Category Archives: Face & Shaving

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Product Review: Artis Brush

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Artis.

Have you ever tried using a shaving brush?

When I first discovered that you can create a barbershop-type experience at home with a shaving brush, I was surprised. I thought that brushes were too fancy for home use. Brushes were an unnecessary tool. It was only a few years ago that I learned different.

Now when I shave, I ALWAYS use a brush to help spread the shaving cream or butter. I’ve found that brushes do a far better job at distributing products, and I think that I tend to use less product when a brush can help build up a quick and rich lather. For a while now, I’ve been using only one brush faithfully. That is, until the folks over at Artis sent over their brush for me to try out.

Read on for my review…

The Good

The Artis Brush is beautiful. It’s well designed with a smoky color and it is compact, which means that it will probably fit well in most average-sized hands. Its design is interesting as it requires the use of your entire hand, instead of how you typically hold brushes with a couple of your fingers as you swipe and flick away. This, I think, is part of what makes the Artis brush so unique.

For those of you with sensitive skin, the bristles are light and smooth. So much so, that the term bristles seems like a bit of a misnomer here. It FEELS so good on your skin.

But is it right for use with shaving cream or shave butter? That’s another question altogether.

The Not So Good

In my trials with the products, I’ve found that it’s pretty difficult to work up a good lather with this brush.  It doesn’t matter what shaving product I used (I alternated between a gel-based product and a soap-based product), Artis just doesn’t ever get there. Similarly, it doesn’t readily absorb water which makes it very difficult to use.

The brush itself, I think, would be a prime candidate for makeup application, which I think is its primary purpose actually. But for shaving, unfortunately it’s a miss for me.

If you’re looking for a shaving brush to add to your daily routine, I can’t say that I’m convinced this offering from Artis is the right thing for you. However, if you are a make-up aficionado then it might be something that you can really appreciate.

 

To learn more about this brush, you can visit the Artis website at artisbrush.com.

Product Review: Treets Traditions

Disclosure: Product for review has been provided for the sole purpose of this review. All opinions listed herein are mine and mine alone.

Treets Traditions is a company focused on creating products that strike a natural balance between the holistic, natural and accessible. Rooted in ancestral cosmetology, the worldwide approach to skin and body care is inspired and Treets offers an incredible range of products to meet pretty much every need.

I’ve recently spent some time with a select view of the Treets line up and I’m happy to share my thoughts with you today in this review!

Nourishing Spirits Miracle Oil

First up is Treets Nourishing Spirits Miracle Oil which hails from their Africa inspired line of body and grooming products.  This is a powerhouse product. I understand why it’s called Miracle Oil. It pretty much does it all.

The oil is made face, hair, body, hands and nails. It also works well as beard oil for the gents, so I personally think it’s a worthwhile product for the entire family.

It is a straight up oil, which means it is rich. It’s been a great product for me to have throughout the drier, winter months. It’s a great after shower product to seal in moisture. It definitely helps keep dry, cracking skin at bay.

It has 6 natural oils including Baobab and Marula, which you will likely hear more and more about in different grooming products as time goes on as I’ve noticed they are recently gaining some steam. I find these oils absorb well into the skin and don’t feel as heavy as others. Miracle Oil also has almond oil (my personal all-time favorite) and jojoba which helps provide protection from a super greasy feel. If you don’t like heavy oils, this might be the perfect blend for you to try. It’s good enough for use from head to toe.  It’s great for men, women and children. I cannot say enough good things about it. To be honest, I’ll be sad when I run out!

Price: $26 / Availability: www.ulta.com

Revitalising Ceremonies Body Salt Scrub

I’ve had less success with the body salt scrub. While it has the same nice, refreshing (and clean) scent as the body lotion (review below) it just didn’t hit the mark for me. I think, in large part, due to how wet the product is in the jar and how small the salt crystals are.

I can see some folks really enjoying the smoothness of it, but I have to say that I expect a bit more grit in my scrub.  I didn’t really feel like this scrub offered me the exfoliation I was looking for.  The good news is, I do think that it works well as an addition to a nice, long bath soak. These small salt crystals and natural oils dissolve well in a hot bath. I’ve definitively gotten some great use out of it this way.

