July 10, 2007

Review of Gentlemen's Refinery "The Standard" Shaving Cream

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Welcome to day two of Gentlemen's Refinery shaving week. Yesterday we lubed up with Pre Shave Oil. Today we're shaving with "The Standard" Shaving Cream.

Substance
Unscrew the cover of "The Standard" Shaving Cream and you are greeted with a fluffy, silky substance which just begs to get to know your face. Could double for cupcake frosting if not for the vaguely floral and soapy aroma. Gentlemen's Refinery comes in two flavors - "The Standard", which is what we're reviewing here; and "Black Ice", which is "lightly scented with Certified Organic Anise, Bergamot and Basil Oils". Both are $28.

Application
The application of "The Standard" Shaving Cream is a little challenging, so keep an open mind. You've already got some Pre Shave Oil on your face, but there's no water involved yet since you put the oil on dry skin. You could splash some water on your face, but that won't stick too well given the layer of oil. So what I found works best is the following: with your right hand, scoop out a small amount of "The Standard" Shaving Cream and put it in the center of your left palm. Now get some nice warm water going in the sink, cup your hands together, and quickly douse them with water. Then rub your hands together to mix the cream and water, and start smoothing it on your face. No mincing words here - this will be a little bit of a mess the first few times. Also, you'll have to experiment with the cream to water ratio. If you are ending up with a slightly thicker paste, splash a little water on your face to loosen things up. Trust me - the shave is worth it.

The Shave
Ahh, the shave. The shave with "The Standard" Shaving Cream from the Gentlemen's Refinery is one of the best I've experienced. Super close, no nicks or cuts, and no irritation. I shaved with a Fusion Power with blades ranging from razor sharp to somewhat dull, and "The Standard" always stood up. The base layer of Pre Shave Oil is essential. While you'll get a decent shave without it, I strongly suggest you go all in and trust what the experts at Gentlemen's Refinery have designed for you.

I could go into all the ingredients in "The Standard" Shaving Cream, but sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In corporate-speak they call that "synergy". I just call it good stuff.

Get Some
"The Standard" Shaving Cream from Gentlemen's Refinery is $28 for a 150ml tub. The Gentlemens Refinery Black Ice Shave Cream (Anise) is also $28 for a 150ml tub.

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

June 21, 2007

This Just In - Musgo Real

musgoReal.jpg
What's in the mail this week from our good friends over at Details for Men? Why it's several products from Musgo Real.
Musgo Real for men brings European tradition together with modern trends and technologies. This classic fragrance has been recreated from an archived recipe of a cologne by the same name. Musgo real was originally introduced in the 1920's and sold throughout Europe during the sixties and seventies.

The Musgo Real line now includes shaving products, such as

Pretty reasonable prices for a product imported from Portugal. I wonder if they have vintage years?

Anyway, we're looking forward to shaving with Musgo Real, so stay tuned for our full review.

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

June 19, 2007

This Just In - Bump Patrol

BP-Sensitive_Product_Photo.JPG.jpgGot a shipment in the other day from Bump Patrol, a line of shaving products with a focus on reducing those pesky ingrown hairs. Haven't heard of them? Well, if you don't get razor bumps, count yourself lucky. If you do, then keep reading.

Razor bumps affect almost 80% of African-American men and 20% of Caucasians. Known clinically as pseudofolliculitis barbae, they're basically a vicious negative feedback loop. Shaving causes irritation. Irritation causes inflammation. Inflammation causes the hair pore to close and a bump to form. The hair becomes trapped, and thus in-grown. Yuck!

Thankfully there's Bump Patrol to the rescue! Bump Patrol has actually been around for over 10 years, but they've recently introduced an updated look and website. There are two shaving creams - Bump Patrol Cool Shaving Gel ($4.29) and Bump Patrol Aerosol Ultra Sensitive with Aloe Vera (also $4.29), and three different aftershaves - Bump Patrol Razor Bump Intensive Treatment (Sensitive Formula) ($8.59), Bump Patrol Razor Bump Intensive Treatment (Original Formula) ($8.59), and NEW EXTRA STRENGTH Bump Patrol Razor Bump Intensive Treatment ($9.29).

bumpPatrolTech.jpgBump Patrol's website is a wealth of information. There's a FAQ plus tons of free contact info. There's a great instruction sheet which you can download (one of the best I've ever seen). And there are 12 minutes of video demonstrations showing you shaving techniques for face and head, as well as how to avoid razor bumps. While the background music might be a little too upbeat for the subject matter, master barber Will Williams is 100% serious when it comes to your skin. What makes him a master? Have you ever seen someone determine the direction your hair grows with a credit card? 'Nuf said, MacGyver.

