Shaving Oils

March 4, 2009

Review of John Allan's Slickwater Pre-Shave Solution

slickwater.jpgWhat does the name "Slickwater" make you think of? Quicksand? An oil spill? Or perhaps some Clinton era scandal? Whatever you associate with Slickwater, it's all slippery and lubricated goodness when applied to shaving. There's nothing wrong with adding an extra layer of protection against that razor sharp steel doing battle with your whiskers. And John Allan has come through with another fine product which does just that.

John Allan's Slickwater pre-shave solution is a new pre-shave oil which goes underneath your regular shaving cream. I have been using Slickwater with Cremo Cream and REN High Glide Cooling Shaving Cream and it works well with both. Cremo cream doesn't really need a pre-shave oil, but I got a few more shaves with my razor when I was using it. REN High Glide definitely benefits from a layer of Slickwater, since it's a dry shave to begin with.

For me the major improvement that Slickwater brings to the pre-shave oil is in the area of application. Pre-shave oils are very viscous, and are often difficult to transfer from your hands to your face. The packaging will say use two or three drops, but you're never sure if any of that ended up on your face. Slickwater is a snap to apply and the slight shine on your face will let you know where it is. That's a big plus in my book.

Now, I'd like to take a moment out of this review to deconstruct the full name of this product and show you the true genius of Mr. Allan's marketing department. You see, this product is not called John Allan's Slickwater Pre-Shave Oil. It's called John Allan's Slickwater Pre-Shave Solution. Why is that important? Because if there's one thing that's rubbed off from me schmoozing my MBA friends, you don't sell products; you sell solutions.

I like Slickwater and I think you will too. It's a got a pleasant herbal smell, goes on easily, and adds an extra layer of protection to your shave. If you've got extra sensitive skin or just feel you could benefit from another layer of smoothness, give Slickwater a try.

John Allan's Slickwater pre-shave solution is $28 for a 2 oz/59 mL bottle.

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

February 24, 2009

Old Post Road Oils: Eco-Friendly Shaving Lubricant

no_4_cart.jpgI recently received a bottle of Old Post Road Oils No. 4 Shaving Soap for Men, and I was a bit skeptical at first. It didn't look like any shaving cream or oil that I had ever used before. It smelled pretty good, but until I put razor to face, I wasn't going to be able to judge it.

Before I give you my opinion, here's what their website had to say about No. 4:

"We created No. 4 Shaving Soap because we believe shaving foam has become obsolete. Natural soap provides the best lubrication for shaving. But not just any natural soap; it has to be extraordinarily mild.

The slightest bit of harshness will burn a face. And natural soaps today don't pass muster. That's why we developed No. 4 specifically for shaving. We threw out all the conventional wisdom and blended a natural soap that gives the fullness of lubrication without any of the harshness.

It took some effort, but the results are phenomenal. We're fully confident you'll agree. In fact, we believe No. 4 is the finest shaving lubrication in the world. We've improved well beyond what foam and "gels" can do. Our containers are recyclable and use pumps. And the cost per shave is less than half a penny's difference compared to foam."

Hey, I think any time we can use less resources and get the same results is great. So I diligently followed the instructions (not your usual shaving cream method) and broke out the razor (lately I've been using the Preserve Triple).

It sure didn't feel the same on my skin as say, Cremo, and it took a little getting used to. But by the time I was done, I was happy with the results. It smelled light and fresh (sandalwood, pine, and bergamot), and if I needed to go over a section, I just wet it again, and I could shave without adding more.

I can see how No. 4 would end up costing you about the same as your usual cream (unless you go for the cheap stuff - which you don't, do you?), and the pump container is reusable.

If you're looking for something a little different, something milder and eco-friendly, check out No. 4. It sells for about 8 bucks over at Old Post Road Oils.

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

December 10, 2008

This Just In - MiN New York Solution2 Post-Shave Treatment

solution2.jpgJust got in a sample of MiN New York's Solution2 Post-Shave Treatment. Solution2 is a very versatile product for the prevention and treatment of ingrown hairs, redness, bumps, and skin irritation from shaving and waxing. It's made for men and women, for all parts of the body where you might remove hair, and it can be used before, during, or after shaving. Heck, I'm just sitting here writing this blog post and I'm using it now. Also, it's made with spearmint and aspirin, which might mean it'll get rid of your aches and pains and leave you with minty fresh breathe, but I wouldn't count on it.

