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Aveda Men Pure-Formance Shave Cream

DISCLOSURE: I went into an Aveda store in the mall to get a sample for their aftershave lotion. I asked about the shaving cream, gave it a whiff (more on the smell later), and asked the team leader if she knew what kind of lather the shaving cream produced. She tried unseccessfully to create a lather on the back of her hand with a makeup brush, but knowing how hard you have to work to get a lather with some creams, I thought it might be worth a try at home with a real brush and a mug. I saw that it was pricey ($14-18, can't recall exactly) so I went to B&B to read reviews on it. There was another Aveda cream, but the team leader told me that the reviewed cream was an old formula, and that this would not be the same product. I told her that I would be happy to review it if she wanted to give me a free shave cream. She asked if my review would say how great the product was, and I told her that it would be fair to my experience (good product= good review). She said that since she was the team leader that she could authorize the comp'ed bottle, so she gave it to me to try.

First off, she was right, this is a non-lathering cream. I tried three different times, changing how much water, when the water was added, etc., but I could never get a lather going. I had been looking for a good cream to use when I am in a hurry and don't have time to work a proper lather, so after giving up on the lather attempts I decided this would be my speedy shave cream when occasion called for one.

A week later I started going to the gym early in the AM. After I am done, I head to work straight from there. This shave cream was a lifesaver. I am not schlepping a brush, mug, witch hazel, etc. with me to the gym and occupying a public sink for 20-25 minutes a day. I decided that I would use the Aveda cream as my gym shaving cream, and it has worked out well. I use an Edwin Jagger DE89L with Feather blades and this shaving cream 5 days a week, and have done so for now 3 weeks. I use the free sample of the Aveda after shave lotion, which I may review elsewhere. I go with a WTG pass, re-apply cream, and then hit an XTG pass. I touch up as needed with ATG passes, also after applying cream to those spots. I rinse with cold water, pat dry my face, and then apply the Aveda after shave lotion. This has produced DFS on a regular basis.

Let me explain one item that might make or break this for you: the scent is like all Aveda products. It is very woodsy, has hints of patchouli, lemon grass, etc. This is not a neutral scent. However, I think that it is a refreshing scent and it doesn't seem to linger through the day.

There is no menthol, and really the cream is almost unnoticeable in the touch/feel aspect. I did find, after getting used to having wet lather, that the cream felt a bit dry if my face wasn't pretty wet when I applied. That was user error I think. I keep my face really wet, and put a touch of water in my palm when I apply, and this stuff stays slick. The cushion is better than I would expect for a non-lathering cream, and I have as little irritation as when I shave at home with a mug.

I was unsure of whether the cream or the aftershave was providing moisturization, because my face wasn't dry, so I stopped using the aftershave cream for a while. My face was still well hydrated, and I have turned away from the aftershave. Also, the sample was tiny so I was almost out anyway.

I would say that this is a good cream for the use I described above. I prefer a mug and lather at home when I have time, but this stuff is great for the gym (and I would also recommend it for road warriors who don't bring their full gear along). I use Real Shaving Co. at home with a mug, but I think that this is a better brushless option.
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