March 13, 2006

Win a $75 Gift Certificate at TrueGentleman.com

TG-Logo-BrownSilver.gifJust got word of a quick survey running over at TrueGentlemen.com where you could win a $75 gift certificate to their site. Seem they're looking to learn more about how often you shave, where you buy your products, who taught you to shave - standard marketing questions. It's quick and painless.

What is TrueGentlemen.com? I'm glad you asked.

Created distinctly for men, the True Gentlemen shaving products are prepared with the purest ingredients and botanical extracts available. The fine blend of True Gentlemen shaving products combined with traditional shaving methods assure a comfortable shave while drastically minimizing common shaving problems.

The luxurious collection of shaving products is designed specially to bring out the "true gentleman" in today's modern mad. Paired with proven benefits of aromatherapy the True Gentlemen shaving products bring to every gentleman the True Ultimate Shaving Experience.

Browse their site and check out their full range of premium high-end shaving products. Pre-shave oils, shave creams, after-shaves - all available in unscented or infused with lavender oil. Bushes, stands, and razor handles which fit Mach3 blades. Even gift sets. They've got you covered. Prices range from $20 for some of the oils to $125 for gift sets, but oh... the luxury.

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

March 8, 2006

BodyTools, and a History Lesson

You wouldn't attempt to fix your sink without the right plumber's tools, so don't even think about caring for your face without body tools. That's BodyTools, with a capital B and T. Think of it as Home Depot for skincare.

BodyTools offers an array of skincare products, from "Basix" - like body washes and scrubs, to hair - shampoos and conditioners, to, you guessed it, Face Savers - shaving creams and after-shaves.

Here are some things which caught my eye - their shaving cream has tons of natural ingredients - Lanolin and Apricot Kernel Oil for a smooth shave, Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera for moisture, and Anti-Oxidants for healing. And their After Shave Repair & Protect is SPF 15. Remember boys - too much sun can be a bad thing. Why don't you go inside once in a while and use your computer.

If that's not enough, there's a great write-up on how to shave in their Fall 2004 (or 2005?) issue of The Body Mechanic. Here's my favorite factoid from the opening paragraph:

A man can expect to spend almost 3500 hours in his lifetime removing over 28 feet of beard.

28 feet? Damn. Can you imagine some caveman dragging that size beard around? Thank god someone invented Gillette. Actually, if you read the history of shaving you'll learn that there's evidence of cavemen using pieces of flint in 30,000 BC to shave their beards. Flint. Again, thank god for Gillette.

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

February 21, 2006

L'Oreal for Men

L'Oreal has a new line of products geared specifically for men. What caught my eye was their Comfort Max after shave balm which also acts as an SPF 15 sunblock. Now I know you don't want to admit it, but you really should be putting some SPF on your face. Every day! Women's products have had it in there for years, and women generally look pretty darn good. It's about time we men saw some solar protection in our aftershave. After all, we don't want to end up with dry and wrinkled skin any more than the ladies.

And while you're chewing on that you may want to check out L'Oreal's men's website www.lorealmen.com for some other health, beauty, and shaving tips. There's a short quiz on skin type which diagnoses problems and recommends products. There are also three video tips from Queer Eye's own Kyan Douglas on you and your moisturizer. Helpful Tip - the button to turn off the music is in the lower right corner. Always tough to look at websites with sound at work.

L'Oreal's Comfort Max After Shave is available at most major drug stores and supermarkets, or online. Amazon's current price is $7.99 for a 3.3 oz bottle.

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

February 20, 2006

Review: Gillette Fusion from Shaving Stuff.com

FusionPowerSm.jpgI know you all have been eagerly awaiting this, so without further ado...

If you've been reading the articles about the new Gillette Fusion you'll know there have been several new innovations with this razor. Five blades for regular shaving and a lone sixth on the back for tough spots like under the nose and sideburns. More densely packed microfins under the blades to help whiskers stand up for a closer shave. And in the powered department, auto-shutoff after eight minutes, a low battery warning light, and an easier opening/closing to the compartment which houses the battery. All of these are truly quality improvements, but in the end all you really care about it is a better shave, right? The new Fusion does shave better than the Mach3, but with some caveats, so keep reading and see if you agree by the end.

FusionUnpowered.jpgFusion vs. Fusion Power:
I don't think there a noticeable difference in the resulting shave between the powered and the non-powered version of the Fusion. Where I do think there is a difference is in the act of shaving. I like power, and if you haven't tried it, I think you're missing out. The powered version vibrates, and that vibration somehow translates into less drag against your face. When you pull the unpowered version of the Fusion across your face, you feel a slight tug against your skin. With the powered Fusion, it's a smooth glide. I suppose it's a matter of personal preference, and the thickness of your beard, but I would strongly recommend trying a powered razor at least once before poopoo-ing it at your next party.

