July 31, 2007

July 2007 Wrap-Up for Shaving Stuff

Hope you're enjoying your summer. We certainly are.

Reviews
Five part review this month on The Gentlemen's Refinery This is one that you don't want to miss, and one that I'm going to miss. Shaving oil, shaving cream, after-shave balm, moisturizer, and eye-cream. Gentlemen's Refinery is the best stuff I've used in a long time. Master barber Perry Gastis is deserving of his "master" status.

Electric Shaving
Unintentional string of electric shaving posts this month covering the silly - USB rechargeable shaver, the slightly less silly - solar rechargeable electric razor, the practical - the Mangroomer back shaver, the intrepid - Gizmodo's adventures in hairlessness, the beautiful - the Hitachi Rotary Razaq, and the ultra-modern - the Braun Pulsonic.

Celebrities
The Simpsons Movie was the inspiration for two of our celeb picks this month - Simpsons creator Matt Groening and Simpsons star Homer Simpson. We also honored the good old US of A with our July 4th special Wednesday edition pick of Uncle Sam.

Misc
And if you missed our post on Follicle Phil, you'll definitely want take a few minutes and catch up. Those crazy guys over at Philips Norelco Bodygroom have cooked up another installment in their wildly popular c@%k and b@(( shaving series. Sure to bring a smile to your face, and perhaps a few ladies as well.

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July 30, 2007

Get Your Hitachi Rotary Razaq

hitachi-rotary-razaq.jpgIt's been two years since we first laid eyes on the prototype Hitachi Rotary Razaq (which was then called the RM-SX100). Since then this beauty has undergone a name change and launched in Japan. Now Uncrate has found a company which is importing them into America.

The Hitachi Rotary Razaq is an electric WET shaver that is not only stylish in every way, but gives an amazingly close shave. It’s omni-directional blades get your beard at every angle for perfect smoothness. The blade is completely washable. The Rotary Razaq’s strong motor goes 3,500rpm, so it’s powerful as well. Since it’s waterproof, shaving and both cleaning are simple and can be done in the bath or shower, and the slim, ergonomic grip keeps it from slipping.

Plus this thing is gorgeous. I mean just look at it. It's the iPod of electric razors. Probably plays mp3s.

So, for $149 you can be the envy of all the kids on the block. Click on over to this link and order away.

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July 27, 2007

Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Homer Simpson

Last week's Celebrity Facial Hair Friday pick was Simpson's creator Matt Groening. Since today is the actual opening of The Simpsons Movie, it seems only fitting to choose the perpetually five-o'clock shadowed Homer Simpson. (This marks the second time we've picked an animated celebrity for Facial Hair Friday. The first being Aquateen Hunger Force's Frylock.)

There's a great segment from the early years of the Simpsons which shows Homer shaving. He lathers up, shaves, and for a brief moment his entire face is that mustard yellow color. Then his beard grows in and he walks away. I'm sure it's somewhere on YouTube but I couldn't find it. Instead all I came up with is this clip of Homer apparently teaching Bart to shave. I say "apparently" because the clip has been dubbed into Czech. So, for all you Czech-speakers out there, click on over and have a laugh. For the rest of us, might be time to head to the movies.

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July 26, 2007

Gizmodo's Adventures in Hairlessness

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Gizmodo recently ran a shaving-related article entitled How to Turn Your Body Into A Hairless Wonderland With Gadgets. Their weapons of choice - The Mangroomer, the Philips Bodygroom, and the Flowbee. Mangroomer - all over that. Blogged about it yesterday. Philips Bodygroom - covered it. "Follicle" Phil rules. Flowbee - that's a new one to me.
[...] you probably saw this on late-night TV ads. If you're not familiar, the Flowbee is a combination vacuum cleaner and (head) hair trimmer. Both plug into the wall (you can opt to use your own vacuum and save a few bucks on the order) and work together to simultaneously cut and clean up the mess.

Clearly I'm not watching enough late night TV.

Full the full write-up (but sadly no before and after pix) click on over to Gizmodo.

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July 25, 2007

The New York Times' Review of the Mangroomer

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This is turning into an electric shaving week, so let's continue the trend.

