May 14, 2008

Review of Nature Calls from Ritual

naturecalls_200.jpgBeen shaving with products from Ritual recently. Their line of men's grooming products includes several unique offerings, including today's subject of review.

A while back we came across a most interesting product - Nature Calls from Ritual - which purported to eliminate the unpleasant smell of a particular part of your morning routine.

Just two drops of Nature Calls in your toilet prior to doing your business obliterates all odor. This truly revolutionary solution is derived from plant extract and doesn't just cover up unpleasant smells, it completely eliminates them.

I was skeptical. I made a few jokes. And then Ritual sent over a sample.

Guess what - it actually works pretty well. Look, I'm not proud of my morning business. And neither is my wife. And while I could go the match or candle route, I usually opt for the bathroom fan, which doesn't quite cut it. Two drops of Ritual and there's really no need to fumigate. I wouldn't say all odor is eliminated, but it's a good 80% - 90% reduction. And that can save a marriage. If you've got a powerful colon, I'd definitely recommend giving this stuff a try.

Nature Calls from Ritual is $9 for a 0.5 oz bottle (which will last a long time).

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April 24, 2008

Review of Sharps Daily Prep Concentrated Foaming Wash

sharpsfoamingwash.jpegDay four of our review of Sharps products and we've come to Sharps Daily Prep Concentrated Foaming Wash.

Foam up and break down the grime with this oil-free face wash. Concentrated means one shot goes a long way. A mild foaming complex delivers a healthy lather while hydrating botanicals ensure moisture replenishment for all skin types. Use it before signing on or signing off for the day.

I will totally agree with the concentrated. You really don't need that much to get your face nice and squeaky clean. I will take issue with the foaming. This stuff didn't foam. I tried using a little. I tried using a lot. I tried in different waters. Couldn't get this stuff to foam. Sharps exfoliant - that foams. Sharps face wash - not so foamy.

Not that this really matters. Sharps Daily Prep is a great face wash and I'm happy using it every day. My only complaint (besides the silly lack of foaming) was that it took a little extra effort to wash off. Not as bad as some other products I've tried, but not the easiest. No biggie. If you're looking for a new daily face wash and an exfoliant, Sharps is a good choice.

Sharps Daily Prep Concentrated Foaming Wash is $18 for an 8.5 ounce tube.

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April 23, 2008

Review of Sharps Daily Prep Foaming Scrub

sharpsDailyPrep.gifAh exfoliation. A time to EX-tract the FOLIA-ge from the naTION (that is your face). I'm reaching here. Bear with me.

If you're into exfoliation, and really, who isn't, you should check out Sharps Daily Prep Foaming Scrub. I think this was my favorite product from Sharps. Why? Probably the foaming. But the scrub wasn't too far behind.

Get it all with this oil-free wash and scrub combo. Dissolve dirt. Unplug pores. Brighten dull skin. Spherical marble powder grains deliver results without irritating even the most sensitive skin. A 7-day outlook for clear skin.

I will vouch for the spherical marble powder grains. This was one of the most gentle yet effective exfoliants I've tried. Not too gritty, not too fine. Lathered up to a nice foam as well, and washed off easily. What more could you ask for?

Sharps Daily Prep Foaming Scrub is $20 for a 4.25 ounce tube.

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April 22, 2008

Review of Sharps Kid Glove Shave Gel

sharpsshavegel.gifDay two of our review of Sharps products. Yesterday we applied some Kid Glove Pre-Shave Stick, today we're shaving with Sharps Kid Glove Shave Gel.

Go ahead and make fun of my lack of manliness. I read the directions:

  1. Massage a thin layer onto damp skin.

  2. Wait 30 seconds. Contemplate the goat... feel the kick!

  3. Using short strokes, shave with the grain of hair growth.

  4. Repeat (for you Grizzlies, repeat against the grain).

Have you ever really stared at the picture of a goat? I have. Many times now. In 30 second increments. Here's my free association:

My wife and I had our first baby nine months ago. The boy is awesome. He's staring at me. He likes it when I shave. I remember when he was born. That was an awesome day. We learned a lot about childbirth. Huh... Look at that picture of a goat. You know, that kind of looks like a uterus. And two fallopian tubes. And a... Ok, must be time to shave now.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Shaving with Sharps.

