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Life is hard when you are a guy. Man boobs just aren't as nice as the female equivalent, you cannot get away with wearing a skirt unless you are Scottish or David Beckham and as you get older hair grows all over the place except where you want it (as my barren scalp will testify to.) Women on the other hand get a free ride with their longer life expectancy, a perfect excuse for calling off sick once a month and the joys of childbirth (which I am convinced tickles, but they like to pretend otherwise.) Sure us blokes have the choice of putting on a wig and some high heels on the weekends, but it just isn't the same.
With half my readers in the process of down voting this review I think it is time to get back on topic. What my politically incorrect introduction was leading to is one of the tedious things men have to endure on a regular basis, namely shaving your face. How I envy some of my buddies who always look clean shaven and can get away with using the razor just once a week. They may never be able to grow a Santa style beard in their life time, but I am sure none of them care. I on the other hand have to shave on a regular basis. My trials with electric razors left me unimpressed so I have stuck to disposable razor blades and currently use Gillette Mach 3 Turbo.
Mach 3 Turbo blades come in a small cardboard box which roughly measure 11cm in height and 9.5cm in width. That's an estimate as I cannot find my ruler at the moment. I remember using it to swat away annoying mosquitoes a few nights back, but cannot recall where I placed it. Maybe the little buggers took it away as I napped so they could assault me risk free. Anyways, the box has a light blue tone to it which distinguishes it apart from the regular Mach 3 that utilises a dark green background for its packaging.
The box is made of a sturdy cardboard that is mostly rectangular in shape. The top of the box slopes down to a thinner strip of card with a hole used for hanging the product on chemist/supermarket display racks. I have to say that I am impressed at how resilient the material used for making the box is. Ripping up the sides to gain access to the contents isn't always an easy task. I have to ask myself why they don't use this stuff in the assembly of DVD slip covers or old school Gameboy game boxes. Those things don't have a long life span as, unlike the Mach 3 Turbo boxes, they seem to disintegrate when coming in contact with air.
I'll sum up the summary of the packaging by describing the artwork. As you would expect on the front of the box you have a picture of a Mach 3 Turbo razor, drawn by an exceptional artist that rivals Picasso. The makers point out that the blade's top strip is coated with a Ghostbusters 2 style goo rich in Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. Keep an eye out for the snazzy Gillette Mach 3 Turbo logo on the top and a number on the bottom right corner indicating how many blades are included. The back of the box is far less exciting. A one sentence description, available in various languages, boasts how comfortable the razor is even when shaving against the grain.
Well that's it for my description of the box's backside. The only other thing worth mentioning is that a UK/Eire telephone number is printed on the rear for anyone who may have questions on the product. Does anyone ever actually use these numbers? Maybe I will tonight as I am so lonely. You also get the product's website (www.MACH3.com) and beside it are logos encouraging you to recycle to save mother Earth. Oh I also spotted some thin and thick lines which people in the industry call a bar code. My box had the number 3 014260 274924. I wonder how many points that would be if I scanned it on the Barcode Battler that was made by Epoch back in the early nineties.
Encased in a plastic coffin, would be grave robbers looking to rid themselves of stubble can release the blade contained within by prodding their Gillette handle into blade's hole located on the base (that sounds rather naughty.) A satisfying clicking noise will indicate that the handle and blade have merged into one being just like the robot lions that form Voltron. With the assembly completed (much easier than an IKEA table) you can slide out the blade and begin shaving.
Like the traditional Mach 3, the Turbo version is made of two parts. The base that connects to the handle is joined to the head which houses the three blades that give the product its Mach 3 name. The link between the two segments can swing up and down in a ninety degree arc to adjust to the shape of your face. This makes it more comfortable to use than say a cheap disposable razor with no moving parts. The trio of blades is sandwiched between the rubbery microfins that encourage bristles to rise up ready for slicing and the Aloe Vera strip that gradually fades away after each use. When it disappears completely you know it is time to replace the blade. Layers of rust and sharpness that rivals a blunt stone are also good indicators that you should substitute the head.
When it comes to moving with the times I am one of the last to make the switch. I keep using old consoles, computers, cars etc until the bitter end. It's a similar story with razor blades. I was content to use the inferior Sensor Excel for yonks before upgrading to Mach 3. Loads of people raved about how much better Mach 3 is, but after making the switch from two to three blades I must confess that I didn't notice much of a difference. With either product my rough beard seems to erupt into nasty razor burn when shaved unless I put off shaving for several days (which isn't an option as most employers don't seem to care for the hobo look.)
A couple of months back I used the Turbo version for the first time after mistaking the box for the regular kind. When using it I did notice a smoother shave so I have kept purchasing the blades since then. Although I still get irritated skin from time to time it is nowhere as bad as when using the regular Mach 3. I'm not entirely sure why it is better, but I suspect that the increase in microfins may be the cause. The Aloe Vera/Vitamin E combo on the indicator strip may also play a part given their soothing properties (much like how large quantities of alcohol ease the pain when you get dumped.)
Despite my praise I cannot however give this product a full score. A pack of eight retails over eight and a half quid at my local Morrisons which is pricey. I have a hard time believing it costs anywhere near that much to manufacture these things. With their huge market share you would think Gillette could lower the price especially as this is something most guys buy on a regular basis. To make matters worse the blades need to be replaced constantly for optimum shaving. The indicator strip vanishes after two to three uses which further emphasises the point that the blades aren't value for money. From the limited razors I have used I do however concede they are the best a man can get for shaving your face (you'll have to ask someone else to see if they are any good for shaving armpits, chest, sheering sheep or emo style cutting when depressed.)
Review originally posted on Ciao (July 2011)
Grand: Gillette / Type: Men?s Razor / Razor Blades