The God of Shaving

Ever since I’ve been into this old-school wetshaving trip, Cary Grant has been my personal God of Shaving.

I mean, the man always had an Alpha Shave — his face was never less than perfectly smooth and hairless, like he’d never grown a whisker in his life. His skin was more alabastery than most of his leading ladies.

Few men have ever been photographed as much as Cary Grant, yet the only photos I’ve ever seen where he had even the slightest visible stubble were publicity stills for movies where his characters had beards. Aside from that, the man always had the Alpha Shave to end all Alpha Shaves.

And by Alpha I mean not just perfectly smooth, but without even the merest hint that he’d ever run a blade over his face. It’s one thing to get a close shave, that “baby’s butt” no-stubble smoothness all shavegeeks pant about. But to look like you’ve never shaved a day in your life because your beard zone is perfectly hairless? Not me, not the shavegeeks, and not anybody I ever met.

Man, what I wouldn’t give to get daily shaves like Cary Grant. Not a hint of razor burn, skin irritation, red bumps, or even just that faint shadow I always have even after I go to town with 3 passes and my face feels glassy smooth. I have white skin, and my whiskers are black — what the hell am I supposed to do, pull each one out by the root and tamp some powder down into each tiny hole so no cut-down whisker plugs are visible against my skin anymore?

No, that I cannot do. I simply have to accept that I am a mud person after all and that my face will never look perfectly shaven like Cary Grant’s unless I wear makeup, which I do on TV, but that doesn’t count because Cary Grant always said he never wore makeup in any of his movies because he hates the way it felt, so that means he looked perfectly shaven even without any makeup to smooth things over!

Truly, the God of Shaving.

So this weekend Beloved Wife and I were watching one of the few Cary Grant movies we haven’t seen, 1948’s "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House". I’ll watch a Cary Grant movie anytime, especially the Hitchcocks, but I also like the fluff, and “Blandings” is practically a jar of marshamallow creme.

Now, I’ve always wondered what Cary Grant shaved with. He came of age when the safety razor had already been around for decades, but he could’ve also been using a straight razor as well. Was he really an expert at shaving, or was he just one of those lucky bastards that can shave with anything and their puss looks pristine?

For some reason, I’ve always felt that Cary Grant must have been a Schick Injector man. The oldest ones, I mean, with the big brass heads and the bakelite handles. I don’t know why, but this razor just seems to fit him. A straight razor’s too risky when your puss is your meal ticket. A DE is too mundane. But the Injector came along just as Cary Grant was starting out in movies, and its combination of ease of use and ungodly close shaves surely must’ve appealled to a movie star wanting to look his best at all times.

Shaving scenes in Cary Grant movies are few and far between. The only one I knew of was the famous scene in “North By Northwest” where he shaves with a tiny ladies razor in a public bathroom. And, of course, there’s Audrey Hepburn in “Charade” asking him about the cleft in his chin and how he shaves “in there”.

I always wanted to see Cary Grant shave like he really did in real life, just to see what he used and how he used it. I read bio after bio trying to glean some info, and came up dry.

Then I saw this.