April 1, 2009

Review of Speick Men Shave Cream & After Shave Balm

speickshavecream.jpg I just got through shaving with Speick Shave Cream, and was so psyched about it that I had to come blog about it right away.

The cream is thick and rich, and it only took a tiny bit to shave my entire face. It smells out of this world - manly and earthy, with a hint of lavender. The shave itself was very smooth, and the cream contains beeswax and glycerin for a gentle, moisturizing feeling on my face.

speickshavebalm.jpg I followed up my shave with the Speick After Shave Balm, which is even more fragrant without being overpowering. The balm is very light and soothing, and a little bit went a long way. This bottle is going to last me a long time.

Speick After Shave Balm contains extracts from natural herbs and calendula, and is manufactured without preservatives. It also has soybean oil and Aloe in it to soothe and moisturize. I think I'm hooked!

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

March 23, 2009

Matte For Men: Complete Men's Skin Care

Lotion.jpg Lee Jacobs was searching for a product that would protect and care for his entire head, including his scalp, but found that in order to get what he wanted, he had to buy multiple products. So he started his own skin care line: Lescoja. He took two years for the research and development before introducing Lescoja's first product, Matte For Men Complete Head and Face Care Lotion.

I've been using this All-In-One lotion for a short time now, and I can recommend this as a great non-sticky moisturizer without a strong smell (one thing I don't like about some lotions). It absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving any oil on the surface to stain clothes, papers, keyboards, etc. For men that shave their head, this seems like just the ticket.

According to Matte for Men:

All-In-One provides powerful broad spectrum protection against UVA / UVB rays with SPF 25 sunscreen It reduces the appearance of unwanted skin and scalp shine The lotion moisturizes and conditions your skin and scalp All-In-One nourishes your skin and scalp with antioxidants to help maintain a healthy balance

Shave.jpgAnother great product from Matte For Men is the Antioxidant Shave Gel.

The Shave Gel is a light, transparent gel, and helps to keep your face moisturized to minimize dry skin. It's got antioxidants from Olive leaf, white tea, and grape seed extracts, glycerin to moisturize, and Witch Hazel to minimize skin inflammation.

"Our antioxidant formula is safe for sensitive skin and will: Leave skin moisturized and nourished while providing the closest shave possible, provide soothing relief from irritation caused by frequent shaving, allow for easy "shaping and defining" of facial hair, protect against damaging "Free Radicals" and other environmental pollutants, and is mildly exfoliate."

Right now, Matte for Men is offering free shipping on all orders over $30, so it's a great time to check out this skin care line!

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

March 11, 2009

Review: Braun Pulsonic Series 7 - Ultimate Shaving Gadget

BraunPulsonic.jpg

Guys like gadgets.

Manly, easy in the hand, full of buttons, useful gadgets.

I'm a gadget guy, myself, but the closest to a real shaving gadget I had was the Wahl Groomsman beard trimmer, which I used to achieve the stubbly Miami Vice look a couple of times a week. Not really a tasty gadget...

I've tried other electric razors, but nothing really stood out as remarkable. Until now.

In my humble opinion, the Braun Pulsonic 790cc is simply the best electric razor out there.

The Braun shaves close (10,000 microvibrations a minute) with no pain or pulling of whiskers. The head can be locked in place for precision shaving, or can swivel freely to follow the contours of my face.

It's not too loud, and the Lithium-ion batteries run for a long time (~50 minutes) without having to be recharged (of course, when it sits in its cradle, it's charging automatically). The cord can plug directly into the razor if you need to shave and it's not charged, which is a plus for any rechargeable razor.

Here's the extra geeky bit:

The LCD display on the end of the handle shows you how much of a charge is left, and the state of the razor's 'hygiene' (if it's dirty enough to clean with the cleaning station or not). If the Pulsonic needs a cleaning, pop it in the base station and choose either the 'eco' (short), 'normal', or 'intensive' cleaning cycle, and the cleaning station flushes it with cleaning fluid and then uses heat to dry it. The cleaning fluid also contains a lubricant, so you don't have to oil it afterward. How cool is that? It's like a mini shaving robot, except it doesn't shave you robotically...

