Top Ten for Men "calming effect" shave cream
This is my first review. When I was doing photography and was stupid enough to ask a friend what he thought of a picture, I was subjected to a treatise of "if I had done this instead of this" it would have been better. All I wanted was an answer to "Do you like it or not?". FWIW, the pic was of frozen reflections on the ripples in a stream. It was hit or miss. Take that into account as you read my review. I want to ask myself, do I like it or not?
The tube feels like plastic, approx 6" tall and 1 3/8" D at the base of the tube. It holds 65ml (2.2 fl. ounces). I have absolutely no idea of the cost in the EU, it came to me from Bulgaria and I paid nothing for it.
Despite the fantasy drawing of the cream on the tube, it looks nothing like that. What I see in that drawing is a sort of Gillette Gel looking cream. The cream is white and similar to Bigelow or KMF in looks.
I face lathered the cream, but for my pre-shave I put a small amount on my cheek from a fingertip and worked it around with the brush before hitting my face with the hot towel. The tiny amount I used could have been enough for a shave. This stuff lathers extremely easily. OK, so I hot towelled for 3 applications, and I'm ready to apply it for face lathering.
The opening on the tube is 7mm or just a hair over 1/4" in diameter. I used a length equal to the nozzel diameter, about the size of a small pea. I used a Simpson Special Pure Badger brush. Taking the tiny amount and smearing it on both cheeks with my fingertip then lathering it proved what I found out when prepping my face. This stuff lathers incredibly easy. If anyone is brand new to lathering this would be an ideal cream to learn with. Anyone who can't lather this hasn't attempted to make the slightest motion related to lathering. I have never used any product that lathers as easily as this does. BTW, I have very soft water, so the lathering may vary for you.
OK, adding water by brushtips dipped in the sink, no unusual thirstiness on it's part, very well behaved. The small amount I used gave me a full brush and face of lather. It turned out to be enough for 2 full passes and enough for a bunch of blade buffing and touch ups of problem areas like under my jawline where the hairs grow in all different directions. Too, I was using a very mild razor and I simply had to put more time andmore lather into the shave to get the result I wanted. I moisten my face between lathering for each pass if that makes a difference for the readers of this review. My point is that I had enough lather with that small amount of cream and the additional water for each pass.
Lubricity was excellent, cushioning was excellent. The lather certainly felt good for my skin, not at all drying. I suspect if I had used no moisturizing after shave product I would have gotten away with it. Just feeling the face after the shave, the skin felt really good.
Comfort of the shave is hard to pinpoint to only the cream being involved since I was using a very mild razor and a sharp, smooth blade, but the shave was very comfortable. I'll probably revisit this review after I use the cream in a much more aggressive razor and update this, but I wouldn't expect it to change because of the quality of the cream.
Scent... I'm not a huge fan of strong scents, and initially I thought this was strongly scented straight out of the tube. Now either my nose got accustomed to it rapidly, or the addition of water tamed it down. I found the scent quite pleasant. I don't quite know what it smells like, but I had no problem with it.
It's not a big tube, but the quality is so high that I'd easily pay $5 for it and maybe more if I could get it easily.
What can I compare it too? It's better than KMF or Bigelow IMO. Provence Sante lathers easily, but TT (TopTen) lathers even easier. Skin feel is about the same for PS and TT, both during and after the shave, but the edge might go to the TopTen if I was pressed to make a choice. Provence Sante almost feels greasy to me, and the TT didn't have that feel yet made my skin feel cared for.
So here I am (returning to the beginning of the review) being asked how I like the photograph and giving the photographer a treatise on the photo. Amazing how that happens. But...
OK, did I like it? You betcha! Would I use it again if I could get more? Absolutely! I can't think of a single area where this cream doesn't shine brightly. Will I hate having my tube give up it's last squeeze? Yup. That should be quite awhile in the future though, I'll nurse it amongst the uses of other soaps and creams and dread when that day arrives.
This product gets a huge thumbs up and a huge grin from me!
Now if I found out that it was $1 a tube in the EU, I'd be extremely amazed.
I am officially amazed. Converting currency, I'm told it's under a buck for the tube. I was also informed that it comes in a 100ml tube.
One thing I noticed today, with some soaps they seem to have a fairly large window where they are at a useable hydration level before becoming over hydrated and breaking down. This cream appears to have a narrower window. That could be because it's useable "sooner" in the hydration level, I haven't persued that yet. But when I consider the hydration level right it's time to stop adding water because it breaks down very soon thereafter. That might be because of the miniscule amount I'm using to get all the lather I need. Maybe; I don't know. As with most soap/cream "problems" there are very few of them that can't be cured with the application of more product.
I used a Gillette Black Handle today which is slightly more aggressive. Again this soap performed like a champ. Tomorrow it's the Slim set to 9, then I'll be finished with this review.
Today I used more cream, about 2x as much. That had the effect of using less water for a thicker and even more luxurious lather. If it was excellent before it was even better today. So I guess the "hydration window" I mentioned above was only an artifact of using such a small amount of cream and hydrating it fully.
Today I also returned to my Slim set to 9. I expected no negatives with an aggresive razor and sharp blade, and got none, but I had to fully test it there.
I consider this shave cream test more than complete.