Friday, September 5, 2008

Guest Review: King of Shaves

My friends tend to be impressed when I tell them I write a blog. But when I tell my male friends it is about beauty products, they look at me with a mixture of confusion and fright. So I was a little surprised when my friend Colin asked to do a review on some men's products, if some ever cross my lap. How very generous of him, don't you think?!

So read on, for his review of some great shaving products from King of Shaves. A little forewarning though: he was an English major, so he is a bit longer winded than I am and he puts my writing to shame. Don't get used to how witty and eloquent he is. They didn't teach me flowery writing in business school, sorry. Enjoy!:

I’ve been obsessed with shaving ever since I was 4 and my Dad taught me how to do it with shaving cream and a Popsicle stick. Even then, I was crap at it—it took a roll of toilet paper to stem the tide of blood from errant splinters. These days, shaving technology has advanced, at least past the wooden stick—I now use a razor with so many blades it is reminiscent of a cheese grater, and in place of shaving cream, I use foaming gel. Which brings me to the line of products Beth asked me to test out, 3 shaving aids from “King of Shaves.”

The first pair of products were shaving gels—one with menthol for a clean, refreshing finish, and another with magnetic properties, promising to cling to the blade and give a closer shave. Finally, there was a shaving oil. All three products contained Tea Tree oil, which gives off a spicy, outdoorsy smell and is supposed to have antiseptic, antifungal, and healing properties (Wikipedia notes research as to anti-viral activity, including Herpes—basically, Tea Tree oil is touted as a panacea for all that ails you).

The weekend I decided to test these products, I was lucky enough to have a couch surfer staying at my apartment—he was gracious enough to take time out from sleeping in the living room and eating my food to try shaving off his patchy “between jobs” beard.

The process was simple—we sectioned off our faces into 3 areas, then chose at random which product would be used on which portion of the face. Mr. Couch shaved at the sink, post shower, while I prefer to do my shaving in shower. Before going into detail, I should note that we were huge fans of all 3 of these products, and wouldn’t hesitate to shave with any one of them. Ranking them was like choosing which child we love best, but, much like children, it would be a lie to say that we didn’t have favorites.

The Results:

The top two for both of us were the shower gels—perhaps it’s because they’re closer to products we’ve used before (gels/creams), perhaps it’s just because these gels were fantastic. The oil had 2 things going for it—it was invisible, so you could be aware of where you were shaving/avoid decapitating zits (the gels, however, shared these properties). If you’re shaving in the shower by the Braille method, this doesn’t come into play, but Mr. Couch was appreciative. Further, with 100+ uses to a bottle the size of a Hot Wheels race car, it’s great if you’re traveling and looking to conserve space. However, in the end, it wasn’t our favorites—the gels seemed to provide a smoother pull, while the oil just didn’t manage to lubricate the process the way the name might suggest. Mr. Couch put it best—“it just wasn’t for me.”

On the gels, we were split. Mr. Couch chose the MagnaGel. According to him, he felt like he got a superior shave—the blade passed along effortlessly, and left him with a closer shave. Mr. Couch does have a baby face, and perhaps with a baby face comes a bit of extra sensitivity. I, however, felt no difference between the Magnagel and the Cooling gel when it came to quality of shave—they were both extremely close, and provided sufficient lubrication, leaving no snags to the draw of the blade.

For me, the Cooling gel won by a hair (pun intended) because it managed to heighten the overall shaving process. I shave in the morning, usually before my first cup of coffee. This makes me dangerous with a razor. The Cooling gel emanates a great mentholated buzz that seeps into your whole face—the buzz becomes a burst when stepping from warm shower air to the lower temperature of the bathroom proper. The effect is so pleasantly bracing that it almost makes you excited to go to your dead end, soul crushing, minimum wage job.


Lastly, I should point out again the fantastic smell of all of these products—whether Tea Tree oil actually heals your cuts, cleanses your wounds, and clears up your cold sores is beyond me; what I can attest to is that the woodsy smell it leaves behind is fantastic. In any case, all of these products get high ranks—Mr. Couch looked and felt so good afterward that he got off the couch and went looking for jobs that very day.

Thanks, King of Shaves!

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