This past Sunday the New York Times ran this article about the Mangroomer back shaver in their business section. We meet Brett Marut, who, while traveling to see relatives in New Jersey, realized "I was going back to see people I barely ever see, and I just knew I was going to have to take my shirt off."

And thus the Mangroomer was born.

[...] an electric razor that resembles a futuristic kung fu weapon. When fully extended, the Mangroomer measures nearly two feet from base to blade — long enough, according to Mr. Marut, to shave the human back’s remotest corners.

We've mentioned the Mangroomer several times on ShavingStuff before, but this article is definitely worth a read. Gives you a little insight into the creative process, as well as the concrete steps needed to transform your idea into reality. What will the next shaving-related inspiration be?

The Mangroomer is available at Mangroomer.com and Amazon for $39.95.

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July 24, 2007

Solar Powered Electic Razor

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Yesterday we posted about a USB rechargeable electric razor. Today it's time for crazy electric shaver number two, which asks the question - What if you're not around a USB port? Good thing we can now get energy from the sun. That's right, the Sabeco Solar Powered Shaver quite possibly might be the first solar powered electric razor. At least it's the first one I've heard of.

And how much should you pay for this miracle of modern man? No idea. Looks like you have to click on the "Inquire Now" button at vogue-gifts.com and ask for Carlos. Sounds a little shady to me. (Get it?)

Via Red Ferret.

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July 23, 2007

USB Rechargeable Shaver

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Back in December we reported on a shaving novelty item - a USB rechargeable shaver which had just come out in Hong Kong. Looks like that shaver has now made it to the States. Yesbuy.net is now offering the USB Powered NiMH Rechargeable Shaver, with Brush for $18.95. Should this replace your brand new Braun Pulsonic? No. Will this sync with your new iPhone? Nope. Will this give you the ability to shave when all you have around is a laptop with a USB port and the charge has run out? Bingo!
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July 20, 2007

Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Matt Groening

matt_groening.jpgAfter 20 years on television the Simpsons is coming to the big screen. That's right, hold on to your donuts. The Simpsons Movie opens next Friday July 27th. So, in honor of that unparalleled feat, this week's Celebrity Facial Hair Friday pick is Simpsons creator Matt Groening.

Hard to believe any comedy could still remain current after 20 years, but the Simpsons still manages to deliver. (The "20 years" claim should really have an asterisk next to it, since the first 2 were as interludes on the Tracy Ullman Show.) Matt Groening first came onto the national scene with his "hell" comic books - Life in Hell, Love is Hell, etc... Honestly, I never thought they were very funny. But the Simpsons showed that the man had talent.

Groening has always had a somewhat scraggly beard and mustache. I think he and Michael Moore often battle to see who can look more unkempt. He's well-manicured in this picture to the right, but there certainly have been times that Matt has looked more like Comic-Book Guy. In general it's the right look for the Simpsons creator. A clean-cut Groening would have taken away some of his cred. Instead his salt-and-pepper beard and often messy hair are more common man. More Homer. Less Burns.

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July 19, 2007

This Just In - L'Occitane

loccitane-shave-cream.gifDetails for Men has a huge selection of men's grooming products from L'Occitane. 40 products in all (if my count is correct), from shaving supplies to soaps, creams, and foot scrubs.

Inspired by ancestor's traditions over twenty five years ago in the southern Provence's of France, L'Occitane products for shaving, grooming, skincare and haircare are created to preserve the authentic ingredients and traditions of the Mediterranean culture.

We've received tubes of L'Occitane Cade Shaving Cream ($28) and L'Occitane Cade After Shave Balm ($28). Haven't started using them yet but they both smell great. Look for our review in the upcoming months.

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July 18, 2007

Herban Cowboy Old Fashioned Shave Kit

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Here's a great introductory kit for those interested in old-school shaving. The ironically named Herban Cowboy Old Fashioned Shave Kit. "Ironically," because "punily" isn't a word. The kit contains

  • Shave Brush - Natural wood handle, Natural (unbleached) boar bristle
  • Ceramic Shave Mug - Cadmium & lead free, non-toxic glaze
  • Shave Soap - A rich, long lasting lather in an organic base. Skin conditioning carrot root and clean essential oil fragrance notes.

