Shaving. It sucks. It's a hassle. However, there is no doubt that it feels DAMN good when you get a good shave. When I was younger, I used an old electric razor my dad gave me. It worked for a while, but eventually it irritated my skin.
In college, I converted to a regular razor and used some shaving gels/creams. My favorite was good ole Barbasol, which the scent always reminded me of getting my haircut at the barbershop as a kid. At the end of my haircut, the barber would always shave my sideburns and neckline with Barbasol. It's musky, manly, and a scent that brings me back to those times.
I had decent results after the switch, but would get razor bumps every once in awhile. Annoyed at those occasions, it eventually brought me to the pursuit of the perfect shave. I went online back in the day and found this article on the wetshave. Essentially, the steps is to open up the pores via a hot shower or hot towel over your face, splash a layer hot water on your face to act as a layer between your skin and shaving cream, apply the shaving cream with a badger brush, shave in the right direction, close the pores with a splash of cold water, then pat down your face with some after-shave lotion.
I wanted to give a try, and went to CVS to look for the products it recommended. I found some cheapo brush, shaving bowl, and shaving soap all in one package. I bought it, brought it home, and in the end, it worked out pretty well. My only complaint was that the brush was falling a part quite often, which was quite annoying.
Fast forward to about a year ago. As I walked around the local mall, I noticed a store called The Art of Shaving. I was intrigued, and walked in and took a look. The atmosphere of the store gave off a fancy, high end, not only am I a man, but a super baller rich man type of vibe. Just as if I was a part of the cast of Mad Men. I looked at the razors, brushes, products and couldn't believe the high prices I saw. Why would anyone be paying so much for these things?!
A salesman did approach me, and I was still curious and asked him what this store was all about. He explained to me the 4 essential steps to a great shave, and then went on to demonstrate the products. The methods were pretty much the same as a wet shave, however instead of water as the layer between the skin and the shaving cream, it was a pre shave oil. The other interesting thing I noticed was the amount of shaving cream he used. It was the tiniest amount, but it lathered into a very big amount.
I asked him, what's the difference between using your shaving cream and Barbasol? He explained that the products from the store used all natural ingredients while Barbasol and other creams had different type of chemicals. The demonstration, the fact that that it was natural ingredients, it all impressed me. But I just couldn't give it a try due to the prices.
Months and month went by, and whenever I walked by the store, I was always still so intrigued. About two months ago, I walked in again with my friend Mike to show him what the store was all about. He got the demonstration, and thought it was interesting too. As I walked around the store, I noticed they had a starter kit for $25. I finally bit the bullet and bought one to try out. What was also nice is that a $25 off coupon was inside for a future purchase of a full size kit. They had various versions of the kit, but I decided to go with the Sandalwood which smelled great and reminded me of that Barbasol scent that I enjoy.
When I got home, I was eager to test it out. I took a hot shower, and followed the steps. I used the pre shave oil first and could tell that it was going to make my shave so much smoother. Next, I used the mini badger brush to apply the small amount of shaving cream and was really impressed. The CVS version I had before used some other type of hair and did not spread the shaving cream so smoothly in comparison to the new one. The mini badger hair brush seemed finer, and felt better. I then shaved with a fresh new Gillette Fusion Power Mach 5, which sounds like i'm shaving with a nuclear reactor. It was such a smooth experience. I re-lathered and gingerly shaved against the grain for a even closer shave without any problems. I finished up with a cold splash of water and then applied the after shave balm in a patting motion as directed.
Let me tell you, after that shave, I felt like a million bucks and smelled like it too. For about two months, every time I had to shave, which was about every other day, I was always looking forward to it. I was excited to partake in the art of shaving. When looking at the trial size, I didn't think it would last me that long, but it did.
Tonight, I finally joined the brotherhood of shaving. When I first looked at the prices of a full size kit, I couldn't understand why it would cost so much. However, after my experience with the trial size kit and seeing how long it lasted, I understood why. With high quality products that are designed to last a year and a great shaving experience, it made the price worth while.
So if you are interested in a better quality shave, I do recommend checking out a demonstration at the store and trying out a trial sized kit. I think you'll be impressed and I'm looking forward to seeing more members joining the brotherhood!