You can simply rinse the Pulsonic under running water if you want, but then you can't tell your friends about how cool the automatic cleaning cycle is. The one drawback to the system is having to purchase the cleaning cartridge, and the manual says that the fluid will evaporate in 8 weeks if not used daily. One option is to follow a reader's suggestion (probably not recommended by Braun, of course) for a homemade solution.

The Pulsonic's display also lets you know when it's time to replace the foil and cutter cassette, which should be done every 18 months.

My recommendation?

If you want the (in my opinion) ultimate shaving gadget, you'll pick up the Braun Pulsonic for yourself. Ladies, this would make a superb Father's Day or birthday gift for the man in your life, and you'll get to enjoy the super smoothness for yourself...

And right now, the Braun Pulsonic 790cc is about $50 off the regular price, so take advantage of that!

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

ShavWet: Where Do You Shave?

shavwet.jpg

I just got to try out a cool new product from ShavWet, the Fogless Portable Shower Shaving Mirror, and I was impressed. I don't normally shave in the shower, I wait until after I get out, but I thought I'd give it a whirl this time.

The mirror has easy to grip edges, plus a big handle, so you won't drop it. I liked the shape. It felt good in my hand. The size is perfect for traveling, and with the molded plastic frame, I don't think you'll break this one easily.

The ShavWet also comes with a long lanyard for hanging it up, plus a quick-release buckle. I thought the clarity of the mirror was excellent, and it did not fog up, as advertised. The fact that you can focus the mirror exactly where you want it is also a big plus over wall-mounted shaving mirrors.

The one thing that I might add to the design (if anyone's asking) is a light (an LED or something small). I found that in my shower, the light was really poor, so that I took twice as long to shave. That might not be a problem for most, but my house is old and the lighting is not so hot.

If you're looking for a great wet shaving mirror for everyday use, then I recommend the ShavWet. If you're looking for a shaving mirror that fits in your travel kit, then I again recommend the ShavWet. It comes in yellow, black, or blue, and includes a bottle of the ShavWet mirror conditioner and a sample of their 'Ultimate ShavWet Cream'.

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

March 4, 2009

Review of John Allan's Slickwater Pre-Shave Solution

slickwater.jpgWhat does the name "Slickwater" make you think of? Quicksand? An oil spill? Or perhaps some Clinton era scandal? Whatever you associate with Slickwater, it's all slippery and lubricated goodness when applied to shaving. There's nothing wrong with adding an extra layer of protection against that razor sharp steel doing battle with your whiskers. And John Allan has come through with another fine product which does just that.

John Allan's Slickwater pre-shave solution is a new pre-shave oil which goes underneath your regular shaving cream. I have been using Slickwater with Cremo Cream and REN High Glide Cooling Shaving Cream and it works well with both. Cremo cream doesn't really need a pre-shave oil, but I got a few more shaves with my razor when I was using it. REN High Glide definitely benefits from a layer of Slickwater, since it's a dry shave to begin with.

For me the major improvement that Slickwater brings to the pre-shave oil is in the area of application. Pre-shave oils are very viscous, and are often difficult to transfer from your hands to your face. The packaging will say use two or three drops, but you're never sure if any of that ended up on your face. Slickwater is a snap to apply and the slight shine on your face will let you know where it is. That's a big plus in my book.

Now, I'd like to take a moment out of this review to deconstruct the full name of this product and show you the true genius of Mr. Allan's marketing department. You see, this product is not called John Allan's Slickwater Pre-Shave Oil. It's called John Allan's Slickwater Pre-Shave Solution. Why is that important? Because if there's one thing that's rubbed off from me schmoozing my MBA friends, you don't sell products; you sell solutions.

I like Slickwater and I think you will too. It's a got a pleasant herbal smell, goes on easily, and adds an extra layer of protection to your shave. If you've got extra sensitive skin or just feel you could benefit from another layer of smoothness, give Slickwater a try.

John Allan's Slickwater pre-shave solution is $28 for a 2 oz/59 mL bottle.

