Thin pencil moustache (Italian style): how to trim it?

Do you want a fine Italian-style moustache? Discover our tips to trim it perfectly and make it stand out!


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 The pencil mustache, brings you a distinguished and sophisticated gentleman side at the same time. Very trendy in the 1930s, it is coming back in force for a classic style. It is a very fine mustache, Italian style, as the purists would call it. 

If you still don't know what the "pencil mustache" is, you're in the right place! We'll even teach you how to trim it like a pro... To be the next Dujardin?

Jean dujardin fine moustache (pencil)

What is the pencil mustache?

A pencil mustache is a very thin, Italian-style mustache. Some pencil mustaches are so thin that they almost look like they are drawn. The pencil mustache has a very sophisticated and precise look, for a gentlemanly style.

It is synonymous with cloak and dagger heroes like Zorro or thieves. Very popular with mustachians in the 1930s and 1940s, the pencil mustache is a timeless style.

Made famous by the stars of the golden age of Hollywood such as Errol Flynn, Clark Gable as well as Douglas Fairbanks and son, it is back in fashion in the 2000s!

Note: The Italian mustache looks like the English mustache except that it is thinner and less straight.

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The thin and skinny Italian mustache is still in fashion

Over the years it has become a little less popular, but some celebrities still sport one, bringing it back into fashion! French actor Jean Dujardin made a splash in 2011 during the filming of The Artist and the style has seen a rise in popularity.

As well as George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Eddie Murphy are known for wear a pencil moustache.

In short, the pencil mustache is still a huge success. Indeed, it is almost mandatory for any discerning gentleman who exudes sophistication and elegance.
It also goes very well with a beautiful pocket watch and a nice suit jacket that adds a classy tone to your look.

Italian pencil mustache

How to shave a pencil mustache like in the 30's ?

Trimming a skinny pencil moustache is not very complicated, provided that you prepare yourself well and apply yourself! To do this, we will use various accessories, classic for the bearded (and / or mustachian) nowadays: comb, brush, scissors, razor.

Let's move on to shaving your fine, elegant mustache:

  1. Wash your face and dry yourself well with a clean towel then shave. If you want a real pencil style mustache, it will be without beard, blank! Of course it is, we do not shave the mustache! 😉
  2. With the help of a lawnmower, trim the moustache to the desired length, usually between 4mm and 12mm. We often prefer a rather short length for a "classy" result.
  3. Shave the ends down starting from the nose using the base as a reference point for a straight line.
  4. Shave on both sides little by little to avoid removing too much. Do not hesitate to bite your lips to stretch the skin under the nose and gain precision.
  5. Use a comb and scissors to finish the straight line on the lip, to make a proper rendering and not to have small hairs sticking out on your lips. In addition to being unpleasant, it is generally not very aesthetic...
  6. Optional: Shave or cut a parting on the philtrum (the curved skin between the lips and nose that forms a "dune"), starting from the center and working outward.
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Black man skinny moustache

With what type of face is the pencil mustache best suited ?

The pencil mustache has established itself as one of the most iconic mustache styles of all time, but is it adapted to your face shape ?

As you probably know, some face shapes lend themselves better than others to the pencil mustache.
The best face shapes for a fine mustache are:

On a square face or a elongated (rectangular) facies morphologyIt is also considered a good choice.
On the other hand, it should be avoided on the round facesIt does not bring any height and therefore does not reduce the feeling of roundness.

In the end, the pencil mustache can be a good choice on many men, provided that to prune and maintain it properly. It is also very popular in Asian men and of Chinese origin ! Look for example at the Fu Manchu moustache: fine and elegant !

Brad pitt with thin moustache
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Pencil mustache of salvador dali

Conclusion on the pencil mustache

Although she made its first appearances 100 years ago, the thin moustache of the 1930s is back in fashion ! The Italian mustache style is yours...

Now you know what a pencil moustache aka the thin moustache is and above all how to shave and trim it and maintain it!

And if not, you have already visited the BarberDuWeb store ?


Any more questions?

Below, I've added the questions that come up the most!

Shave your pencil mustache in 5 steps:

  1. Grow your moustache
  2. Shave your beard
  3. Even out your mustache to 8mm in length
  4. Trim the ends of the moustache a little at a time
  5. Finish above the lips

Generally, the Italian style mustache is between 4mm and 12mm long, for a clean and trimmed effect. The best is to see what suits you best!

I recommend the electric razor Philips OneBlade which is very precise, easy to use and offers a result... In the hair!

Article written by Brandon

Amateur and passionate about beards since his first hairs (on his face), he is for the intimate and bearded Internet lovers the BarbierDuWeb. Advises and helps men for a healthy beard, through blog articles where you will find tests, his feelings but also comparisons and buying guides.

Sincerely yours, Brandon from BarbierDuWeb.

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