Category Archives: Product review

Maca Root Shave Cream by The Body Shop

Maca Root Shaving Cream

Men can be fiercely loyal. When we find something we like, there’s no separating us. Take for instance my love of sweatpants. Over the years I’ve only had a few and I wore them to shreds. The most recent pair I was forced to part with had holes in both pockets but I loved them.

The same is true with grooming products. When it works, it’s hard to try anything else. As someone that loves to try new things, I still find myself using some of the same products. Lately, however, I felt the desire to use a new shaving cream so I blind bought a jar of The Body Shop’s Maca Root Shave Cream and I’m hooked.

To be completely honest, I reached into my pockets for this one because it was at an irresistible price. At $12, how could I go wrong? Nevertheless, what I observed before using it made the decision easier. Upon opening the tester, I noticed immediately its pleasant scent that reminded me of a barbershop. (The added chemicals from scent, however, could be a reason for concern…more on that in a bit) I also noticed its light and creamy texture, which is usually a good sign that it’ll build a nice lather.

From the very first shave, it lathered up beautifully. I didn’t notice the scent all that much and after more than 10 uses, I haven’t experienced any dryness or irritation. My face has felt incredibly soft and hydrated. Chalk that up to its use of Brazilian Nut Oil and Sesame Oil. What really impresses me about this shave cream is how close my shaves have been. I shave every day to avoid ingrown hairs but while I’m using this cream, when I’m ready for my next shave, my face feels like it can skip a day and I have. On one occasion, my wife ran her hand across my face and asked, “Did you just shave?” I said why and she replied, “Your face is so smooth.” While that may seem like it was taken right out of a commercial, it shocked me because she never mentions that sort of stuff. But I noticed it myself and it’s amongst the reasons why I think you should grab a jar for yourself. If you need another reason, consider this – a quick dab of your badger brush into the cream will produce a rich, frothy lather. At that rate, you’ll be sitting on this shave cream for a long time. The return on investment will continue yielding benefits.

Add The Body Shop’s Maca Root Shave Cream to your daily regimen. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Royal Treatment

Rod's Royal Treatment Lip BalmUp until fairly recently, I never gave lip balm much thought. It’s something I bought from time to time and somehow, I amassed quite a few. Seems contradictory I know but I never finished one before I bought another. That changed when I began using Rod’s Royal Treatment Lip Balm because from the very first application, I knew things would never be the same.

Rod’s Royal Treatment Lip Balm is simply amazing. What impresses me is that it doesn’t leave my lips feeling heavy or coated. Guys don’t want shiny or greasy lips. We want them protected without everyone knowing we’re wearing something. You’ll find that here and more. Made with sunflower seed oil and castor oil, which are known for nourishing lips, it also contains SPF 15. Every time I’ve used it, I’m left wondering whether I applied anything. That’s how fast it begins to work its magic.

If you’re experiencing chapped lips, remember to increase your intake of water. The skin on the lips is thin and while we layer up in the winter, they are exposed to the elements. The extra hydration will return to your body the moisture that winter robs us of. Lastly, licking your lips provides momentary relief but only exacerbates the issue. Protect them stealthily with Rod’s Royal Treatment Lip Balm.

Rod’s Royal Treatment Lip Balm – $4

Lucky Tiger’s Liquid Shave Cream

LuckyTiger

If there’s one thing about my grooming regimen I enjoy it’s shaving. A lot of guys dread it and I did at one time as well. When I changed my thinking and realized this is me time, it became an enjoyable part of my day. Add to that the joy of discovering new products and I’m a happy camper.

I recently discovered Lucky Tiger’s Liquid Shave Cream and I wrote about it in a guest review for CustomShaving.com. Enjoy.

Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes

Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes

The heat here in NYC has been brutal – hazy, hot and humid. It’s typical for summer in the city but no matter how many times you’ve experienced it, that combination leaves you drained and irritable. It, however, provided me the perfect opportunity to try Ursa Major’s newly launched Essential Face Wipes.

Infused with their 4-in-1 Face Tonic and made of bamboo fibers, Ursa Major’s Essential Face wipes contain no parabens, sulfates or synthetic fragrance. The very first time I tested one, I used it at the end of a long and incredibly draining day and it completely changed my mood. My face felt rejuvenated. I tested it again, early in the morning and the same thing occurred. These individually packaged wipes are excellent for cleaning and rehydrating parched skin. What I really like about them is how much solution each carries. I was able to completely wipe my face and neck a minimum of six times before it started to dry out. How many of you are washing your face that diligently daily?

