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The Art of Shaving Hardcover – May 7, 2002

3.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The average man will shave approximately 20,000 times over the course of his life, spending the equivalent of 139 full days doing it. He will shave off 27 feet of hair, from a total of 30,000 whiskers on his face. And he will probably be doing something wrong. So he'll suffer nicks and cuts, ingrown hairs, and rashes; his five-o'clock shadow will arrive before lunch, his neck will be irritated and red, and he'll get razor burn. Instead of reaping the benefits of a daily grooming regimen, he'll only suffer. Needlessly.
The Art of Shaving will solve his problems (as well as the related problems of anybody whose cheek gets burned by his razor stubble). He'll choose the correct brush and razor and blade; he'll take more time lathering up properly and less time tending to bloody shirt collars. He'll feel better and look better. And he'll adjust his perception of this morning ritual, bringing art and passion to a daily routine.

About the Author

Myriam Zaoui and Eric Malka are the husband-and-wife co-owners of The Art of Shaving, launched in 1996. French-born Myriam is an expert in aromatherapy and Eastern medicine; Moroccan-born Eric is an entrepreneur and one of the world’s foremost shaving experts. The Art of Shaving operates three stand-alone stores in New York City, one in Bal Harbor, Florida, and a boutique in the Neiman Marcus flagship store in Dallas; the stores carry the best male-grooming products from a variety of manufacturers, as well as their own line of proprietary products.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (May 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609609157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609609156
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It would not have surprised me if this book was nothing more than a commercial for the products sold at The Art of Shaving shops. Indirectly, that's what it is, with all its emphasis on creams, lotions, gels, soaps, and balms--all sold as the mainstay of the namesake brick and mortar boutiques. Although none of these products are hawked in the book by specific brand. But what did surprise me is the way this book seems to be a commercial for Gillette Mach 3 razors. It's a surprise because the majority of those dedicated to the "art" of wet shaving generally eschew cartridge systems.

I evaluate this book for its textual and photo content. In the early text about the history of barbers, we read "Fortunately, over the years, the two roles [of barber as groomsman and surgeon] have become separated, and barbering has become a serious and respected art." (p. 16) What?! Surgery wasn't serious? The book is full of statements of this kind, so take all the text with a grain of salt.

As another example of lax quality of content in this book, consider the large "Essential Oils Chart" on pp. 32-33. The table is riddled with dots to indicate some sort of relationship between 29 kinds of oil and 18 skin types (I'm not sure what "tired" skin is, or the difference between "dry" skin and "dehydrated."). What the table fails to mention is what the relationships are. To take one data point, there is a dot at the intersection of lavender oil and dry skin. This could indicate that lavender oil causes dry skin, or it should be avoided if you have dry skin, or you should use it if you have dry skin. I think the last is the case, but nothing explicitly says that. The book dedicates two chapters (38 pages) to skin and lotions.
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Format: Hardcover
I found some useful information in this book. However, most of the tips are display in a fairly well done video at the author's website. Just do a google search on "The Art of Shaving" and view the "Perfect Shave" video. You will see all of the tips acted out. Like shave after a shower, shave with the grain, use a preshave oil, how to dry afterwards, etc.

The book itself is not bad, and a very quick read. The book is not a direct advertisement for the author's products. He actually rarely mentions them in the text. The book is useful no matter who you buy your supplies from.
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Format: Hardcover
Shaving is something most of us men do anyway, so it makes sense to do what we can to change it from a chore (or a butchery) into an enjoyable or even luxurious experience. If you're trying to look professional for a day at work -- or attractive and manly for a night on the town -- why drag a 20-cent disposable blade across your face when there are more rewarding alternatives out there?

As part of the fashion and grooming industries' efforts to get men to take as much time preparing themselves for the day as women stereotypically do, Myriam Zaoui and Eric Malka produced this book on shaving that -- wonders! -- happens to have the same name as the store they run and the line of products they sell in it. I have a copy of their store catalog here next to this book, and there is a good deal of overlap, no question. The sorts of products they say a good shave requires just so happen to be the sorts of products they sell. Whether this is a conspiracy to create a need where none exists or their attempt to be helpful and inspire men to share the authors' passion for the topic, depends I suppose on your degree of cynicism.

To the extent this book is an infomercial for their shop, you're certainly welcome to keep the info- and disregard the -mercial. I wouldn't throw the razor out with the soapy water and say the book is useless because there's a mercenary element. Every author hopes you'll spend money on his book. You can still learn some useful theory and tips for your morning ritual without having to drop any cash in the authors' store.

The essentials of how to get a good shave have been covered countless times, at article-length, in publications like "Esquire." You don't really need an entire book on the history and techniques of shaving. The fact that one exists is harmless enough, and men interested in fashion, grooming, or just not going to work with blood on their collars may find it worth a few minutes' reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very short book that would be reasonably priced at $5 or below, but really not worth the price it sells for. It has a few useful things, but nearly all of them I'd already seen--free--on various web sites. It fails to go deeply into a few things that could use it, and excessively promotes one particular brand of razor that isn't anything great to begin with. Overall I'm disappointed with the book and would not recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have three comments about this book.
1. If they had not spent so much time repeating the same three things, this book would be only half as long as it is. The actual advice is sound but really you don't need to repeat it over and over (unless you're looking for word count)
2. If you're trying to sell me a Cadillac, don't give me a Yugo after I've paid you. This book (the hardbound edition) is probably pretty cool as a coffee table piece, but otherwise not worth the price (see comments 1&3)
3. All of the useful information in this book is also in a Youtube video by these same people.

All that being said this is a really nice if a bit expensive sales brochure. I had already purchased some of their shaving products, and love them. This book however is something that I am very dissapointed in.
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