Let me start by saying that it is unlikely that I would have tried the Arbonne REsurface Shave Gel if it wasn’t for a co-worker bringing it in for me to try out. The price is a bit too high for my liking and the thought of using a shave gel is simply not appealing to me. But I thought I would give it a go, not wanting to dismiss the product without having used it.
The bottle itself reminds me of some of my wife’s face and hand creams, as does the shaving gel itself, perhaps a bit less thick than hand cream. I squeezed some into the palm of my hand to get a better feel for the product and I was surprised to find that the gel is essentially odorless. I mean nothing. Which is great if you are not a fan of fragrance in your shaving product, but not so much if you have become accustomed to shave creams like Taylor of Old Bond Street Lemon & Lime, or even the classic smell of Proraso Green.
The last gel shaving product I used was years ago and was a can of Gillette, so I consulted the label for more direct instructions as to how they wanted me to apply the REsurface Shave Gel. It was short and sweet: apply liberally and massage onto skin using fingertips. Rinse by splashing face with warm water. So I did. There was no clarification as to whether or not I needed to wet my face ahead of time (i’m a stickler for directions) so I went ahead and prepped the one side of my face the way in which I always do and then applied the gel, as directed, to both sides of my face. I didn’t enjoy applying the gel to my face, as mentioned above, it felt a bit too much like hand cream. I also didn’t like the way it felt on my face – the sensation of stickiness along with a desire to quickly remove it. Oddly I was able to make out more of a scent while applying the gel.
As for the shave itself, I preferred the way the wet side of my face felt, but to be fair there really any pulling or irritation on the dry side of my face. I found that the gel (which I am on the verge of referring to it as a cream) would clog up my razor (I was using my old friend the Merkur ’1904′ Classic,) so much so that a simple rinse under the tap didn’t suffice. I actually found this quite distracting.
In the end it provided a sufficient, unenjoyable shave. I like using a shave brush and building lather. I like my shave creams and soaps to have distinguishable and enjoyable fragrances. If you take these things away then I am just back to shaving strictly because I would hear about it from my boss – that is a place I don’t want to return to. Wet shaving to me is more than simply a clean face, it is about taking in the entire experience, even if it means more time and tools in the process.