Can’t grow a beard? It’s not the end of the world. A careless whisper of designer stubble could still save the day. Designer stubble, or five-o’clock shadow, is the art of seeming like you’re too busy to care about your appearance. It boomed in the ‘80s when the late great George Michael affected a macho-throwback look in the vein of Indiana Jones and then – wham! Every man was after a brand-new stubble trimmer to perfect their own rakish designer stubble.
Designer stubble dominated men’s’ facial hair trends throughout the ‘90s and well into the noughties, with the likes of Will Smith and David Beckham sporting a rugged shadow over the years. With better beard clippers came better control, and men worldwide began cultivating millimetre-perfect designer stubble – but times change. Hipsters came. Movember happened. It seemed as if designer stubble had finally seen its day, but we should’ve known better than to doubt a trend. Holding down the stubbly fort is Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx, Chris Hemsworth. That’s right, Thor himself still has faith in designer stubble.
So, how do you get designer stubble? It depends on the rate at which your hair grows. If you’re a bearded wonder then getting designer stubble will be simple. Maintaining it is a different matter. The opposite is true for the follically challenged man. Reaching optimum stubble length will be the chore for you, maintaining it will be simple.
If you need to work a little harder on your beard game, you should grow out your facial hair for a few days before picking up your weapon. The Remington Lithium Barba Beard Trimmer features an adjustable comb with 9 pre-set length settings which can cover you from a 1.5mm close-cut look to a 18mm long beard. However, for the designer stubble look, choose length setting 2 for your first all-over shave. Follow the growth of your hair and don’t press too firmly with your trimmer. If your hair is thicker on your upper lip, you might want to drop down a setting and shave it shorter than your cheeks and jaw. This will make your stubble look more even, particularly if your facial hair is patchy on the cheeks. Rinse your face and rub your hands over your face to make sure your stubble is good and even.
Next, remove the comb entirely and shave any stray hairs on the neck or above your cheekbones. There’s no need to shape it too much. It’s a devil-may-care look, not a meticulous one.
Your designer stubble mightn’t be Freudian-length, but it’s still a beard. Moisturise well with beard oil or beard balm. This has a double-pronged effect of keeping your skin soft and hedging off those complaints that your face is too prickly to kiss.