Sunday, July 22, 2012

It was Helan my face.

As the diligent among you might recall, I have been on a grooming kick of late. In specific, I've been working on my shave technique and my shave tools. The easiest item in a shaver's inventory with which to tinker is, of course, the shave cream.

Anyway, I had gotten an email from Caswell-Massey to the effect a major sale was going on their website. Being a cheapskate, I immediately clicked in that direction. My efforts were repaid with two things:

1- C-M's own Greenbriar brand shave cream which has an unobrustive fragrance (I call it "shave cream" scent) which I purchased for those times when I'll be wearing fragrance and I don't want to crowd it with a cream's lingering scent. Down to $2, seemingly on clearance.

2- Helan's Vetiver & Rum shave cream down from $13 to $5

Of the Greenbriar I will say it is a perfectly adequate cream. It lathers pretty well, gives a decent slickness to the shave and doesn't irritate. Also, it doesn't linger, being unscented.

However.

The Helan was completely useless. The texture straight out of the tube was runnier than, say, Proraso. Regardless of the quantity used or the water:cream ratio, I found it impossible to get a decent lather going no matter what I tried. The best I could do was a sort of Pilsner-like froth that dissipated on my face almost on contact and provided none of the lubricity you want when dragging a bit of surgical steel across your face. By none, I mean exactly that...none. I nicked myself like a bastid.

The smell was/is quite pleasant, though. This is why I have resisted the impulse to let my kids use it as bubble bath.

Verdict: The Greenbriar is a good deal on sale (keep an eye out for their sandalwood, a fave scent of mine) but the Helan rates a big fat "avoid."

-J.

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