June 30, 2006
We interrupt our normally scheduled Celebrity Facial Hair Friday to bring you the June wrap-up. Another stellar month, if I must say. And I do!
First off we were all over the news. Blogpire articles in MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal's Startup Journal. ShavingStuff over the airwaves and 107.1FM The Point, Chico's Music Alternative. We've actually got an MP3 of the broadcast which we'll try to put up this month so you can hear for yourself what all the fuss was about.
One of my favorite items from this past month was the trip I took to Chicago's State Street Barbers for an old fashion hot towel shave. Lot of pictures to go along with that story for your viewing pleasure.
We got a huge shipment from ZIRH, full of shaving creams and other skincare products. We've start testing them out of the ShavingStuff labs. Expect a full review of those in July. And, we set up a ShavingStuff/ZIRH exclusive coupon - 12% off orders over $40. Not too shabby.
Friday Facial Hair celebs included Entourage's Jerry Ferrara, Ex-VP Al Gore, Survivor winner Aras Baskauskas, and coffee icon Carlos Sanchez (Juan Valdez).
Coming up we're expecting a shipment from MenScience soon, and hopefully we'll get a review of their products up in late July.
Happy 4th! Enjoy the long weekend.
June 29, 2006
The Latest Product Reviews from HeadShaver.org
It's been a while since we checked in with HeadShaver.org, and in that time they've posted several new product reviews, including Ultra Shave, Sharp's Kid Glove shave gel, Billy Jealousy Hydroplane Shave Cream, Gillette Fusion, and plain old Baby Oil. These reviews are all from the head-shaver perspective, so they've got a slightly different set of criteria than we at ShavingStuff look for, however there's great info for beard-shavers too. I especially like that they note the "gunk factor" with each product. Taking extra time to rinse goopy shaving cream out of your razor can get pretty darn annoying. I may have to start incorporating that factor into my reviews.
June 28, 2006
The Flashiest Electric Razor Ever - The Norelco 7745X Cool Skin
Have you seen this electric razor? It's green. And blue. It's green and blue. It's a green and blue electric razor. And it excretes lotion while you're shaving.
Norelco's Cool Skin Razors can be used in or out of the shower. Cool Skin shaves as close as a blade with less irritation when using the HQ170 lotion cartridges. The convenience of an electric without the nicks and cuts of a blade! The Cool Skin Razor dispenses Nivea for Men Shaving Lotion or Gel that sets your beard up for an unexpectedly close and comfortable wet shave, leaving your face feeling smooth and refreshed.
The Norelco 7745X Cool Skin Wet / Dry Electric Shaver is available at Amazon for $88.99 and qualifies for free shipping. It's actually got a ton of cool features like wet/dry shaving, 40 minutes of battery life, and an LCD screen which probably gets local traffic reports. I want one just because it's green.
June 27, 2006
Blogger Amazed At What People Will Read
OK, so I admit it's a little self-indulgent to keep putting up articles about yourself, but our little Blogpire empire has been getting some great press recently, and we now have some credible external sources to point to when people ask "What are these blogs all about?" The latest article was written by Frank Barnako of Marketwatch and has a title worthy of an Onion spoof - Blogger amazed at what people will read.
"Our 'magic' is not just finding niches," Brewer said. "We try to have a careful balance of good editorial and (to be) really caring about the content and not just putting it up there and hope to make a buck." But he concedes to still being surprised telling a Wall Street Journal reporter, "I find it absolutely mind-blowing that you can do this full-time. It's just amazing that thousands of people are reading what you put up."
Frankly we're not amazed at what people will read. We thought you all would be interested in reading about shaving, and we seem to be right. Read the full text of the article here.
June 26, 2006
ShavingStuff Goes to State Street Barbers
So as I mentioned last week, I was in Chicago recently and went to the State Street Barbers in Lincoln Park for a traditional hot-towel straight-razor shave. The experience was great. First, let me say how friendly everyone there is. I hate to say it but us Boston folks could learn a thing or two from midwesterners on how to be nice to people. Second, I had a great shave. Let me tell you about it.
