December 22, 2009

Bald Guyz Products Not Just for Bald Guys

bald-guyz-shave-gel.jpgYou would think that products from a company called Bald Guyz would only appeal to bald guys, but that isn't necessarily the case.

I recently received samples of a few products from Bald Guyz to review, and since I don't shave my head, I put them to the test on my face.

The Bald Guyz Clear Shave Gel (also called Ultimate Shave Gel) is a bit different than most gels that I've used. It's thinner, for one thing, which I found was a plus when it came to the quality of 'razor slip' on my face. For another, it does foam, but not so much that it covers your face with bubbles. The gel has a nice mellow scent, not strong or 'perfume-y', and it rinsed easily and cleanly from my face.

I was really surprised with the quality of shave I got from this gel - it had the slipperiest feel for my razor of any gels I have previously tried, which wasn't what I expected. Many other gels are so thick that my razor feels like it 'sticks' to my face, and the Bald Guyz gel made shaving quick and easy.

"This lubricated formula contains skin soothers and moisturizers so that the razor glides over the skin with less friction. The vitamin and protein enriched antioxidant formula prevents nicks, razor bumps and irritation."

After my shave, I applied the Bald Guyz Moisture Gel to my face. It's made with grapeseed, green tea, chamomile, aloe, and calendula to soothe irritated skin and protect it from the elements. My face felt fully moisturized afterward, and a little went a long way - it's a thin formula, easy to spread and non-greasy.

Though I didn't use the products on my scalp, I feel confident in recommending it to those who do shave their head. I think the Bald Guyz products are high quality and well worth the price (which is very affordable).

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 10, 2009

Review of Just the Goods Shaving Soap

il_430xN.108630768.jpgCream, gel, foam, or soap? Scented, natural, or for sensitive skin? Sometimes I really can't believe just how many choices we have when it comes to shaving products, and it's tough to just stick to my usual when there are new options for me to try. And I have yet another shaving soap to share with you - an all natural shaving solid.

Just the Goods sent me a couple of samples of their men's shaving solid to try out, and because I'm a sucker for old-school style shaving soaps, I was jazzed to give it a trial on my face.

According to Just the Goods:

"Almost out of the blue, my partner began to develop problems shaving -- razor burn and bumps were persistent no matter how new his razor, or the variety grooming products he used. Not only was he displeased about how his skin looked, but he was terribly uncomfortable.

We eventually concluded that the source of his problem were all the harsh and clogging petro-chemicals in conventional shaving cream."

I tried both varieties, the Tea tree oil and patchouli essential oil and the rosemary and lemon, and experienced a most excellent lather, considering that it's an all natural product (no fancy chemical foaming agents here). Because it's a solid, a shaving brush is almost essential - though I suppose you could just rub it on your face...

The scents of both kinds were mild (in case you're worried about smelling all hippy-like), and the razor slip was great - which meant a smooth and easy shave for me. It rinsed clean, with no residue or oiliness on my face afterward. I also had no irritation or razor burn from using them.

About the ingredients:

Tea tree has well-known antibacterial properties, making it great for helping to avoid razor burn and other irritation. Patchouli also has antiseptic and astringent properties but brings the added benefit of being an antidepressant and aphrodisiac!

Rosemary essential oil is a potent anti-fungal and antibacterial agent that helps dull skin. An interesting bonus is that it has the capacity to decrease fatigue and mild depression, Lemon essential oil is antiviral, astringent, detoxifying, and antiseptic. It is also said to have the ability to stimulate white corpuscles which protect the body against infection.

The product is very affordable, also - only $6 each, $4.50 without the jar - and I imagine they'll last for many a shave. If you're a traditional shaver who's looking for something gentle and all natural, give Just the Goods a try.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 3, 2009

Review of Miessence Organic Shaving Products

miessenceshavegel.jpgThere's a lot of choices for personal care and shaving products these days, but not so much for the natural and organic crowd.

If you are one of those people (like me) who cares about the ingredients of the stuff you put on your skin, you might want to check out the miessence® line.

The folks over at Ely Organics sent me samples of their shave gel and after shave balm to try out, and here's my take on them:

The miessence® certified organic shave gel is a very light shave gel, and the ingredients are formulated for sensitive skin - with aloe, witch hazel, and a number of other botanicals. When I first tried it, it seemed way too thin to work well, but I quickly got the hang of it by wetting my skin further while shaving (I'm used to thicker gels and creams). On my second shave with it, I applied a little more, and this time, it produced a very slippery surface for my razor (I use a Merkur safety razor). My shave was enjoyable and smooth, and afterward, my skin wasn't irritated at all, as can sometimes happen with other gels.

miesssenceAfterShave.jpgAfter my shave, I applied the miessence® certified organic after shave balm to my face, and that's what really made a difference for me. Some after shave products leave a waxy residue, and I end up having to wash my face again afterward - not so with the miessence® one. It's made with organic chamomile and marshmallow root, organic aloe vera, and witch hazel, along with some very mild smelling essential oils which won't clash with any other scents you may wear.