Boar bristle isn't the same as badger, but for $23.99, it won't break the bank. Plus, the kit is "70% Organic - 100% Vegan." What's with this 100% vegan designation? Back in April we posted a reader review about the Personna Matrix3 Razor which also lists itself as 100% vegan. Does that mean no animal parts were used in making these products? Seems like an odd thing to emphasize when a products might contain ceramics or metal. Kind of like saying a product is 100% earthen because it was made on Earth.

The Herban Cowboy Old Fashioned Shave Kit is $23.99.

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July 17, 2007

ShavingSupplies.com - Shave Center of the Internet

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Came across this site recently in our world wide web travels - ShavingSupplies.com - which should be interesting to all you old-school straight-razor shavers.
We hope you enjoy the extensive selection of shaving products all of which are top quality and reasonably priced. We are the exclusive retailer of "Eagle Brand" straight razors from Thiers Issard in France and also feature many razors from DOVO and MERKUR of Solingen, Germany.

Not only do they bill themselves as the "Shave Center of the Internet", but they also claim to be "The KnifeCenter of the InterNet". And if you're in need of a little extra defense, click on over to their SecurityCenter section and stock up on Tactical Flashlights, Hand Cuffs, and Pepper Spray.

Shave and a hand cuff? Two bits.

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July 16, 2007

Popular Mechanics' Review of the Braun Pulsonic

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A couple weeks ago Gizmodo published their review of the Braun Pulsonic. Around the same time Popular Mechanics did the same. And a quite positive one at that.
The Pulsonic's head vibrates laterally, making the skin on your face ripple, and making hairs stand up a little straighter. Braun claims this reduces irritation while cutting closer, with less friction between blades and skin, and hairs hacked shorter than ever. I've been using the Pulsonic for weeks, and Braun is right: Compared to other electric shavers, the Pulsonic pulls off a smoother, less painful shave.

Makes sense. The vibrations are similar to the way the Gillette Fusion or Mach3 Power vibrates, which in all our testing here at ShavingStuff yielded a better and more comfortable shave.

Read the full Popular Mechanics review here. The Braun Pulsonic is now available for $249.99.

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July 13, 2007

Review of Gentlemen's Refinery Eye Gel

gr-eye-cream.gifLast day of our Gentlemen's Refinery review week and we've come to The Gentlemen's Refinery Eye Gel. Now I don't know much about eye gel, but if you've had a late night bender and need to recover for a 9am meeting, you're going to want some eye gel. Helps relieve those bags.

An outstanding product made with hyaluronic acid (naturally occurring compound), responsible for the moisture and elasticity of human skin. Designed for everyone who desires to decrease dark color and lift the under eye area, The Gentlemens Refinery Eye Gel, gently and visibly performs the rejuvenation of sensitive under eye area.

As we said yesterday, there are the shaving necessities, and then there are nice-to-haves. Gentlemen's Refinery's Eye Gel definitely falls into the latter category when it comes to shaving. But if you're in the market for an eye gel, I'd definitely recommend this one. I've tried it, and while I can't claim to be an expert, the rest of the Gentlemen's Refinery is so overwhelmingly good, there's no way you'll go wrong here.

The Gentlemen's Refinery Eye Gel is $40 for a 15 ml bottle.

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July 12, 2007

Review of Gentlemen's Refinery Moisturizer

GR-Moisturizer.jpgThe first three Gentlemen's Refinery products we reviewed this week - Pre Shave Oil, "The Standard" Shaving Cream, and After Shave Balm - are all top shelf and we highly recommend them. Today and tomorrow we'll round out the Gentlemen's Refinery's product line with some nice-to-haves if you're looking to complete your collection.

Today we're focusing on Gentlemen's Refinery Moisturizer, a light, simple moisturizer for use after you've washed you face, or any time you're skin is feeling a little tight.

In keeping with the concept of Natural products, The Gentlemens Refinery Moisturizer continues to raise the standard. Glycerin, Oat Protein, and Vitamin E lead our ingredient list. The Gentlemens Refinery is made with 100% Natural ingredients; paraben and alcohol free (we use natural and beneficial fatty alcohols). The Gentlemens Refinery Moisturizer is unscented, absorbs quickly and keeps skin balanced.

