan of the latter. Think mid 1800's with pompadour and hair gel. I mean are there specs of food caught up in there???
Nothing compares to the technique the barbers have applied to their craft in the Middle East.
I call this new level of shave, the tight shave.
Define a tight shave? It's not a beard but can include one. Rather, its a connected goatee (van dyke), sharply defined, faded cheeks, strong darkened jaw line and not a hint of patchiness anywhere.
The good to great shaves I used to see were like receiving a piece of jewelry from Tiffany's - nice, most welcome and gratefully accepted. But you might see that same piece replicated, imitated or featured flashily on the tackiest person. The tight shave in the Middle East? Van Cleef and Arpels.
I'm having a shockingly hard time finding great images of the tight shave I see on the daily. I will be accosting men and taking pictures on your behalf soon. Never fear I'll make the sacrifice *wink*.
In the interim, a couple of shots of some great shaves. In later posts I'll be researching and reviewing men's grooming products and techniques and dissecting the glories of the tight shave.
Happy Valentines Day! My plans? I'll be in office *wince* BUT joy! There will probably be a tight shave or ten that I will have the pleasure of seeing. How about you?