The Manly Minute: A Better Shave

Sunday, August 21, 2011

To switch things up a bit, I'm letting my hubby Gabriel (a.k.a Peanut) write up a blog post. Today he'll be reviewing a couple of different shaving products he has recently tried. 

Shaving, is probably the most common male grooming practice. Unless you're this guy. When I first started shaving as a teenager, I used  the big 'ol can of Barbasol and a disposable Bic razor. Later on I "moved up" to shaving gels like Gillette's and razors with 3 and 4 blades (like the Gillette Fusion). The typical guy uses these for his shaving needs, and they get the job done but there is a better way.

Although many men won't admit it, many of us guys are becoming more concious of our appearance and will buy purchase and use higher-end products for grooming. This movement has led to companies like the Art of Shaving, which aims to give you "The Perfect Shave" by changing the way men approach the act of shaving. The Art of Shaving offers everything you need from razors and brushes to shaving oils, creams and skin care products. The best way to try out their product line is to pick up one of their shaving kits. The one I tried out was the Starter Kit ($25) which includes Pre-Shave Oil, shaving cream, a Badger Shaving Brush and an After Shave Balm.

Shaving with this kit is a process, all four items being components to a super-close shave that leaves your face silky soft. It begins with the Pre-Shave Oil, meant to soften the hair follicles. Next apply the shaving cream with the brush, which lifts up the hair follicles for a closer shave.The final step is to apply the After Shave Balm and you're good to go.

Using the Art of Shaving kit manages to turn a mundane grooming activity into something of a luxurious experience, similar to getting a shave at an old-school barber shop. All that's missing is the hot towel treatment. The process does prove to be very effective, with the Pre-Shave Oil and badger hair brush setting your face up for the closest possible shave. The end result is an incredibly close shave and fully moisturized skin. The process does have some minor drawbacks in my opinion. For one, it's a bit more time consuming than just slapping on some shave gel and putting razor to face. The time spent is totally worth it, but still you have to allot a few extra minutes to go through all the steps. The other downside is that the Pre-Shave Oil, while an effective pre-treatment, tends to stick to the razor making it more difficult to rinse off. That said, these are just minor quibbles to what amounts to a very nice line of shaving and skin care products.

As a comparison, I tried the Jack Black Beard Lube. I had never heard of the Jack Black line of products, and was disappointed when I found out there was no relation to this Jack Black. Despite that fact, the product is still pretty legit. The Beard Lube combines pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and an after shave facial skin treatment all in one bottle.

While Beard Lube is very similar to the Art of Shaving kit, it has a couple of advantages over it. For one, it's an all-in-one product, so it cuts down on application and shaving time. Secondly it goes on clear, so you can better see your face as you shave. Finally, it's not as thick as the Art of Shaving oil and shave cream combination so you spend less time rinsing off your razor. The one downside I found with Beard Lube is that one of the ingredients in it has some sort of warming effect, so it was a little off-putting at first but I got used to it later on. Outside of that it's a very nice product which leaves your skin nice and smooth. It takes care all of your shaving needs in just one bottle and application.

I found both of these products to be great ways to enhance your shaving experience as well as look and feel your best.

You can follow Peanut on Twitter @OGAndino


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