You even notice how most unscented things are really not unscented? The Gentlemen's Refinery is no different, but the scent is mild. Very similar to the shaving cream and after shave - slightly floral and soapy. As we mentioned yesterday, the Gentlemen's Refinery After Shave Balm is all you need post-shaving. But if you're looking for something for the other times of the day, this moisturizer is a great option. As with all Gentlemen's Refinery products, I will miss this moisturizer when the review session is over.

Gentlemen's Refinery Moisturizer is $48 for a 50ml bottle.

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July 11, 2007

Review of Gentlemen's Refinery After Shave Balm

GR-After-Shave-Balm.jpgDay three of Gentlemen's Refinery week. Hump day. We've pre oiled. We've shaved. Now it's time to heal.

Gentlemen's Refinery set the bar high with their Pre Shave Oil and "The Standard" Shaving Cream, and their After Shave Balm continues to clear it. A loose, white cream, Gentlemen's Refinery's After Shave Balm goes easy and makes your skin feel great.

[...] a revolutionary formulation designed to expedite the healing process, and seal skin from external impurities [...] 100% Natural ingredients; paraben and alcohol free ( we use natural and beneficial fatty alcohols). The Gentlemens Refinery After Shave Balm is antibacterial and contains cooling and moisturizing benefits; truly an advanced product for discerning gentlemen.

Two things to note - the pump top (love the pump) has a slightly forceful release. Don't be surprised if the first few squirts splash out of your hand. You'll learn to develop a gentle touch. Also, while the product says "apply liberally," I found that two squirts was more than enough to cover my entire face and neck - even spots I hadn't shaved.

One of the things I've found with after shave balms is that they can be too gentle on my skin. They may feel great initially, but after 15 minutes or so my face feels dry and I need to apply a moisturizer to a few key places. Not so with Gentlemen's Refinery's After Shave Balm. This is one of the few balms with stands by itself. High marks in my book. The perfect end to a great shave.

The Gentlemen's Refinery After Shave Balm is $40 for a 100ml bottle.

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July 10, 2007

Review of Gentlemen's Refinery "The Standard" Shaving Cream

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Welcome to day two of Gentlemen's Refinery shaving week. Yesterday we lubed up with Pre Shave Oil. Today we're shaving with "The Standard" Shaving Cream.

Substance
Unscrew the cover of "The Standard" Shaving Cream and you are greeted with a fluffy, silky substance which just begs to get to know your face. Could double for cupcake frosting if not for the vaguely floral and soapy aroma. Gentlemen's Refinery comes in two flavors - "The Standard", which is what we're reviewing here; and "Black Ice", which is "lightly scented with Certified Organic Anise, Bergamot and Basil Oils". Both are $28.

Application
The application of "The Standard" Shaving Cream is a little challenging, so keep an open mind. You've already got some Pre Shave Oil on your face, but there's no water involved yet since you put the oil on dry skin. You could splash some water on your face, but that won't stick too well given the layer of oil. So what I found works best is the following: with your right hand, scoop out a small amount of "The Standard" Shaving Cream and put it in the center of your left palm. Now get some nice warm water going in the sink, cup your hands together, and quickly douse them with water. Then rub your hands together to mix the cream and water, and start smoothing it on your face. No mincing words here - this will be a little bit of a mess the first few times. Also, you'll have to experiment with the cream to water ratio. If you are ending up with a slightly thicker paste, splash a little water on your face to loosen things up. Trust me - the shave is worth it.

The Shave
Ahh, the shave. The shave with "The Standard" Shaving Cream from the Gentlemen's Refinery is one of the best I've experienced. Super close, no nicks or cuts, and no irritation. I shaved with a Fusion Power with blades ranging from razor sharp to somewhat dull, and "The Standard" always stood up. The base layer of Pre Shave Oil is essential. While you'll get a decent shave without it, I strongly suggest you go all in and trust what the experts at Gentlemen's Refinery have designed for you.

I could go into all the ingredients in "The Standard" Shaving Cream, but sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In corporate-speak they call that "synergy". I just call it good stuff.