While State Street Barbers is a relatively new place, their decor and ambiance is definitely old-school. Black and white photos hang from the wall. Cast iron signs advertise "Shave and a Haircut" for 10 cents. (Damn you inflation!) Dark wood frames the cabinets and lines the floors. This is a friendly local barbershop, complete with twirling red, white, and blue spiral outside. Plenty of fathers and sons come in and out for a haircut, and occasionally someone brings in their dog, though not for a trim.
I was in the strong, competent hands of Rich, whose grandfather was a barber and learned how to shave with a straight-razor while in barber school. Turns out they really do practice on balloons covered with shaving cream. I spent the entire time horizontal while Rich worked his magic. Apparently some people even fall asleep. You can thank ShavingStuff wife for the photo essay to the right. This was one shaving experience in which I did absolutely nothing.
The shave started out with a steaming hot towel to open up my pores, followed by three applications of pre-shave herbal oils and shaving cream. Three!!! After each layer Rich would wrap a fresh hot towel over my face, letting the goodness of the cream and oils seep into my skin and soften up my beard. Then, he whipped out his steel and with a surgeon's precision, carefully shaved with the grain. As you'll hopefully see in the pictures, the man spent some major time on my face, holding skin taut, pulling back my nose, finding the best angle. It takes me no more than 10 minutes to shave in the morning. Rich's shave took an hour. And it was great.
When he was finally finished with my entire face, he told me that what he had just done was comparable to a Mach 3 shave. Now we were going to do it all over again and get even closer. Imagine being at the dentist's office and after they finally finish scraping the plaque off of each individual tooth, being told they're going to do it again. And now imagine liking it.
Round two was the up-shave, although only above the jaw line as Rich's experience was that shaving so close around the neck can lead to ingrown hairs and irritation. Again, we went through the herbal pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and hot towel application. And again I was wrapped up like a mummy. Getting a hot-towel straight-razor shave is a guilty pleasure, and as I lay there, face completely covered in a hot towel, the sweet sounds of Hanson's MMMBop poured out from the radio. I knew this guilty pleasure could get no better. Rich finished up with a brush full of talcum powder, and my face hadn't been smoother in 20 years.
The State Street Barber shop on North Webster uses American Crew shaving products, while the other two shops use The Art of Shaving. The Art of Shaving products will be available at the North Webster location soon. $30 will get you the smoothest skin since pre-pubescence and an hour's worth of bliss. $50 will get you a shave and a haircut. Gift certificates are available too.
June 24, 2006
12% Off ZIRH Coupon for ShavingStuff Readers
Attention ShavingStuff readers! Blue light special on aisle 12. The good folks over at blue and silver ZIRH are here to take away your shaving blues with this ShavingStuff exclusive web coupon:
ShavingStuff.com visitors receive 12% off all orders of $40 or more.
To receive your discount, please enter code ‘ShavingStuff‘ at checkout.
This coupon is good through January 2007, but hey - why wait? Check out ZIRH products right now!
June 23, 2006
Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Jerry Ferrara
This week's Celebrity Facial Hair pick is none other than Entourage's Jerry Ferrara, AKA "Turtle". And, lo! The product marketing planets have aligned. Jerry uses ZIRH products for his daily skin care regimen. Turtle may be too busy for proper skin care with all the driving and errand responsibilities, but Jerry makes time for a facial regime to keep himself looking fine:
CLEAN - Jerry washes with CLEAN twice a day to keep his complexion clear.
SHAVE GEL - Jerry applies a thin layer of SHAVE GEL to give his face a close shave and to easily shave around his sideburns and beard.
SOOTHE - "Nothing has worked better to reduce the irritation I used to experience after shaving," says Jerry.
DEFEND - Our SPF 15 face moisturizer helps protect Jerry's skin from the harsh rays of the LA sun.
CORDUROY - "It's understated, and my girlfriend loves it!" says Jerry. "Why smell like everyone else?"
(The above list and the quotes from Jerry are from this ZIRH page.)
Shave it or save it? The subtle beard and moustache are a nice touch to a handsome face. Keep that well groomed facial coif.
June 22, 2006
Consumer Reports' Take on the Gillette Fusion
Here's a quick article from the July 2006 edition of Consumer Reports on the new Gillette Fusion. Mach-3 Power users were asked to try the Fusion Power, and Mach-3 unpowered users were asked to try the regular Fusion. Basic feedback was that "Testers liked their usual razor just as well."
