Mug Scrubber by Grooming Lounge


One of the keys to maintaining healthy looking face and avoiding ingrown hairs is incorporate the use of a good facial scrub. In addition to ridding the skin’s surface of dead skin, oil and dirt, it can lift the hairs on your face and stop those pesky ingrown in their tracks. The Grooming Lounge recently launched an energizing facial scrub and I was immediately intrigued.

The D.C. based men’s grooming company known for their array of men’s products and barbershops and men’s spas describe Mug Scrubber as “a deep-cleansing and skin-smoothing facial exfoliator that does away with oil dirt and dead skin, helping to improve skin’s appearance while thwarting ingrown hairs and shaving irritation. Powered by varying sizes of eco-friendly Jojoba Beads, the formula evens skin texture and soothes without irritation or dryness.”

What really piqued my interest was the scrubs use of Jojoba Oil and its use of biodegradable microbeads. If you’re like me and enjoy shaving in the shower, the prolonged exposure to the heat can dry out your skin. That said, I look for ways to bring back that hydration and jojoba oil is great for that as it seals the skin’s natural moisture. Additionally, as we look for ways to do our part in saving the environment, using microbeads that are biodegradable is a plus in my book.

Stripping away all of that (pun intended), however, I found Mug Scrubber to be an incredibly rich exfoliator. In appearance it resembles a shaving cream but the texture is obviously gritty. One unique aspect is its microbeads come in in varying sizes. The scrub also isn’t as harsh as others. Guys tend to be rough and in a hurry but I didn’t experience any irritation during my testing. Its scent is minty and upon rubbing in circular motion on my face, my skin felt renewed and I started to wake up – cue the minty fresh scent/menthol doing its job.

Ultimately what won me over was the way my face felt post washing. Yes, my skin felt soft and alive but it also felt like I didn’t need any preshave oil. My skin didn’t feel greasy but it felt like there was a coating locking in moisture that made it feel extra soft.

Each time I’ve used Mug Scrubber, I’ve enjoyed it more and it has led to an excellent shave.

Some may feel that at $24.oo it’s pricey but a little goes a long way so in the end, it mathematically pays for itself. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.


Crown Shaving Co. Supreme Glide Preshave Formula


When it comes to shaving, I find that the more patient I am, the better the experience. When I’m rushing and cutting corners, often times I suffer the consequences, e.g. I nick myself.

Preparation is everything and to do it well, you need time. I have found, however, the right preshave solution can make all the difference in the world and even speed up the process a bit.

Crown Shaving Co.’s Supreme Glide Pre Shave Formula is not your typical shaving oil; it’s not heavy and overly greasy. It’s a clear colored solution that’s gel-like in texture. With a combination of essential oils and botanical extracts, what  results in a rather light solution that produces a slick surface for a smooth shave.

I’ve used it with their shaving cream and others and the results are pretty consistent – a smooth, irritation free shave and a face that feels great. What sets it a part from more traditional preshave oils is that moment when the shave is done. With other shave oils I’ve used in the past, I have to wash my face several times to rid it of the let over oil. Crown Shaving Co.’s Supreme Glide Preshave Formula leaves no residue and washes away very quickly. As for the glide of the razor, it holds up well and is comparable to any of the leading preshave oils on the market.

If you’re looking for a preshave solution that will coat your face while giving your razor that extra glide, I think you’ll be happy with this product.

Philosophy for Men

Ever since I heard Philosophy was jumping into the men’s grooming arena, my interest was piqued. To some respects it felt late; I mean, the trend has been on the upswing for some time now. But if there’s a brand that could do it right, Philosophy surely could. Then I caught wind of the tag line: Prep, shave, hydrate. Simple? Yup. But it hits the right points so in my opinion, they started off on the right foot.

After using this new collection, which includes an all-in-one face and body scrub (Microdelivery), a 2-in-1 cleansing shave cream (Razor Sharp) and an oil-free gel moisturizer (Renewal Hope), I was a big fan but chose to wait and really put it to the test. I wanted to sit with it and put it through a number of shaving conditions. A few days of beard growth, using a new razor, days old razor, using the shaving cream with my hand and with a badger brush, medium beard growth and day old growth, etc., etc. And no matter what I put it through, it delivered exceptionally well. Here’s why this is worthy of your attention:
I love a good exfoliator as it really preps your beard’s hair for the shave. Microdelivery is a gentle scrub that’s in gel form and contains provitamin b5 and glycerin. It also contains diatomaceous earth, a finely ground material clay that acts as a physical exfoliant. Bottom line, it’s gentle enough to use daily but leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized.
Shaving Cream
I’m a badger brush lover. That said, when I can get a good lather with my hands, I’m in love. Razor Sharp can be used with or without a brush. Either way a creamy rich lather develops providing a nice cushion for your razor. I’ve thrown mine in my gym bag as it’s officially a morning essential.
Renewed Hope

Their men’s version of Hope in a Jar? Perhaps. It’s lightweight, not greasy and contains vitamin e and beta glucan. No sting factor here upon contact. Absorbs into the skin quickly leaving a matte finish. I absolutely love it.

Last but certainly not least, the collection has an excellent masculine scent that’s carried through each product. A fusion of bergamont, ginger and vetiver in manly without beating you over the head with bravado.
Sometimes being late is a good thing. Philosophy’s new collection is done so well, it leaves me desiring more from the brand. I hope they decide to stay as our skin will be better for it.

