- Billie; Flamingo; Samantha Lee/Business Insider
- Billie and Flamingo are two new women’s shaving startups making sharp and affordable razors.
- Billie is a subscription service, offering a $9 razor with $9 refills, while Flamingo is not, but also sells a $9 razor with $9 refills.
- The similarities and differences don’t stop there. We compared other aspects of these two companies so you can decide which is better for your shaving needs.
Shaving, if you choose to do it, is usually an inefficient and time-intensive process. It’s also one of those personal-care habits that quietly sucks the money out of your wallet (for some, more quickly than others depending on how often you shave).
Online startups like Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club brought fresh changes to the shaving industry by making sharp, high-quality razors and sending them to your door for less. Not only men used their products. Women did, too, but there was always the sense the razor designs and skin-care products could be better tailored to women’s needs.
Two new startups, Billie and Flamingo, are finally making women’s lives easier with their affordable shaving solutions. As the two biggest disruptors of the women’s shaving scene, they’re often compared – which is better, Billie or Flamingo?
To help you decide which new women’s shaving brand is for you, we put them side by side and looked more closely at what products they sell, how much you’ll pay, and the shaving experiences themselves.
Learn about the similarities and differences between these two leading women’s shaving startups below.
How Billie and Flamingo came into existence
Billie, founded in 2017, is taking a stand against the pink tax – which upcharges women’s personal-care products – by creating a razor priced in line with affordable men’s razors. It offers realistic portrayals of body hair in its ads and images, and it donates 1% of all revenue to women’s causes around the world.
Flamingo was introduced in 2018 by Harry’s, the men’s grooming brand that first launched its subscription-based razor products in 2013. Though more than a million women were using Harry’s products for themselves, the Harry’s team knew that they could be better optimized for how women shave their legs, armpits, and bikini lines. Flamingo is led by two Harry’s veterans who have been with the company since its start, and it uses the same blades as Harry’s razors.
How the services and products work
Billie is a subscription service that sells shaving and body products. After getting its $9 Starter Kit, you’ll receive four replacement cartridges for $9 on an ongoing basis.
To get started, you’ll choose your favorite handle color and how often you’d like to receive the replacement cartridges. If you shave every day, Billie will deliver once a month; a few times a week, every two months; and once a week, every three months. You can change this frequency at any point later. Then, add an optional shave cream ($8), lotion ($12), or travel bag ($10) to your order.
Flamingo lets you buy all of its shaving, waxing, and body products a la carte. There is no subscription plan, so you can buy refills whenever you need them. Most new customers start with the $16 Shave Set.
Taking a closer look at their starter shave kits
Billie‘s Starter Kit costs $9 and includes a handle, two five-blade cartridges, and a magnetic holder.
Flamingo‘s Shave Set costs $16 and includes a handle, two five-blade cartridges, 1 oz. foaming shave gel, 3 oz. body lotion, a shower hook, and a reusable pouch.
What the razor looks like
The Billie razor handle comes in six colors, in various shades of pink and blue. It has a five-blade cartridge made with USA-sharpened and assembled steel. The blades are encased in a charcoal shave soap and the cartridge has rounded edges.
The Flamingo razor handle comes in three colors, with metallic accents. Its five-blade cartridge features German-engineered blades (Harry’s owns the German factory where the blades are made), a hydrating strip formulated with aloe vera, rounded edges, and a flexible hinge.
I shaved with both Billie’s and Flamingo’s products to compare the experiences. Both gave me a smooth, close shave but in different ways.
I used the Billie razor with the Shave Cream ($8)*, a non-aerosol cream made with soothing and gentle ingredients like aloe, sage, shea butter, and grapefruit and free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, and sulfates. I’m a sucker for anything grapefruit-flavored or scented, so right away I loved the cream. It’s not super thick, but since the blades already have soap built into them, you don’t need to use a lot of cream.
The Billie razor felt comfortable in my hand. Though the cartridge has a hinge, I thought the angle and design didn’t allow it to go as far back as I would’ve liked. I was still able to tackle every inch of hair on my legs and armpits thanks to its sharp blades – I just had to be more careful and intentional.
Meanwhile, the Flamingo razor pairs with a Foaming Shave Gel ($5), which comes in an aerosol can. Its key ingredients include aloe vera as well as conditioning emollients. Its gel is also paraben- and sulfate-free. This thick gel foamed up nicely and felt luxuriously smooth on my skin.
I found the Flamingo razor handle, with its textured rubber grip, was easier to hold and less likely to slip from my fingers. The flexible hinge also helped me better get into tricky curves and corners. Like my experience with Billie, the sharp blades were ultimately the most impressive and important feature of the razor.
*Currently sold out
The accessories and other body-care products are also factors worth considering.
Both Billie and Flamingo razors come with a wall accessory to hold it and keep it within reach in your shower. Billie‘s is a triangular magnetic holder that your razor sticks to, while Flamingo‘s is a circular suction grip that your razor clicks into.
Whether because my shower wall was too wet when I stuck these holders to it, or these accessories simply weren’t strong enough, either the holder or the razor often fell off. While the idea is great, I wouldn’t rely too much on these holders.
To supplement your body-care routine, I do recommend trying both companies’ lotions and body washes. The Billie Sudsy Body Wash ($9), made with grapefruit, coconut, rosa canina, and aloe vera, cleanses and preps your skin before you shave, and the Dry-Bye Body Lotion ($12) is formulated with grape seed, chamomile, shea butter, and aloe vera for perfect post-shave moisturization.
Flamingo doesn’t have a body wash, but its Body Lotion ($9) features the key ingredients of white willowbark extract and papaya fruit extract (for hydration) and a derivative of sugar cane (for moisturization).
Overall, the pricing is similar — and affordable.
- $9 razor + $9 refills (for four cartridges)
- $12 body lotion (8 oz.)
- $8 shave cream (6.5 oz.)*
- $9 body wash (12 oz.)
- Shipping is free with every razor subscription or on orders over $15.
- $9 razor + $9 refills (for four cartridges)
- $9 body lotion (10 oz.)
- $5 shave gel (6.7 oz.)
- Shipping is free on orders over $10.
*Currently sold out
Which company’s razors should you shave with? Here’s the bottom line.
The best women’s shaving brand for you depends on your shaving habits and preferences. With both Billie and Flamingo, you’re getting sharp blades that will get rid of your body hair efficiently, at an affordable price.
If you shave at a consistent schedule, Billie will be better for you because of its convenient and automatic subscription service. It’s easy to add on supplementary products to your order, and subscribing is also the only way to get replacement cartridges.
If you’re on less of a schedule and want to order refills as you go, you’ll be better off with Flamingo. Its Shave Set offers a good introduction to its products, and it’s affordable at less than $20. You should also shop Flamingo if you’ve used and liked Harry’s razors in the past but want a design better suited to your body.