Review of Harry’s Shaving

Last year, I wrote about my switch to Dreadnought Shave Cream — a switch I have not regretted at all. To the extent shaving can be enjoyable, Dreadnought makes it more so.

Now, in this review of Harry’s Shaving, I’ll tell you about another important switch.

When I was 18, Gillette sent me a Mach 3 razor and 2 blades in the mail. I think it came with some aftershave, too.  The razor was nice, a decent weight, felt good in my hand. The blades were sharp — and there were THREE! A big improvement, I thought, over the two blades on the plastic disposable razors I’d been using through high school.

And, well, the shave was better.  By a lot. The blades lasted a bit, then, at college, I bought replacement blades.

Fast forward 22 years. I’m using the Gillette Fusion razor and blades. Yes, a simple marketing trick — mailing me their nice razor and blades — resulted in 22 years of my business.

Then, a few weeks ago, I went to buy replacement blades. And the price is crazy. And I think about the ads I’ve seen for Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club. I checked out both sites, and the prices were definitely cheaper. Harry’s seemed to cost a bit more, but also had a blade that seemed similar to the 5-blade Fusion I’d been using. I decided to try Harry’s and see what happened.

For about $15, I got a razor with a blade attached and 4 replacement blades. In looking at replacement blade prices at Harry’s, they come in at about HALF what I’ve been paying for Gillette.

Of course, if the shave isn’t good, the low price doesn’t matter.

So, my Harry’s Truman razor in olive green came in on Saturday along with my 4 replacement blades. The packaging was quite nice.

I knew they were on the way, so I hadn’t shaved that morning. And once they were in, I knew I’d wait until Sunday morning to shave.

With one day of beard growth, I was pretty stubbly Sunday morning. I have dark hair, so my beard is noticeable even when I skip just a day of shaving.

I lathered up with Dreadnought and a shaving brush.  And started my first Harry’s shave.

I’ll admit, I noticed a bit of pulling at first, but nothing too bad. The glide was nice and the overall experience smooth. The blades cleaned easily when water ran through them.

I finished up and my face was — WOW — incredibly smooth. This was the smoothest, closest shave I can remember having. After patting down with water and applying a light aftershave, I headed off for some coffee.

My face felt a new sensation. Smooth. Rubbing my hand across my face in any direction revealed soft, clean skin.  The irritation and bumps I’d sometimes get from shaving were not present.

I used my Harry’s Truman razor again today. And again, an amazing shave that seems better than anything I’ve ever used.

To be clear, the combination of a good cream, a shaving brush, and a great razor makes the shaving experience. I’ve had the great cream for over a year. I’ve recently added a shaving brush. And the sharp, smooth Harry’s razor and blades seem to be the perfect touch. After all, it’s the razor that removes the hairs from your face. Harry’s is a winner in my book — and at half the price of what I was using, I’ll be ordering more from them.

For more on men’s style and the gentleman’s lifestyle, follow @SterlingGent

A Gentleman and Hair Loss

Many a gentleman, no matter the age, will face the issue of hair loss.

Some will embrace it. Perhaps shave your head. Or just let it go the way it’s going to go.

Some men, though, want to fight hair loss. Or, at least, make the process a little less unpleasant.

If you’re going to fight your hair loss, you may as well resist with a natural product that gets real results.

Have you ever read the side effects of Rogaine? Ouch! No, thanks!

So, here’s some information on Nioxin – which has been around for some time and which seems to get pretty decent results, at least according to a guy who has written about it:

Well, you can fight hair loss with Nioxin.

I use the full system — the shampoo, scalp therapy, scalp treatment — for a while, this seemed to slow my hair loss and keep my hair looking full.  Plus, it’s a great shampoo that makes your hair soft and thick-looking.

As I’ve aged a bit, my hair loss is now accelerating somewhat.  That’s when I added Nioxin intensive hair follicle booster.  It’s supposed to work to stimulate your follicles and keep them growing. No, it won’t regrow hair from lost follicles, but it DOES keep your hair growing.  Those follicles that used to have only that tiny peach fuzz are now sprouting hair.  That’s after about 5 months of regular use.

Plus, I find the product works a bit like a pomade and helps keep your hair in place.  Combining it with the scalp treatment makes for a red scalp at first, but it works.  It makes my hair look thicker and I can tell that I’m keeping more. 

