Hey gents, back with another shave club box. The fine folks over at Shave Select decided to send me one of their “1st Month” shave boxes to review. Huge thank you to those guys for the gift! I can’t wait to try this one out, especially after loving the last box I got to try. Let’s see what all this box entails.
It’s the same type of box I got from the last company. Standard cardboard flip up lid box. On the outside of it is some pretty simple labeling. Just the name of the company printed in the center of the lid. Not quite as flashy as the last one, but it is just the box. It’s what’s on the inside that counts right? Let’s see what you get for your first month.
Opening the box I saw some very familiar and favorite items. It also has the same type of padding in it. Only this time it’s black and gold instead of brown. You get a little card, Arko shave soap and shave cream, a shavette and DE razor, 3 different kinds of blades, a shave brush, some styptic matches, and some hair gel. A few things are similar to the last box, and there are some different things. Since I have already reviewed some of these items, I will stick to using the stuff I haven’t tried yet. That way you guys get to see all new stuff instead of repetitive items. I will most likely add an aftershave I haven’t tried out yet into this review since one didn’t come in the box.
Here’s a quick list of what I will be trying out from this box. The shavette, the Feather razorblades, the shave brush, the Arko shave cream, and the hair gel. Yeah I will be including a hair review in this review. The owner of the company told me this stuff is basically a ringing gel and is used for classic hairstyles, so I figured why not? I have already reviewed a DE razor like the one in the box, the Arko shave soap, and both the Astra and Derby blades. So if you’d like to see how those are, feel free to check the reviews out on the Grooming Products page. If I get the chance I will also use the styptic matches, but I hope I don’t have to use them haha. As for the aftershave, I will be using Barber Side’s Witch Hazel aftershave. Marvin sent me a bottle a little while back and I promise him a review on it. Now is as good a time as any to review it.
Like last time we will be going in order of when you use each product. As well as recaps on certain items throughout the review. We are starting with the shavette. It is made by Shave Factory. I’ve never heard of them before, but I discover new stuff all the time. It’s a pretty cool looking shavette with a faux wood paint job on it. It has the name and a little steam boat on one side.
This one is a very light shavette, lighter than any I have held so far. It’s made out of a really light weight plastic. I hope that it’s strong and doesn’t break easily. It opens up like your standard shavette and comes apart in 3 pieces. This one is a little harder to open and close than my other shavettes. This will be good during shaving, ensuring it won’t come apart. However it could be a pain when changing the blade. I have already reviewed a safety razor just like the one in the box, only it had butterfly doors instead of being a 3-piece razor. You can check out that review in the Grooming Product Reviews page on here.
Since I have reviewed the Astra razor blades and am using a brand new shavette, I am going with the Derby blades. I have reviewed the orange Derby blades, but not these green ones. They come in the same package as many blades do. A white plastic case that allows you to store the used blades in it below the new blades. The design on this one is vertical instead of horizontal like the orange pack was. It has “Derby extra” up top like the last ones did. Then below that it says “super stainless double edge” adding the super to it this time. This pack only has 5 blades as opposed to the 10 of the other pack. At the bottom it says “chromium-ceramic platinum tungsten polymer coated edges” man that’s a mouthful. Pretty plain packaging just like the other Derby blades.
Pulling a blade out you see the familiar wax paper wrapping. It has the same blue writing on it that the other wrapping does. Although the letters seem thinner on this wrapper than they did on the other wrappers. The blade is stamped with the exact same stuff as the other blades. 3 and 4 in opposite corners, “Derby extra” and “super stainless” in the other corners. This one has much darker ink than the other blades had. Other than that they are exactly the same as the other blades.
This shavette allows the blade to sit in the head much nicer than the last one I reviewed does. It sits up in there a little farther and more snug. The clasp was a bit difficult to close as I thought it would be, but I am happy about that. I won’t have to worry about it coming open at all. The blade has a really nice and smooth transition to the head of the shavette. It’s not as abrupt and angular as that Dreadnought shavette was. I think I am going to like this one a bit better, but we will have to wait and see on that.
Now on to the brush. This one is a boars hair brush like the one I got in the last shave box. It makes a lot of sense for them to put these in the boxes as badger brushes can be pretty spendy. Most of you already know that. I have grown to like boars hair brushes a bit more than I used to. Maybe it’s because I have been reviewing more of them lately, I don’t know. This one has a two-tone plastic handle. Clear on the bottom and black on the top where the knot is. There is a design stamped on it in white ink in the black area. It has the omega symbol and says “Omega” and “made in italy” inside a kind of circular border. Underneath that it says “pura setola” which means pure bristle. You can kind of see the ornate design in the clear part of the handle which gives this brush a little bit of flare. The brush looks like your standard boars hair brush from up above, golden yellow bristles and arranged in a nice circular pattern. The bottom left picture is a view of it from above after I had soaked the brush in warm water for about 5 minutes. You can see the bristles kind of clump together in a few big groups, while the top part of the outer edge stayed separated. So far this brush seems a bit softer than the last boars hair brush I tried out. Definitely liking that about this one.
