October 9, 2007

This Just In - Sharps

SharpsUsa.jpgHere's a relatively new kid on the block who's taking the shaving world by storm. Launched in 2003, Sharps' Kid Glove Shave Gel soon begat a whole line of men's grooming products which are now featured in top barber shops and retail stores.

Our friends over at Details for Men sent over a kit from Sharps which includes:

Sharps has a whole series of gift kits available from $29 to $85, plus you can design your own. I don't know about all of them, but mine came with a cool Sharps iron-on patch, a small book of matches, 4 pin-on buttons, and a T-shirt featuring the Sharps goat. All packaged in a classy brown box and wrapped with a lime green thick rubber band. We'll definitely be featuring Sharps gift sets on our holiday guide.

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October 3, 2007

Grrrr!!!! I Am the Braun Pulsonic Shaver!

You wouldn't want to meet this in a dark alley.

Fear not. These aren't the gnashing teeth of a pit bull. Rather they're the beard chomping shears of the new Braun Pulsonic.

Still, I wouldn't blame you if they gave you nightmares.

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October 2, 2007

The Braun Pulsonic Unboxing

Normally I cheerfully deride the ritual "unboxing" post on consumer-goods blogs. "Ooo! Look. I'm the first person to get an iPhone and take it out of the box." Good for you.

But now, with foot squarely planted in mouth, I present to you the unboxing of the new Braun Pulsonic:

What's the first thing you notice? It's in a box! Yes, that's right. None of that confounding indestructible plastic to wrestle with. Just slide the inner box out of the outer shell, and you're on to step 2.

Oh! Look inside. There's lots of stuff neatly displayed. The shaver. The self-cleaning based. Cleaning fluid. Instruction. Oh no... plastic! Dammit! How am I going to get that razor out of there?

What's this? A simple instruction on how to pop the plastic open? Push these four black dots in and... lo and behold...

The razor is free! And I barely had to struggle.

More to come...

The Braun Pulsonic is currently $233.90 at Amazon.

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September 27, 2007

This Just In - Barbasol

Got a shipment of Barbasol in recently. Set up the cans on a shelf because they looked cool. People keep coming by and saying it reminds them of an Andy Warhol. The funny thing is that the folks over at Barbasol sent a CD of product images we could use. They're really good; professional quality. And here we are displaying their product with a consumer-grade camera against my painted wall. That's art, right? I assume Andy Warhol would be proud.
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September 24, 2007

This Just In - The Art of Shaving

theArtOfShaving.gifWe're very excited to have received shaving products from The Art of Shaving courtesy of our friends over at Details for Men. The Art of Shaving has long been held as the acme of shaving, and it's about time we at ShavingStuff chimed in with our own opinion. In particular, I'm especially interested to see how The Art of Shaving stacks up against the Gentlemen's Refinery. Astute readers will remember that master barber Perry Gastis left The Art of Shaving to found Gentlemen's Refinery, which is without a doubt the best line of products we've tried this year.

So what did we get?

Aside from the regular shaving products I'm totally psyched to try to alum block. Never used one before. Will it sting? I'm guessing yes. Will it fix a nick or cut? I hope so. Will I get an nicks or cuts with the Art of Shaving products? You'll just have to tune in once the review is in.

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September 21, 2007

Review of the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X - Part 5

norelco8060X.jpgSo we've come to the end of Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System review week. Thought I'd take a moment to highlight what we've learned. This will be on the test.

There are three models of Moisture Shaving System. We cover the exact differences here. Basically they are manual or automatic Nivea shaving conditioner loading, and quicker recharging times.

You're going to be buying Nivea HS800 Shaving Conditioner replacement bottles which I've seen on the web for between $8 and $10 a bottle. Probably can get them cheaper if you buy in bulk. I'm sure Costco sells a gross of them for $100. Good luck fitting them behind your mirror.

Some things we didn't talk about - the 8040X and the 8060X come with a travel pouch which is actually pretty nice (not just some junky vinyl). Also there's a sideburn trimmer which snaps on in place of the floating heads. I like it better than the one of the Arcitec because it's wider.

Can't decide between the Arcitec and the Moisture Shaving System? We recommend the latter. The Arcitec is nice, but nothing beats the comfort of wet/dry shaving with a lubricating lotion. Get the Moisture Shaving System. $79.99 - $149.99.

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September 20, 2007

Review of the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X - Part 4

Norelco-8060X.jpgWelcome back to our set of reviews about the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X. Seems like we've talked about everything but the shave, so let's finally dive in.

The Heat
One of my biggest complaints about electric razors is that they get hot. I take a shower, come out and dry off, and start shaving with an electric razor. Half way through the foils are hot, my skin starts to sweat, and the razor gets tripped up on my skin. Not fun.

Wet/Dry Shaving
The Moisture Shaving System solves this by encouraging you to shave with a wet face (and with the the Nivea lotion). Wet your face before you start shaving, and then as you're working on an area of your face, press the lotion-dispensing button to lay down a nice layer of lubrication. Ahhh!!! Now we're talking. Finally I'm having a truly comfortable electric shaver experience.

The Shave
I found the shave with the 8060X to be quite good, although it took me several uses to get something approximating what I can do with a blade. I imagine I will get even better as time goes on. If you're used to shaving with a blade, you'll have an adjustment period where you'll wonder how close a shave you really can get. But keep working at it. If you're used to shaving with an electric razor that's not wet/dry, I think you're really going like the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System. It's a big step up from dry electric razors.

