At first glance, a razor for women seems like a pretty simple tool – after all, there are only so many ways to use a blade to cut hair, right?
Well, not exactly. In recent years, they’ve gone from being standalone products to all kinds of products with all kinds of performance-enhancing features, durability and even storage options to keep your bath or shower tidy.
Women’s shavers should no longer have a pink tax, i.e. a higher price for women’s products, just because they are made for women. On the contrary, these shavers are now made with the habits, personal preferences and convenience of women in mind. They are designed to fit curves and small areas without cutting, and often have extras like a built-in soap to lubricate the skin.
We tested them all, from super-sharp single-blade razors to traditional five-blade razors, in search of the best razor for smooth legs, armpits, bikini lines and more on CNN Underscored. Whether you shave diligently year-round or only use your shaver once in the summer, after more than a month of shaving (and use), we’ve picked out three shavers:
Billie The Razor Starter Kit, one of the first razors with subscription exclusively for women, won first place for its user-friendly design, smooth shave and overall durability. The integrated carbon soap for easy lubrication and the elastic handle for easy handling ensure a quick and comfortable shave. The blades are sharp but won’t irritate your skin, and the magnetic holder keeps your blades clean and dry.
In second place is the Flamingo shaver, which looks much more expensive and sophisticated than it really is (only $9, FYI). It has a stronger, heavier handle with a rubber grip for easy use, and the cartridge is flexibly designed so you can shave upside down, sideways and over your head with ease. It also shaves smooth, but not as smooth as Billy.
Yes the People The Single Rose Gold Safety Razor comes from a beauty brand owned by a black woman who decided to redefine shaving safety – and with success. While not the best option when you’re in a hurry, it does offer the smoothest shave of any shaver we’ve tested. The pen is timeless and has a weighted head, but at $75 it’s an investment. As great as it is, it may not be the best choice for someone looking for a lightweight shaver for everyday use.
Billy, razor starter kit.
Let’s do the math to see how much we loved Billy’s razor. Seriously, though. Let’s start with what it looks like. We value form over function, and Billy just makes a beautiful shaver, with a cool, colorful design and a curved cartridge. The cartridge also contains active charcoal soap, so it glides over the skin without being slimy, like some built-in soaps and moisturizing serums we’ve tested.
The blades were super sharp right out of the box and removed the hair in one go without having to start over to get the beard. We didn’t have to wipe the hairs off the blades every so often, and there was no irritation even when we used antiperspirant immediately after shaving our armpits with Billy’s razor.
The razor itself is also comfortable to use – the handle is lined with rubber for a firm but comfortable grip, so it won’t slip.
This is a good bonus: The shaver comes with a magic holder, a small magnetic base that sticks to the shower wall with a sealant, regardless of evaporation. You also get an extra cartridge with it, making the starter kit for $9 a good price.
The Flamingo shaver has a more minimalist design than the Billie, but it also has features that set it apart from the crowd. The shaver head is longer at the front than its predecessors and has rounded edges on the sides, which flattens the skin as the razor glides across it for a safe shave. We found that it offered more control while shaving than other razors, especially those with blades only and little on the cartridge.
The cartridge has a built-in hinge that gives the handle a range of motion of about 90 degrees. This made it incredibly easy to shave in different directions on the armpits and legs, and minimized the amount of twisting and turning that would normally be required to shave down to the last spot. The handle also has a non-slip surface and grooves on the bottom, making it very easy to hold.
The shaver itself doesn’t come with a stand, but if you opt for the Shave Set ($16, shopflamingo.com), you get a mini shaving cream, body lotion, and a shower hook that you can attach to the wall. It has stayed in place even after being uninstalled and reinstalled several times.
Yes folks the simple safety razor in rose gold.
Granted, this shaver stole the show from our tester a few times, but it was still good enough that we can call it a learning curve. If you’ve never used a safety razor before, welcome to the club. It took a few minutes to assemble the razor, but otherwise it was simple – just unscrew the handle, place the razor on the head, and then reattach the handle.
We were especially pleased with the detailed information on the Oui the People website, which guided us through every step of the process, from unpacking the materials to rinsing the shaving cream. The Oui shaver comes with 10 individually packaged blades stored in a small box with a slot for safe insertion of used blades. But we were disappointed that there was no storage option so it could be stored nicely (and safely) in the shower.
As experienced amateurs already know, safety razors require a special approach: The weighted head does most of the work for you, so you don’t have to push. A light touch is all it takes to comfortably grip the textured metal handle, which never slips. But old habits are hard to unlearn and our tester suffered two scratches, one on the knee and the other on the back of the lower calf. It’s a very different way of shaving – think short, light strokes on small areas – and takes some getting used to. But it may be worth learning: It was the smoothest shave we’ve ever seen, and even removed a stubborn hair that was about to become an ingrown. It gave no razor burn, and the razor itself is very nice. If you have the time and patience, this is the closest you’ll get to a perfect shave.
We spent two months shaving and wiping these razors, and checked them at least three times. We have used them on different parts of the body to satisfy all possible applications. In our evaluation, we considered all aspects of shaving, from how the shaver looks in the shower to the precision of the shave.
We have developed an evaluation grid of these different factors, which we have divided into function, construction, durability and X-factors such as value:
- Shaving precision: We checked to see if there was any stubble left or if we had to go over the plot several times to get it completely smooth.
- Skin Irritation : Was the razor too abrasive? Redness and a burning sensation were two of the signs we looked for immediately after shaving and within an hour.
