No, I'm not in labor! But, D. was so kind as to volunteer to test out a few products we were sent by Braun/Gillette/Art of Shaving PR. So...here are his thoughts on all things shaving! (He uses much larger words than me, no?)
Being the first kid to shave in junior high was a source of pride for me and cause of envy for other boys who looked in the mirror every morning for that first trace of facial hair. Today, it has turned into a burden beyond belief. I have given up on shaving every morning - it takes far too long to ensure I don't leave a large dark patch under my chin or a couple of stare-inducing hairs on one side of my nose. Two to three days a week is all I can muster, leaving time for the chronic razor burn on the lower left of my neck to begin to heal before I scar it again.
J. asked me to test out the Braun bodycruZer ($59.99) knowing I am absolute terror on razors. I agreed, knowing that the typical store-bought disposable or even replaceable blade razors don't suffice, anyway.
Full of skepticism, I tested the bodycruZer for the first time last week and came away pleasantly surprised at the results. The dual-technology device has both an electric trimmer for cleaning up sideburns, using a guard to trim hair, or even clip back an old-school mustache. The battery is rechargable, which makes for the bodycruZer's best perk - the ability to use it in the shower without fear of electrocution (presuming, of course, the battery charger is left outside nice and dry).
At first, the razor/trimmer combo feels a bit bulky, but I realized halfway through the first trial run that it has been fitted with several opportune grips and nuances that allow for an ergonomic and comfortable shave. The bodycruZer was obviously engineered and tested to maximize its real-world applications.
The razor itself uses the five-blade Gillette Fusion technology. I have always felt that the trend towards three, four, five, etc. blades was a bit ridiculous and more a device of marketing than performance. However, I know for certain that the single-blades of past have failed miserably to adequately keep my stubble at bay. I can tell a decided difference in the five-blade Fusion in that I only have to make one or two passes at each area - greatly reducing the occurences of razor burn.
Overall, the trimmer worked to perfection each time. The blade provided a smooth shave, and the bulk did not prove to be an inconvenience (at least not to me). The rechargeable battery is a nice addition as well. I would recommend the Braun bodycruZer as a nice stocking stuffer or gift under the tree for a significant other or relative.
Additional stocking stuffers as a complement could also include Pre-Shave Oil ($22) and After-Shave Balm ($35) by The Art of Shaving. The Pre-Shave Oil is excellent for anyone with sensitive skin - just lather the oil into the beard before shaving. Admittedly, it feels like putting olive oil on one's skin, but the results are palpable. It greatly reduced the razor burn mentioned above. And the oily feeling disappears immediately upon shaving, so it really isn't an issue.
While the Pre-Shave Oil protects the skin prior to shaving, the After-Shave Balm works to the same goal post-shave. Just use the lotion to soften the skin and greatly reduce the usual itching/irritation that results from this morning ritual. Unlike some after-shave products on the market, this lotion does not burn or create the terrible stinging sensation many men are accustomed to - ouch.
[Photos Courtesy Amazon.com; Art of Shaving]