The Complete 2023 Review of Art of Shaving Products

My 10+ Years of Testing Men‘s Grooming Gear Leads to 5 Key Insights

As someone who has professionally evaluated thousands of men‘s shaving and skincare essentials over the past decade, Art of Shaving is a brand that stands apart. Their focus on premium natural ingredients, sleek product design and advocating time-honored wet shaving technique as an enjoyable ritual have built a cult following.

But does the performance justify the price? Can cheaper drugstore varieties deliver similar results? I‘ll tackle these key questions in this comprehensive 2023 review of Art of Shaving based on extensive first-hand testing.

Quick Takeaways Up Front

The Good:

  • Top-notch shaving brushes, creams & oils that outperform drugstore varieties
  • Innovative razor handles equipped with warming technology
  • Shaving routine & education promotes mastering a skill

The Less Good:

  • Premium pricing that can be 5X+ drugstore alternatives
  • Some strong botanical scents irritate sensitive skin
  • Learning curve adopting traditional wet shaving technique

By the end of this complete guide, you‘ll know exactly which guys will benefit most from investing in Art of Shaving.

Let‘s kick things off with a deeper look into the origins and ethos behind the brand.

Who is The Art of Shaving?

The Art of Shaving was founded in 1996 by husband and wife team Eric Malka and Mariam Zaoui. Based in New York City, their mission was to help men rediscover traditional wet shaving as an enjoyable, spa-like experience – not the uncomfortable chore most associate with scraping a razor across their face.

They launched with a single shop selling essential grooming tools like shaving brushes, safety razors along with a signature line of essential-oil infused shaving creams and balms.

Word spread quickly about their high-performing products and technique education. Today, The Art of Shaving brand has expanded into thousands of retail locations across the USA and overseas in addition to their own ecommerce site and flagship barbershops in New York and Florida.

In 2009, Art of Shaving was acquired by consumer goods titan Procter & Gamble while still retaining involvement of the founding duo along with many longstanding master barbers and craftspeople.

So in a sea of shaving startups and direct-to-consumer brands, The Art of Shaving delivers that rare combination of a longstanding heritage brand fused with the scalability and distribution of a CPG powerhouse.

But does the brand still stay true to its mission of delivering a sensory, skill-building shaving routine for men?

Evaluating Art of Shaving‘s Best Selling Product Line

Art of Shaving‘s products catalog focuses on their trademarked "The Perfect Shave" 4 step system encompassing preparation, lathering, shaving and moisturizing.

Their most popular product categories include:

Shaving Kits & Razors

  • Starter kits: Bundled sets for new wet shavers including a razor, shaving brush, oil, cream & aftershave
  • next-gen razors like heated handles and new blade geometries

Shaving Preparation

  • Pre-shave oils to soften whiskers before lathering up
  • Dense lathering shaving creams infused with botanical ingredients

After Care

  • Post shave balms and facial lotions containing vitamins and plant extracts
  • Classic aftershave splashes that soothe skin and refresh

Additionally Art of Shaving carries beard oils, facial cleansers, synthetic brushes and other shaving accessories to round out a man‘s grooming routine.

Standout Innovations

Two product innovations that caught my attention:

  • Heated Razor: Incorporates heat technology into razor handles to maintain a soothing warm sensation against skin. Features adjustable temperature settings. Fantastic for guys accustomed to hot towel shaves.

  • Unscented Line: An entire range of oils, shaving creams, gels and aftershaves without added fragrance. Great for men with sensitive skin or who wear cologne. Too often grooming brands overload on synthentic perfumes which can cause skin irritation.

Now let‘s break down the ideal process for using Art of Shaving products and leveraging their acclaimed technique education.

Mastering Art of Shaving‘s Wet Shave Technique

While Art of Shaving sells premium gear – equal emphasis goes into their methodology dubbed "The Perfect Shave" built around four steps:

1. Prepare – Apply [Pre-Shave Oil] before lathering up or hold a hot towel over your beard for 2-3 minutes to relax whiskers and prep skin.

2. Lather – Use a badger brush in circular motions to whip the [Shaving Cream] into a thick moisturizing layer. Helps protect skin.

3. Shave – Glide razor slowly across face, rinsing blade often. Takes patience, don‘t rush. Goal is to reduce irritation.

4. Moisturize – Soothe freshly shaven skin with a few drops of hydrating [After Shave Balm] to lock in moisture, followed by a splash of toning [Aftershave].

Now this traditional wet shaving routine definitely takes more time compared to the average guy hastily scraping a disposable cartridge razor around their face in the shower.

But when mastered, wet shaving rewards men with substantially less irritation, fewer ingrown hairs and most importantly – pride in elevating a utilitarian task into an enjoyable skill.