- Her constipation: We investigated whether the blades get clogged too often and need constant rinsing. Blockages can affect the precision and thoroughness of the shave.
- Performance characteristics: We looked at features that are not essential, but it is good that they are all the same, for example. For example, a special contour of the pattern, moisturizing strips or integrated soap, or other physical components that facilitate shaving.
- Comfort: Does the handle sit well in your hand, especially when shaving in different directions for areas like armpits and bikini line?
- Help yourself: No one likes to drop a razor, so we looked for materials that would make the handle easy to grip and slip-free.
- Aesthetics: Like it? If you (and anyone else who has access to your shower or bathtub) have to look at it every day, it can be beautiful.
- Worn every day: The shaver may look great the first time you use it, but we checked to see if it would get dirty or dull after a few weeks in the shower. This is especially important on shavers with a built-in soap.
- Signs of damage: We dropped the razor blades in the shower a few times and stepped on them to see if the blade as a whole withstood the pressure, if the cartridge fell out, if the handle broke off, or if it just didn’t work. We also leave the razor blades in a glass of water for a week to see if they rust.
- Value: The more ammo in the razor, the higher the score. We love shavers that deliver value for money.
- Storage options : We don’t like razor blades sitting on the edge of the tub and getting stuck. So we set out to find simple storage options that would allow the shaver to dry without getting dirty, whether that’s in a plastic container or a magnetic shower holder.
Using the above testing methods, we gave each shaver a score in each sub-category, then combined these numbers to get the maximum score in each category, and finally added these numbers together to get the final total score. We have broken down the result as follows:
- The feature had a maximum score of 50: Proximity to shave (15), skin irritation (15), blade clogging (10), features such as swivel head, contour, moisture spots (10).
- The assembly was awarded a maximum of 20 points: Ease of use (10), handle slip (5), appearance (5).
- Durability had a maximum of 20 points: daily use (5), signs of damage (15).
- The X-factors could receive a maximum of 10 points: Value (5), memory solutions (5).
Athena Club Razor, Schick Silk Touch-Up Facial Razor, Gillette Venus Swirl Flexiball Razor.
Athena Club Razor Kit ($9; athenaclub.com)
With this subscription offer, we’re big fans of the slightly thicker pen and the compact, rounded cartridge that fits easily in small spots like the armpits. But the cartridge fell off a few times when we dropped it, and we would have liked grooves in the handle for a little more control.
Chic Silk Touch-Up facial shaver ($6.65 for three; amazon.com).
If there was a category for individuals, it would be a big winner. It lifts hair in a minute, is easy to use and, because it comes in a set of three, offers value for money.
Gillette Vortex Flexibil Razor ($11.34; amazon.com)
This is our favorite of all the Venus Gillette varieties because it offers a very clean shave. However, there was no storage option, and the reel didn’t seem to do much in the way of versatility and handling.
Solimo 5-blade razor for women, Chic Hydro Silk TrimStyle razor, Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Sensitive razor
Solimo 5-blade shaver for women ($18.87; amazon.com)
With 12 cartridges and a shower holder, this shaver offers the best of the best. We did notice some aftershave residue and slight irritation after shaving where it lost points, but we found it comfortable to use thanks to the rubber grip.
Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle Razor ($12.58; amazon.com).
We loved the versatility of the shaver-trimmer hybrid, and the fact that it includes a battery was very welcome. The only downside is that the thicker handle (for the trimmer) doesn’t feel as good in the hand and the razor doesn’t shave very smooth.
Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Sensitive Razor ($12.99; amazon.com)
We liked that, as expected, it was gentle enough for sensitive skin and did not cause irritation. It is also virtually indestructible and can withstand daily use. However, the blades did not give as good a shave as we wanted.
Joy Razor, Venus Smooth Razor Original Vest, Venus ComfortGlide White Tea Mini Vest
Joy Razor ($10; joandglee.com)
Available individually or by subscription, the shaver gave us one of the smoothest shaves of any shaver we tested and held up very well in daily use. But we also noticed some irritation, and we didn’t like the look of it in the shower.
Gillette Venus Smooth Original Razor ($7.72 for razor and two refills; amazon.com)
We noticed a little irritation on our armpits after shaving with this razor and had to repeat the motions to get every hair. However, we are fans of the relatively small, curved chuck that makes it easy to maneuver around contours, and the easy-to-grip handle.
Gillette Venus ComfortGlide White Tea Mini ($14.70; amazon.com)
The built-in soap dishes are very handy – no need for shaving gel here, but we did find that they turned a little black after the first use. However, we were pleased with the multiple cartridges and the ease of storing the cartridges. A good choice for travel.
Gillette Venus Snap Extra Smooth Razor, Intuitive Care Sensitive Razor, Maapilim Safety Razor
Gillette Venus Snap Extra Smooth Razor ($6.49; amazon.com)
This mini razor and pouch are handy enough for travel, but we found the short, round handle hard to hold and less comfortable to use than the regular long handles. However, it shaves very smoothly and comes in an easy to pack pouch.
Schick Intuition Sensitive Care Razor ($9.99; amazon.com).
The built-in shaving soap is certainly effective, but it makes the whole design a bit heavy. We found it too big for armpits, so it’s better to use it for shaving larger areas like legs.
Maapilim Safety Razor ($52; maapilim.com)
This safety razor is highly rated for its cleanliness and aesthetics, but we were disappointed that it did not include razor blades or instructions, even on the website. Maybe it’s only for experienced razor fans.
Message: The prices mentioned above are the sales prices at the time of publication.
For more on the field test, check out CNN Underscored:
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