So, for the 'natural' people, you'd do well to look into the miessence® line of products - they also make shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and a bunch of other personal care products.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

November 6, 2009

Woody's Foaming Shave Gel Review

woodysshavegel.jpgWant your face to be as smooth as a supermodel's bottom?

That's what Woody's products will do for you - if you can trust a label...

The people over at Woody's Grooming sent me a couple of testers of their shaving products to try out, and I've used the Foaming Shave Gel over the last week. It's full of vitamins and antioxidants, plus something called Galactoarabinan - a natural sugar from larch trees that exfoliates, moisturizes, and smooths wrinkles.

I can't speak for the 'smoothing wrinkles' claim, as I haven't noticed that for myself, but I did really enjoy the refreshing and healthy look of my skin afterward. Maybe that's related to the aloe, hemp, and shea butter in the formula?

Woody's Shave Gel is a gel, as the name implies, but it foams up for a nice lather. The scent is light and citrusy, with a bit of a woody smell as well. The gel rinses cleanly, with a nice smooth feeling after the shave.

You can check out the rest of the Woody's line at the company's site, which also includes hair, body, and lip care.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 13, 2009

John Varvatos Rock Volume One Review

rock_volumeone.jpgI have to admit that I don't normally wear fragrances of any sort, or if I do, it's an essential oil (my favorite is frankincense). However, I was recently sent a review bottle of John Varvatos Rock Volume One Eau De Toilette, and I might have to change my mind about that...

The first thing that struck me about it, before I even took a whiff of it, was the high quality presentation. It comes in a sweet 'gift'-type box, in simple black with a clean-looking graphic on the front. Not a cheap little box, but something that says quality... (It would make a great gift.)

The bottle itself is hefty - manly, even - again with a simple design and a top that looks like a bolt head, and it holds over four ounces of the fragrance. That amount will last you a good long time, even wearing it daily.

I sprayed a little on my wrist, fully expecting an over-the-top scent (based on my experience with other men's fragrances), but was pleasantly surprised by the subtleness of it. Of course, it depends on how heavily you apply it.

(Before I describe the scent, forgive me for my choice of words - I'll put it in my terms) The scent is earthy, reminding me of woody fragrances with a bit of a flowery note, and somewhere in there is a hint of coffee...

From John Varvatos:

"A surprisingly edgy interpretation of the signature John Varvatos scent, this fragrance boasts an intricate blend of rose absolute and coffee that delivers a new level of sensuality and an explosive rock 'n roll vibe."

I didn't pick up on the rose, and I don't know if I'd call it 'edgy', but I did like the scent, and it's earned a place in my bathroom cabinet for those special occasions.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 14, 2009

Review of Master Shaving Mug Soap

Mastershavingsoap.jpgMaster Well Comb is another of those shaving and hair product companies that have been around a long time, but I had never heard of them until a couple of weeks ago. They've been making hair products and shaving stuff for over 60 years, and they're based out of Illinois.

I got the chance to take the Master Shaving Mug Soap for a test run last week, and although I was kind of skeptical of the quality before lathering up, I ended up appreciating it for what it is - a soap, not a cream - instead of judging against my favorite creams.

The soap lathered up nicely, and it had an interesting scent - it reminded me of old-time barbershops. The shave I got was solid, with no irritated areas or raw patches (I kind of expected it after reading that it was a 'soap', not lubricating like a cream or gel). I did notice the tendency for the soap to dry on my face while shaving, but with a little warm water, it lathered back up immediately.

The company says that the soap has "The masculine scent of Lilac Vegetol", but I didn't catch a whiff of lilac (and I'm not sure what vegetol is. Anyone?). The scent was light and didn't stick around after rinsing, which is something I appreciate.

If you like to shave with a soap instead of a cream, Master Shaving Mug Soap is a good pick, and while I'm probably going to stick with my favorite cream, the Master Shaving Mug Soap is going to stay in my cabinet for when I want something a little different.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 17, 2009

Erasmic Shaving Cream Review

ErasmicMerkur.jpgI have to admit that I hadn't heard of Erasmic Lather Shave Cream before last month, but I found out that it's been around for a long time - since in the 1880s!

