A Few Rapid-Fire Reviews

One of the cooler parts of working with our host, Mantic59, is that I get shaving advice from the Shave Tutor, himself. But the coolest part is that, occasionally, Mark sends me a goodie box of stuff that he presumably can’t get around to trying himself (hey, I’ve seen photos of his shave den – let’s just say Mark is well stocked for the Shavepocalypse.) So, even though I now have enough product to last me well into the next decade, I made time to work my way through this latest haul.

Here are a few quick-hitter reviews of the soaps, creams and aftershaves that have further, awesomely, filled up my bathroom.

Handmade Soap Co. After Shave Soothing Cream: That’s a long name for a small jar of Irish aftershave. The artisan maker was panned on the message boards for its shaving soap, but people seem to like the aftershave balm. The packaging is top notch, and the smell is divine. It claims it’s vetiver, lime, basil and sweet orange, but I get a whiff of something familiar, maybe like L’Occitane Cade. The stuff is very thick, and it’s easy to over apply. It does nothing for my razor burn, and leaves my skin feeling very moisturized and supple. It’s quite good on a frigid, dry winter day. But I wouldn’t touch this in warmer weather.

The Strop Shoppe Pomegranate Shaving Soap: I love the smell of this soap. It’s not sweet like you might expect, and I wish it was even a little stronger. The performance is quite good on my face, though it’s thin and watery by the third pass. Still, I like it a lot, and it’s now in my regular soap rotation.

Trumpers shaving creams: It’s hard to find much to complain about from the three samples Mantic sent me (Almond, Coconut Oil and GFT). These are among the best, most cushioning creams you’ll find. Some might not like the lemonade scent of GFT, and the coconut is quite mild, but the almond is great. Just excellent product.

Arko Shave Stick: Cheap, great performance with an unusual scent. That’s pretty much all you need to know about this excellent Turkish product. The packaging is problematic, since it’s basically paper and foil. But it costs about $2. Hard to complain about anything at that price.

Raz*War Modern Shaving Soap: This European soap says it has a bergamot scent. I just get soap smell from this red glycerin-based puck. Nothing special.

The New York Shaving Company Elizabeth Street Shaving Soap: This is a nice soap with a perfume-y strong scent that I don’t love. I found it performed well but not enough to stay in my rotation. I wouldn’t buy it for its $18 price tag.

DR Harris Naturals Shaving Soap: I wanted to like this organic soap with coconut oil. It has a mild scent and seemed promising, but it made my face sting by the second pass. It also didn’t hold a lather especially well. I can’t use this again.

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  1. says

    I would have to echo the sentiments of the first response.
    As a rather fussy professional barber, I have to say that The New York Shaving Company shave soaps and creams are among the very best I’ve used.
    I was first alerted to them by my fellow pro @CraigtheBarber who actually awarded the Elizabeth St Shave Cream his Product Of The Month award back in 2011 – and with very good reason.
    Scent apart (although I like the scent), this Shave Cream performs superbly throughout. You only need a small amount on your brush and it goes an incredibly long way, producing a rich, moisturising lather which more than copes with the toughest of beards.
    My personal favourite shave soap/cream from TNYSC is their ‘Tonsorial’ version seen here http://nyshavingcompany.com/shop/index.php/shaving-products/shaving-cream/tonsorial-shaving-cream.html
    Yours truly (Mantic59) put me on to this little baby and, whilst it has the same great results as all their other shave soaps/creams (I have acquired most of them now!), I for one simply adore the scent and, frankly, can’t keep my nose out of it!!
    Finally, in life you generally get what you pay for when it comes to quality and, make no mistake, TNYSC’s shave soaps/creams are quality products, and therefore $18 for a large tub which will last way longer than many other more expensive soaps/creams, is to my mind, excellent value for money!

  2. Tero says

    According to the ingredient lists I have seen on the web, the NY Shaving Company creams contain SLS. I would not put that nasty skin-irritating detergent anywhere near my face while shaving, and would hope no professional would use such cheap formulas on me either. Luckily, the high quality, established brands have gotten rid of that thing completely, even if it allows one to create an easily- and profusely-lathering creams inexpensively.

    • Kimberly says

      I can assure you that our products are Sulfate, Paraben, Detergent, and Preservative free. You must have been refering to our old packaging. There is still some old packaging that are still in circulation but I promise you that they are our new ingredients. Our new ingredients for our shaving soap are as follows : Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Safflower Oil, Glycerin, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbitol, Sorbitol Oleate, Soy Bean Protein, Wheat Protein, Fragrance.
      The Shaving Cream ingredients are as follows:
      Water, Myristic Acid, Stearic Acid, Coconut Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Sodium Hydroxide, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juce, Allantoin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sorbic Acid, Fragrance
      Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.

  3. says

    Andy, that unusual scent of Arko is the scent of a bar of old fashioned Ivory Soap.

    As for as the NY Shaving Company Creams, it say in bold print on their website, paraben and sulfate free. I’ve never used it so I only know from what I read on their site.

  4. Dan says

    Andy, I would very much appreciate it if you could say what soaps you have in your rotation, and one other thing I would love to know is if you discovered what ingredient does make your face sting on second pass with DR Harris Naturals, as I have the exact same problem, leaving my face with red bumps for hours after I finish shaving.(I assume that every invisible cut/rash results in this soap attacking my skin).

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