Shaving is something I hate to do. Unfortunately, it is something I kind of have to do, since now my beard is likely as grey as the hair on my head, and even in my yoof was an odd reddish-brown with blond streaks (thanks Dad, and those British genes!) I am lucky in that I can skip a day without looking like a hobo, but more than that and I need to scrape it down.
You would think that I would look at this as an opportunity to have different shave creams, balms, unguents, salves and toners, but oddly, no. I like to linger in bed in the AM, not at the sink. So it’s shower, shave, moisturize and go, and the last phase is relatively new, since I never really needed that step until I hit, er, 36. Four years ago.
One interesting thing I found is that store credit cards, like plants, will wither and die if not paid attention to. For a while I was being “good” and had not ordered anything from Neiman Marcus, and when I finally did, the card had been cut off. Canceled for non-use. So I at least make a quarterly purchase on them to keep the account watered and tilled, and shaving goo is a good (and cheap) way to do so.
My default is usually Kiehl’s Close Shave Squadron Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream, which isn’t that pricey and available at the usual suspects. I sometimes wait until there’s some sort of “Beauty Event” and toss one in to get myself to the minimum purchase to get the freebie. It’s almost ideal: creamy enough that it feels good on the skin and gives a slightly moisturising effect, but not so much that it feels too heavy.
Since I ran out of it I was lazy and bought on Amazon a tube of C.O. Bigelow Shave Cream with Eucalyptus, which at $11 for about the same size neatly undercut the Kiehl’s. I kind of don’t care for it as much: the texture is frankly a little slimy and although that does mean that the razor glides over the face easily it also means that both my well-loved 5-blade razor and my face need a bit more attention to rid itself of the remains than I would prefer. Don’t think there will be a second purchase of this one.
Another try was a purchase from Nordstrom: Murdock London Daily Shave Gel. This line was on sale so I purchased this in the whopping 17oz size for $20. It smells nice, and it’s perfectly serviceable, but lacks the creamy texture or emollients that make the Kiehl’s such a pleasure. It’s more of a straight up gel. But hey, it was $20. Live and learn.
Of course there are also myriad foams and gels (that turn to foam) etc that can be had from Thrifty Drigs or Duane Reade and they will of course get the job done. I always find my self wasting a lot of product since I am never able to accurately gauge the amount I need. Oh let’s face it: you give me shaving foam and I am an instant five year old- playing with it and mucking about rather than getting to the business at hand. Add to that that most of them will strip your skin like old paint.
So, while I will admit that sometimes when I am in a hurry I will shave just using whatever face wash I am hurriedly scrubbing down with, of the ones I have tried I keep going back to Kiehl’s. It’s emollient enough that I feel like I’m shaving the hairs and not the top layers of my skin but not so much that I need to scrub it off or send my razor through the dishwasher after to clean it. It’s also not hugely expensive and since you don’t need much (and you can’t make interesting shapes with it like foam) a tube will last a good long time.
So, I think most of our readers/commentators are not shaving their faces, but you may be shaving other areas like your legs. What products do you like? Please mention in the comments.
All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me from the mentioned retailers. Photos are from Pexels.