Price: $20.00 / Availability: www.ulta.com

Revitalising Ceremonies Body Lotion

This has to be, my favorite Treets product that I’ve tried so far. I’m notorious for continuously moisturizing my hands.  After all, who wants ashy dry hands?!  Not I! After I wash my hands, I can’t stand the feeling of dry skin. To compensate, I always keep lotion nearby. This body lotion has quickly become a staple. So much so, that it hasn’t left the spot in my home office that it has occupied for several weeks now.

With apricot oil, cranberry and thyme, this lotion just does the trick. It works so well that I often find myself applying it after applying my drug store body lotion that I’m sure most folks use too. It speaks to the idea that sometimes you get what you pay for. This lotion is expensive but if you’re sensitive about your skin’s needs, you will definitely feel see the value in stretching your cash.

Price: $19.00 / Availability: www.ulta.com

 

All the products mentioned in this post are available at Ulta.com or Treets.com.

How to Up Your Beard Game…AND Maintain It

Guest post written and submitted by Adam of Beard Care Products.

Good news! If you’re planning on growing a beard or are having doubts about keeping one, it takes just a few tweaks to make a huge difference.

Facial hair needs some loving care. Your beard says a lot about you so it’s important to keep it well-maintained. It requires a little effort. Your beard is like a houseplant that needs just a bit of sunshine, a bit of water and it will do just fine.

It may take some time to grow that beard, but once it comes in, you’ll be glad you took the effort to grow it. It will give you the freedom of not having to worry about shaving. All your beard needs is a few basic ingredients and TLC. It will delight and surprise you in more ways than one.

Be Patient

The first thing you need is patience. You can’t just give up after a few days of growth. In today’s society we want everything fast and quick. But beards are a natural thing – and like nature they take time – but the wait is worth it.

How to Battle Beard Itching & Flakiness

If you have itching, redness or flakiness, the solution is to hydrate, moisturize and soften your beard with a beard conditioner. That way it will be much easier to maintain, comb and groom.

You can also try using a beard oil or beard balm (they both do the same job), it just depends on your preference. For what it’s worth, my experience is that beard oils are convenient and quicker to apply and work well for men with straight facial hair. Beard balms, on the other hand, tend to give you a stronger hold, but you need to rub it between your fingertips to melt it and then apply. This works better for facial hair that tends to curl a bit.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of beard oils and balms are scented with lime, mint, cedarwood etc., but if you don’t like scents or are sensitive to them, there are unscented products that will give you the same hold and look.

Regardless of what you use, don’t expect perfection. Just apply what works for you and comb downwards. You’ll get the best results right after the shower while your beard is still a little damp and easier to comb.

Keep it clean!

A number of beard shampoos and beard washes are readily available. Choosing a mild one that doesn’t strip away your natural oils will help your beard stay soft.

One of the great advantages of growing a beard is that it doesn’t have to look perfect. You have some room for that rugged look – even in the office.

Just remember, a little care will go a long way in keeping your beard sharp and well-groomed.

You are sure to get some comments, positive and negative. Ignore the negative remarks and soon your beard will become a key part of who you are!

About the author:
Adam is a beard enthusiast and does PR for Beard Care Products. He has 10+ years experience writing about beard care, growth and maintenance.

 

Winter Skin Care Secrets with Dr. Brian Zelickson

It’s almost winter time which means it’s time to break out those humidifiers and extra thick lotions to take good care of your skin. Personally, I always struggle during the winter months because the air is so dry. My already dry scalp continues to suffer and if I forget to lotion right out of the shower, I get a BAD case of the itchies which is terrible for your skin.

Most of us spend winters covered up, from head to toe. As a New Yorker, it’s something I’m intimately familiar with.  Sometimes it takes 10 minutes just to gear up with a scarf, gloves, coat and hat. It’s rough!

I always look for advice from the experts on how to practice the best grooming possible, because we all need help, right?  I was able to speak with Dr. Brian Zelickson via email about some of his winter skin care tips for men. Here are some helpful tips and product recommendations that I think will help you out this winter!

Tip 1

Nothing speeds up the aging process like excess sun exposure. It’s important to wear an SPF during the winter, even when the sun isn’t as noticeable. I recommend an SPF of at least 30.

Product Recommendation: MD Complete Anti-Aging Youthful Skin Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Tip 2

Apply a body moisturizer when skin is still slightly damp to help seal in moisture, and avoid products with dyes and scents that can aggravate skin.

