I converted to double edge shaving from the Mach 3 cartridges in January this year. I had previously used all of the canned shaving gel products (Gillette etc) and also Truefitt and Hill and Trumpers Shaving Cremes using a proper good quality Badger Hair Shaving Brush. I have tried Taylors of Old Bond Street and Proraso crèmes, Dove Shaving Crème and the King of Shaves Supergel amongst various others.
I came across the Village Barber Shave Oil by chance on the internet and was swayed into buying it by Ian’s video on the Village Barber Website. I bought it in January and have used it as my ‘Go To’ Pre shave since then. I have also intermittently used all of the above named products by way of a comparison. I have used a variety of blades and good quality razors (Edwin Jagger, Gillette vintage adjustables, Merkur Mergress etc). I have improved my technique enough now to be able to give a credible review of this product. This is only my opinion as everyone’s skin and technique differs.
The Village barber Shave Oil for me is the best shaving product I have used by a country mile. I have been using in very regularly since January and I have only used just over half of the bottle. It is not cheap, but in my opinion it is worth every penny. You only need two drops of the oil and you can make three passes and as many touch ups as you like with ease and confidence. I have told some of my friends about it and they have said ‘But I enjoy the brush and crème routine’. They imply that using this product cannot be enjoyable; it is! It smells great, giving a subtle aroma (I can’t quite describe it, but there is a light citrus and herbal fragrance that whisks you away to Tuscany or a warm day on the Mediterranean). The oil is easy to apply and feels smooth and warm on your face, it is not over oily. I have read some comments elsewhere that say ‘it makes your hands oily!’ Of course it does… it is oil! But to say that is nit picking; it makes you hands slightly oily, simply rub your hands on your towel and that is all you need to do. It doesn’t mark or blemish the towel and seems to disappear without a trace. It doesn’t cover your razor in soap scum, like most other products and leaves no mess whatsoever in the sink – it leaves no trace. You will discover a bit of oily goo on your blade, if you open your razor. Simply rinse and wipe it off – job done – simple, it is a lot easier than cleaning soap scum off your razor.
The shave is the best I have managed to achieve and knocks spots off any other product that I have used. With patience, I can now get an irritation free BBS shave every time. It makes shaving easy because you can see exactly where you are shaving and when you need to make another pass, simply just wet your face again – no need to reapply. I do not enjoy using the other products anywhere near as much as this oil and it feels just as luxurious as any of the ‘luxury’ crèmes I have tried. It also leaves my skin less tight and more nourished than any other product. I normally follow up with an alu block and Proraso anti-razor burn lotion; both of which work well and sting before calming my face down. I now hardly get any sting from either when I use this oil, but I do with all of the other products. My skin feels great afterwards and as the scent of the oil is subtle, it doesn’t linger so you can put on any fragrance afterwards without conflict. I would suggest you will still need a balm or similar afterwards though and Village Barber also do a balm, which I have not yet tried, but intend to.
To summarise; in my opinion this is the best shaving product I have used. It works well with every blade and every razor I have tried and I really look forward to using it on a daily basis. It smells great, it feels luxurious and leaves your face feeling smooth and nourished. It is also great being whisked away to the Mediterranean every morning! As soon as I get to the last bit of the bottle (Probably another couple of months!) I will definitely be ordering another bottle. I am also so impressed that I will take a punt on the Village Barber Balm as well.
Out of 5 Stars I would give Village Barber Shave Oil Ten!