I spent the better half of my life sporting facial hair because at age 13 my chin turned into a bramble bush and it was easier to rock the goatee than scrape a razor blade across it seven days a week. By the time college hit the goatee was just my look and I added some sideburns to the mix because I couldn’t tattoo “I’m 20″ across my face. After college I began my career in film by working my way through the post production ranks which meant I had little social interaction…so…beard ahoy! I found it very soothing in the winter how it kept me warm and I lied to myself and everyone else saying “It also keeps you cool in the summer.” The truth of the matter was it itched in the summer, my family hated it, and my girlfriends told me it itched when we kissed. Not caring what my family thought and wanting more girlfriend kisses I began shaving it off every few weeks til I discovered the “sexy stubble” look which pretty much carried me through my 20′s. By the time I was married I had gone to rocking a full mountain-man beard in the winter and light stubble in the summer. You could tell the seasons of the Adirondacks by my facial hair. I hated shaving, I hated remembering to shave, and I liked the way I looked with a beard. Then I climbed that next rung on the career ladder and went from directing commercials to producing them. I needed to entertain clients and look professional. The beard had to go.
By this time razors had become a joke as each month it seemed like they added another blade to the head. Three blades seemed ridiculous and when they debuted four…I thought it was a joke. MADtv did a sketch about a razor with 20 blades in response to the Mach 3 Razor. Things were just getting silly. I needed sophistication. I needed sustainability. I needed something classic. That’s when I turned to The Art Of Shaving: Their tagline: “Experience The Perfect Shave.” It was elitist, over priced, and the salesman was condescending. It was just what I was looking for! The New York City salesman in the Time Warner building started off by insulting me…saying I clearly didn’t know how to shave. Then like Elizabeth Berkley in the movie Showgirls, I was like, “I’m getting that Versace!” (She pronounced it “Ver-Say-Ce”) The salesman went on teaching me how to shave and from what I discerned…what I was doing wrong was not looking like a richie-rich idiot in the mirror. I bought the oil, a brush, a stand, cream, a razor handle, and after-shave balm. Boom! I was the balm! (see what I did there?) I was ready to practice the art of shaving!
Every time I have shaved since – for 10 years – I have heard that salesman snidely talking in my ear. I can still hear his condescending tone as he insulted every man who stopped in the store, making us feel bad for not shaving correctly, showing us instructional videos, and selling us products as he moved on to his next victim. Little shit. I can’t stand that guy. Seriously…I hear his voice EVERY time I shave. However, I will say this: It’s a nice shave. Expensive…but nice. The handle and stand got lost in one of the many moves but I still used my brush and products. When I ran out of shaving cream and after-shave I ordered more. Expensive stuff…but I liked the shave. Then I ran out of shave cream while out of the country for 2 weeks and bought generic shave gel from a can. It was the exact same shaving experience at a fraction of the cost. When I got back to the States I bought another cheap can of gel. My brush collected dust in the drawer. When I see the brush I hear the salesman’s voice mocking me, “Does a painter use his fingers on his canvas or a brush?” I shut the drawer. I’m not a painter…I’m a marketing director with 2 small kids and I just want to get to work and make my clients happy.
By this time I was using a Schick Quattro (I gave in to the 4 blade revolution) and the handle was pretty worn out. I was reverting back to stubble because the blades got clogged so quickly, the handle was old, and the whole thing was such a process. Oil, gel, shave, rinse, re-shave, rinse & lotion. Blah! I knew I needed to buy new blades and like most things in my life…I turned to the internet to just order some (Gotta love Amazon!). That’s when I found the Dollar Shave Club. Unlike The Art of Shaving, the Dollar Shave Club told me I already knew how to shave…why not make it easier and cheaper? “A great shave for a few bucks a month.” Why not? I signed up.
There are 3 plans:
- $1 per month (dual blade)
- $6 per month (4 blades)
- $9 per month (fancy 4 blades)
I signed up for the $6 per month plan which ships a razor handle and 4 blades (Quattro-style) to my house – then every month they automatically ship me 4 new blades and automatically charge me $6. Easy. I added a tube of their Shave Butter for an extra $8 to try it out. It arrived the next week and the first thing I noticed is everything in the box from the packing materials to the blades is 100% recyclable. Already a fan. The handle had great weight to it and felt nicer than my Schick. The DSC handle is ever so slightly smaller than the Schick Quattro which for me is a plus because I travel and less bulk is awesome. It felt great in my hand, had great grips, and was clear a lot of R&D went into it. The same goes for the blades. The attachment method is obvious, easy, and feels solid…not cheap. It looked like a redesigned Quattro with a nicer handle and better blades. Namely, the blades are fully exposed on the back so it is easier to rinse. Since clogged blades with the Quattro was my #1 complaint I was eager to test this puppy out!
I tried the Shave Butter and it was weird…good weird. It looked like lotion and my first reaction was, “Uhhh…is this for afterwards?” I applied to my face and it is like smearing butter…it doesn’t soak in. The first thing you notice is that the butter is translucent so you can see your whiskers. It was strange…I looked like I was about to dry shave. Then I shaved. Nothing dry about it. Smooth as butter! Not having all that goopy shave gel or shave cream allowed me to see what I was shaving and I only needed to do one pass instead of 2. I’ll admit…the butter was nice. The blades were fantastic! It took a second to realize I didn’t need to apply as much pressure as I was used to with my Quattro. The DSC razor gave a great shave on the first pass. To be fair I tried the butter with a new Quattro blade as well and it wasn’t even close…DSC wins hands down. It gave a better shave, rinsing out from the back was so much easier, no clogged blades, no cuts, and in the end my face was as smooth as it has ever been. It even shaved my bramble bush chin in single strokes! Afterward I felt like my face had gone to a Nebraska County Fair and eaten fried butter on a stick. I rinsed my face and still felt buttery so I rinsed again. With the butter gone and my face smooth I needed something to put the exclamation point on this shave and I went with the Art of Shaving’s After-Shave Balm (lavender) which is still my favorite. The little idiot salesman’s voice was gone and instead was my own manly voice saying, “Looking good Mr. Gates…looking good.”
After a few shaves I can tell you the DSC is awesome. The razor is so much better than the Quattro that I might downgrade to the $1 month club because I’m guessing the old fashioned double blade will get things done just as well if I shave daily. $12 a year to shave! That is HUNDREDS less than what I was spending before. Quattro Titanium blades are about $15 per 4. That means the DSC is offering a better shave, with no shopping hassle, and it saves you $9 a month ($108 a year). The shave butter is cool and I’m sticking with it. I still like the lavender After-Shave Balm from the Art of Shaving and will order that again ($40). So do I recomend the Dollar Shave Club?
- Quality ★ ★ ★ ★
- Value ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
- Ease ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Yes, I highly recommend the Dollar Shave Club. Ladies, it is a great gift for your man. Father’s Day is coming up this spring. Guys, you don’t have to shop for razors anymore…they automatically come to your door and it is cheaper. The $6 (or $1) is shipping & handling included! You can leave the club any time or pause your membership if you are getting too many razors. You can order a second handle and give half your razors to your significant other because seriously…ladies are just using a pink version of the same razor. It is cheaper, better, and easier. 5 stars to the DSC! Shave time. Shave money.
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