November 8, 2007

Review of the Braun Pulsonic - Cleaning

pulsonicSmall.jpgOK, so you've shaved with the Braun Pulsonic, and now you're ready to put it back into its base station. Stop and notice one thing. There aren't a ton of beard trimming all over your sink (or all over your shirt, as used to happen to me). That's because most of the trimmings end up inside the Pulsonic. Very cool engineering, but it means you need to clean the Pulsonic after each shave. That's what that gigantic base station is for.

Cleaning Cycles
When you put the Pulsonic back in its charging station, the LEDs on the front cycle around like between four options like some Vegas game. Where will the bouncing ball land? You've won an "eco" clean! Nice! That means my razor isn't that dirty and doesn't need to go through the full cleaning cycle. Yay! I'm a winner! The Pulsonic figures out which cleaning level is needed. I apparently have had some pretty clean shaves, cause I've only ever needed the "eco" clean. Hey, what can I say. I'm eco-friendly.

Two Models
The Braun Pulsonic comes in two models - the 9595 and the 9585. They are virtually identical with the one main difference that the 9585 does not have the fast cleaning ability of the 9595. The 9585 has one big white "clean" button on the front of the base. The 9595 has the big white "clean" button and a smaller blue "fast clean" button carved out of the white one. Quite frankly I haven't timed these to see how much faster "fast" is. I'm lazy. I just put the razor in the base station when I'm done and let it do it's thing. Which one is right for you? I don't know. They're about $30 difference. You won't make a wrong choice.

Cleaning Solution
So here's the one drawback to the Pulsonic - you're going to need to buy cleaning solution. Currently a 3-pack refill of Braun CCR3 Syncro Shaver System Clean will run you $12.99 on Amazon. Not a huge deal, but definitely a recurring cost. That said, you can trail-blaze your own path and rinse the razor out yourself. The instruction book for the Pulsonic tells you that you can run the razor head under a running faucet to clean it out. Good tip when you're traveling and TSA stops you from bringing your cleaning solution on the plane.
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November 7, 2007

Review of the Braun Pulsonic - Mechanics

pulsonicSmall.jpgSo what's so special about the new Braun Pulsonic?

Braun Pulsonic is a breakthrough new shaving system and a revolution in shaving technology. It is the world’s first shaver powered by an innovative sonic technology that delivers more than 10,000 micro-vibrations per minute from the shaver head to help expose and shave more hairs with every stroke. The design combines ergonomics and aesthetic appeal and is engineered to deliver Braun’s closest, most comfortable shave ever.

10,000 micro-vibrations per minute. Does that really make a difference? I have no idea. But if you read the review from yesterday, you'll know I think the shave is great. So the vibrations must help. Or maybe their don't and it's just a marketing gimmick. Who cares? Well, actually vibrations definitely help the Gillette Mach3 and Fusion. I wonder what else vibrations could help with? World peace?

OK, let's talk about some of the other features of the Pulsonic. The pivoting head works really well. Pretty much no matter what angle you hold the razor, the head pivots so that the foils are flat against your face. I was actually really impressed at how well this works. And, if for some reason you don't like the way the shaver is pivoting, you can lock it into place.

Definitely another strong point of the Pulsonic. The trimmer juts out from the razor by pushing the flap above the power button up. It's more sturdy than it looks. And it works great. Easy to level out my sideburns.

Tomorrow we'll check out the self-cleaning system in the Braun Pulsonic.

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November 6, 2007

Review of the Braun Pulsonic - Shaving

We're going to spend a few days reviewing the Braun Pulsonic. For those who are interested in skipping to the end, this shaver rocks. Get one.

The Pulsonic feels good in your hand. It's got a nice heft and feels sturdy. When it's on it's not too loud, although don't expect your roommate to sleep through your shave.

It's the first electric razor I've used which doesn't get hot after a couple minutes of use. In the past that's been one of my biggest frustrations with electric razors. Razor gets hot, skin starts to sweat, razor gets tripped up on face, bad shave ensues. Not sure how the engineers at Braun overcame this, but I'm glad they did. The Pulsonic stays at an even temperature. Cool.

