Thursday, May 22, 2014

SimplyBeautiful solid stainless steel safety razor: reviewed

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I have started wet shaving. I began this wonderful new adventure about 2 months ago. It all started with my 1963 vintage lady Gillette blue starburst safety razor and a chocolate scented, shave soap puck from the How to Grow A Mustache company. It was love. I was first afraid of safety razors, as I would be using an actual razor blade. I scoured the internet for videos and blogs on how to do a successful and safe double edge shave. I joined a few wet shaving forums and facebook groups (being a woman, I was among the minority). I wanted to switch to this old fashioned way of shaving as I love wearing vintage accessories, vintage makeup and hair styles and using vintage beauty methods. I think that time tested methods seem to work the best and products from our parents and grandparents time are often made better than products made today. Today's razors are made out of cheap plastic, often not USA made, and are costly. I used to use Venus razors for years. I loved Venus, but paying $15 for 4 blades is crazy. I chose the vintage Gillette safety razor due to the length of the handle and the ease of loading the blade, and it is super 60's. I was able to find 100 Personna comfort blades for around $11 on Amazon--I found that Personna blades are made in the USA, at least the ones I purchased, I think they have two types from Personna.

I was recently sent a solid stainless steel safety razor with chrome finish from SimplyBeautiful. I wanted to try this one out as I had only tried one safety razor previously. This razor arrived in a nice gift box and included 5 Free Derby Double Edge Razor Blades. I opened the box and was in awe at its beauty. The razor was super shiny and sleek. I could not wait for my next shave.

Pre-shave preparation is important for a close, comfortable wet shave. I recommend applying a hot, moist towel beforehand or even a hot steamy shower (super necessary if you are a tired mama like me and need some extra pampering of hot steam) before the shave. The heat and water soften the hairs and prepare the skin. I also like to use a homemade pre-shave oil. I use a small mix of caster oil, jojoba, argan oil, or rosehip oil, and glycerin and then apply lightly to my legs and armpits before shaving.

Safety razors are designed to be used with little to no pressure when shaving, as irritation and nicks can occur if pressure is applied. It is important to use slow short strokes when shaving and use the correct angle with shaving. I recommend using a shaving brush. I have a pure badger hair brush---well it is actually my husband's brush from years ago, and I hope to upgrade to my own, nicer one sometime soon. I am not fond of his badger brush as it sheds and is not as soft as I would like. His is pure badger (pure is the base grade) with a 23 mm knot.

Shaving brushes come in many forms. A lesser known or lesser used type is horse hair or boar hair. I prefer badger hair. Badger hair comes in many levels/grades, depending on what part of the badger it is harvested. Pure badger hair (my husband's brush and the one I used) is the least expensive of badger types (I paid about $35 for it on Amazon several years ago when I bought it for him. At that time I was unaware of the types of badger and got what I could afford.). The next types range from best badger, super badger, and then the coveted silvertip badger hair---super luxurious and soft. Being a part of these specialty shaving groups I have seen some silvertip brushes sell for an upwards of $200 or more depending on the size of the knot (hair diameter in mm), density, handle size, and brand. However, you can get a decent silvertip for about $85.

A shaving brush creates lather and it is important soak the brush in hot water before lathering as it raises the hair for shaving. I lathered with a Sandlewood soap (super luxurious scent and moisturizing, I got it at a Indian grocery) in my Vintage Penhaligan gold tone shaving mug, with a few drops of glycerin, and caster oil. I loaded the Derby blade into the razor and began my shave. (After my hot shower and pre-shave oil) It is important to rinse the razor as needed while shaving. I shave in the shower while sitting in my shower chair, and I keep a cup of hot water in a plastic cup for rinsing the razor. Obviously, pour out the water and refill with fresh water when needed during your shave.

I really liked this razor, and had my husband try it out on his beard. He keeps a full well groomed beard, however, shaves underneath to keep it shaped and tidy. He liked the razor as well. I do notice that this razor is heavier in weight than my Gillette and it is something to get used to, especially when shaving a large area such as women's legs.

I do wish it loaded like my Gillette does, however, it was not difficult to load the blade, you just need to be a bit more careful when loading. My Gillette opens all in one piece with no parts to reassemble. This brand is a nice razor and one my husband will use often. I would use this one as my daily razor if I did not already have a safety razor. This one did gave me a fantastic shave and no irritation. I tested it out on my legs and my armpits. I am glad I was able to try out the Derby blades, as I think I might like them a bit better than the Personnas. I will test out the Derbys a bit more, and may switch to that brand.

The razor is ready for gift giving and would be a wonderful treat for a father this father's day, or for anyone who love a good shave. Shaving should not be a hassle, it should be a pampering experience. Safety razors with a soap and brush, make for a luxurious experience. I highly recommend.

If you found this review or any of my other reviews interesting or helpful, please rate is as "helpful" and or leave a comment. I enjoy writing reviews and hearing feedback about what I have written as I feel reviews help those interested make an informed decision before purchasing. I also feel that honest and informative reviews improve a product by providing insight to the company. I believe reviews should be honest no matter whether an item was free, at a discount, or purchased. I am not connected to this company or any of the companies of products that I review. I am not paid for my opinions.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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