If you were to tell me there was a razor that was in any way good for your skin—or at least not terrible for it—I would throw my Venus in the trash and never look back. Even the bad ones these days aren't cheap, so it's not hard to feel like you're spending money on ingrown hairs and an array of new nicks and dents. But if you have literally any amount of body hair, something Schick or Gillette is undoubtably sitting in your bathroom, if only for occasional touch-ups.
The only glamorous shaving reference point I can think of is the concept of a straight razor shave at an honest-to-goodness barbershop, complete with hot towel and world-weary barber who can do this shit in his sleep. But no way am I coordinated enough to wield that thing myself anywhere near me. I was similarly dubious of the Bevel Razor, a minimally packaged, single-blade system that promises a close shave without all the unfortunate consequences. More blades, apparently, don't help you do anything.
Getting past the terrifying sight of a bunch of loose straight razors is worth it in this case. Once you carefully pop one of the blades into place, it's smooth sailing (sorry, had to). The whole kit is a 5-part, start-to-finish system that's certainly time consuming—you've got to exfoliate, prime, hydrate, and soothe to really get the full experience. Set aside at least half an hour. But once you're done, you'll be dumping all those safety razor refills you keep buying on sale.
Photographed by Tom Newton.