January 9, 2007

Review of aMENity Shave Cream

shaveCream.jpgIt's shaving time! Time to lather up. Or not. aMENity Shave Cream is actually a "non-lathering" shaving cream, which means that the squirt in your hand pretty much looks like the stuff on your face. aMENity Shave Cream is a loose, white liquid which easily goes on the skin but doesn't really work itself into a bubbly foam. It's not thick, which is nice since you can still see most of your skin if you're trying to retain some highly manicured facial sculptures. And if you're into shaving brushes, aMENity Shave Cream works well with those too. You'll get an ultra uniform coating with a brush.

aMENity Shave Cream's secret ingredient is PRO-FORM 6™, and before you chime in with the answer Mr. Smarty-Pants, no, it's not the agency that Sydney Bristow worked for in season one of Alias. PRO-FORM 6™ is aMENity's patent-pending formulation of Willow Bark Extract, Provitamin B5 Panthenol, Bisabolol, Hyaluronic Acid, Rutin, Lipsomal Vitamins A,C & E. "Each Amenity product features PRO-FORM 6 complex ingredients in a ratio blend specific to the product's function." I'm pretty sure even Milo Rambaldi himself couldn't have come up with anything nearly as good.

I don't know if it's the PRO-FORM 6™ or any of the other ingredients like Kava Kava in aMENity Shave Cream, but the stuff smells vaguely of beer. Maybe more like the barley or hops part of beer, but to my nose at least, definitely some fermented alcoholic beverage. And really, what's smells better to a guy than beer? Seriously, you gotta smell this stuff. It's nice and subtle. You won't reek of a frat party, but you will enjoy it.

The shave with aMENity Shave Cream is very good. Little or no nicks or cuts in the month I was using it. Not too much gunk in my razor after each stroke. Enough lubrication on my face if I wanted to take a second pass. No ingrown hairs. My one and only complaint was that you have to open the tube with the cap facing upward. Otherwise the stuff squirts out and you end up with a dollop of shaving cream in the bottom portion of the cap. No biggie. Just remember to turn the tube upside down before opening it.

aMENity Shave Cream is $25 for a 5.5 oz. (150g.) tube. Another great product in a great line of men's grooming products.

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

January 8, 2007

Review of aMENity Gel Face Cleanser

gelFaceCleanser.jpgWelcome to aMENity review week! Five days, five products, five ways to improve your shave. We've been using aMENity products for about a month now and it's report card time. Please have this signed by your parents and bring it in tomorrow.

As you may recall, aMENity launched a revamped line of men's care products in the second half of last year. New look, new packaging, new formulations. We were fortunate enough to receive their Gel Face Cleanser (pictured, right), Shave Cream, After Shave & Face Moisturizer, Anti-Breakout Gel, and The Balm.

Today we're going to focus on Gel Face Cleanser. First thing you'll notice is the pump top. Love it. One squirt and you've got exactly the right amount. Genius. All products should come in pump tops.

aMENity's Gel Face Cleanser is completely clear, but when you work it into your skin it foams up into a nice light lather. The cleanser is the right level of mild yet effective and never left my face feeling too dry like soap. aMENity's face cleanser is fragrance free, but to me it has a very slight fermented smell, which I found very pleasing. Never smelled a product quite like this.

I always like it when products come with instructions, and aMENity has an instructions link on each of their products' pages. Click over to the Gel Face Cleanser page and then click on the red "Instructions" image on the right. I have to admit that I didn't always follow the instructions to the letter, but I thought the results were great. The cleanser went on easily, and more importantly washed off easily. Several cleanser's we've tried before work great but leave your face with a slight filmy slickness which won't wash off. Not so with aMENity.

aMENity Gel Face Cleanser is $27 for a 3.25 oz. (90g.) pump. Tomorrow we shave!

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

January 4, 2007

Quick Review of California North

razor_shave_thmb.jpgAs we mentioned last month, we got a bunch of samples in from Foreman, including several from a men's grooming line called California North. First, a history lesson:

The line was specifically designed to serve active men who were exposed to the rough outdoor climates of Northern California. The demanding tests on mountain climbers, mountain bikers, and sailors helped to define the function, ingredients, and quality of our products -- all of which help counteract the visual effects of sun damage, aging, environmental, and other life-style factors.

aftshvcr_4_thmb.jpgWell, I didn't spend the day mountain climbing, but I did spend Christmas with my in-laws, which by some accounts is equally as demanding. (Note to my in-laws: I'm kidding.) To prep I shampooed with Sea Blast Shampoo and followed it up with Watermint Conditioner. The shampoo smelled great. Conditioner was a little minty. Then again, it is "watermint".