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

March 3, 2009

Review of Razor Mate Blade Conditioner

IMG_8565.JPGA while back we received for testing the Razor Mate, a device which restores your razor blades to new using magnets. Simply place your disposable razor/cartridge on top of the Razor Mate, and the blades are pulled back into correct shape by the strategically placed magnets within. Seems simple enough, and somewhat dubious. Could something as simple as magnets really make your razor last 20 times longer?

Short answer: I'm not sure.

My first razor definitely lasted twice as long as normal. Not a 4x improvement as the FAQ claims, but something I'd happily take given the exorbitant price of Fusion blades. Alas, the second razor didn't fare as well. Lasted about as long as it normally does.

I really wish I had access to one of those electron scanning microscopes that they used in this Fox News report to debunk a similar device which purported to extend the life of your blades. That way I'd know for sure. Here's what I should have done: alternate shaving between two blades. One always rests on the Razor Mate; the other doesn't. Keep all other variables (shaving cream, shaving oil) constant. Instead I reverted to my seven years old self and simply took the Razor Mate apart.

IMG_8566.JPGWhich wasn't easy.

The Razor Mate is made of two plastic sections which are glued together. I nearly took my finger off opening the back. Do not try this at home.

But there were the magnets. And to my surprise, they were on a diagonal. Bizarre! I took a little physics in high school but not enough to explain this. Maybe some master of the right-hand rule out on the Interwebs can explain to me how this might work. The razor lays horizontally in the divot on top. The magnet is rotated 45 degrees. If I only had a bag of iron filings...

So I did the next best thing - I compared the strength of the Razor Mate magnets to my son's alphabet magnets on our kitchen refrigerator. Conclusion: the magnet in the letter W is stronger than the magnet in the Razor Mate.

So what does this all mean? I wish I could say conclusively. If I had devised a better scientific test I might have been able to tell you something meaningful. Instead I'm left with inconclusive anecdotal evidence. I fear I have failed you, my dear reader.

The Razor Mate is $19.99 and comes with a "100% Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee". Write in and let us know your experience with this device.

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

January 26, 2009

Review of Cremo Cream Shaving Cream

creamocream.JPGMy New Years resolution - get a better shave without breaking the bank. It's recession time, people. And while it may have taken a couple extra months for the federal government to admit it, the average joe has known to watch his wallet for a long time now. That's why I'm psyched to have found Cremo Cream, a shaving cream which ranks among the best, and costs among the least. At $8 for a 6oz tube, Cremo Cream is by far the best shave for the shekel, the best bang for the buck.

If you remember back in December when we first got Cremo Cream in, creator Mike Boone had set out to make a different type of shaving cream, one that wasn't mostly air. He was on to something. Cremo Cream shaves like the high end brands we've come to know and love. I'd put this shaving cream up to the likes of The Art of Shaving, Gentlemen's Refinery, or Billy Jealousy. Super close shave with nary a nick or cut to mention.

Cremo Cream is a white cream with smooths on easily and doesn't gunk up your razor. The tube suggest you use an "almond-sized" amount, but I typically weighed in at the pecan or walnut level. Regardless, this isn't one of those "use generously" shaving creams. One tube is supposed to last 60 days, and I think that'll come close to being true.

The only place Cremo Cream falls short when compared to the high-end brands is scent. There's absolutely nothing malodorous about Cremo Cream. It's just verges slightly on the artificial lemon. If you want to pay three and four times as much for a natural manly aroma, be my guest. You won't regret it, but you won't be getting that much of a better shave.

Cremo Cream is a winner. At $8 a tube, it's cheap. Get some.

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

January 19, 2009

dkMommy Spot review of the Razor Mate

dkmommy.jpgYou may remember that back in December we got one these newfangled Razor Mates in for testing. A device which uses magnets to restore razors back to new? Please. Only NASA could do something like that.

Oh... the guy who invented it worked at NASA? Huh... Maybe we should check it out.

Anyway, we're not quite ready for our review yet, but Diane over at dkMommy Spot is, and here's her very positive review of the Razor Mate.

At first I was skeptical - a little box you set on your bathroom counter that sharpens your razor blade with magnets. But after reading the concept about how a blade's edge actually contorts after use, and how the magnets simply pull it back into place keeping the blade sharp, it started sounding logical. But too good to be true? I wanted it to work, after all. I hate paying $20 for a pack of razors, using them a few times, then tossing them in the trash. It makes me feel so wasteful and very "ungreen". So I gave the Razor Mate a go, and I'm so glad I did.

Click on over for her full review. Check back here soon for ours. Or head on over to SaveOnRazors.com to pick one up for yourself for $19.99.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

December 16, 2008

Review of REN High Glide Cooling Shaving Cream

ren_high_glide.jpgBeen shaving with REN High Glide Cooling Shave Cream for the last couple weeks. It's about time we chat.

Now REN shaving cream is one of the few creams which is intended for a dry face. Kiehl's is another brand which comes to mind when thinking about shaving creams like this. There aren't that many of them. The prevailing philosophy is that you want a good base of water or oil to start with. But REN shaving cream makes it work.

The big advantage of a "dry" shave is that it's quicker and much less messier. You don't end up with water and lather dripping down your chest, and you can skip the step of waiting for the water to heat up before priming your face. The downside, at least for REN, is the gunk factor.

Now I've read a lot of shaving reviews where the reviewer is obsessed with shaving cream gunking up his razor. And for a while I too graded shaving creams on their gunkiness. But then I moved on. Never really bothered me. Until REN High Glide Cooling Shave Cream, which stubbornly refused to remove itself from my five-bladed Gillette Fusion. So I dropped down to four blades and whipped out my Schick Quattro. Still a high gunk factor. So I dropped down the three blades and whipped out my Mach3. Sweet spot achieved! (Which is good news since my two-bladed Gillette Sensor is buried somewhere deep under the sink.)

My recommendation - REN High Glide Cooling Shaving Cream works best with three blades or less. And it works really well. Nice close shave. Occasional nick or cut, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

REN recommends trying High Glide with their Tamanu High Glide Shaving Oil. I didn't have any around, but I did just receive a bottle of Taylor of Old Bond Street Pre-Shave Oil, (which smells awesome!), and that improved the shave a little, but not enough to make me say you have to use an oil base. That said, the Taylor of Old Bond smells like a wonderfully aromatic gin, and the REN High Glide smells vaguely floral, so I felt like I was shaving in some fancy high-class cocktail. Love it!

REN High Glide Cooling Shave Cream is $40 for a 5.1 Ounce/150 ml tube. If you're interested in a dry shave, and you use a three-bladed razor or less, give REN a shot.

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

November 13, 2008

Review of Molton Brown Ultracalm Lemonleaf Shavewax

moltonshavewax.jpgYou may have been wondering why I've been so calm recently. Is it my new Zen outlook on life? Is it that the election is finally over? Nope. I've been shaving with Molton Brown Ultracalm Lemonleaf Shavewax, and it leaves me ultra calm.

So "shavewax". What's that all about? Conjures up painful images of something many women do just before bikini season. Thankfully, there is no pain. (You are receding.) Shavewax presumably refers to the consistency of this shaving cream, which lies somewhere on the scale between lotion and cream. This makes it easy to work with and easy to apply. Definitely use your fingers though. This stuff was not designed to be applied with a brush.

I'm always interested in scent. I think we need to come up with a term for the scent of a shaving cream like "nose", referring to the various aromas evoked by wine. The ingredients for Molton Brown Ultracalm Lemonleaf Shavewax list lemon leaf, violet leaf, and ginger, but I when I breathe in I get essence of cucumber. Also hints of cherries, black currents, and dark chocolate, but that might be the glass of Zinfandel on the counter. Whatever. The stuff smells good. Not traditionally manly (which is good) and not too flowery (which is also good).

OK, so how's the shave? Nice and close, like I like it. The white shavewax goes on pretty thin, so you can mostly see the skin underneath. That will help if you have some trouble spots or areas your trying to maintain. My only complaint was that I got a few nicks and cuts every so often. Never got any redness or irritation, but I did reach for the Nick Stick on occasion. You don't need a ton of Shavewax for each shave, but this isn't one of those products which lathers up out of nothing. Expect to go through the tube at a normal clip.

Molton Brown Ultracalm Lemonleaf Shavewax is $33 for a 4.2 Ounce/125 ml tube.

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

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