The 1st Annual MLT Razor Awards

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Over the last year, it’s become pretty obvious that facial hair is here to stay -- though not necessarily as a permanent fixture -- on the faces of many of your favorite famous faces. Some grew fuzz, shaved it off, then started over. Some stopped shaving altogether and grew full-out bushy beards. Other perma-shaved, clean-cut, all-American guys continued to inspire the rest of us.

To honor these beacons of facial hair management, we hereby institute the first ever Annual MLT Razor Awards. Here are the winners:

Most Stylish World Cupper: GERARD PIQUE
This devilishly handsome soccer player from Argentina even got reluctant females to watch soccer right to the last match! Sure, he’s got those dark eyes and that solid jaw. But how sexy is his well-trimmed beard? Folliclewise, note the tidiness of his cheek area. And check out the well-proportioned neck margins (where the beard ends and the rest of the neck prevails). His facial hair practically spells out “winner.”

Best Return-to-the-Razor: BRAD PITT

One would have though Pitt was working on the next Pirates of the Caribbean installment this past year, what with that rubber-banded growth protruding from his face that practically screamed “Ahoy!” Brave? Aye! But why cover up that perfect mug? Pitt bladed his face to its full former glory this summer. (Just for the record, we would shave every day for the rest of our lives if the good Lord were to gift us a face like his.)

Best Nouveau Goatee: TIM MCGRAW and KOBE BRYANT

The singer and the athlete tie for making this somewhat-tired, ubiquitous growth style seem cool and new again. Perfectly trimmed -- but not over-shaped -- their look whispers masculine and confident.

Best Use of Goatee to Reveal Character Traits by a Superhero:
Our favorite superheroes always have smooth cheeks … and we love them for it! But RDJ in Iron Man 2 used his razor skilfully while growing a rebel goatee. A superhero using facial growth to tell us about his inner demons? We consider this revolutionary.

Best Post-prepster Icon:
Here’s the perfect marriage of a bare, smooth, boyish face and the markings of maturity. CNN’s intrepid reporter Cooper remains boyish with his clean shave; but his silver-fox hair reminds us he’s been around -- and knows what he’s talking about!


Best Perma-staches:
EDDIE MURPHY, JOHN WATERS (both pencil styles) and HULK HOGAN (horseshoe)
These guys are the die-hards: lifelong members of the Mustache Hall of Fame. To these men, we say: Congrats for staying true to your trademark growth.

Best Return-to-work De-bearding:
Hamm is a clean-shaven style icon on the TV series “Mad Men” (even if he is always on the verge of 5 o’clock shadow). Yet he had let loose on his hiatus with a full beard this year (perhaps to show off his facial hair’s range?). Most of us were relieved to find the barefaced Don Draper we love and admire when the new season started. For now, his position as Modern Retro American Style Paragon is safe.

Greatest Facial Hair Versatility:
Gosling has looked fantastic with a nerd mustache, roll-out-of-bed stubble, a college boy’s full beard and a preppy, clean-shaven look … all in the span of 12 months! Our co-workers would totally mock us if we ever attempted this!


Best Swashbuckling Beard:
Gyllenhaal needed something to compensate for that “abbreviated” battle outfit he dons in Prince of Persia. Luckily, he gets to wear a skilfully manicured just-barely-there beard that makes him look both rugged and noble.


The Clean-shaven Icon Award: JULIO IGLESIAS

The multilingual singer from Spain, loved the world over, has seldom dabbled with facial follicles over the almost half century he’s serenaded us. And true to form, this past year, Iglesias kept his chiseled face tan and classically clean-shaven.



Meanwhile, his son, ENRIQUE, definitely wins the award for Best Soul Patch! Hats off to a discreet hair tuft on a face every bit as smooth and handsome as daddy’s.

Champion Soccer Players Rock Styled Facial Hair

We can’t quite put a finger on it (probably because it’s soccer and you’re not allowed to use your hands), but a growing trend seems to have sprouted on the soccer field ... like the hair on your face.

