Billie Review: This Razor Brand Makes Luxury Body Products Affordable
No matter how Kondo’ed the rest of our home, the far reaches of our bathroom drawers remain a bastion of clutter. Maybe it’s because the somewhat forgotten spools of dental floss and tubes of lip balm may come in handy at some point. But the random replacement razor blades? Not so much.
We paid good money for those untouched blades...and they just might fit a model of razor we own in the future, we reason — so they stay. It’s a sick game, and one we’ve decided to put a stop to immediately with some serious streamlining by way of Billie, a direct-to-consumer razor and body-care company dressed in millennial-friendly design.
Its subscription model (think: Dollar Shave Club) and modern branding may speak to our ethos and inner cool girl, boy, or non-binary, but how do the company’s products actually perform? We put its four-piece range — the razor, shaving cream, body wash, and body lotion — to the test.
We first unboxed the razor, which comes as a Starter Kit bundled with a replacement blade and magnetic holder that sticks on the shower stall for gunk-free storage. (Four additional blades can be sent every one, two, or three months at $9 per shipment.) The sloped handle and flexible 5-blade razor bends and curves in all the right places, which makes elegant work of shaving legs even when awkwardly contorted in the shower stall. Despite the starter kit’s $9 price tag (similar drugstore blades sell for more than double that cost), using the gear didn’t feel like a cheap shaving experience. The matte, resin-and-rubber wand feels substantial; blades are encased in charcoal shave soap, which means with a little water in the shower and leftover soap from sudsing down, we were able to get away with a quick shave of the legs without having to bust out shaving cream.
Of course, Billie does make its own Shave Cream ($8), which looks a little like marshmallow fluff but carries a much more calming scent of faint sage. Honestly, we’re a bit too lazy to use dedicated shaving cream every time we reach for the razor, but for more sensitive areas — like the armpits and bikini line — it more than does its part to help quell irritation and redness, thanks to a cocktail of skin soothers and hydrators inside (including aloe leaf juice, glycerin, coconut oil, and olive oil). After a few uses, we can see why the brand has a tough time keeping it in stock.
Ditto for its Sudsy Body Wash ($9), a gel-cream blend brightly scented with grapefruit essential oil that puts the standard body wash blueprint to shame. Unlike runny liquid-gel formulas that instantly seep off the sides of hands or disappear into the fibers of a washcloth before you can get the stuff onto your skin, this one stays put until you’re actually ready to smooth it onto the body. When we think about the ungodly quantities of body wash that has escaped our clutches and the amount of money we’ve literally let run down the drain with more liquid formulas, we suddenly can’t imagine going without a gel-cream like this one, which allows for far more control. Like the shave gel, it’s packed with moisturizers (coconut oil and shea butter), but thanks to its thickness, it works nicely as a shaving cream in and of itself.
Finally, we rounded out our Billie experience with a few pumps of Bye Dry Body Lotion ($12). It does everything we want a body lotion to do — smooths skin, erases ashiness, and absorbs ultra-fast to a matte finish. Like the other products in Billie’s body care lineup, the formula is vegan and free of gluten and GMOs. True to Billie form, it also looks and feels more expensive than it is: the lotion is thick enough to work as a hand cream and leaves a non-perfumey, faint grapefruit scent, which makes us rethink the $24 we usually plunk down for a similar bottle.
Billie offers subscription services that keep you in fresh blades without a Target run. (Six-month subscriptions are $27; while, year-long subscriptions clock in at $54.) But since Billie is geared toward women, it also adds some cash-back perks aimed to offset the Pink Tax and kickbacks to support women’s causes, with 1% of all revenue going to organizations like Every Mother Counts. Not to mention, the brand also carries a certain cool factor. For one, razors in shades of flamingo, highlighter yellow, and washed-out peach won’t throw off bathroom decor like a Barbie-pink blade might. What’s more, the company takes a thoroughly modern, shave-it-or-leave-it approach to body hair, with ads that feature women with natural armpits and bikini lines — something we’d never thought we’d see from personal care brand, much less a razor company.
While our mission to streamline a wayward razor situation was certainly achieved with Billie — a single wand is now suspended in our shower and is sure to work with the few lone backup blades that reside in our bathroom drawer. We’ve also managed to walk away with another smarter solution to the AM rise and grind: body care that looks cute and feels fancy but frees up cash without sacrifice.