January 31, 2008

January 2008 Wrap Up for Shaving Stuff

Another end of the month, and it's time to take stock of where we are. And if you've taken some stock, you might want to look at cutting your losses and selling that stock.

Reviews
We shaved with products from The Art of Shaving this month - specifically Pre-Shave Oil (slick!), Shaving Cream (smooth!), Alum Block (rock!), and After-Shave Balm (milky!). They pretty much lived up to their high expectation. Definitely worth a try if you're ready to up your game.

Got a full suite of products in from Ritual, so look for a review of those soon.

Electric Razors
One of my favorite posts from this past month was from ShavingStuff reader Dale and his DIY Braun Cleaning Solution. Turns out we all should have been paying more attention in high school chemistry class.

Another ShavingStuff reader tipped us off to the new Philips Norelco BodyGroom BG2022 - Limited Edition. $10 more than the regular edition, but comes with a travel case. Only you can decide whether that's worth it or not.

Accessories
Got a bunch of responses about the Save-A-Blade, which purports to restore your disposable blade back to new. And on the opposite side of the spectrum, I want to be putting my newly sharpened razors in John Allan's Roll Up.

Celebrities
We honored our fellow striking writers by honoring the talk show hosts who are be-bearded in solidarity. David Letterman (who has since shaved), Conan (no idea), and the Writers Guild of America (still on strike, so probably looking like sasquatch). As someone who writes content for the Internet, I hope you get to share in the profits of your creative work.

Oh, and Brad Pitt kind of looks like The Edge now.

Future
We've got some new products in from Peter Thomas Roth we'll be talking about, and up next in the Shaving Stuff studios is shaving with MensGroom. Stick around for that, as well as the latest nose hair trimmer from Norelco.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 30, 2008

Follow Up to Shaving With The Art of Shaving's Shaving Cream

taosShavingCream.gifGot an email from someone at The Art of Shaving in response to our recent review of their Unscented Shaving Cream, specifically about my application technique. Or lack thereof. Here's the advice:

Next time you shave, wet the brush with warm water...take about a 1 finger amount of shaving cream and put it inside the center of the brush. Then lather up. No need to put it on your face first to mix-you don't need to use that much of any of our products.

Not surprisingly, that method works really well. And, if I were a little more observant, I would have seen that their website had similar instructions on the "more about shaving cream" link. Should have been doing that for a while. Could have saved a little bathroom mess.

The Art of Shaving's Unscented Shaving Cream is $22 for a 5.3 ounce jar.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 29, 2008

Review of The Art of Shaving - Unscented After-Shave Balm

taofAfterShave.gifIf you're just joining us, we've layer some pre-shave oil on our face, shaved with unscented shaving cream, and even rubbed a rock on our face. We're finally ready to apply after-shave.

Formulated with grapeseed extract, shea butter and vitamin C, it moisturizes, rejuvenates and revitalizes to promote healthy skin. After-Shave Balm is recommended for normal, sensitive and dry skin. Antiseptic and alcohol-free.

I loved The Art of Shaving's Unscented After-Shave Balm. Went on smooth and easily, and helped my skin recovery from the radiation fallout of my Gillette Fusion Power. Very little scent, although it vaguely reminded me of some vanilla soy milk I tried at Whole Foods.

I'm going to complain about one thing here, and it's a nit. As much as I love the thick glass bottle, it's not the greatest choice for dispensing the after-shave. A squeeze tube would be better. Instead you're left thwacking the bottle against your palm to get an unpredictable amount. I often end up with a little too much after-shave on my hands.

That said, The Art of Shaving's Unscented line receives a big thumbs up from us. They had a high bar to hit, and they cleared it. If you're interested in taking your shave to a new level, you will not be disappointed.

The Art of Shaving's Unscented After-Shave Balm is $38 for a 4 ounce bottle.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 28, 2008

Review of The Art of Shaving - Alum Block

alumBlock.jpgSo we've thrown some pre-shave oil and shaving cream on our face, we've shaved, and now we're ready to soothe our skin with some after-shave balm. Slow down tiger! Don't you want to rub a rock across your face?

That's right. A rock. The Art of Shaving's Alum Block is a quartz-like block of alum whose "antiseptic properties calm razor burn and soothe irritations, and help stop bleeding in the event of a nick or cut." And guess what. It kind of works. Well, at least it definitely stops the bleeding of a minor nick or cut. I don't usually get razor burn, so I couldn't easily verify that, but there's no question that rubbing this rock over your freshly shaven skin will seal up any little cut you might have gotten. And it doesn't sting.