We'll be trying these products out soon so stay tuned. In the meantime, you've got your homework assignment. Click on over to Bump Patrol and watch some videos. Then impress your friends will cool terms like "pseudofolliculitis barbae".

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

June 13, 2007

Review of Bold For Men

boldForMen.jpgTime for another one of these things we call reviews. For the past month or so we've been shaving with Bold For Men, a maverick in the shaving world. How so? With Bold For Men, you don't use any water. Aside from shaving oils, the only other product I've used which didn't call for a base of wet skin was Kiehl's. But while Kiehl's is a drier paste, Bold For Men is a more liquidy gel. Smells vaguely like banana.

Background
Applying Bold For Men couldn't be easier. After a shower just smooth some over your beard. That's it. No pre-shave oil. No warm water. Just squeeze and apply. Obviously Bold For Men wins the no-mess award hands down. If you're annoyed by splashes of water running down your chest and all over your sink, you've just met your savior.

The Shave
Shaving with Bold For Men is no different than other shaving creams. Wait 30 seconds for Bold to sink in, then get your blade hot and wet, stroke, and rinse often. The shave is pretty darn good too. My only complaint with the shave was that Bold For Men wasn't the best at lifting up finicky hairs. You know those hairs that seem to grow parallel instead of perpendicular. (Oh, did I just bust out the geometry?)

I have to admit that I was pretty nervous about using Bold For Men the first time. No water seemed like a recipe for disaster. Also, I've seen a few too many videos on YouTube of bad shaving behavior. But my fears we unfounded. Nicks and cuts were rare, and again, the shave was pretty darn good.

Caveats
There is something in Bold For Men that gives me pause. Immediately after applying Bold my lips felt a little numb. I've had that before with several products - Brave Soldier, Pacific Shaving Oil - and the tingling did go away quickly. Might be me since I seem to have sensitive lips. (My wife agrees.)

Also, sensitive skin - like under the eyes and below the ears - got a little red from Bold For Men. I'm talking about the areas just beyond where you shave, but areas where shaving cream typically ends up as you spread it over your face. The redness went away quickly, so I wasn't concerned, but if you've got especially delicate skin, you might steer clear.

Get Some
Bold For Men is $20. Free shipping between now and July 15th. Also recommended for head shaving.

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

June 12, 2007

This Just in - Proraso

proraso.jpgTarget may have stopped carrying Proraso products, but Details for Men has stepped up to the plate. They're offering four of the Italian-made shaving products at very reasonable prices.

These aren't just American products disguised as Italian. While most of the packaging has both Italian and English on it, the Wheat Germ shaving cream (red tube) is entirely in Italian. Luckily you use it like any other shaving cream. However, if you want a translation of the ingredient list or special instruction, see this Details for Men page.

We'll be trying these out in the coming months. Currently in the Shaving Stuff shave studios are products from Gentlemen's Refinery, so stay tuned...

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

June 6, 2007

Fathers' Day Suggestions from ZIRH - Includes Free Steak!

diningDoughZirh.jpg
There's nothing dad likes more than a clean shave and a nice juicy steak. And now he can have both with ZIRH's '25forDad' promotion. For a limited time buy your dad one of ZIRH's Fathers' Day Gift Sets, enter promo code '25forDad' when checking out, and get a $25 gift card from Dining Dough.
Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 23, 2007

Review of Elemis Smooth Result Shave Oil and Skin Soothe Shave Gel

elemisShaveOil.jpgOK, so yesterday we got all buff and clean with Elemis Deep Cleanse Facial Wash and Elemis Energising Skin Scrub. Today, we're shaving!