If you haven't read the ShavingStuff review of the Gillette Fusion I encourage you to check it out. For Mach-3 unpowered users I didn't think there was a reason to switch to the Fusion. However I do think the Fusion Power is an improvement over the Mach-3 Power, and I am pro-powered razors in general. The Fusion Power has some major design improvements, better vibrations, and that lovely little sixth blade.
Read the entire Consumer Reports article by clicking on the image to the right. Read the ShavingStuff review here. Special thanks to Dave Zatz for sending this scan in.
June 21, 2006
Reminder - Baxter and ShavingStuff on 107.1 The Point
Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow, Thursday June 20th, is Baxter/ShavingStuff day on 107.1 The Point, Chico's Music Alternative. OK, maybe it's really just Baxter day, but ShavingStuff's getting a nice mention. Big props to Peter at Baxter of California and Kim at 107.1, and everyone else involved, especially for the ShavingStuff shout out. Check out their Point This Out page mentioning our lovely little site! And don't forget to tune in at 7:25AM Pacific time to learn about Baxter's Bergamot Pear Body Wash. Who knows, you just might win a free bottle.
Don't live in the greater Chico area? They're streaming online at 107thepoint.com.
June 20, 2006
Attention head-shavers! Sharps has got a product just for you. It's Mission: Control Bald Head Balm, and it's SPF 15!
Prevent sun damage while promoting an even-toned dome. This lightweight, fragrance-free baldy balm will boost chrome-dome envy far beyond unprotected helmut heads.
Now you know after-shave is a great way to protect your skin from irritation, and you also know that your head takes the brunt of the sun's UV rays. So protect that noggin! Mission: Control Bald Head Balm is $28 at Sharp's online store.
Blogpire Productions Blogs Announce Investment in the Planet's Future with Green Tags
What can we say? We really thought our blogs should be a bit greener? As of today, we're going to buy enough Green Tags, also called renewable energy credits, from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, to offset the environmental impact from our hosting and computer operations for the coming year.
Green tags are an investment in the production of renewable energy sources through wind and solar power. Using clean renewable energy reduces emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. By purchasing green tags, Blogpire Productions hopes to lessen our dependence on burning fossil fuels.
We also hope you'll help out as well. Individuals as well any business can buy Green Tags. Please visit the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and purchase Green Tags to offset your use of fossil fuels.
Full Release at: PR Web
June 19, 2006
State Street Barbers in Chicago and Boston
Quick post for today. Just flew back from Chicago where we were visiting ShavingStuff dad, who moved to the windy city a couple months ago. While we were only there for a long weekend, I did get to sample the local shaving scene at State Street Barbers, with two locations in Chicago and one in Boston.
Featuring superb quality haircuts and hot lather shaves, State Street Barbers offers men the grooming experience they deserve without the fuss or frills of a salon.
$30 will get you a one hour hot-towel straight-razor shave, leaving your face a smooth as a baby's bottom. And we've got the pictures to prove it. Expect those and a full recount of the experience sometime next week. In the meantime, if you're heading to their location on West Webster Ave., ask for Rich.
June 16, 2006
Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Al Gore
Hold on to your environments folks - this week's celeb is former veep Al Gore. Al's been in the news recently with the opening of his new movie An Inconvenient Truth. These days Al's sporting a stream-lined clean-shaven look, a great improvement over his 2000 ragged bearded post-election blues. Do you agree? The shave it or save it staff are glad he shaved.
As an extra bonus for the sci-fi geek in all of us, here's a little site comparing Al, Clinton's Number One, to Riker, Picard's Number One. Ridiculous, but cute.
BlogpireMobile.com and Weekly Email Updates
This week we have a new, exciting program, affectionately called BlogpireMobile.com! We want to reward you for being Blogpire loyalists. This is one way for us to say thanks. BlogpireMobile.com provides online exclusive offers on the very best mobile service, Verizon Wireless. This online-only offer for you is for $50 Instant Cash Back. That means no rebates, no hassles, and no money out of your pocket when you get a plan and phone. With this offer, there are over 11 FREE PHONES currently available.
