Shaving Experience. The Trader Joe’s cream is easy to apply and its rich, tropical scent will transport you, making you think you’re shaving before a luau while on vacay in Maui. But it’s thin and dries quickly on your face, forcing you either to rush – risking a bloodletting – or to over-slather for a proper lather. The shave isn’t close enough. Kiss My Face is easy to dispense; by your second shave, you’ll know if you need 2, 3 or 4 pumps to coat your face. But it’s as runny as shampoo. Lacking sufficient traction on the face, Kiss My Face forces you to stoop over the sink like Quasimodo as the product drips off you with each stroke of the blade. And not a very close shave. Men’s Stock is superb. Although semi-opaque and deceptively thin, it clings to the face like a crampon (we said crampon, not tampon, all you manly men!), and digs deep below the skin’s surface to set up your whiskers for the coup de grâce. In addition to a very close shave with minimal razor burn, Men’s Stock offers an intense, clean minty tingle. Can you really do without your daily minty tingle? We can’t.
Shaving Experience: 4 points for Trader Joe’s; 3 for Kiss My Face; 9 for Men’s Stock.
Afterglow. After using the Trader Joe’s shaving cream, you must rinse repeatedly to get the product off completely. Also, there’s a noticeable razor burn and more nicks than you’d get in a dust-up with a lawn mower. A good after-shave lotion is an absolute necessity. Kiss My Face’s moisturizers and emollients leave you feeling relatively smooth, but we still recommend deploying a post-shave lotion or balm. Men’s Stock excels in the Afterglow phase of our competition. It rinses off cleanly and completely, leaving you feeling refreshed and moisturized. There’s little or no need for an after-shave lotion.
So, 5 Afterglow points for Trader Joe’s; 6 for Kiss My Face; and 9 for Men’s Stock.
Pricing. This criterion seems to be the most objective and straightforward, but looks can be deceiving. To paraphrase Warren Buffet, value is not what you pay, but what you get for what you pay. So we measure cost-effectiveness not only by price per ounce, but by how much product is needed to shave. Trader Joe’s and Kiss My Face each cost $0.40-$0.45 per ounce; Men’s Stock is almost double that price. But you need to use almost twice as much of the two lower-cost creams vs the higher-priced product.
Therefore, we award 7 points to Trader Joe’s for Pricing; 8 to Kiss My Face; and 6 to Men’s Stock.
A drum roll, please: Men’s Stock gets the gold medal in the inaugural ManPossible Shave-Off!