The Cadillac Shave
In honor of Women’s History Month (better late than never, eh?), I’d like to highlight a woman dear to me, Mallatobuck, a distant relative and more famously, Chewbacca’s wife. I know we’re related because we share the same genetic tendency to sprout body hair at an unrelenting speed. So what’s a hairy woman to do when she’d like to be, well, less hairy? She turns to the folks who spend a lifetime hacking through hair as dense as a German forest, you know, men.
This leads me to Bevel, the 90-day shaving system tailored to prevent ingrown hairs (if your hair is curly you know what I mean), and an overall superior shave. I interviewed Bevel’s founder about the innovative shaving kit and his thoughts on how to achieve the perfect shave.
I should first tell you that I tried Bevel (shaving brush and all) on my legs, and corralled legs smoother than a Feminist Ryan Gosling pickup line. Bevel’s safety razor is like a luxury car, where one soft bend of the wrist glides over skin with cursive ease. Here’s more from the man behind Bevel, Tristan Walker:
August Skin: Bevel uses a single-bladed safety razor. For a person accustomed to the multi-bladed disposable variety, what sort of different experience can she or he expect when using Bevel?
Tristan Walker: First, we think customers will love the entire end to end experience of shaving with Bevel. The weight of the razor making shaving effortless to the way our oils and creams leave your skin feeling great, we really think customers will enjoy it.
We encourage customers to take their time while shaving with the Bevel system and go through each step deliberately. It’s not an experience to be rushed. Most multi-blade systems encourage users to speed through the shave, which actually can lead to things like razor bumps and burn.
AS: How did you develop the formulas for the priming oil, shave cream, and restoring balm? How do their ingredients benefit skin during the shaving process?
TW: We have some really fantastic manufacturing partners and advisors (with experience launching mega brands like Bliss) who have helped us develop proprietary formulas that just work. We believe in the system approach to shaving. A razor with blades and shave cream isn’t nearly as effective as a system that also includes a high quality priming oil and restoring balm and shaving brush.
Our priming oil includes castor and olive oils that soften the skin and hair while holding in moisture for a safe, close, comfortable shave. No tugging or pulling. Bevel’s shave cream contains Shea Butter and Aloe Vera, which moisturize and soothe. It helps the Bevel razor glide safely and effortlessly across the skin
Our restoring balm contains a proprietary formula that includes ingredients like lactic and salicylic acids, which exfoliate and even skin tone. Also witch hazel and tea tree oils cool and soothe the skin at the end of the shave. Our early customers really love it.
AS: The concept of a shaving brush has always eluded me. Why is it so important?
TW: Our shaving brush we love! It helps exfoliate trapped hairs and also helps provide a great, protective lather making your shave cream last as long as possible. Less waste.
AS: Besides using Bevel, of course, tell me the secret to a great shave.
TW: There are five things we want our customers to always keep in mind for the perfect shave.
1) Prep work is essential – A hot shower or hot towel before the shave to open up pores and soften hairs does the trick!
2) Always shave with the grain. This is very important for folks with curlier hair prone to razor bumps. Shaving in the direction of hair growth prevents us from cutting the hairs underneath the skin, which causes razor bumps.
3) Keep the razor pressure very light and take your time. We engineered our razor out of brass to allow the weight of the razor do all the work for you. Unlike multiblade razors with light plastic handles, there is no need to apply pressure to your skin with the Bevel razor. More pressure and less weight lead to razor bumps. Bevel’s weighted razor helps the blade glide effortlessly across the skin.
4) Apply the razor at a 30-degree angle to your skin. And just let it glide. Easy.
5) Fresh, sharp blades prevent tug and pull and inevitably prevent razor bumps. We recommend that you use your blades no more than 3 times. Any more and its effectiveness subsides substantially. Bevel provides customers with enough blades to potentially use a fresh blade for each and every shave.
AS: Bevel reduces razor bumps, which is fantastic, but say you already have razor bumps and are trying to get rid of them. What’s your advice on removing existing razor bumps?
TW: Gentle exfoliation to free trapped hairs and remove dead skin to expose healthy skin is key. Our shaving brush and restoring balm with lactic and salicylic acids help tremendously here.
Also, time. The right system with the right process over time will help reduce razor bumps in a big way.
AS: Finally, most men don’t discuss grooming habits the way women do–but we know you care about your skin! Is there any skin treatment that you swear by?
TW: I exfoliate 2-3 times a week with a good facial scrub. Also, I’m glad our restoring balm is so great. It serves double duty as a moisturizer that can be used daily. Alcohol based anything (an after shave, especially) is hardly the answer.