After shaving, moisten stone with cold water and rub it gently on abrasion or cut. For minor cuts, moisten stone with cold water and hold it over cut for a few seconds until bleeding stops.

This got me thinking - would any rock due? Now I took science in high school. Four years of science. I think one of those years was earth science. Heck I'm practically a scientist. So I went out back, dug in the earth, found a nice looking flat rock, and rubbed it on my face. Guess what. Hurt like a mo@*&!!%*#er.

So the real questions to me are - who in their right mind was the first person to think that rubbing a rock on your face might be helpful, and who was the first person to realize that it actually was? I'm guessing it was probably one of the Rockefellers. Those guys are smart.

Anyway, if you get a bunch of nicks and cuts from shaving, switch to The Art of Shaving products, and stop trying to get 30 shaves out of your disposable razor. If you can't do that, get an Alum Block and rub it over your face.

The Art of Shaving's Alum Block is $15 for a 4.4 ounce block.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 25, 2008

Review of The Art of Shaving's Unscented Shaving Cream

taosShavingCream.gifOK, so yesterday we applied some pre-shave oil from The Art of Shaving to our faces. Today we're going to shave. Gentlemen, lather up!

I mentioned yesterday that the "lather" step is a little tricky. Here's why - somehow you've got to mix The Art of Shaving's Unscented Shaving Cream with a little water. My technique, which is far from perfect, is to apply a little warm water to my face with a wash cloth. The thing is - oil and water - they don't mix. Just ask your salad dressing. So I do my best to get some water on my face, then throw a little shaving cream on top, and start mixing. You could definitely try some different techniques, like combining a little water with the shaving cream in your hands (a little messy) or a shaving mug (one more thing to clean). For me, the wash cloth technique worked the best.

Once the shaving cream is on your face, I found it lathered up best with a brush. Fingers worked fine, but the brush gave a more even lather and stood my whiskers up for a closer shave. Getting the tip of the shaving brush wet with warm water will also help you mix up a nice rich lather. You definitely don't need to use a brush with The Art of Shaving products; I just found a slightly better shave with one.

The shave is great. Nice and close, little to no nicks or cuts, and no irritation. The Art of Shaving is one of the few companies which recommends the up-shave. Actually the "cross-shave". They recommend you shave first with the grain, then a second time across the grain. I usually did a quick re-apply of water and lather before the second shave. This is easy to do if you're using a shaving brush because the brush will contain enough shaving cream that you don't need to use any more from the jar. You'll get a very close shave this way.

My only complaint is that the shaving cream lathers up to a rich white foam, which isn't see-through. This is fine for people who aren't trying to maintain some facial hair, or for people who are trying to avoid a blemish, but tough for others. Not a huge deal, but something to consider if you're having trouble coloring within the lines.

In the end, The Art of Shaving's Unscented Shaving Cream stood up to its reputation. Again, I would recommend buying the pre-shave oil, as I think these guys have developed an excellent shaving system that should be followed as intended. Definitely try their products if you're on the quest for the ultimate shave.

The Art of Shaving's Unscented Shaving Cream is $22 for a 5.3 ounce jar.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 24, 2008

Review of The Art of Shaving's Unscented Pre-Shave Oil

taosPreShavingOil.jpgThe Art of Shaving is one of the most prestigious and preeminent brands in the shaving world. Born out of a modest kitchen, and grown into a prominent brand with several boutique stores and a presence in many upscale department stores, The Art of Shaving has put luxury shaving products on the map. I've been looking forward to trying their products out for a long time now.

Even before you start shaving with The Art of Shaving products, you'll notice their packaging. Sturdy, thick, glass jars where appropriate. Minimalist labels. Classy design. They look great on your bathroom counter.

As we've mentioned before, there are shaving oils and pre-shave oils. With a shaving oil, you shave with just the oil; nothing else. With a pre-shave oil, you typically add a layer of shaving cream on top and then shave. It's basically the first layer of protection on your face before you start slicing.

The Art of Shaving's Unscented Pre-Shave Oil falls into the latter category, and really should be followed by their shaving cream. In fact, if you're interested in trying these products, I'd definitely recommend getting the pre-shave oil. They've developed a system. Pre-shave oil is part of it. Don't skimp.

And follow the directions:

Before shaving, rub a small amount of The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil in the palm of your hands and massage into beard. Lather Shaving Cream or Shaving Soap over oil and shave.

Pretty simple. Actually, the only tricky part is the "lather..." step, but we'll talk about that tomorrow.