MiN New York's site has a huge range of high-quality men's and women's grooming products. They've got shaving products from NICKEL to Geo F Trumper, plus a few of their own. They also sent over a bottle of Taylor of Old Bond Street Pre-Shave Oil, which we're very excited to try out.

MiN New York Solution2 Post-Shave Treatment is $60.00 for both the rollerball applicator and the refill bottle. Taylor of Old Bond Street Pre-Shave Oil is $20 for a 30ml bottle. Check back soon for our reviews.

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

November 24, 2008

Best4Men's "Best Shave Ever" Men's Shaving Kit

bestshaveerer.jpgIf our Shaving Stuff Holiday Gift Guide wasn't enough for you, the experts at Best4Men have put together a couple gift packs of harmonious grooming products. In particular, we like their Best Shave Ever - Men's Shaving Kit ($63), which contains

  • Pre-Shave Oil by Anthony For Men
  • Shave Cream by Billy Jealousy
  • After-Shave Balm by Billy Jealousy

And yes, the Eagle Creek Pack-It Half Cube bag comes with, and yes, there's free shipping. Holiday shopping made easy.

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

November 21, 2008

The Shaving Stuff 2008 Holiday Gift Guide

holiday_guide.jpgThe holiday season is upon us once again, and it's time for all of you to start stimulating the economy. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to spend your way out of this economic crisis, one gift at at time! OK, maybe not the soundest advice, but there will be some people you still want to buy for, and some who will still be expecting a gift. Aside from the electric razors we've tried to keep most things below $50 on this year's holiday gift guide.

Shaving Cream
Here's a list of tried-and-true winners as well as a couple choice brands we shaved with over the last year worthy of their company. Any of these shaving products will elevate your shave to new levels of comfort, closeness, and class.
The Art of Shaving - $38
Sharp's - $45
Billy Jealousy - $50
MENSGROOM - $52
MenScience - $55
ZIRH - $59
Baxter of California - $60
Ritual - $79
Peter Thomas Roth - $100
Gentlemen's Refinery - $199
John Allan's - $245

Still not seeing it? Surf on over to the Details for Men gift kit page and see what strikes your fancy.

Cartridge Razors
I'm still loving the powered razors. A little vibration goes a long way toward a smooth and comfortable shave. The Gillette Fusion may trump Schick on number of blades, but the Quattro's now got this kick-ass trimmer for keeping your whiskers or sideburns in line.
Gillette Fusion Power - $10.99
Schick Quattro Titanium Trimmer - $12.49

On the other ends of the spectra, we recommend the environmentally conscience Recycline razor, and the experimental Rolling Razor.
Recycline Preserve Triple Razor - $7.49
Rolling Razor - $14.95

Electric Razors
Same group as last year, only the Braun Pulsonic has been rebranded the Series 7. Still the top of the line traditional electric razor in my book. If rotary is your game, choose between either the wet/dry lubricant-dispensing Moisture Shaving System, or the more classic arcitec.
Braun Series 7 - $227
Philips Norelco Moisture Shaving System - $129
Philips Norelco arcitec - $219

Pubic Shaving
The BodyGroom is still going strong, now with a professional edition with "high-performance trimmer attachment", as well as another set of hysterical videos worthy of a Webby. And if completely bare is where you're headed, there's still no beating the Cleancut - the #1 choice in the porn industry.
Philips Norelco Bodygroom - $49.99
Seiko Cleancut - $67

Head Shaving
Just like you wouldn't shave downstairs without the proper equipment, you don't want to shave the roof without the proper tools. Get the gear designed for your noggin.
Headblade - $10.99
Remington Short Cut Clipper - $28.49
Sharps Mission: Control Bald Head Balm SPF 15 - $24

Nose Shaving
As you get older, your hair follicles move from the top of your head to your nose and ears. It's a scientifically proven fact. Look it up. I just finished the Wikipedia page on it. These tools will help you combat the forsaken follicle foliage.
Groom Mate Platinum XL Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer - $18.88
Philips Norelco Nose and Ear Trimmer - $12.99

