I've never been a great fan of shaving (who is?), and resultantly I only do just before or around about when a forrest has taken over my face. This shaver however, replacing a 3-head but inferior Philishave, has thus far changed my life in that I have begun, atleast for now, to shave everyday. It could be just temporary novelty, but it helped me acheive what's prior been minorly impossible to me. The HQ686 is a silver and green (sporty look) 2-head Philishave unit. It's the cheapest shaver I know that is really easily washable under a tap within seconds (Aquagenic), has a Reflex action to adjust to facial contours, and the blades are Quadra action, meaning that the blades one side are long for longer stubble and the other side has short-holes for smaller stubble. The fact that the shaving unit and head is easy to clean was the initial thing that turned me on to it, as my other one required a bit of brush digging into the awkward head, all that's required here is a bit of adequate hot water which helps the hair flow out of the intelligently constructed body. As for Reflex which basically means the blades can flop about, isn't so revolutionary, it's good, but not neccessary, I can't notice any conscious benefits of it. The Quadra action is amazing though as the dotty stubble on my face is really less prominent. Making me look much more of a smoothy than some kind of criminal. I wish there was a 3rd head as I miss that, but for this price you have to sacrifice something. The quality and efficiency is really quite remarkable. The unit also comes with a simple red light indicator informing you of when charge is low. An essential thing in making sure you won't end up with a half-shaved face sometimes. Charging takes 1hr and gives you 30mins, though for the first time or usage after a long time you'll need to give it 4hrs. A flashing green light will inform when charging's complete. You'll
need a 2-pin adapter for this. Also note you can shave straight from the mains, and you can use it abroad as there's an automatic world-wide voltage selector (100-240v). The shaver is light, slinky and comfortable to grip. It also doesn't hum very loudly, and to turn the unit on there's a comfy rubber push button. A moustache and sideburn trimmer is also included and pops up with the flick of a switch on the reverse. The hairs that get caught on the underside of the trimmer can also be easily brushed away thanks to the good design. The blades and the rechargeable battery can be removed and changed if/when needed, and with ease. Completing the kit is an obligatory transparent plastic cover for the head, a power lead, a little brush, and a little lunch box sized cassette case to house them all neatly in. A send-off form for a 1yr guarantee and a thick (multi-language) instruction booklet accompany the package. I do wet shave sometimes, but I prefer the convenience of an electric, and particularly for the benefits of the trimmer as I do maintain some facial hair. Overall for around £60, getting the 'lite' features of the best of Philishave's more ridiculously expensive shavers in here is more than worth it. It's an absolute bargain and life changer to me. I must note though that skins not used to Philshave's system may take 2/3 weeks to adjust to it. You may get red patches and feel dry, but hopefully like me, you'll find your skin will become immune it to and begin to lessen and/or never/hardly appear thereafter. Apply some Nivea Cool Skin aftershave if you really need to. I can't recommend this enough if you're looking for a good mid-priced electric shaver. Value for money + lots of features for your money, equals a top full marks. Now, if only I could attach a bit of facial skin to this op to let you see/feel how soft and nice it is.
What do you expect from a Shaving Foam?. Something that has a rich and creamy lather that will assist your shaving experience, is probably the answer. So what makes Gillette different from the rest. Not much really. All shaving foams basically provide you with the same rich and creamy lather so that you can get a close and comfortable shave. I was and am still in someway under the impression that it's not really the foam or gel that counts in the shave. The primary reason is the type of razor or blade that you use. Take for example the Gillette Sensor, these blades already have a lubrastrip attached on each blade and even if your foam or gel was not upto the mark, these lubrastrips will do the job of making sure that your blade glides effortlessly over your face. So why is Gillette foam my choice and the choice of many others. I think the main reason is physological. Most of use use the Gillette Razors and instinctively feel that we should use the Gillette range of foams and gels in order to achieve the best shave. Another reason would be the companies reptuable name and thirdly the range of products that they provide, all in relation to your shaving experience. I personally have been using Gillette Regular Foam since the last 15 years. I have experimented with the Regular Gel version on a few occasions but find that it requires a lot more effort for almost the same result ie. rubbing it to create the same amount of foam. It also costs more so for me it's just not worth it. The Gillette Regular Foam does the job properly and at £1.39 for a 200ml can is fairly reasonable. It contains several active ingredients namely Stearic Acid, Triethenolamine, Isobutane, Laureth-23, Propane, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Parfum, BHT and Aqua. All these ingredients assist in some way to make your shaving experience a pleasant one. One of these ingredients namely the Stearic Acid is a chemical that drags the oil a
nd dirt of your face and makes them gather in clumps. So whilst you are shaving these are removed. So not only do you get a comfortable shave you also get the added benefit of a cleasener at the same time. The regular version also comes in a Lemon & Lime type and I have used it occasionally. It basically exactly the same as the original but with the added aroma of Lemon & Lime. Personally I could not tell the difference but I'll let you decide if you every try it. It also goes for the same price so there is no harm in trying it out. Overall I am pleased with the Gillette Regular Shaving Foam that I use but once again let me reiterate that most other shaving foams provide almost the same results but do not carry the same clout as Gillette. For this very reason I will continue to use Gillette because at least I am sure that what I am getting is of high standard.