Get Some
"The Standard" Shaving Cream from Gentlemen's Refinery is $28 for a 150ml tub. The Gentlemens Refinery Black Ice Shave Cream (Anise) is also $28 for a 150ml tub.

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July 9, 2007

Review of Gentlemen's Refinery Pre Shave Oil

Pre-Shave-Oil.jpgOnce in a while I come across a line of shaving products which is in a league of its own. It's happened again with The Gentlemen's Refinery, sent over by our good friends at Details for Men. Quite frankly I've been dreading writing this review because it means that afterward I will be moving on to another set of shaving products. So we're going to stretch this out all week - one product from Gentlemen's Refinery per day. That way I get another couple shaves in before I have to say goodbye.

For a little history on the Gentlemen's Refinery, master barber Perry Gastis, and the quest for the ultimate organic shave, visit our first post from back in March. Then come on back as we dive into some pre shave oil.

The Oil
Pre Shave Oil from Gentlemen's Refinery comes in a handy pump-top container. I'll skip my usual accolades for the pump-top and go directly into the oil itself, which you apply to a dry face after a shower or hot towel treatment. (Master barber Perry Gastis says that a shower or hot towel before shaving is enough to soften up your face for shaving. Washing your face is not necessarily a prerequisite.)

I tended to use a fair amount of the oil - three to four squirts. You could definitely experiment with less. The pump-top made it easy to get the oil in the palms of my hands, and then on my face. This may seem like a minor point, but try getting the right amount of oil out of an unforgiving bottle and you've got a mess. Or a waste.

Ingredients and Aroma
The oil has a mild scent, somewhere between woody and floral. Key ingredients include

  1. Sunflower seed oil is certified organic for a level of purity
  2. Jojoba oil provides fast penetration and will carry essential fatty acids found in the sunflower seed oil into the skin
  3. Lime essential oil has antiseptic properties as well as restorative, astringent and toning action to clear oily skin and acne, and also helps with herpes, insect bites and cuts.
  4. Roman Chamomile is used to treat rashes and irritated skin as well as to calm acne, eczema, rashes, wounds, dermatitis, and dry, itchy skin and other allergic conditions in general.
  5. Vitamin E is an antioxidant known for healing skin.

Get Some
If you are at all interested in Gentlemen's Refinery products I strongly suggest you include the Pre Shave Oil in your order. It's clear from my usage that these guys have spent a large amount of time coming up with the ultimate shave, and Pre Shave Oil is an essential part of that. We'll talk more tomorrow about "The Standard" Shaving Cream and the shave itself, but my recommendation is you go all in and buy the complete shaving line.

Gentlemen's Refinery's Pre Shave Oil is $25 for a 50ml bottle.

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July 6, 2007

'Follicle' Phil Fontana and the Philips Norelco Bodygroom

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Oh man, are you in for a treat. Pull out those headphones or make sure no one else in the office can hear, then surf on over to the Philips Norelco Bodygroom website www.shaveeverywhere.com. Yeah, yeah, I know. Funny, but you've seen it before. Hold on - there's a new installment. Click on the "see how the Bodygroom saved the beach" beachball in the lower right corner, sit back, and enjoy.

This mock-umentary takes you through the brutal origins of unsightly body hair removal and makes you realize just how far we've come. Truer words were never spoken from 'Follicle' Phil Fontana, one of the poor souls who suffered through early barbaric hair removal innovations, just to get the girls. I shed a tear at the end for Frank Sack, the broken inventor, as his body hair was scattered from a boardwalk on Coney Island. So real.

Philips Norelco Bodygroom - $34.99. Removal of unsightly body hair - priceless.

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July 5, 2007

Acne Spot Repair from MenScience

menScienceSpotRepair.jpgAcne. You don't want to talk about it. I don't want to talk about it. But every so often it still shows up. Could be those greasy french fries which were delicious. Could a dull razor blade which you should have discarded.

Whatever the reason, MenScience has introduced Acne Spot Repair:

A prescription-grade acne treatment that rapidly eliminates acne breakouts and helps repair blemished skin with the highest concentration of Benzoyl Peroxide (10%) and soothing, repairing ingredients like Green Tea, Allantoin, Urea and Vitamin E.

