Just What the Barber Ordered

There’s nothing like a real straight-razor shave. Here’s what it’s like to get one at The Art of Shaving.

55425 Mall of America The Art of Shaving
55425 Mall of America The Art of Shaving

Sometimes you just need to hit the restart button on your week. Your skin exudes that computer glow. Your disheveled look frightens your coworkers. Your five o’clock shadow has persisted for 48 hours. In situations like these, going to a barber for a good old straight-razor shave can be just the ticket to turn your week around.

I went to The Art of Shaving at Mall of America® during a particularly exhausting week for just such a reboot. Here’s what I experienced.

Inside The Art of Shaving, I was surrounded by finely tuned tools of the trade. Tucked behind the products is the Barber Spa®, where I met with Master Barber Johnathan McCastle, a suave artisan who really knows his way around a straight razor. He recently served as the official barber at the NFL Pre Draft (yeah, he’s really good). This is him, deep in concentration:

55425 Mall of America The Art of Shaving

I sat in the chair, leaned back, and the experience began. It started with a hot towel, which Johnathan wrapped around my face to soften the skin and beard hair. He then lathered up my face with The Art of Shaving’s Pre-Shave Oil to ready my face for the shave.

Next was the Shaving Cream, which Johnathan applied liberally. With my face properly prepped, the main event began.

Here’s where Johnathan got to show off his skills a bit. He was quick and precise, slicing through beard hair like a hot knife through butter. I was nervous about talking while he worked, but he assured me that it wouldn’t be a problem. Still, I tried to speak with a steady jaw—no need to test that promise.

55425 Mall of America The Art of Shaving

After shaving both with and then against the grain (to get the closest shave possible), Johnathan cleaned up the residual shaving cream and applied another hot towel—this one complete with Lemon Essential Oil—to begin calming my skin.

55425 Mall of America The Art of Shaving

After the towel (yes, there’s more), Johnathan applied the After-Shave Mask. Full disclosure: I don’t regularly (read: ever) get face masks, and this was a strange feeling. It was also completely worth it, because my skin felt fresh and soft after it was washed off.

55425 Mall of America The Art of Shaving

Towel number three followed—this one cold and saturated with Lavender Essential Oil to reduce irritation. While a full straight-razor shave is a relaxing experience, it’s something most people’s faces aren’t used to; so the soothing cold towel is a necessity.

Finally, Johnathan applied the After-Shave Balm, which hydrated my skin and kept it from drying out post-shave.

There’s really nothing like getting a professional shave to reenergize a person on an off week, as you can see in the before and after photos below. Thank you to Johnathan and The Art of Shaving for the experience.

All of the products used during my shave are available at The Art of Shaving on Level 1, West. The Royal Shave (which I received) is $60, while the Traditional Shave is $40. Ask them about bundling with a haircut to receive a discount.

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