I started by using each product as instructed because I really wanted to get an accurate account of the kit's effectiveness based on the instructions. But as time went on, ya gurl got lazy/cheap so I cut a step and replaced a product.
You're supposed to put the shave cream on the brush and then apply it to whatever you're shaving in a circular motion. The brush lifts hairs in preparation for the shave and works up a creamy lather with the cream. But I dropped my brush and it rolled under my bathroom cabinet. I never replaced it, and I'm def not tryna get dust near my vag so I've just been going brushless for like a year now.
When I ran out of Bevel shave cream, I just started using any cream I had around the house instead of ordering more from Amazon. I will admit that the Bevel formula does feel way creamier than the cheap stuff, but I haven't felt or seen a difference in the end result by switching.
Now I do still use the priming oil and restoring balm every single time I shave, and even between shaves. Made with lavender, olive, and castor oils, the priming oil softens the hair to prevent tugging, and calms the skin to minimize irritation. The alcohol-free restoring balm, made with lactic and salicylic acids, gently exfoliates and evens your skin tone and prevents irritation and dryness, which can lead to infected ingrown hairs.
The safety razor is built to last, so I've been using the same one for two years and it's good as new. As for the blades, I just order more when I'm running low—which is hardly ever because I only shave consistently in the summer. I also use the razors on my legs and underarms, too. If I'm shaving my bikini line, I only use a razor once. But if I'm shaving the rest of my body hair, I'll use a razor twice.
Occasionally I'll knick my legs, but I've never, as in NEVER, gotten an ingrown or a razor bump from the Bevel razors... and it's been two years! To my surprise, I actually got an ingrown from a Brazilian wax last summer. It was then that I decided I'd just keep Beveling it out unless a skimpy bikini or outfit required that I wax, which has only been about three times. Other than that, my handy dandy razors and oils have really come through for me.
I still 1000% recommend Bevel to everyone. I will say, though, that everyone's skin is different and some people are just more prone to ingrown hairs and irritation. If you are, you may not want to follow the instructions verbatim and not cut any steps or products. And if you still have irritation no matter what you use, I recommend going to a dermatologist.