Now the other difference that people always talk about when comparing these razors is the fact that with the unpowered Fusion you get two cartridges along with the razor and with the Fusion Power you only get one. The cartridges are expensive and no doubt there's savings to factor in here, but seriously, the cost of one additional cartridge over the course of a year is really insignificant. I agree Gillette should have packaged the Fusion Power with two cartridges, but they didn't. End of story.

FusionPowerSm.jpgFusion Power vs. Mach3 Power:
Sounds like I'm repeating myself here but I don't think there's a noticeable difference in the resulting shave between the Mach3 Power and the Fusion Power. Where I do think there is a difference is in the act of shaving, and in the razor itself. The vibrations on the Fusion Power seem tighter and more powerful. I made sure to replace the battery in my old Mach3 before testing these head to head, and I think there's a slight improvement in the Fusion. Both give a seemingly frictionless shave, and both perform admirably after one, two, and three days' worth of growth, but somehow the Fusion Power's vibrations seem to stack up better. I'm sure they spent quite a bit time on the vibration mechanism and it shows.

Battery replacement on the Fusion is much easier than on the Mach3. With the Fusion it's a simple twist and the compartment locks and unlocks. With the Mach3 you feel like you're going to break the plastic when you're closing it up. Also, the auto-off feature it huge. You can finally travel with this razor and not have to worry about running down your battery accidentally.

Now let's talk about that sixth blade. Here's the most marked improvement in shaving. A return to the single blade. Shaving with the Mach3 can be a challenge in certain areas, such as under your nose and around your sideburns. It's hard to tell when in that paddle of a cartridge the aloe strip stops and the blades begin. You end up shoving this razor head up your nose to hopefully catch those errant hairs. With the single blade on the back, tough to reach spots are a snap. This single feature might just be the real reason to switch.

There was one area where the Fusion didn't hold up to its older brother, and that was in the life of the aloe and soap strip on the top of the cartridge. This is supposed to act as an indication of when you need to replace the cartridge, kind of like those toothbrushes with the blue bristles which lose their color with use. I found that the Fusion's aloe/soap strip wore off pretty darn quickly, after only three or four shave, while with the Mach3 I could go to five or six shaves and still have plently of that colored strip. Personally I don't think that strip adds much. As long as you're using a high quality shaving cream the effects of the strip are minimal. Just know that you've got a few more shaves in the cartridge once that strip is worn off.

FusionPowerBlades.jpgRecommendations:
So what should you do? Well, if you're a non-powered Mach3 fanatic who thinks the whole powered razor idea is a gimmick to sell more razors and batteries, stick with what you've got. However if you're at all interested in that sixth blade for the tough to reach spots, it might be worth the ten bucks to see what all the fuss is about. Then you can poopoo with first hand experience.

If you're a Mach3 Power user, I think you should check out the Fusion Power. The cartridges are not compatible, so use up your current stock before switching, but I think you'll be happy with the upgrade. Again, the vibrations are better, the auto-off is a welcome addition, and oh that sixth blade!

FusionBlades.jpgAnd remember, now that the Fusion is the premium brand, the prices on Mach3 blades will likely fall. It's a win win for everyone!

Last check on Amazon the Gillette Fusion unpowered was $7.99, the Gillette Fusion Power was $8.99, an 8-pack of Fusion blades was $24.99, and an 8-pack of Fusion Power blades was $27.69. Oh yeah, and I don't think there's any difference between the two types of blades.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (27) | social bookmarking

February 14, 2006

It's The Microfins, Not The Blades

There's no doubt the Fusion cartridge is bigger than the Mach3 cartridge, which was already big to begin with. But what's interesting is that the Fusion isn't big because of the extra blades, it's bigger because of the microfins. You can see in the picture on the right that while the actual razor section of the cartridge is roughly the same size, the razors themselves in the Fusion are smaller. This is how they manage to fit in five razors in virtually the same space as three. Also, notice the aloe/soap strip on the top - again, roughly the same size. It's those blue microfins on the bottom which really make the Fusion cartridge bigger.

The microfins seem to be the unsung hero in the shaving world. While blade count gets all the marketing buzz, the microfin may be the real work-horse. Consider this - when the original Mach3 cartridge came out it have five microfins. When the Mach3 Turbo cartridge came out it had ten microfins. When the Mach3 Power cartridge came out it have 15 microfins. Now the Fusion has roughly twice the space for microfins as the Mach3, so I'm guessing we're somewhere near 30. (My eyes glaze over when I try to count them, and I haven't been able to confirm the exact number.)

So what do these little guys do? From Gillette's Mach3 Grooming Site, they

precede the blades and smooth out the skin, gently lifting even stubborn hairs before the first blade cuts them.

Here's another quote from the Sensor section of Gillette's history:

The microfins gently stretch the skin, causing beard hairs to spring upward so they can be cut more closely, with greater comfort, than ever before.

