Grooming on a Budget: The Necessities

5 low-cost yet high-quality finds in the sea of over-priced stuff.

Andrew, Dappered’s grooming correspondent, is also the editor-in-chief of Electrogent, a men’s interest, grooming, and lifestyle website which squares the modern interests of men with the classic notions of manliness.

Just because you don’t have the largest grooming budget doesn’t mean you can’t still look and feel great. Despite what you may see on a regular basis ($125 creams in jars no larger than your thumb? No thanks…), there are actually some really great discount grooming supplies that you aren’t going to find at your neighborhood drug store. If you’re one of these guys, like myself, here are some viable options for grooming on a budget.

1. Speick Shaving Cream $6.50 (2.5 oz)

speick shaving cream

A bad shave can ruin anyone’s day, and there’s no reason why it should cost an arm and a leg. Speick’s shaving cream is one of the best bargain-priced shaving creams on the market. It’s glycerin-based, which means it won’t dry your skin out and its slippery texture will reduce razor burn by improving the glide on your blade. In addition, it’s preservative-free and derived from beeswax and plants; no strange chemicals here.

A single tube will last you about 35-40 shaves, which is a pretty nice lifespan for the low cost. It won’t lather as well as some of the more premium shaving creams, but it certainly isn’t a slouch. Prices can vary depending largely on shipping cost, but you can expect to pick up a tube for anywhere between $4-6.

 

2. Astra Razor Blades – $9.03 – $12.99 (for 100 blades)

Astra Blades

This is by far the best deal on this list. For those of you who have embraced the cost-saving technique of using a double edge razor, these Astra blades are a must have. If you buy them in bulk of 100, they will run you just over $10 before shipping. Considering they last around 4 shaves (depending on preference) per blade, you’re looking at around 2.5 cents a shave. Not too shabby when you compare it to the cartridge razors.

Astra blades are also fantastic because they come in tiny boxes of five, so if you’re traveling you can throw a small box in your bag (it won’t get through TSA in your carry-on, though) and hit the road. These blades are advertised as “platinum,” but let’s be real–they’re steel. Shaving with platinum would probably be terrible, anyways.
Photo Credit: A. Silva

 

3. J. R. Liggett’s Bar Shampoo – $4.00 – $7.00

Liggett shampoo bar

Disclaimer: do not use body bar soap for your hair, unless you’re camping (in which case you make do with what you have). However, there’s one type of bar you can use in your hair: J. R. Liggett’s bar shampoo. It was sort of awkward to use at first, but it quickly became a favorite of mine. Priced anywhere from $4-7 depending on your choice of formula, it’ll run you about the same as a mediocre bottle of shampoo from the grocery, and it lasts as long too. This bar shampoo is super eco-friendly, and each bar is handmade. In addition, this shampoo won’t strip your hair of its natural oils, which means you won’t need a conditioner to make up for the lost silkiness. Just use it like you would use a bar of soap in your hair, and you’re golden.

Ok guys, real talk now: do not get this stuff in your eyes. You know that no-tears baby shampoo stuff? Yeah, imagine the exact opposite of that. I don’t have a habit of getting shampoo in my eyes all the time, but it happened once–and never again. I don’t know what it is, but it will seriously hurt your eyes. Nevertheless, I strongly recommend this bar shampoo with that warning. Learn from my pain.

 

4. Cremo Face Wash – $9.00 (6 oz.)

Cremo Wash

Washing your face is one of the best ways to prevent acne and clogged pores. However, if you happen to also use an awesome face wash, you will see better results. Cremo face wash is the king (get it? the crown logo? ahem…) of budget grooming. At $9, it’s by far the best face wash you can pick up with a Hamilton. As the name suggests, this face wash is creamy and extremely potent–you won’t need to use very much. Use it in the shower for really great results, and once you step out your face will feel immediately fresher.

My main complaint is the 6 ounce bottle is kind of small, yielding you around 30-40 uses, but depending on the frequency with which you wash your face that might be just fine for you.

 

5. Rocky Mountain Shaving Co. Aftershave – $8.00 (2 oz)

Rocky Mountain Aftershave

Rocky Mountain Shaving Co. has some really unique stuff, and all of them are for affordable prices. Their aftershaves come in small bottles, but they are mighty in both smell and power. These aftershaves have amazing ingredients like cedar and frankincense all bottled up. As a result, they are the most manly-smelling aftershaves in the history of men. They are also incredibly soothing after your shave, and they’ll prevent razor burn and irritation.

The bottles are a bit small, but with aftershave you only need a little splash so the bottle will last longer than you’d imagine. If you’re looking for a quality aftershave with a uniquely awesome smell for $8, consider the Rocky Mountain Shaving Co.

What are some other suggestions you have for those who groom on a budget? Put them in the comments below.