I know it has been a while, but in my quest to find a shaving subscription service, I have once again tried a new one. The reason it took me so long was because I had a drawer full of disposable razors to get through, so I would try a service, see how I thought about it, and then use up a few of the disposables. Then I’d feel guilty about the waste and try a different service.
Thus far I have felt a bit like Goldilocks. Each shaving service had highs and lows, but none of them was just right.
This time around I am trying out the Dollar Shave Club. I’ve whittled down my disposable razor collection and so I decided to take advantage of the $5 starter kit. I’ve been seeing these advertisements pretty much anytime I have gone on line in the past few weeks.
They are nothing if not persistent.
And $5 didn’t seem like a bad price to pay to try the subscription out. Plus, in addition to trying out the razor itself, there is the opportunity to try out other products along with it. So I ordered the Dollar Shave club starter pack.
The starter pack comes with one reusable razor handle, two blades in a plastic container and three travel size squeeze tubes: Prep Scrub, Shave Butter and Post Shave Dew.
So let’s break it down.
First, the handle. It is metal with texturized rubber grips. For me this is fantastic. I really like the metal handles over the plastic ones as I find them more durable. The previous metal handle I tried (All Girl Shave Club) was beautiful and sleek of design, bit with no texture to the handle, it easily slid out of my hands. This fits comfortable in the hand and the texturized rubber bits keep it from sliding out of the hand.
Next, the blades. There are six blades on each razor head. I really like the multiple blades. Even the disposable razors I have come with at least two and while six may not be necessary, I like more than one blade so I am fine with the potential excess. And it did give my legs a good shave. As important as the blade itself is the fit of the blade to the handle. I know this sounds a little strange, but stick with me a moment.
One advantage reusable razors have over disposable ones (other than the lack of waste) is that the head of the razor is maneuverable. It isn’t in one fixed position. (I know some disposables bend as well, but then we lean back towards the waste issue). Which as my legs are not one straight line, but bend and twist, I like the maneuverability.
As I learned with one of the subscription services (Flamingo) there can be too much maneuverability in a razor head. With those the blade just moved around too much for me to get a good shave. It was too floppy. While this blade does shift, it doesn’t shift too much and I was able to get a really good shave.
Normally, as the point of the shave service is to get a razor handle and reusable blades, I would stop there, but they did include three products with the razor for me (or any subscriber) to try. So before I break down the price and the package, I’ll cover them.
The first is the prep scrub. It is essentially a body scrub to exfoliate dead skin prior to shaving so that a closer shave can be achieved. I have to say that while I tend to use body scrubs, I don’t tend to use them before I shave. I’m not sure why that never occurred to me. I will say I like the idea. As long as you get all the exfoliate off of the skin before actually deploying the razor as I’m betting it will end up dinging the blade.
And the Prep scrub included in the box is okay. It is simply a fine grained body scrub. It smells a bit like medicinal soap, the kind my grandfather kept around to deal with poison ivy. I don’t know what scent that was officially, but that is what this prep scrub smells like. It isn’t my favorite choice, but the scent fades almost immediately so it isn’t much of a concern.
I know they have other scents available, but the truth is, I have better body scrubs. Or at least ones I like using more. This just seems a bit generic. Personally, I would use the body scrubs I already have over this one. I am however pleased to have learned to use a scrub prior to shaving. While I won’t be purchasing this Prep Scrub, I will be using the method.
Next, is the shave butter. The scent is vaguely rosemary infused. Which is fine. It is on the medicinal side of herbal, but I don’t mind it. And again the scent is light enough that it fades once it is applied. I think they also sell other scents as well. Butter is not the term I would use with this product. It is thin and liquid and applies more like a gel moisturizer. It looks like snot to be honest.
I prefer a thicker formula, partially because I like seeing the path of the razor so that I know I didn’t miss a spot. I know that isn’t why you use shave gel/cream/butter but it is something I like. It did an excellent job preventing irritation and razor burn (which is more of its job) but I simply prefer a thicker formula so I will not be purchasing this in the future. That’s more of a personal choice than a critique. It worked well, just isn’t for me. Of the three though, it was my favorite.
The third tube of product was the Post Shave Dew. I’ll go ahead and confess that I didn’t like it. Like its compatriots, it has a slightly medicinal scent to it that fades rather quickly. It is a thin body lotion that again looks like snot. I have plenty of other body lotions that I prefer both in scent, consistency and performance. I did use this one and it was non-irritating on freshly shaved legs and underarms, however I always use a body lotion when I get out of the shower and I have never had any irritation issues with the creams I routinely use. If you do get skin irritation from using a body lotion right after shaving your legs, then this might be for you. It is not for me.
So while the tubes of products over all weren’t for me, the point is still the razor and quite frankly I loved it. The subscription basically sends you eight blades each time you renew. You can add other products to the package (Like the three I tested with the trial box) but those will add on to your cost. You can renew as little or as often as you like. They have a monthly, quarterly and six month option to the subscription. They will also e-mail you three days before they charge you so you can decide if you need the shipment or want to change the date.
Each shipment of eight blades is $21.95 (that is the total with tax and shipping). Which basically breaks it down into about $2.75 per blade. Which is not a terribly bad price. As a contrast, a three pack of Venus disposable razors (my most consistent disposable razor purchase) is $6.99 which is $2.33 per razor. Clearly if you add more onto the package the price increases, but if I were to keep the subscription, I wouldn’t be adding any of the other items I’ve tried. So I would still end up with the $21.95 (The blades are actually listed as $20 with the $1.95 as the tax with zero S&H if you want the full breakdown).
At the moment, the Dollar Shave Club has provided the best razor handle and blades from any of the subscriptions I’ve tried. There are still a couple of services that I haven’t tried, but at the moment, this is the one to beat. I really like the maneuverability of the head and the rubberized grips of the metal handle. I did not drop it in the shower even once as I tested it out, despite my hands being somewhat slick. I think the blades are a decent price and I really like the flexibility of the subscription itself. If I don’t need the blades I can just postpone/reschedule my shipment with one simple click. Which will allow me to eiter clear out the last of the disposables from my drawer or test out the other subscriptions before fully committing. There are still a couple of subscriptions I want to test out so I will postpone any refills sent my way for the time being, but not cancel the subscription. To be honest though, I think I may have actually found a winner.