7 Retro-Inspired Close Shave Essentials

Between nutrient-enhanced creams, mail-order products, and 724-bladed razors (note: figure hyperbolized...slightly), the technological advancement of grooming isn't slowing down any time soon. But, as with many things, when it comes to a shave, simpler is better. So hark back to a literally smoother era with these seven retro-inspired emollients.

Large Pre-Shave Oil from The Art of Shaving photo

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The Art of Shaving Large Pre-Shave Oil

A good shave starts with a good pre-shave. Using an oil as a base, like this one form The Art Of Shaving, will help the blade—or blades, depending on what you fancy—glide over your skin and cut hair without causing irritation. While it's available in a variety of pleasant fragrances, for our money, the unscented option is the best bet: It works for everyone, every time. ($80; neimanmarcus.com)

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Badger shave brush with black resin handle photo

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Prospector Co. Pure Badger Black Resin Shave Brush

Regardless of what you choose to slather on your face, using a badger hair brush to lather it up will always be welcomed addition. This simple yet sturdy brush from Prospector Co. will help lift those pesky whiskers up and away from your skin, allowing for a closer shave than with foam alone. ($58; barneys.com)

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Creed Shaving Soap and Bowl photo

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Creed Original Santal Shaving Soap With Bowl

Sometimes all the extra bells and whistles just end up making a lot of noise. Skip the add-ons and go old school with a conditioning shave soap, like this luxurious option from Creed. Unlike that bar of Irish Spring you're leaving in the shower, this lathers up thick and rich, with a creamy scent of sandalwood (and just a hint of cinnamon). It's an indulgent shaving soap you deserve; not a drying shaving soap you dread. ($125; saksfifthavenue.com)

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Triumph & Disaster Old Fashioned Shave Cream Jar photo

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Triumph & Disaster Old Fashioned Shave Cream Jar

If soap isn't your thing, rub your brush down instead with this tub of natural goodness from Triumph & Disaster. A friendly medicinal base fragrance is lightened up with natural scents of fresh mint, grapefruit, and patchouli to evoke old barbershop tradition right in your own bathroom. If the fragrance doesn't sell you, then the salicylic acid—which naturally softens and exfoliates while you shave—will. ($29; nordstrom.com)

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Proraso Shaving Cream Tube photo

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Proraso Shaving Cream Tube

Brush or no brush (but we still say brush), this is a cream that will start your day with a fresh kick. Almost too luxurious for the asking price, it's packed with menthol and eucalyptus to invigorate your senses while you shave. ($10; urbanoutfitters.com)

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C.O. Bigelow Premium Shave Foam in green can photo

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C.O. Bigelow Premium Shave Foam

If you're a diehard foam user, that's fine—as long as you opt for one that takes a cue from the Italian barbershops of yesteryear and gives you something a little extra. Camphor and menthol in this premium shave foam from C.O. Bigelow will freshen your skin as much as it will your morning. Once you swap out your drugstore bargain buy for this apothecary-worthy emollient, you'll be hooked for good. ($10; nordstrom.com)

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Musgo Real After Shave Balm in 3.4-oz bottle photo

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Musgo Real After Shave Balm

If you're looking to shave off some time in your morning routine, look no further than Musgo's after shave balm. The stuff is loaded with almond and jojoba oils to calm the skin and shea butter to protect it and keep it smooth by keeping any ingrown hairs and irritation at bay. ($55; amazon.com)

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