Better than drugstore, but not the best
Feb 9, 2008
Review by colol
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Invigorating smell, Better than some cheap stuff
Cons:Lame aloe beads, high price, so-so shave, smell lingers
The Bottom Line: Other products, like Jack Black's, are better standalone products. As a system, Anthony might prevail... for far more money.
I'll admit it's probably not fair to Anthony Logistics to have tried their Shave Gel for Men after discovering Jack Black's Beard Lube. With Anthony trying to establish itself as the premium men's brand, and with prices to match, it seems only appropriate, however.
Recommend this product?
Mass-market brands of shaving cream and gel clog and dull your razor blades, smell or burn, and worst of all, don't offer a particularly close or comfortable shave.
Anthony Logistics positions their Shave Gel as the solution to low-quality men's shaving products. At $16 for 8 ounces, it's a top-shelf product.
With aloe beads, glycerin, sea kelp, and slippery elm (whatnow?), this shave gel aims to lubricate, soothe, and moisturize, all in one product. Also present are eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary oils, aiming to cool skin and act as astringents.
But does this spunky kid KO The Establishment and competing premium men's brands?
Like all Anthony products, the packaging is minimalist and sleek, so this will be at home both in the cupboard or on the counter. Typical of non-aerosol shave gels, it comes in a flip-top tube. As with most products packaged this way, take care if you're a shower shaver; water will run down the bottle and collect in the cap.
The gel itself is blue in color and fairly thick, speckled with the aloe beads the product promises (which resemble miniature Tic-Tacs). I'm not a fan of the aloe beads; I found them fairly insistent on remaining intact, which means (a) they're not releasing any aloe onto your skin and (b) they can keep the razor blade from actually getting to your hair.
Applying the gel results in a cooling sensation from the essential oils. While Anthony Logistics includes this product in their "sensitive skin" line, these oils may be too much depending on how sensitive your skin is. However, it isn't menthol, so you may have slightly better luck with this product even if you do have particularly sensitive skin.
For the most part, the gel is relatively clear when applied, making it easy to shave only the areas you want to. This gel also has a gentle, refreshing scent to it which is great for those early morning shaves. Even after rinsing your face, a light peppermint smell lingers for hoursit's light enough, though, that only someone in intimate contact is likely to notice it.
The improvements Anthony Logistics has made over cheaper products end largely at about this point, though.
For actual shaving use, the Anthony Shave Gel shares many characteristics with its much cheaper brethren. It's still likely to slurm up your razor blade, particularly if you're using newer cartridge designs with 3, 4, or 5 blades. Once on the blades, it can be difficult to rinse off at times. Conversely, it's more than happy to leave your face, and I found myself having to reapply the Anthony product more than any other shaving product I've used. While skipping and dragging were less frequent than with Gillette or Edge gels, the Anthony gel couldn't touch Jack Black's Beard Lube.
It's almost paradoxical that the product could seemingly have so much volume on your razor when it goes on so thinly.
Following on with this line of thinking, it would seem going on thinly would allow for a closer, better shave. And it doesto an extent. I was able to get a closer shave with the Anthony product than with Gillette and Edge products. But it was nowhere near as close as with Jack Black.
Meditations on Market
Taking time out here from the rest of the review, I think it's important to consider why Anthony Logistics Shave Gel might have the problems it does.
Jack Black at the high end and Gillette et al at the low end have the same strategy: Simplicity. They've done their market research and determined men want simple, easy-to-use, all-in-one products. The end result is that Jack Black Beard Lube includes pre-shave oil to offer an enhanced emollient effect (softening the skin and hair). Most other men's brands at the middle and high ends have taken this same approach.
Anthony Logistics, on the other hand, has taken after the women's cosmetics market by offering basic (yet not inexpensive) products you combine by using individually. The expectation is that you'll purchase pre-shave oil at $20 for 2 ounces to prep your face and neck before applying your $16 for 8 ounces shave gel.
If it makes you feel better to spend more money or develop complex rituals, go hog wild with Anthony. In general, though, I'd argue everyone else is getting it right: While skin care is a priority, why spend twice the money for half the product? It's nice that Anthony donates to prostate cancer research, but I can make my own donations with the money I save using other men's brands.
The Final Verdict
It's a mixed bag.
If you're coming from the terrible depths of cream-in-a-can, yes, the Anthony product will treat you considerably better. You'll get a closer shave, the blade will rinse cleaner slightly more easily, and the formulation is nicer in general to your skin.
As a standalone product, though, Anthony Logistics Shave Gel just doesn't stand up to the competition. Especially at its price point, the level of shave it provides just isn't enough. Perhaps it would be a better shave when complemented with Anthony's Pre-Shave Oilbut when competing products include the oil for what Anthony charges for the gel alone, why bother?
Either way, it's also a matter of whether you want to smell faintly of peppermint for hours at a time.
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