Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An Open Letter To Gillette


Dear Gillette,

First, I want to make sure you know this is not a letter to Penn Gillette, because he actually spells his name Jillette. I know, I know very confusing. No, this is a letter to the company Gillette. I am writing you this letter because I feel betrayed. I feel like you and your mad scientists at the company have screwed me over for the past 50 years.

About six months ago, I noticed that I was down to my last razor blade and made a mental note to myself that I really needed to go pick up another five pack of blades for my Mach 3. I bought one originally because I thought it would make me feel like Speed Racer. Then, later I realized he drove a Mach 5, and that I really had no use for the chimp I bought and calling every woman I met Trixie was really causing some confusion. Anyway, I digress.

Like many of my mental notes it ended up in some filing cabinet in my mind which sticks a lot and rarely opens. It was only after I noticed the blue strip on the razor really start to lighten that I moved the mental note into a higher priority. Well, out of sheer laziness, and my constant unwillingness to pay the outrageous prices that are charged for blades, I simply, cut back to shaving every other day. That was almost five months ago. For the past five months I have used that blade every other day, with no sign of this blue strip at all. I have seen no signs that the blade is doing anything differently that it was doing five or six months ago.

Each day that I use it, I get more and more angry because I count all those five packs I have bought through the years at about $10 bucks a pop, simply because the blue line began to fade. What is this blue line? Why has anyone never told me that the blue line was just a trick and that if you went beyond the blue line, nothing bad happened. There was no offside called or cuts to the jugular. It is simply a marketing trick to get you to shell out more money for a product that is prohibitively expensive in the first place, because if they did not have the blue strip on the product, then every person using the product would realize they never ever need to buy a new blade, or if they do, that it should only be once a year. Think about the hundreds of millions of dollars Gillette makes every year because they have that blue strip mind f**k going on.

Am I the only one who has been caught up in this game of theirs? Have you? Let me know I am not alone.

34 comments:

Ida Blankenship said...

Don't get all mad just because you fell for engineered obsolescence, Enty. ;-)

Gillette is a horrible company that tests on animals. Fuck 'em. Grow a beard! Or, like, maybe you can try waxing? Electrolysis?

This is a mighty weird post.

3 Degrees of Frustration said...

Hear hear Enty! I've been using the same blade for nearly six months now with no ill effects other than a bit more $$ in my wallet due to forgoing the nearly $4 a pop replacement blades.

cageykiwi said...

Razors are pathetically expensive!!. Luckily my local 99c store (love that place) has 3 pk disposables.

kelly said...

I had the opposite problem with female Gillette razors, they put this stupid "conditioner strip" on it and I found that after 2 shaves the blade would dull and cut me. I have not bought Gillette since then and actually bought a laser hair remover for 200.00 and it works better and with longer (not yet permanent) results.

RocketQueen said...

@kelly - you can BUY laser removers?! That's amazing - can you give me a brand name/where to buy?

pwner said...

instead of going by the blue strip, why don't you just go by whether or not the razor's actually still shaving the hair from your face.

just sayin' :P

farmgirl said...

My husband can only use a razor twice - any razor. You guys must have thin beards (like some famous people we know...)

MCH said...

This so sounds like my husband...or at least what he used to complain about which was how expensive razors were. I assume you can't use an electric razor either, Enty?

@Kelly - same thing happened to me (w/ the conditioner strip)

Alanna said...

I've heard that one of the best ways to prolong razor life is simply to wipe/dry off the blade after each use. Much of the dulling comes from rust.

valerie said...

I bought a 6-pack of high-end disposable razors 3 years ago, and am still going on them. I finally left one of them in the hotel room this weekend, because I realized that I had had it for so long. Honestly? It was still working well; I just didn't feel like packing it.

The conditioner strip? Don't bother with that. Just buy a good shaving gel for your legs. A dab of it goes really far, so the gel lasts forever too. Shower gel is the same - buy the stuff at bath & body works or a similar more expensive gel, and one or two drops is plenty. It lasts forever.

Miss Behavin said...

Why does anybody buy razors? These are the coupons worth clipping. They usually have $3 or $4 off for most of the brands. Just wait till they go on sale. I have a box full of razors and blades that I didn't pay more than .99 for. That is how you stick it to the man!

mikey said...

I'm really interested in hearing about the lazer remover you can do yourself.

I hate shaving and spend a small fortune on getting waxed.

valerie said...

My other rant is the cold strip on beer. HUH?? I don't need a stripe to tell me when my beer is cold. I know it's cold BECAUSE IT FEELS COLD. If you're too wasted to tell if your beer is cold by touching it, you shouldn't be drinking any more of it, eh?

Jessica said...

They do this with everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Laundry detergent instructs you to use way more than you need, thus making you buy more, water filters say you need to replace them by xxxx date, but they are good long after.
Next time you have laundry detergent that you don't really care for, after you use half of it, fill it back up with water so it's half strength and see if you can tell a difference. Lasts twice as long too.