The pluses - easy to apply; clear, so you can see what you're doing; very few nicks and cuts.

The minuses - not the closest shave. Not the worst shave by far, but solidly in the middle. I recommend following step 4 (from above) and doing the repeat shave. Maybe not necessarily against the grain, but perpendicular.

I'd rate Sharps' shave along the lines of Anthony Logistics for Men. A good first step out of the world of drug-store shaving creams. But like anyone trying to expand their horizons, you won't truly appreciate the finer things in life if you jump straight to the end. So consider Sharps for the man who needs to learn there's a better shave out there.

Sharps Kid Glove Shave Gel is $13 for a 5 ounce tube.

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April 21, 2008

Review of Sharps Kid Glove Oil-Free Pre-Shave Stick

sharpsKidGlove.gifBeen shaving with products from Sharps these last few weeks. Sharps - whose website is USA! USA! I love freedom. And so do they.

Anyway, first up is a unique product - Sharps Kid Glove Oil-Free Pre-Shave Stick. While several brands have a pre-shave oil meant to accompany their shaving cream, Sharps is the first line of products I've tried which has a pre-shave stick.

The perfect sidekick to layer under Kid Glove Shave Gel for the closest shave possible. Oil-Free Pre-Shave Stick is a clear protective barrier and a botanical-rich blend of soothers providing up close, comfortable, skin-to-blade contact. Prep skin. Soften whiskers. Never a greasy moment. A lifesaver for guys with sensitive skin, brawny beards and ingrown hairs.

Same basic concept as a pre-shave oil - an undercoating for extra protection - although in non-oily form. And while I'm totally sold on products of a pre-shave nature, I miss the oil. Frankly I didn't see much of a difference with or without the stick.

That said, Sharps Pre-Shave Stick definitely wins on ease of application and neatness. Pre-shave oils can be a bit of a challenge to apply to your face, especially if the bottle containing them isn't designed well. Sharps' stick is like a giant container of chapstick for your face. And it kind of smells like an ice cream cone. There are worse things to get on your face.

Sharps Kid Glove Oil-Free Pre-Shave Stick is $16 for a one ounce stick.

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April 10, 2008

The Braun Pulsonic vs The Gillette Fusion

pulsonic_v_fusion.jpgAre you ready to rumble?!?

In this corner... weighing in at a "reassuring" six ounces... with a retail price of $270... forget the brains, this thing is all brawn... it's the Braun Pulsonic!!!

And in this corner... weighing far less... with a retail price of $13... harnessing the power of the atom... it's the Gillette Fusion!!!

Gentlemen, start your vibrations. It's shavin' time!

Sure, some men prefer the convenience of an electric shaver, in which case we'd recommend the Pulsonic, the gold standard of face mowers. But for a flawless shave that won't mar your mug, we'd opt for the Fusion. One caveat is the steep cost, as with most razors, of the replacement blades: $14 for a package of four. In the long run, the Fusion could end up costing you more than the Pulsonic, so it's no bargain: just a better shaver.

Read a full account of the bout at this Business Week article. (Pulsonic v Fusion starts on page 3.)

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March 18, 2008

Review of Mensgroom Time Fighter Face Cream

mensgroomtime.jpgHere's the last product we're going to look at from Mensgroom - Time Fighter face cream.

If you haven't been ID'd in a while, maybe you should use some of this cream. Made with Mannetake Mushroom and Soy Protein, it's lightweight and is absorbed instantly into the skin.

Now you, me, and most readers will be saying to yourself, "wasn't there a moisturizing cream from these guys a couple days ago?" You are correct. In fact, the FAQ has anticipated your next question:

What's the difference between Daily Defender and Time Fighter?

Daily Defender protects your face from things like dryness, fine lines - the coffee-breath of that guy in human resources. Time Fighter improves skin firmness and elasticity, and fights wrinkles. Plus it's got Soy Protein, so it's safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

Speaking as a member of the lactose community I can attest to this product's safety.

Time fighter absorbs instantly into your face and does a great job moisturizing too. I tended to use it on my forehead after a shave while putting Soothe the Shaven Beast on my beard area. Kind of smells vaguely like coconut. I used it in place of Daily Defender, alternating between the two on different days. Comes in a similarly styled clear plastic case holding a brown inner center, although with this jar you can see exactly how much you've got left.