On to the shave cream. Since I have already reviewed the Arko shave soap stick, I am going with their shave cream this time. It comes in a white plastic tube, not unlike a toothpaste tube. The lid is a bit bigger than your average twist off toothpaste lid though. The look of it is mostly just lettering, but it does have some design to it. The background is purple and white and is split down the middle with a silver line. There is some graphic lines up in the purple and to the left in the white. In big black letters is “Arko” with “men” underneath it. To the left of that in two different fonts is “extra sensitive.” I don’t have sensitive skin, so I don’t think that matters for me. However, for the guys with allergens to certain things, this cream might be one to check out if you haven’t already. To the right in the silver box is the tube with some puffy lather coming out of it. The back side has the same design in another language and some directions, company info, etc etc. Taking off the lid you see a silver foil cover holding in the shaving cream. Taking it off you can kind of see the white shave cream inside the opening.
Squeezing it out is very easy to do, and it’s not like the Proraso tube that keeps pushing out the cream. This one stops when you stop which is very nice, you don’t get more than you need. It is a cream very reminiscent of the Proraso shaving cream. It has the same look and texture as that cream. However the scent is very different, and this cream is white instead of cream colored. The scent on this cream is a strong base note of their signature soapy scent, then it has top notes of lavender, tea tree, and another plant like smell that is bitter smelling. I can’t figure out what that last note is, but it has a very bitter smell to it. It’s a nice scent, but I think it could do without the bitter note myself. I really like the lavender and tea tree notes in there, they go great with their signature soapy scent.
I put the shave cream in my bowl and wiped the rest on my brush. Then I added a couple drops of hot water to my bowl and went to lathering. I’m not sure if I added a little too much water or if this is just how the lather is. It is a lighter more frothy foamy lather. Not as thick as you get with most soaps or other shave creams like Proraso or Barber Side. The scent gets nice and strong once you get the lather worked up too. It filled the whole bathroom, it was really nice. You also aren’t left with much in your bowl like you are with other creams. My brush could be holding in more than I think though.
I dabbed my face dry since the lather was already a little frothy. I didn’t want it to get any worse. I went ahead and kind of did a second workup of the lather on my face with the brush. This seemed to give the lather a little more thickness, making me think I may have had too much water in my brush and bowl earlier. The scent kind of dies down once you get the cream on your face. Or at least it seemed to, it could just be that I didn’t notice it since it was already so strong. The brush felt nice and soft on my face as well. Much softer than my other boars hair brushes. However, it wasn’t so soft that it was hard to work with. The bristles remained nice and tall, but they did all kind of stick together due to the lather in them. They were soft yet sturdy and gave me a nice face lather while slightly exfoliating my face and coating all sides of my whiskers. I’m definitely liking the way this brush performs. It’s for sure my favorite boars brush I have so far.
Now on to the shave. I immediately noticed a huge difference in the shavette and the blades. This shavette was much easier to maneuver and use do to its light weight, and the blade was much smoother than the other Derby blades. The angle of the head and how it meets the blade and transitions was really nice. It felt a lot more like shaving with an actual straight razor than any shavette I have tried. You still know you’re using a shavette, don’t get me wrong, but it was incredibly smooth. The lightness of it made using my left hand to shave a bit easier than usual. That was a plus, and I didn’t knick myself when using my left hand to shave.
I did however knick my chin a couple times. This blade is a bit sharper than the other Derby blades are. This one is more like an Astra blade in terms of sharpness. Come to think of it this blade shaves more like an Astra green blade than a Derby. I was really happy with how it performed. Cut through my whiskers extremely easily. I was slightly bummed that I knicked myself, but also a tad bit happy. I will actually get to use the little styptic matches unlike last time. So it’s a little bitter sweet haha.
The matches come in a book like the last ones. Only this book closes unlike the other ones. It’s a blue colored book with a big white oval in the center. These are also made by Shave Factory like the shavette. It has the name and steam boat in the white area above a picture of the matches. In that area it also says “disposable styptic pencil” and “20 pieces” just below the name. At the very bottom it says “disposable styptic pencil” again in red letters.
Opening the book up you see two rows of 10 little matches/pencils. They’re on white cardboard and have white heads on them. They look pretty much the same as the other ones did.
Tearing off one of the matches is very easy and just like tearing off a normal match. They’re about the size of a normal match, maybe a little wider, but still pretty small. I dipped it in water and proceeded to deal with my small cuts. I noticed right away that these things are a pain in the butt. The heads come off of them very easily and stick to your face. However, they don’t come off all at once. Each side comes off on its own when you press it to your face. They also don’t seem to work to well. I didn’t feel that familiar sting when using a styptic pencil, and my cuts just kept on bleeding. Bummer. Oh well, I’ll just stick to using my usual pencils.
