Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review - The Artisan Soap Shoppe / Arctic

Company: The Artisan Soap Shoppe
Product: Arctic / Barber Shop Aftershave Moisturizer
Founder: Jenny & Aaron Peck
Location: Springfield MO

There’s a buzz in the wet shaving community and it’s all because of Jenny Peck one of the owners of The Artisan Soap Shoppe. Last month when I was visiting Pastures in N.Y. and overheard conversations from a few visitors also included was the person who helps with the ordering of shaving products. They all talked about how great this new artisan is but I had no idea who they were talking about. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Review - Forge & Foundry / Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Company: Forge & Foundry
Product: Bay Rum Shaving Soap
Founder: Jeff Bridgers
Location: Wilmington, North Carolina

Jeff Bridgers is a local modern blacksmith in Wilmington, North Carolina. An amazing artisan whose independence and dedication to his craft shows in the quality products he produces. Jeff’s creations are all hand made from the art he forges to the grooming products, handcrafted knives, and razors he makes. You’ll get a better sense of what I’m talking about by taking a quick look on his website. His video explains who he is and what he stands for. An impressive individual.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Review - Palmolive Shaving Cream

Company: Colgate-Palmolive
Product: Palmolive Shaving Cream
Location: New York City, NY
Website - Palmolive

I’ve seen this happen before a new shaving soap or cream comes on the market with the price around $100.00. All the wet shaving YouTubers jump at being the first one on the block to make a video about it. What really excites me is finding something that coast $3.00 that acts and performs like it’s $100.00. Well I found one although it’s not from the US this is a UK product called Palmolive Shaving Cream. This was possible due to my friend from the UK Leslie Asare he subscribes to my youtube channel and thought I would enjoy a few soaps and creams from the UK. This happened once before with my friend Melvin Hollenberg he gave me the shaving soap called De Vergulde Hand from the Netherlands another amazing shaving soap that’s considered a staple and costs very little.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Review - Sudsy Soapery / Twice Mint

Company: Sudsy Soapery
Product: Twice Mint
Founders:  Jonathan and Kaycie

When time permits and the stars are aligned just right which happens less and less these days I head over to Pastures Pharmacy. It truly is the Mecca for all wet shavers to visit. I’ve never seen so many shaving products in one place or like-minded people for that matter like Dave Flores whom I met when I was there. We talked about products we tried and thinking of getting until Leon the owner told us about a package he just received from Sudsy Soapery. They had been sent samples of shaving soap and told us to go through them and pick out the ones we liked.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Review - Victory Shaving Company / 75th Anniversary Doolittle Raid

Company: Victory Shaving Company Veteran Owned
Product: 75th Anniversary Doolittle’s Raid 
Location: Cheyenne WY

A little background first
Taken from the website
On April 18, 1942 80 brave Airmen led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle took off from the deck of the USS Hornet in (16) B-25 Mitchell Bombers on a top-secret mission more than 650 miles from their target destination which was 200 miles further away than originally planned after their discovery by a Japanese picket boat. Although the raid itself inflicted minimal strategic damage the boost to US morale following the events of Pearl Harbor and the damage to both the Japanese psyche and their war strategy were priceless. Following the raid reporters speculated and clamored for days continually asking where the planes had taken off from. In response President Franklin D. Roosevelt wittily stated that the B-25s had taken off from "Shangri-La" in reference to a fictional place as described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon written by British author James Hilton.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rockwell Razors / 6C Adjustable Settings

Company: Rockwell Razors
Product: Rockwell 6C Razor
Founders: Garth / Morgan
Location: Toronto, Canada 
I’m a big fan of and when they have something that I might like they notified me and this one really peaked my interest. A company called Rockwell was coming out with a new DE razor that adjusts to your skin type and stubble length, so you get a close, comfortable shave - every time. Over 2,054 backers pledged $98,915 to help bring this project to life. I was backer number 22. I went for the early bird special and got in at $40. The project was successfully funded on Oct 21, 2016. I don’t often jump into things like this but with KickStarters it does often pay to be first.

On May 10th, the parcel arrived and to my surprise they included an additional 70 blades from the 30 they had offered and added a very nice Rockwell Razor Bank to complete the package.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Review - C.O. Bigelow Shaving Cream

Company: C.O. Bigelow
Product: Shaving Cream
Created by Proraso Exclusively for C.O. Bigelow
Established: 1838

I’ve been looking for a good shaving cream lately and been very disappointed on my search results. Then I came across a post from both Stephen Davison and Michael Davis members of my Google+ Wet the Face community. They  posted a SOTD using C.O. Bigelow shaving cream. I tried just about everything else so why not try this one too. I found the site online and put an ordered in.

