Braun Series 5 review

Braun Series 5 review

The first electric shaver I ever bought was a Braun  back in 1998. Two years later, I replaced it with another Braun model I had won in a competition. Since then, I have owned a Philips shaver and a load of different Gillette razors and in the later years, Double Edge razors.

Recently, I got the chance to try out one of Brauns latest models from their utterly popular Series 5. As you may have read elsewhere on the site, I definitely prefer wet shaving over electric shaving, but for a few weeks I decided to leave the razor blades and shaving soap and use the Braun Series 5 for my shaving needs. I will share my experience in this review.

The Braun Legacy

Ibraun-series-5-with-6550t may not be fair to compare the Series 5 shaver to my old Braun shaver from 1999. After all there must have been some development over the last 13-14 years. But in many ways this may just be the best way to judge the quality and necessity of the product.

As most other Braun shavers, the Series 5 has a double foiled shaving head with an extra knife between the two foils. This is the same technology seen in the Series 3 and 7 (but not in Series 1) – and is also similar to the head of my old Braun 6550 from 1999.

The machine itself is quite a bit larger than my old shaver, but the actual shaving head is more or less of the same size as the old model. It has however been improved in several ways, but more on that later.

The Series 5 shaver has a very nice feel, and it fits great in my hands. The handling of the shaver is perfect and it seems very well balanced. The shaving head pivots, but can be locked in several positions for better precision.

The actual shave

As mentioned before, I believe the shavers head is a piece of great technology. Not only does the head pivot and lock in different angles to allow increased precision but it will also lift and lower each of the foil blades individually as it pivots. This seems to work very well as it allows the knife between the foils to reach more of the thorough stubble on your chin. This particular feature is known as UltraActiveLift, and is available on several Series 5 and 7 shavers.

I often find that reviewing electric shavers can be hard and painful, as each type of shaver requires some time to get used to. But with the Series 5, I hardly experienced any rash or irritation at all. It did (as most electric shavers seem to) have some problems dealing with longer stubble underneath my chin. But a bit of extra effort in that area was enough to get the job done.

Cleaning and maintenance

The Braun Series reviewed by Shaving Shavingdetective

The Braun Series 5 reviewed by Shaving Shavingdetective

I have been testing the Series 5-030 model. It is delivered with the rather bulky Clean&Charge station. The station is a large docking station to be placed somewhere in your bathroom to store, clean and charge your shaver.

Let me start by saying that you don't have to use the station to charge your shaver. I personally prefer to just use the charging cord whenever it's needed.

The Clean&Charge station holds a cleaning cartridge, which will automatically clean your shaver while the battery is recharged. It seems to do a great job keeping your shaver clean and properly lubcricated, but I am generally not a big fan of these large charging stations. Once you have inserted the cleaning cartridge it is a hard job finding somewhere to put the station while it is not in use. It requires both the cleaning fluid and electricity plugged in to work, so you must find a good spot for it. You can of course disconnect it when not in use, but it is a bit of a
extra work.

Overall

I have to admit that I am quite fond of the Braun Series 5-050 shaver. It does a great job at what it is supposed to do, and the design is both useful and beautiful at the same time.

I may not be a big fan of the Clean&Charge station – but since it is not required for me to use it, I will just leave it in the box for now. The shaver is just as good without the station, as long as you remember to clean the shaving head every now and then.

The particular model I tested is available on the European market, but Series 5 shavers are available with different accessories and several design variations from Amazon.com and a shop near you. All Series 5 shavers use the same shaving head and technology, so the variations are only in design, display indicators and other minor details.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars.

Olivelia Shaving Foam

Olivelia Shaving Foam

If I say “Greece” you probably don't think of cosmetics, do you?
However, Greece is more than just beautiful scenery, historical places and tzatziki. It's a country full of olives. On my latest visit to the wonderful island Crete, I decided to try out one of the numerous brands of olive based shaving foams.
Olivelia Shaving Foam

Olivelia Shaving Foam

The Olivelia Shaving Foam, priced at €7.50 in the local tourist shop in Agia Marina,  was my pick of the trip. The name is a combination of the Latin and Greek names for olive (Olive and Elia).

The shaving foam is free from parabens. The bottle design and the label will make you think of a natural, ecological product, and it does contain both olive oil and extracts from hop and cotton. However, the list of ingredients also tells that it's a cosmetic product and contains perfume among a long list of artificial ingredients. I was slightly disappointed about this but mainly because the packaging made me think of a more ecological product.

At first, I found the Olivelia Shaving Foam a bit too watery, and was not able to get a very good shave with it.

