Bikini Kitty takes a different approach to men’s shaving than most companies, opting for a cool, urban vibe rather than the typical “sophisticated and aloof” marketing style. I tried their shaving kit, which includes four products: their exfoliating “Dirty Dog’s Daily Demolition Spray,” their “Slick Blade Shave Gel,” their “No-Bump Brush,” and their “Beat-Nick Razor Oil.” The kit also includes two single-blade, non-Bic disposable razors.
The kit overall is relatively low-frill, as the emphasis is on improving shave technique rather than scents or lush lathers. Their Demolition Spray is simple and effective, if oddly named — I used it one night where I had some minor shaving bumps and the next day they were, to my surprise, completely gone. And I didn’t feel as if my face had been demolished. The product is a little strange to apply, as it’s a squirt pump and I don’t generally squirt things on to my face, but I closed my eyes and applied it directly to my cheeks and neck. After a minute or two, it’s dry. It’s a very mild fruit-based acid, so they suggest not putting it on if you’re going outside in the sun, but it’s perfect for right before bed. Since it’s based on fruit acids, it has a very mild citrus scent which quickly dissipates.
The Slick Blade Shave Gel is also no-frills but effective. They claim it has a mild cucumber scent, but I couldn’t detect any smells, good or bad. I dampened my face and applied a smallish amount of gel with my fingers, and it goes on easily, leaving a thin film so you know where it is. You can definitely see your whiskers and face through the gel, and Dirty Dog wants you to see your face when you shave so you know what you’re doing. The gel stays pretty moist throughout and I was able to get a very close shave with the gel, although I had to apply a small amount more towards the end of my shave.
The No-Bump Brush is a coarse exfoliating brush that you use prior to shaving or showering in order to physically brush away dead skin and expose as much of your hair as possible. It’s a comfortable size and works well, and they encourage you to use it at other parts of the day if you experience any itchiness (instead of just using your fingernails). It’s definitely an improvement over scratching your face, and it did help eliminate some itchy spots that normally plague me later in the day.
Finally, their Beat-Nick Razor Oil is a nice thick razor oil that helps keep your blade sharp as it cuts through your hair. Applying oil to a blade is a standard way to reduce oxidation, so you could also apply this after shaving in order to keep your blade sharper. I couldn’t tell much difference while shaving, since I used a new razor, but after trying it for a few days my blade remained sharp, so it does function well as a blade oil.
The kit comes with two disposable razors, which they recommend to use, but I was not a fan. An occasional nick is common even among experienced shavers, but the disposables are too light and the blade is at a bad angle for my beard hair, resulting in a bloodbath on my neck! That’s not Dirty Dog’s fault; I have the same problem with all single-blade disposables. Also, while Dirty Dog recommends the standard shaving practice of shaving with the grain, the closest shave is always going against the grain. On my face, shaving with the grain is equivalent to not shaving at all, since my beard hair lays very flat. Dirty Dog also sells a safety razor, although I’m not sure of the brand, but safety razors in general are better than disposables and, some argue, cartridge razors. This is mostly due to the weight, adjustability, and low price of very sharp blades. Still, I used a Gillette Mach 3 razor and had a much better experience, so this is a good kit for someone who is either just starting out shaving or who is curious about wetshaving.
Dirty Dog is available direct from Bikini Kitty’s website, and is a good deal if you’re looking for a basic but comprehensive shaving kit.