December 12, 2007

Review of L'Occitane Cade After Shave Balm

cadeAfterShave.gifYesterday we shaved with L'Occitane Cade Shaving Cream, today we're sealing the deal with L'Occitane Cade After Shave Balm.

Continuing the hyperbole from yesterday, here's how L'Occitane describes their Cade After Shave Balm:

Redefines after-shave comfort. Extraordinary blend of Shea Butter and birchwood sap extract helps resist redness, razor burn and feelings of tightness. Our signature Cade complex of juniper, sandalwood, Immortelle and rosemary essential oils purify skin to clean and soothe nicks and breakouts. Light and fluid texture quickly absorbs without a trace of tackiness.

Birchwood sap extract? Immortelle? (The latter is a flower. Had to look it up.)

So I'm sure some people really like this stuff, but it kind of stung, particularly above my lips where my skin is a little raw from blowing my nose. I'm a sensitive man. Lords knows if there's a pea under my mattress I'll wake up all black and blue. But this stuff wasn't my favorite. As an after shave balm it works great. Just wish I didn't have a reaction to it. Your mileage may vary. If you see a tester at a store, try some out. Maybe it's for you.

L'Occitane Cade After Shave Balm is $28 for a 2.5oz / 75 ml tube.

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

November 14, 2007

Review of Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel

jackBlackCoolingGel.gifYesterday we took a look at the shave with Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave Cream. Today we're cooling down with Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel. While the shave was solidly decent, Jack Black after-shave scores a home run.

Firstly - scent. Highlighted by aloe, sage, and predominantly lavender, Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel has a pleasing aroma without being overpowering or flowery. Reminds me of a fine digestif paired with a sweet dessert.

Secondly - viscous. Slightly thicker than most post-shave creams and gels we've tried, which in my usage led to better coverage and less dry skin. Still a light gel, but with some substance.

Thirdly - absorptive. Nothing worse than a cream which won't sink into your skin. Not a problem here. Despite being thicker than most, Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel has no problem diving right in and helping to heal than nasty scraping blade.

No question here. This stuff is a winner. Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel is $17 for a 3.3oz container.

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

November 13, 2007

Review of Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave Cream

jackBlackCream.gifBeen alternating shaves between the Braun Pulsonic and Jack Black products. Last week we devoted a few days to the Pulsonic. This week we'll do the same for Jack.

Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave Cream is three products in one - a pre-shave oil, shave cream, and facial skin treatment. Despite it's numerous roles it still manages to be a clear, lightweight cream without any added fragrances. I'm always a fan of clear shaving cream, especially if you have facial hair you're trying to preserve. Nothing like a big foamy mess to ruin your lines.

While I've generally been impressed with the other products I've tried from Jack Black, their shave cream didn't make it to the superior list. It's solidly in the "good" camp. In fact if you're shaving with drugstore shaving cream, this would be a good brand to switch to. But it's not among the best. Nicks and cuts were at a minimum, but the closeness of the shave was the issue. For some reason Beard Lube didn't have the magic juju to lift up my troublesome hairs. I usually ended up reapplying and doing a second pass.

That said, I thought Beard Lube has a pleasing scent. Again, it's lightweight so it goes on easily and doesn't gunk up your razor. And it's got tons of natural ingredients in it like macadamia nut oil, jojoba oil, peppermint, eucalyptus, menthol, and heather. You could probably cast a spell with it.

Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave Cream is $15 for a 6oz. tube.

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

October 25, 2007

Review of Jack Black All Over Wash

jackBlackShampoo.gifBeen using Jack Black All Over Wash for the past few weeks. It's a combination shampoo, face, and body wash. I've really only used it for the first two. Still like my bar of soap for the rest of my body. But here's the thing - morning is all about efficiency for me. So now I shampoo up my hair, use the lather to wash my face, rinse my whole head at once. Quick. Efficient. Genius!

