Not all shaving products are created equal. No matter how they are marketed or what they cost, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that a great, clean shave is in store for the man using them. The products I received from The Art of Shaving unfortunately reminded me of this.
I received a box from the good people at The Art of Shaving that included several samples of both the Pre-Shave Gel and the After-Shave Lotion, but no shaving cream.
The first thing I noticed about the Pre-Shave Gel was that it was very thick — thicker than anything I would normally use. After mixing it with water, it was thinned out somewhat, but overall the consistency remained. It was so thick, in fact, that you could comfortably use the gel as a shaving cream if you don’t have a very thick beard to begin with. Since no shaving cream was included, I tried it two different ways:
1) I substituted with some shaving cream I had on hand.
2) I shaved with just the Pre-Shave Gel alone.
Shaving with just the Pre-Shave Gel wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t that smooth or pleasurable, either. I had to go over the same area multiple times. Afterwards, it felt like a film still remained even though I had shaved all required areas.
Shaving with another shaving cream was rather similar to the first method; I just didn’t notice much of a difference. The ease of shaving was not increased and my skin still felt like there was some residue left on my face. Even after rinsing off and splashing water on my skin, I wasn’t crazy about the after effect and I didn’t experience that cool, refreshing, “clean face feeling” I normally would after a shave; it felt rather slimy, actually.
Using it made my skin a little softer, but it wasn’t noticeable in terms of an immediate, tangible effect. I could tell something was on my skin, more along the lines of a lotion, but it didn’t make me stand up and take notice like some other products had in the past.
So, I was understandably hesitant about trying the After-Shave Lotion. I tried it anyway and I really couldn’t tell the difference between the Pre-Shave Gel and the After-Shave Lotion, other than the Pre-Shave Gel was clear versus the vanilla color of the After-Shave. I looked at the ingredients and I wasn’t that far off in terms of similarity; Water and glycerin were the main ingredients in the After-Shave, while they were the second and fourth most prevalent ingredients in the Pre-Shave Gel.
If I would’ve had the shaving cream, maybe the entire experience would’ve been different, perhaps even pleasurable, but as it was, I wasn’t crazy about it like I was about some other products I’ve tried.
On the plus side, both products required a minimal amount of cream, because once they were mixed with water, they covered the entire surface area of my face. But as for quality, I just wasn’t sold. Both products really seemed to be more generic than I was expecting.
For more information on The Art of Shaving, and for additional products, check out the company website at www.theartofshaving.com.