Gillette Venus Embrace features five blades enrobed in a ribbon of moisture, resulting in a closer, cleaner shave with no nicks or cuts, even around challenging curves. The bulky plastic around the pivoting head can make shaving around the bikini line a little difficult, but the Embrace is otherwise easy to grip, use and maintain. Bonus: The blades seem to last longer than those of other Venus models.
Leaves skin stubble-free. Beauty experts and users agree that the Gillette Venus Embrace is at the top of its class. Winner of an Allure Best of Beauty award for five years running, the Embrace is praised for leaving legs stubble-free, and without painful nicks or razor burn. The editors of Good Housekeeping, who bestowed the honor of "Best Refillable Razor" on the Embrace, say "it glides oh-so-smoothly while cleanly removing every hair."
Users, even those plagued with tales of nicks and cuts suffered at the hands of another razor, experienced a close, clean shave in one pass. TotalBeauty.com members call the Embrace the "Cadillac of razors." A common complaint is that the bulky plastic head makes maneuvering around the bikini area a bit tricky.
Refills pricey, but last longer. At about $8.50 per month or $102 per year, it may be hard to dole out the cost of replacement blades for the Gillette Venus Embrace. On average though, reviewers report that the Embrace blade cartridge lasts longer than other models -- about a month per cartridge. The ability to use any Gillette Venus-style cartridge with this shaver handle may cut the cost even more.
Users like the easy-to-grip handle that rinses easily. Some reviewers note that the razor handle breaks while shaving, and others mention that the moisture strips dry out after only a few uses.
1. Good Housekeeping Institute
Testers with the Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluated 19 manual razors and picked their six favorites in several categories. The Gillette Venus Embrace is deemed best refillable overall; "It glides oh-so-smoothly while cleanly removing every hair," write the editors.
Review: Best Razors, Editors of Good Housekeeping Research Institute, Not Dated
The Gillette Venus Embrace has appeared in Allure magazine's "Best of Beauty Awards" roundup for five years running (2009 to 2013). It is not apparent that hands-on testing was conducted, nor does the author provide any reviews, positive or negative.
Review: Best of Beauty: Body, Meirav Devash, Not dated
The author "sifted through hundreds of reader reviews [on TotalBeauty.com] of hair removal products" to choose the top 12. The Gillette Venus Embrace landed the 12th spot and received an average TotalBeauty.com member rating of 8.4 out of 10. One member said, "Worth the money." No cons were listed.
Review: 12 Best Hair Removal Products, Hayley Mason, March 31, 2014
With almost 640 user reviews, the Gillette Venus Embrace receives an impressive 4.5-out-of-5-star rating on Amazon.com. Users appreciate the ease-of-use and are sold on the close shave that the five blades offer without cutting their skin.
Review: Gillette Venus Embrace Women's Razor 1 Razor 2 Razor Refill Cartridges and 1 Showerpod, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2014
More than 50 users give the Gillette Venus Embrace a 4-out-of-5-stars average rating on Drugstore.com. We scanned through these reviews to get the general tone but disregarded many of them because the users disclosed receiving complimentary razors to test and review, courtesy of a third-party marketing group.
Review: Gillette Venus Embrace Razor, Blue/Green, Contributors to Drugstore.com, As of May 2014
About four dozen reviewers give the Gillette Venus Embrace a 4.4-out-of-5-stars average rating on CVS.com. Many of the reviews appear to have been routed from the Gillette Venus website but, because they have a nice mixture of positive remarks and criticism, we believe they're trustworthy.
Review: Gillette Venus Embrace Razor, Contributors to CVS.com, As of May 2014