Well, it finally happened. I finally found a way to get Brent to make his very first blog post for IDOPT. Jillian has been on board for a while and so it only seemed natural to get him on board, too. Enter Chisel Shave Club. If you’ve ever been curious about the art of the wet shave or all of the razor subscription clubs that have been popping up on social media, I think you’ll really enjoy this post. Please welcome Brent and know that we’ll be hearing from him more often now that he has his very own segment: Stuff Brent Likes.
Have a great week!
I Dream of Pretty Things
by Brent Shultz
Like just about every guy, I learned to shave from my dad. As a little boy, I can always remember my dad shaving in the morning and thinking how I couldn’t wait to grow up and shave like him. My dad always used a Gillette Mach 3 razor (and I am sure still does), and that was the razor I used for many years. I can’t recall when I switched to the Mach 5; it was at least five years ago. Shaving, for most men, is a ritual. You don’t make changes lightly.
I know for a long time I thought that the five blades of the Mach 5 (now called Fusion) was gimmicky, and they probably are, to a certain extent. I do like the extra blade on the Mach 5 that allows me to get the random whiskers under my nose that I can’t otherwise get with the razor. The Mach 5 and the cheapest possible shaving cream (usually Barbasol) was my routine until recently, and I always got a decent shave with a little bit of razor burn on my neck. Not perfect, but good enough to get me through the day and it is pretty quick. Electric shavers never worked for me (or anyone else I know).
I am sure I would have had the same shaving routine for the rest of my life, had it not been for Chisel Shave Club. Chisel Shave Club reached out to perhaps the most talented blogger in the world, our own Helen of I Dream of Pretty Things, and asked if we would be interested in reviewing their product. Chisel Shave Club is a subscription box service dedicated to helping men discover the lost art of wet shaving.
What is wet shaving? Think of it as shaving like it is nineteen-ought-six. In other words, shaving like your grandpappy (or your great-grandpappy) did before the invention of cartridge razors. You have a brush, a safety razor (which literally just uses a razor blade directly on your skin), some soap, a mug, and aftershave. Chisel Shave Club sends an assortment of wet shaving products to customers each month, with the philosophy that men can customize their wet shaving experience using different blades, soaps, and other products to match their preferences. If you purchase a six-month or year-long subscription, they will throw in a free safety razor and brush to start you off on the right foot.
Chisel sent us a package with a safety razor and brush included, and you can see from the pictures that was a very nice product. It looks and feels luxurious when you open the box and the products are obviously high quality. The instructions on wet shaving included in the box were pretty high level, so I had to go online to get some more information on how to actually wet shave. My first try was a disastrous fail – I didn’t put the razor back together correctly once I had inserted the blade so the blade wasn’t actually touching my skin. After some frustration, I figured out what I had done wrong and I was off to the races.
How to Wet Shave
Step 1: Put the brush in a mug with warm water.
Step 2: Get in the shower. It helps having your skin soft and a bit more pliable after a shower and my box came with a facewash which was really nice.
Step 3: After your shower, shake off the brush and use it to work up a lather on your bar of soap.
Step 4: Lather up your face with the soap.
Step 5: Holding the razor at a 30 degree angle, shave going with the grain as you would normally do. A key difference with the safety razor is that it is heavy and you are supposed to let the weight of the razor do the work for you. If you are pushing down, it is time for a new blade.
Step 6: Do any cleanup by shaving against the grain.
Step 7: Use the aftershave, Kevin McCallister style.
This seems like a lot of steps, but really it doesn’t take long to figure out.
I received the following items in my Chisel Shave Club kit:
Safety Razor: If it looks intense and antique, well, it is because it is. Wet shave technology hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years. It is simple and does its job well. This razor comes free with a 6-month or year-long subscription.
Brush: I understand that there are a lot of different brushes out on the market. I am not sure what this is made of, but it does the trick. Also comes free with an extended subscription.
Shaving blades (Astra Superior and Shark brands): Other than the brand, these blades look almost identical. I haven’t been able to tell much a difference with them shaving.
Dr. Squatch Cedar Citrus Soap Bar: This is my favorite soap (out of the two I tried). You can tell it is high quality and it does a pretty decent job protecting my face.
Brickell Clarifying Gel Face Wash: This face wash smells nice, but I am not sure how it helps the overall shaving experience.
Brickell Instant Relief Aftershave: I have never really used aftershave, but I really like this stuff. You will feel pretty dried out after a wet shave, so aftershave is essential. It feels great putting this on after a satisfying, close shave.
Red Leaf Black Tea Shaving Soap: A nice soap, but I like the Dr. Squatch soap better.
It was fun trying something new and, certainly, a learning experience. After seven days of use, here are my final thoughts:
- The biggest difference I noticed was the closeness of the shave. The safety razor works by literally dragging a sharp razor across your face, which results in an incredibly close shave. My five o’clock PM shadow is similar to my 10 o’clock AM shadow using the Mach 5.
- The replacement blades are certainly a lot cheaper (even though you will go through more of them than a cartridge razor).
- It was nice trying new products that I had never heard of before.
- The close shave comes with a price: time. Wet shaving is a lot more time intensive that doing a regular shave, so it is definitely not for everyone.
- You have to be careful when you pull that razor across your face, otherwise you will have cuts and nicks everywhere. Wet shaving and cartridge shaving are a lot like have a charcoal grill versus a propane grill. The charcoal is going to take more time, but it’ll have a better result.
I have definitely enjoyed my box and may keep wet shaving. I don’t see myself subscribing to Chisel Shave Club at this time. For a year-long membership, it ends up being almost $300. To me, it seems like a lot to me to spend on shaving products. Right now, I probably spend about $100 a year on shaving. I would be interested if Chisel offered a quarterly program or a lower price level in the future.
Right now, Chisel is a luxury product for people passionate about wet shaving (which I am not). If you are looking for a gift for the guy who has everything, or know someone who has wanted to try or is passionate about wet shaving, I encourage you to give Chisel Shave Club a try. In fact, enjoy 10% your first order with our special promotion code, IDREAMOFPRETTYTHINGS10!
I Dream of Pretty Things wants to know: have you tried Chisel Shave Club before or another company like it? What did you think? Share your thoughts below! Stay tuned for future Stuff Brent Likes posts.