A few days ago I said on Instagram, there’s nothing like a quality shave to start the day. That photo, however, made me reflect back to 2007 when I started Fragrant Moments and I never could have imagined that I’d be so into straight shaving. Back then I had the simplest of grooming routines and Andis clippers was my shaving instrument of choice. But a turning point for me occurred when Martial Vivot invited me to experience my very first straight shave. It is an experience I will never forget.
Since then I’ve tried a lot of products, some of which I’ve reviewed here on Fragrant Moments. And through trial and error I realized preparation, patience, and practice (my 3 P’s of wet shaving) is the way to an irritation, nick free shave. Using quality products is also something I’ve paid more attention to as well. A good face wash really prepares the skin and facial hair for shaving. Unclogging those pores and opening them so the hair is further weakened is crucial. Equally as important is your shaving cream and there is no shortage of great ones out there. Once you find good ones that work for you, you’ll know immediately why they’re better than all the rest. Lastly, if you’ve paid close attention to the preshave and the actual shave, the post shave is not the time you should be thinking about cutting corners. The right after shave balm will tighten up those pores, soothe and moisturize your freshly shaven face.
Whether you shave in the shower or at the sink when you’re done, enjoy the moment. Change how you think about this time you give to yourself and I guarantee you’ll have a better shaving experience.
Happy shaving gents.
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
Growing up the son of working class parents, I remember having occasion items. When Easter rolled around, it was time to get a suit because, if my mother had anything to do with it, we were surely going to church . When we came home from school, the first thing we had to do was change out of our school clothes. I even had a trench coat for church and funerals. This was a function of economics with a dash of reverence.
As I look back and smile about those days, I couldn’t help thinking about that the first time I tried Ursa Major’s Fortifying Face Balm. The ease at which it applied to my face and was absorbed by my skin, it didn’t even feel like it was there. it felt to good for everyday use but as I continued using it, even on days when I wasn’t shaving, I knew I found just what I needed for the summer. Something light, bright and just right.
The heat of the summer can surely make you not want to put anything on your skin, and that’s the worst thing you can do for yourself. What you want to do is shift from heavier moisturizers and creams to ones that are lightweight. Ursa Major’s Fortifying Face Balm is just that. Your skin will also absorb it quickly, hence the feeling that it’s not there. With high concentrations of aloe, myrtle, witch hazel, willow bark, kendi nut, carrot seed and birch sap, it has served me well thus far this summer.
100% natural and 82% organic, 2.5 oz size retails for $36. You can find it at Ursa Major Men and select retailers.
A sample of Ursa Major’s Fortifying Face Balm was sent to me but my views are all my own.
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, members of the beauty and fragrance industry gathered to attend the second installation of the Elements Showcase, which took place at Skylight Studio in New York City. It describes itself as, “the first-ever curated event devoted to the art of fragrance design.” Essentially, it’s an opportunity for buyers and members of the press to connect with niche fragrance and skincare brands. Participants included MCMC Fragrances, Atelier Cologne, Odin, Caron, Six Scents, Ursa Major, Bond No 9, Histoires de Parfums and many more. For a fragrance enthusiast like myself, it was two exciting days. Continue reading
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Tagged Aesop, Amouage, Bond No 9, Carner Barcelona, Caron, D.S. & Durga, Dorie Greenspan, Elements Showcase, Harry Sheff, Histoires de Parfums, Joya Studios, Le Labo, MCMC Fragrances, Odin, Six Scents, Ursa Major