March 11, 2008

Review of Mensgroom Soothe the Shaven Beast After Shave Balm

mensgroomsooth.jpgDay two of our tour of Mensgroom's facial products. Yesterday we shaved. Today we after-shave.

Mensgroom's Soothe the Shaven Beast is a light white lotion with a vaguely old-school barbershop scent. Just a hint of your grandpa's aftershave without his overwhelming halitosis. Three little squirts were all I needed to cover my face after each shave. One tip - pick the bottle up and squirt it into your hands. The spout really isn't long enough to dispense when it's sitting on the counter.

Contrary to what those annoying spandex-clad health freaks say, you don't need to feel the burn. At least not on your face. This after-shave will cool, soothe and stimulate you with a mixture of Birch Sap, Mannetake Mushroom and Menthol. And unlike most oil-tanker captains, it's alcohol free.

See? Shrooms again. Sweet!

Despite this after shave balm being very light, it was all my face needed. I've used several other after shaves which were so light I needed to apply something heavier, especially around my nose and lips where skin gets drier in the winter. Not so with Mensgroom. Another point for the shrooms.

Mensgroom's Soothe the Shaven Beast after shave balm is $30 for a 1.7 oz / 100 ml bottle. "We know it's hard to believe something can soothe and stimulate you with no alcohol. But trust us, it's true." Yup. Alcohol is for rubbin' and drinkin'.

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March 10, 2008

Review of Mensgroom Shave the Males Shaving Cream

mensgroomshave.jpgA while back we got a big shipment of products from Mensgroom. It's taken some time to get through them, but we're finally ready for the reviews. So here we go...

First up - Shave the Males shaving cream. What's in it? "Menthol, Mannetake Mushroom, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E."

Hold on. Did you say shrooms? Ok. Now you've got my attention.

Actually Mannetake Mushrooms seems to be the secret sauce to most Mensgroom products. I'm sure there's some health-related reason like blah blah lubricating oils and yada yada amino acids, but seriously dude. One tab of this sh!t and I was shaving with a rainbow Medusa-headed Hendrix. Does your morning shave get any better than that?

Mensgroom Shave the Males is a white cream which goes on easily and does not foam up. Why doesn't the Shave Cream foam up?

You want to know why? Because it's not supposed to, that's why. Because its Mushroom Extract and Aloe Vera, meant to calm and moisturise your skin for a smoother shave, will never, ever foam. Ever. Now leave us alone.

(Answers and other insults can be found at their FAQ by clicking on the above link.)

The shaving cream provides a slick surface for your razor, and I had little to no nicks or cuts while using this stuff for a month. Great close shave everyday. We've already covered the foaming bit, but that means you use a regular amount with each shave. Not a ton, but this isn't one of those magic soaps where a tiny smidge lathers up to a bubble bath. Just don't skimp on your first shave, and then start cutting back to see how little you really need.

I've read a bunch of shaving reviews on other sites, and one thing some people worry about in general is shaving cream gunking up their razor. Not an issue for me, but I imagine this might bother some people if they tried Mensgroom. So you rinse your razor more often. You should be doing that after every stroke anyway.

Mensgroom Shave the Males shaving cream is $22 for a 6.8 oz / 200 ml tube. As they say on their site, "Shaving usually sucks. Now it sucks a lot less." We agree.

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March 5, 2008

Shaving Products from The Refinery

refinery.gifShavingStuff reader Terry recently wrote in to tell us about The Refinery:

This is NOT the Gentlemen's Refinery website (based in Glasgow and totally inferior). This is The Refinery website based in the best bits of London and with its own elite HQ in Brook Street in the West End of London, as well as at Harrods, etc. I'm a recent customer of Refinery Shave Oil and Refinery Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin. Click the Products tag on the website. On their own, either of these two products are stunning, simply the best in the world, but TOGETHER they are a well nigh spiritual experience (as in miraculous). They have outlets in the USA as well. Go there and be born again as a shaver. Don't say you weren't told...

Bold statement, as we're big fans of the Gentlemen's Refinery. "The Refinery" shaving products are here. I haven't tried them, but if anyone else has I'd love to hear about.

