If there’s one thing I like, it’s a polite but firm approach. When asked if I’d like to try out and the Starter Kit from shaving specialist Váli, I received the an email from one of the company’s founders stating: “I note your coarse facial hair and think you would like our products.” With that simple statement, Váli had set itself a challenge. Here’s how it coped with my coarse facial hair.
Váli is a Swedish company that has recently expanded into the UK market. It was established to meet the needs of men with sensitive skin or coarse or curly facial hair and prides itself on using natural ingredients in its shaving products.
I was trying out the Váli starter kit which should contain enough supplies to last three months. Items can be purchased individually. Alternatively you can buy a starter kit and subscribe to receive replacement items every three months
As for having coarse facial hair, yes, I do have thick, coarse stubble. An acquaintance once joked that I have “11 o’clock shadow” instead of five o’clock stubble! Let’s see how Váli coped with this dad blogger’s seemingly notoriously stubbly face.
What’s in the starter kit?
You receive five items in the starter kit:
- Shaving cream specially formulated for sensitive skin that features aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil and lavender.
- A beautiful shaving brush made with synthetic fibres. When used, this should exfoliate the skin.
- A traditional safety razor. I have used many similar products in the past but with its jet-black, contoured handle and contrasting steel fittings, this item is a thing of beauty.
- A packet of replacement blades. This is notable because their storage box features a little tab that means it can be locked shut. Ideal if, like me, you live in a house with curious little people who shouldn’t play with such items (…although as a responsible adult you would obviously keep them out of reach of children anyway).
- An aftershave balm featuring jojoba, avocado, aloe vera, vitamin e and green tea.
What are the Váli products like to use?
First of all, I had to lather up the shaving cream. You simply squeeze some into a bowl, add a drop of warm water and then mix it vigorously with the shaving brush. I think my advice here would be to experiment. I had to have a couple of attempts to get the lather the correct consistency.
The shaving cream had a slightly citrus scent, which was pleasant. Unlike other products I have used, it didn’t dry my skin out. I put this down to the sensitive skin formulation.
It was then time to remove that coarse stubble with the glorious safety razor. I have to say, I am a big fan of traditional, single-blade traditional safety razors.
There seems to be a trend with many razor manufactures to get as many blades on a razor as possible. In my experience, multi-blade razors are more likely to leave marks and scratches. I also find that traditional razors are less likely to nick the moles I have on my face. Two passes across my face with the Váli razor and the job was complete.
With my coarse stubble having been dispatched, it was time to try out the after shave balm. It’s described as “light, refreshing and quickly absorbing.” Compared to rival products, it is certainly light and so it does absorb into the skin with ease. As a result, you should apply a little and keep applying more as you need it.
In summary, I would say the end result was a very good quality shave. I must stress I have experienced no skin irritation whatsoever.
Final thoughts, cost and further information
The Váli starter kit provided a great shave and lived up to its promise of dealing with my coarse stubble without irritating my skin. I also love that razor, it is a wonderful bit of kit.
Packaged in contrasting colours and in a nice presentation box, I think Váli is trying to distinguish itself as a supplier of higher-end products. Many rivals produce kits but in very basic cartons giving them a gritty, more basic vibe. Not so with Váli, which is clearly trying to appeal to more discerning customers.
Dare I mention Christmas? It is on the horizon and a Váli starter kit, subscription or one of its shaving stands would make for great gifts.
As for costs, at the time of writing, the starter kit I was using had a price tag of £19.99. Considering the quality of what is in the box, this strikes me as very competitively price.
You will find a shaving guide, more information and can make purchases online from the Váli website.
Disclosure: This commissioned article was produced in association with Váli. thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.