It was a tough shave since I didn't have home-court advantage, but the Razor Shavecream performed admirably. And the Aftershave Care had a pleasing, lemony citrus finish. I only got one shave from these samples so I can't give you a full review, but at first blush California Northern products seem great.

Foreman sells a wide variety of California Northern products. Definitely worth trying.

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

December 19, 2006

Last Minute Deals from ZIRH and Skin Store

zirh.gifZIRH has a bunch of ideas for the last minute shopper. Click on over to their Holiday Gift Center for some inspiration. Also, spend at least $49 at ZIRH and get free 2-day shipping. Offer expires this Wednesday 12/21/06, but if you make your purchase by then your gift will arrive in time for Christmas. Use promotion code "freebar" when you check out and get a free holiday body bar as well.

Also, Skin Store is offering free next-day Fedex shipping on orders over $125. Details are here. This offer also ends tomorrow (Wednesday), so snap it up if you're still a gift or two short. Don't miss the 10% off coupon code "GIFT10R" when you check out.

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

December 18, 2006

This Just In - Brave Soldier

braveSoldier.jpgGot a bunch of Brave Soldier products in from Details for Men - Brave Shave ($15), Shower Shave ($17), and Code Blue ($18). Shower Shave? Yep. This is the first product we've gotten in for review specifically designed for people who shave in the shower. Supposedly it works great for men and women, and for wet/dry electric razors. Fascinating. Can't wait to try it out.

Brave Soldier's first product was Antiseptic Healing Ointment ($12), designed for athletes who needed to treat scrapes, cuts, and bruises from their occasional missteps. From there they expanded into a whole line of men's grooming products aimed at those with an active lifestyle.

Brave Soldier is specially formulated for those who demand the best. Because we believe that bravery takes many forms, we strive to serve not only the skin care needs of hard core sports enthusiasts like adventure racers, pro cyclists, rock climbers and x-gamers, but also the folks who blend a work week with a little rollerblading, jogging, or enjoying a ride along the bike path.

Nice. I like to do about an hour of Parkour in the morning before I shave. All the kids are doing it. I need an x-treme skin care system for my x-treme workout. Shaving with Mountain Dew just wasn't cutting it.

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

December 13, 2006

Adrian Grenier Likes ZIRH. Shouldn't You?

grenier.jpgA while back we blogged about Jerry Ferrara - aka "Turtle" on Entourage, and his use of ZIRH products. Turns out he's not the only cast-member who likes that brand. Sources close to the production inform us that Adrian "Vince" Grenier is also a fan. (Sources = ZIRH email and website). Adrian uses PREPARE shave oil as well as DEFEND SPF 15 Face Moisturizer.

We reviewed ZIRH products at the end of the summer and found them to be top notch. We also recommended any of the ZIRH gift sets in our recent gift guide if you're looking to upgrade someone this holiday season to the finer things in life. And don't forget - ShavingStuff readers can get 12% off orders of $40 or more between now and the end of the year at ZIRH.com when entering the coupon code 'ShavingStuff' at checkout.

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

December 12, 2006

Review of REN Tamanu Shaving Oil and Multi-Vitamin Aftershave Balm

renShavingOil.gifFor the past couple weeks we've been shaving with products from REN, courtesy of Details for Men. The first thing you'll notice about REN is the cool packaging. Clear plastic cylinders with pump tops - seals the contents inside so they don't oxidize; provides a clean and easy way to get a small amount out. Also, fits easily into a travel bag. Genius. Why can't more products be packaged like this?

Let's start with REN Tamanu High Glide Shaving Oil. Can I just say was a pleasure it's been to shave with a clear product again? Guys - if you're using a white thick foam and can't see your skin under your shaving cream, come on over to the light side. REN goes on clear. It has a slight beige tint which allows you to see what parts of your face you've covered and what you've missed, but you see all your skin in all its glory. Trying to maintain a goatee? No problem. Got a trouble spot you always nick yourself on? Steer clear. Great shave. No mess. No gunking up your razor.

REN has a commitment to using high quality natural ingredients. Even items which sound foreign and chemical have their source sited. Butyrospermum Parkll?!? Oh, that's Shea Butter. Cetaearyl Glucoside?!? Ah, that's from corn. I love corn. Corn is nice.