Couple more notes on the shave:

Sideburns
Because the rotaries are circular, it takes some practice shaving around sideburns and existing facial hair. This would probably be easier with an electric razor with a straight cutting surface. That said you can keep lines straight or even but it's going to take some experimenting and familiarity with where the cutting sections of the razor actually begin.

Difficult Hairs
Everybody's got the few hairs which seem to grow in the opposite direction of parallel to the skin. I found that I had to go over sections of my face several times to get a clean shave, whereas with a blade I could get everything with one or two passes. That said, a blade has it's own set of difficult hairs - most notably under the nose. Trying to get those hairs with your Fusion paddle can be its own type of challenge.

Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X wrap-up tomorrow.

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September 19, 2007

Review of the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X - Part 3

nivea_8060X.jpgWelcome to day three of Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X review week. Today we'll take a closer look at the "moisture" in this shaving system.

As we've mentioned before, the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System family is relatively unique among electric shavers in that it dispenses lotion as you shave. This isn't the first Norelco to do this, but I don't know of any other brand which has a shaver with this feature.

There is one major drawback to this type of system, and that is that you're going to be buying replacement bottles of Nivea HS800 Shaving Conditioner at around $9.99 a pop. (So that's what the "HS800" from the Quick Start Guide refers to!) Think of it like the equivalent of razors and cartridges. They want to lock you in. It's probably one reason that the top of the line Moisture Shaving System is about $100 less than the top of the line Arcitec.

Again, if you've got the 8060X, the Nivea shaving conditioner goes in the razor automatically. If you've got the 8020X or the 8040X you're going to need to put the Nivea in yourself. See the photo on the left for the input on the back of the razor.

But where does it come out? I've highlighted the top two holes in the photo on the right. There are two buttons on the front of the razor. One turns the shaver on and off, and you don't need to hold this button down in order to keep the razor running. The other controls the dispensing of the Nivea shaving conditioner. Holding this button down dispenses the lotion. Releasing it stops the flow. Again, the conditioner only comes out of the top two rotaries.

The sound the razor makes while dispensing the lotion is kind of comical. Reminds me of some cheap 80s sci fi special effect sound from Buck Rogers or Wonder Woman. I should have recorded it for you. There's nothing wrong with it, but if you're a fan of those cheesy sci fi shows, you'll get a kick out of it. Eee-ee er eee-ee er eee-ee.

More on the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X tomorrow!

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September 17, 2007

Review of the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X - Part 1

As faithful readers know, we received a Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X not too long ago. This wet/dry electric razor is the top end model of three in the new Moisture Shaving System family, which basically means it charges faster and has a stand which automatically refills the Nivea shaving lotion. (Click here for a full run down of the differences between the three models - 8020X, 8040X, and the 8060X.) I was very excited to try this new razor, especially after trying the new Philips Noreclo Arcitec, which is a similarly designed new electric razor but not meant for wet skin. We'll go through the details of the 8060X, but if you're someone who needs to know how the story ends up front, we recommend the Moisture Shaving System over the Arcitec. How did we end up with that recommendation? You'll have to keep reading.

Quick Start Guide
One of the first things you'll notice after opening the box is the Quick Start Guide - a double-sided page with diagrams showing you how to assemble, shave, clean, and care for your new Moisture Shaving System. Apologies for the dark pictures on the right. My Photoshop-fu is lacking. (Unsolved mystery alert: Why is the model number listed as HS8000.) If you're like me, you hate reading directions. I found this guide useful and intuitive, and while I may have puzzled over a picture or two for 30 seconds, I was up and charging within 5 minutes.

Wet/Dry Shaving
As we mentioned before, the Moisture Shaving System is a wet/dry electric razor, which means you can shave with it on wet or dry skin. This razor is really designed for wet skin, so if you're not planning on using that way, I'd recommend getting the Philips Norelco Arcitec. (Although we recommend wet electric shaving if given the choice.)

The unique thing about this razor is that it dispenses a shaving lotion while you shave, for closer comfort. More on the actual shave later, but this means that in addition to a wet face (which softens your beard hairs) you've got Nivea lotion adding a lubricating layer. Very nice.

End of part 1. More on the Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System 8060X tomorrow.

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September 10, 2007

Review of Musgo Real After Shave Balm

musgoRealAfterShave.gifThe final product we reviewed from Musgo Real was their After Shave Balm. In general the balm worked well after shaving - helping my skin recover from hot water and a sharp blade. I have no complaints there. However I wasn't thrilled with the scent. Musgo Real After Shave Balm is definitely designed for an older generation. I could imagine my grandfather wearing something like this, and I suppose it makes sense since this brand was resurrected based on a cologne which was popular in the '60s and '70s. Think distinguished gentleman emerging from a barber shop. It's not a bad smell. Just not for me.

The second issue I had was with the packaging. The flask-shaped glass bottle works will for Musgo Real's Pre Shave Oil, which pours out easily, but not as well with the balm, which is more viscous. I love the old-school design, but when you get more than half way through the bottle you're really going to want a squeezable plastic container.

Musgo Real After Shave Balm is $22 for a 3.33oz bottle.

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