When the parcel arrived, on the outside the box read 414 Sixth Avenue below ninth street. I had no idea of the address so now I might be able to take a visit to the store when I’m in the city during my lunch break. Everything was carefully packed nestled inside the bubble wrap. My order of one premium shaving cream 5.2oz and two additional samples of Proraso Balm and Marvis Mint Mouth Wash where both free of charge when you order from the website over a certain amount.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review - Burt's Bees Shave Cream

Company: Burt’s Bees
Product: Shaving Cream
Founder: Burt Shavitz & Roxanne Quimby

It’s amazing what two people from Maine can achieve. A good example of this would be Burt’s Bees. Having humble beginnings located in an abandoned one-room schoolhouse Burt Shavitz and Roxanne Quimby turned this small company into a major player in organic & natural products and them moving to personal care line. Like with all companies that start out with good intentions something happens along the way and that something was Clorox, they acquired Burt's Bees in 2007 for more than $900 million and things started to really change for the company.

Clorox saw which way the market was headed in fact In 2008, The Clorox became the first major consumer packaged goods company to develop and nationally launch a green cleaning line, Green Works, into the mainstream cleaning aisle. So, they made an offer that Roxanne could not refuse. They even kept Burt on as a spokesperson going to trade shows because he was so identifiable to the brand.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Review - Smith Family Soapworks

Company: Smith Family Soap Works
Product: Lime Shaving Soap
Location:  Murrieta, California

Every wet shaver when buying shaving soap knows if you see “Olive Oil” listed in the ingredients you normally would shy away from the product. The reason for this is olive oil tends to kill lather and if you find one that does have great lather it fades away very quickly. Well this has all changed now since finding Smith Family Soap Works. A family own company out of Murrieta, California that specializes in creating an array of Olive Oil products including a line of shaving soap. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pacific Shaving Company / Caffeinated Shaving Cream

Company: Pacific Shaving Co.
Product: Caffeinated Shaving Cream & Aftershave

When I saw this shaving cream on the shelves at target I thought why caffeine? Why would I need caffeine in my shaving cream?  As it turns out, you really don’t. They do say it reduces redness but does it really? I think it has more to do with the packaging and product targeting then how it helps your skin.

Pacific has been around for a while since 2000 and has done very well with the original offerings starting with after shave oil and moving toward shaving scream. In that time, you’ll always see a redesign when products start to lose momentum on the shelf. I think this is what’s happening here. The caffeine infused shaving cream is nothing more than a gimmick in my opinion. Just like the new single use shaving cream minis. The casing is encapsulated in a food-grade, 100% water-soluble film they dissolved when they touch water. Nice idea but I think this would appeal to a younger crowd.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Review - Mystic Water Soap / Lemon Verbena

Company: Mystic Water Soap
Product: Lemon Verbena Shaving Soap
Founder: Michelle Burns, Soap Artisan
Location: Riverdale Park, MD 

Ok, let me start off by saying I screwed up. I ordered a refill instead of tub and because of that I can’t really say much about the packaging. I did however create my own out of a Pine Brother plastic case for cough drops. It was the perfect size after I sliced the puck down the middle and the label fit just right.

Michelle runs her shop out of Riverdale Park, MD where she’s been making artisan soap for over fifteen years. Her first foray into shaving soap was an eye-opening experience she quickly found out that it’s not as easy as making bar soap. So, after many failed attempts and reformulations Michelle got it right and lucky for us because her shaving soap is truly outstanding. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review - WSP Formula T BarberShop

Company: WSP
Product: Formula T BarberShop
Founder: Lee
Location: Chandler, Arizona

I’ve always been impressed with the vegan rustic line of shaving soaps from WSP. The performance and value are outstanding. We now have FormulaT with shea butter and tallow. Lee has taken the existing rustic line and over time has transformed them all into Formula T which in my opinion has increased the performance of the outstanding shaving soap.  