If you're looking for where to buy these products, check their list of retail stockists. (Is that even a word?) Looks like here in the US you'll need to hit up Barney's or stay in the Four Seasons for a night. I'm going to go with the Four Seasons and grab a few extra off the maid's cart in the hallway.

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March 4, 2008

Another Shot at a Free Schick Quattro

freeSchick.jpgLast week we mentioned the contest by Schick and YouTube where you could win your 15 minutes of fame by uploading a video of your groomin', groovy self. Here's a little tidbit we overlooked - you can get a free Schick Quattro when you register. Just head on over to and click on "Register here first" (which takes you to this page). Pretty simple.

I have to say, Schick is pretty generous with their razors. Seems like every other month there's another opportunity to get a free razor from Schick. There's really no excuse not to have one if you're at all interested.

OK, I spoke to fast. I just went through the registration process, clicked the button for the free Schick razor, and got this somewhat truncated message:

Sorry, our supplies for this sample have been

Have been what? Depleted? Stolen? Infested? Condemned?


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February 11, 2008

15% Off Shave the Males and Soothe the Shaven Beast from Mensgroom

ShavetheMales.jpgWe're currently in the midst of reviewing the full line of Mensgroom products, from Shave the Males all the way to Be Cleansed My Son. Advanced word is very positive, but you'll have to check back in a week or two for the full report.

In the mean time Mensgroom is having a Valentine's Day sale which you should check out: Save 15% when you order Shave the Males shaving cream and Soothe the Shaven Beast after shave from their website. Not too shabby. Might make a good Valentine's gift for someone special...

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February 5, 2008

Introducing the Gillette Phenom Fusion Power Razor

GillettePhenom.jpgPop quiz! What do you do when you've got a hit product? If you've been a regular Shaving Stuff reader, you'd know the answer. If not, check out this post. The answer: release it again. And again. And again.

Two Superbowls ago in 2006 Gillette released the Gillette Fusion and Gillette Fusion Power, the world's first five-bladed razor. (Or six-bladed, depending on how you count the "Precision Trimmer" blade.) At last year's Superbowl Gillette released the Gillette Fusion Power Phantom, which included a slightly redesigned handle and a darker color scheme. Well, the Superbowl was two days ago, and guess what? Gillette introduced the Gillette Fusion Power Phenom.

Gillette Fusion Phenom and Gillette Fusion Power Phenom combine the breakthrough technology of the Gillette Fusion shaving system, with a cool new design featuring metallic blue and silver satin chrome handles.

Don't worry. It takes the same blades you've been using. And if you already have a Fusion Power or Fusion Power Phantom, don't feel the need to rush out and get the Phenom. That said, if you haven't tried any of the Fusion Power razors, you'll be in for a treat when you do. Personally, I think they rock.

So it's pretty clear we'll have another Fusion release at next year's Superbowl. And given the current trend of naming the new razors with the "ph" sound, I recommend next year's product be called the "Gillette Fusion Power Phoneme". Remember, you heard it here first.

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February 1, 2008

This Just In - Peter Thomas Roth

Fresh off the heels of our review of The Art of Shaving products, our friends over at Details for Men have sent over the latest addition to their site - products from Peter Thomas Roth. Who is Mr. Roth, and why does his name sound familiar?
Skin care innovator Peter Thomas Roth is the first generation child of Hungarian parents. Skin care is an inherent part of Peter's heritage. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Peter's father's family owned and operated two spa hotels in Hungary. [...] When skin care pioneer Peter launched his company in 1993, he improved on many of these old formulas keeping in mind the basic philosophy of the healing, and soothing, qualities of the many muds and minerals in the Thermal Springs and their important curative properties for specific medical conditions and remedies by blending 19th century recipes with 21st century skin care technologies and ingredients.

Um, run-on-sentence much?

Anyway, we're psyched to try out the futuristic Peter Thomas Roth 21st Century Shave Cream ($21) "with protective PTR space age polymer technology". Do we have another thing to thank NASA for? We also got a tube of Peter Thomas Roth Moisturizing Multi Tasking After Shave Balm ($24), which is "weightless" and "vanishing". Yup. I think we do. Thanks NASA!

Keep your antenna tuned to this frequency for when we start beaming our review. Oh, me so nerdie.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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