I remember when I first met Oliver Sweatman of Ursa Major at the Elements Showcase; we talked about his desire to launch a face wipe. We both agreed that there are moments when you’re just so lazy that the last thing you want to do is wash your face, e.g. after a long night of partying and drinking. The cotton pads sold in drug stores, however, just aren’t strong enough for men’s faces as they tear leaving streaks of stuff all over your face. And if you think a splash of water will rid your face of oil build up or unclog those pores, think again. Ollie said it would take some time to produce the ideal wipe – something strong and durable and effective at cleaning the face but not stripping it of all its own goodness. Well, I’d say he accomplished his mission.

Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes 20 pack – $24

Old Spice’s New Appeal

Brooklyn Sunset

As the sun was setting this past Saturday night in Brooklyn, NY, I found myself smoking a great cigar and sharing spirits with dear friends. As the topic of conversation jumped around, inevitably we found ourselves talking about pop culture and reality TV. Aside from confessing our guilty pleasures, a particular moment stood out when we began discussing commercials. When we began reviewing those that caught our attention, we were in awe of how many we could recall in the age of DVR. We laughed at a few, questioned what were they thinking for others and tipped our hats to a few we found really progressive. For instance, we thought the Cheerios commercial with the interracial couple was cute and very timely and the Amazon Kindle commercial with the girl and gay guy on the beach caught us off guard, in a good way (we didn’t expect the ending but we were glad Amazon went there). This got me thinking about how some commercials targeting to men have been on point lately. One in particular, the Old Spice commercial with the guy being followed by a shower everywhere he goes is hilarious.

Old Spice recently launched a collection of scented soap bars and to bring it to the attention of men, debuted a series of commercials. For those that can remember the soap commercials of the 80’s, they were big on showcasing lather to catchy jingles. With a nod to the 80’s, Old Spice continues its dead on marketing approach by poking fun at these commercials of yesteryear. Every time I see them, I can’t help laughing. I actually planned on writing about them and then I was contacted about reviewing the collection.

Old Spice Scented Bar Soaps

I really like Old Spice’s new collection of scented soap bars. For a while I’ve been using body wash so this was a nice departure. The bars have been thoughtfully designed. Their shape and size allows the bars to rest comfortably in your hands. Each of the bars, Figi, Pure Sport and Swagger are very fragrant. On one occasion after taking a shower, I cracked the bathroom door and my wife commented that not only did the soap smell good but it also scented our entire bedroom. As for the soap’s performance, if you like a soap that produces a good lather and doesn’t dry out your skin, check and check. After using these soaps for two weeks, my skin feels just fine. My favorite of the three is Swagger. The scent is clean with a musky under tone and it just works. My wife on the other hand is a fan of Pure Sport so I guess I’ll be going between the two.

This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed, however, are completely my own based on my experience.

Razor Shield by HYD For Men

Razor Shield by Hyd for Men

If you search the Internet for an answer to the question, how often should I change my razor blades, a myriad of responses will turn up but most recommend changing them every 5-7 days. If you fall into that category, you’re going through a considerable amount of blades per year. Scratch that! I recently put Razor Shield by HYD For Men to the test and my double-edged blade lasted me 25 days. Impressed? Keep reading.

Whether you shave daily or every other day you finish your shave by washing off your blade and lay it on the sink or hang it in a holder to dry. The excess water, which is still there, and the condensation build up present in the bathroom team up and begin dulling your blade by corroding it. To combat this, Razor Shield, which is a proprietary solution you apply to your razor blade after every use, creates a barrier around the blade to protect it. As simple as that may seem, I was honestly astonished how long my blade lasted.

While I bought my blades in bulk prior to using Razor Shield, this will make them last even longer, which will add up in my favor for once, and I couldn’t be more satisfied. I think you will be too after trying Razor Shield.

Razor Shield by HYD For Men, 15ML – $17.99

A Gift Guide for Dad

At 77 years of age, my father, Robert Orminstin Bishop, is still alive and kicking. I’m fortunate I know. And as we get closer to Father’s Day, I think about all he’s done over the years and continues to do and I get emotional. As a child, he was strict. When that church bell rang at 6pm, shortly thereafter dad was coming down the block looking for his boys. We didn’t like it then but he did what he thought he had to do for his boys to survive these mean streets. As an immigrant from Barbados, he came here and by any means made it happen for his family. That’s a man and he is my father. I love him like cooked food on a Sunday. (My West Indian friends will chuckle at that one.)

