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 sharpsusa.com. 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 14, 2008

The Groom Mate Platinum XL Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer

groomMatePlatinum.jpgAre you one of those eco-friendly save-the-whales old-school shavers? Really? Nice to meet you.

If you're living off the grid, or simply have an aversion to batteries, check out the Groom Mate Platinum XL Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer. Made from "the finest corrosion-proof stainless steel" and crafted right here in the good old US of A, the Groom Mate is your best manual mechanical option.

GroomMateInHand.jpgAt 2.6 inches, this thing is pretty darn small. Click on the picture to the right to see an enlarged view. Still pretty small. Great for throwing in a travel bag, although I have no idea what the TSA will make of it. Just tell them it's a laptop accessory... that you like to keep in your dopp kit.

The Groom Mate Platinum XL Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer is $19.88 at Amazon. Also at Amazon are 122 customer reviews, which are worth reading if you're ordering one. Different techniques work better for different people. It's worth a quick look to learn from their experiences.

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March 20, 2008

$2.95 Shipping at BuzzSkin.com

buzzskinshipping.jpgQuick shout out to my buddies over at BuzzSkin.com, who are running a shipping special for the rest of the month of March. FedEx ground shipping is only $2.95 for all orders under $75.

But wait! What if my order is over $75?!?

Relax kid. Just split it into two. Kidding. Orders over $75 continue to be free.

So stock up on all the cool brands like Billy Jealousy, MenScience, Baxter of California, Jack Black, and more.

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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 12, 2008

Review of Mensgroom Scrubbed the Right Way Facial Scrub

mensgroomscrubbed.jpgDay three of our Mensgroom safari brings us to the Fisherman's Wharf section of San Francisco. Ever been there? Total tourist trap. Fried dough carts. Ripley's Believe or Not "museum". And mimes.

Much like those mimes you see on the street, dead skin cells should be dealt with extreme prejudice. Do the job with this special scrub. It's formulated with Tea Tree Leaves for a polite, yet firm exfoliation. Use it just thrice weekly, preferably before you shave. Then go around work saying 'thrice' until everyone gets really annoyed. It's a blast!

Hold on. This is the thrice product we've reviewed from Mensgroom, and it's missing a distinctly defining ingredient. Are you telling me we've found a Mensgroom product without shrooms?

Aloe Vera and Mushroom Extract are added to soothe, calm and moisturise the skin.

Phew! Had to click into the What Makes This Product Extra Awesome link to see the mushrooms. But they're there!

superball.jpgMensgroom Scrubbed the Right Way Facial Scrub is one of the gentlest exfoliants I've used. Scrubs tend to have course or fine grit. Mensgroom's is mostly a thick gel with some sort of flecks. Might be tea tree leaf powder. Not sure. Frankly it looks like the stuff they make superballs out of. I'm tempted to leave some in a round mold and see what happens.

I'm never sure about exfoliants, but every line of men's grooming products has one, and women have been using them long before men. I assume that some smart people probably think it's a good idea. Or that we've succumbed to some sort of circular peer pressure ring. Who knows.

Mensgroom Scrubbed the Right Way Facial Scrub is $20 for a 3.4 oz / 100 ml tube. "Use just three times a week. Like Monday, Wednesday and Friday." Easy.

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February 27, 2008

Tea Bag the Red Away

teabag.jpgWondering what to do with that tea bag? Here in Boston we still dream about throwing it in the harbor and having a party. But maybe we ought to check out Gomestic's 15 wonderful uses for a tea bag. Wonderful use number one - "Apply a wet tea bag on the razor burn to reduce the pain." Ahh! That's a much better use. Can we still party?

This link actually came from this Lifehacker post. There are a the usual tea-bag jokes you'd expect in the comments, however this one from Ann-Marie is worth mentioning:

Try green tea bags if you want to ease redness. It stocked with anti-oxidants and can be great for irritated skin. A word of caution though -- green tea (and other teas for that matter) can stain clothing, towels, even countertops.

Another great treatment for razor burn is Witch Hazel. It's also full of anti-oxidants and has a lot of soothing properties. Try to get the pure stuff -- the filler will work against you.

Good advice.

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February 26, 2008

The Gentlemen's Refinery Introduces Unscented After Shave

gr_unscented_after.gifJust got word that The Gentlemen's Refinery has introduced a new Unscented After Shave "Designed For Those With Skin and or Scent Sensitivities". Now I understand skin sensitivities, but scent sensitivities? What's that? Like, hey, this smells like crap! I'm sensitive to it.

