Cremo Cream Review

Posted on 14. Dec, 2010 by Gugel.

7
Cremo Cream

Cremo Cream

I heard good things about Cremo Cream on the Blade & Badger forums, so when I saw a tube of it at my local HEB (the grocery store that dominates Austin, TX), I couldn’t resist.

For those of you that don’t have an HEB nearby, you can pick up some Cremo Cream for $8 on Amazon.

Anyway, Cremo Cream is unlike any other shaving cream I’ve ever used.  It DOESN’T create a lather!

Now you might think that’s a bad thing, but here’s the logic behind it.  Shaving cream lather is made up mostly of air.  And guess what, air is NOT a good lubricant.  Cremo has no air — it’s just a highly concentrated lubricant.

Also, consider this: your razor has a special “comb” that pushes away any excess lather right before the blade hits your skin.  So next time you look in the mirror and see a thick white beard of shaving cream, you have to realize that only a few millimeters of that lather are being put to use.  You’d want that super thin layer to be high quality lubricant, right?

That beings said, here are my overall impressions:

Pros

  • Cremo Cream smells awesome (kinda like an orange rind). It’s quite invigorating in the morning.
  • It gave me excellent, smooth shaves.  However, it’s only on-par with other top-end shaving creams (not superior)
  • It’s an excellent value – an $8 tube is enough for 60 uses ($0.13 per shave).

Cons

  • You’re not supposed to use a shaving brush with Cremo Cream.  I miss using my brush!

Overall


Recommened Brush
100% Pure Badger Bristle Shaving Brush with Rosewood Handle
$27.77

10 Amazon.com reviews
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Crown Shaving Cream Review

Posted on 23. Oct, 2010 by Gugel.

0

Full Disclosure: Crown Shaving Co. sent me a tub of their shaving cream to review.

Crown Shaving Co Shaving Cream Review

Crown Shaving Co Shaving Cream Review

I got a tub of shaving cream from my friend Dino at Crown Shaving Co.  It actually arrived a couple of weeks ago, but it was WAYYY in the back of my mailbox and I didn’t see it :)

I’ve been using the Crown Shaving Cream for this past week.

The Good
Crown makes an extremely “soft” shaving cream.  It’s not quite liquid, not quite solid. That “softness” makes it really easy to build up a nice lather.  I’ve been trying out a shaving soap for the last few weeks (which is a pain to lather up), so this was a welcome relief.

The first time I used it,  I dabbed my brush in the cream with the normal amount of force and got way more shaving cream than I expected.  I just had to shake off some excess shaving cream and I was good to go.  Overall, it worked up an excellent lather and kept my face well moisturized.

The Meh
I like my shaving cream to have a very mild scent.  Crown Shaving Cream is supposed to smell like a mixture of eucalyptus and spearmint which sounds like a phenomenal combination (in theory).  In practice, it ends up smelling like menthol (e.g. Vick’s VapoRub).  I’m not a huge fan of menthol and the smell was a little too strong for  my taste.  If you love the smell of menthol, you’ll probably be in heaven.

Overall

It’s an excellent shaving cream, but the only drawback for me is the menthol smell.  It runs for $24 for a 8oz tub.

Ingredients

  • Glycerin
  • Shea Butter
  • Spearmint Leaf Oil
  • White Tea Leaf Extract
  • White Ginger Extract
  • Licorice Root Extract
  • Olive Leaf Extract
  • Maritime Pine Bark Extract
  • Pomegranate Extract
  • Rosemary Leaf Extract
  • Cocoa Extract
  • Grape Seed Extract

Recommened Brush
100% Pure Badger Bristle Shaving Brush with Rosewood Handle
$27.77

10 Amazon.com reviews
Order now from Amazon.com

Gugel’s Top 10 Shaving Tips

Posted on 06. Sep, 2010 by Gugel.

2

My name is Michael Gugel. I’ve been a wet shaver for almost 5 years and I’m the founder of ShavingZone.com. Here’s are my top 10 shaving tips:

  1. PREPARE.
    “If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend the first three hours sharpening my axe.”
    - Abe Lincoln