After some attempts, I found a solution for that problem; just spray the foam onto your hands and rub it for a few seconds. That will wipe away a lot of the water, and leave a nice, frothy foam that gives a much better shave.

All in all, I have enjoyed using the Olivelia Shaving Foam. It is available from several sources online, including Mocmarket.com.

Philips AquaTouch AT890

Philips AquaTouch AT890

Ten years ago, I was a keen user of electric shavers, but the quality of the shave kept letting me down. But ten years is a long time in todays world, so I was excited to find out how much Philips has managed to improve their razors over the years.

I have been allowed to test three different Philips shavers, and this review will be featuring the most recent of the three, the AquaTouch AT890.

The Philips AquaTouch AT890 is a stylish shaver. The blue body and the grey and black fitting give it a clean and efficient look. As the name suggests, the AquaTouch series is entirely waterproof and can be used both with shaving cream or without. The AquaTouch can even go into the shower with you.

So basically, the AquaTouch seems like an attempt to attract some of the wet shavers around the World into trying electrical shavers. So for me – as a man who used to shave electric but has since changed into traditional wet shaving – this revisit to the world of rotary blades is interesting.

The AquaTouch series use the HQ8 blades also found in the 2D/3D SensoTouch series. The blades are almost identical to the blades used on my 10 year old HQ6580 apart from a few extra holes in the middle.

I have used the AT890 for a total of 10 shaves on 10 different days. I used it both in the shower, after my shower and even without shower (but with shaving foam).

Shaving in the shower
It sounds easy, and it sounds efficient. But it really isn't. I always end up with large patches of my face unshaven. I would possibly get a better result if I had a large, brightly lit mirror in my shower, but I haven't. 🙂

Shaving after the shower
10-12 years ago I used to sell electric shavers in an electronic shop in Copenhagen. I always told my customers to shave BEFORE the shower, not after. The skin has a tendency to expand slightly from the long term exposure to hot water, and even though this is great for a blade based shave, it's a bad idea when you use an electric shaver.
Based on my experience with the AT890, this is still the case. Do not use an electric shaver right after showering – it will leave you with a 5 o'clock shade even before noon.

Shaving before the shower with shaving gel or foam
This is where I got the best results from the AquaTouch. First I warmed my face using either a hot towel or washing it with hot water. I then applied a nice lather to cover my stubble, and started shaving.
This procedure gave me a very nice and close shave on my cheeks, chin and upper lip. But when it comes to shaving the neck, and in particular the upper part of the neck just below the cheeks, the Philips shaver got itself into trouble. It simply couldn't cope with the shape of my neck and left the stubble more or less untouched.

According to Philips, you should look down when you shave your neck (contrary to stretching your skin when using a blade). This did help a bit for me – but not much.

The Verdict

I like the design of the Philips shavers, even though the AT890 look almost excactly the same as my 10 year old Philips. But the weight, shape and balance make it very easy and comfortable to use. Unfortunately, I must still admin that the shave is average at best. For a quick shave on a busy day it will do fine. But as I have mentioned before (in the article Rotary blade or foil shaver?) everything depends on YOUR face.

Just because it's no good for my weird skin, doesn't mean that it will not work for you.

If you own the AT890, please write your experiences in the comments below.

King of Shaves Azor 5 review

King of Shaves Azor 5 review

When I started this blog, it only took me a few days to get hooked on a British company named King of Shaves, and in particular their series of cartridge razors,  Azor.

A few months ago, my wife went on a short trip to London – and the only thing I asked her to get me was a King of Shaves Azor 5 razor. It’s not yet available here in Denmark and has just recently been launched in US by Remington. (more…)

The 3 step system from Real Shaving Co

The 3 step system from Real Shaving Co

How many shaving products do you really need? Surely you need some sort of shaving gel or similar to apply to your face during the acual shave. But how about preshave and aftershave? The amount of products is immense, and it can be hard to find your way through this consumer jungle. But at the Real Shaving Co, they try to make your life easier.

1, 2, 3 – shave

You can divide your daily shave into three steps.

The preshave, in which you prepare your face to the upcoming encounter with your razor. The preshave should clean your face as well as moisten the skin and your beard.

The actual shave – the war zone – when you let a sharp steel blade glide across your skin and through your bristles. The key is to keep your beard soft, moist and vigilant, while still getting the razor close to your face.

After the shave, when your skin is more vulnerable than usual, you probably need to add some moisture to your face again. A good aftershave will help protect your skin and give you a fantastic glow for the rest of the day.