Original Lime Source – Pure Lime Shave Gel This shaving gel smells good enough to eat! It has a wonderful zesty aroma, which when used, leaves the skin feeling refreshed and invigorated and in good condition. I originally purchased this product for my husband but after taking one whiff of the can, I could not resist using it myself (not for my face I hasten to add!). As most people who are familiar with the Original Source range of products will know, they were inspired by the bush remedies of Ellen Wakeman, who was the daughter of a missionary from New South Wales, Australia. The story goes that Ellen disgraced herself in 1857 by running away from home to join the Australian Gold Rush. It is said that she persuaded a barber to take her on as his apprentice and whilst learning to shave whiskers and pull prospectors’ teeth, she also discovered the healing powers of the plants which grew wild in the Outback and thus became famous for her herbal cures. Original Source Lime Shave Gel contains the following list of unpronounceable ingredients: Aqua (Water), Palmitic Acid, OLETH-20, Triethanolamine, Isopentane, Glycereth-26, Cocamide Dea, Paraffinum Liquidum (could this be paraffin!!!), Isobutane (don’t strike that match!), Stearic Acid, Hydroxyethl Cellulose, PEG-14, CI 19140, CI42090 and last but not least, Citrus Aurantifolia – at last, the Lime Oil! The lime green aerosol can contains 200ML and is made by Health and Beauty Solutions Limited, Palladium House, 1-4 Argyll Street, London, W1V 2LD – purchasers are also invited to visit their website at www.originalsource.co.uk. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, in my opinion (and my husband’s) this product is well worth buying at around £3 and I believe it is good value for money as we have both been using it for several weeks, and the can is still quite full, as you don’t need much to get a
good lather, in addition, it leaves your skin smelling wonderful and smooth
You know what it's like, you try every shavegel under the sun, spend loads of money and end up with 24 different razors in your bathroom. You get seduced by that 'special offer' that consists of a razor with a free sponge cling-wrapped to the box. You even try the stuff your girlfriend puts on her legs. Anything for a better and more comfortable shave. Well, now you can have a better, and cheaper shave. And here's how you do it. Rule No. 1 GET YOURSELF A GOOD RAZOR. I always use the Gillette Mach 3. It's the only one that seems to carve its way through the undergrowth that appears on my face every morning. It really is a great razor, but the blades are BLOODY expensive. My advice to you is find a razor you like and are comfortable with and stick to it. The next tip is how to get the most from that razor. Rule No 2. NEVER BUY BLADES FOR YOUR RAZOR IN BOOTS. This is because it is more expensive (unless they have a special offer, or need to replace the sponge in your bathroom at the same time as your razor blades). I ALWAYS buy the blades in a market. Mach 3 blades are always for sale there..and they are a lot cheaper (normally less than £1 per blade). just make sure that you have enough of them to last until you go to the market again. Rule N0 3. DONT BE TEMPTED BY EXPENSIVE CREAMS AND GELLS. You need to soften your beard to get a good shave. So first, have your shower. Make your face nice and wet. I always shave in the shower, the water helps to lubricate your face. then I just grab anything I have to hand. Conditioner makes a good shave cream. Remember to keep the blade wet. Let the conditioner soak into your beard. Remember, the easier the beard is to cut, the longer the blades last, the better the shave. Shave in long thin strokes. you don't even need a mirror. You can just feel where your stubble is. In a few strokes it has all but gone. Just finish any bits you missed in
the mirror after the shower. Your beard will be so soft by now, you wont even need a gel/cream/shave oil. After you have shaved, rinse thoroughly and let the water wash over your face and neck. This also has the advantage of getting your own back on your girlfriend. Use her favourite conditioner if she has been using your razor on her legs (and probably your expensive shave gel as well!) Check out the MYMY range, their conditioners work really well. Bodyshop olive oil bath foam works wonders for shaving as well. Rule No 4. MOISTURISE Yep, just like the ladies do. Don't bother buying any specialist stuff. Just something simple and plain will do. In if you moisturise after you have had a shower, you can lock moisture in. you might even end up looking younger in years to come! If you can afford aloe vera (see my review on this miracle plant) use that, and you will definitely have no shaving rash. just smear it on your neck (it's really soothing too, even more so if you leave it in the fridge). check out www.pharmacy2you.co.uk they have many moisturizers and aloe vera gels (100% pure aloe vera gel is what you need) and they are very reasonable. Well, that's it. Plan well, shave well, look smooth!
I've been using a shaving cream for some time instead of a gel or foam and find that you get a much closer shave with less irritation. Gels and foams were origionally designed to be a time saving item, to be used only when you were running late, a bit like microwave meals. They do the job but aren't half as good as a home cooked roast!!! Anyway, back to what I was talking about. I've just read some advice on how to have a good shave, some of which I use, but instead of an oil I use a shaving cream and a shaving brush. I find that it is very effective in softening the bristles to make shaving a much less painful experience. You don't need to go out and buy anything fancy either. I sue Palmolive shaving cream and it only costs about 1.80 per tube and lasts for quite a while. You get a really good lather, and I don't know about other people but I can really feel the difference compared to a foam or gel. OK, it takes a minute or two longer to shave, but believe me it is worth it.