This impressive barbershop scent is typical of classic America from years gone by. The scent includes a base of powdery musk, some bergamot, orange zest, oakmoss, patchouli, and finished it with a hint of geranium. The full list of natural ingredients includes: stearic acid, water, tallow, coconut oil, potassium hydroxide, glycerin, butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), fragrance, & sodium hydroxide. Free of synthetic dyes & preservatives.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review - Through The Fire Fine Craft Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Company: Through The Fire Fine Craft
Product: Bay Rum Shaving Soap
Location: Alanson, MI

A few weeks back I was given some items to try and sell on my flea market. I present yet another shaving soap called Through The Fire Fine Craft Bay Rum. I’ve never used this before and last week I was so impressed with this soap I wanted to keep it for myself but I did promise to put it up so I will.

The soap comes in a clear 4.0oz tub with screw on lid. The labels have a great color combination of red, gold and black. Each tub has a simple but direct statement of what the scent is. At the time of this writing the website seems to be under construction. I can’t figure out if this Bay Rum is part of the of the Premium collection for $14.99 or the classic at $12.99 because it wasn’t listed on the site for sale. I even tried Maggard Razors and found lots Through The Fire soaps but no Bay Rum.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Review - L'Occitane Shaving Soap

Company: L'Occitane
Product: Shaving Soap
Location: Paris

Being an I.T. consultant in Manhattan you get to see some amazing places like the Trump Tower, Russian Tea Room and Rockefeller Center to name a few.  I also came across one place I always wanted to go into and that’s L'Occitane. A high-end company from Paris that carries Men’s shaving products I’ve always wanted to try them. I’m currently on a budget so I had to be very selective and I finally picked the modest $12.00 shaving puck called Savon A Barbe Shaving Soap in the Cade scent.

The puck comes in a simple box but the cashier gave me this little bag to carry it in. I didn’t want to walk around the city with this so I stuffed it in my tool bag until I got home. When you open the box the puck was wrapped in cellophane but I did see that you can purchase a beautiful aluminum shaving bowl and the puck together for $40.00. If I had the chance to do it again (and budget) I would opt to purchase both.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Review - Olivina Shaving Cream

Company: Olivina
Product: Olivina Flash Foam Shaving Cream
New Company 2016-2017

Last week I thought I found what had to be the worst product ever for shaving but my last shave with Olivina Flash Foam Shaving Cream has made me crown a new King. All Hail The New King!

The first thing that caught my eye was the packaging. This bronze and white tube popped right out at me from the shelves at Target. I picked one up and did the next thing any respectable wet shaver would do I tested the scent and what a scent it is the bourbon and cedar was so intoxicating I knew this was going to be a great shaving cream. To be honest I made the mistake of judging something purely on scent alone and should have known better.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Review - Bull Dog Shave Cream

Company: Bull Dog
Product: Original Shave Cream
Location: United Kingdom

When I was roaming the aisle of Target last week I came across a new shaving cream called Bull Dog. A product of the UK this “Original Shave Cream” comes in packaging reminiscent of days gone by it’s in a squeezable metal tube. This tube retains the shape of where you pressed. I’m not a fan of this kind of packaging the product looks terrible on the counter after a few uses. I found out from the company’s website that they do sell it in the plastic tube but I couldn’t find it here in N.Y. but I was able to locate it online.

The cream includes Aloe, Camelina and Green Tea on the package I’m not sure what they bring to the product but my assessment is not much.    

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Review - Lather Bros / Calle Ocho

Company: Lather Bros.
Product: Calle Ocho
Location: Miami Lakes FL.
Website - LatherBros

Today we have something new in the den from Miami Lakes FL a company called Lather Bros provided us with one of their shaving soaps and after shaves called Calle Ocho or “Eight Street” the center of Cuban life and culture in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. This vibrant street is known for its Cuban restaurants, popular ventanitas, Cuban bakeries, Cigar Shops, Domino Park and colorful street festivals. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review - Retro Shave Shop / The Black Pearl

Company: Retro Shave Shop
Product: Route66 The Black Pearl
Founder: Kathleen (Kt)
Location: Arizona
Website - RetroShaveShop

The first thing that impressed me with Retro Shave Shop was its website. I really dig the retro look. The clean appearance and nostalgic feel adds to the pleasure of making purchases.