    Ideally, you want to shave immediately after getting out the shower. If you don’t have time for a shower, splash warm water on your face for at least 30 seconds. Take your time and work up a rich, thick lather.
  2. QUALITY.
    Feather razor blades are twice as expensive as normal blades. They also last me twice as long. I break even in the amount of money I spend, but I come out far ahead in the quality of my shaves.
  3. COURAGE.
    Don’t be afraid to start shaving with a safety razor. Even when I first started shaving, I almost never cut myself. And the few times that I did (mostly with the super-sharp KAI razor blades), they were small nicks that healed in two days.
  4. A LIGHT TOUCH.
    Just the weight of the blade is enough to cut the hair. Applying more pressure only increases razor burn.
  5. EXPERIMENT.
    Everyone’s different. Try different razors, razor blades, brushes and shaving creams until you find the perfect combination. That being said, the products below are my tried-and-true absolute FAVORITES!
  6. KNOW YOUR FACE.
    Sometimes your hair grows in unexpected directions. What direction do your hairs grow in the lower right part of your neck? Mine grow to the upper-left! Your first pass should always be in the direction of hair growth.
  7. USE A BADGER BRUSH.
    A brush helps you work up a nice shaving cream lather and positions your facial hair so the razor can easily cut ‘em.  Badger hair brushes are divided into 3 categories: pure, best and silvertip. Pure badger hair brushes are cheap, but too rough. Silvertip brushes are ridiculously expensive and too soft. “Best” badger hair brushes are moderately priced and build up the perfect lather. I listed my favorite best badger hair brush below.
  8. MAINTAIN YOUR EQUIPMENT.
    Hang your brush upside down when you’re done with it or the bristles will start to come out. Don’t leave your razor blade in the shower. The water will cause the blade to corrode and go dull much faster.
  9. EXFOLIATE.
    I know, it sounds kinda girly, but in reality, your rubbing your face with sand and acid to remove dead skin. Do it 2-3 times per week. Just smear it on in the shower, rub it in, wash it off, and you’re good to go.
  10. DON’T WIPE.
    Never wipe your face with a towel. Just dabbing your face will get rid of 95% of the moisture. The rest will evaporate within 15 seconds. Wiping your face with a towel gets rid of the natural oils that keep your skin healthy.

Recommended Double-Edged Razor
Merkur Model 178
$35

88 Amazon.com reviews
Order now from Amazon.com

Bluebeard’s Revenge Shaving Cream Review

Posted on 21. Jul, 2010 by Gugel.

2
BlueBeard's Revenge Shaving Cream

BlueBeard's Revenge Shaving Cream

Full disclosure: I got a complimentary tub of BlueBeard’s Revenge in the mail and promised to write a review.

I was pretty excited when I got Bluebeard’s Revenge in the mail this week.  The first thing I noticed was the excellent packaging.  (Comeon, I’m a marketer, I notice these things).

Anyway, I took Bluebeard’s Revenge for a test spin this morning.  It definitely makes an amazing lather .  It’s smooth, thick and lubricates great.  And unlike some other shaving creams, it’s not prone to air bubbles.  (Having air bubbles in your lather sucks).  As for the smell, it reminded me of Irish Spring soap.  Some people love that smell, but personally, I prefer natural scents like jasmine, avocado, bay rum, etc.

What really makes Bluebeard’s Revenge stand out is the  secret ingredient called “Decelerine”.  It’s specifically developed for men with thick, coarse hair (like me) to decrease the rate of hair growth by as much as 30%.  It’s also supposed to moisturize your skin and decrease irritation.  It sure sounds great, but frankly, I’m a bit concerned about putting strong chemicals on my face…

Overall, it’s a good shaving cream, but a bit pricey.  My favorite is still Tailor Bond of Old Street Avocado.  You can pick up a tub of Bluebeard’s Revenge at Shaving Shack for $22.70.

The ingredients of Bluebeard’s Revenge include:

  • aqua
  • stearic acid
  • myristic acid
  • potassium hydroxide
  • coconut acid
  • glycerin
  • parfum
  • thriethanolamine
  • phenoxyethanol
  • ethylhexlglycerin
  • sodium hydroxide
  • aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf extract
  • lauryl isoquinolinium bromide
  • psedoalteromonas ferment extract
  • polyquaternium
  • disodium edta
  • isopropyl alcohol
  • sodium sorbate
  • sodium benxoate
  • allantoin
  • glucose
  • caprylyl clycol

Recommended Razor / Brush Stand
Colonel Conk Evernice Model 775
$22.00

27 Amazon.com reviews
Order now from Amazon.com

How to Exfoliate & Prevent Razor Bumps

Posted on 25. May, 2010 by Gugel.

1
Exfoliating Helps Prevent Razor Bumps

Exfoliating Helps Prevent Razor Bumps

Exfoliation is the removal of dead top-layer of skin cells.  When I first heard about, I thought it was for little girly men.  The truth is, it just has a bad reputation – it’s actually pretty manly.

Think about it this way: exfoliating  involves scrubbing your face with abrasive material (e.g. sand) and using salicylic acid to blast through clogged pores.  That’s pretty damn manly in my book.

I first started exfoliating my face 3 years ago.  I bought a 6 ounce tube St. Ives Apricot Scrub (which I highly recommend) for $4.99 and starting rubbing my face with it in the shower once or twice a week.  The results were awesome.  I was getting fewer razor bumps and my shaves were noticeably smoother.

