I love vintage razors and I have tried almost every style. I love double-edged razors for their versatility, injectors for their speed, and straights for their incomparable closeness… but this week I found my perfect leg-shaving razor.
The GEM Micromatic is a slick looking single-edged razor with some weight to it – 64 grams to be exact. It is a twist-to-open style (perfect for me since I tend to lose removable razor heads) that takes standard GEM single-edged blades. The Micromatic was manufactured for a few decades between the 1920’s and 40’s and came in a wide variety of packaging, from hinged Bakelite and leather cases (some lined with velvet) to brightly cololured cardboard boxes. It was never marketed as a women’s razor, but after my test run, I believe it should have been.
My brush of choice was my silver-tipped badger hair set in pink acrylic, made by none-other than my husband, Brad. I used a wonderful shaving soap that was hand-made by a Vancouver Island soap-maker, Dragonfly Dreaming. I love this soap because it is all-natural, lathers quickly and with a lot of body, and is extremely gentle on my sensitive skin. The weight and angle of the Micromatic did all of the work for me, gliding smoothly over my skin. As usual, I over-thought my knees, shaving with the blade more perpendicular than parallel to my skin and that caused a bit of irritation around that bony area. As with most single-edged razor, the Micromatic’s head is angled exactly right to guide your shave – you simply move the head of the razor flat against your skin. In future, I will adhere to this rule more strictly when using the Micromatic around my knees. On the rest of my legs the Micromatic was flawless. It was a very quick, 1-pass shave and there was no razor burn or red bumps at all.
My overall result was amazing! I am thrilled with this razor for many reasons, the main one being that I shaved my legs 3 days ago and they still feel like day 1! For me, that is better longevity than what I get with a straight razor shave (the king of all shaves, ever). I have used more brands and models of razors than most women (and men) out there, and the Micromatic has quickly become my favourite for a smooth, long-lasting shave. I still believe that a double-edged razor is fantastic for its ease of use and versatility, and that injectors are an extremely quick and easy shave, but when I am looking for a slightly more involved, but long-lasting shave, I will definitely turn to my Micromatic.
It should be noted that Brad also tried this razor and his results were not nearly the same as mine. He found that the razor had a hard time manoeuvring around corners and bony areas of his face – similar to that of my knees. For that reason (it’s lack of agility around bumps and bones), I think the Micromatic is perfectly suited for the long, straight area of a woman’s legs.