Uptown Bourgeois is an arts, news, and culture blog created by New York-based freelance writer Jefferey Spivey. UB explores universal themes through a black, queer lens. 

The Horror of Bevel

If you’re a black man between the ages of 25-45 who uses Facebook, I’m sure you’ve scrolled past the sponsored Bevel ad at least once or twice.  Bevel is the first shaving system specially designed for black men to prevent and stop irritation and razor bumps.  The Facebook ad and Bevel’s site tout a 100% guarantee that you will put an absolute stop to bumps using their system.

I was instantly intrigued.  A young black entrepreneur had taken a really smart product to market.  Black men deserve the right to shave like everyone else without ending up with crater face.  Plus, this was direct to consumer.  I didn’t have to brave the line and shit service at Duane Reade to pick this product up.  It was coming straight to my door.  I signed up almost immediately.  I was really looking forward to shaving my face with something that didn’t have an electric motor inside.  And I was also excited about getting a clean shave that left me bump-free.

Unfortunately, Bevel’s claim did not hold true.  And that’s a damn shame.  I used all the products exactly as directed for just under two weeks.  I changed out the blade every two shaves.  I used the priming oil, shaving cream, lathering brush, and restoring balm.  I didn’t shave against the grain.  I made time for all of these steps every day.  And alas, my face was covered with razor bumps! How could this be? This product is for black men that have my curly hair.  This isn’t supposed to happen.

I emailed customer service.  I was emailed back by a really kind and helpful woman who taught me all about the grain map of my face.  She wanted me to take several well-lit photos of my face to send to her so she could determine my grain map.  Apparently, the grain of my face most likely went in several different directions, and I needed to learn to shave with the grain in all of those directions in order to achieve a bump-free shave.  Say what? This isn’t 1950.  I don’t have two hours in the morning to shave my face.  Why wasn’t this grain map BS up front and super clear from the get go?  If I would’ve known this was a science experiment on my face, I never would have signed up.

I was so disappointed.  I really wanted to support this product.  It’s rare to see a young, black businessman receive accolades for innovation and get the type of media coverage that Bevel is getting.  But at the end of the day, the product doesn’t stand up to the claims.  In order to get the desired result, if it exists, you have to change your lifestyle.  No successful product requires a lifestyle change.  If anything, the product should enhance your life and shave time off one of your activities.

Bevel was all smoke and mirrors and false claims.  And my face is all razor bumps and itching.  Back to the electric razor it is.

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