It’s clear that throughout the history of “the beautiful game,” global soccer stars have found their brush with greatness accompanied by the brush on their mugs. Not prone to hyperbole, we’re saying that their cleverly appointed facial hair was not only their signature, but the factor that sealed the deal to their worldwide success. (And we say that with confidence, because we’re pretty sure we don’t exactly know what “hyperbole” means.)

In the annals of soccer greatness, many majestic mustaches and beards have adorned the lips, chin and -- in the worst cases -- ears of the game’s biggest names. Join us as we examine the evidence that is as plain as the hair on the faces of these soccer giants. Meet the all-trim team of soccer’s hairy Hall of Fame.

Rudi Voller, Germany

This brush-beaked German played 90 times for the national team during the 1980s and 1990s, racking up an amazing 47 goals, which included eight biggies during the World Cup -- all of which were scored with his signature magnificent mustache. Germans everywhere modeled their above-the-lip hair after their national hero, whom they affectionately called “Tante Kathe” (Aunt Katie) due to his mustache’s faithful companion: his long, curly and graying hair. (Our Aunt Katie prefers to go for light ash blonde, but that’s just how it is here in the crazy USA!)

Socrates, Brazil

The term “genius” is thrown around quite a bit in sports. But that word truly seems well suited for the man who was a genius at soccer … and style. (Hey, if you can’t give that moniker to a guy named Socrates, who sports a brilliant beard, who can you give it to?) His sweetly styled brush matched his panache on the pitch as he captained and starred in 60 games as a midfielder with spectacular soccer sensibilities on some of the greatest Brazilian teams of the 1970s and 1980s.

Roger Milla, Cameroon

This African legend is best remembered for roaring like a graybeard when he scored four goals to take his country to the quarterfinals at the ripe old age of 38. But he’s also fondly remembered for showing up for the 1982 tourney with a bodacious beard that became the fledgling team leader’s signature during the African nation’s heroic stand that saw them go unbeaten in the first round. With Milla’s leadership, Cameroon forced draws against established powerhouses, including the eventual winner Italy, before bowing out bloodied (and of course, bearded) but definitely unbowed.

Djibril Cisse, France

This Ivory Coast-born, Iberian bad boy has sculpted his scrub so many different ways we can’t figure out his strategy for the future. But for today, his game face is one of the most famous on the planet. One of his country’s biggest scorers, he still is better known for the singular style of his brush than for his play. Having said that, he was one of the stars of the troubled and disappointing French team at this year’s World Cup. But no one can say his beard didn’t show up ready to go for each and every game.

Alexi Lalas, USA

Landon Donovan’s getting all the action as the glamour guy of American soccer these days, but when our USA boys broke out on the big stage in 1990, the face of the sport in our country was Alexi Lalas. And that face was prominently plumed with one of the coolest goatees this side of Iron Man. Looking like a blend of Yosemite Sam and that dude from the Spin Doctors, Lalas had a style that matched his flamboyant play as he introduced the game to grunge and American soccer to the elite level in the 1990 and 1994 World Cup and in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

Razor Technology: 2010

Keeping up with the latest trends in music (Ke$ha in, Amy Winehouse out) and technology (iPad in, Kindle out) is easy. But razor technology is a different story. Even though razors are an everyday essential, it’s hard to keep track of what’s new, hot and different. And forget about asking the store stock guy for help on the subject. (You’ll be lucky if he’s even able to direct you to the razors.)

