Shop Smart: Hair removal for less

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Buying all those razors, blades, creams and other shaving products can really add up. ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports, wanted to find out where you can get your hair-removal supplies for less. So it sent secret shoppers to price 24 items at drugstores (CVS and Walgreens), mass retailers (Target and Walmart) and online (Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and HarmonDiscount.com). The shoppers also spot-checked Costco and Sam's Club.

The results: It pays to order online. Amazon was the big winner. Some stores came close, but the highest prices were often much higher, especially at CVS.

ShopSmart priced two dozen well-known products, including Gillette and Schick razors and replacement cartridges; shaving creams and gels from Eos, Gillette and Skintimate; hair-removal creams and gels from Nair and Veet; and tweezers from Trim and Tweezerman. Here are the results:

Razors: Gillette Venus Embrace (package includes a razor and two cartridges). Best buy -- $8.59 at Amazon.com. Worst buy -- $13.19 at CVS. Thirty-five percent savings.

Shaving cream: Gillette Satin Care with a Touch of Olay gel (7 ounces). Best buy -- $1.98 at Walmart. Worst buy -- $4.49 at Walgreens. Fifty-six percent savings.

Hair-removal cream: Veet Fast Acting Gel Cream Hair Remover (13.5 fluid ounces). Best buy -- $8.21 at Walmart. Worst buy -- $12.10 at CVS. Thirty-two percent savings.

For online prices, remember that you'll also pay for shipping unless you spend a minimum amount: $25 at Amazon.com (for $79 per year, you can join Amazon Prime and get free two-day shipping on all purchases), $35 at Drugstore.com and $50 at HarmonDiscount.com.

At Costco and Sam's Club, ShopSmart's shoppers found Gillette cartridges much less expensive than at drugstores or mass retailers.

One way to save time and sometimes money is to sign up for a service that sends you razors and blades automatically. Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and Soap.com all offer subscription services. Or you can try the Dollar Shave Club, a service aimed at guys that sends members a 30-day supply of its private-label, stainless steel, lubricated blades every month. (ShopSmart hasn't tested the products.)


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