December 3, 2009

Review of Miessence Organic Shaving Products

miessenceshavegel.jpgThere's a lot of choices for personal care and shaving products these days, but not so much for the natural and organic crowd.

If you are one of those people (like me) who cares about the ingredients of the stuff you put on your skin, you might want to check out the miessence® line.

The folks over at Ely Organics sent me samples of their shave gel and after shave balm to try out, and here's my take on them:

The miessence® certified organic shave gel is a very light shave gel, and the ingredients are formulated for sensitive skin - with aloe, witch hazel, and a number of other botanicals. When I first tried it, it seemed way too thin to work well, but I quickly got the hang of it by wetting my skin further while shaving (I'm used to thicker gels and creams). On my second shave with it, I applied a little more, and this time, it produced a very slippery surface for my razor (I use a Merkur safety razor). My shave was enjoyable and smooth, and afterward, my skin wasn't irritated at all, as can sometimes happen with other gels.

miesssenceAfterShave.jpgAfter my shave, I applied the miessence® certified organic after shave balm to my face, and that's what really made a difference for me. Some after shave products leave a waxy residue, and I end up having to wash my face again afterward - not so with the miessence® one. It's made with organic chamomile and marshmallow root, organic aloe vera, and witch hazel, along with some very mild smelling essential oils which won't clash with any other scents you may wear.

So, for the 'natural' people, you'd do well to look into the miessence® line of products - they also make shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and a bunch of other personal care products.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

November 20, 2009

Woody's Exfoliating Pre-Shave: A Non-Abrasive Invigorating Cleanser

woodyspreshave.jpgThey say it's a sign of maturity to admit your mistakes, so I'm gonna fess up about one of mine...

When I received some review products from Woody's Grooming, one of the items was the Exfoliating Pre Shave, and I set it aside, thinking "Men don't need any facial cleansers." I went ahead and used and then reviewed the Foaming Shave Gel, which is a solid shaving gel, but didn't try the Pre Shave.

This morning, as I headed for the bathroom, I remembered that I had the Woody's Pre Shave sitting in my cabinet, and decided "What the hell, I'll give it a go." So before shaving, I put a big dab of the Exfoliating Pre Shave on my face and started scrubbing with it. The directions say to leave on your face for 30 to 60 seconds, to let the bromelain (an enzyme from pineapple) go to work, and that part was a little difficult - I'm impatient.

After rinsing it off, I could feel a difference in the texture of my face - definitely smoother and cleaner. I went ahead and shaved with the Foaming Shave Gel, and followed it up with Woody's Rescue Post Shave.

Wow! What a great shave!

For the record, I use a Merkur safety razor, and lately, I've been rocking the Feather blades - they last a long time before dulling, and give a close shave.

I don't know if the Pre Shave was to thank for the smoothness I got this morning, or if it was the combination of all three, but my face is really thankful - no razor burn, no irritation, close shave, and on top of that, I smell great as well. Kudos to Woody's!

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

October 16, 2009

Lucky Tiger's Old-School Style Goes Organic

LuckyTiger.jpgThe Lucky Tiger line of barbershop essentials has been helping our dads and granddads look their best since 1935. The Lucky Tiger brand was the the most popular barbershop brand in the U.S. by 1950, yet few of my generation have even heard of them.

The premium line is now even more desirable for discriminating men, having been reformulated with the highest quality natural and certified organic ingredients. The Lucky Tiger premium products are made with nourishing antioxidants and vitamins for a natural, healthy look, including Aloe Vera, Jojoba, Cucumber, Vitamins A & E, Chamomile, Calendula, Shea Butter, Green Tea, Sage Leaf, Hibiscus, Honey, Polished Green Bamboo and Borage Oil.

A couple of great choices to check out:
Lucky Tiger Essential Grooming Kit
Lucky Tiger Liquid Shave Cream
Lucky Tiger Face Wash

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 14, 2009

Review of Master Shaving Mug Soap

Mastershavingsoap.jpgMaster Well Comb is another of those shaving and hair product companies that have been around a long time, but I had never heard of them until a couple of weeks ago. They've been making hair products and shaving stuff for over 60 years, and they're based out of Illinois.

I got the chance to take the Master Shaving Mug Soap for a test run last week, and although I was kind of skeptical of the quality before lathering up, I ended up appreciating it for what it is - a soap, not a cream - instead of judging against my favorite creams.

The soap lathered up nicely, and it had an interesting scent - it reminded me of old-time barbershops. The shave I got was solid, with no irritated areas or raw patches (I kind of expected it after reading that it was a 'soap', not lubricating like a cream or gel). I did notice the tendency for the soap to dry on my face while shaving, but with a little warm water, it lathered back up immediately.

The company says that the soap has "The masculine scent of Lilac Vegetol", but I didn't catch a whiff of lilac (and I'm not sure what vegetol is. Anyone?). The scent was light and didn't stick around after rinsing, which is something I appreciate.

If you like to shave with a soap instead of a cream, Master Shaving Mug Soap is a good pick, and while I'm probably going to stick with my favorite cream, the Master Shaving Mug Soap is going to stay in my cabinet for when I want something a little different.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 25, 2009

Ingram Shaving Cream: Minty Freshness for Your Face

Ingram.jpgIf you haven't tried Ingram Lather Shaving Cream yet, you're in for a treat! Made in the UK, Ingram has been around since 1932, and this cream is picking up a whole new set of fans with its menthol formulation.

I've been using it for the last week (with my Merkur razor and Feather blades) and have found the shave to be a quality one, with plenty of lubrication and a scent that's sort of old-timey and mellow, with a hint of mint. The cream also contains lanolin, which leaves a soft, smooth finish to your face.

