The last time I picked up an electric shaver was way back in 1990, a gift given to me by my sister as I was leaving Australia for a trek around Europe. It was a small device which had three stiff heads and required two triple A batteries for power. It became one of my few possessions remaining after my backpack was stolen on that gloomy night in Milan, Italy. Thanks to my lucky bum bag, aside from a passport and a bit of cash I was able to continue shaving during my travels, upholding the respectability that my sister has hoped.
Since those days I’ve been a wet shave Gillette type of guy, the best a man can get. Or so I thought.
I have questioned blades over the last few years especially since Gillette brought out that gadget which isn’t just a run-of-the-mill blade but is something much fancier which requires batteries. I decided against it time and time again as I didn’t want to get tied down to a bit of machinery I’d have to continually feed batteries.
Landing on my desk in December 2007 is the Philips Moisturising Shaving System. It’s somewhat a hybrid, it looks like a conventional electric shaver with three heads however it can be used on a wet face (optional) and dispenses Nivea For Men shaving conditioner. I love moisturiser and the ingredients of this one contain Chamomile, vitamin E and provitamin B5 – claiming to condition and soothe the skin while shaving and protect against irritation.
Philips, it’s your lucky day – I haven’t shaved in two whole weeks and I’m looking rather messy. Colleagues would say it’s more of a beard than a stubble, either way the shaver is in for a tough battle.
Pulling the shaver out of its box I discovered a multitude of extras; a travel case for when you’re on the move, Nivea moisurising shaving cream, a changeable head for trimming and a rather bulky base station for charging as well as moisturiser dispensing. There’s also a travel charger for when you don’t wish to take the base station with you, however you’ll need to fill the shaver manually with the shaving conditioner. You could use your own separate shaving cream directly on your face if you prefer.
I plugged in the base station, placed the shaving cream container into the appropriate place on the base station and then placed the shaver into the station and a few seconds later heard a mechanical noise filling up the shaver with a bit of shaving cream. I waited ninety minutes while the shaver charged and green LEDs flashed and then took it into the bathroom for the fight of the century.
There are two buttons on the shaver itself, one which turns it on and off and the other is for dispensing the shaving conditioner. You need to turn on the shaver and place it on the face and then release some shaving conditioner.
I jumped out of the shower slipping on the bathroom mat, just like I’d done every time prior to having a shave my old and familiar way. I grabbed the grip-friendly arm of the shaver and placed it on my face while switching the power on (remember, no cables, it’s a rechargeable built-in battery). The shaver played a quick tug of war with my face until I squirted a little shaving conditioner through the inner bowels of the machine which then helped the shaver start cutting away at my whiskers. It took some time and rightfully so, it had a lot to cut away at but eventually it took me back to my usual hairless face. A few times I had to rinse it under the tap but that’s fine, it’s water tight.
Since then I’ve used the shaver a few times and one time even without using the moisturising dispenser button. Although I wouldn’t give up my old shaver altogether I am definitely taking this with me on holidays as it’s certainly easier to travel with especially with airport regulations forbidding razor blades in plane cabins.
The Philips Moisturising Shaving System comes in 3 different ranges starting from £70 RRP.