Wet shaving is the perfect example of affordable luxury. Even if you haven’t tried it, you owe it to yourself to see what it’s like to shave with very hot water, a brush, great-smelling shaving cream and a single blade that you can actually hear as it does its job. Modern expensive plastic multi-bladed cartridges are an example of marketing over everything else. They cost you $3 each and they end up going straight to help fill up landfills. Try shaving the way Churchill and JFK shaved, and in the process you will spend a fraction of the money on blades. The German-made Merkur HD is precision made and designed to be balanced and not to slip in wet hands. It lacks the slick twist-to-open (TTO) mechanism of some modern double-edge razors (or even most vintage Gillettes), but that only matters once a week or so when you change the blade. Overall, a quality instrument for your first experiment in wet shaving.
Affordability: 4 Luxury: 7
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Want more luxury? The Merkur Vision is adjustable, TTO, looks like something out of a postmodern German sci-fi movie and will set you back about $160. There are some beautiful and highly collectible vintage Gillettes on eBay from the Mad Men era, but that will be a post for another day.
Affordability: 2 Luxury: 9