The menthol formula of Ingram really gives an extra something to your shave - a coolness that's very refreshing. The Ingram cream is a little less thick than I'm used to, so I thought I wouldn't get as great a shave with it (due to it not sticking to my face and whiskers), but it works just fine.

If you're looking for something a little different for your shaving cabinet, try Ingram Shaving Cream and get the menthol advantage.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 14, 2009

Review of Barc Shave Cream: Cutting Up (Skin Saving)

barc.jpgWriting for a shaving blog, I get to sample many kinds of shaving creams, some not so good (which I don't tend to give any reviews for) and some that are very good indeed. The hard thing about it is that I need to give them a fair chance, which means using them more than once, and when I do, I'm not using the brands that I really love (like Speick and Cremo and Jack Black).

But... Variety is good, right?

This week, I've been trying out Barc Shave Cream, which has an interesting name for something you don't want to think about when shaving: Cutting Up.

The cream is very thick (which I like), and has no scent whatsoever (which is great for men with sensitive skin). One of the ingredients is Boswellia serrata (Indian Frankincense), which has been used for healthy skin throughout history, as well as being used for arthritis treatment (not sure it will help you in a shaving cream, though).

I liked the quality of the shave I got with Barc, and my Merkur razor glided easily over my face, leaving a close, smooth shave.

I followed it up with Barc Bump Down Razor Bump Relief, which was thick and rich and gave me a tingly sensation right after using it (but it is alcohol free).

"Bump Down is an alcohol-free razor bump repair treatment formulated with glycolic acid and triclosan to help reduce unsightly ingrown hairs and reduce irritation from shaving. Also enriched with chamomile extract and glycerin to calm the skin and leave you hydrated."

My skin was happy with the Barc products, and I believe I'll keep them in my cabinet to use again and again.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 23, 2009

Review: Tom Robinn Shaving Gel and After Shave

TR-2091.07 L.jpgOver the last week, I've been trying out the Tom Robinn Paris Shaving Gel, and to be quite honest, the first two times I shaved with it, I wasn't really jazzed about it. But after a solid week of shaves, I've learned a thing or two about it, and I feel like I can endorse it.

The gel is non-foaming, and rather thick in texture, which is not something I'm used to. My usual is either Cremo or Speick, both of which are lighter and creamier. So what I did to get the best shave for myself was to mix in a little water with the Tom Robinn Shaving Gel. Once I did that, I was happy with the results. The gel is also clear, which made it a bit different for me - at first I couldn't see where I had shaved - but I got the hang of it pretty quickly.

"The benefit of our ingredients to you are: - Aloe Vera Extract: is used to calm irritations and inflammations. It stimulates skin cell growth and possesses moistening properties. It is a smoothing agent. - Sweet Almond Oil: lipids regulate water flow through epidermis and help skin's balance. It moisturises and protects epidermis. - Glycerin: makes skin suppler, smoother allowing a comfortable shave."

After my shave, I used the Tom Robinn After-Shave Gel, which I really enjoyed. It's alcohol-free and non-greasy, and soothed my skin with its aloe, almond oil, and ginseng formula.

Both of these Tom Robinn products also have a great scent - not too strong, but with a complex 'flavor'. If you haven't tried any of the Tom Robinn line, I think they're well worth it.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 28, 2009

Free Shaving Cream from Kiehl's


"Just go to Kiehl's with your old shaving cream can, and they will swap it out with a new 5.0oz Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream."

Offer is good until June 7th.

To find a Kiehl's near you, try the Kiehl's store locator.

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 21, 2009

Do It Yourself Shaving Cream Recipe

Shavingcream3.jpgIf you're a DIY type, or just want a cheaper or cleaner version of shaving cream, try making your own with this recipe from the folks at Planet Green:

Here's what you'll need: 1/2 teaspoon of sunflower oil 1/4 cup of unscented glycerin soap Double boiler A cup or mug for the cream

Here's what you'll do:

1. In your double boiler, melt chunks of the glycerin soap.

2. Stir in the sunflower oil.

3. Move the mixture into a mug as soon as all of the glycerin chunks are melted.

This formula will set quickly. When you need to shave, simply work water against the soap until a lather builds and use it the same way you would regular shaving cream.

Image: asobitsuchiya at Flickr

Derek Markham at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

January 26, 2009

Review of Cremo Cream Shaving Cream

creamocream.JPGMy New Years resolution - get a better shave without breaking the bank. It's recession time, people. And while it may have taken a couple extra months for the federal government to admit it, the average joe has known to watch his wallet for a long time now. That's why I'm psyched to have found Cremo Cream, a shaving cream which ranks among the best, and costs among the least. At $8 for a 6oz tube, Cremo Cream is by far the best shave for the shekel, the best bang for the buck.

If you remember back in December when we first got Cremo Cream in, creator Mike Boone had set out to make a different type of shaving cream, one that wasn't mostly air. He was on to something. Cremo Cream shaves like the high end brands we've come to know and love. I'd put this shaving cream up to the likes of The Art of Shaving, Gentlemen's Refinery, or Billy Jealousy. Super close shave with nary a nick or cut to mention.

Cremo Cream is a white cream with smooths on easily and doesn't gunk up your razor. The tube suggest you use an "almond-sized" amount, but I typically weighed in at the pecan or walnut level. Regardless, this isn't one of those "use generously" shaving creams. One tube is supposed to last 60 days, and I think that'll come close to being true.

The only place Cremo Cream falls short when compared to the high-end brands is scent. There's absolutely nothing malodorous about Cremo Cream. It's just verges slightly on the artificial lemon. If you want to pay three and four times as much for a natural manly aroma, be my guest. You won't regret it, but you won't be getting that much of a better shave.

Cremo Cream is a winner. At $8 a tube, it's cheap. Get some.

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

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