Category Archives: Product review

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:
Scrub
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

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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.

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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.

The Beloved Is Back

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If I pulled a bunch of my guy friends together and went down a scented memory lane, a few must haves from back in the day would be repeated, Polo in the green bottle, CK One, Cool Water, and Joop are a few that come to mind. One in particular was hands down a crowd favorite, Issey Myake. I remember having a conversation with my barber and the way he emphasized his fondness for the scent, it was though an outfit for a night out was incomplete without those final few sprays.

For the first time since dropping his beloved namesake scent, Issey Myake, the Japanese designer has released a new scent, Nuit D’Issey. On first sight, I thought it was another flanker because the bottle’s shape has remained the same. For this scent, Myake enlisted the noses of Dominique Ropion and Loc Dong and they’ve produced a crowd pleaser.

The scent’s opening is sharp and crisp  and we can thank its grapefruit note for that. I also detect hints of pepper, which give it enough of a lift to spark curiosity. From there leather and woods give it a virility that we’ve  come to expect from men’s fragrances.

Nuit D’Issey hits all the right notes and for that I expect it will be well received. Whether or not barbershops and cigar dens will be reminiscing about it a decade from now only time will tell.

Nuit D’Issey can be found nationwide at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, & Sephora.

Dove Men Care Expert Shave Cream

Dove Men Care Expert Shave Cream

 

Now that we’re in the thick of summer, shaving can be a real chore…umm add to that grooming in general. While we’re taking off layers of clothing, the last thing we want to do is put on extra lotions, etc. I recently gave Dove Men Care Expert Shave Smoothing Shave Cream a test run and out the gate, it felt incredibly light against my skin – a win for the brutal summer months.

The Dove Men Care Expert Shave Cream is a partnership between Dove and leading barbers and dermatologists. It’s been formulated to give shavers adequate moisture, protect the skin and provide a smooth glide. Sound familiar, you bet. Does it deliver, indeed it does.

The first thing that caught my attention about the shave cream was it’s scent. It’s beautifully masculine without being being overly bravado. It smells like you’d want to smell all day. Next, the cream does produce a very good lather but it felt more foamy rather than creamy. I like a good lather and with just a tap into the shave cream, you can work up a good one. The more I worked it in, the frothier it became. The best part, and I suspect most men will appreciate this, it didn’t weigh down my face; it barely felt like it was there. In the summer time, that’s a beautiful thing.

On some occasions while testing the shave cream, I felt like it could have produced more glide. Some of the best shave creams I’ve used, after the first pass, while there maybe little visible shave cream left on my face, what remains is a slick enough surface that allows my razor to glide with ease. That’s usually when I run my hand cross grain to find spots I missed. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. You can always reapply more shave cream with what’s left over on your badger brush and doing so with this shave cream gave me the extra glide needed for subsequent passes.

Overall, the shave cream performs well. Even with its scent, which could be an issue for some, my face never felt dry.The collaborators also know a thing or two about packaging. My wife commented that it looks high end. It’s very well done.

Dove Men Care Expert Shave Cream – 150ML – $21.99

Taylor of Old Bond Street Review for Customshaving.com

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While life has been extremely hectic as of late, I’m never to busy to shave. I might rush every now and then but I always manage to give my grooming regimen the time it deserves.
My latest review for customshaving.com had me trying out Taylor of Old Bond Street. These guys have been around and thriving since 1854 for a reason.  An exceptional shave is achieved with quality products. Read my review here.

Microtouch One Classic Safety Razor – As Seen On TV

Microtouch One

Just the other day some friends were having a good laugh about As Seen On TV commercials. Somehow they always exaggerate the problem, e.g., her knife is so dull it flies out of her hand or her colander just doesn’t work the way it used to.  My wife usually gets a kick out of them barking at the TV, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” One As Seen On TV commercial that couldn’t be more spot on is the one for the Microtouch One Classic Safety Razor.

With the boom the men’s grooming sector is receiving, this couldn’t have come at a better time. For the young man looking to take up traditional shaving, his choices could be overwhelming. And with the some of the sexy marketing companies are employing, he could end up spending more than he needs to before he actually knows what he’s doing. The Microtouch One Classic Safety Razor is $19.99 and it is exactly what he needs.

For this very attainable price, you receive a double edge safety razor and a generous amount of razor blades. The one I was sent came with the stand pictured above as well. The instrument itself is a twist to open constructed razor, which is very easy to use (that was actually the design of my first safety razor). It also has a good weight to it and an excellent grip, both important qualities when looking for a good razor. As for the shave, I was impressed. It handled just as well as the safety razor I use everyday. The blades provided are by Dorco and while they aren’t the sharpest, for someone just getting into traditional shaving, it’s a good place to start.

Overall, the Microtouch One Classic Safety Razor is an excellent option for anyone looking to get into traditional shaving. Good craftsmanship along with good weight and excellent grip makes it hard to beat at that price.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I was sent. My opinions are, however, my own.

Buckler’s Chapped Skin Remedy To The Rescue

Buckler's Chapped Skin Remedy To The Rescue

The weather in the Northeast has been particularly brutal this winter. As a result, many of us are suffering from dry skin. Just the other day after taking a shower, I neglected to moisturize as I was in a rush and I paid for it. My wife said in a very exaggerated voice, “damn you’re ashy.” (I got a good laugh out of that and couldn’t wait to find a reason to share it.)

When the temperature plummets, we crank up the heat in our homes and take longer showers. As a result, we’re stripping away the thin layer of moisture that protects our skin. This leaves us prone to ashy cracked skin, which can lead to eczema or psoriasis. I have eczema and when I’m not rushing to do something, I make it a habit to moisturize, especially in the winter.

I have a few favorites that I continue to use to moisturize my skin but I’ve added to the lineup. I recently began using Buckler’s Chapped Skin Remedy and I’m really impressed. This do-it-all moisturizer has a nice thickness (I’m not a fan of watery lotions), it absorbs extremely fast and it leaves your skin feeling like its normal self – there’s no extra shine, no greasy feeling and for those that are sensitive to scent or want to groom stealthily, it’s fragrance free.

Shea butter, vitamin E and chamomile are just a few of the ingredients used to make this a worthy buy. Additionally, this handy tube is super easy to travel with and the aluminum like finish and the crushed look and feel it gets from use screams well groomed MAN. Lastly, Buckler’s formula is certified vegan. If you need any more convincing, sample it. You won’t regret it.