Elemis Smooth Result Shave Oil
First up, Elemis Smooth Result Shave Oil. This is a true shave oil, so for some men this is all they'll need. A surprisingly small amount of oil will cover your face and you'll be good to go. If you've got a light beard or especially resilient skin, this is a great option.

For the rest of us I'd recommend using Elemis Smooth Result Shave Oil as a base for either one of their shaving gels. A layer of warm water, a couple drops of oil, followed by shaving gel worked best for me. Elemis recommends four drops. I usually used a few more. Who needs to be frugal when the price is nicks and razor burn?

As with all Elemis products, scent is key. Elemis Smooth Result Shave Oil smells like some sort of wood oil. Something you might find in a wood-working shop. Key ingredients are Jojoba, Grapeseed, Meadowsweet, Sweet Almond Oil, Hazelnut Oil, and Rose Hip Seed Oil, but again I wasn't able to identify one predominant aroma. Instead they all just work together.

My one recommendation with this product is open the bottle before you start and your hands are still dry. The bottle's design is really cool, but the little metal nub at the top is hard to open once your hands are wet.

Elemis Smooth Result Shave Oil is $34 for a 35ml bottle. This is same size that comes in the Elemis Universal Traveller. Remember, a little goes a long way.

elemisShaveGel.jpgElemis Skin Soothe Shave Gel
Next up is Elemis Skin Soothe Shave Gel. Every time I shave with opaque creams I'm always so happy to return to a translucent gel. If you've never tried a gel before, and I don't mean a foaming gel, give one a shot. Seeing is believing. (That was kind of a pun.)

Anyway, the instructions for Elemis Skin Soothe Shave Gel say "Squeeze a small amount of Elemis Skin Soothe Shave Gel into palms. Rub the hands together to activate the micro-capsules." At first I didn't pay much attention to this, but then I noticed that within the green/blue gel were these occasional little white balls. Rubbing them in my hands broke them up and dispersed what I'm guessing are the capsules. Huh. I guess is pays to read the instructions. (And I guess I'm a typical man.)

The cool thing about the shaving oil and the gel is after you're done applying both, your hands will be slick with a mixture of each and you can really feel (in your hands) the lubrication that's on your face. Total protective barrier.

Again, aroma is huge. Key ingredients are Jojoba, Witch Hazel, Menthol, Aloe Vera, and Arnica, and here I think the menthol slightly wins out.

Oh, and the shave is great, as expected.

Elemis Skin Soothe Shave Gel is $34 for a 150ml tube. Elemis also has a Ice Cool Foaming Shave Gel for $34. I didn't get a chance to sample this, but I'd recommend the non-foaming gel to start, again because being able to see your skin is a big plus.

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

May 15, 2007

Derek Jeter Shaving Products

derekJeter.jpgIf you're a baseball fan, you undoubtedly know who Derek Jeter is. For those who don't, he's the shortstop of the New York Yankees. And as much as a Boston Red Sox fan loves to hate the Yankees, it's hard not to respect a class act such as Derek Jeter.

Imagine my surprise to learn that Derek Jeter has his own line of shaving and men's grooming products. I've seen his cologne "Driven" in stores, right next to Beckham's "Instinct", but I haven't seen Derek Jeter Driven Ultimate Shave Gel ($5), and Derek Jeter Driven After Shave Balm ($20), both from Avon.

What does Derek Jeter know about shaving? Well, probably a lot. The Yankees are the only team in baseball to have a policy on hair. Specifically, no facial hair below the lip. That means no crazy mustaches, and no beards. Also, no crazy head hair. Even Johnny Damon got a shave and a hair cut when he joined the Yankees.

So if you're looking for the essence of Derek Jeter, keep your eye on the ball and look for his "Driven" line of men's grooming products. It'll make you a catch. (My goofy tagline, not his.)

Special thanks to Laura K at Shirt Snob for sending this in.

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

May 2, 2007

Review of Brave Soldier's Code Blue

codeBlue.gifWelcome to day two of our Brave Soldier review. Yesterday we shaved. Today we after-shave.

