Wet Shaving for Women: Ambrosia by Lush

At the end of my shaving stick entry a couple weeks ago I said I would try the “Ambrosia” shaving cream I picked up at Lush. I ended up putting it off so I could get a couple of soap lather shaves in. I wanted to make sure my technique wasn’t deteriorating as I tried new products.

Today I decided to try Ambrosia.

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I bought it over a month ago, during an outing to the mall with one of the tots. I was actually looking for badger brushes because the rack we bought doesn’t fit ours perfectly. I had no luck finding appropriately shaped brush handles but I did stop into Lush for a look around.

I’m a recovering Lush addict, so this was risky. At one point a couple of years ago I could have cited the entire ingredient list of every product on their shelves. Entering a Lush store makes my wallet have an anxiety attack.

Jacob was my savior that day. He ran around, overstimulated by smells, huffing every bath bomb and soap block within his 3-year-old reach. Rather than buying everything in sight i was occupied by keeping him out of trouble. In the end I bought him a Ma bubble bar, a Pop in the Bath bubble bar, and at the last second grabbed a bottle of Ambrosia just so I would get something out of the trip.

I should have refreshed my memory of Ambrosia’s ingredient list. Instead I assumed I would lather it with the brush like other shaving creams. If I had done my homework I would have seen that the product’s first claim is that it does not produce lather. Duh.

Silly me, I tried to lather it. Of course nothing happened, except I ended up with a bunch of oil-based lotion all over my brush bristles. So then I read the bottle and decided to follow the recommendation to just smooth it on. Once I complied with product literature things went more smoothly.

The Pros: Ambrosia produces a nice shave. Because it wasn’t a water-based lather I didn’t feel I needed to apply and shave in stages to avoid drying. I covered my whole leg up past the knee and shaved in one go. so that was nice. And when I was done I didn’t feel the need to run the shower and rinse down, since this stuff is essentially lotion. I have to mention that this was the most nick-free shave I’ve done yet. Technique or product? Maybe both?

The Cons: I won’t hold the lack of lather against this product, since it turns out I’m just an idiot. I’d say there are two major cons to using a non-lathering product. First, lather gives you a visual reference so you know when you’ve shaved an area. This lotion all but disappeared when smoothed on so I had a hard time seeing where I’d already been. The risk for razor burn is higher when you don’t know whether you’ve done a pass and could make a second pass over unlubricated skin. The second con is cost effectiveness. Lush products are premium priced and considering the amount I needed to apply for both legs I can tell this is the least cost effective product I’ve tried so far. Lather extends the coverage of products, this one applies in exactly the volume that’s dispensed.

The bottom line: I’ll use it as long as I have it but I’m not sure I’ll buy more because cost effectiveness was one of my motivators when I switched to DE wet shaving. If cost isn’t a factor and you can get your face right down by your ankles to see where you’ve shaved and where you haven’t, this could be a product for you.

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About Smapte

I crochet. I crochet a lot. My speciality is amigurumi dolls based on pop culture entertainment, such as LOST, Star Trek, Mad Men and Firefly. I also crochet beanie hats with food items on them such as pancakes, sushi, burgers, spaghetti, or whatever sounds hat-worthy. Visit me at ThatThingILike.wordpress.com or Xanadoodle.wordpress.com.

Posted on March 3, 2012, in Misc and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Ok, so, I realize this comment comes after the “appropriate blog commenting time”, but I just searched “wet shaving” in the blog topic search and came up with your blog. My husband (http://shaveology.wordpress.com/) is an AVID wet shaver and honestly, I don’t see the appeal. I’m one to get in, shower, shave, get out (cartridge, yuck), and hate spending the time. I’d like to know more about ladies’ wet shaving before i admit that I’m interested to my husband…. admitting defeat, you know 😉

    Can you share more? Or, can you point me to some of your blog posts that give more detail? We only have a stand up shower in our bathroom – that may be a drawback…

    • How funny, I follow Shaveology on Google reader. I only follow like 3 shaving blogs and his is one of them. Small world! I’ve got two posts that might help. The second one links to a few entries I wrote on my other blog about choosing soap products.

      https://thatthingilike.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/de-leg-shaving/
      https://thatthingilike.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/the-art-of-leg-shaving/

      I really need to do an update because I’ve moved my whole operation into the shower and I can be in and out, fully bathed, shampooed and shaved in 15 minutes now. I’ll try to do an update this week.

      The biggest pieces of advice I would have are as follows:

      1) Don’t do long strokes. Cartridge razors like the Venus allow you to do long strokes from ankle to knee. Don’t do that with a safety razor. Do short strokes, and only do a section at a time. When I started I would lather up the front of my leg from ankle to mid-shin and shave, then lather the back side of my leg to the same height and shave. then it was mid-calf to just over the knee. I don’t really grow hair above the knee so that was it for me. Now that I’ve been doing it for a while and I do it in the high-humidity of the shower I lather my whole leg. But I still do short strokes.

      2) Let the weight of the head do the work. Don’t exert any pressure on the blade. I found I had to do a firm stroke with the Venus, but that’s entirely unnecessary with a fresh razor blade.

      3) Get a long-handled razor. I have a vintage Lady Gillette and that extra bit of handle mad a big difference. I tried using my husband’s Merkur and Edwin Jagger but they were just too short. Guys shave standing up with their eyes close to the target. We bend over and work with arms extended. The long handle makes a big difference. Maybe try one of your husband’s razors to see if you like it, and then invest in something with a longer handle. Parker is supposed to make a longer handled razor, too.

      4) Make a cheap, simple shaving oil by combining olive oil and castor oil. Apply it before you lather if you don’t shave in the shower. DE razors give you a crazy-close shave and that oil will keep you from feeling scraped clean. Although, I found doing it in the high-humidity of the shower made things a lot easier so I don’t feel obligated to oil anymore. As long as I do a witch hazel spritz and some lotion when I get out, I’m good to go.

      5) Get really comfortable doing your legs before you try your bikini area. Just trust me on that one.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Lol! Small world, is right! He’s been wet shaving for years now; since we’ve been together, I’ve learned quite a bit about the “right kind of soap” and technique, but I’ve been hesitant to start – I’m rather clumsy with a cartridge (I use the Intuition with the razor inside a bar of soap) and a bit scared of it.

    Your suggestions are awesome! I’ve printed out the tips and will give it a try. I have the vintage Lady Gillette, too though… I accidentally bought it Rob for last Christmas…. I’ll try that! Thank you SO much for the tips! He’ll be pleased if I actually start wet shaving.

    I just ordered the Vanderhagen Lady shave soap; between that and the Cremo Creme (LOVE the scent!), I’ll be set to try!

    Again, thank you!

    • Awesome! Definitely report back on your success. The technique is a bit finicky to start, but I’ve found the results to be so superior that I’ll never go back to a cartridge. And it gets easier with practice.

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