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Published 4:08 PM EDT, Tue July 13, 2021
The women’s razor is no longer merely intended to generate the “pink tax,” aka a higher price for women’s products just because they’re made for women. Rather, these razors are now made with women’s habits, personal preferences and convenience in mind. They’re designed to hug curved areas and small spots without nicking, for example, and often come with perks like built-in soap to lubricate skin.
We tested 15 top-rated razors — from supersharp, single-blade safety razors to traditional five-blade versions — on CNN Underscored’s search for the best razor for smooth legs, underarms, bikini lines and beyond. Whether you’re diligently shaving year-round or only whipping out a razor once summer rolls around, after more than a month of shaving (and nicking), we chose three standout razors:
Best women’s razor overall
Billie The Razor Starter Kit came out on top for its user-friendly design, close shave and overall durability. With built-in charcoal soap for easy lubrication and a rubbery grip for easy handling, it made for a quick, comfortable shaving experience.
Another good razor for women
The Flamingo Razor has a more substantial, weightier handle with a rubber grip to make it easy to hold, and its cartridge is made to be flexible so you can shave backward, sideways and upside down with ease. It delivers a close shave, too, though not quite to the level of Billie.
Best luxury women’s razor
Oui the People the Single Rose Gold Safety Razor may not be your best bet if you’re in a rush, but it offered the closest, smoothest shave of any razor we tried. As great as it is, it might not be the best choice for someone who wants an easy, everyday razor.
Billie The Razor Starter Kit
Let us count the ways we loved the Billie razor. Seriously. We’ll begin with the way it looks. We appreciate form as much as function, and Billie just makes a pretty razor, with a cool, color-blocked design and a curved cartridge. The blade cartridge also features a charcoal soap, which allows it to glide across the skin, but doesn’t get slimy like some built-in soaps and moisturizing serums that we tested.
The blades were super sharp out of the box and removed hairs in a single swipe without having to repeat to catch stubble. We didn’t have to rinse hair out of the blades every two or three swipes, and there was zero irritation, even when we applied antiperspirant directly after shaving underarms with the Billie razor.
The razor itself is also comfortable to use — the handle has a rubber backing to provide a firm but comfortable grip, so there’s no slipping.
A great perk: The razor comes with a “magic holder,” which is a small, magnetic base that sticks to the shower wall via a putty that adheres no matter how steamy it gets. You also get an extra cartridge, making the starter kit an excellent value at $9.
The Flamingo Razor is more of a minimalist than Billie in terms of design, but it also has features that set it apart from the pack. The razor cartridge is longer in the front than its peers, with rounded edges on the sides, which gives it the ability to flatten skin as you glide the razor over, therefore making hair removal easier. We found it offered more control when shaving than other razors, especially those that only had blades and little else on the cartridge.
The cartridge has a built-in hinge, giving the handle about a 90-degree range of motion. That made it incredibly easy to shave in different directions on both underarms and legs, and it minimized the amount of twisting and contortion usually required to shave every last spot. Also, the handle has a nonslip finish and ridges on the underside, which make it especially easy to grip.
While the razor itself doesn’t come with a holder, if you spring for The Shave Set ($16, shopflamingo.com), you’ll get a mini shave gel, body lotion and a shower hook, which suctions onto the wall. It stayed put even after removing and resticking it a few times.
Oui the People the Single Rose Gold Safety Razor
You’ve got to hand it to this razor, which did nick our tester a couple of times, but was still so good that we’ll just call it a learning curve. If you’ve never used a safety razor before, welcome to the club. Assembling the safety razor took a few minutes but was otherwise easy — just unscrew the handle, place the razor blade on the head and then reattach the handle
We especially appreciated the thorough resources available on Oui the People’s website that walk first-timers through the process, from unpacking the materials to rinsing off the shave cream. Oui the People’s razor comes with 10 individually wrapped blades, stored in a little box that has a slot to safely insert your used blades. But we were disappointed that there wasn’t a storage option so it could be stored prettily (and safely) in the shower.
As experienced fans may already know, safety razors require a unique approach: The weighted head does most of the work for you, so you don’t need to apply pressure. A light touch was enough to comfortably grasp the textured metal handle, which never felt slick. However, old habits die hard, and our tester wound up with two nicks, one on the knee and the other on the back of the lower calf. It’s an entirely different style of shaving — think short, light strokes over small areas — and can take time to adjust. But it may be worth learning: It delivered the closest shave we’ve ever seen, even taking down one stubborn hair that was about to turn into an ingrown situation. It didn’t cause any razor burn whatsoever, and the razor itself is a stunner. If you have time and patience, it’s as close to a perfect shave as you can get.
We spent two months shaving and swiping with these razors, testing each at least three times. We used them on different areas of the body in order to account for all the ways you might use them. As we evaluated them, we took every aspect of the shaving experience into consideration, from how the razor looks in the shower to how close the shave was.
We did not test for best electric razors for women, nor the best face razor for women — instead keeping the testing pool to classic razors.
We designed a rubric to grade these various factors, which we broke down into function, build, durability and X-factors, such as the value:
Closeness of shave: We checked for stubble left behind, or whether we had to go over a spot multiple times to get it entirely smooth. Skin irritation: Was the razor too abrasive? Redness and stinging were two signs we looked for, both immediately after shaving and within the first hour afterward. Hair clogging: We looked to see whether the hair clogged the blades too frequently, requiring constant rinsing. The clogging could interfere with the closeness and thoroughness of the shave. Performance features: We factored in features that aren’t necessities, but nice to have all the same, like special contouring of the cartridge, moisture strips or built-in soap, or any physical components that made shaving easier. Build
Comfort: Was the handle comfortable to hold, particularly when shaving in different directions for areas like the underarms and the bikini line? Grip: No one wants to drop a razor midshave, which is why we looked for materials that made the handle easy to grip and minimized slipperiness. Aesthetic: Is it pretty? If you (and anyone with access to your shower or tub) have to look at it every day, it might as well be cute. Durability
Everyday wear: A razor might seem great the first time you use it, but we looked at whether it would get grimy or dingy after a few weeks in the shower. That was especially important for razors that had built-in soap. Signs of damage: We dropped the razors in the shower a few times and stepped on them to see how well the entire razor held up under pressure — whether the cartridge fell off, the handle snapped, or it just didn’t perform as well. We also let the razors languish for a week in a glass of water to see if the blades would rust. X-factors
Value: The more cartridges included with the razor, the higher our score. We like razors that offered a great value for the price. Storage options: We don’t love razors that sit on the edge of the tub and get stuck there, so we looked for easy storage options that allowed razors to air dry without getting grimy, be it a plastic clamshell or a magnetic shower holder. Using the testing methods above, we gave each razor a score in each subcategory, then combined those numbers for a maximum score in each category, then totaled those numbers for a final overall score. We broke down the scores as follows:
Function had a maximum of 50 po
We spent a month testing 15 top-rated razors: These were our favorites
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