On Pulling Off A Handsome Shave
Updated: Oct 8, 2022
(AUTHOR'S NOTE: The products featured in this entry were reviewed due to the benefits received during the course of use. All opinions in this post are solely that of my own, and I did not receive any form of compensation from the product manufacturers for this review.)
Facial hair gives a touch of ruggedness and masculinity to the male countenance. Trimmed and groomed properly, moustaches and beards exude a gentlemanly aura. However, not all men prefer growing facial hair; some would prefer a clean-shaven "baby face". Thus, some stick to a regular shaving regimen to remove the stubble surrounding the lip and chin area – depending on how long it takes the hair to grow back.
I started shaving off my facial hair in 2009, but I never followed a strict shaving regimen. I simply washed my face, shaved off the stubble using a disposable two-blade razor, and I was done. However, I recently began a proper shaving routine after receiving three gifts when I turned 24 – the VMV Hypoallergenics 1635 Shave Cream No. 3, VMV Hypoallergenics 1635 Invigorating Aftershave Gel, and the Gillette Mach 3 Razor.
Washing the face is a good way to start, but this can be skipped when shaving is done after taking a bath. Shaving cream is then applied on the areas to be cleaned off – with the cream often in either aerosol canisters or tubes. It can be applied using the hand or a shaving brush for even coverage. Enter VMV Hypoallergenics 1635 Shave Cream No. 3. This shaving cream is meant for use on all types of facial hair. The 1635 Shave Cream also has variants solely dedicated to coarse and fine stubble.
It offers a cooling sensation after application, it lathers easily, and it does a good job of lubricating the skin prior to using the razor. With wet hands, the product re-lathers again after each pass of the blade. The musky scent is definitely invigorating – which makes it perfect for use in the morning.
What I liked most about this product, however, is its natural ingredients. I once read an article online that warned against using grooming products with a lot of chemicals in them as these can possibly trigger allergic reactions. But thanks to the shaving cream’s all-natural formula, I haven’t experienced allergic reactions of any sort ever since I incorporated it in my grooming regimen.
Now that the shaving cream is applied, the actual shaving comes next. Back when I was younger, I only used a two-blade disposable razor with a so-called "easy clean" button. It did not exactly give a smooth shave and – coupled with the lack of shaving cream – left me with uneven stubble. Worse, there were times that I accidentally nicked my skin due to the lack of lubrication.
I had a significantly better experience with the Gillette Mach 3 Razor. Every shave is a breeze with its three blades, ensuring a smooth and close cut. The skin guard below the blades prevents accidental cuts, and the lubricating strip adds an extra glide with every stroke. Coupled with the 1635 Shave Cream No. 3, I’ve always had a smooth and stubble-free chin and lip area after each shave.
More so, replacement cartridges for this are not a problem. Mach 3 Regular, Turbo, or Sensitive cartridges are compatible with this one. Replacing dull blades is easy; simply slide the round knob forward and off goes the head. Plug the razor handle on a new cartridge head, and it’s back to smooth shaving. As you can see in the original packaging, this full razor was a Mach 3 Sensitive but I replaced it with a Mach 3 Regular head after the first one dulled. This is the cheapest Mach 3 refill as all the others are rather expensive.
I follow a three-step regimen to clean my shaving razor after use. I rinse it under running water, shake it off to remove excess moisture, and soak the head in isopropyl alcohol. The last step is important as it serves two purposes: It disinfects the blade after each use and prevents rusting when stored. That way, it’s clean and sharp on the next use.
The shaving ritual ends for some people once the face is free of stubble, but some take their time to ensure utmost skin care. Extra steps ensure that the skin is moisturized and protected from post-shaving irritation. The VMV Hypoallergenics 1635 Invigorating Aftershave Gel is one such product perfect for capping off a shaving ritual. It gives a cooling, peppery sensation to the face just like its pre-shave counterpart – but it’s perfect for invigorating and soothing even the most sensitive skin.
The aftershave gel's scent is slightly similar to that of rubbing alcohol with some herbal hints, and there's a slight sting. I can tolerate the sting, actually; it’s better than putting rubbing alcohol on your skin right after shaving. Despite that minor drawback I mentioned plus an initial sticky feeling whenever the gel is applied, it’s easily absorbed by the skin for all-day rejuvenation.
Ever since I used these products hand-in-hand, I am always guaranteed of a clean, handsome shave and soft, smooth skin. The natural ingredients in VMV Hypoallergenics' 1635 shaving line assures me that I’m not using harmful chemicals that can possibly trigger allergies. On the other hand, the Gillette Mach 3 razor is something that I will use for a long time; I will only need to buy replacement cartridges whenever the head dulls. Alongside a good haircut, a good shave truly does wonders to make some men look even better.
That's it for my first product review. Until the next post.