Luxist Review: TwinLuxe Luxury Shaving For Men
I remember when I was about 16 years old and I got a package in the mail from Gillette. It was a shaving razor, a few blades, and a can of Gillette shaving cream. I never asked for the kit. The clever marketing move done by Gillette gets men to use their products at a young age. Gillette taught me the "supermarket" approach to shaving, but I didn't learn what a "good shave" was until years later. The truth is that most men these days aren't familiar with the "art of shaving" (which is coincidentally the name a retail chain).
The modern gentlemen is expected to have knowledge in a number of areas, but topics concerning traditional forms of men's grooming are becoming lost. It is a shame, because the "supermarket" shaving experience doesn't even come close to what a proper shave can offer.
While not alone in this pursuit, new brand TwinLuxe is trying to get the "message" out there to men that a 'good shave' is a luxurious experience. In a sense it certainly is. A good shave is a process that requires good tools and a little bit of skill. Those wanting the modern convenience of a safety razor can forgot the straight razor experience, and still enjoy much of what a traditional shave has to offer. TwinLuxe intends to cater to the discerning individual by offering a high-end (according to TwinLuxe, they offer the most expensive regular production shave set currently on the market) shaving kit and accompanying men's skin products - each specially formulated by TwinLuxe.
TwinLuxe offers a 'pre-creamed' cream, but purists will want to whip up their own batch using special types of bar soap that you can buy elsewhere (and via TwinLuxe soon). The Smooth Shave Cream can be used with the brush or easily applied with your hands. In fact, that is the whole point of a badger fur brush, is to act as a means of developing a thick frothy paste of shaving cream. You can always get such soap and use the TwinLuxe shaving brush with it. There are many grades of shaving brushes, all good ones use badger fur, with the best type being silvertip fur (though even silvertip seems to come in various grades). You can tell by the tips of the bristles that TwinLuxe does indeed use an adequately high-grade form of unbleached silvertip badger fur for their brushes.
You'll find that most luxury shaving instruments still rely on Gillette blades. Why? Well there are a number of reason, but when it comes down to it, Gillette has put a lot of time and effort into creating really good safety razors.You'd have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to even come close to them (or Schick). So the wisest approach for any brand is to create a luxury handle and use the best blades available. It also makes it easy to replace your blades and Gillette blades are universally available. TwinLuxe uses Gillette Fusion blades for its products.
After your shave is done, TwinLuxe offers a few post-shave products to complete the process - to tidy up your skin and protect it.. How good is the shave? Well it is more about the experience and how it makes you feel - which is pretty good actually. Anytime you use high-end products in a methodical manner to perform a daily ritual, it tends to make what ever you are doing feel better. The shave itself is good. The cream help lubricate things nicely and raise up whiskers, and using a fresh blade is always nice. Since you are using nice tools, you tend to take a bit less time, and enjoy the process - which tends to result in a closer shave as you move the blade more slowly.
You might notice that while the TwinLuxe shave set does resemble "old timey" ones, it also has a distinct modern feel to it. Actually, the designer of the set is the same person who designed the body of the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
TwinLuxe offers three different shaving kit sets. Each set comes with a blade and handle, a brush, and a stand for them. It is all in a beautiful walnut wood box. In a slide-out drawer you'll find a special shaving towel (designed by TwinLuxe and made by the same supplier that makes Frette products) made out of a high-grade soft micro-cotton. The three sets include one version in a chrome finish, one in steel with a matte PVD applied anthracite color coating, and a top-end model in white ceramic (called the Arctic Edition and made using US made alumina ceramic).
I tested out the ceramic set, and it is quite unique. The ceramic components are heavier than you might expect but are comfortable to use. The matte finish on the ceramic material also prevents slippage Thus, you'll experience a secure grip on both the blade and the brush, even if they are wet.
With a price of between $788 - $1,588 for the shave kit alone, these are certainly luxury priced products. The two founders of TwinLuxe actually assemble each kit themselves. The shave cream and other skin care products are sold separately. In all, such ritualized luxury shaving is best kept as an occasional treat. Best for when you want to look or feel your best. The modern man likely doesn't have the time required each day for the full process, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy "a little daily luxury," which is why TwinLuxe also offers the range of men's skin products.
Using the set will make you or any man feel good. It makes a good gift, especially for the type of guy who is hard to shop for. TwinLuxe does a good job with presentation, and you'll be relatively impressed with how they do it. In the end, the company was started by two twin brothers (hence the "twin" part of the name) involved with and familiar with the luxury world, who wanted to make products they themselves will use.
You can learn a lot more details about the range of TwinLuxe products, as well as purchase them via their website here.
Thanks to TwinLuxe for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch reviews site aBlogtoRead.com.