The Art of Shaving's Unscented Pre-Shave Oil has a mild, pleasant scent. Reminds me vaguely of chartreuse. It's simple to dispense and smoothes easily onto your face. Again, if you're interested in these products, and I think you should be, get the pre-shave oil.

The Art of Shaving's Unscented Pre-Shave Oil is $22 for a 2 ounce / 60mL bottle. Tomorrow we shave!

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 23, 2008

Beards BeCAUSE Raises Money for the Battered Women's Shelter of Charlotte, North Carolina

beardsBecause.gifHere's another group of men using their facial hair growing powers for good. The group is Beards BeCAUSE, and over the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years season they proudly tossed their razors aside and let whiskers flourish. Not an easy thing to do, given all the social events and inquisitive relatives, but in the end they raised $10,000 for the Battered Women's Shelter of Charlotte, North Carolina.

We wanted to congratulate winner Nate Field (and all the participants), who turns out to be a friend of a friend, for his grizzliest adams. Here's a photo and his bio:

natefield.jpg
I'm a professional facial hair grower. I've done them all. Goatee, dirty 'stache, chops, full beard, fu manchu, three musketeer, Wolverine, even the good ol' Magnum PI/cop mustache. But never for a good cause. So as a Southern transplant to New England and with a sure-to-be chilly winter approaching, what better to do than to grow a chin warmer and raise money for a good cause while doing so. Oh and to have the burliest beard of every one else come January.

Nice beard (and hair) Nate! You look like a cross between Eric Clapton and Trey Anastasio.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 22, 2008

Sharpen Old Razors with Save A Blade

saveABlade.jpg
We've blogged about a few products which claim to extend the life of your disposable razors. Can't say that we've ever really tried one, so we won't claim to be an authority, but I have to admit I'm a little skeptical. Plus, there's the chintzy marketing that often accompanies the products.

Anyway, here's another product called the Save-A-Blade which claims to give you 200 shaves from a single blade. Does it work? I don't know. But if the "As seen on TV" seal of approval carries any weight, perhaps it's worth the $19.95. (Doesn't the phrase "As seen on TV" seem like the "I read it on the Internet so it has to be true" of the 90s?)

Save A Blade's patented Micro Honing technology sharpens old, dull blades to like-new condition saving you hundreds of dollars every year and it works on all types of razors.

There's a little video on the Save-A-Blade webpage which says that it works with all razors, from single blade up to the five-bladed Fusion. For $19.95 it may be worth a try.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (14) | social bookmarking

January 21, 2008

Free Schick Quattro Titanium Razor - Now With Extra Blade

schickTitanium.jpgYou know how the Gillette Fusion really has six blades - five on the flat side of the cartridge plus one on the back for trimming? Now the Schick Quattro also has a similar "plus one" trimming blade with the introduction of the Schick Quattro Titanium.

Want one? Yes I do. Want one for free? Um... free? Really?

Click on over to www.schickquattro.com/sample, drop a little personal information, and wait a few weeks. Then write in and tell us what you think.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 18, 2008

Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Brad Pitt

bradPitt.jpgOh look! It's an old picture of The Edge.

Wait. That's... um...

Oh.

No no no no no.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 17, 2008

The Philips Norelco BodyGroom BG2022 - Limited Edition

bodygroom2022.jpgWhat do you do when you've got a hit product? You put out a limited edition for more money! Case in point - the Philips Norelco BodyGroom BG2022 - Limited Edition. I actually hadn't heard of the limited edition until Shaving Stuff reader Thomas wrote in about it. He said "Other than color all I have been able to discover is that the BG2022 comes with a carrying case."

I think he's right. Here's the official product page for the original BodyGroom, and here's the official product page for the Limited Edition BodyGroom (which I could only get to by guessing urls). The only discernible difference, aside from the color, is "Travel pouch - For storage and protection".

Want to pay an extra $10 for the limited edition? Go for it. Not planning on traveling? Buy the original. The Philips Norelco BodyGroom BG2022 - Limited Edition is $44.99. The Philips Norelco BodyGroom BG2020 - Regular Edition is $34.99.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

January 16, 2008

This Just In - Ritual

boxset_200.jpgLast week we posted about Ritual Razor Rinse, an antiseptic for your razor blades to kill germs which cause breakouts, razor bumps, and in-grown hairs. Now we're going to see if it stands up to the ShavingStuff test. Ritual just sent over their Ritual - The Kit ($79) which contains Razor Rinse and a whole lot more. In fact, The Kit contains:

Not only that but The Kit comes in this kick-ass wooden box with their logo burned onto the front. Sweet!