I tend to order samples when available and we had lots to choose from here. I have to hand it to Kt not too bad for a one woman show! I narrowed it down and ordered two “Cavendish” and one “The Black Pearl” The samples arrived in a bag that reminded me of when I was a kid buying candy. Each sample was individually wrapped in the same type of bag but much smaller and sealed with a piece of tape on the back. The soaps were in an Italian ice like paper cup approximately .5oz. with a clear label on the outer packaging denoting the scent. This packaging looks great but I do have issues with this method. When I used The Black Pearl for the review I noticed the soap was a bit dry and had a top layered crust which was due to not having an air tight seal. I did manage to find fresh soap under that top layer and was able to bowl lather with no addtional issues.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Review Long Rifle Soap Co. / Hunting Lodge

Company: Long Rifle Soap Co.
Product: Hunting Lodge
Founder: Amanda Brooker
Location: Wisconsin
WebSite - Hunting Lodge

I remember getting my first pucks back in 2015 and since then Long Rifle has grown into an amazing company. They offer much more than they did 2 years ago and have reformulated their shaving soaps and added shaving creams to the mix. I have to disclose the fact that we are currently running a giveaway but I felt it was time to give a brief update to this artisan.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Review - Wheat State Soap / Sweet Tobacco

Barbershop plastic tub shown
Company: Wheat State Soaps
Product: Sweet Tobacco
Founder: Keith Barger
Location: Derby, Kansas
Website - WheatStateSoap

I try my best to help other artisans who reach out to me and ask for my opinion. Whether it’s an after shave or a shaving soap I always try and give them good feedback. Sometimes life just gets in the way as it did with Keith from Wheat State Soap. I just didn’t have to time to send him my feedback but now things have settled down and more than ready to contribute. I’m also allowed to do a video which was not allowed before so don’t forget to check that out as well.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Review - Yesto Natural Man Shaving Cream

Company: Yesto
Product: Natural Man - Shaving Cream

            When I find myself wanting something new to try in wet shaving the first place I look at my local CVS, Target and Walmart stores. I don’t always come across something new but this time I found what I feel is a gem. It’s a shaving cream for men called Natural Man shaving Cream. The Yesto brand offerings are vast including face, body, hair, lips and baby but now this new line called Natural Man includes Shower to go cleaning cloths. A daily face scrub plus face lotion, charcoal bar soap and for the wet shaver a post shave cooling balm and shaving cream.

Can something be called Natural if 4% of ingredients are not? I’m not sure but it’s states this proudly with a circular stamp on the outside of the packaging. I guess just having the word natural appearing on your products is a win for the brand but regardless of that this is still an amazing shaving cream.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Review - K Shave Worx Cure For A Belly Ache

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Review - Saponificio Varesino Manna Di Sicilia Beta 4.0

Company: Saponificio Varesino
Product: Manna di Sicilia Beta 4.0
Location: Italy
Website - Just Google the company name you'll find a a number of offerings.  

My first encounter with Saponificio Varesino was in the form of visiting their website. Luckily for me all I had to do was click the US flag for English and I was ready to explore. Nothing could have prepared me for the actual experience of using the product for the first time. Not only did I order the puck but the wooden bowl as well. (I’m not sure they still sell the wooden bowl) When they arrived the first thing I did was open the box to the puck. It was beautifully warped and the scent was breathtaking. I thought my god this hobby is getting better all the time and I was right in thinking that.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Review - Arko Shaving Cream - Extra Fresh Ice Mint

Company: Arko
Product: Shaving Cream Extra Fresh Ice Mint
Location: Turkey
Website -Arko

Whenever I find something that I feel I need to share with my fellow wet shavers I write and make a video about it. This week I’ll bring to your attention something you might not have tried yet or maybe you seen it on a (SOTD) or shave of the day posting in one of the forums.  This one is from the Turkish company called Arko. The product is called Extra Fresh Ice Mint Shaving Cream. Now I’ve used Arko products before but really didn’t like the scent of the popular little red shaving soap stick. This new line of shaving creams came out a few years ago and I’m really impressed with it. Not only of the modern look but a great new take on shaving cream scents as well.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Review - Soap Commander / Vision

Company: Soap Commander
Product: Vision
Location: Ardmore, Alabama
Founder: Darren and Carrie

 Way back in March of 2015 I wrote my first article for Wet the Face Blog entitled Soap Commander “Do you have integrity”. Since then Darren and Carrie have moved to a new location in Ardmore, Alabama and have grown stronger than ever in the wet shaving community. Everyone absolutely loves the products and has nothing but wonderful things to say about them and the company.