Product Recommendation: Curél Itch Defense Lotion

Tip 3

Wash your face at night, so you cleanse all of the oils and dirt from the day. In the morning, simply rinse with water and buff with a gentle cloth. If you have issues with acne, try a gentle cleanser with Salicylic Acid.

Product Recommendation: MD Complete Skin Clearing Clarifying Cleanser

Tip 4

If your skin is constantly dry, add a product that is formulated with Hyaluronic Acid. It’s naturally found in the body, and is a moisture-binding ingredient that plumps skin with hydration.

Product Recommendation: Dermarché Labs Fullfill

What are your favorite products to use during winter? Let’s share some recommendations in the comment section below!

 

Dr. Brian Zelickson is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist who graduated from the Mayo Clinic. He is a pioneer in laser medicine and surgery. He is also a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Dermatology and a member of American Academy of Dermatology & American Dermatologic Association.

3 Steps to Stache Care + A Winner!

Thank you to those who entered the Harry’s Truman Shave Set Giveaway and CONGRATULATIONS Ignaldo on your win!  Please check your email to redeem your prize!

As it is the month of Movember, and so many of us are trying to take extra special care of our staches this month, I collaborated with Harry’s to bring you a cool infographic on healthy stache care.

Harry’s is also donating $1 from the sale of each Truman Set and Handle up to $50,000 on Harrys.com for the next two weeks to the Movember Foundation to support men’s health initiatives. So even if you didn’t win you can purchase your own set and know that you’re contributing to a worthwhile cause!

Check out the infographic below!

 

3 steps to stache care harrys manemanblog

SHHH! My Summertime Grooming Secret

Everyone has a secret now and then, right?

One day when I was walking down the streets of NYC, I walked past a salon from which two women were standing outside with a small bottle asking women if they could spray them. I found this to be an incredibly odd thing to do and avoided their side of the street altogether. I mean, who sprays strangers’ faces in the streets?!  NYC is weird but that was a little too weird for me. They also weren’t targeting men at all which made me think that it was something only reserved for the ladies…go figure.

Fast forward to a few weeks later when I received a package from the folks at Wen asking me to try out their replenishing treatment mist line up.  My first thought? “WHAT IS THIS?!”

As it turns out, it was just what those strange women were spraying by female passersby only a few weeks prior on the street. It was then that I was introduced to the mid day spritz.

My personal experience with Wen products has been fantastic so I was all too eager to give the mists a chance even though I found the concept strange.  It turns out the mists would be my favorite new grooming find this summer. Let me tell you why…

It’s been hot and humid a lot in this city. This summer I often found myself sweating excessively and trying to get my hair and skin to recover from all the sun exposure. It doesn’t help that I spent a lot time at the beach too.  But hey, isn’t that what summer is for?

Soon I found that whenever I went to the beach I had a replenishing mist bottle with me. The sprays are meant to bring hair, face and body much-needed hydration and life. Each bottle has a blend of amino acids, botanicals and herbs to help soothe and rejuvenate dry or parched skin.  In essence, the perfect summer grooming product.

I was fortunate enough to try out three different varieties: 319 Fragrance Free Ultra Nourishing Replenishing Treatment Mist, Mandarin Italian Fig Restorative Replenishing Treatment Mist and 613 Lemon Rosemary Vanilla Bean Ultra Nourishing Replenishing Treatment Mist (my favorite scent).

In short, I loved them all. The midday refresh was a welcome prize and turned into an inevitable treat during my summer days.  The bottles came to the beach with me along with my latest book and beach towel. The mists traveled with me on vacation to San Diego when it seems like all I did was soak up the sun.

I know some gents will balk at the idea of using a replenishing mist, but as I’ve often learned I’m continuously better for stepping outside of my comfort zone when it comes to grooming. These mists smell good and more importantly, FEEL good.  So I ask, why not give it a try?

To learn more about these treatment mists, you can visit the Wen by Chaz Dean site.

Disclosure: Complimentary product was provided for the sole purpose of this review. The opinions listed herein are mine, and mine alone and have not been unduly influenced by any third party.

 

Product Review: 7th Heaven Face Masks for Men

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of 7th Heaven.

Men’s skin has special needs. Larger pores allow for more sweating and buildup than women’s skin. But how many of us actually take the time to care enough to counteract that?