Alluvian Silver Tip Badger Brush


A few weeks ago I was contacted by the men’s grooming line, Alluvian, inquiring about my willingness to test some of their naturally fragrant products. Upon doing my research, I realized there was something here not to be missed. The founder John Cowan was working in biotechnology and his sustainability and holistic reservations about what he was doing led him to the idea of “making grooming products geared for men that would be pure, unadulterated, high quality, sustainable and most importantly, distinguished.” Translation, John knows formulations. John comes from a science and technical background. Two reasons in my book to get to know this brand.

As I was poking around Alluvian’s site, I realized John was very attentive to details. The site’s presentation was well curated with product and lifestyle imagery and short and to the point copy. He even handmade badger brushes. All of this piqued my interest.

After exchanging a few emails, my product arrived and its scent was a dead giveaway. Alluvian’s soaps are beyond run of the mill. While I pick up masculine traits, they won’t leave your bathroom smelling like coast guard. If that’s what you want, this isn’t the brand for you. After geeking out on the soaps, I couldn’t wait any longer and had to open the tube holding the badger brush.

As a shaving enthusiast, the sight of a new brush is like running down the hallway on Christmas morning to a tree full of gifts. From appearance alone, it’s a thing of beauty. They are handmade in Peoria, Illinois using American hardwood and the finest silver tip badger hair. The brush’s barrel feels right at home in my hand and when wet there is no slippage. What was most impressive was how easily it broke in. As you know, badger brushes can take a bit to get to that sweet spot. I found with Alluvian’s Silver Tip Badger Brush, after 3 shaves, the bristles had soften quite a bit and was holding water and soap exceptionally well. The brush’s loft has also bloomed beautifully.


Last but certainly not least, Alluvian had the genius idea to attach a leather strap so the brush could be hung out to dry. While the handle is shaped to fit your standard T stand, the brand leaves nothing to chance. It’s the little details like this that often excite me about new brands and it won me over with Alluvian’s brush.

Bottom line here, this well priced, handmade shaving essential, which retails for $68, will rival any brand name brush on the market.

Well done Alluvian.

Gym Bag Essentials


I recently started going to the gym again. I’m paying a more than I have for my membership but the experience is worth it. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is guys either having to much grooming products or relying on whatever maybe thrown together by the gym. I’m all for a lighter bag. Not having to carry around a towel is beautiful amenity. One thing I won’t skip on though are my essential products. Call it what you want but after a great workout and a long day ahead of me, it makes all the difference. Below are a few my must haves for your consideration.

Lucky Tiger Liquid Shave Cream – While I love using my badger brush, even I know when to leave it home. I love this shave cream because even with my hands I get a nice lather but more importantly, its ingredients moisturize the skin and gives the razor a super easy glide.

Crown Shaving Co After Shave Balm – Ever since I tried Crown Shaving Co., I’ve been hooked. Boasting traditional formulations and masculine marketing efforts, these guys know shaving and know how to take care your skin while doing it. The balm isn’t super thick and doesn’t leave my face greasy. Makes a difference when your metabolism is still revving and while rushing so you won’t be late, you find yourself sweating.

Curel Itch Defense Moisturizing Spray – It’s easy in the rush to forget to apply lotion and if you happen to remember, what’s provided at most gyms smells medicinal. Believe it or not, spraying the lotion actually shaves time off getting ready but what I love about Curel Itch Defense Moisturizing Spray is it absorbs into the skin super fast, isn’t greasy or heavy and most importantly for a scent enthusiast like me, it doesn’t compete with my cologne choice of the day. It’s just what I need to keep the ash away.

Degree Motionsense Dryspray – Not that I need protection for 48hrs (God forbid that amount of time passes and I haven’t showered…can you say ewww) but after an arduous day, I find this deordorant is still going strong. Works for me!

Bevel Razor – balanced weight, extra long handle, never looses its grip…never leave home with it. (Disclosure, I am a freelance writer for Bevel. My decision, however, to use it daily is because it’s really a great razor.)

Musc Imperial by Atelier Colgone – I will admit, this is the one thing that changes regularly. I’m not a signature scent kind of guy, as I love variety. If I was, however, this is one I’d chose to go with. I’ve been a fan of the Atelier Cologne brand for a very long time as I’ve never been disappointed by their scents. Developed as the signature scent of the Majestic Hotel & Spa in Barcelona I find this simply magnificent. If this is in part a reminder of Barcelona, I want to go. This reads traditional to me. I think of well-dressed Barcelona men that make me want to wear a suit. It opens sweet and clean and right away I pick up the lavender and fig. As it develops the leather, woods and musk kick in. Its longevity is incredible as is the case with all of Atelier Cologne’s fragrances. When I’m headed out on a business trip, I usually throw Oolang Infini into my dopp kit. Musc Imperial is now a no brainer for gym bags and business trips.


Whipping A Great Lather


As a kid, I can remember running around the house, stumbling upon my dad shaving in the bathroom while watching his face, full of shaving cream and always thinking, that was so cool; it often left me wanting to do it, too. He never formally taught me how to whip up a great lather, but with time I developed a reliable technique of my own. Continue reading my latest post on

Breaking In Your Badger Brush

Shaving Essentials

Is there anything more beautiful than a brand new badger brush? Of course there is but for a shaving enthusiast like myself, it does rank up there as an object of beauty. That love affair can quickly evaporate upon first use, however, as it’s really stiff and doesn’t give you the lather you’re looking forward to building.

To learn how to break it in, head on over to Bevel Code and learn how easy it is to break in your new badger brush.