Now, you may have skimmed over that list and missed the last item. Or, a regular reader might have read that closely and said to themself, "toilet deodorizer drops?" That sounds familiar. Correct! We blogged about Ritual's Natural Calls way back in August of last year. And at least one reader wrote in and thought it was pretty good.

We'll be putting all of Ritual's products to the test, so tune back in for our reviews. In the meantime surf on over to yourritual.com and see if their products are right for you. And if you're feeling bold, upload your photo to their Rate My 'Stache section and show off your whiskers.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 15, 2008

'Alternative Shaving Centre' unable to explain long beards

newsBiscuit.jpg
Here's a cute story from Englands NewsBiscuit about an Alternative Shaving Centre dedicated to "non-interventionist methods of removing facial hair". In a time where green energy and sustainable agriculture are hip, I'd buy it.
[...] our residents will learn to cure themselves of unwanted hair growth the spiritual way, without the harsh intervention of metal blades or electric shavers. They will be clean shaven thought the power of their own minds' he explained; 'we see facial hair as a symptom of an imbalance in the body’s energy field.'

Really? Sounds interesting. I'd like to learn more. Is the method fool-proof?

'Not everyone is able to locate their inner stubble' explained natural shaving guru Dave Cunliffe who denies accusations that he himself has been seen using a Gillette Mach II wet razor

A Gillette Mach II?!? What? There's no Gillette Mach 2. The only Mach is a Mach3. That's it! Ridiculous! Get your facts straight. This story is obviously fake! ;)

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 10, 2008

Celebrity Facial Hair Friday - Writers Guild of America

conanObrien.jpgnewyorkerbeards.jpgOn Monday we did a special edition of Celebrity Facial Hair featuring the once be-bearded and now de-bearded David Letterman. I figured I'd bookend this week with a shot of Conan O'Brien, who is also showing his solidarity. Thing is it was surprisingly hard to find a current picture of O'Brien. And, the real bearders are the Writers Guild of America, so let's focus on them for a minute.

I found this New Yorker article amusing, as well as these seven photos of striking writers, all in various stages of facial hair flourish. There's Rob Dubbin, a writer for “The Colbert Report." Colin Jost, a writer for "Saturday Night Live" (and possible Sylar look-alike). And more.

John Solomon, another "S.N.L." writer, said he was sporting "kind of a Dan Haggerty," referring to the actor who played Grizzly Adams, and that he'd just been called the Unabomber by a visiting acquaintance from Greece. "The person who blew everybody's mind was Paul Shaffer," he said, recalling an impromptu pep talk that Letterman’s bandleader had delivered to the strikers outside Rockefeller Center. "He had a pretty full white beard, and no one recognized him for the longest time."

Paul Shaffer can grow a beard? Well, we may have our candidate for next week. Off to find a picture...

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Roll Up and Go with John Allan's Rollup

rollup1b.jpg
Here's the kind of old-world dopp kit which is worthy of some dignitary or diplomat. Or maybe it's something Indiana Jones might have traveled with. It's the John Allan's Roll Up, and it's the epitome of style.
Custom designed with our trademarked interlocking pockets, the Roll Up is crafted of genuine leather with a protective nylon lining. It's packed with John Allan's 2 oz travel essentials. Includes:
  • Sport shampoo
  • Bodywash cleanser
  • Scrub exfoliant
  • Shave cream
  • Face Moisturizer
  • Plus an additional empty JA bottle

The roll up measures 10 1/4" x 6" which means it will easily fit in a carry-on suitcase. And it's gorgeous, which means you'll be wanting to take it out of your suitcase and show it off. In fact, maybe you'll just carry it on in your arms. Check out the shot below of the Roll Up unrolled.

The John Allan's Roll Up is $245.

rollup2.jpg
Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 9, 2008

Save 20% on Philips Norelco Products Like BodyGroom and Arcitec

philipsBodyGroomSmall.jpgHere's the deal - if you're one of the zillions of people who got an Amazon gift card for Christmas (like me), you can save 20% off the price of Philips Norelco products. Just enter code "PHILIP18" at checkout. That brings the price of a Bodygroom down to $28. Or an Arcitec down to $192. Or a Moisture Shaving System is only $117. Sweet!

Want to game the system? Buy yourself an Amazon gift card, and then turn around and use it on yourself. Ooo!!! So devious. Just do it quickly. The offer end January 31st.