Over the past several years, I’ve been much more diligent about skin care. Part of the reason is vanity but another part of this is about promoting an overall sense of wellness.  Skin care is self care, I say.

In an effort to use whatever skin care products I can get my hands on, I recently had the opportunity to try 7th Heaven’s skin masks for men. Here’s that I thought!

7th heaven men dead sea peel off mask review

Deep Pore Cleansing Peel Off Mask

Enriched with sea salt, this mask is designed to deeply cleanse the skin and help deliver a clean and smooth complexion. The first step to any mask, ironically is to start with a clean face. I’ve been using an oil free cleanser for my routine which I find keeps my skin pretty clear.  After cleansing, I then applied the mask and let it set for 15-20 minutes per package instructions. After applying I immediately felt some stinging/burning sensation that dissipated after a few minutes. It wasn’t painful but definitely noticeable. In the spirit of discovery, I forged ahead and had no negative effects otherwise. I think the reaction was a combination of the powerful spearmint, my already very sensitive skin, and a lot of recent (and significant sun exposure). Since then, I haven’t experienced any negative effects.

After a few minutes of a much nicer (and calmer) cooling sensation, I peeled off the mask like some horror movie monster, as opposed to the traditional method of washing it off. This is actually one of the best things about this mask…easy clean up!  After 20 minutes you just peel off the mask and you’re good to go. It left my skin feeling refreshed and cool.  The smoothness and moisture was on point.

Deep Sea Rescue Mud Masque

I also had the opportunity to try out the Deep Sea Rescue Mud Masque, which as you might imagine, is a bit messier than it’s peel off counterpart.  This is a more traditional product as far as masks are concerned. The rest time for this product is shorter, at 10-15 minutes, which makes it slightly less time intensive. I didn’t mind either way, as I tried it at the end of a day while catching up on some much needed Netflix.

The mud sea masque doesn’t have the same medicated/tingly feeling that the spearmint mask offers, but those familiar with face masks will recognize the feeling of your skin firming underneath the mask’s surface.  My skin felt equally as smooth nourished after this mask, even though the mess of it is a little annoying as it relates to clean up.

If I HAD to pick one over the other that I prefer, I’m not sure which I feel like is a better option. Truth is, they both work well and come housed in individual use packets, which I think is convenient and allows you to purchase just the amount that you need. At around $2 a pop, I think these masks are a GREAT investment for a once weekly part of your skin care routine. I think they’re a great way to balance otherwise unruly or unnourished skin.

To learn more about these masks, and other offerings, you can visit the 7th Heaven website.

 

Product Review: eShave FACE SCRUB

I remember what a revelation it was years ago to discover that exfoliating prior to shaving was the missing link to my grooming routine.  Ever since then, I’ve made regular skin exfoliation a part of my grooming routine. Today, I’m going to share with you my take on a new product, eShave FACE SCRUB.

eShave FACE SCRUB

In order to keep your skin looking youthful, exfoliation is key.  The process helps remove dead, dull skin skills and reveals that more energized, healthy looking ones.  Not only does it keep you looking younger, but exfoliation also helps lift up hairs in preparation for shaving. This is especially for men of color and those with coarser, curlier hair types who are often prone to ingrown hairs.  It’s worked wonders for me.

I recently got my hands on eShave FACE SCRUB, which is an exfoliating product designed to help you get that close shave.  Housed in a small, pump plastic container the product is easy to use. Just use two to three pumps on wet hands, massage it gently into your face targeting areas for shaving and rinse. That’s it, you’re done!  It helps smooth out skin and lift up those hair, providing for that closer shave. I use a single blade razor and have for a while now and after exfoliating I’ve gotten pretty good results with the eShave FACE SCRUB.

My qualms about the product are small, but notable. Mainly, I wold like for more product to come out per pump. It’s a small amount I can’t decide if this is to control my often heavy hands (and other gents like me) or if it’s just a design flaw. I haven’t decided but it is a little bothersome. The “white tea” scent I tried is fragrant but not overpowering.  I will warn that those with sensitive eyes may want to limit this product’s use on areas to be shaved and not necessarily as an all-face exfoliator for that reason, which is something to consider if you’re on a budget and looking for grooming products. At $18 per 1.7 ounces of product, the price is high. I’m not sure that it’s quite worth the cost for such little product.

