Subscription business is booming in the UK. From weekly ready meals, to craft boxes (see review of the Toucan Box), you can get almost everything on subscription. One of my first reviews I ever wrote on dadmadeinbritain was about Shavekit.com. So when Cornerstone contacted me to review their new subscription service I immediately agreed and wanted to see how different this service was.
Cornerstone is another shaving subscription service with a twist. It is different because it supplies more than blades, you also get a complete range of grooming products for your daily shaving ritual. I always find it a bit difficult to review mens skincare products because it is a very personal thing. For example, my skin doesn’t like Nivea for men or Clarins. Each time I use those products I don’t get the best results (especially irritation and spots). But my skin is in love with Bulldog, Nip Man and the new L’Occitane Cedrat range. So, what works for me, might not work for you, and it might be the same with Cornerstone. So let’s start the review about this new Shaving subscription service that promises you a “better way to shave”.
I will start my review with the box that I received, the products and will explain you more in details how it works.
Packaging: What you will receive at home
I received the “full box” with the razor, blades and complete range of products. In my opinion, packaging is really important and I was really impressed by the way Cornerstone has put extra care in the details. The box has this “masculine” touch that you can/should expect from a razor subscription service. I love the choice of colour and material used. Inside everything is well packed. I also received two leaflets/magazines printed in high quality paper. One is about the products and shaving, the other one is called 5 o’clock (a guide to a well groomed life). I also would like to mention the very nice packaging of the skincare products. I really like the combination of grey and red. First impressions are very important on that one I would like to give Cornerstone a 10 out of 10! Great job.
The main star of this shaving box is obviously the razor. Cornerstone insists in promoting the razor as a pure German engineering product and crafted in Britain from strong yet lightweight aluminium alloy. I have to be honest, the razor is beautiful, it feels good in the hand. My personal choice is one a little heavier....but that's just me. Also, to thank you for your support, Cornerstone website will engrave your razor with your personal initials. Nice touch! I think that most of us will love the way this razor feels. Razor: 8.5/10 (slightly too light for me).
This is a difficult one. It all depends on your type of hair and how often you need to shave. For example, some Gillette blades are not good for me. I can’t get a perfect shave and I get a lot of little annoying cuts. Other Gilette blades are outstanding for my skin. Same happens with other brands (I used Gilette as an example because this is the most popular shaving brand around the world). I have to shave daily and my beard is more on the hard side. For me any blades are good if I don’t shave for two days, but it is on my daily shaving rituals that I see if a blade is good for me or not. In this case, I was a bit disappointed. It was OK, certainly not great and sometimes I had more annoying cuts than expected (and bleeding too). The razor has five sharp blades and I am sure that if your beard is not as hard as mine and if you can do with shaving 3-5 times a week, it will be perfect for you. If your skin doesn’t get easily irritated, you will love the blades, but for me that was not what I expected. I really wanted to love it. I even saved my last blade and used it yesterday after a 3 months breaks from using it. And it is still the same. If I don’t shave for two days, the result is outstanding, but on a daily basis it is not good for my skin. I will give the blade a 5/10 but probably most of you will give a 9/10 if you don’t have a beard as hard as mine.
The grooming range is made of the following products:
- Face Scrub
- Shaving Gel
- After Shave Balm
Step 1: Face Scrub.
Of the three products this is my favourite. It smells great (cedarwood), it has volcanic grains but it is a little bit thin in my opinion (apparently Cornerstone has improved the formula of the Facial Scrub..it is now thicker but still paraben free and still suitable for vegan/vegetarian). The way to use the Face Scrub is very easy: splash your face with warm water and apply (avoiding the eye area). Rinse with water and enjoy a clean face. The purpose of using this Face Scrub on a daily basis is to make the shaving process easy. Personally my skin doesn’t agree with a daily scrub and I prefer to use it 2-3 times a week. This is a great product with a nice masculine smell. 8/10
Step 2: Shave Gel.
If you are a “foam shave” guy you will likely be disappointed with the lack of alternative within the Cornerstone grooming range. The Shave Gel is specially designed for sensitive skin (Ginger and Eucalyptus to protect and rehydrate your skin) and it smells great. You won’t get a lot of lather like with other products though. The Cornerstone Shave Gel is OK, it is not my favourite and as I explained before I think this is not the most suitable for my skin type. Unfortunately I got cuts and some irritation which was caused by the blades and the Shave Gel. However online reviews of this product are highly positive so it might be my beard. I will give it a 6.5/10.
Step 3: Sensitive Post Shave Balm.
This product is not easy to review because it is all about taste. I dislike Nivea Post Shave Balm (it is too light and my skin can get irritated). However this is one of the most sold After Shave balms in the world! I much prefer a thicker balm with a strong smell. Unfortunately the Cornerstone Sensitive Post Shave Balm is too light for me. It has a nice cool scent (Mint and Honey) and it works well (no irritation). It does the job perfectly well but this not the type of product I like. I will give it an 8/10 because it is a great Shave Balm but I wouldn’t buy it again because I prefer a thicker one.
How does the subscription service work?
When you register you have to choose between three shaving options: Daily (5-7 days a week), Often (2-4 times a week), Not often (1-2 times a week). Apparently the most popular is the Often box. This is an important step because it will determine how often you will receive a box (every 6 weeks, 12 weeks or 18 weeks).
Then you can add the grooming products that you want, and you can start your subscription. This is perfectly flexible, you can change it whenever you want, pause it, skip it or cancel it. As a first order I would recommend you to add the complete grooming range (first order has a £10 discount) as this is a good way to test their products. If the Cornerstone grooming range is good for your skin you won’t have worry about spending anymore time at your local Boots/Tesco!
How much does it cost?
The complete box (razor + blades + full skincare range) doesn't come cheap. The pack of 6 blades are £14 every 12 weeks. The Face Scrub/Shave Balm £5 and Shave Gel £6. There is also a free delivery and don’t forget you get a £10 discount on your first order.
It is always difficult to review a razor and shaving grooming product because at the end it all depends on your skin and beard. Some guys will love one product but my skin will hate it! I think this is the same with Cornerstone. The products, packaging and concept are great and will satisfy many of you. Unfortunately for my shaving requirements it is just OK, but give it a try and enjoy the £10 discount. If Cornerstone is right for you (as it is for thousands of men), you will be highly pleased with this concept.
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to share and comment. Happy shaving every one!