For years I had been shaving with no proper method at all. I'd slap on some foam/gel and shave. Would be done in less than 2 minutes. I thought this was all that had to be done. My neck used to be in bad shape, with red spots all over it. Then, a few months ago, I decided to go for a hot towel shave. I had always wondered what the deal was so I tried it for myself. As soon as I sat down the barber noticed the red spots and told me why I had them. I put it all down to pimples, but he said that they all were actually ingrown hairs that were not properly shaved. Now that I take proper care in shaving, I have clear skin around my neck. The odd time I miss a hair and it grows in, at least I know what it is. I don't spend time putting acne creams on it, I try to get the bugger out before it grows too much. So this is how I shave now. You need a few things. You need a face towel, The Body Shop's bath and massage oil, shaving gel (I use Tea Tree stuff), and your trusty razor (with relatively fresh blades - the older the blade the less cutting it will do and the more pulling it will do). So get the towel and soak it in hot water. Place it on your face ensuring you press the towel against your bearded area. Don't leave it on until it's cold, but keep dipping it in the hot water and applying it to your face. The purpose of this is to make all the hairs stand up and get ready for the cut. You will reduce chances of ingrown hair then. Alternatively, skip this step if you are just out of the hot shower. Your hair should be standing up after this. Once you are happy that your face is sufficiently hot, pour a few drops of the massage oil in to your hand and rub between your hands to heat it. Apply to your beard then. Apply your gel then. To shave, I've heard it's best to use cold water with the razor. It apparently prevents shaving rash too. Stretch your skin using your free hand or make some funny faces
. Shave down words first in small movements (Don't bother shaving like those guys in the ads who go from ear to shoulder in one sweep. That wouldn't shave the hair off the palm of your hand!). Be methodical about it. When finished shaving downwards, wipe off the foam and start all over again. Get your hot towel and get the hairs standing again, slap on oil and gel and shave upwards now. At this stages I generally, shave upwards, downwards across. Every which way to get all stubble to disappear. If it starts to hurt at any stage cos the gel is gone off your face, just apply more oil. Wipe your face off with a cold face cloth or splash cold water on your face. You need to close your pores or they will fill up with dirt. Apply liberally then some of your girlfriends moisturiser - believe me, it's better than nearly all of the men only products. I garauntee if you follow this routine, you will have a better shave that lasts longer and your skin will end up in much better condition.
While idly flicking through GQ some time ago, I was fascinated by a small ad, that caught my eye, for 'Trumper's Shaving School'. My first reaction was, 'How ridiculous, every man who has reached puberty knows how to remove the stubble from his chin'. The more I thought about it however, the more interesting and logical I found it. After all, most of us learn to shave by trial and error and, as a result, spend the rest of our lives crucifying our faces on a daily basis. My wife, for one, continually complained about my stubble scratching her face even a short while after shaving. I decided to take a lesson and try to get my chin feeling like a baby’s bottom. Trumper’s, in Curzon Street, London, is a real old ‘Gentleman’s Barber’ shop having been established in 1875. When you walk through the door it simply oozes style and tradition. I had hoped that the lesson would have been with a traditional old ‘open razor’ which I thought would be aesthetically far more satisfying. This was dispelled on the telephone when I made the booking, the ‘lesson’ is given with a not-so-traditional but nevertheless trusty Gillette Sensor Excel. Having since tried an open razor I’ve concluded that it is the closest you can come to committing suicide short of joining the Dangerous Sports Club. The lesson takes about half an hour and deals with skin preparation prior to shaving, how to ‘lather up’ properly, the lie of the beard, which direction to shave etc. and how to treat the skin after shaving. The barber tells you all you need to know in a friendly and informative fashion and then shaves one half of your face. Having seen how it is done, he lets you then shave the other half. I got all sorts of useful tips and now really enjoy my morning ritual of hot flannels, lathering up etc. It has definitely made a difference, which is borne out by the fact that my wife c
omplains a lot less. I now look scornfully at men who are already showing signs of ‘5 o’ clock shadow’ by midday. The lesson costs £35 so it’s not cheap but the student does get 10% off any purchases made at the same time. I ended up buying a new razor, traditional shaving brush and soap together with moisturising lotion. One last tip, which they don't tell you at Trumper's. Get a decent, magnifying, shaving mirror. It really helps see what you are doing and where you have missed, which makes a huge difference to the final result. By popular request, a few notes about 'the lesson'. Shave AFTER showering, use hot towels or flannel to open the pores, moisten the skin with a skin lotion BEFORE lathering up, use a proper shaving cream or soap, not a foam, hold the skin taught while drawing the razor over the skin, shave the face first, shaving in a downward direction, then under the nose, then the throat and under the chin, drawing the razor in an upward direction, always holding the skin taught. Afterwards, rinse off with cold water, pat the skin dry, don't rub, and so on... As you can see, words don't really do justice to it. There is no substitute for shelling out your £35