Overall, the White Tea FACE SCRUB by eShave is solid. It does help deliver a smooth shave, but I’m not sure it’s worth the $18 investment when other scrubs on the market offer the same benefit, but for less.

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of eShave.

Product Review: Remington Beard Boss™ Grooming

Disclosure: This is a sponsored review by Remington. Products for review were provided courtesy of Remington. All opinions contained in this post are mine, and mine alone.

Every guy needs an effective trimmer in his life.  From the ‘stache squad to #beardgang, to be a well-maintained gent you must have the right tools. This is where a company like Remington comes in. With a well-established reputation in the grooming community, Remington has long offered men grooming tools to keep us looking stylish and feeling suave. Today, I’m sharing with you my thoughts on two of their latest, The Crafter and The Beardsman.

The Beardsman ($54.99) is a full grooming kit that enables gents with sizable, and thick beards to maintain their facial manes. It features:

  • 120 minute runtime
  • 3 length combs
  • Zoom wheel
  • Detail trimmer
  • Quick-release blade
  • Brush and scissors

So let’s talk about the Beardsman!  For me, I find that the Beardsman is one of those trimmers that works best for people with a lot of facial hair to maintain. As someone who generally rocks a goatee, there’s not a lot I need in a shaver.  So for a week or so, I let the facial thickness set in and gave The Beardsman a try. I was pleasantly surprised.

While I still think that The Beardsman is for gents with really lush beards, it does work really well for shorter hair. It feels substantial in the hand and has an ease of use about it which makes it really comfortable. It’s not complicated, odd or gimmicky. It’s just what a gent with a well-coiffed beard needs. It comes with an XL grooming comb made for guys with long beards but also offers up the use of smaller combs for less than full faces. While I have yet to really master the practicality of the zoom wheel, the bonus brush and grooming scissors are a mainstay in helping me keep those edges in check.

The Crafter ($49.99) is a bit more of a maintenance type of product that you can use more regularly for the details in keeping your face smooth and tidy. It features some pretty nifty features such as:

  • 180 minute runtime
  • Titanium coated blades
  • Waterproof!
  • Turbo mode
  • Adjustable comb
  • Extended neck
  • Bonus detail trimmer with attachments

On a day-to-day basis, I find that The Crafter offers more of what I need to keep myself looking good. Its focus on style and detail helps you maintain clean lines and edges and provides attachments to clean up those pesky nose hairs and any other strays may be floating around. It doesn’t quite have the heft of The Beardsman, which is to be expected. It is also waterproof, so that  means that you can also take it into the shower with you if you need. Or, at the very least, if it falls into the sink you won’t immediately freak out that is automatically ruined.  It’s a versatile product with a pretty lengthy run time.  As an added bonus, it comes with a nice little carrying kit, which means its great for guys who need to maintain their stylish scruff on the road.

Overall, I think that heavily bearded gents would definitely benefit most from The Beardsman, which is an effective all in one kit for maintaining a lush beard.  For those of us who tend to go more minimal, The Crafter will likely be sufficient. And, at a slightly lower price point, its the more accessible tool of the two.  Either, however, would make a great Father’s Day or Graduation Day gift.

You can learn more about Remington’s line up at RemingtonProducts.com.

 

Natural Products for Your Spring Dopp Kit

Spring time is really here!

The weather is actually starting to catch up to the actual month in NYC so I’m very thankful for that.  With every new season, for this grooming guru, I always take a few beats to think about updates to my grooming regimen. Humidity. Humectants. Skin barriers. AHHHHHH! It can be a bit much.  Not to worry, my pain exists for your skin’s benefit.

I’ve taken some time to create a collection of some of the best natural, or naturally inspired grooming products that I think are perfect for spring.  From skin to lip care, this time of year you still need some emollients as the air is still a little dry in places, however you don’t want to dive head first into full on humectant territory either. Finding that balance can be pretty tough. I think that shea butter can be a great ingredient for many seasons which is why you’ll see it included in some of the products on my list.

I also know that this time of year more and more folks are thinking about taking trips and need to know what to take along with them. Well, every gent should have a well-stocked Dopp kit (toiletry bag) so I decided to combine these two ideas and bring you my collection “Natural Products for Your Spring Dopp Kit”.  Check out the full story on Mode.com below:

Check out Natural Products for your Spring Dopp Kit

by Jor-El at Mode