Mensgroom Time Fighter face cream is $45 for a 1.7 oz / 50 ml jar. "Women don't dig guys with wrinkles. Unless they're loaded." Hey loaded guys - you should take care of your faces too.

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March 17, 2008

A Word About Mensgroom Packaging

mensgroomtriple.jpgSeveral of Mensgroom's products come in this very cool, transparent pump. Actually the products are in a brown circular plastic pump within a transparent square plastic case. Looks pretty smart on your bathroom counter. One problem - which is which?

The only discernible difference between the bottles is the writing on them, and the writing isn't the easiest thing to read unless you're holding the text straight on. Several times I have almost moisturized with Be Cleansed My Son, or attempted to wash my face with Daily Defender. Very easy to make a mistake early in the morning before your coffee.

Don't get me wrong - I love the unique packaging. Someone at Mensgroom cares about design, and I give them props for that. My suggestion to them would be to put a simple thin colored band around the bottles somewhere so that you could easily identify them without reading the text on them. That and maybe a transparent sliver in the brown containers so that you can tell when you're running out. Sucks to have to reorder after the well has run dry.

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March 14, 2008

Review of Mensgroom Daily Defender Moisturizer

mensgroomdefender.jpgWe interrupt the normally scheduled Celebrity Facial Hair Friday to bring you the fifth entry in our ongoing Mensgroom product review week. Product five - Daily Defender Moisturizer.

Next time you're outside, think on this - Mother Nature and her pals the elements are out to turn your face into something resembling the ass-end of an armadillo. So do yourself a favor and use this cream. Its Mannetake Mushroom, Aloe Vera and Pea Extract let you go outside without fear. And no matter what you do, this stuff won't drip into your eyes. Important for when you're at the beach ogling women.

I liked this stuff a lot. I want to tell you all about it, but you have to promise to keep reading.

Mensgroom Daily Defender is a clear moisturizer in one of the standard Mengroom pump bottles. I used four squirts - one on each finger - every time I applied. Daily Defender's scent reminds me of a swimming pool. KEEP READING! Not the town pool with the town kids. I'm talking the pristine exclusive pool set aside for the rich. Like the pool you'd find on Richard Branson's tropical island that he rents out for like a million dollars a day. And not just any pool on that island. The one Sir Richard keeps to himself. How would I know what that pool smells like? Good question. One I'm not going to answer.

So again, I really liked this stuff. I think it makes your skin feel a little tacky for the first hour, but I also noticed that my skin was significantly less oily at the end of the day. That's huge for me. Exxon Mobile has expressed interest in my face.

Mensgroom Daily Defender Moisturizer is $40 for a 3.4 oz / 100 ml bottle. "Lasts for 12 hours straight. Or about the same amount of time a trucker goes between pee breaks." Actually I happen to know they... er... never mind.

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March 13, 2008

Review of Mensgroom Be Cleansed My Son Facial Cleanser

mensgroomson.jpgDay four in our ongoing Mensgroom review week. Today we're looking at Mensgroom's Be Cleansed My Son facial cleanser, an excellent way to clean your face as well as wash away your sins.

Does more in 5 minutes than most government employees do all day. Formulated with Mannetake Mushroom and Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, this mild cleanser reduces the appearance of fine lines, improves skin firmness and counteracts irritating skin conditions. So take that irritating skin conditions!

I wonder if the solution to government productivity is Mannetake Mushrooms. Couldn't hurt.

Anyway, not much to say on Be Cleansed My Son other than the stuff is good. Mild, pleasant scent. Washes off easily. Doesn't overdry your skin. If you're considering checking out the Mensgroom line of facial products, add it to your cart. You won't be sorry.

Be Cleansed My Son is in the same style bottle as Soothe the Shaven Beast, which means you'll want to pick it up and tilt it to squirt some into your hands. I typically used six or seven squirts. The squirts are small.

Mensgroom Be Cleansed My Son facial cleanser is $20 for a 3.4 oz / 100 ml bottle. "Designed specifically for guys. Hence the short directions in the box." Thanks. As a guy I appreciate that.

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