But we also know you have a busy life and a busy schedule, and that's why everyone here at BlogPire Productions wants to make it easier for you to get the latest news from any of our sites and not just the one you visit everyday. Just click the link - sign up and you'll get the list of headlines sent to you via email each Monday morning.
June 15, 2006
ShavingStuff and Baxter on 107.1 The Point, Chico's Music Alternative
Attention residents of California! If you live in the greater Chico area, you will want to tune in to 107.1FM one week from today, Thursday June 22nd, at the bright and early time of 7:25AM for a Baxter promotion and a little shout-out to ShavingStuff. There may be call-ins. There may be give-aways. There may be fun. Want to know for sure? Make a point of listening!
And if you don't live in the greater Chico area, listen online at 107thepoint.com.
June 14, 2006
June 13, 2006
Blogpire in the Wall Street Journal's Startup Journal
As some of you readers may know, ShavingStuff falls under the umbrella organization Blogpire, which features other sites such as SingleServeCoffee, LiquorSnob, and The Cooking News. Today, in the Wall Street Journal's Startup Journal there is an article about Jay Brewer, founder of Blogpire and many of its sites. This is a huge affirmation of Jay's vision and hard work. Congratulations Jay!
Now, as a point of pride, I need to make one minor correction to the article. Jay and I came up with the idea of a shaving blog together, and we both have been writing it since the beginning. Hey - I've got to secure my place in history. Blogpire will be huge. Just feel the need to set the record straight.
Read the whole Blogpire article at the WSJ's Startup Journal.
June 12, 2006
Josh Shockley's Adventures In Not Shaving
Josh Shockley had a yearning question last year - what would it be like if I didn't shave for a whole year? Would it itch in the hot summer months? Would he even make it? Would anyone even care?
Turns out the web provides and audience for just about anything. So today, on a website devoted to shaving, we're happy to bring you Josh's website Antishave 2006 devoted to not shaving. The rules are simple:
- No facial shaving from January 1, 2006 to January 1, 2007.
- At the request of my beautiful girlfriend, trimming will be permitted but only to shape the mane.
- I can shave my neck to keep it nice looking.
- A picture will be posted weekly.
- The picture will be taken in the same part of my house, and it will be of the same part of my body (my face).
Josh is taking full advantage of all the web has to offer, from Blogspot, to YouTube, to Flickr. There are tons of ways to watch and track his progress. He's about six months into his ordeal, and looking, well, unshaven. But keep going Josh! We'll check in with you a little later and see how those summer months are treating you.
Special thanks to Darren Barefoot for calling attention to this anti-shaving experiment.
June 9, 2006
Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Aras Baskauskas
What happens when you're shipped off to a remote section of Panama for 39 days and forced to live without the comforts of modern man? You grow a beard (if you're a guy). And if you're lucky, you look damn good while doing it.
Well, the tribe has spoken, and this week's Celebrity Facial Hair pick is Aras Baskauskas, winner of last month's Survivor: Panama. Aras successfully outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted, and for that we award him ShavingStuff's highest honors. It may not amount to the same excitement as winning a million dollars, but hey - at least you don't have to pay any taxes.
So here's the cool thing about me and Aras - two degrees of separation. I know Peter Alejandro (sales manager at Baxter of California), and Peter knows Aras. Turns out Peter takes yoga from Aras in sunny Santa Monica. Read more about it in this post from Peter's blog Mahamondo.com. (Includes a link to Aras's website.)
Shave it or save it time. While I think Aras grows a nice even beard, clean-shaven Aras is so dreamy. Thanks for shaving Aras. Next time your luxury item should be a razor.
June 8, 2006
The Expensive Side of Father's Day Shaving Gifts
Got a lot of money? Give me some.
Got some left over? How about buying dad one of these beautiful shaving sets from The Art of Shaving. Each set contains a badger shaving brush, a Mach-3 compatible razor handle which has been laser-engraved "to ensure a non-slip grip," and a stand. The sets come in modern (pictured, right), nickel, gold, (fake) ivory, and thuja, and range in price from $195 to $700.
Thuja? Here - let me save you the trouble. Wikipedia: Thuja. Oh. It's a type of wood.
Not a bad idea for the child who's got the dough and the dad who doesn't have the perfect shave.