Side note: Razor bumps happen when hair is cut, curls back into your skin and the hair follicle gets clogged. The hair tries to break through, but it gets trapped. Eventually, the razor bump becomes red and irritated.

Just a word of caution before you go crazy with St. Ives — over-exfoliating will make your skin irritated and dry so don’t use more than a few times a week.  Adjust appropriately if you have dry skin.


Recommended Shaving Cream
Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado
$16.17

14 Amazon.com reviews
Order now from Amazon.com

Pure, Best & Silvertip Shaving Brushes

Posted on 18. Apr, 2010 by Gugel.

1
Pure vs. Best vs. Silvertip Shaving Brushes

Pure vs. Best vs. Silvertip Shaving Brushes - badgerandblade.com

There are 3 different types of shaving brushes:

  • Pure
  • Best
  • Silvertip

In terms of practicality and value, the “best” badger hair brushes are highly recommended.

Pure badger shaving brushes are typically all black in color and are the least expensive.  The bristles on the brush are cut to give the brush its shape.  These cut bristles make the brush feel a bit rougher on the face.  On the plus side, that roughness helps exfoliate your skin and agitates the shaving cream to build up a thick lather.  Pure badger brushes hold less water than the pure or silvertip, but for most people, that shouldn’t be a problem (the amount of water a “best” or silvertip brush can hold is a bit overkill).

“Best” badger hair brushes have a banded pattern and have a middle-of-the-road price point.  Unlike the pure badger hair brushes, they’re untrimmed so they’re smoother on the face.  They also hold more water and are more rigid that pure badger hair brushes.  The increased rigidity helps create a richer lather.  Overall, best badger hair brushes provide the best value.

The silvertip badger hair brushes also have a banded pattern.  Typically, they have a a greater concentration of bristles and a bigger knot size (which makes them look pretty big).  They are also by far the most expensive – costing as much as a few hundred dollars.  The bristles on the silvertip brush are soft and not very rigid.  It feels good on your face, it doesn’t build up as a nice of a lather as the “best” badger hair brush.

For more information about the different types of shaving brushes, look a joel’s review at badgerandblade.com.


Recommened Brush
100% Pure Badger Bristle Shaving Brush with Rosewood Handle
$27.77

10 Amazon.com reviews
Order now from Amazon.com

Personna Razor Blade Review

Posted on 01. Apr, 2010 by Gugel.

4
Personna Razor Blades

Personna Double Edge Razor Blades

When I first started wet shaving, the DE razor I bought came with a couple of Merkur razor blade samples.  I tried them out, but wasn’t thrilled so I  started looking for a substitute.  I turned to the Blade and Badger forums for a little guidance and saw that the Derbys were getting a lot of praise.  I gave them a shot and liked them well enough.  I didn’t really feel the need to look further…until I started this blog.  Boy oh boy, I didn’t know what I was missing!  There are dozens of excellent blades to try and you won’t really know what’s best for you until you try it!

Anyway, I recently moved to Austin, TX from NYC.  We don’t have Wal-Marts in NYC so when I got here, I figured I’d check it out.   I stumbled my way to the shaving section and looked down on some of the Personnas I had heard so much about.  I picked up a 10 pack for $1.36.

The packaging on the Personnas is pretty cool (you can easily and safely slide blades out of the plastic shell), but since it lacks wax paper, I’m a little concerned about corrosion.  That being said, the razor provided an excellent shave.  They were sufficiently sharp to avoid irritation, but relatively forgiving (it’s pretty hard to give yourself a nick or cut).  The Derbys use to be my go-to everyday blade, but with the quality issues we’ve been seeing, the Personnas have just beat ‘em out.

A pack of 10 is $3.49.  I get around 2 good shaves with each blade (the same as a Derby).

Price Per Blade
$0.14

Overall
The Personnas beat out the Derbys even when they were at they’re prime.  It’s currently my go-to everyday blade.

Review


Recommended Blades
100 Feather Double Edge Razor Blades
$36.99

4 Amazon.com reviews
Order now from Amazon.com

Corking a Razor Blades

Posted on 04. Mar, 2010 by Gugel.

3
Corking a Razor Blade

Corking a Razor Blade

I’m a big fan of Derby blades.  They’re a great value and in my review, I gave them 4.5 out of 5 stars.  But recently, a lot of people have started to complain that the quality of Derby blades has gone down hill.  KWyKJJ, that poor soul, bought 500 of ‘em before finding out they aren’t as good as they used to be! Speculation has it that Derby changed something in their manufacturing process that caused more burrs along the edge of the blade.  It seems to have affected only the blades with a vertical lettering on the packaging (see the screenshot below).  The packages with horizontal lettering are still good to go right out of the box.

