(AUTHOR’S NOTE: The products featured in this entry were reviewed due to the benefits received during the course of use. All opinions in this post are solely that of my own, and I did not receive any form of compensation from the product manufacturers for this review.)
(EDIT: Fixed up the text portions for readability, and linked back to VMV’s official blog – at the end of this entry. Timestamp: 8 November 2016, 14:02.)
Facial hair; it gives a touch of ruggedness and masculinity to the male countenance. Trimmed and groomed properly, mustaches and beards exude a gentlemanly aura. The manes of individuals such as Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr., Adam Levine, and Hugh Jackman add appeal to their already attractive visages. Some take it further by fully growing their facial hair to a complete set; professional wrestler Daniel Bryan and MMA fighter Roy “Big Country” Nelson are examples of such a trend.
However, not all men prefer growing facial hair; some would prefer a clean-shaven “baby face”. Thus – some stick to a regular shaving regimen to remove the stubble surrounding the lip and chin area, depending on how long it takes the hair to grow back.
I started shaving off my facial hair in 2009, but I never followed a strict shaving regimen. I simply washed my face, shaved off the stubble using a disposable two-blade razor, and I was done. However, I recently began a proper shaving routine after receiving some gifts from CJ for my 24th birthday last year. Among those gifts were these three products: VMV Hypoallergenics 1635 Shave Cream No. 3, VMV Hypoallergenics 1635 Invigorating Aftershave Gel, and a Gillette Mach 3 Razor. I’ll be reviewing these shaving essentials and how I incorporate them in my personal ritual. Okay, enough introductions and let’s proceed.
Washing the face is a good way to start, but you can skip this step altogether if you have just finished taking a bath. Afterwards, apply shaving cream on the areas to be trimmed in order to soften the hair. Shaving cream often comes in either aerosol canisters or tubes; squeeze a small amount on your hand and apply. One can also use a shaving brush to spread it evenly. Enter VMV Hypoallergenics 1635 Shave Cream No. 3. This shaving cream is meant for use on all types of facial hair. The 1635 Shave Cream also has variants solely dedicated to coarse and fine stubble.
It offers a cooling sensation after you apply it, it lathers easily, and it does a good job of lubricating the skin prior to using the razor. I simply wet my hands and the product easily lathers again after each pass of the blade. I typically shave as soon as I wake up every Wednesday and Saturday, and its musky scent invigorates and wakes me up.
What I like most about this product, however, is its natural ingredients. I once read an article online that warned against using grooming products that have a lot of chemicals in them as these can possibly trigger allergic reactions. But thanks to the shaving cream’s all-natural formula, I haven’t experienced allergic reactions of any sort ever since I incorporated it in my grooming regimen.
The good part – using the razor – comes after applying the shaving cream. I have a different way of using the razor; shaving first against the grain with an upward stroke, and then finishing off with a downward one. As I mentioned earlier, my first razor was a two-blade disposable one with an easy-clean button. It didn’t exactly give a smooth shave and, coupled with my non-use of shaving cream, I ended up with uneven stubble. Worse, there were times that accidentally nicked my skin due to the lack of lubrication. That was five years ago.
Now, I have a different experience with the Gillette Mach 3 Razor. Every shave is a breeze with its three blades, ensuring a smooth and close cut. The skin guard below the blades prevents accidental cuts, and the lubricating strip adds an extra glide with every stroke. Coupled with the 1635 Shave Cream No. 3, I’ve always had a smooth and stubble-free chin and lip area after each shave.
More so, replacement cartridges aren’t a problem as this razor is under the Mach 3 family; Regular, Turbo, or Sensitive cartridges are compatible with this one. Replacing dull blades is easy; simply slide the round knob forward and off goes the head. Plug the razor handle on a new cartridge head, and it’s back to smooth shaving. As you can see in the original packaging, this full razor was a Mach 3 Sensitive but I replaced it with a Mach 3 Regular head after the first one dulled. This is the cheapest Mach 3 refill as all the others are rather expensive; a testimony to the “razor-and-blades” marketing model.
Pardon me for the slight segue; going back, cleaning the razor is likewise easy. I simply rinse it under running water, shake it off to remove excess moisture, and soak the head in isopropyl alcohol. The last step is important as it serves two purposes: it disinfects the blade after each use and prevents rusting when stored. That way, it’s clean and sharp on the next use.
The shaving ritual ends for some people once the face is free of stubble, but some take their time to ensure utmost skin care. Extra steps ensure that the skin is moisturized and protected from post-shaving irritation. The VMV Hypoallergenics 1635 Invigorating Aftershave Gel is one such product perfect for capping off a shaving ritual. It gives a cooling, peppery sensation to the face just like its pre-shave counterpart – but it’s perfect for invigorating and soothing even the most sensitive skin (truly befitting its name).
The aftershave gel’s scent is slightly similar to that of rubbing alcohol with some herbal hints, and there’s a slight sting. I can tolerate the sting, actually; it’s better than putting rubbing alcohol on your skin right after shaving. Yes, you read it right. I used to put rubbing alcohol on my skin as a sort of aftershave, and you could only imagine how that feels.
Okay, let’s move on. Despite that minor drawback I mentioned plus an initial sticky feeling whenever the gel is applied, it’s easily absorbed by the skin for all-day rejuvenation. Even the girlfriend even knows of its amazing effect. Whenever she touches my clean-shaven chin area, she says “para kang nagpa-spa sa mukha” (it’s like you had a facial spa treatment).
Ever since I used these products hand-in-hand, I am always guaranteed of a clean, handsome shave and soft, smooth skin. The natural ingredients in VMV Hypoallergenics’ 1635 shaving line assures me that I’m not using harmful chemicals that can possibly trigger allergies. On the other hand, the Gillette Mach 3 razor is something that I will use for a long time; I will only need to buy replacement cartridges whenever the head dulls. Alongside a good haircut, a good shave truly does wonders to make some men look even better.
That’s it for my first product review. Do check out VMV Inskin, VMV Hypoallergenics’ official blog, by clicking here. Until the next post. 🙂