The tube is your basic metal tube of shaving cream - nothing fancy here - But when you squeeze it out, you can immediately tell that this is going to be good. It's probably one of the thickest creams out there (at least in a tube), and it lathers up quickly and easily. My Merkur razor glided smoothly over my face, as Erasmic's lubricating qualities were excellent (it's made with coconut oil, lanolin, and glycerin).

And the scent? Pure old-school. Masculine, warm, and not too strong. It reminds me of old-time barber shops (not that I ever got shaved in one), and it almost makes me wish for an aftershave that smells like that.

Erasmic is a real classic - a little goes a long way, it's great on the skin, the shaves are smooth, it smells awesome, and it's very affordable ($6.50 a tube). I think Erasmic Lather Shave Cream has a permanent home on my shaving shelf.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 2, 2009

Review: J.M. Fraser's Polar Ice Shave Cream

j.m. frasers polar ice.jpgJ.M. Fraser's Polar Ice shaving cream is another example of why it's not good to judge a book by its cover. The packaging is a basic, plain jane white tub with minimal blue text - not a flashy, hyped up label to be seen. But that's ok, because it's what's inside that counts, right?

Polar Ice is very thick and creamy, building up a great lather in no time, and it's got a refreshing feel on the face. The cream can be re-lathered on your whiskers with a little water if it dries, making for an easy and quick shave. The scent is light and kind of minty, with a cool feeling to it, not an overpowering smell.

One big plus for this is the price and the size of the tub. For nine bucks, you get a half a pound of cream, which ought to last you quite some time. That's a steal. I also liked the fact that it came in a tub and not a tube, so you don't have to squeeze it out, possibly wasting the extra if you squeeze to hard.

J.M. Fraser's Polar Ice is a great deal for a super shave. Nothing fancy, nothing extra, and it works great. Check it out - I think you'll like it a lot.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 29, 2009

Review: American Crew Lubricating Shave Oil

Along with American Crew's Moisturizing Shave Cream that I reviewed in yesterday's post, I also got a bottle of the company's Lubricating Shave Oil to check out. It seemed like such a small bottle when I first got it, but now I realize that you can get by with only using a little bit per shave.

I used it both alone and as a pre-shave (under the shave cream), and to be honest, I didn't really think it was necessary to use under another cream. The box does say that it counters razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and nicks, so if you have issues with those, then it may pay to use it underneath a cream. It worked awesome all by itself though, and my skin felt great afterward.

The Lubricating Shave Oil has a really great cinnamon scent, along with a host of other herbal oils that make for a very pleasing sensation on the skin. It's got both rosemary and clove extracts for their astringent cleansing properties, and 10 other oils to moisturize and soothe the skin. One caveat with the oil: be very careful when applying it around your nose and lips, as it can feel pretty hot if it's on those tender surfaces.

If you want a light shave oil that leaves your skin tingling, pick up some American Crew Lubricating Shave Oil. You won't regret it.

[Update: Ask for it exclusively at professional salons, as product at other outlets may not be genuine. Try the Salon Locater.]

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 28, 2009

Review: American Crew Shave Cream


I received some American Crew shaving goodies last week, and I've been giving them some good usage in my shaving routine since then. The first thing I picked out to use was the Moisturizing Shave Cream (first things first, eh?), so let's start with that.

My initial reaction to the American Crew Shave Cream was that I felt it was too thin and wouldn't work well for me. My second reaction was, "Man, that smells good!" So I put it through its paces, shaving with one day's growth, and then again after about 4 days of growth just to compare.

It turns out I was completely wrong about it being too thin. The cream went on easily and stayed on my whiskers without having to use very much at all. The shave itself was smooth and easy, regardless of the length of my beard, and my skin felt moisturized afterward. The herbal scent is potent yet light and refreshing, without seeming perfume-y (is that a word?).

American Crew Moisturizing Shave Cream has aloe, almond, and avocado oil for moisturizing; clove, eucalyptus, and peppermint oil for antiseptic effects; and a blend of herbal extracts to heal and soothe the skin.

"Conditioning formula with powerful antioxidants ensures razor glide without drying skin. Soothing aloe and healing avocado oil provide maximum protection for dry or sensitive skin. Moisturizing Shave Cream is also recommended for skin that requires extra hydration and those that want to see exactly where they've shaved."

If you haven't had the pleasure of using any of the American Crew line, I think you'll be very happy with the shave cream. I definitely recommend it.

[Update: Ask for it exclusively at professional salons, as product at other outlets may not be genuine. Try the Salon Locater.]

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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