Derby Horizontal vs Vertical Blades

Derby Horizontal vs Vertical Blades

But not everyone hates the new vertical Derby blades.  Some people still get a good shave out of them.  If you’re not satisfied with your vertical Derby, however, there’s something you can do — cork them!  Just run the edge of the blade across the cork from a wine bottle .  You can also run it across styrofoam, polystyrene, packing peanuts, or anything else of a similar texture.  Hold the blade between your index finger and thumb and cut the cork by pulling the blade towards you.  You should put minimal pressure on the blade so that only the edge goes into the cork.  You’ll need to run the blade through the cork 1 to 5 times on each side (depending on your own personal preference).

Corking can work on other blades too.  For some people, the legendary Feathers are a little too sharp on their first shave, but are excellent on the second, third, etc. shaves.  Cork a Feather and it can give you an exceptionally smooth shave the first time around.

Have you ever corked a blade?  If so, did it help give you a better shave?  Post a comment!


Recommened Brush
100% Pure Badger Bristle Shaving Brush with Rosewood Handle
$27.77

10 Amazon.com reviews
Order now from Amazon.com

How to Make a Brush and Razor Stand from a Wire Hanger

Posted on 26. Feb, 2010 by Gugel.

2

Using a brush and razor stand helps keep your shaving brush in good condition and helps prevent razer blade corrosion. Corrosion causes a sharp blade to go dull very quickly (even moreso than normal wear and tear).  Brush and razor stands cost somewhere in the range of $25 to $100, but you can make a pretty good one at home from a regular wire hanger.

Before we get into the instructions, keep in mind that the stand needs to be well-balanced.  Maintain 90 degree angles where appropriate.  Also, since the razor is heavier than the brush, it will have to be positioned closer to the center.

Start off with a regular wire hanger.
Step 1

Step 1

Cut out of the middle part of the hanger using the wire cutters on pliers.
Step 2

Step 2

Bend the identified section into a rectangle with one side open.
Step 3

Step 3

It should end up looking like this:

Step 3 Completed

Step 3 Completed

Straighten out the remaining wire.  Then bend the identified sections of wire downwards at 90 degrees.
Step 4

Step 4

It should end up looking like this

Step 4 Completed

Step 4 Completed

Bend the identified sections so it makes a base for the stand that’s 90 degrees.
Step 5

Step 5

It should end up looking like this:

Step 5 Completed

Step 5 Completed

Bend the razor holder slightly downwards so the water can drip off easily. Make final adjustments.
Finished!

Finished!

For an alternative design, you can try Instructables.com.  I think that my design is more stable, but then again, my opinion is pretty biased :)

And if you’re looking for something a little more polished, I recommend Colonel Conk Evernice Razor Stand for $22.


Recommended Blades
100 Feather Double Edge Razor Blades
$36.99

4 Amazon.com reviews
Order now from Amazon.com

KAI Razor Blade Review

Posted on 24. Feb, 2010 by Gugel.

0
KAI Razor Blades

KAI Razor Blades

These Japanese blades aren’t widely known – they’re even rarely mentioned in the Blade & Badger Forums. It’s a shame too because they’re the best blades I have ever used.

KAI started up in 1951 and has produced mainly surgical knives, industrial blades, razors blades , kitchen knives, and even some awesome nail clippers.  A company that makes knives for surgery is bound to produce some good razor blades right?

The KAI razor blades are extremely sharp, long-lasting and smooth.  Using them is almost unfair – it makes shaving too easy.  They cut through my thickest whiskers like a lightsaber.  Even after 3 or 4 shaves, I get almost no irritation or razor burn on even the most sensitive parts of my face (the right part of my neck).  With a KAI, it’s especially important to put almost no pressure on the blade or you’ll start taking off a layer of skin.  They’re a little more forgiving than a Feather, but you should still pay extra attention to your pre-shave preparation (make sure you soak your face in warm water, working up a good lather, and maybe even using some pre-shave oil).

You can get 100 KAIs (around a years supply) on a ebay for $25.99 with free shipping.  That’s really a sick deal since you can easily get 4 shaves out of each blade.  The price per blade is only a little higher than a Derby, but you can get twice as many shaves!

Price Per Blade
$0.26

Overall
These are absolutely phenomenal blades and are my current favorite.  I got through 2 KAI blades in my sample pack and immediately bought 25 more.  They’re the best overall value (price per shave) and yes, they’re even better than a Feather!

Review


Recommended Razor / Brush Stand
Colonel Conk Evernice Model 775
$22.00

27 Amazon.com reviews
Order now from Amazon.com