I have to admit that I am a brand snob, if it's beans or salad cream; it's got to be Heinz. Weetabix has got to be Weetabix and Cola has got to be Coke.
With the advent of the big supermarket brands, we see a trend towards three different price ranges. All supermarkets now have a basics range in response to the credit crunch. At my local Sainsbury's the basics range previously used to be buried in the store, so you really had to hunt for it, if you really wanted it. Now, as a testament to the Credit Crunch, it sits proudly just inside the main entrance.
There is a middle of the road own brand range, which competes against other more well known brands. Each supermarket also has a top quality Premium "Taste the Best " own brand range, which will be more expensive than most other brands. This range competes against Gourmet brands and M&S.
Here more than anywhere you get what you pay for. So in view of the times we live in, It is always worth trying an economy version of something you would normally use, if you don't like it, you'll only get it once, if you do, you'll cut your shopping bills significantly.
I noticed a new own-brand razor at Superdrug called 'formula'. It features twin flexing blades and a lubricating strip, and it is meant to be suitable for sensitive skin. The fitting on the razor head looked suspiciously familiar! There's no such claim on the packaging, but this does seem to be a clone of Gillette's Sensor Excel. I decided to take the 'risk'. For a little over £2, I bought one of these razors with 5 cartridges. The blades do indeed fit the Gillette Sensor Excel razor head. They are are not identical to the original Gillette version, and do not remain useful for quite as long, but they are a great deal cheaper. Of course, you don't have to buy the razor plus blades. The razor handle itself isn't as nice as the Gillette version. BUT: the packs of replacement blades do offer a much cheaper alternative to the corresponding Gillette packs! A pack of ten 'formula' blades costs a little over £3, whereas the Gillette blades can cost more than twice as much.
Facial shaving is something that all men are cursed with, bah! But atleast there's a variety of shaving equipment and accessories that can make the whole process a bit more skin friendlier and/or faster, and Boots own sensitive skin moisturiser lotion is one of those things that I find essential to keeping my skin as soft as a baby's bottom after a brush with a blade (assuming that a soft baby's bottom feels a bit like mild sandpaper after a while). As with most store brand products, the packaging isn't fancy, and there's no gimmick slogans or jets flying by and women appearing from nowhere to kiss a face with the bitter taste of aftershave, and neither are hunky blonde men lifting up their kids and twirling them around...Though okay I do like one Gillette aftershave. It's just a small simple silvery grey bottle with a blue cap and the label that tells you everything about it. It's for sensitive skin (so I don't look and act like a native from 'Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes'! - But as with all sensitive skin products, just do a hand test before applying a full load) and it's a moisturiser too so it replaces the moisture that you scrape away from your face on shaving - and yes it's still an after shave lotion, even though it doesn't really look like it. It's a kind of silky milk-white that easily pours out of the bottle and is easy to rub into your face. The smell is quite neutral, which is good as most aftershave lotions have a scent which is a bit too strong for me, and it dies away in no time, but it still tastes bad as my girlfriend would confess, so none of that straight away! Having said that it's a great shaving accessory. No frills, it does what it says on the bottle, it's for sensitive skin and moisturises and being a non-brand name it's quite cheap, but it's not cheap in quality, give it a go.
We basically buy Asda products, because they are cheap, but of a high standard. Asda's Shaving Foam For Men is a good example of this, being only 99p for a 250ml bottle. The bottle itself is very dull and boring, so you will have to pay a bit more for flash packaging, but this shaving foam works - and for that price, who needs a posh looking bottle ?! The shaving foam comes in several varieties and I certainly wouldn't recommend the lemon / lime one, which I think is a strange choice of smell anyway and found it awful. This one for sensitive skin is much better, as it is light, gentle and pleasant. Not only does my fiance use this for his shaving, but I also use it when I shave my legs (one of the disadvantages to being a woman in contemporary western society - but that's another issue !). I find it is very gentle and does not bring my skin up in a rash, which is an advantage, as usually when I shave my legs, you can play dot-to-dot on them ! So, nice and cheap, smells lovely and does its job, even on my sensitive skin. What more could you ask for ? (Well, an occasional 'buy one,get one free' deal would be nice !)
These razors must be the worst razors I have ever used in my life! They are about 69p for 10 normal, disposable razors. I thought i would give them a go, as i am tired of spending loads of cash on blade heads for the wilkinson sword protector (excellent shave by the way!). So i bought them and was happy. I had a shave with them and cut myself 3 times. The razor tears the stuble and dosent cut it, you end up with uneven patterns of stuble depending on the areas of your face and the contours, you shave in the wrong direction trying to get a clean shave and spend twice as long shaving! The razors themselves have no balm strip and a single blade, the protective plastic caps are hard to get off and i have cut my thumb twice attempting to get them off from my thumb sliping into the razor blade itself. You will get one shave out of them, or even half a shave and then the blade is blunt, so don't try and use them for more than one shave, or you'll end up tearing the stuble even more. I ended up looking like i'd attempted my first ever shave! So, cheaper isnt better, the only cheap blades i would reccomedn is the Bic Blue disposables. otherwise, if you want a smooth, clean shave, stick with the good, respectable brand names.