Back Shaving
A year later and I still don't want to talk about it. If you know a guy who needs one of these, just do him a favor - buy it for him, and give it to him while no one else is in the room.
MANGROOMER - $39.95

Shaving Accessories
Nicks and cuts come at exactly the wrong time. Your dopp kit needs a Nick Stick for fast healing after a particularly brutal shave. And while I still haven't made peace with the goatee, I have to admire the ingenuity which went into the Goatee Saver. Somebody's got to get us out of this economic mess.
The Nick Stick - $5.95
The Goatee Saver - $19.99

Books
Leisureguy continues to update his tome and put my work to shame. Get the straight dope on old-school shaving techniques and all the current soaps, oils, and creams that go with them.
Leisureguy's Guide to Gourmet Shaving: Shaving Made Enjoyable, Second Edition - $11.65
Sharp Practice: The Real Man's Guide to Shaving - $4.89
The Great American Bathroom Book - $20

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

January 24, 2008

Review of The Art of Shaving's Unscented Pre-Shave Oil

taosPreShavingOil.jpgThe Art of Shaving is one of the most prestigious and preeminent brands in the shaving world. Born out of a modest kitchen, and grown into a prominent brand with several boutique stores and a presence in many upscale department stores, The Art of Shaving has put luxury shaving products on the map. I've been looking forward to trying their products out for a long time now.

Even before you start shaving with The Art of Shaving products, you'll notice their packaging. Sturdy, thick, glass jars where appropriate. Minimalist labels. Classy design. They look great on your bathroom counter.

As we've mentioned before, there are shaving oils and pre-shave oils. With a shaving oil, you shave with just the oil; nothing else. With a pre-shave oil, you typically add a layer of shaving cream on top and then shave. It's basically the first layer of protection on your face before you start slicing.

The Art of Shaving's Unscented Pre-Shave Oil falls into the latter category, and really should be followed by their shaving cream. In fact, if you're interested in trying these products, I'd definitely recommend getting the pre-shave oil. They've developed a system. Pre-shave oil is part of it. Don't skimp.

And follow the directions:

Before shaving, rub a small amount of The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil in the palm of your hands and massage into beard. Lather Shaving Cream or Shaving Soap over oil and shave.

Pretty simple. Actually, the only tricky part is the "lather..." step, but we'll talk about that tomorrow.

The Art of Shaving's Unscented Pre-Shave Oil has a mild, pleasant scent. Reminds me vaguely of chartreuse. It's simple to dispense and smoothes easily onto your face. Again, if you're interested in these products, and I think you should be, get the pre-shave oil.

The Art of Shaving's Unscented Pre-Shave Oil is $22 for a 2 ounce / 60mL bottle. Tomorrow we shave!

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

November 21, 2007

Reader Review of Pacific Shaving Oil

pacificShavingOilNew.jpgGot a friend who travels a lot for work and was interested in trying a different shaving system. I suggested he try Pacific Shaving Oil. You only need a few drops per shave so the bottle lasts forever. And it's small enough to pass TSA scrutiny. Here's his review:

So the first thing I like about the palm oil is that it feels miraculous--you only need 8-10 drops (drops!) for a shave. You put them in your hands and rub onto your face--it feels like nothing--and yet your face is not raked into hamburger. I still get a charge from that. Plus eight drops per shave means that there are 400 shaves in a tiny 2 oz bottle--good for airports.

Some words of caution: I have a light beard (I look like a tough 8th grader), so it may not hold up to a heavy beard, or need a bigger dose of oil (12 drops?). In the same vein, it is not so good if you've gone a couple of days without shaving. But for a daily shave, especially on the road it is terrific--light, easy with that little frisson that it shouldn't possibly work and yet it does.

(For the vocab-challenged, including me, here's a link to the definition of frisson.)