So they may not be as glamorous as the blades, but I think the microfins are getting the short end of the stick. It's time these little guys got their proper respect. My suggestion - let's start with an Onion article about a new razor with 75 microfins. Or is Gillette already working on that too?

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

February 13, 2006

A Parade of Razors

Here's a progression of razor growth throughout the years. On the left we have the Gillette Sensor (1990) with its measily two blades. Who knew back then we'd need more than two? Next we have the Mach3 (1998), shown in unpowered "Turbo" form, followed by it's genre-busting brother the Mach3 Power (2004), each with three blades. Who knew back then we'd need more than three? Next we have the Schick Quattro (2003), four blades of patent-busting leap-frogging fury. Who knew back then we'd need more than four? And lastly on the right we have the new Gillette Fusion and the Fusion Power (2006) - five bold and beautiful blades, with a sixth on the back for good measure.

Update (1/17/2008): Who knew back then we'd need more than six?

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

February 6, 2006

Gillette Fusion - What's in the Box?

Got my Gillette Fusion and Gillette Fusion Power yesterday at Target. The Fusion was marked $8.99 and the Fusion Power was $9.99, however I found another display in the store that held something called the Gillette Fusion Starter Kit (pictured, right), which, for $9.99, contained a Gillette Fusion (un-powered), an extra cartridge, a 2.5oz container of the new Gillette Fusion Hydra Gel, a shaving tips pamphlet, and a handy travel case (pictured, left, sans case). For an extra buck, it's a no-brainer. If you live near a Target, hunt around for the display with the starter kit. And if you don't live near a Target, one will be opening near you within the week.

As people have been reporting, the Fusion Power only comes with one cartridge. Kind of lame. If memory serves, the Mach3 Power came with an extra cartridge. There is a $2.00 dollar off coupon in the Fusion Power packaging, and it's easy to miss. It's taped to the clear plastic wrap which holds the razor to the case. Make sure you snag that thing. Blades ain't cheap.

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

February 2, 2006

Grooming-Health.com

groominghealth.gifJust got word of a new website which sells shaving products - Grooming-Health.com. For those of you in the US these products may seem a little unfamiliar - Grooming-Health.com specialized in more of the high-end European brands, (but they'll ship to the US.) Tons of shaving creams from Geo F. Trumper (which you may remember from a recent New York Times article), toners and moisturizers from Bullie, straight-razors from Dovo, and brushes from Kent. And, according to our contact there,

to my knowledge we sell the cheapest cut throat razors and Merkur double edge safety razors in Europe

"Cut throat", for all of you state-side, is British for "straight".

Grooming-Health.com also has a great FAQ with specific sections on shaving, skin care, and more. Here's my favorite entry under the "Why We Shave" section:

Psychological studies have found 'women find male faces most attractive when they are masculine-looking but not ultra-masculine.' Women want dominant males, but ones friendly enough to care for offspring, they tend to see these traits in clean-shaven faces.

Isn't that what we all strive to be? Dominant yet friendly? Click on over to Grooming-Health.com and learn the perfect balance of masculinity.

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

January 30, 2006

More Gillette Fusion Reader Reviews

Blog-o-sphere Gillette Fusion update - fellow blogger Terry of TADspot has posted his first experience with the new Gillette Fusion Power, which he bought for only $9 at his local Safeway supermarket.

Can I tell any difference in the quality of the shave? Hell no, but now I do have the sexiest, most powerful, most bladiest razor known to man. Apparently putting all of those blades onto one cartridge has caused some sort of shortage because Gillette didn’t package even one extra cartridge...

OK, that's kind of lame. The Mach3 came with an extra blade, and so did Sensors before that.

Read all of Terry's review, and see the hot shaving action shots, at TADspot.com.

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

January 27, 2006

Gillette Fusion is Available!

fusion_power.jpg

The Gillette Fusion is available in stores as of Thursday January 26th. Readers from around the country are reporting availability in Costco, Walgreen's and CVS. We've even got out first reader review from Greg in Texas:

I got my Fusion last night (1/26/06) in Houston. I used it and I think it's a winner. The blade cartridge is much larger but the individual blades are about 50% smaller than the Mach3 Turbo. The shave feels much different than the M3T. Maybe it was because it was a new cartridge, but the shave seemed closer with less razor burn. The single blade on the back is a great addition too, but I think it will take some practice to get the perfect sideburns.

Huge day in the shaving world. HUGE! 15 and 30 second teaser ads are starting to air now, and then the big media kickoff starts during Super Bowl XL next Sunday. Here's the press release detailing to rollout. Suggested price for the non-powered Fusion is $9.99, while the Fusion Power will retail at $11.99. I have no doubt you'll find them on sale over the next few weeks. A quick check at Amazon shows that the Gillette Fusion Power is down to $9.57.

Gentlemen, start your razors!

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (11) | social bookmarking

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