The Shave
Shaving with the Pulsonic was a series of opposites. Braun recommends you shave before you shower or wash your face, while you still have a little protective barrier of oil on your skin. A big no-no with regular shaving, this worked well with the Pulsonic. They also recommend you shave against the grain. Again, not recommended for regular shaving. For electric shaving, works great.

It took me three or four shaves with the Pulsonic before I got really comfortable with it. There's a lot more tugging of skin to make flat surfaces than in regular cartridge shaving. That said, by the third or fourth shave I was getting as close a shave as I would get with a regular razor.

Shaving above the jawline was a breeze from the get go. Shaving below the jawline took the few times to get right. I'm not faulting the Pulsonic here too much. Shaving the neck has always been the weak part of electric razors from my perspective. The hairs tend to grow sideways or not have a uniform direction, which means you end up going over the same spot multiple times. That said after a couple of uses I was able reduce the number of passes over my neck and still get a good shave. Don't give up. This is the area that needs the most practice.

Tomorrow we'll go over some of the mechanics of the razor.

The Braun Pulsonic is available in models from $208 to $235

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October 25, 2007

Review of Jack Black All Over Wash

jackBlackShampoo.gifBeen using Jack Black All Over Wash for the past few weeks. It's a combination shampoo, face, and body wash. I've really only used it for the first two. Still like my bar of soap for the rest of my body. But here's the thing - morning is all about efficiency for me. So now I shampoo up my hair, use the lather to wash my face, rinse my whole head at once. Quick. Efficient. Genius!

This is the ultimate guy product--one product that does the job of three. Mild cleansers are pH balanced and gentle enough for face, hair and body. They work to get the rid of dirt and sweat without stripping skin and hair of essential moisture that keeps them looking healthy. Provides loads of thick, rich lather while special botanicals give a fresh scent without being too fragranced or heavy.

Jack Black All Over Wash is $14 for a 6oz tube.

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October 24, 2007

More Fun with the Braun Pulsonic

Starting to shave with the new Braun Pulsonic. Still a couple shaves away from being able to write the full review, but I thought I'd throw up some pictures of things I'm learning on the way.

Thing number one - in the cleaning station, the Pulsonic lists to the left. Looks like it's fallen over, but I'm guessing this is intentional. Probably makes self-cleaning work better since the fluid and excess beard trimming can flow out one side.

Thing number two - the trimmer pops up and out like so. Push the plate on the front upward, and the trimmer pops out. (Trimmer's pretty good too, but we'll save that for the review.)

Thing number three - the power cord fits both the charging station base as well as the trimmer itself. This is very cool, since if you're traveling and don't want to take the base, you can just take the cord. Also, if you're out of battery charge, the Pulsonic will work with the cord plugged in.

The Braun Pulsonic is currently $214 at Amazon.

(For those who like shaving and cats, click on over to see some outtakes from out photo session with the Braun Pulsonic.)

ArrowContinue reading: "More Fun with the Braun Pulsonic"

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October 23, 2007

Good Deal on Gillette Good News! Razors

GilletteGoodNews.jpgI am a firm believer in technology and innovation. In my opinion, the Gillette Fusion Power is the best cartridge razor system on the market today. That said, I know many of you are still firmly in the two-blades-is-enough camp. Well, good news! Gillette Good News! Pivot Plus Razors are now on sale at Amazon - $10.04 for a 12-pack. And, if you sign up for their automatic delivery service (which, incidentally, I know nothing about), it knocks the price down to $8.53 for a 12-pack. Crazy? You'd be crazy to pass this deal up.

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October 18, 2007

The Art of Shaving's Chrome Gillette Fusion Power, with Spotlight!


OK, I don't even know where to begin here. A lot of companies like to put their logo on things, and men's grooming lines are no different. We've seen a bunch of branded razor handles which fit Gillette cartridges. La dee da.

Here's one that takes this to the next level - The Fusion Chrome Collection Power Razor from Gillette and The Art of Shaving. And yes, that is a tiny flashlight built into the Fusion.