See our reviews of Philips Norelco products to figure out what's best for you.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

January 8, 2008

Ritual's Razor Rinse Kills Germs Before You Shave

rinse_250.jpgWhat's your morning routine? Quick shower. Towel dry. Pull out the old razor and start shaving.

WAIT!!!

There may be harmful bacteria on the razor. And when is a better time to invade your face than right after a hot shower when your skin is soft and pores are open. (Cue the bugles.) Ritual's Razor Rinse to the rescue!

Razor Rinse kills harmful staph bacteria, the primary cause of razor burn, unsightly red bumps, and in-grown hairs. We cannot stress enough the importance of this product. Bacteria on the blade must be eliminated before shaving begins. Other products treat bumps post-shave once the harm has already been done. We think that's too late, don't you? Thanks to Tea Tree Oil, Razor Rinse also acts as a blade lubricant for a smoother shave.

If you've got sensitive skin prone to breakout or in-grown hairs, give this rinse a try. Ritual's Razor Rinse is $17 for a 4oz. tube.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 7, 2008

Celebrity Facial Hair Monday - David Letterman

amd_letterman.jpgI like TV, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Let me qualify that. I like good TV. Bad TV is unwatchable. So while I tend to side with the writers during the current writers' strike, I miss good TV.

Some of the late night talk shows have started broadcasting new episodes again. I'm not sure what back-room bargaining went on to achieve this, but Letterman, Leno, Conan, Colbert, and John Stewart are back. Apparently Conan and perhaps Letterman have been growing beard as a sign of support for the writers. Or maybe they finally had an excuse not to shave every day. Whatever it is, Letterman's beard comes off tonight.

"Monday, I think the beard is going away," the late-night funnyman says on tonight's telecast. "Can we get a guy in here Monday to shave me? Now, a good guy, because the last time we did this, I looked like - when he was done, I looked like I'd been in a knife fight."

Ouch. We suggest you review our site for some shaving tips and good quality products so that doesn't happen. And if you do end up looking terrible, well, that's good comedy!

Via the New York Daily News.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 4, 2008

Reader Suggestion - DIY Braun Cleaning Solution

beaker.gifShavingStuff reader Dale recently wrote in with a comment about the cleaning solution used by the Braun Pulsonic and several of the other Braun electric razors:

braun should make a economic quart or gallon size container of cleaning solution to refill the cartridges. they're easy to clean and reuse.

until that happens i just clean mine and refill it with 40% diluted alcohol [denatured alcohol not isopropyl] which is the ingredient on the box. haven't had any problems yet with my 8000 series in a couple years.

know how much money i have saved?

While this certainly wouldn't be endorsed by Braun, and it probably voids any warranty, it might be worth a try if you're thrifty and handy. Your inner chemist will thank you.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

January 3, 2008

The Flipper Razor One Razor Holder

products_razorone.jpg
Perhaps you precariously balance your razor on the shelf behind your mirror when you're done. And perhaps a misplaced hand can send that and everything else tumbling. Never happened to you? Well, you're better organized than I am. I play pick-up-sticks at least once a week.

Check out the Flipper Razor Holder. A razor holder you can suction to the tiles in your bathroom. Simple. Cheap. Genius.

The Flipper Razor Holder razor holder is $3.99 and comes in blue, pink, and clear white.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 2, 2008

Free Shipping on Kiehl's Products

logo_kiehls.gifKiehl's is offering free shipping on all orders over $40 from their website. Use coupon code "GIFT" when checking out. Plus get three free samples.

We're actually big fans of Kiehl's Ultimate Men's After Shave Balm & Moisturizer and Multi-Purpose Facial Formula for Men, despite the fact that someone over at Kiehl's doesn't think ShavingStuff is a legitimate shaving site and has rejected our bid to join their affiliate program four times.

Hey Kiehl's, what gives?

Via Dealnews.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 1, 2008

Happy New Year from Shaving Stuff

timessquare.jpgOut with the old, in with the new. Happy new year everyone. Hope your year is full of peace, happiness, and good fortune. And energy-efficient green light bulbs.

Philips Lighting, which created the light-emitting diodes, or LED bulbs, specifically for the event, says they are smaller but more than twice as bright as last year's lights, which were a mix of more than 600 incandescent and halogen bulbs.

Philips? Isn't that the same company which makes the BodyGroom, the Arcitec, and the solution to my second puberty problems? Why yes. Yes it is.

Oh segues. I should write for the 6:00 news.

Happy New Year everyone. Now as I said during Christmas, get off the Internet and spend some time with your family and friends.

Russell Neufeld Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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