It’s especially helpful (to me) at the front of my scalp where I was slowly losing my hairline. 

So, if you are a gentleman struggling with hair loss and you want to fight it, you might give Nioxin a try.

For more tips on living the gentleman’s lifestyle, follow @SterlingGent

 

Wednesday Cuff Links

A man is not fully dressed up unless he’s wearing a French cuff shirt with cuff links.

These are my Wednesday Cuff Links — a simple blue pair of cuff links paired with a blue Brooks Brothers shirt with white cuffs and collar.

Wednesday Cuff Links 2015

 

For more on men’s style, follow @SterlingGent

Tuesday Cuff Links

Calvin Klein cuff links paired with a purple striped Brooks Brothers shirt. These are my Tuesday Cuff Links:

CK and Brooks

For more on men’s fashion and the gentleman’s lifestyle, follow @SterlingGent

 

How to Make Cannoli Cake

This Easter, my assignment was to bring dessert.  I enjoy baking and finding new ways to delight friends and family with food.

So, I decided to make a Cannoli Cake.

I love cannoli — it’s delicious!

But, how to make cannoli cake?

Well, here’s the recipe I used. It was fairly simple (using a cake mix helped shorten the steps) and it was incredibly well-received.

Cannoli Cake

Ingredients

1 package French vanilla cake mix — I always use Duncan Hines — I think the mixes turn out great!

Filling

1 16oz carton of ricotta cheese

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ounces mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Frosting

2 8oz cartons of Marscapone cheese

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/4 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons (or more) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions, using two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, almond, and vanilla.  Stir in chocolate.

In another bowl, make the frosting. Beat the Marscapone cheese, confectioners’ sugar, milk, almond, and vanilla on medium speed just until creamy

Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with filling. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining filling over top of cake to within 1 in. of edges. Frost sides and top of cake with frosting.

Press almonds into sides of cake. Sprinkle chocolate chips over time. Refrigerate until serving.

For more on baking and other arts of a gentleman, follow @SterlingGent

cannoli_cake_10

Monday Cuff Links and Shirt

A truly well-dressed man wears a French cuff shirt and uses cuff links to add an element of style to his clothes.

Sure, you can wear a button cuff shirt — and it is fine, even in business. But a dress shirt is finished — is made elegant and sophisticated — with French cuffs and well-chosen cuff links.

To that end, I’ll be highlighting some of my cuff link and shirt pairings.

Today’s links are paired with a Brooks Brothers slim fit dress shirt.

Cufflinks 3-30-15

For more on dressing like a gentleman, follow @SterlingGent

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze

It’s cold.

It’s almost Thanksgiving.

And, you LOVE pumpkin.

So, what to do?

Pumpkin cookies with cinnamon glaze, of course!

I made these last weekend for another social event and they were well-received. They are pumpkin, cinnamon, and delicious. You could serve them without the glaze…but, why?

Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 Cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 can pumpkin puree

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the glaze

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

ground cinnamon

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and sugars. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls, flatten lightly

Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cool cookies, then drizzle with glaze

To make glaze: combine all ingredients, stir well with wire whisk

For more recipes and lifestyle advice, follow @SterlingGent

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Lasagna

Over the weekend, I was invited to a social gathering and asked to bring a dessert. It is nearly Halloween, the air is a bit cooler, and I was thinking that something that embraced the season would be appropriate (and hopefully, delicious).

In my search for desserts involving pumpkin (I didn’t want to just make a pumpkin pie), I found omgchocolatedesserts.com

Vera, who runs the site, is a fantastic storyteller and her story of what she calls Pumpkin Lasagna caught my attention.

After making it and serving it, I’ve decided to call it Pumpkin Pie Lasagna. I was told at the party that if Fall had a flavor, it would be THIS dessert.

When I took my first bite, I was instantly transported to a kitchen table in a small home late on a Thursday afternoon. My grandmother’s house. Thanksgiving day. The first taste of her amazing pumpkin pie.

I made only slight modifications to the recipe, which I’ll indicate below. If you’re looking for a dessert for a Halloween party or even a new twist for Thanksgiving, this IS it!

