I decided quite early on during this lock-down that I wasn’t going to slum it.
Routine is a big deal when it comes to maintaining your mental health nowadays. Even if I didn’t know what I was doing that day, I still got up, had a shower and got dressed. I didn’t want to feel sweaty, or sit around in my pajamas because I knew that was going down a path that wouldn’t serve me well.
Plus, you want to smell good, don’t you? You want to be able to treat yourself to something which makes you feel alright. A premium version of yourself. For God’s sake, we’re all having a bit of a national downer just now. Don’t we all deserve to have even just a small bit of pampering or luxury? We bloody deserve it.
The Personal Barber
The Personal Barber are a company providing something that I absolutely wanted. Luxury shaving goods at a pretty basic price. What’s better is that they post it to your door. No trips to shops which would be closed anyway, and no risking your health.
So you won’t be getting disposable or electric razors from The Personal Barber. We’re talking proper, traditional wet shaves with a safety razor like your grandad used to do. I learned a few years back that 3, 4 or even 5 blades in a razor are a horrendous gimmick. All they do is increase the chance of irritation by 3, 4 or even 5 times. Have you seen the blades on those multi-blade razors? They’re not blades! They’re tiny strips of metal in a horrible plastic casing. Don’t men deserve something a bit more substantial, like a solid, metal safety razor with a single, sharp, quality blade? Why yes, they do.
If you’ve never shaved with a safety razor before, then you’ll pick it up in a shave or two. There are few more aromatic treats in grooming than mixing up your own shaving foam. Two passes with the blade, then your post-shave product to both soothe the skin and make yourself smell incredible, and you’re done. That’s the best a man can get – not a disposable (and therefore unecologically friendly) plastic sham. This is what the The Personal Barber can do for you.
If you’re just starting out with a subscription with The Personal Barber, then you’ll get a Discovery box with shaving brush and safety razor. As I have those, what I am being sent out is a regular subscription box, which contains a shaving foam/cream, a post-shave balm, a solid cologne and a box of blades. No two boxes are the same, but all the stuff is top quality. This is what I received.
You also get a leaflet which provides you with details of the products and brands that you’ve been sent.
Despite the Hemingway / Cuba look to the label, Suezbana Moringa and Citrus Shaving Cream (RRP £7.95) originates from Essex. A little goes a long way, and it works up a good foam, while providing “added vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that renews the skin and improves its appearance”.
I had to google ‘moringa’ as it’s not something I’ve heard of. As well as working as an anti-inflammatory, moringa also contains protein, which means it is helpful in protecting skin cells from damage. It also contains hydrating and detoxifying elements, which also boost the skin and hair. So there you go. It’s a refreshing citrus blast.
The Dr Botanicals Advanced Natural Moisturising Post-Shave Balm For Men (RRP £30) requires little hype. You can describe it as pomegranate noir, or you can tell me that it contains sweet almond oil and blue lotus flower. That’s not the takeaway selling point for me. What blew me away was what happened when I used it.
Fresh from the shave, I poured some of the balm into my hands, and braced myself as I rubbed it on my face. It didn’t sting. Not a pinch. I don’t know what kind of witchcraft is used to make this facial balm, but it’s truly the stuff of miracles. My skin was soothed and smooth, refreshed and smelled amazing. I haven’t used anything like it.
This is something new to me – a solid cologne. The Solid Cologne Project’s Viking Solid Cologne (RRP £13) accurately describes it’s aroma as juniper, cedar, lemon, clove, moss and leather. It’s a mature, lightly spiced / citrus balance, and quite a natural, woody smell. There’s no artificial feeling to this, and while I imagine it has little in common with a stinking, Nordic invader of yore, the Viking name could still be accurate if you picture forested fjords and the smell within.
It moisturises as it goes, so your skin won’t dry out on application. The idea is that the small case is discrete enough for repeated use. As The Personal Barber describe it “you can easily carry it with you and reapply as needed, we suggest every 4 hours or so. It’s one of our favourite products to feature, we tend to include one in every 3rd box.”
The Personal Barber always provide 10 blades in a box, where it’s two different batches of five or, as it was in this box, a single box of ten blades : Personna Platinum Chrome Replacement Blades (RRP £2.95). The blades will last between 3 and 7 shaves each, depending on the lightness of your growth.
The subscription service will send you out a box like this every six weeks. This box focused more on post-shave products, but you will receive a good mix of products over time. The boxes are £24.95 each, but look at the savings. It’s crazy how much money you save. The first box contains a brush and razor which is worth £27.50 on it’s own. You’d be bonkers not to.
There a lots of reasons to do buy this for yourself or a loved one just now. It’s Father’s Day next month, and this would be a welcome gift. Also, it’s a simple way to make yourself feel good and a deserved treat for a hell of a bargain.
Visit The Personal Barber for more details on their products, services, subscriptions and shaving info.
This post originally appeared on A Man Called Grant.