KLM said...

I'm with pwner - I just look to see when the blade is dulling.


But yes - more on the whole laser hair removal topic!! Does it hurt? How long does it last? How long does it take. More info please!!!

.robert said...

Polish the blade with the grain on some old jeans. They actuall will last a very long time.

Ms Cool said...

Same thing here, Kelly. I'm taking those conditioner strips off from now on.

kelly said...

RocketQueen (and others who asked)

The one I bought last xmas was the NO-NO Hair remover, the tips come 2 at a time and the first one is still working fine. You buy them 2 at a time (I buy mine on hsn.com). My husband and Son always know when I am using it as they can smell the hair burning (lol men are such wimps when it comes to hair removal by the time a girl is 20 we have tried everything no matter how archaic and painful it sounds if we think it will get rid of the hair we are in) but it doesn't hurt AT ALL...they have 2 dif sized tips (one for legs, other for face) Hope that helps

RocketQueen said...

OMG - No-no just makes me think of Michael K. I'd would crack the eff up every time I used it ;)

Thanks for this!

jax said...

I think any women who shaves with a razor can tell you that is not the case, Enty.

I get 2 weeks max out of my razors or face the wrath of INGROWN HAIRS.

Also ladies...even if you think the razor is still good it carries shit loads of bacteria, throw it out.
you giner will thank you.

kenn said...

http://lifehacker.com/5502841/extend-the-life-of-your-razor-blades-with-your-forearm

Henriette said...

Hey Kelly!

Does the NoNo work? I was thinking of getting it, but it has so many mixed reviews that I wasn't sure. Do you have think hair and have you used it everywhere? If you catch my drift.

libby said...

My bf and I discovered, through pure sloth & ignorance of not knowing how to hook up the water line to our new refrigerator, that the 'water filter indicator' light on it is TIMED, because the light turned red, though it has never filtered any water. Already needs a'changin'!

I knew the 'indicator color fade' was a sales gimmick when they started it on toothbrushes.

Maja. With a J. said...

I am giggling hysterically at "no- no hair remover" right now *L* I am very mature.

I usually buy whatever razor is on sale and then forget to use it. I am usually a bit fuzzy and whoever doesn't like that can just go ahead and look at something else, thankyouverymuch! :)

Panda said...

You can see a demo of the No-No on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNm9-rOijSY

She shows the thing around time 1:18 and then actually uses it around 3:40. I didn't watch the whole thing, just skipped around to see what it was/how it worked.

JasonBlueEyes said...

From experience it is actually a good idea to replace your blade regularly. I have sensitive, sometimes blotchy skin. Using the same razor for months on end is bad for me. Though I don't get fooled by that blue strip ploy either. I've used razors until the strip was damn near completely faded of the razor. :)

Mooshki said...

I also looked into the No-No (hee!), and it sounds like it works for some people, but not for others. Probably depends a lot on the consistancy of your hair.

Maja. With a J. said...

Don't look straight into the no-no, Mooshki. You'll go blind.

parissucksliterally said...

They also discontinued the Sensor Excel for Women. I am pissed off.

Jamie's Girl said...

The condition strip dulls it intentionally. I use Venus for women, and I use it until it's dull. Could be a couple of months. But legs are longer than beards!

kelly said...

Henriette

Yes I have thick hair it has worked well I think I can go maybe a week or 10 days without using it, which is huge for me. I have used it on my face and legs. I think the name is hilarious too, a lot of people have asked me if that is where it is used (followed by uncomfortable silence and a cricket sound). I can't comment on that as I am still working on getting my legs to the point that I can go a month then I will be very happy, but honestly even a week for me is a huge difference. You do have to use it faithfully everyday for the first little while but I was off work after surgery so I had time on my hands. I was just checking around and on the "trynono" website they offer a 60 day money back guarantee, I would try it, I def saw a difference before 60 days.

FS said...

I use Gillette Excel razors and so does my husband. I still have two of the original ladies Sensor Excel handles, so now I just get the cheap Rite Aid refills at 99 cents only stores. I can still find my husband the 'good' refills at Kmart or Target. He just uses each razor until he feels it's getting dull, then throws it out. I use mine for 6 months or whatever. Neither one of us has ever paid any attention to that blue strip, I never realized it was meant to indicate anything and I knew all along it wasn't helping my skin or anything.

MCH said...

@Kenn - I love Lifehacker but I'd be scared I'd cut myself trying that trick.

I am intrigued by the No-No.

KellyLynn said...

My husband buys into the idea that his expensive razors only last a shave or two, too. Of course, he also waits until his beard has inched past the trendy unkempt phase and into the street beggar phase before he shaves, so his probably last as long as yours do.
I think wear and tear on razors varies widely by how coarse a person's hair is. I have very fine, light hair on my shaveable spots, so my razors last a long time.

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