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.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 10, 2007

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

gr-shaving-cream.jpg
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.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

June 27, 2007

Sucker Punch from Billy Jealousy

suckerpunch.jpgBilly Jealousy just added new item to their fine line of men's grooming products - Sucker Punch Face Scrub. As the name might imply, it's going to be a little rough on your face. But in a good way. We're talking exfoliation.

Dislodge dirt, dead surface skin cells and other impurities with Sucker Punch Face Scrub, a powerful combination of crushed walnut shells, vitamins and essential oils. Sucker Punch will give you the edge you need to go all the way, champ.

Ever wonder what became of those discarded walnut shells? Well now you know. I wonder if there's a need for pistachio shells. I'm a master at those.

Sucker Punch Face Scrub is available now for $18 for a 3.5oz/103mL bottle.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

June 21, 2007

This Just In - Musgo Real

musgoReal.jpg
What's in the mail this week from our good friends over at Details for Men? Why it's several products from Musgo Real.
Musgo Real for men brings European tradition together with modern trends and technologies. This classic fragrance has been recreated from an archived recipe of a cologne by the same name. Musgo real was originally introduced in the 1920's and sold throughout Europe during the sixties and seventies.

The Musgo Real line now includes shaving products, such as

Pretty reasonable prices for a product imported from Portugal. I wonder if they have vintage years?

Anyway, we're looking forward to shaving with Musgo Real, so stay tuned for our full review.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 19, 2007

This Just In - Bump Patrol

BP-Sensitive_Product_Photo.JPG.jpgGot a shipment in the other day from Bump Patrol, a line of shaving products with a focus on reducing those pesky ingrown hairs. Haven't heard of them? Well, if you don't get razor bumps, count yourself lucky. If you do, then keep reading.

Razor bumps affect almost 80% of African-American men and 20% of Caucasians. Known clinically as pseudofolliculitis barbae, they're basically a vicious negative feedback loop. Shaving causes irritation. Irritation causes inflammation. Inflammation causes the hair pore to close and a bump to form. The hair becomes trapped, and thus in-grown. Yuck!

Thankfully there's Bump Patrol to the rescue! Bump Patrol has actually been around for over 10 years, but they've recently introduced an updated look and website. There are two shaving creams - Bump Patrol Cool Shaving Gel ($4.29) and Bump Patrol Aerosol Ultra Sensitive with Aloe Vera (also $4.29), and three different aftershaves - Bump Patrol Razor Bump Intensive Treatment (Sensitive Formula) ($8.59), Bump Patrol Razor Bump Intensive Treatment (Original Formula) ($8.59), and NEW EXTRA STRENGTH Bump Patrol Razor Bump Intensive Treatment ($9.29).

bumpPatrolTech.jpgBump Patrol's website is a wealth of information. There's a FAQ plus tons of free contact info. There's a great instruction sheet which you can download (one of the best I've ever seen). And there are 12 minutes of video demonstrations showing you shaving techniques for face and head, as well as how to avoid razor bumps. While the background music might be a little too upbeat for the subject matter, master barber Will Williams is 100% serious when it comes to your skin. What makes him a master? Have you ever seen someone determine the direction your hair grows with a credit card? 'Nuf said, MacGyver.

We'll be trying these products out soon so stay tuned. In the meantime, you've got your homework assignment. Click on over to Bump Patrol and watch some videos. Then impress your friends will cool terms like "pseudofolliculitis barbae".

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 13, 2007

Review of Bold For Men

boldForMen.jpgTime for another one of these things we call reviews. For the past month or so we've been shaving with Bold For Men, a maverick in the shaving world. How so? With Bold For Men, you don't use any water. Aside from shaving oils, the only other product I've used which didn't call for a base of wet skin was Kiehl's. But while Kiehl's is a drier paste, Bold For Men is a more liquidy gel. Smells vaguely like banana.

Background
Applying Bold For Men couldn't be easier. After a shower just smooth some over your beard. That's it. No pre-shave oil. No warm water. Just squeeze and apply. Obviously Bold For Men wins the no-mess award hands down. If you're annoyed by splashes of water running down your chest and all over your sink, you've just met your savior.

The Shave
Shaving with Bold For Men is no different than other shaving creams. Wait 30 seconds for Bold to sink in, then get your blade hot and wet, stroke, and rinse often. The shave is pretty darn good too. My only complaint with the shave was that Bold For Men wasn't the best at lifting up finicky hairs. You know those hairs that seem to grow parallel instead of perpendicular. (Oh, did I just bust out the geometry?)

I have to admit that I was pretty nervous about using Bold For Men the first time. No water seemed like a recipe for disaster. Also, I've seen a few too many videos on YouTube of bad shaving behavior. But my fears we unfounded. Nicks and cuts were rare, and again, the shave was pretty darn good.

Caveats
There is something in Bold For Men that gives me pause. Immediately after applying Bold my lips felt a little numb. I've had that before with several products - Brave Soldier, Pacific Shaving Oil - and the tingling did go away quickly. Might be me since I seem to have sensitive lips. (My wife agrees.)

Also, sensitive skin - like under the eyes and below the ears - got a little red from Bold For Men. I'm talking about the areas just beyond where you shave, but areas where shaving cream typically ends up as you spread it over your face. The redness went away quickly, so I wasn't concerned, but if you've got especially delicate skin, you might steer clear.

Get Some
Bold For Men is $20. Free shipping between now and July 15th. Also recommended for head shaving.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

June 12, 2007

This Just in - Proraso

proraso.jpgTarget may have stopped carrying Proraso products, but Details for Men has stepped up to the plate. They're offering four of the Italian-made shaving products at very reasonable prices.

These aren't just American products disguised as Italian. While most of the packaging has both Italian and English on it, the Wheat Germ shaving cream (red tube) is entirely in Italian. Luckily you use it like any other shaving cream. However, if you want a translation of the ingredient list or special instruction, see this Details for Men page.

We'll be trying these out in the coming months. Currently in the Shaving Stuff shave studios are products from Gentlemen's Refinery, so stay tuned...

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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