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Partner Profile: Midnight & Two

Last updated: March 24, 2019 5 min read 0 Comments

Partner Profile: Midnight & Two

Midnight & Two entered the shaving scene when Kent of Inglewood first opened the doors of its first shop, back in 2014. Since then we have had the joy of stocking their ever-expanding range of locally made shaving goods. Today, we use their Gin Soap made especially for us in our shaving classes, and Tim is a good friend of the shop.

We know each other, but tell me a little more about yourself, and how to fell in love with wet-shaving.

I originally discovered wet-shaving out of necessity. Prior to Midnight & Two, I worked in the Finance world and, for the most part, was expected to arrive clean shaven to the office every day. This for me was a big problem.  I have pretty sensitive skin and the daily morning shaves were starting to take a toll. After shaving, my skin would feel tight and uncomfortable. On especially bad days, I would get in-growth hairs and noticeable irritation mostly on my neck. It got to the point where I was feeling insecure about how my skin looked when I got into the office. I started to research what people with sensitive skin do online and I quickly found a consensus - try wet-shaving. So that’s exactly what I did. I remember my first real wet-shave with a shavette, synthetic brush and tub of Proraso. My skin never felt so good! Not only that, but there was something about using a brush and having to focus intensely on each shave stroke (to avoid cutting myself) that was both fun and relaxing (meditative in a way). From that point on, I was hooked.

Satisfied with my first tools, I then set out to find the perfect shaving soap. Though Proraso was a good entry point, it still didn’t quite solve all my issues. Continuing my research and testing, I found that natural shave soaps worked best for me. Though, there was still a problem. Although the natural shave soaps left my skin feeling the best after the shave, and helped eliminate my irritation completely, I couldn’t quite find a natural shave soap that matched the performance and comfort of other non-natural soaps on the market. In other words, I couldn’t find a shaving soap that was both high-performance and natural. This realization was the inspiration behind starting Midnight & Two (if I couldn’t find it, I’d have to make it).

How did you manage to turn a hobby into a profession, and how has your passion for it changed as you spend more time focusing on your products?

From day one, the idea was to try and make Midnight & Two more than a hobby business. I knew that the best way to do that was to make a product that was truly exceptional within the market-place. To me, that meant creating products that were excellent performers, but also developing a cool brand with an interesting story behind it. Performance and quality though had to be the main focus to start. An average product with great branding wouldn’t cut it. Our shaving soap, the first product we developed, took about 6 months to create and involved 100’s of formula iterations. No expense was spared, and no ingredient untested. During the later stages of development, I worked with 50 independent product testers from all over North America. I made sure that the test group included a broad range of people with varying degrees of wet-shaving experience and utilized testers who were located in areas with both hard and soft water. Based on that feedback, I made some final tweaks to the formula and went to market. Our first major retail partner was Kent of Inglewood. Their willingness to take a chance on a new brand was a huge factor in our eventual success.

My passion for Midnight & Two and the hobby of wet-shaving has only grown. Though, my interest has become more detail-oriented. Products, even the best ones, can always be improved. New Essential Oils are found and new natural ingredients become available on the market. I’m always on the look-out for what’s next.

In your own words, what makes your product stand out among others?

I think there are several reasons our products stand out. The ingredients we use make our products unique (discussed more below), but does our commitment to the craft. At the core, we are passionate artisans that want to make products people love to use. To ensure consistent quality, all our products are still made in small batches by hand in Calgary.

In regards to our ingredients, we have areal unwavering commitment to using high-end natural ingredients. The words “natural” and “premium” both get thrown around a lot when it comes to shaving and grooming products. The problem is, these descriptors are often very deceptive. “Natural”, in particular, is used quite broadly.  There isn’t really a rule for what does and does not qualify. For us, that means we only use simple and raw ingredients. “Premium” is also often used as a marketing word, but doesn’t always accurately reflect the real quality of the ingredients used. I think it may surprise some people that when it comes to natural ingredients, there is a huge range in quality. It’s no different then when you go to the local grocery store and see various Olive Oils at different price points. Although they are all technically Olive Oil, some are better and some are worse. It depends on how they were processed, what part of the world the Olives were grown in, how healthy the plants were, etc. For all our ingredients, we are on the high-quality end of the scale. When we say “premium”, we mean it.

What are your top 3 tidbits of knowledge for getting a perfect shave?

  1. Understand how your beard grows. If you really examine it, you’ll most likely find that your beard doesn’t grow in a consistent direction. This is important, especially for people with sensitive skin, because making sure you shave with the grain (in the same direction as your hair growth), particularly on the first pass, is key for shave comfort
  2. A few drops of a high-quality Pre-Shave Oil is a great and simply way to instantly increase shave comfort and performance. A well formulated Pre-Shave Oil adds a highly concentrated blast of moisture to the skin making it more flexible to the blade which reduces razor “drag”. It also helps soften the beard hairs making them easier to cut. If you are typically a three-pass shaver, don’t be surprised if you reduce that down to two-passes by simply by adding a Pre-Shave Oil to your routine.
  3. Try to keep things interesting. Mix up soap and aftershave scents and experiment with different tools. If you shave 5 times a week for an average of 5 minutes, that’s 21.5 hours spent shaving per year! Enjoy the process!

Thank you for the excellent words Tim!

If you are feeling inspired by what Tim has to say and you would like to learn more you can check out his products here.

If you would like to know more about Midnight & Two, send us an email, DM on social media, or give us a call and we can answer your questions!

Nathan Harley Gareau
Nathan Harley Gareau

A famed cocktologist and axe man, Nathan opened the first Kent of Inglewood store in Calgary, and now spends his days writing most of what you are reading here and teaching straight razor shaving classes. Ask him about his world-famous Three Cherry Manhattan. In his spare time Nathan can be found sharpening his axe, making fermented foods, or practicing his amateur butchering hobby. He doesn't slur his words, he speaks in cursive.