Thursday, June 07, 2007

Product Review: Whish Shave Crave

As I've said before, shaving my legs isn't so high on my priority list. Of course, I do it whenever I'm going to be showing my legs in public, but it's a time-consuming chore that usually ends in blood-gushing nicks and dry, itchy skin. My shaving experience greatly improved last year when I upgraded from that crappy Skintimate gel to Trader Joe's Moisturizing Cream Shave (read my full review here), but let's be honest, even with a high quality product, shaving still sucks.

I guess it was inevitable that the marketing geniuses who convinced thousands of women that $200 face moisturizer was superior to the stuff you buy at the drugstore for $10 would create a need for luxury shaving products. This niche is being filled by a company called Whish, which promises a life-changing experience in the form of $32 tubs of shaving cream and, get this, $170 Swarovski crystal-encrusted badger hair shaving brushes.

Your hand is no longer an acceptable vehicle for the application of shaving cream to your leg, you need to shell out nearly $200 for a brush that "gently exfoliates the skin." My favorite thing about this brush is that the Whish people can't even come up with a solid reason to buy it other than that it's "something that no one else has." How compelling!
When I received a full-sized sample of the shave cream, officially called Shave Crave, I tried it on its own for a few weeks, having fun calculating the cost of the product I'd applied to my legs for each shave. To my surprise, the Whish Shave Crave really performed well. I was given the Almond scent, which smelled lovely (if more appropriate for cooler months). Scooping the product out of the jar, I had a flashback to sneaking fingerfulls from the little tub of icing that comes with Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls (you know, the kind you have to hit against the side of a counter to open), because the consistency is exactly the same.

It spreads well over the skin, provided a close shave and left my legs quite moisturized, a feat for any shaving product. In short, this is a great product. But I was very curious whether there would be any difference between it and my $2.99 Trader Joe's staple, which gives me similar results. So I created a semi-scientific study, shaving each leg with a different razor and shaving cream.

I conducted my take on the "Pepsi Challenge" by asking friends and family to feel the side of each of my calves and tell me which was smoother and softer. This got me some strange looks, but once I explained that this was an experiment in the name of beauty product truth, no one rejected my offer. The first day no one could tell the difference, but by the second and third days, about half of the participants said that they thought my right leg (the Trader Joe's leg) was smoother. For the fourth day in a row, my mom dutifully brushed her hand against both legs and said "still feels the same to me."

Being generally ambivalent about beauty products, she hadn't taken much interest in my little experiment up until that point, when she asked how much more the fancy shaving cream was.

"$32.00," I replied.

"For $32.00, someone better be shaving my legs for me." She said.

And basically, she's right. The Trader Joe's Cream Shave performed equally to (if not slightly better than) the Whish, at less than 1/10 the price. And I know there are other cheap but high quality shaving creams on the market (if you've got a rec, leave a comment), which leaves me no reason to recommend it, unless you're looking for "something no one else has" and no one else needs.


Cate said...

im a HUGE fan of men's shaving cream. the man smell fades after you rinse it off, and if it doesn't, a little soap and some moisturizer (and i use unscented!) takes care of it. it's much thicker and richer than that crap expensive skintimate stuff, and it goes on sale for .99c at the supermarket. meg, it might not work for you because it's super scented and your skin is super sensitive, but i have moderately sensitive skin and i've never had an issue with it.

Julie said...

Trader Joe's is the best I've ever found, period. I tried C.O. Bigelow's, which is similar in consistency but about 4x the price-- I'm sticking with my TJ's.

MLE said...

I haven't tried the TJs, but my fiance and I both use the Kiss My Face unscented moisture shave (him for face, me for armpits/occasional leg shaving post-wax) and we both lurve it. My skin is entirely too sensitive to shave all the time and I've been waxing for years now, but if I were to go back to shaving regularly you bet I'd stick with the Kiss My Face.

Chelsea said...

I never understood shaving cream, really. Just slather on some hair conditioner if you really need to. I just use soap. Ha. But this coming from someone who shaves every other week.

Kathryn said...

oddly enough it's the brush that I love - I used to steal my dad's and it does make a difference! I now have my very own (like $10.00 courtesy of Burt's Bees) and it works just fine with my regular body wash

would it be wrong to admit that I secretly covet the crystal-encrusted one just becasue it's pretty??

Rapunzel said...

I'm obsessed with the Trader Joes Shave Cream. I had an extremely similar experience to the one you had when you first found it. I was looking for my favourite product from them, a tangerine sugar scrub that costs like $5 and is better than all of the $30 and $40 ones I've tried. Unfortunately to my dismay, they didn't have it! I was very dissapointed because the stuff is seriously amazing. It smells delicious and nothing feels better than slathering a big handful of it all over the body. (In a recent trip to TJ's I found they now have tangerine salt scrub. I'm sure it's good, but I hate salt scrubs because if i use them after I shave, it's not a very pleasant experience).

Sad and frustrated, I scanned the shelves for something to ease my pain and disapointment. My eyes fell upon the orange tube and I was intrigued. I couldn't pass it up for the price and as soon as i tried it i was addicted. It doesn't dry out my skin at all, keeps me from getting nicks and cuts, and smells sooooo yummy.

I had to laugh to myself because I just stepped out of the shower and am enjoying my wonderfully smooth and moisturized legs as I write.

I'll still keep my eyes open, hoping that they will get the tangerine sugar scrub back, but until then, i'll be happy with my lovely shaving cream.

sara said...

Before discovering Trader Joe's I used Alba Botanica off and on, which is nice but TJ smells better and costs less. I have just recently discovered their unscented body creme, and was terrified that it would break me out far, so good. About $3 for 18 oz.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is nice to know that sometimes you *can* find products that are worthwhile without having to shell out major $$$. And for $32.00, I agree with your mom. :D

Ang said...

Using Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel normally allows me an extra day or two between shaves--my hair grows sick-fast, so this is a miracle for me. It's cheap, doesn't smell like food (I'm always kinda weirded-out by bathroom products that emulate kitchen smells), and it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin.