June 26, 2008

Review of John Allan's Face Replenishment Moisturizer

ja_face.jpgSo we talked about John Allan's Splash aftershave on Tuesday, but that only covers half of your face. What about your forehead? It needs love too. Enter John Allan's Face Replenishment Moisturizer, which I've been using on my forehead with great results after I shave (after showering) and also on my whole face after I wash up at night.

An advanced hydrating formula that utilizes a combination of essential vitamins, botanical extracts and natural emollients to replenish skin and helps to diminish the effects of aging. It also helps to soothe and protect dry or irritated skin caused by shaving, extreme weather conditions or years of neglect.

Extreme weather!!! Woot! I don't know about you, but we had a hail storm in New England on an 80 degree summer day this week. If that doesn't qualify for extreme weather, I don't know what does.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, JA's Face moisturizer. What's in it?

Hydrates using Shea Butter, Coca Butter and Jojoba. Provides advanced anti-aging correction and prevention using Vitamins A, B2, C, D, E, K. Helps to protect skin with Oat and Willow Bark Extracts.

So butter, vitamins, and bark. And somehow if manages to soothe your face. And smell pretty good too. Shaving Stuff wife says it vaguely reminds her of grapefruit. Also, she says "You smell clean." Thanks John. Can I call you John?

John Allan's Face Replenishment Moisturizer is $24.50 for a 4oz bottle.

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June 25, 2008

Review of John Allan's Scrub

ja_scrub.jpegRub a dub dub, it's time for a Scrub. John Allan's Scrub, that is. We've gone through exfoliants a bunch of times on this site, so I won't bore you with the background. Basically there are two camps - one which thinks you should exfoliate before you shave, and one which thinks you should exfoliate a couple times a week, preferrably when you don't shave. Personally, I'm in the latter camp. Shaving exfoliates enough by itself.

John Allan's Scrub is a green, grainy (not gritty) goo. The grains are not too fine, not too coarse, and they are plentiful. Like the recent exfoliant we reviewed from Mensgroom, John Allan's Scrub looks like something you might make a superball out of. Lime green substance with flecks suspended in it. (Those flecks are "Volcanic Pumice". Very cool. Or hot, depending on how fresh the volcanic pumice is.)

And I'm a fan. Smells great - mildly floral, washes off easily, and gets the job done. Plus, they do the dangerous job of harvesting the volcano. What else do you need? John Allan's Face Exfoliant Scrub is $17 for a 4.8oz tube.

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June 24, 2008

Review of John Allan's Splash After Shave

ja_splash.jpg[A plea to my humble reader - please read this entire review. What may seem like a lost cause turns into a happy ending.]

There's a reason they call John Allan's Splash After Shave "an old school after-shave splash with a bite." Alcohol. And lots of it. What looks like a friendly bottle of bubbles turns out to be a harsh wake-up after your shave. Splash some Splash on your freshly shaven face and feel the bite.

[Note to humble reader: keep reading]

But then something magical happens. Your face actually feels good. And it doesn't need any more love. Last time around we after-shaved with John Allan's Calming After Shave Balm, and if you remember, we often needed to supplement with a little heavier cream. Splash is the total package. Could be the Chamomilla Extract & Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice. Could be the Willow Bark and Cucumber Extracts. Could be that anything feels better after being slapped by an alcohol induced rage. Whatever it is, I came to really like John Allan's Splash.

I'm recommending this after shave whole heartedly. I had no redness or irritation from this product. In fact my skin seems clearer and healthier than before. I fully expect to get some feedback about the horrors of "the bite", or the use of alcohol in after shave, but I'm standing by my man John (or J.A., as I like to call him). He's made a believer out of me again.

John Allan's Splash After Shave is $18.50 for a 4oz bottle.

[Final note to humble reader: You rock!]

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June 23, 2008

Review of John Allan's Shave

Every so often we get the chance to go back and visit an old favorite. Such is the case with John Allan's. A couple months ago we got a bunch of new products in and we've been steadily working our way through them.

Some history, for those new to John Allan's - starts in Europe, studies with the best, comes to New York, opens membership club, starts his own product line, products are awesome. What? Too much for you in today's information overload world? (Full history is here.)

I've been shaving with John Allan's Shave for about a month now, and it's like seeing a good friend after a year's absence. Great shave, great scent, great to catch up. In fact, my old review still holds true. Allow myself to quote myself, (unless of course the A. P. objects):

John Allan's Shave Cream is a white, almost fluffy cream, which smells like oats. Reminds me of those Molton Brown Oatmeal Soaps you sometimes find in fine hotels or restaurant bathrooms. The cream goes on easily and remains visibly white on your face, although it doesn't foam up so you can still easily see your skin underneath. Best to use your fingers when applying. It's a little too thick for a brush, and despite your best efforts (with fingers or with a brush), the cream will never look truly uniform on your face. I was initially concerned about this, but it turned out to be a non-issue. The shave is great. Far fewer nicks and cuts than other shaving creams. Great lubrication - no razor burn whatsoever. Also, John Allan's did a great job of lifting even my stubborn hairs up, so I always got a smooth, close shave.

Like I said, it's good to see you again, Mr. John Allan. Over the next few days we'll check out some other John Allan's products which are new to Shaving Stuff. In the meantime, John Allan's Shave is $14.50 for a 4oz tube. Get some.

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June 18, 2008

Reader Review of Barbasol Ultra Sensitive Skin Shaving Cream and Balm

barbasol_014.jpgShaving Stuff reader Keith recently wrote in with this review of Barbasol Ultra Sensitive Skin shaving cream and balm.