As you reflect on your dad and ponder his greatness, here are a few Father’s Day gift ideas for your consideration…

Anthonys Logistics Perfect Shave
Anthony Logistics For Men The Perfect Shave Kit
As dads get up there in age, they can be stubborn in a lot of ways. Offer him a departure and an upgrade from his usual shaving routine in the form of a great dopp kit from Anthony’s. Featuring a quartet of full sized products including facial cleanser, preshave oil, shaving cream and after shave balm, this combination of products helps to eliminate ingrown hairs, irritation and razor burn; all of the essentials he needs for a perfect shave.

Anthony Logistics Perfect Shave Dopp Kit – $55

Cannon Radio Vault
Radio Vault
If dad loves his gadgets, he’ll get a kick out of the Radio Vault by Cannon Security Products. This dual-purpose safe is a fully functional radio alarm clock with an iPhone/iPod docking station and a hidden security drawer that is accessed with a biometric fingerprint scanner. How cool is that? Wait, it gets better – The stealth security door is reinforced with steel and disguised to look like speakers.

Radio Vault – $349.99

Joya Oliver Rugger In Girum candle
Joya x Oliver Ruuger In Grinum Candle
For those quiet moments when dad just loves to unplug, a nice candle is an excellent accessory. Joya Studio and fashion designer Oliver Ruuger collaborated on an exquisite work of art, In Girum Candle, which is a limited edition candle that’s handmade in London and New York. The candle is encased in leather that’s made from British saddle hide and features intricate artwork burned deep into the leather. The subject of the artwork is formed around an ancient Latin palindrome and offers an answer to the riddle: “In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni.” Translation: “We go into the circle at night and are consumed by fire.” As for the scent, it’s smoky, woody and all man. The total package is exquisite. After the candle is long gone, dad will keep this for sure.

Joya x Oliver Ruuger In Girum Scented Candle – $450

Pengallan grey white seersucker front

Pengallan Slim Fit Boxers
For the dad that pays close attention to his stylish details, he’ll really appreciate the modernity of some boxer shorts from Pengallan. Far from the pack of three most guys are satisfied with, Pengallan’s boxers are handmade in NYC using 100% cotton shirting fabric from Europe. Sporting a flat front and sized to men’s pants sizes, these boxers are cut slim through the hips and seat, which eliminates unnecessary fabric that ends up causing what’s known as the “riding up” effect. What you’re left with is truer to size boxers that can now been worn with slimmer cut pants. One last thing, these aren’t your basic blue, white, and black colored boxers. Color ways and patterns are updated to keep things fresh. Once a particular size option is gone, it’s gone.

Pengallan’s Slim-Fit Boxers Grey/White Seersucker – $60

Florentine Iris
Florentine Iris
If there’s one thing guys suffer from when it comes to products, it’s loyalty. When they find something that works, it’s with them forever. Florentine Iris by Ermenegildo Zegna will, however, give dad a reason to pause and consider adding a new scent to his collection. One of a collection of five scents from Zegna’s Essenze collection, each scent is built around Italian Bergamot. Florentine Iris uses three different varieties of Iris along with jasmine, violet and musk to offer a distinctively clean, slightly powdery scent that can be worn day or night. What makes it particularly appealing is how alluringly subtle it is. Mom will especially dig it.

Florentine Iris – 4.2 oz – $195

Travel Essentials For Weekend Getaways

Memorial Day Essentials 

Memorial Day is approaching and that weekend we celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer. Queue backyard and rooftop barbecues, casual and summer Fridays and ice coffee-everything. And since summer and everything fun is all we begin thinking about, it’s when we start thinking about running away for the weekend.

I love hopping down to Philadelphia and exploring its burgeoning food scene and maybe, just maybe I’ll make it to Maine this year. One thing I’ve come to realize, however, is although you’re escaping for a few days, you can’t depend on your hotel to stock quality grooming essentials. Grab these essentials and take them along for the ride.

Kiehl’s
Since you can’t take everything with you, where will you cut a corner? Maybe a 2-in-1 product is what you need and why not look to Kiehl’s for the answer. Their Cross-Terrain All-In-One Refueling Wash is packed with goodies like Aloe Vera, vitamin E, and citrus oil and will keep you squeaky clean from head to toe.

Bulldog Natural Skincare
Since your routine will be thrown off in the name of fun, slash time of your morning shave sensibly. Bulldog Natural’s shave gel has 8 essential oils, aloe Vera and jojoba to moisturize, and protect your face, while quickly moving your razor along sans any irritation.

Baxter of California
While the look of Baxter of California’s Citrus deodorant can be deceivingly simple, it packs a subtle punch. It’s so light you won’t even notice you’re being protected all day long.

