Review of Smart Shave
I got the chance to use the "smart shave system" for its intended time period and the following are my conclusions.
Step 1 - Exfoliating pads.
My experience has proven these pads to be decent for me. They smell horrid, and leave a miserable sticky residue on your face, that should be washed before shaving (if you don't wash after using this pad, and you shave with an artist club, the added drag from the residue WILL cause irritation and nicks). With that said - they do however work, and they do seem to do quite a nice job at exfoliating. It is probably a bit easier on ones skin than an exfoliating scrub, however with a tube of St. Ives Apricot scrub being so inexpensive and not leaving a residue, I do not really see these pads taking St. Ives place... at least for me.
Step 2 - Shaving cream.
Although it does not smell nice, that is not my gripe with this shaving cream. First of all, it is meant to be "clear" on ones skin so you can see where you are shaving. Personally I think this is a terrible idea, as you cannot always tell where you have shaved, and I always seem to have a few unshaven spots somewhere on my face after using products like this. Although it lubricates much better than a can of foamy, or edge Gel, it was not nearly as good as King Of Shaves Alpha Shave Gel, which is readily available dirt cheap at Target, not to mention it smells decent and has an intense cooling effect. The KOS Gel also works wonders as a preshave. Compared to top quality english shaving creams, the Smart Shave stuff is not even in the same category. It simply is not up to that level of performance.
Step 3 - Calming balm.
The calming balm is pretty decent stuff. It has a nice scent to it, seems to work well enough, and is reasonably priced. Of the line, I think this might be my favorite item. I do not like its container (full sized product comes in a different container), as the green product seems to get everywhere, but again, the actual product is decent stuff. I do not think I would purchase this calming balm, as I feel there are superior products out on the market, but by all means it is not bad stuff.
Here is a picture of the "smart shave system" with the products opened and closed.
joel (at) badgerandblade.com