I switched to the Kiss My Face line of shaving lotions a number of years ago after trying a sample because I felt it did as good a job as my current shaving cream and better prevented razor burn. I chanced across this Barbasol shaving cream by accident and necessity and was impressed with how much nicer the shaving experience was. I felt it was both a smoother and more effective shave and haven't had any razor burn issues. It is now my new shaving cream. Oh - and the moisture balm is nice at conditioning the skin without any sting or discomfort which is a nice added bonus. I'd recommend these products to anyone with sensitive skin trying to avoid razor burn while getting a nice close shave.

Nice! Sounds like we've got a winner. You can find Barbasol Ultra Sensitive Skin at most major supermarkets and drugstores, typically for under $5.

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May 21, 2008

Get All Products from Ritual in "The Kit"

boxset_200_ritual.jpgAll of the items we've been reviewing over the past week have come from Ritual's The Kit, which includes full size containers of all their products - Nature Calls, Razor Rinse, The Whip, The Balm and Trifecta. Plus, The Kit comes in an old-school wooden box (pictured) with Ritual's logo burned and branded on the top. All-in-all it makes for a sweet presentation.

Oh! Did say present-a-tion? Huh, Father's Day is coming up. The Kit might make a dad very happy.

The Kit from Ritual is $79.

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May 20, 2008

Review of The Balm Post-Shave Gel from Ritual

balm_250.jpgYour face needs a little healing help after you've taken The Whip to it. Good thing Ritual has you covered with The Balm post-shave gel.

Stand by the ritual. The Balm has fresh cooling Aloe and Lidocaine to extinguish your face after a shave. The Tea Tree Oil and Witch Hazel will continue to work throughout the day (or night) to soothe your skin and prevent irritation from shaving. It's the perfect ending to your Triple S.

(For those of you who missed a day in class, "Triple S" is shave, shower, and sh!t. Not necessarily in that order.)

The Balm works well as a post-shave gel. It's a great way to finish your shave and leave your skin rejuvinated and re-moisturized. Of all the Ritual products, though, this one was my least favorite. The scent was again a little too lemony and medicinal. And for me, there's an ingredient that I'm allergic to. Makes my lips and mouth go a little numb for about 20 minutes.

It's unlikely you will be allergic to it too. Several other shaving products have given me this type of reaction (Pacific Shaving Oil was one) and I've given them to friends and they've had no problem. I know, I'm delicate. One pea under my mattress and I'm a bruised mess. Guess I won't be the star of the ShavingStuff action-hero movie.

The Balm post shave gel from Ritual is $19 for a 4 oz tube. If you're interested in The Whip shaving cream, get the Balm to finish your shave off right.

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May 19, 2008

Review of The Whip Shaving Cream from Ritual

whip_250.jpgFinally! We've been shampooing, disinfecting, and even masking the smell of our sh!t business with products from Ritual. It's about time we shaved. Say hello to The Whip.

Abide by the ritual. The Whip is a richly lathered shave cream, which spreads easily across your face and neck no matter how thick your facial hair. It calms with Aloe, Chamomile, and Cucumber extracts and contains just enough Lidocaine to reduce the burning and redness that result from shaving.

I was totally happy with the shave from The Whip. Nice and close. No nick or cuts. No irritation. And even though they describe it as "richly lathered", the Whip doesn't foam or lather on your face, which is a plus in my book. It's white, not clear, but you can still see a fair amount of your skin underneath if you're trying to avoid a blemish or existing facial hair.

I think the only mark against The Whip from me would be the scent. Somewhere between medicinal and lemony, although not altogether unpleasant. This isn't a recommendation against The Whip. Just saying I've smelled better.

The Whip Shave Cream from Ritual is $18 for a 6 oz tube.

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May 16, 2008

Review of Trifecta Body, Hair, and Face Wash from Ritual

trifecta_250.jpgDay three of our tour of products from Ritual. We'll take a break from shaving-related products and talk about Trifecta Body, Hair and Face Wash.

Obey the ritual. Trifecta takes your three essential shower products and packs them into an all-in-one body, hair and face wash. It is specially formulated to lather up with ease in both hard and soft water. Trifecta has powerful dirt-defying suds and moisturizes with Soy and Wheat Proteins to leave you feeling spic-and-span from head to toe.

I'm no expert on shampoos, but Trifecta seems to do a great job on my hair. What I really like is the ability to take the lather from my hair and use it to wash my face. Easy, convenient, and efficient. I'm a big fan of these three-in-one products, although I admit that I usually only use two of their three capabilities. I still like a bar of soap for the body. Transferring lather to my various nooks and crannies isn't as easy as a good ol' bar of soap. I supposed I could attempt to use a washcloth, but hey, two out of three ain't bad.

Trifecta Body, Hair and Face Wash is $16 for an 8 oz. tube.

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May 15, 2008

Review of Ritual Razor Rinse

rinse_250.jpgDay two in our look at products from Ritual, and we're focusing on Ritual Razor Rinse, another product we wrote about a while back and have finally had the opportunity to use.

Here's the deal - you've taken a hot shower so your pores are wide open. Your skin is at its most vulnerable. And you're about to treat it to a razor which has been sitting around for a day with who knows what growing on it. Hey, there's a reason doctors sterilize their tools before using them, and maybe you should too.

Ritual Razor Rinse is largely alcohol, with a dose of tea tree oil and some lemony scent to cut any harshness. Also, it's more of a gel than liquid, so you can squeeze a little on the head of your razor and then carefully work it around with your fingers to cover the entire surface. Then, when you're ready to shave, rinse under hot water and away you go.

So does it work? Hard to say exactly, but I think the answer is yes. I seemed to have less red bumps and break out after using it. Also, dermatologist Howard Fein endorses it, so you know it's got to be good. I'd definitely give it a try if you've got sensitive skin and are looking for ways to reduce flair-up from shaving.

Ritual's Razor Rinse is $17 for a 4oz. tube.

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