Thing is, Gentlemen's Refinery products smell great. Aside from being among the finest shaving products we've ever used, they are also among the finest smelling shaving products we've used. But who knows. Maybe they got feedback from a couple of nasally challenge complainers. Whatever. I haven't used their new unscented after shave, but based on our past experience with Gentlemen's Refinery's "The Standard" After Shave Balm, I have no doubt it will rock.

The Gentlemen's Refinery Unscented After Shave Balm is $40 for a 3.4 Ounces/100 ml.

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February 4, 2008

Valentine's Day Offers from Best4Men

best4men.jpgValentine's Day is fast approaching, so if you've got a man who's in need of some quality shaving supplies, check out this this offer from Best4Men, especially if you've got a loved-one in the military:

Thank you for making 2007 our best year ever. To express our gratitude, we are extending an exclusive online offer through February 14, Valentine's Day. Use discount code Val08 to get 10% off any order of $25 or more. We especially want to thank all the men and women in the Armed Forces. Use discount code Mil08 and take 20% off any purchase $40 or more if your order is shipped to a US military installation anywhere in the world.

Best4Men doesn't have a huge selection - just the products they've deemed to be the best in each category. Oh, they have Billy Jealousy for shaving cream? Yup, we'd have to agree.

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January 29, 2008

Review of The Art of Shaving - Unscented After-Shave Balm

taofAfterShave.gifIf you're just joining us, we've layer some pre-shave oil on our face, shaved with unscented shaving cream, and even rubbed a rock on our face. We're finally ready to apply after-shave.

Formulated with grapeseed extract, shea butter and vitamin C, it moisturizes, rejuvenates and revitalizes to promote healthy skin. After-Shave Balm is recommended for normal, sensitive and dry skin. Antiseptic and alcohol-free.

I loved The Art of Shaving's Unscented After-Shave Balm. Went on smooth and easily, and helped my skin recovery from the radiation fallout of my Gillette Fusion Power. Very little scent, although it vaguely reminded me of some vanilla soy milk I tried at Whole Foods.

I'm going to complain about one thing here, and it's a nit. As much as I love the thick glass bottle, it's not the greatest choice for dispensing the after-shave. A squeeze tube would be better. Instead you're left thwacking the bottle against your palm to get an unpredictable amount. I often end up with a little too much after-shave on my hands.

That said, The Art of Shaving's Unscented line receives a big thumbs up from us. They had a high bar to hit, and they cleared it. If you're interested in taking your shave to a new level, you will not be disappointed.

The Art of Shaving's Unscented After-Shave Balm is $38 for a 4 ounce bottle.

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January 28, 2008

Review of The Art of Shaving - Alum Block

alumBlock.jpgSo we've thrown some pre-shave oil and shaving cream on our face, we've shaved, and now we're ready to soothe our skin with some after-shave balm. Slow down tiger! Don't you want to rub a rock across your face?

That's right. A rock. The Art of Shaving's Alum Block is a quartz-like block of alum whose "antiseptic properties calm razor burn and soothe irritations, and help stop bleeding in the event of a nick or cut." And guess what. It kind of works. Well, at least it definitely stops the bleeding of a minor nick or cut. I don't usually get razor burn, so I couldn't easily verify that, but there's no question that rubbing this rock over your freshly shaven skin will seal up any little cut you might have gotten. And it doesn't sting.

After shaving, moisten stone with cold water and rub it gently on abrasion or cut. For minor cuts, moisten stone with cold water and hold it over cut for a few seconds until bleeding stops.

This got me thinking - would any rock due? Now I took science in high school. Four years of science. I think one of those years was earth science. Heck I'm practically a scientist. So I went out back, dug in the earth, found a nice looking flat rock, and rubbed it on my face. Guess what. Hurt like a mo@*&!!%*#er.

So the real questions to me are - who in their right mind was the first person to think that rubbing a rock on your face might be helpful, and who was the first person to realize that it actually was? I'm guessing it was probably one of the Rockefellers. Those guys are smart.

Anyway, if you get a bunch of nicks and cuts from shaving, switch to The Art of Shaving products, and stop trying to get 30 shaves out of your disposable razor. If you can't do that, get an Alum Block and rub it over your face.

The Art of Shaving's Alum Block is $15 for a 4.4 ounce block.

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