Bantering About Beards


How do you feel about facial fur? Are you pro-beard or anti? Personally I don’t like facial hair except for a little scruff perhaps…but I know there are other bloggers out there who feel differently. What about you?  [Read more…]

Men’s Shaving Tips

This is a guest post by the wonderful and talented Nicole Sommers of Gents. Nicole is a licensed esthetician and she volunteered to do a Q&A with my darling Mr. Boyfriend aka Nick for the blog. Unfortunately, Nick is like most guys and he doesn’t even know what questions to ask when it comes to shaving or skin care. Luckily Nicole is a total pro, and she has come up with the questions men *should* ask, and her brilliant answers. :) Men can shave their faces 20,000 times in a lifetime, don’t you want them to do it correctly?

Q: When is the best time to shave?

NICOLE: The best time to shave is in or immediately following a shower or washing your face. Wash your face with a natural cleanser like Osea Ocean Cleanser. A warm moist face equals easier hair removal. Alternatively, you can apply a warm moist towel to the face for 2 to 3 minutes prior to shaving in order to soften the skin. The warmth of the towel swells the hair shaft, allowing the blade to cut the hair, not your skin. Never shave cold or with a dry face!

Q: What is the best type of shaving cream to use?

NICOLE: Massage a quality shave cream, like Earth Science Shave Cream into the skin with upward motions. The best products will lock moisture into your whiskers and do not foam up – foam is merely soap filled water. Work that shave cream into your beard well to make sure your whiskers are softened into submission. Dry, rough beard hair can easily get entangled into your razor. Leave on one to three minutes before starting to shave.

Q: How often should a man change his razor blades?

NICOLE: No matter how much you believe your razor is good enough for 1 or 2 more runs, any sight of rust is a bad sight. Always use a sharp blade. A dull blade is responsible for many shaving cuts as it drags over the face and catches the skin along with the hairs of the beard. Replace the blade every three to seven shaves.

Q: In what direction should you shave?

NICOLE: Shave with the grain of your hair growth – this can be in different directions on your face versus the neck area. Shaving against the grain causes ingrown hairs (razor bumps) and is advised only as a way to donate blood. Using short strokes, and using your free hand to pull your skin taut and flat. Start your shave with the sideburns then move to the cheeks and neck. Finish with upper lip and chin last, since whiskers are heaviest in this area. Do not apply too much pressure – razor burn is no one’s friend.

Q: What is the best post-shave care for your skin?

NICOLE: Rinse your face with cool water and pat dry with a towel. Never rub. Shaving can remove up to two layers of skin which is why it’s important to use a quality after-shave moisturizer. The best products like Lev8 replace lost moisture and soothe, cool and refresh the skin. Forget alcohol heavy concoctions – they’re all pain, no gain.

Review: PCA Skin Total Wash Face & Body Cleanser

Alrighty everyone here’s another review from darling Nick aka Mr. Boyfriend. :)

The first time I used this product, I was surprised at what a pleasant smell it had yet how wasteful and difficult the packaging was. No matter which way you dispense it, somehow it tends to dribble or run-off a little bit, and for around $18 you’d expect better packaging and not for it to be so wasteful. The product also describes itself as foaming, but I had a hard time ever making any foam or bubbles out of it. Aside from these fairly minor problems I had with it, as a body wash it was pretty good. Like I said before, the smell is fairly pleasant. It strikes a good balance between a strong smell, but still being light. After using it my skin feels a lot more refreshed and it helped clear up some body acne. As for use on the face, I at first felt it underperformed.

Compared to some other products I had been testing out, it just seemed to not work as well. However, after a couple of good shaves, I got great results. Usually I’ll get some bad irritation on my chin and neck. I noticed that this product did a really great job on cutting down the burning feeling and irritation after a shave, and noticed a decrease in breakouts afterwards. I shaved a few days later without using this, and the irritation on my skin was very noticeable with an increase in breakouts around my neck.

Men Are Smelly But It’s Not (All) Their Fault…

The other day I was talking to Mr. Boyfriend as he dutifully applied a skincare product he is testing out. He was giving me his preliminary thoughts on it, and asking me some questions about how it’s supposed to work, etc. He said it was “okay” but that he really didn’t like the smell. He made a face and said he didn’t like to smell like chemicals. I took a whiff. Yup, it was pretty chemically. :\

“What would you want it to smell like?” I asked. We both agreed that it seems like a lot of men’s skincare products have an unpleasant theme: bad smell. Many brands, like the one he was trying out, put no fragrance in their products whatsoever. But the important thing to remember is “fragrance free” is not the same as having no scent. Instead, you get to smell like whatever the ingredients to a pore minimizer smell like. Which apparently is not pleasant at all.
Other brands go the opposite way and heavily scent their products with ghastly musky cologne-type scents that end up smelling a lot like the Pirates of the Caribbean bubble bath we bought as a joke from the dollar store. (No I am not making this up. It’s pirate scented. Smells like dirty old man mixed with cologne and whiskey. Sick! They call the scent “mariner’s musk”. Oh 99 cent store.) Neither of these is a good solution. Very often it seems like the only difference between skincare marketed towards men and other skincare products is the ones for men smell wack. It may very well be a huge reason why many men hate using skincare products.
So what do men want to smell like? As for my boyfriend and several other men I’ve spoken to, they don’t want to smell like chemicals or cologne. They just want to smell fresh. No wonder so many men out there was their faces with *cringe* bar soap. Soap usually smells fresh and clean.
As for actual skincare products that smell really nice and fresh, my boyfriend likes and recommends the Clearsil Stayclear scrub he reviewed previously, or Neutrogena’s mens line.