As for the aftershave, as I said at the beginning of the review, I will be checking out Barber Side’s witch hazel aftershave since there wasn’t an aftershave included in the box. I’ve been meaning to review this stuff for Marvin anyway, so now’s the perfect time. It comes in the same square plastic bottle as their bay rum does. This one has a black twist off lid instead of a sprayer though. The label is exactly the same as the bay rum, only it’s black instead of red. And there’s the obvious word change of Witch Hazel shake & splash instead of Bay Rum.
Opening the lid you see it has the familiar small opening like a lot of aftershaves have. I like this little stopper lids quite a bit. I often pour too much when bottles don’t have them, so they help save my aftershaves. I know many guys don’t like them, but I find them very useful. The scent on this stuff is pretty faint in the bottle. It has the familiar witch hazel scent, but there’s also some other notes in there. They’re kind of hard to make out just smelling the opening though.
When I poured it out they became much more present. It’s sandalwood and vanilla. However, it’s not the exact same scent as their shave cream and shave oil. I don’t know if it’s because of the witch hazel or if it’s just a different scent. Either way it’s still really nice. In your hands it looks slightly cloudy like it did in the bottle. There isn’t a film or anything on the surface either.
Applying it to my face, after I took care of my cuts the right way, was really nice. I am a huge fan of witch hazel. I really like the delayed burn it has and the way it makes my face feel. The scent was even better once I splashed the aftershave on my face. It meshed really nicely with the shave cream. I was a little worried that all those smells would clash, but surprisingly they didn’t. And as always, my face was left nice and smooth.
This group of shaving products was a really nice combo. They made for a really nice shave. I do wish I hadn’t cut myself, but hey, that’s just a part of shaving. The only thing I didn’t really like from the shave products was the little matches. Maybe I just need to get used to them though, who knows. This box is still one I recommend trying out. You get a lot of classic, tried and true products in it. There are also some nice new additions in there as well!
Now on to that gel stuff that was in the box. I’m kind of curious about this stuff. It comes in a little plastic pouch type packet with what seems to be enough for 2 maybe 3 uses if you’re lucky or have short hair. It’s a black pouch with red and white writing on it. Up top it says “hair gel GUMMY” above a picture of the actual tub. I’ve seen tubs like that before, the square tubs with rounded corners. I can’t remember the name of the company though, it wasn’t Gummy I know that much, but can’t recall the name. Oh well, on to this stuff. The back side of it has pictures of all their tubs and their website. Kind of your standard sample packet, not unlike the ones you get from DAX.
Opening the corner and squeezing some out was very easy. Out came a slightly clear red goop. It had the consistency of normal soft gel and a medium ringing gel. Not having the tub I can’t say if this stuff rings or not when you tap the tub. It was slightly softer than Barber Side’s Madman ringing gel though, just to give you an idea for the weight of it. It has the exact same smell as Steadfast’s ringing gel does. I mean to the T, it’s the same scent. Come to think of it, this stuff feels like a soft Steadfast. I wonder if they are made in the same lab or use the same scent in them? Interesting either way.
It feels like a cross between a ringing gel and soft gel in your hands too. Applying it was like applying Barber Side’s Madman ringing gel or any other softer ringing gel. Really easy to apply and comb through your hair. Once you get it worked in, it becomes more like a soft gel does though. I have a feeling it will be hard to get any height with this stuff.
And I was right. I had to let it set up a little before I could do anything with my hair but slick it. And I had to play around with my hair and combing techniques to get the little bit of height I did. You can see my hair is very loosely held in place and kind of bouncy looking. This stuff does give off a little bit of shine as well. I was pretty happy with that from it. The hold lasts decently throughout the day too. I only had one little are split on me. However, the moment you touch your hair or bump your head against something this stuff diminishes. It breaks apart very easy, but your hair stays in place. It was very odd. I went ahead and broke apart all the gel, yet my hair stayed in place. It had almost a natural look to it. If it wasn’t for the flakes, it would have looked like I blow dried my hair into place. Just like with any gel this stuff washes out with just a little water. Which makes recombing or resetting your hair virtually impossible. The moment you wet your hair with any water this stuff kind of breaks down and dissipates. Only having enough in the packet for about 1.5 uses for me with how long my hair is, I wasn’t able to use it a second time.
So my final note on the gel is that it was ok. I still like my Softee protein gel better, both workability and scent. However, for gel users, this stuff could be something to try out. I wouldn’t use it again, but I don’t like gel. And if I ever decided to use gel, I’d use my Softee stuff.
All in all, it was a nice shave box. I want to thank the guys over at Shave Select for sending me out a box to try out, I really appreciate it! To subscribe to their monthly boxes, head on over to their site http://www.shaveselect.com and sign up. They have monthly, twice a year, and yearly subscriptions. They do feature pictures of what is in the box for the current month which is awesome! That allows to to pick and choose which months you want if you go monthly. They also have a store where you can buy just single items. So check out the whole site while you’re there and pick something up.
Stay fresh fellas,