Written by

Chris Gonzales


William Stitt

Valentine’s Day is next week — you didn’t forget, did you? — which means now’s the time to think about how you’re going to take that special person out for a date without looking like a schlub.

If you don’t already have your wardrobe down, I can’t help you. What I can do is offer a few handy suggestions for grooming tools that can help with the finishing touches.

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Merkur Long-Handled Safety Razor »

While wet shaving with a safety razor [YouTube link] does tend to take more time and preparation for the unpracticed than with a typical 3-blade model, the ritual is well worth it. Merkur’s long-handled safety razor is the weapon we recommend for the job. The chrome handle is easy to grip when your hands are wet, and the single blade is designed for multiple passes without causing irritation.

The Panasonic ER-GN30-K hair trimmer. ($10)

The Panasonic ER-GN30-K hair trimmer. ($10)

Panasonic ER-GN30-K Hair Trimmer »

Nose and ear hairs are embarrassing and should be dealt with prior to your date. Panasonic’s ER-GN30-K hair trimmer gets the job done quickly and silently, in both dry and wet conditions. Plus, it’s small enough to bring on trips in the future, it’s easy to clean, and it won’t pull hairs while trimming.

The Go-Comb wallet-sized comb. ($9–$16, depending on color)

The Go-Comb wallet-sized comb. ($9–$16, depending on color)

Go-Comb »

The Go-Comb is a high-grade stainless steel comb about the size (and roughly the shape) of a credit card. That’s right, it’s a comb that lives in your wallet — perfect for when you need to slip away to the restaurant bathroom and tidy yourself up a bit.

It works well for both head and beard hair, and has a smooth coating that not only lets it glide through hair and makes the comb easy to clean, but also helps prevent other cards in the wallet from getting scratched up.

Kai 003 S nail clippers. ($7)

Kai 003 S nail clippers. ($7)

Kai 003 S Nail Clippers »

Don’t depend on dollar drugstore nail clippers to keep your digits as trim and smooth as they should be. Go a step up with these Japanese-made Kai 003 S stainless steel clippers. Their curved blade is quite sharp — as well it should be, given the company’s track record of making professional-level cutlery — and the lever’s movement is incredibly smooth.

Perhaps the best part though is the removable plastic cover that surrounds the base, which acts as a nail catcher to keep the whole process nice and tidy.

Note: Keep in mind that the jaw opening of these clippers is sized for those with smaller fingers, hence the “S” in their name. If you need larger clippers, check out the 003 M and 003 L models. (The latter option works great for clipping toenails.)

A four-pack of Mitchum's unscented roll-on antiperspirant + deodorant. ($15)

A four-pack of Mitchum’s unscented roll-on antiperspirant + deodorant. ($15)

Mitchum Unscented Roll-On Antiperspirant & Deodorant »

Mitchum makes some of the best antiperspirant deodorant around, and you’ll obviously need some beyond just this one date, so it only makes sense to grab a four-pack of their roll-ons. This deodorant dries quick, keeps you dry a long time, and leaves almost no scent in the process. Great stuff.

Montblanc Individuel eau de toilette. ($55 for 1.7 fl oz, $70 for 2.5 fl oz)

Montblanc Individuel eau de toilette. ($55 for 1.7 fl oz, $70 for 2.5 fl oz)

Montblanc Individuel Eau de Toilette »

Looking nice for your date is mandatory; smelling nice is even better. Montblanc’s “Individuel” is one of those fragrances that people just might stop and compliment you for. It’s got a clean, airy scent that I can only describe as “dryer sheets with a hint of floral” which sounds weird but it works.

Just remember: A little of this stuff goes a long way.