THE RECIPE:
Author: OMGChocolateDesserts.com

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
For crust:
  • 1 cup flour (I used two cups, b/c I made this in a 9×13 pan)
  • ½ cup butter-softened (again, I used one cup, making it for a larger size crust)
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts (or pecans)-chopped (I used pecans)
For cheesecake layer:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese- softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipped topping
  • SG: I added 1 teaspoon of vanilla
For pumpkin layer:
  • 2½ cups milk
  • 3 small pkgs. vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 15 oz Pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • SG: I also added some allspice (a dash or two) and some nutmeg — I feel this gives it more of that “pumpkin pie” flavor
For topping:
  • 1 cups whipped topping
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts (or pecans)-chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 350 F and spray 8×8 inch baking dish. (NOTES : I made Pumpkin Lasagna with these ingredients in 8×8 inch baking dish, but some people have commented that they have a problem to fit it, so I suggest you to avoid this potential problem using a 9×9 inch baking dish)
  2. Mix flour, butter and ½ cup walnuts, press into a sprayed baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
  3. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until it’s light and fluffy, add 1 cup whipped topping and spread over cooled crust. Set in the fridge while making pumpkin mixture.
  4. Mix milk and vanilla instant pudding mix, add pumpkin puree and cinnamon and mix until it’s smooth. Spread over top of cheesecake layer.
  5. Spread remaining 1 cup of whipped topping and sprinkle chopped walnuts and set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

 

For more great recipes, go to omgchocolatedesserts.com

For more on living the gentleman’s lifestyle, follow @SterlingGent

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Fall is here and pumpkin spice lattes are back! It’s also a great time to add healthy pumpkin to your cooking. Pumpkin tastes great, is packed with fiber and vitamins, and it just tastes like autumn.

So, here’s my recipe for delicious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins:

Ingredients

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1/4 Cup white sugar

2 eggs

3/4 Cup canned pumpkin

1/4 Cup water

1/4 Cup butter, melted

1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 Cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.

2. Mix sugars, butter, and eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.

3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

 

These are simple to make, delicious, and a great snack or breakfast. They are amazing with a cup of coffee.

Enjoy these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and a cool, crisp autumn.

For more on the lifestyle of a gentleman, follow @SterlingGent

How to Keep a Girl Interested

This column is aimed at younger (college age) guys who want to know how to keep a girl interested. It comes to Sterling Gentleman by way of a lovely young lady in grad school — that’s right, she’s both lovely and smart. That’s a killer combination. Here’s her advice:

You were lucky enough to get the first date and you didn’t screw up and you’ve had a second date and beyond. So now what? Now you have to be on your tiptop game to keep her around. Girls get bored of guys just like guys get bored of girls so here is some advance for you to keep her attention and earn her affection.

 

First off, show interest in her! You don’t have to send her a good morning text everyday but if you are making her text you first every single day she will get pissed at that and stop talking to you. We don’t want to feel like we are bugging you so don’t be dull when texting. Show us that you are actually interested in getting to know us as a person! If you just want us for our body then you might as well just say BYE BYE right now!!

 

Second thing, most girls love to be spoiled (well all girls do)! When I say spoiled I’m not talking about you spending every last dime you have to buy us everything we want. That is actually the complete opposite of what I mean when I say spoil her. The right girl won’t want you spending every last dime you have on her and she will even offer to pay sometimes, the right girl will want you to spoil her with your love and attention. YOUR ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS GUYS!! You can tell her things all you want but if you can’t back it up you won’t get far with us and you can say goodbye while we walk out the door.

 

Third thing, don’t tell us who we can and cannot be friends with! If something was to happen with a friend of ours it would have already happened, so trust us when we tell you, they are just a friend.

 

One of my biggest deal breakers is if all you want is to have sex with me! You might as well just go back to having never known me. If she is the right girl don’t rush things! Sometimes getting physical can ruin a relationship. If you want to keep her around for a really long time take it slow and hold off on doing physical things, but make sure she knows that you are attracted to her in that way.

 

When you are with your boys and she is with you, show her off. No matter where you go and who you are with SHOW HER OFF! She is dating you and only you! Make every guy out there jealous that you have her and they don’t! Some types of public displays of affection are good. She wants to know that you aren’t embarrassed to be with her and that you are comfortable with being emotional or romantic around your friends.

 

Hopefully this will help you guys get a girl and keep her around. Don’t be an asshole! Girls like the good guys that are gentleman and know how to treat her right!