Sure, shaving gets all the glory. After all, it's the part with the razor sharp steel. But after-shave is equally important. After you've shaved, your skin is completely vulnerable. It's stripped of its protective fur, softened to ease cutting. You've got to throw some protective lovin' on there or bad things can happen.

Code Blue to the rescue!

Brave Soldier's Code Blue is a blue cooling gel which hits the spot. Highlighted ingredients include:

Witch Hazel, Lidocaine HCL (2.5% ), Tricolosan, Glycerin, [...] Aloe Vera Gel 10X, Tocopherol Acetate (vitamin E), Tea Tree Oil, Menthol, Dimethicone Copolyol, Eucalyptus Oil, Comfrey Extract, Green Tea Extract, Hawaiian Sea Algae, Spirulina, Salicylic Acid (2%), [...] Eucalyptus Oil, Peppermint Oil, Quench T (guarana, mate)

One of my favorite attributes of Code Blue is its thickness. Many after-shaves we've reviewed are a little thin, and I often find myself needing to use a second cream around my lips and under my nose to handle some drier skin. Not so with Code Blue. One coating of its blueness was all I needed.

I liked Code Blue and I recommend it. In the interest of complete disclosure I feel that I should mention that I have a slight allergic reaction to it. Kind of makes my lips numb. Had the same reaction to Pacific Shaving Oil a while back. Still trying to figure out what the common ingredient is. That said I paid a little extra attention when I was applying it and the never had a problem again. This is good stuff, but don't eat it.

Brave Soldier's Code Blue is $18 for a 3.4oz (100mL) bottle.

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

May 1, 2007

Review of Brave Soldier's Brave Shave

braveShave.gifA couple months ago we received a tube of Brave Soldier's Brave Shave and a bottle of Details for Men. Today and tomorrow we'll present out review.

History
First a little history. Brave Soldier is a California company with its roots in outdoor life, and treating the inevitable bumps and bruises which come from pushing yourself to the extreme. As we mentioned in our first post when these products came in, Brave Soldier's original product was an Antiseptic Healing Ointment designed for athletes who needed to treat scrapes, cuts, and bruises from their occasional missteps. Since then they've branched out to all forms of men's and women's grooming, including Brave Shave.

Originally formulated for athletes like bicyclists, swimmers and bodybuilders who shave their bodies, Brave Shave’s super-rich formula quickly caught on as the ultimate face shave.

Substance
Key ingredients include "Infusion of yarrow flowers, comfrey root, Jojoba oil, elder flowers, burdock root, chamomile, Aloe gel, vitamin E acetate, Pro-vitamin B-5, glycerin and panthenol."

Brave Shave is a white shaving cream with a slightly lemony scent. The smell is not offensive, but it does verge on antispectic. A reader wrote in a while ago complaining about the scent. I don't think it's that bad, but it's not manly soldier (if that's what you're expecting). It's lemony fresh.

The Shave
Lather up! As it says on the back of the tube, "Apply liberally to moist skin." If you're more of a red-state person, I'd suggest resisting your urge to "apply conservatively to moist skin" and use a little more. Brave Shave is best applied with your hands. It's a little too thick for a shaving brush, so fingers work best. Let it sit for 30-60 seconds on your skin before shaving so the ingredients have time to soften your whiskers.

The shave from Brave Shave is good. Little or no nicks or cuts. If you're worried about getting your razor all gunky with shaving cream then perhaps you'll react negatively to Brave Shave, but honestly if you're letting your razor get all gunky then you're not rinsing it enough. Rinse, stroke, rinse, stroke. Drop and give me ten, soldier!

Brave shave did a decent job of lifting my hairs up so I got a close shave. It's not a clear shaving gel but if you're shaving your entire face each day then there's no worry here. There was a decent amount of lubrication if I wanted to take a second pass, although I often threw a little more on there for a second pass of my chin, which has got some pretty stubborn hairs at times.

Final Assessment
Brave Shave is solidly in the good camp. At $15 for a 6oz. (177 mL) tube it's reasonably priced and a good value for your buck. For further reading there's a short positive customer review on Amazon and several positive customer reviews on Men Essentials.

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

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