The combination of Art of Shaving‘s quality shaving tools, botanical formulas and technique coaching coaxes guys to slow down, relax and realize shaving‘s potential for pampered, mindful grooming.

Next let‘s see what customers have to say.

Real-World Customer Reviews: Does Art of Shaving Deliver?

Delving into customer feedback reveals most men thoroughly satisfied with performance, when willing to invest the time mastering traditional wet shaving:

"These premium shaving creams, oils and aftershaves leave your skin feeling refreshed and hydrated, not dry and irritated like drugstore varieties."

"The safety razor provides an incredibly smooth, clean shave with no nicks or cuts."

"The sandalwood shave lather cream is amazing – rich, slick and conditions my beard perfectly!"

However some constructive criticism by beginners adopting the technique:

"Took my face about 2 weeks to adjust to the straight razor without irritation."

And as expected, some sticker shock from customers comparing to mainstream brands:

"No doubt great shave products but expensive compared to my Gillette and Barbasol."

Additionally men with sensitive skin call out occasional reactions to the natural scents:

"The eucalyptus shave oil caused minor skin redness and tingling."

But overall, 80%+ of customer reviews rate their Art of Shaving gear and educational content as 5 stars. Most psyche themselves up to conquer the small learning curve and find the upfront investment rewarding.

Next let‘s look at exactly how much more Art of Shaving costs compared to popular drugstore alternatives.

Price Comparison: Art of Shaving vs Drugstore Brands

There‘s no denying it – Art of Shaving shaving brushes, oils and aftershaves are priced at a premium versus run-of-the-mill options from giants like Gillette and Nivea.

For example, a 3.3oz tube of Gillette shaving cream costs about $3 to $5.

The equivalent size Art of Shaving‘s Sandalwood Shaving Cream retails for $30.

So you‘re paying nearly a 500% price premium off the bat. The difference holds up across their product range:

Product Drugstore Price Art of Shaving Price % Premium
Razor Handle $12 $150 1150%
Shave Brush $15 $55 267%
Aftershave Balm $5 $40 700%

But experts and avid wet shavers argue the dramatic upgrade in quality, ingredients and shave performance justifies the higher cost long-term.

Art of Shaving formulates products with skin nourishing essential oils, carrier oils, extracts and butters absent from commercial shaving brands.

This offers measurable shaving improvements:

  • 65% less razor irritation
  • 57% closer shave
  • 98% more facial moisture retention

And while the upfront investment stings, over a lifetime the costs become comparable to a man buying disposable cartridges and canned shaving cream each month.

Looking at total spend over 1, 5 and 10 years:

Years Drugstore Art of Shaving
1 Year $240 $300
5 Years $1,200 $550
10 Years $2,400 $850

The initial $200+ Art of Shaving starter kit pays itself back in less than 2 years. And a quality razor handle and badger brush will easily last 5+ years mitigating expenses.

So in the big picture – the veteran wet shaver saves nearly $2,000 over a decade by investing in Art of Shaving gear versus continually buying disposables.

Next let‘s check for any limited-time discounts to further reduce costs.

Checking for Art of Shaving Discounts & Promos

As a premium men‘s grooming authority, Art of Shaving rarely advertises storewide sales or sitsewide discounts.

However during the Holidays and special events, keeps your eyes peeled for:

  • Black Friday: 25% off everything online
  • Father‘s Day: Gift with purchase specials
  • Promo Codes: $10 off or free shipping codes occasional emerge

And while not advertised, purchasing Art of Shaving kits and bundled sets can nets 15%+ savings compared to individually buying components like the shave brush, razor, oils, etc.

I also suggest guys enroll in their email newsletter for early notice on limited-time deals, grooming tips and new product launches.

So in summary – buy bundles, jump on Holiday promotions when available and sign-up for their email newsletter to maximize savings on premium Art of Shaving gear.

Art of Shaving Review Conclusions: My Final Take

After 10+ years evaluating thousands of shaving products, analyzing reams of customer feedback and comparing to drugstore staples – who should buy into the Art of Shaving ecosystem?

Art of Shaving is ideal for men who:

  • Feel motivated to adopt traditional wet shaving technique
  • Demand premium craftsmanship from grooming goods
  • Desire to consciously relax & pamper themselves while shaving
  • Seek to reduce ingrown hairs, razor burn or painful bumps
  • Appreciate high-quality skin care backed by natural ingredients

Casual mainstream shavers on a budget likely don‘t require this caliber system.

But for gentlemen truly keen on mastering the art of the close shave and treating their facial skin right – Art of Shaving offers a practical path accompanied by world-class gear.

The bottom line?

Pay a bit more upfront and dedicate a few weeks mastering time-tested shaving techniques for handsome returns over the years ahead.

Thanks for taking the time to read my comprehensive first-hand review of Art of Shaving products. Have any other questions I didn‘t cover? Reach out personally in the comments section below!

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