This is the ultimate guy product--one product that does the job of three. Mild cleansers are pH balanced and gentle enough for face, hair and body. They work to get the rid of dirt and sweat without stripping skin and hair of essential moisture that keeps them looking healthy. Provides loads of thick, rich lather while special botanicals give a fresh scent without being too fragranced or heavy.

Jack Black All Over Wash is $14 for a 6oz tube.

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

October 11, 2007

Billy Jealousy Combination Code Face Moisturizer

ccode1.jpgBilly's hit another home run with the Billy Jealousy Combination Code Face Moisturizer. Got a little dry skin? Or maybe you want to re-hydrate after you've washed that that T-zone. Guess what? Combination Code has Green Tea. Perfect for T-zones.

GREEN TEA, CHAMOMILE & CALENDULA: Antioxidants; help protect the skin from environmental and endogenous damages

Funny side note: You know how they say "tea" in French? "the" With a little accent thingy. Must be impossible to search for tea on the Internet if you're French.

Billy Jealousy Combination Code Face Moisturizer has a pleasing scent. I can definitely smell the green tea, with subtle floral and citrus hints behind it. Also, it's thicker than most facial moisturizers I've tried, which I like. You need less of it to cover your face, and I think the extra thickness will be great for the winter when your skin is a little drier.

Billy Jealousy Combination Code Face Moisturizer is $26 for a 3.5oz tube.

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

October 10, 2007

Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Cleanser

jackBlackCleanser.gifSage is the rage. If you're a foodie, you'll know what I mean. Not too long ago fried sage leaves started showing up high-end restaurants, magazines, and cooking shows. There are tons of recipes online if you're an aspiring chef. And it's not too hard to make.

Why am I talking about sage? Because Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Cleanser with Aloe and Sage Leaf really smells like sage. Not overwhelmingly like sage, but enough that if you closed your eyes and took a sniff, you'd be reminded of that amazing meal you had the other week which featured, you guessed it, fried sage leaves.

What benefit does sage have for your face? I have no idea. Here's what the experts at Jack Black have to say:

Oat and coconut derived, sulfate-free surfactants gently but effectively cleanse the skin. Witch Hazel acts as a natural astringent with soothing properties. Certified Organic Sage Leaf and Rosemary provide antibacterial and healing benefits. Certified Organic Chamomile and Aloe Leaf help soothe and reduce redness.

Me? All I know is that I've been using it for the last couple weeks and really like it. Leaves my face clean and doesn't dry it out. Love the smell. Washes off easily. Can't ask for more in a daily facial cleanser.

Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Cleanser is $18.00 for a 6 oz. tube.

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

October 2, 2007

The Braun Pulsonic Unboxing

Normally I cheerfully deride the ritual "unboxing" post on consumer-goods blogs. "Ooo! Look. I'm the first person to get an iPhone and take it out of the box." Good for you.

But now, with foot squarely planted in mouth, I present to you the unboxing of the new Braun Pulsonic:

What's the first thing you notice? It's in a box! Yes, that's right. None of that confounding indestructible plastic to wrestle with. Just slide the inner box out of the outer shell, and you're on to step 2.

Oh! Look inside. There's lots of stuff neatly displayed. The shaver. The self-cleaning based. Cleaning fluid. Instruction. Oh no... plastic! Dammit! How am I going to get that razor out of there?

What's this? A simple instruction on how to pop the plastic open? Push these four black dots in and... lo and behold...

The razor is free! And I barely had to struggle.

More to come...

The Braun Pulsonic is currently $233.90 at Amazon.

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

September 10, 2007

Review of Musgo Real After Shave Balm

musgoRealAfterShave.gifThe final product we reviewed from Musgo Real was their After Shave Balm. In general the balm worked well after shaving - helping my skin recover from hot water and a sharp blade. I have no complaints there. However I wasn't thrilled with the scent. Musgo Real After Shave Balm is definitely designed for an older generation. I could imagine my grandfather wearing something like this, and I suppose it makes sense since this brand was resurrected based on a cologne which was popular in the '60s and '70s. Think distinguished gentleman emerging from a barber shop. It's not a bad smell. Just not for me.

