Panama Jackson

[Editor's Note: I was not paid to write this review. The people suggested I try something and because it was made available to me, I tried it. I do this for the culture. The culture does not pay very well, or at all really.]

One of the more awesome things about this writing action we’ve got going on here is that you really never know who is reading. To find out that you have famous people who actively read your labor is always a plus. But what’s also a plus is when you found out that brands are paying attention, too.

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Such is the case with a post I wrote a way back in April about being a bald Black man and trying to find an economical razor to maximize your shaveage. Not to be confused with Shavage, who as both Google and Facebook point out, might NOT be one of your cousin’s names after all. What a disappointing day in Blackness.

Anyway, in my post, I noted that I’d yet to try the Bevel shave system, largely for cost reasons. The only things I knew about Bevel were that they were Black owned and that they included a one-razor shaving experience. I’m a 5-blade kind of guy myself. It’s how I got so beautiful, but the comments section was full of folks trying to convince me that Bevel was the truth. Turns out, the folks at Bevel also feel that way. I don’t know if they read the post, flag all posts about shaving, or somebody forwarded them what I wrote, but lo and behold, a few short hours later, I got a DM from somebody at Bevel asking me for my address so that they could send me a kit to test out.

Glory day. I have to give credit where credit is due; those Bevel folks are on it. Over the course of the day were emails and attempts to schedule a one-on-one session to explain how to properly use it, which I could never make happen. I ended up watching a few videos, created by Bevel, which were awesomely effective. But we’ll get to that in a few.

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I wrote that post on a Friday. By Tuesday, I’d received my beautifully packaged kit from Bevel that included the priming oil, restoring balm, shaving cream, brush, handle and razors. Listen, while there’s almost no way in West Hell that I’m going to pay for a system that offers an installment plan, I must say, the packaging is almost as gorgeous as I am. I’m Gorgeous P in case you didn’t know. It is so pretty that I did what any self-respecting new age, too-old-to-be-a-millennial does: I instagrammed it and picked just the right filter to display the awesomeness.

And then it sat there for weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I opened it up. I observed each individual piece with adoration and joy. But something about using one razor bothered me. For one, could I shave my head with just one razor? Would I be effectively using two different razors? Bevel for my face and neck and some other option for my head?

Secondly, there are a lot of parts to the system. There are three different liquids. Currently, I use shaving cream and call it a day. In a life without a lot of time – my son was born a few days later – it seemed like a time consuming experience so I waited until I felt like I had enough time.

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And when that day came, I felt like an idiot. I watched the video on how to use the system since I never managed to set up a time to get the one-on-one consultation, and the video made it seem like such a simple process. I actually felt dumb for thinking it was complicated because there were so many parts. Also, I felt dumb because I had no clue how (before watching the video) to put the damn razor in the handle at first. I’m pretty sure I prayed for my children to be smarter than their father at least twice. Of course, its common sense and simple to use.

So let’s get to the meat of it all: yo, Panama, what do YOU think of Bevel?

I’m glad I asked.

I think it’s cool. But I can’t see myself using it permanently for one reason and one reason only: I really didn’t enjoy the shaving experience with the handle.

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Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like the whole system. Hell, I’ll probably use everything BUT the razor. Let me tell you something: I felt like a motherfucking BAWSE using that brush to put shaving cream all over my face and head. I said out loud, “oh shit, nigga, they done changed the game with the brush!” The priming oil, well I don’t know exactly what that’s for (I guess to prime?) but I used it and I loved the shaving cream AND the restoring balm. I like the fragrance of it and I felt pretty awesome after I used it.

I even think that the shaver did a great job once I figured out how the hell to use a razor and handle that had zero give and sat at a 90 degree angle. I was so concerned about slicing myself open at first that I was SUPER slow and hesitant. But once I figured out how to do it like I was doing it for television (I actually almost taped myself doing this for the culture) it was mostly smooth sailing. That one razor thing really doesn’t work for my skin though. I was also afraid to shave my head with it the first time, but I said fuck it, THIS is why I’m even using this system, so I shaved my head to minimal nicks and the shave came out just fine. I got my whole head looking nice and shiny and it felt like normal. But it also took longer because of the one razor thing and the angles are MAD difficult when there’s no give or angle to the actual shaver. I KEPT worrying about cutting myself because my angle was off; by the time I was done I felt more relief than satisfaction at the wonderful job that was done.

Keep in mind, I shaved myself SEVERAL times with this system so that I could get used to it and give it a fair review. I’m guessing it probably does work great for folks who have razor bump concerns. I’m just not one of those people, so the experience is just as important as anything to me. And my favorite part of the whole thing was the brush. Like, I can’t say that enough, I REALLY enjoy that brush. Shit, I’m gonna try it with my regular shaving cream and just go gotdamn hogwild with it, bih.

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While the pricetag is steep and would probably prohibit me from using it, if I’m the type of cat who needs a safety razor, I’d probably start a kickstarter or something to get me some Bevel. And again, I LOVED the rest of the products. I will definitely continue to use the other oils and cream to get my shave on. They smell nice and make me feel pretty. Or at least I'll use them until they run out.

So that’s where I am with Bevel. It looks awesome, their marketing is bawse, it’s packaged well, and their president founder is Black. Typically, that’s enough to get me in the room and on board. However, I think I’m going to have to stick with my multiple razor shavers because they work better for me and the experience is easier and more satisfying.

PJ out.