Got a sample of Acne Spot Repair in the other day and here's what I like about it:

  1. 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. When I get a zit, I don't want some 2% or 5% solution. Max that BP out.
  2. While it's a white cream, it disappears into your skin. Remember that tinted cover-up stuff? I don't know which is worse, having a pimple or being called out for wearing cover up. Actually, I do know what's worse. I'm not wearing cover-up.
  3. This is the best - it doesn't dry out your skin. Clearasil may also have 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, but throw that stuff on your face and you'll feel like someone sucked your skin dry of all moisture. Just the opposite with MenScience Acne Spot Repair. It actually felt somewhat hydrating.

I liked this stuff. I think you will too. MenScience's Acne Spot Repair is $21 for a 0.75 oz (21g) tube.

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July 4, 2007

Celebrity Facial Hair Wednesday - Uncle Sam

We interrupt our normally scheduled program to bring you this special Wednesday edition of Celebrity Facial Hair Friday. In honor of the 4th of July, Independence Day, we've chosen Uncle Sam as our featured facial hair pick.

Yes, 231 years ago our country declared its independence from British rule by proving that the pen was mightier than the sword. 56 men, including John Hancock, put their John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence, and a new country was born. (That may be the condensed version.)

81px-Kitchener-Britons.jpgThis now ubiquitous image of Uncle Sam (right) was painted by James Montgomery Flagg in 1917 as a recruitment poster for the US army during World War I. (Thanks Wikipedia. I seem smart!) It is based on this 1914 recruitment poster (left) from England. Who has worse facial hair? Gee that's a tough call. While the Briton's mustache is comically giant, I don't know any American today who would walk around with a white tail protruding from his chin. We've come a long way in our facial hair styles in 90 years. Too bad we're still at war.

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July 3, 2007

RemovingHair.co.uk

removingHair.jpgWe recently learned of Removing Hair.co.uk, a site dedicated to all forms of hair removal. Articles cover topics from shaving to plucking, electrolysis, laser, waxing, and more.

RemovingHair.co.uk was formed to offer a unique reference point on eliminating unsightly hair. We show you the best ways to remove it and keep it at bay. Our concern was that there was no single UK resource for interesting features and practical advice on this subject. Our features and articles are written by professional journalists and experts - who have a particular interest, or a background in this area.

I was particularly intrigued by a hair removal technique called sugaring. Turns out the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used to make a paste of sugar, lemon, and water and use it like wax. Here are the proportions:

2 cups white processed sugar
¼ of a cup of water
¼ of a cup of lemon juice

(I think that may be the first recipe we've ever posted on ShavingStuff.)

Click on over to Removing Hair.co.uk and check it out. And if you've got feedback or an idea for an article, send them your thoughts here.

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July 2, 2007

June 2007 Wrap Up for Shaving Stuff

Time for another look back at the month .

Electric Razors
Big month for electric razors. We received a Philips Norelco Arcitec ahead of its July 8th release and had a chance to try it out. Here are our initial thoughts. Gizmodo posted their early thoughts on the Braun Pulsonic. And in the nether region the Hair eRazor seeks to unseat the dominant Seiko Clean Cut. (Hair eRazor - get it? Took me a minute.)

Reviews
We reviewed Bold For Men this month - a shaving gel which goes on dry skin, an interesting alternative for those who hate the mess of shaving cream. Currently up in the ShavingStuff studios is Gentlemen's Refinery. Lots of buzz over the dailies. This one looks to be a summer blockbuster.

This Just In
We received a lot of new products to review this month. We've already mentioned the Philips Norelco Arcitec, and in the shaving supplies department we received products from Proraso, Musgo Real, and Bump Patrol. Also in were the award-winning Lip Balm and Clay Pomade from Baxter of California.

Celebrities
Full slate of celebrities this month. We kicked it all off with Alberto Gonzalez (needs to save face), then went to Stan Lee (needs to save Mary Jane), checked in with Eddie Murphy (needs to save for alimony), homered with Kevin Youkilis (needs to save the game), and rounded things out with Steve Jobs (needs to send me an iPhone).

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