Pacific Shaving Oil is only $6.95 a bottle.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (1) | 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

July 9, 2007

Review of Gentlemen's Refinery Pre Shave Oil

Pre-Shave-Oil.jpgOnce in a while I come across a line of shaving products which is in a league of its own. It's happened again with The Gentlemen's Refinery, sent over by our good friends at Details for Men. Quite frankly I've been dreading writing this review because it means that afterward I will be moving on to another set of shaving products. So we're going to stretch this out all week - one product from Gentlemen's Refinery per day. That way I get another couple shaves in before I have to say goodbye.

For a little history on the Gentlemen's Refinery, master barber Perry Gastis, and the quest for the ultimate organic shave, visit our first post from back in March. Then come on back as we dive into some pre shave oil.

The Oil
Pre Shave Oil from Gentlemen's Refinery comes in a handy pump-top container. I'll skip my usual accolades for the pump-top and go directly into the oil itself, which you apply to a dry face after a shower or hot towel treatment. (Master barber Perry Gastis says that a shower or hot towel before shaving is enough to soften up your face for shaving. Washing your face is not necessarily a prerequisite.)

I tended to use a fair amount of the oil - three to four squirts. You could definitely experiment with less. The pump-top made it easy to get the oil in the palms of my hands, and then on my face. This may seem like a minor point, but try getting the right amount of oil out of an unforgiving bottle and you've got a mess. Or a waste.

Ingredients and Aroma
The oil has a mild scent, somewhere between woody and floral. Key ingredients include

  1. Sunflower seed oil is certified organic for a level of purity
  2. Jojoba oil provides fast penetration and will carry essential fatty acids found in the sunflower seed oil into the skin
  3. Lime essential oil has antiseptic properties as well as restorative, astringent and toning action to clear oily skin and acne, and also helps with herpes, insect bites and cuts.
  4. Roman Chamomile is used to treat rashes and irritated skin as well as to calm acne, eczema, rashes, wounds, dermatitis, and dry, itchy skin and other allergic conditions in general.
  5. Vitamin E is an antioxidant known for healing skin.

Get Some
If you are at all interested in Gentlemen's Refinery products I strongly suggest you include the Pre Shave Oil in your order. It's clear from my usage that these guys have spent a large amount of time coming up with the ultimate shave, and Pre Shave Oil is an essential part of that. We'll talk more tomorrow about "The Standard" Shaving Cream and the shave itself, but my recommendation is you go all in and buy the complete shaving line.

Gentlemen's Refinery's Pre Shave Oil is $25 for a 50ml bottle.

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

March 20, 2007

WholeMan - Body Maintenance for Men

wholeMan.jpg
ShavingStuff reader "Mr M Evans" wrote in recently to tell us about his great experience at WholeMan, a store in London specializing in "body maintenance for men". Says Bob Ager, Chairman of WholeMan:
We have scoured the world to bring you the very best in men's grooming, with products from established companies as well as smaller, more specialist brands.

So if you're in London, head on over to WholeMan at 67 New Bond Street where not only do they have the storefront (pictured above), but also a full-services spa. And if you're not in London (but still in the UK), click on over to www.wholeman.co.uk where you can browse virtually. (Do they still use that word anymore?) Tons of shaving products from high-quality brands like Baxter of California, REN, MenScience, Jack Black, and Lab Series, and many that I've never even heard of before.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | 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

November 30, 2006

Shaving Websites Which Ship Outside the US

logo_skinstore.gifShavingStuff reader Cam recently wrote in and asked that we mention a few shaving sites which ship outside of the US. Shame on us for being so Ameri-centric. Cam recommends SkinStore.com, GroomingLounge.com (which wasn't up when we checked last night), and MenEssentials.com.

SkinStore has a regular mail catalog which you can request here. Get 10% off your next order if you sign up. MenEssentials has gift certificates if you want to let your giftee decide what to get. mensessentials.jpgAll the brands you know and love are represented, plus a bunch you've probably never heard of. Plenty of other gift ideas too.

I was able to confirm that SkinStore will ship all around the world. MenEssentials may only ship to the US and Canada.

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

November 14, 2006

The ShavingStuff 2006 Holiday Gift Guide

holiday_guide.jpgTrying to figure out the perfect gift for a loved one this year? You've come to the right place. It's the 2006 ShavingStuff Holiday Guide, and it's jam-packed with home runs from the shaving world. Hey Santa - I've been good. Real good.

