Last week, I was lucky enough to receive an invite to a brunch kicking off The Oscars weekend, thanks to the The Art of Shaving. Enviably located in the heart of Beverly Hills, The Art of Shaving is like no other barbershop, grooming parlor or salon I've ever seen. Granted, I did come with a smile on my face thanks to the car service that rolled me around like a boss, but this really is your one-stop shop for every inch of men's grooming. At entry, you have a retail center featuring all the latest and greatest men's grooming tools and products, a lounge area, and then a stunning open grooming area where cosmetologists are on hand to pamper, cut and clean you as if you were a high-roller in the roaring 20's. The day was a special one not just for the treatment, but because Diana Schmidtke— groomer to some of Hollywood's most famous leading men, including George Clooney and Bradley Cooper—was on hand to share with us some of her tricks of the trade.
Diana Schmidtke has been leading the way in men's grooming for years. She’s appeared on Oprah and been featured in major publications around the world. Names like Christian Bale, James Franco, Ryan Gosling, the Hemsworth brothers and Oscars host Seth MacFarlane are among her clients, and I think we can all agree they scrub up all right. Diana was proud to be The Art of Shaving's brand ambassador at The Oscars last night, prepping the men to look their best for a night like no other. I chatted with Diana to get the word on The Art of Shaving, what she's recommending to her A-list clientele, and some of the styles that came out of last night’s ceremony.
DERMSTORE: What makes for the perfect shave?
Diana Schmidtke: Well lately we've been seeing a lot more of the clean cut look, and so The Art of Shaving has come up with their own regime known as The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave, guaranteed to give your face exactly what it needs.
1. You need to prepare and soften the beard to protect your skin, and the best way to do this is by using a pre-shave oil. The Art of Shaving has multiple pre-shave oil scents, from Lemon, to Sandalwood, and even Unscented if you prefer.
2. For a close and comfortable shave you need to lather up! The good old-fashioned shaving brush is back, and with the Black Silvertip Badger Shaving Brush you're able to generate a generous lather, maintain the vital warmth for your skin while exfoliating to help release trapped hairs for a closer shave.
3. You obviously need the right equipment, and The Art of Shaving has a number of options in that department. You can go for an elegant black and nickel-plated 5-blade razor, or if you want to step it up a notch, the handcrafted Fusion Engraved Nickel Shaving Razor is what you're after.
4. Last but not least, you must moisturize to soothe, refresh and regenerate the skin. Again the range of after-shave balms is great, with Lemon, Sandalwood and Unscented balms helping to freshen up the skin, while soothing any irritation and inflammation.
DS: What is it about The Art of Shaving that your clients love most?
Diana: My clients love and appreciate the Royal Shave, and that's what we got Seth McFarlane to come in for before hosting The Oscars. It's very soothing, very relaxing, the chair goes back and it's almost like a facial for a guy. The shave is key to getting the closest shave possible, but giving moisture to the skin. Part of The Royal Shave is to have a mask applied to the face which contains Desert Rose Clay—this is a key ingredient to keep the skin hydrated all day, something that was great for Seth being on stage for a long time. Another reason I opted for the Royal Shave for Seth is because the shave lasts longer. As you know, everyone goes to parties after The Oscars, so it's a long night and no one wants that 5 0’Clock shadow to appear at 1am; you want to keep the clean shaven look all night and a straight razor shave, from a professional barber, will do just that.
DS: Where has this clean cut style with the quiff in men's styling come from, and who wore it best last night?
Diana: I think Mad Men changed men's fashion as we know it, made it go back to the basics. We're not really re-inventing anything that hasn't been seen in previous generations, and that's exactly what we're seeing with Mad Men, and the hair styles coming from Boardwalk Empire, I see them everywhere! Last night, I saw a lot of long hair that was styled nice and clean. Specifically, a lot of long hair slicked back either with a 1940’s side part, or pushed back straight off their face like the 1950's. The top three looks though would have to be:
Bradley Cooper — Here is a man that has a great beard. It was clean, trimmed and neat. The edges were shaved and cut to complement all around his face. His hair looked natural like he just ran his fingers through it to push it out of his face. His hair was done, but not over done; same with his beard. It was groomed, but not over groomed.
Jeremy Renner — His hair was full, groomed, perfectly styled. Perfect volume in the front, great side part. He looked handsome.
Channing Tatum — This is a good example of a close crop that is actually styled and cut perfectly to a head shape. His skin has the perfect tone (well managed and definitely cared for). That man knows how to wear a suit, and I loved the tails in his dance number. His look was flawless.
DS: What makes The Art of Shaving products different?
Diana: One of the biggest differences you'll find is what's in the products, or actually what they're free of: alcohol. A lot of the time, you'll feel that burn when you put on a post-shave balm, and that's the chemicals. Our products don't do that—instead, they provide a cooling and soothing sensation to help calm the skin. Plus with 100% pure essential oils and other skin-healthy ingredients, these products are perfect for any man's skincare regime.