Because I lost two days of my trip to the British Virgin Islands due to my flaky tendencies, I decided to add two extra days to balance out. We all learn from our mistakes (sometimes) and naturally suffer repercussions: mine was paying $300 to change my flight. But it was worth it. Especially since a few of my friends were on a neighboring island, St. John, in the USVI.
Chris was celebrating his birthday and obviously he wasn't going to bring the gaggle of friends over to me as his brother's beach home was apparently "the bomb," so I made the trek over. A few ferry rides later, I had met up with Chris and company, all of whom were taken aback by my new "look." Apparently my beard was a little straggly. Yes. Very unusual that I can grow a beard in the first place but also weird that I looked that much different (as in "unkempt"!). I always use clippers for my facial hair and I didn't bring down my clippers due to the short turn-around of the trip. With two extra days added, I guess my scruff was too much.Chris offered his razor, something that is extremely foreign to me at this point in my life. I think my decision was swayed with his shaving cream: Bliss Homme Improvement Thermal Shaving Cream($18).I know Bliss from their massive presence in Sephora and Bliss spas in W hotels. I was quite impressed when I went to Scottsdale and had an unbelievably divine massage in their spa and sampled their products in the store. Bliss launched Homme Improvement back in 2006 due to the high demand from "testosterone-friendly" fans, which includes the Thermal Shaving Cream.As soon as I applied it, it warmed on my skin upon contact. Verycool, a nod to that old-school barbershop beat. Moving past the self-heating element, it lathered quickly and softly and I knew my sharp whiskers were doomed. Despite the fact I haven't shaved in years, it's kind of like riding a bike—you never forget how to do it. This time around, however, I didn't hate it. In fact, it went pretty smooth and I'm pretty confident it's the shaving cream itself (and the fact that in the past I had used cheap Bic razors while Chris had some ridiculously expensive-looking blade).There's a bunch of nice stuff in here: aloe vera, sweet almond extract, st. john's wort and, interestingly, marshmallow (this acts as an anti-inflammatory and skin conditioner, softening dry skin). Although I only used the product that one time (I'm still faithful to my trusty clippers), it left quite an impression on me, a good thing as I remember how some shaving creams were just horrible to use (I think my lack of knowledge of good shaving creams back in college days actually deterred me from using a straight razor).Chris loves it because it makes his face feel "soft and smooth like a baby's bottom". Our friend Fiona confessed that she used it to shave her legs. Talk about versatility! In the famous words of Cover Girl, the whole experience to me was easy, breezy, beautiful... with a dash of non-irritable, effortless and pleasant!

Ingredients in Bliss Homme Improvement

PEG-8, zeolite, silica, disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate, cinnamomum camphora (camphor) bark oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) oil, lavandula stoechas extract, coriandrum sativum (coriander) fruit oil, cymbopogon martini oil, mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil, piper nigrum (pepper) fruit oil, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, hydrolyzed sweet almond protein, althaea officinalis root extract, coriandrum sativum (coriander) fruit/leaf extract, hypericum perforatum flower/leaf/stem extract, vetiveria zizanoides extract, glycerin, phenoxyethanol, sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, lauramidopropyl betaine, methylparaben, sodium chloride, butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, panthenol, tocopherol, water (aqua), PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, limonene, linalool, titanium dioxide (CI 77891).