With the change in weather, comes the much needed change in fragrances. Fall is my favorite time of the year. Not only can I layer my earth tone color palette, I can reach for deeper, richer fragrances.
I recently had the pleasure of chiming in on a fall fragrance feature for Equinox’s website Furthermore. Check it out when you have a moment. There some fragrance application tips as well as one of my favorite of the season thus far.
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.
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.
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.
If there’s one thing about shaving I really enjoy, it’s using my badger brush. Not only is it good for preparing your face, but I find it soothing. When I opened this jar of Rituals Samurai Magic Shave and saw it had the consistency of cream, I knew this wouldn’t be my mind kind of shaving solution.
My heart sank a bit because I really like the Rituals brand. To save the situation, I gave it a try with my brush and as expected, it didn’t work. In a last ditch effort to give this thing a try, however, I used my fingers to apply the Magic Shave and I’m so glad I did.
The problems I’ve encountered with shaving solutions that have the consistency of cream is they end up clogging my razor, which lengthens the amount of time needed to shave. That can get frustrating. Rituals Samurai Magic Shave applies a nice protective coat to the face without being super thick. Even after attempting to work up a lather, which it did, a good portion absorbed into my skin and what was left was a thin coat which helped the razor glide across my face with ease.
I really enjoyed the scent of this Magic Shave. It’s infused with basil and ginger, which work really well together. Again, in this area, Rituals hits the bullseye. Not only is the scent not overpowering, I didn’t incur any feeling of dryness. Normally the additives associated with producing scent in shaving solutions can cause dry skin. That’s far from being the case here.
In a recent post, I gave a reader some tips for picking up the pace of their morning grooming regimen. For those occasions, the use of Rituals Samurai Magic Shave will be my go-to. I can also see it being my travel partner as well.
Rituals Samurai Magic Shave is available in a 70ml tube for $12, which isn’t a bad price if you want to give this a try. If you do, let me know what you think.
“I love my morning routine, which includes shaving, but I’m wondering how I can cut down on the time I’m spending in the bathroom? Shaving takes the most time?”
Martin – Memphis, TN
A couple of years ago while visiting Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck, NY I was having a conversation at breakfast and grooming was the topic of the moment. When I disclosed I used a badger brush every morning, the looks I received from the gents at the table were priceless. One gent went so far as to say, “What? Where do you find the time?” My reply, “I make time. It’s me time.” I’m sure that tickled him pink inside. But in all seriousness, it’s true. I look at my morning shower, which also includes shaving, as a moment I not only have to myself, but a chance to gather my thoughts for the day. There are however, times when I just need to get it done, pronto.
I find when my blades are their sharpest, I zip through my shave. My first piece of advice then would be to make sure you’re changing your blades often. Some people recommend 5 days, other say sooner. I think you’ll know when it’s time and that’s when you should change them. If you find yourself going over the same areas a few times, it’s time to switch them out.
If you’re using a badger brush, ditch it and use your hands. While the bristles of the brush are good for massaging your face and lifting hairs, if you’re in a hurry, a few seconds count.
This last piece of advice may have the purists shunning me but oh well. For those mornings when you’re really pressed for time and you’re looking in the mirror asking yourself can you get through the day without shaving, go electric. Yep…I said it. Electric is where I started and I’ve never fully turned my back on it. Zip, zip, zip and I’m done. I enjoy the act of shaving a lot but some mornings I just need it to be done and my electric shaver comes in handy.
As always, thanks for the questions. Feel free to drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tagged details, Double Edge Safety Razor, eshave, Imagelogger, Men's Essentials, Men's grooming, NX1, Razors, Shaving, shaving supplies, Wet Shaving
“I recently bought a badger brush but my excitement has faded as I can’t get it build a great lather. What am I doing wrong?”
Nathan – Detroit, Michigan
As a kid, I remember my dad would walk around the house in his new shoes. I found it odd that he would be pacing back and forth keeping a lot of noise. When I asked him what he was doing, he simply replied, “I’m breaking in my new shoes.” If you’ve ever worn brand new shoes, for the first time, for the entire day, I’m sure you can relate. The first few wears can be painful but the more you break them in, the better they feel. With a badger brush, the same is true – you’ve got it break it in before it becomes your best friend.
If you troll the Internet, you’ll find a myriad of opinions on breaking in a badger brush. To me, the simplest and shortest answer is to just use it. With the bristles being so new, they’re stiff and don’t hold water or your shaving cream, which ends up producing a lack luster forth. With time and regular use, they will soften, the brush’s hair will bloom and you’ll notice its performance changes producing the desired lather.
Patience is key to breaking in your badger brush Nathan. Fight through the frustration and know a lifetime of great lathering is just around the corner. Hang in there, you won’t be sorry. I promise.
If you have fragrance or grooming questions, feel free to shoot me a message at email@example.com.
Happy shaving Nathan.