The built-in spotlight, the first of its kind, reveals details normally in shadow - such as under the chin and jaw line - to help you avoid missed spots and make every stroke count. The sleek, contemporary handle is an ideal combination of ergonomics and innovative design, handcrafted in polished chrome and wrapped in a matte black, thermo-resin grip.

OK, so it's an Art of Shaving branded Gillette Fusion Power, decked out in chrome and thermo-resin, with a tiny flashlight near the head. Wow. I'm seriously impressed. As the writer/editor of ShavingStuff, I just may have come across my perfect Christmas present.

We recently had the chance to "ooo" and "ahh" at the display of our local The Art of Shaving store, and here are some semi-decent pictures taken with a cell-phone camera:

How much does it cost? $150. Pretty steep for a device that doesn't sync with iTunes, but hey - The Art of Shaving is a luxury brand catering to a certain class of clientele. I'll bet they sell a bunch this holiday season.

And one more thing? Imagine shaving in the dark with this baby? It might be the most dangerous shaving idea we've ever had.

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October 16, 2007

Musgo Real Shave Cream - I'm a Moron

musgoRealShaveCream.gifI'm a moron. I really have no excuse for what I did, although I'm about to list a bunch. See, about a month ago I reviewed products from Musgo Real. And I didn't think the shave was that spectacular. Turns out I was shaving with their pre-shave soap, and not their actual shaving cream. Moron!

Here's my first excuse - my wife and I recently had a baby. Clearly my attention has been compromised. Here's my second excuse - the shaving cream got lost. When I started using Musgo Real products, I found the soap, after-shave, and pre-shave oil. I didn't remember there was a shaving cream. I only recently found the shaving cream on top of a very cluttered dresser.

So, apologies to Musgo Real and our friends over at Details for Men who sent the products over. And thanks to the many of you who politely wrote in telling me that I was a moron. I'll have revisit Musgo soon.

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October 11, 2007

Billy Jealousy Combination Code Face Moisturizer

ccode1.jpgBilly's hit another home run with the Billy Jealousy Combination Code Face Moisturizer. Got a little dry skin? Or maybe you want to re-hydrate after you've washed that that T-zone. Guess what? Combination Code has Green Tea. Perfect for T-zones.

GREEN TEA, CHAMOMILE & CALENDULA: Antioxidants; help protect the skin from environmental and endogenous damages

Funny side note: You know how they say "tea" in French? "the" With a little accent thingy. Must be impossible to search for tea on the Internet if you're French.

Billy Jealousy Combination Code Face Moisturizer has a pleasing scent. I can definitely smell the green tea, with subtle floral and citrus hints behind it. Also, it's thicker than most facial moisturizers I've tried, which I like. You need less of it to cover your face, and I think the extra thickness will be great for the winter when your skin is a little drier.

Billy Jealousy Combination Code Face Moisturizer is $26 for a 3.5oz tube.

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October 10, 2007

Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Cleanser

jackBlackCleanser.gifSage is the rage. If you're a foodie, you'll know what I mean. Not too long ago fried sage leaves started showing up high-end restaurants, magazines, and cooking shows. There are tons of recipes online if you're an aspiring chef. And it's not too hard to make.

Why am I talking about sage? Because Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Cleanser with Aloe and Sage Leaf really smells like sage. Not overwhelmingly like sage, but enough that if you closed your eyes and took a sniff, you'd be reminded of that amazing meal you had the other week which featured, you guessed it, fried sage leaves.

What benefit does sage have for your face? I have no idea. Here's what the experts at Jack Black have to say:

Oat and coconut derived, sulfate-free surfactants gently but effectively cleanse the skin. Witch Hazel acts as a natural astringent with soothing properties. Certified Organic Sage Leaf and Rosemary provide antibacterial and healing benefits. Certified Organic Chamomile and Aloe Leaf help soothe and reduce redness.

Me? All I know is that I've been using it for the last couple weeks and really like it. Leaves my face clean and doesn't dry it out. Love the smell. Washes off easily. Can't ask for more in a daily facial cleanser.

Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Cleanser is $18.00 for a 6 oz. tube.

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