This three part way of thinking is the basic concept of all products from The Real Shaving Co. All products are clearly marked as preshave, shave or aftershave products with a simple three-step system.

Part of my daily shave

I'm currently testing a few products, and among these are two products from The Real Shaving Co.

For the last two months, I have been using the Step 2 – Super Slide Shave Gel and Step 3 – Sooting Balm every now and then. I am testing several products, so I don't use them every day – and not always at the same time.

But I must say that I have been very satisfied with both products so far.

Super Slide Shave Gel

I had a few concerns about the Super Slide Shave Gel, as it is absolutely transparent. If you're used to the classic white foam on your face, it's actually a strange feeling to shave while you still see all of your vulnerable skin. It took me a few days before I had the guts to try the Super Slide Shave Gel with my Double Edge razors.

For some reason, I didn't have any concerns using the Wilkinson Hydro 5 (Schick Hydro 5) with the transparent gel. But I have just recently begun using my DE razors with the gel. In fact, I still feel that the transparency of the Super Slide Shave Gel fits the “safe” cartridge type razors better than it fits Double Edge or straight razors.

So if you're using the Wilkinson / Schick / Gillette Fusion / Azor type of razor – and want to try a nice, gentle, paraben free shave gel – I suggest you give the Real Shaving Co Super Slide Shave Gel a try… (hmm – that is a long name, isn't it?)

You will have to apply the gel to your face by hand – it doesn't work well with a brush. Just make sure to massage it good around your entire face and neck and make sure you're not missing any spots.

Soothing aftershave
The aftershave balm – or “Post Shave Daily Soothing Balm” as it's called – contains Aloe Vera to help moisten and reduce irritation of your skin. The list of ingredients is a long one, but there are no parabens or sodium laureth sulfates, so that's a plus to me.

The post shave balm has a very distinct scent. I haven't quite figured out what it is yet, but probably a combination of the Aloe, coconut oil, rooibus extract and a few more things. But to me, it is just the scent of “having just stepped out of the shower and feeling clean”.

Note on the scent: After having pondered about this for hours, I asked my wife as she said goodnight… “Oh, that's easy… It's apples, dear!”

Do you use any of the Real Shaving products? Which is your favorite? And what does the post shave balm actually smell of? Join the discussions by adding your comments below.

Visit Real Shaving Co on http://www.realshaving.com

EverBlade stops corrosion of your razor blades

EverBlade stops corrosion of your razor blades

A few months ago – shortly after I reviewed the RazorPit blade cleaner, I received an odd package from the company Greeneverblade. As I opened it, I found a black piece of plastic, designed to hold a standard cartridge razor like Gillette or Shick. But where the blades were to be put, the plastic was replaced with what seemed to be a flat piece of cupper. The EverBlade claimed to make my razor blades last longer! How? Why? Really? Read on!

Can the EverBlade make your razor blades last longer?

So this is how it works… When your razor is not in use, you put it to rest on the EverBlade with the blades on top of the metal part. That's all. No cleaning, nothing to switch on, nothing to do at all… You can sit down and watch the EverBlade work. But it's quite boring, as it doesn't do anything you can see. It doesn't even make a noise. In fact, all this is why I didn't really believe in this product when I received it. But you know what? It worked! And still works!

The single blade I used for this review (a Gillette Fusion cartridge) worked perfectly for nearly 35 shaves! That's more than I got from the RazorPit cleaner! And nearly ten times what I get from a normal cartridge!

I am not going to get into too many details about how the EverBlade actually works. Chris Wilson from the company behind the Everblade, made a long explanation to me about magnetic fields and energy bouncing back and forth between the razor and the EverBlade. But I thinks it's even simpler. The EverBlade works as an anode for the razor, causing the metal on the EverBlade to corrode instead of the metal on the razor blades. If you really (and I mean REALLY!) want to read about anodes, check Wikipedia on anodes. Otherwise – just be happy finding a product that actually works!

The EverBlade I got will fit most modern cartridge razors. I had a problem with the new ProGlide blades, as they are slightly larger than others – but hey, the EverBlade guys just changed the design. A few days ago, a new version of the EverBlade was launched, and it will fit the ProGlide as well!

All in all, even though I was truly skeptical, the EverBlade surprised me with impressive results. It's reasonably priced, and it seems to do a good job. At least with my Fusion blades. The Everblade is currently sold at  $14.95 on Amazon.com  (updated december 2011). I haven't seen it in any European stores yet.

Read more about the EverBlade on Greeneverblade.com.

Did you try the EverBlade? Or do you understand anodes and magnetic fields better than me? Join the discussion below by commenting this article!

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