June 7, 2006
Just received a new shipment of Baxter of California products which we'll be trying out over the next couple weeks. First up it's the Herbal Mint Toner for $16:
Alcohol free formula controls shine and removes excess oil without stripping away vital moisture
Second, we've got a tube of the Oil Free Moisturizer at $18
A lightweight formula that replenishes the skin’s essential moisture. Leaves skin feeling smooth and refreshed with a shine-free matte finish. No fragrance or oil.
We'll be trying these out over the next few weeks and reporting back with a review. Stay tuned...
More Father's Day Shaving Ideas from ZIRH
Right now ZIRH is offering a Father's Day special package - create a custom shaving kit for dad and they'll ship it for free in a complementary ZIRH bag. You've got until Monday June 12th to take advantage of this offer. Prices range from $49 to $85. For example, the Starter Kit (pictured, right) includes shave gel, face wash, and two types of creams.
June 6, 2006
Mariah Carey's Billion Dollar "Legs of a Goddess" Commitment
I'm sure you all remember last year's Gillette Venus Vibrance Legs of a Goddess winner Angela McNeany, the Drake law student whose life has undoubtedly changed dramatically due to her current reign. But just like Ms. America, you only get one year of fame. Time to start looking for a replacement. And who better to help in the search than leggy pop star Mariah Carey, who conveniently has a new album and tour to promote. According to the all-Mariah website MariahDaily.com,
Mariah was honored by Gillette for having the "Celebrity Legs of a Goddess" and a sixteen-foot high replica of her legs was unveiled in a ceremony held at the Radio City Music Hall on May 30, 2006.
(Hmm... "Celebrity Legs of a Goddess". Maybe it's time I retire Celebrity Facial Hair Friday and start a new weekly special.)
But here's the best part, according to SFGate's Daily Dish:
Mariah Carey has insured her legs for $1 billion after agreeing to front shaving giant Gillette's Legs of a Goddess campaign.
One billion dollars! Now lest you think this is a fluke, turns out celebrities do this all the time. For a short history on insuring famous body parts, and a debunking of J. Lo's billion dollar booty, click on over to this article from BankRate.com. Oddly enough I couldn't find anywhere on the site where I could insure my valuable facial hair. Hey - if I lose my five o'clock shadow, how will I review products for this site?
June 5, 2006
Free Samples of Nivea for Men at Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart is offering free samples of Nivea For Men skin care products, including shaving cream and moisturizers. You've got two options once you get to this page - enter your zip code and if a Wal-Mart near you is running an in-store Nivea event, just go on in; otherwise click on the "Free Sample" link in the upper right corner of the page and answer a few survey questions (email address optional!).
June 2, 2006
Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Carlos Sanchez (Juan Valdez)
It's the end of an era, and also a new beginning. Carlos Sanchez, better known to the world as Juan Valdez, is turning in his poncho, parking his burro, and looking forward to painting "like a madman". This week's Celebrity Facial Hair Friday pick is the symbol of Colombian coffee, and has been for 37 years. Damn, that's an old moustache.
But fear not! The search for a replacement Juan has already begun. Why this process wasn't made into a reality TV show a la Rock Star seems to be a huge marketing opportunity missed, but apparently the number of contenders has been narrowed down from 400 to 10 already.
And before you go labeling the newbie as "Juan Two", it turns out that Sanchez is actually the second Valdez, inheriting the title from Jose Duval who started in 1959. Is Juan Valdez Dr. Who?
Shave it or save it? Dude, you can't shave that thing. It's part of the cultural zeitgeist.
Read more in these articles from seattlepi.com and cbsnews.com.
June 1, 2006
Father's Day Specials
First round of Father's Day specials:
BuzzSkin is offering "free FedEx ground shipping on all orders until 6/16". They've also got a ton of Father's Day gift ideas, neatly categorized in price ranges from under $25, $25-$40, and over $40. Pick out something nice for dad, and get a little somethin'-somethin' for yourself.
And if that's not enough for you, check out Heavy Duty, where for now you can "Buy 2 HandGear Creams (or any $30 purchase) and recieve 2 AutoStrip Travel Size Shaving Ceams FREE!" Oof! Someone over at Heavy Duty better run a spellchecker on those emails before they send them out.