REN Tamanu High Glide Shaving Oil is £15 at REN's website. Why anyone would want a 15 pound bottle of shaving cream is beyond me. I suggest you click on over to Details for Men and buy the $28/1.7 ounce version. Much easier to handle.

renAftershave.gifNext up is REN Multi-Vitamin Soothing Aftershave Balm. True to REN's natural ingredient commitment, this aftershave contains "no Petrochemicals, Sulfates, Parabens, Synthetic Fragrance, Synthetics Colors, TEA, DEA, Glycols, Silicones, & PEGS." ShavingStuff wife was all over this stuff. She's using it, and she's insisting that I use it. REN aftershave balm has a pleasing mild floral scent. It almost reminds me of lavender, but I could be picking the wrong flower here. Anyway, not meant for dad. Meant for you. Again, love the pump top. Your skin will drink this up. £19.50 from REN's website. $45 from Details for Men.

We highly recommend REN products for all types of shaves, shavers, and skin-types.

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

December 8, 2006

This Just In - Urth

UrthPerfectTravelKit.gif
Our friends at Details for Men sent over another shaving kit they recommend - the Urth Perfect Travel Kit, which features:
  • Face Wash, 2 oz
  • Shave Formula, 2 oz
  • Face Balm SPF 15, 2 oz
  • Face Scrub, 2 oz
  • Mesh Travel Bag for easy storage

First of all - face balm with SPF 15. Excellent. Even in the winter. Ever get sunburned from light reflected off snow? Not fun. Plus, your face is drier in the cold. Second - White Tea. Ever smelled it? Heavenly. I swear you could get rid of every other scent in the world besides white tea and I'd be fine. I can't wait to try this product line out.

From the Urth website:

We have perfected our formulations using the best-of-class ancient Asian herbs, pure essential oils, vitamins and phyto-nutrients. At urth, our focus is on efficacy, we infuse key active ingredients in our products that are vital in helping protect a man's skin from damage caused by the environment and the stress of daily life. Our formulations are light and clean in aroma, non-greasy and leave the skin looking fresh and healthy throughout the day.

Score one for yourself or a loved one at Details for Men for only $59. Tack on a free B. Kamins Sea Protein Foaming Cleanser with any order over $50 and you've got yourself a deal. Plus choose your own free sample.

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

December 7, 2006

Foreman(.com) - Manage the Mind and Body

Here's another men's grooming and shaving website which is worth a look - Foreman.

Many guys want to look good, but they want to streamline the process of getting there. Instead of sorting through every product available they would rather get right to the best. The Foreman concept was developed by a couple guys and a girl (just to get that female perspective) to achieve that very goal. [...] We do the testing and provide only the highest quality products for a man’s daily regimen.

Hallelujah. Nothing worse than reading tons and tons of opinions, only to be more confused than when you started. (Hmm... maybe I should condense some of the posts on this site.) Anyway, Formen offers quality brands like Jack Black, bullie, Anthony Logistics for Men, and The Art of Shaving. They've also got you covered in areas like face, sun, and tools. If you're still into the Mach3, check out their selection of eShave 3 Blades Razors with cool translucent handles. Are those from the future?

If you're in a pinch this holiday season, check out Foreman's kits and gifts page for some great suggestions at reasonable prices.

Finally, check out the Grooming Tips section of the site too. Clear and concise articles on all topics including shaving, face, hair, and fashion. And when no one else is looking, scroll down to the "Sensitive Subjects" section and read every single entry. If any of these apply to you, remedy the situation immediately. Don't worry, they've got recommended products ready to go.

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

December 6, 2006

This Just In - Ikhala

ikhala.jpgKevin Jackson at the Chicago store Manifold was kind enough to write us about the Mustache's For Kids charity event going on in Chicago this month. He also sent us two products from Ikhala, which he describes as "a luxury skin care line developed specifically for men of African descent."

Some background on Ikhala:

IKHALA was formed as a co-operative to include marginalised rural communities, create employment and income generation in this economically impoverished region. The primary aim is to empower the local Aloe ferox harvesters in a partnership and share-ownership of the business on a sustainable level. A percentage of all sales of IKHALA FOR MEN is returned to these communities for further development and the improvement of their livelihoods. [...] IKHALA FOR MEN is manufactured as a committed response to the South African Government’s Poverty Relief Programme

Wow. That's really fantastic.

We'll be putting Ikhala's Shaving Gel ($14) and Smooth Face Scrub ($18) to the ShavingStuff test soon. In the meantime, click on over to ManifoldStore.com for a wide array of men's grooming products including the full line from Ikhala.

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

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