On a recent shopping trip to my local Tesco's store I finally remembered that I needed some new razor blades. Anyone that has read some of my other opinions will know that I swear by the Gillette Mach 3 razor, which has but one problem, a set of four blades costs more that £5.00!!! Upon perusing the razor blade display I noted that they were out of stock of Mach 3 blades (why are they always out of stock when I need them, but have plenty when I don't? Another of life's great mysteries!) Anyway, I noticed that Tesco have their own triple bladed razor system. Aha I thought, jumping on the band wagon a bit aren't they. But who am I to argue when the blades cost half the price! They sell a razor that takes the triple blades, but I noted that you can also use the blades with the Gillette Sensor and Sensor Excel razors, very useful as I still have one of these from before my conversion to the Mach 3. So rather than but another new razor to go with my vast collection, I just bought the blades. The great news is the price, they only cost about £2.50 for four blades (why they come in packs of four and not five I don't know). I'm a bit of a cheapskate, always on the lookout for a bargain, so the opportunity to save about £3.00 every time I need some razor blades semmed very good, so I bought some. After arising the next morning and dragging myself to the shower, I got round to shaving. Lo and behold, the blades fit very nicely on a Gillette Sensor Excel razor. I noticed that the blade cartridge looks a bit smaller than the Mach 3. The blades are about the same distance apart but the cartridge is smaller overall. I began shaving and have to say I was very disappointed with the performance. It was no where near as smooth as the Mach 3, and took many more strokes to get the same smooth finish as I am normally used to. The main problem was later when my skin began to burn, OUCH! I perservered the next day,
as I may have had a bad shave day (they do happen, bizarre as it may seem) but the performance of the blades were still the same. Although they are much cheaper than the Mach 3 blades, they are a very poor imitation. I would rate them worse than the old Sensor Excel cartridges, and these have only two blades! My advice is to stay with the Mach 3, it may be more expensive but it is worth the extra cash! 07.10.00 This week I've been away from home and forgot my trusty Mach 3 razor, oh no! So I had to resort to the Tesco's razor, which for some reason I had packed instead. OK, it's not as bad as first impressions, you just have to be very careful about using lots (and I mean LOTS) of hot water to try and soften the bristles first. It beats a Bic orange, but not by much!
Safeway now have them by the till, ASDA have little cards you hand in at customer services, Tesco have a huge wall display, but most of the racks are empty. Are razor blades the most stolen item in the supermarket? My husband likes the shave of Mach3 but my purse hates the price, and since they are more often than not sold out (or missing) I buy him whatever is on special offer. The best of the bunch seems to be Tesco's own brand twin blade cassette system for sensitive skin. The cartridges are about 40p each, and they last him two or three days. He says they are easy to change, and his skin is still smooth in the evening. Worst of the bunch turned out to be ASDA's own version of sensor excel. Either the blades are too sharp (or too blunt), or the angle not right for him, but he looked like he'd been ten rounds with Tyson. There was blood everywhere.
Gillette razor blades are a touch on the expensive side, and being a bit poor I thought I'd look for something a bit cheaper. So, shopping in Morrisons I saw their own brand of twin blade lubricated razor - very similar to the Gillette Sensor indeed, and only £3.50 or so - less than the price of some new blades for my old razor. So, I decided to give it a go. I was right in thinking that this was a very similar product to the Gillette, the blades are the same shape, and the Morrisons blades even fit onto the Gillette handle (though this doesn't work the other way around). The first shave with a new blade was actually really good - possibly even better than with my old razor, as was the second. By the third though, a lot of hair had built up in between the twin blades. This usually washes fairly cleanly out of the Gillette blades, but would seem to shift from these. The third shave with this blade was very uncomfortable indeed. The blade scratched along my skin, and each stoke felt as if my skin was being cut. I'm not sure what the problem is - I think it may be the hairs stuck between the blades that were scratching me, but whatever it was, I had to throw the blade away after only three uses. I tired another blade, this time making a special effort to really clean it out after each use. It lasted a little longer, but not much - nowhere near as long as a Gillette blade. The final straw was that just before setting off on holiday, I did something with my Morrisons razor that I haven't done in a very long time - cut myself. It may look like a cheaper option, but the blades don't last long at all, and the shave is much less comfortable than one of the big brand razors.