Shaving Kits
Shaving kits are great way to go in the sub-$100 range. They generally provide shaving cream and a post-shave moisturizer, and are a great way in introduce someone to a brand's shaving system. Additional items often include handy travel bags and pre-shave cleansers. Here are some we think are winners:
MenScience TSA-Allowed Travel Kit $78
Daily Shave Kit from Menscience $55
Anything from the ZIRH holiday gift center $50 - $70 (and one for $239)
Baxter of California Shave 1.2.3 (with Dopp Bag) $75
The Hits Vol 1 from Billy Jealousy $50
The Perfect Shave from Anthony Logistics for Men $50
a|MEN|ity Limited Edition Gift Set $250
Still not seeing it? Surf on over to the Details for Men kit page and see what strikes your fancy.

Razors
We like power. Three, four, or five blades, shaving is better with power. Want the Cadillac of razors? Get the Fusion. Mid-range SUV? Schick Quattro. The old work-horse? M3Power.
Gillette-Fusion Power Razor and 4 Cartridge Pack $22.99
Schick Quattro Power $12.95
Gillette M3Power $6

Electric Razors
Electric razors are a great way to shave if you're beard grows slowly, you've got tough skin, or you just need a quick shave. They're also a great travel alternative where you can't predict your sink and lighting. Here are a couple we recommend:
Panasonic ES8077S Vortex Hydraclean System - $109.99
Braun 7505 Syncro UltraSpeed Shaver - $89.99
Norelco 7745X Cool Skin Wet / Dry Electric Shaver - $109.99
Panasonic ES7801S Triple Blade Wet/Dry Rechargeable Men's Shaver - $49.99

Accessories
Sometimes you have to dress your shave up. Accessorize! For that old-school barbershop shave experience right in the comfort of your own home, we recommend the Conair Hot Lather Machine. For those ingrown nasties which verge on requiring surgery, we recommend the Tweezerman. And for hair growing in places it shouldn't, we recommend the Remington Nose & Ear Trimmer.
ConAir Chrome Hot Lather Machine - $29.99
Tweezerman Stainless Steel Ingrown Hair Splintertweeze - $8.97
Remington Nose & Ear Trimmer - $5.99

Head Shaving
As we said last year, you could shave your head with a regular razor, or you could shave your head with something specially designed for the job. Hey - it's still your head.
HeadBlade Classic (in yellow) - $10.95
HeadBlade S4 (Signature Series Stainless Steel) - $74.95
DOVO Head Shaver - $19.99

Back Shaving
You may think you're bringing sexy back, but if you're bringing hairy back, you're bringing lonely back. Luckily there's a solution, aside from being mistaken for Azamat from the Borat movie.
MANGROOMER Back Hair Shaver - $39.95

Pubic Shaving
Last, but certainly not least, we have the category of pubic shaving. Men just love that extra optical inch provided by the BodyGroom, and women (and men) just love that smooth, clean... well... you know.
Philips Norelco BG2020 Men's Bodygroom - $34.99
Seiko Cleancut - $53.25

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

August 24, 2006

The Best Shaving Oil

kosOil.jpgShaving oils are a leap of faith. The first time you oil up your face, you'll swear there's nothing there. But for some, shaving oils are the wave of the future. They're small in size which makes them ideal to travel with. A few drops cover your entire face, so they last forever. Shave for shave they're the best bang for the buck.

Shaving oils are not for everyone. Experience indicates that they're best for lighter beards and heartier skin, but that's an unscientific survey of only a couple people. Also, shaving oils shouldn't be confused with pre-shave oils, which go on before a layer of shaving cream or gel. When using shaving oil, you don't use anythng else.

The two best shaving oils we've tried are the all-natural Pacific Shaving Oil and the mostly natural King of Shaves Formula Alpha Shaving Oil Supercooled Menthol. Both are available online for about six bucks, and King of Shaves has recently become available at local drugstores. You can read the ShavingStuff review of Pacific Shaving Oil here. You can read the review of King of Shaves... oh wait - you can't read the review because the reviewer never wrote one. (You know who you are.) But I have heard back from him that King of Shaves scored very highly, and he used up the whole bottle.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (6) | social bookmarking

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