I’ve been making some good strides, I think, with my “second quarter goals” on the project front. THAT whole ordeal can be boiled down to simply: What do I want XYZ to look like? And then doing that thing.
The master bath — and I should probably qualify this by saying MY part of the master bath, as I’m not going to make Eric switch out his products (before he’s ready 😉 ) — has been one of the easier places to tackle, which kind of surprises me because I thought the opposite would be true, just because there’s so much going on in there. What I’ve accomplished * so far: Unwrapped soap (bonus, I found a sandalwood scent that Eric also likes), bulk shampoo and conditioner, paper-wrapped soap to wash my face, a reused container of homemade calendula oil (if you call soaking petals in oil for a month “homemade”), crystal deodorant, using straight up coconut oil as a makeup remover, jars of homemade lip balm and lotion, toothpowder / toothpaste, and an accidental tin of blush originally meant as a lip tint.
Also on that list: A safety razor.
Ah, the irony of that name. I feel like there’s nothing safe about it, mostly because on the zero waste group I follow on Facebook, whole threads are dedicated to cuts and danger alerts. That’s not exactly comforting.
I’ve actually been using the same ol’ Venus system — which is a reusable “holder” and disposable blades — for probably 20 years. I’m not even exaggerating. It was new technology and I was on it. (It seemed way more environmental at the time.) And yeah, it’s better than the plastic disposable razors I was buying up until then. But while the handle is reusable, the blades come individually wrapped in a plastic … what, case? … and to add insult to injury, those suckers are expensive.
So while this whole ordeal scares me, I’m also willing to give it a shot. I started researching options, and everything was either “I found mine at a secondhand shop for five bucks!” or “Mine is this $100 model!” There are thousands of options … and then a thousand different blades to try on top of that.
It was too much to decipher. But! Then a very nice reader (hi, Jewel!) emailed me suggestions — the razor she ordered, the blades she uses, and how to properly use it to avoid bloodshed. Yes! Thank you! THAT my brain can handle.
The razor I went with is double-edged and chrome, nice and shiny and gorgeous even though I still view it as an instrument of death. Ordered from Amazon, but came in a cardboard box wrapped in tissue paper. I appreciated that. Not terribly expensive, considering an 8-pack of my Venus blades cost more.
But having it in the house meant I actually had to use it.
Quoting Eleanor Roosevelt — “Do one thing every day that scares you” — I took it into the shower with me the next morning to do this thing. I kept everything I’d learned about using safety razors on a continuous loop in my head: Hold it at a 45-degree angle, don’t press down, go slow.
So that’s what I did.
It took me, I’m not even kidding, 10 minutes to shave both legs and my pits. But I didn’t cut myself, not even once, not even a small nick (I was afraid my deodorant would sting like crazy afterwards, but nope). I let out the breath I’d been holding … and wondered how long I could go before having to do that again. 😉
Added bonus: My skin is super smooth.
Anyway, so far so good — it’s been less than a week, but really, that’s enough time to know that this is going to work for me and hope that I’ll lose my healthy fear of the thing soon. (Although fear might be what’s keeping me from cutting myself.)
There. Another item off the list. I feel good about this one — and I appreciate the help, Jewel, because I’d still be dithering.
Any other safety razor users out there? What do you use, what are your tips?
P.S. I did ask my dad and my favorite mother-in-law (hi, Joni!) if they had an antique razor I could have, but struck out on both accounts. Goodwill, those whole two times I looked, was also a bust. But to be honest, I was perfectly happy to be pointed in the direction of a new razor and am good with how it all turned out.
* Also on my list that I’m still working on: DIY kleenx and reusable cotton balls — I’ve received some fantastic tutorials I’m excited to try by a very nice reader who wishes to remain anonymous (hello!), an alternative to dental floss (although confession time, I’m not a great flosser anyway), and makeup items like powdered blush, concealer and eyeshadow. It’s occurred to me I’m going to have to write about the cloth pads I use during my period and how I deal with my graying hair (spoiler alert: I don’t). We’ll worry about all that later.
Next up: We’ll cross a few more things off the list.