When it comes to the modern man’s grooming market—a newly bullish arena in cosmetics—guys have got it cornered when it comes to shaving. Don’t believe me? Check out the plethora of prettily scented products out there designed to help men improve on that perfectly smooth shave.
My issue with this trend: we ladies shave way more often—and way many more places than men do. Most of us shave our pins and our pits. Some of us even use a razor to bare our upper lips and our more private nooks n’ crannies. Marilyn Monroe reportedly went so far as to shave her entire face.
Given our sensitive skin (men’s skin is thicker and oilier than that of women), I am surprised that very few beauty brands offer women great oil-based products to help us get a cleaner, quicker, nick-free shave. Because—let’s get real—those built-in moisture strips aren’t doing much for anyone’s dry skin.
I say ditch those old school Edge gels and Barbasol canisters. Oils are the way the go because they prevent the dragging of the skin during shaving, especially when it comes to bony areas like ankles. I myself recently tested out a few men’s shaving products that smelled sexy enough for a woman to steal from her man’s dopp kit, and the results didn’t surprise me—in a good way. Yes, these work even if you wanna pull a Marilyn:
For a fuzz-free upper lip, I used a few drops of Molton Brown Re-Charge Black Pepper Shave Oil ($29) before shaving. In under three short strokes I got smooth skin without any post-shave redness. No more wax appointments for me: I want to swarm my senses with the sexy-as-hell spiced up peppery scent every week now.
For the underarms (or even full arms), I like REN Tamanu High Glide Shaving Oil ($28), which uses the Tahitian vitamin rich oil in its milky base and has chamomile to calm on the spot. The pump is a huge, huge plus in the shower. The woodsy/spicy oil (cardamom is my guess) doesn’t linger on the skin and rinses clean.
For the frequent leg groomer, the moderately priced Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lavender Shaving Gel ($8.99) is a great buy. Made with USDA-approved coconut, olive, and hemp oils, the gel feels more like a thick cream. It spreads easily and gave such a smooth shave that I didn’t need a moisturizer after showering. An unscented version is also available.
If soap is your thing…
Crabtree & Evelyn has a richly balsamic Sandalwood Shave Soap ($22) made from hefty doses of Vitamin E that foams up nice and thick. A striking teakwood bowl, which can be refilled to keep your soap around for at least two months, comes with.
And for traveling with your razors and lotions…
The Refinery Shaving Essentials Kit ($60) includes a zingy peppermint smelling foam gel (made with clove bud oil), which lathers up enough to get the job done without drying out skin—a win for that temperamental bikini line we all try so hard to get right.
How’d my experience end up? Without an ingrown hair in sight, I’m happy to report. I found the trick to getting a great shave is in the prep work; the steam from a hot shower softens the hair, but a great oil-based shaving product goes a long way. That’s not a secret just for the guys to enjoy.
A native Angeleno, Navdeep Mundi is a Leo, hates cilantro, and has studied beauty products for more than 18 years. She spends her days directing media and strategy and her nights sniffing out slightly quirky yet impeccably pretty things along with her German Shepherd, Le Tigre.