So here’s a primer on the two chart-topping cartridge razors, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide and Schick Quattro, and one best-selling electric razor, the Braun Pulsonic 790cc -- with insight from Michael Gilman, blogger for his site,

Gillette Fusion ProGlide

This upgrade to the world’s best-selling shaving system, the five-blade Fusion, incorporates a blade with thinner edges that’s covered in a low-resistance coating to slice with less tug and pull. A blade stabilizer has been added to keep the blades properly spaced apart, and the Lubrastrip is 25 percent bigger to help the razor glide across the face more easily. “Gillette has probably maxed out the number of blades at five, so they’re focusing now on making the quality of the blades better, and a better moisture strip,” says Gilman. “They succeed here.”

Schick Quattro Titanium

Most blades are made of stainless steel. The latest improvement to the popular Quattro line is clear from the name: titanium. Schick uses a coating of this precious metal on the four blades for a dramatically sharper cutting edge that doesn’t get dull as quickly. Its grip is now ribbed as well, for an easier hold. “Razors are kind of like golf clubs. Everyone is looking for new materials to make them with. What kind of difference they make is up in the air. I shaved with the Quattro Titanium just the other day, though, and I did get a really close shave,” says Gilman. 

Braun Pulsonic 790cc

Braun’s proprietary Pulsonic Technology oscillates the electric 790cc at 10,000 micro-vibrations per minute to help deliver an outstanding close and comfortable shave. Its two shaving surfaces also pivot and flex to contour the face, and you can clean, lubricate and dry the shaver with a simple press of a button. “There’s a lot of validity to the Pulsonic Technology. Barbers will do an aggressive massage with their hands to get the whiskers loose and the face putty-like for a better shave. It’s the same basic idea here,” says Gilman.

Eyebrow Grooming for Men

Eyebrows are one of those mysterious facial features that can make a huge difference in your appearance … but generally go unnoticed unless something about them is terribly wrong (like, say, you’re still sporting a unibrow or accidentally singed them off over a barbecue -- it happens).
When it comes to eyebrow grooming for men, it boils down to three simple things: de-bulking, shaping and knowing where brows should start and end.
Really thick eyebrows may call for major eyebrow grooming, so you may want to visit a salon -- a trained aesthetician can do them the first time and give you a good reference point for maintaining them solo.
Still, most guys can whack these little weeds themselves at home. Just follow a few simple rules. …

First, you’ll need to have the right tools on hand: razor, small electric trimmer, grooming scissors and tweezers. Next, shower or wash your face before attempting to shave or tweeze the area. The hot water and steam open up your pores and follicles and soften the hair, making the process easier (and less painful). Plus, this will help prevent ingrown hairs.

Now you’re ready for the big browbeating. Here’s how.


First, get rid of excess hair in the middle and the outside ends. The inside edges of your brows should line up with the inside corner of your eyes -- anything else is in unibrow territory and should be removed. To determine where your brows should end, use this simple trick: Take a pencil and place one end at the outside edge of your nostril, then rotate it so that it points towards the outside edge of your eye -- that’s where the brow should end.

As for how to get rid of those stray border crossers, take a razor and use short light strokes but take heed: A razor allows more room for error -- remember Steve Carell’s slipup in The 40-Year-Old Virgin that left him browless? -- but the hair will grow back quickly. On the other hand, you can use tweezers to pluck these areas, but you’ll have to be extra-careful; repeated tweezing can cause permanent hair loss.


Next, ditch the bulk with grooming scissors or a small electric trimmer. You want to remove just enough hair so the brows look tamed, not overly trussed. You don’t want to cut the hair so short that it refuses to lie flat against your face.

If you have fine hair, brush it upward, then trim till it’s about 5 millimeters long. If you have coarse hair, pick out one hair and trim it slowly, a little at a time, till it’s short but still lies flat. Then use it as a marker for the rest of the hairs.

And slow down -- this isn’t a race. It should take you at least a few minutes to do a proper job.


To arch or not to arch … that is the question. And the answer depends on your face shape. If it’s long and skinny, or anchored by a particularly strong jawline, you should probably forget about sculpting your brows into an arch -- thicker, horizontal brows can help divide your face to make it look shorter and draw people’s gazes up and away from the jaw. On the other hand, if you have a round or square face, a prominent arch can create the illusion of a longer face.