The second issue I had was with the packaging. The flask-shaped glass bottle works will for Musgo Real's Pre Shave Oil, which pours out easily, but not as well with the balm, which is more viscous. I love the old-school design, but when you get more than half way through the bottle you're really going to want a squeezable plastic container.

Musgo Real After Shave Balm is $22 for a 3.33oz bottle.

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

September 7, 2007

Review of Musgo Real Pre Shave Oil

musgoPreShaveOil.gifWe're doing things a little backwards here. Yesterday we wrote about Musgo Real Glycerine Lime Oil Soap and today we're going to talk about Musgo Real Pre Shave Oil. When you shave you'll use the oil first and then the soap. Mixing things up! Making sure everyone is still awake.

Musgo Real Pre Shave Oil comes in a glass bottle with a design reminiscent of the early part of the last century. Kind of reminds me of a flask you might stash in your overcoat for a cold night. The oil comes out easily (perhaps a little too easily). A small amount is all that is needed to cover your entire shaving area. I must say, after using products from Gentlemen's Refinery I've become a fan of the layer of pre-shave oil followed by a layer of cream.

Once you're lubed up it's time for the Glycerine Lime Oil Soap which we talked about yesterday. One thing I didn't mention yesterday was that when I was spreading a lathered up Glycerine Lime Oil Soap with my shaving brush, I'd invariably get some in my ears. The lather, made up of tiny soap bubbles, would start popping, and for the next 60 seconds I'd listen to a loud snap-crackle-pop of Rice Krispies. Funny the first time. Kind of annoying after that.

The overall shave was decent. Not the best I'd had, but not the worst. Very little irritation or cuts, but just not the closest. I imagine old-school jedi-shave masters might do the second pass against the grain, but in the morning I often need to shave and then move on. I'm curious to know what other people's experience with these shaving products is. I think I may be a little too amateur to appreciate them, and I wouldn't be surprised that some straight-razor shavers swear by this stuff. For me, I'll probably stick with something a little more modern.

Musgo Real Pre Shave Oil is $22 for a 3.33oz bottle.

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

September 6, 2007

Review of Musgo Real Glycerine Lime Oil Soap

musgoRealSoap.gifBeen shaving with products from Musgo Real courtesy of our friends at Details for Men. A quick refresher - these are Portuguese shaving products based on a 1920s cologne. These are also a more old-school shaving style than I've been used to - bar of shaving soap to be applied with a brush.

The large rustic bar is made especially for cleaning the face before shaving. Glyce contains lime oil to refresh the face, castor oil to soak and soften whiskers before shaving, and a trace of alcohol to remove the dirt which restricts razor glide.

Now I know some of you readers are masters of the blade and brush, but the rest of us are happy for the modern day convenience of cream and cartridge. Here's my first question - what do I do with this bar of soap? I could put it in a mug. I could put it in a bowl. In fact I've done both of these. But from my research, you want to put your soap in a container with a lot of drainage.

Next question - what if the bar of soap doesn't fit? More research suggests you can melt the soap by applying gentle heat (like on a stove) and then pour it into your container of choice. Really? Look, my time is valuable. I barely have time to heat up a bowl of soup at night. Last thing I want to do is prep my shaving cream.

Whatever method you go with, the next step is to wet your brush and swirl it around to work a little soap into it. This may take longer than expected, especially if it's the first few times you've used the soap. I will say this - in the end you use a surprisingly small amount of soap to cover your face. This bar is going to last a long, long time.

Tomorrow we'll talk about Musgo Real's shaving oil in conjunction with the soap, and the shave itself.

Musgo Real Glycerine Lime Oil Soap is $6 for a 5.8oz bar.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

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