Ursa Major
Loaded with all natural and organic ingredients, here is another combo pack you don’t want to leave behind. Ursa Major’s Fortifying Face Balm fights ingrown and razor burns with its soothing antiseptic properties, and provides anti-aging benefits. The best part, all of that won’t leave your face feeling greasy as it quickly absorbs into you skin.

Thirdman
The beautiful thing about fresh, citrus scents is they can be worn anywhere. One of the things that has bothered me about them is that many lack depth. Thirdman has created a collection of invigorating Eau de Cologne’s that are far from basic. Eau de Nomade’s Sicilian lemon, blood orange and cardamom are beautifully balanced and what you get is a zesty, slightly sweet and tantalizingly warm scent that’s far from your average summer cologne.

Odor Eaters

nicheformen_deotorizingwipes_pack

Gents, what do you do when the day is hectic and you know a shower isn’t possible? You either wing it or hope no one notices you’re not your freshest. For occasions like these and many others, Niche For Men has developed deodorizing wipes made especially for men.

Individually packaged wipes, which are about the size of a hand towel (9×11), are infused with ginseng and aloe vera. What you’re left with is a very masculine scented wipe that’s good for one use but well equipped to get the job done. I recently tested Niche For Men after a night out at the cigar lounge and it easily washed away the odor of hanging out for a few hours in a smoked filled room. The best part, my wife couldn’t detect any cigar scent. My skin felt rejuvenated and moisturized.

Tis the season for increased activities. After work cocktails, which can lead to flirty dinners and late night shenanigans is just one of many possibilities that can occur now that the weather is breaking. Do yourself a favor and keep these in your bag or at your desk. You won’t be sorry.

A one pack of Niche For Men’s deodorizing wipes, which brings two individually wrapped wipes are $3.00

Niche For Men sent a sample of this product to me but my opinion is my own.

Fog Free Shower Mirror by ShaveWell

Fog Free Shower Mirror

For the as long as I’ve been wet shaving, I wanted to do so in the shower. Warm air holds more moisture and since you’re already under the water, this setting is ideal for saturating your facial hair and thus obtaining the best possible shave. To make this happen, I needed to find a shower mirror that is easy to install, wouldn’t fog up and is reasonably priced. I recently purchased the Fog Free Shower Mirror by ShaveWell and I couldn’t be happier.

For starters, the Fog Free Shower Mirror is Apple-esque in its out of the box ready to use ease. The package includes minimal but easy to understand instructions, a plastic hook and the mirror. The hook is one of these super strong adhesives and it only requires cleaning with area of the wall you intend to hang it with some rubbing alcohol. Once you let it dry, the instructions indicate waiting 2 hours, your mirror is ready to be hung. (You can also use one of these Command Water-Resistant hooks, which I did.) Ease of installation – Check!

The mirror comes with a protective coating that you ultimately remove. Once this is done and when you’re ready to shave, you hold both the back and front of the mirror under the shower stream to warm it up. This one tactic is the brilliance of this mirror. When the mirror in your bathroom fogs up, what’s happening is the warm air from your shower, which is saturated with moisture, comes in contact with the cooler surface of the mirror. As a result, the moisture is sucked out of the air and falls onto the mirror. To reverse this action, you simply raise the temperature of the mirror to equal that of the air inside the shower. No fog – ehh!

Here’s the best part of this whole thing, the starting price for ShaveWell’s Fog Free Shower Mirror is $9.99 on Amazon. For $3 more, I ordered the Deluxe, which is bigger than their original mirror. The size is perfect as I can comfortably see enough of my face to guide myself through my shave. Reasonably priced – Check!

There really isn’t anything bad I can say about this mirror. For the price, you aren’t buying aesthetics. It’s a simple mirror that’s super easy to install. With respect to no fog, I truly expected that it would never fog up. Chalk that expectation up to its name but that hasn’t deterred from how satisfied I am with this product. When this happens it’s usually right before I’m about to shave. By that time, the mirror’s surface is still cooler than the temperature of the air inside my shower. That’s quickly remedied, however, by submerging both sides of the mirror under the shower stream for a few seconds to warm it up. Be sure to install your mirror in a place that’s not subjected to a draft as that will cool the mirror’s surface too. Using the Command Water-Resistant strips I mentioned will allow you to move the mirror around, if necessary, to find the ideal spot in your shower.

Bottom line, I cannot remember the last time I spent this little money on a product and was this thrilled. My shaving experience is better for it too.