As a general rule of thumb, the arch should peak directly above the pupil; make a note of where that is, then use tweezers to remove hairs directly underneath that point until you’ve defined the shape.

Manscape for Bigger (Looking) Muscles!

You wouldn’t keep a new car hidden away in the garage. You’d show it off, right? So why are you still hiding your hard-earned pecs and quads behind a bear suit? Have you not heard of body shaving and trimming -- aka manscaping?

“Hair really does hide muscles and obscure their definition,” says Cynthia James, a former professional bodybuilder and a judge at the International Federation of Body Building. “A hairless body is the only way to show off the details of your muscles and physique and reveal symmetry.”

The good news is you don’t have to invest in any new products to manscape for bigger-looking muscles -- the tools you use to groom your facial hair will do. In fact, all you need is an electric trimmer, a five-blade razor, shaving cream, a full-length mirror and a nice long shower.

“If you’re going to shave your body, you always need to prep it first with water and soap,” says Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, a clinical dermatologist and skin care expert in San Diego and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. “It softens the skin and hair so that you get the closest possible shave, and it helps prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs.” A good rule of thumb: Wait until the end of your shower before body shaving. But if you have the time, try soaking in a hot bath -- it’s much more effective at softening skin than is a shower.

Unlike your face, your body’s unique bulges and curves require individual attention. Here’s how to conquer them all.


Show off your:

Pecs and abs

Manscape plan:

First off, if you’ve really got the goods (a well-defined chest and a 21-pack or whatever), you’ll want to lose all the hair (no need to keep the treasure trail when the real treasure is right there in view!).

As for your plan of attack, when it comes to chest hair, you want to shave with (not against) the grain of the hair. “Chest hair tends to be coarse and curly,” says Benabio, “and if you shave against the hair growth pattern, you could accidentally shave the hair beneath the surface, causing it to curl up under the skin” (read: ingrown hair).

One more thing: Mind the nipples. You might even want to put round adhesive bandages over them before you shave. Sure, they’re not the most manly of body parts, but fess up, you’d miss them if they were gone.


Show off your:

Quads and calves

Manscape plan:

Take out most of the bulk first with an electric trimmer or grooming scissors before you try to tackle it with a razor. Then use long, smooth strokes in a downward motion and let the razor lightly glide across the surface -- using too much pressure can cause nicks and razor burn. Pay attention to curves and bony areas, like your knees and ankles, and adjust the direction of the razor accordingly.

“You shave your face every day, so you’re used to the contours,” says Benabio. “It’s like brushing your teeth, you get used to the routine. But when you’re shaving in new places, you have to be more careful.” One trick is to think of your razor as a paintbrush and use the same loose wrist motions that you would use when painting.


Show off your:

Biceps and triceps

Manscape plan:

Shaving your arms is a lot like shaving your legs: Trim first with clippers before you pick up the razor, then use long, smooth downward strokes.

But the tricky part is figuring out where to stop and start. If your arm hair is light in color and not too dense, you can probably just shave from your shoulder to your elbow and leave the rest alone. On the other hand, if your arm hair is dark and thick, you’re better off shaving all the way down to your wrist for a more uniform look.


Show off your:


Manscape plan:

If you really want to show these off, then we’re assuming you’re going to be wearing something a little tighter and formfitting than surf trunks, so you’re going to have to manscape the hair back there (and down there, in the front groin area between your thighs). First, you’ll need to get a good view, and a full-length wall mirror usually isn’t enough. Instead, try squatting over a small mirror placed on the floor. Next, take your time. Women are experts at this, but men need a little practice. “The trick is to use lots of shaving cream, pull the skin taut, and shave using short, light strokes,” says Benabio. “And remember to rinse out the razor blade between every single stroke; a clogged razor will prevent you from getting the smoothest possible shave.”