Category Archives: Aftershaves & Colognes

Reviews of everything after the shave. Toners, splashes, aftershaves, and colognes.

Review: Virile Barber’s Shave Formula and Face Balm

Virile Barber's Shaving Cream & Face Balm

Virile Barber’s Shaving Cream & Face Balm

3 years!! 3 years ago I started this site as a way for ME to remember what my feelings were about every product I’ve tried.  And it’s turned into this mess.  I couldn’t be happier.  Actually I could be happier if I updated more, but hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.  Let’s talk Virile.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned Virile Barber before.  They’re located in NJ and are a super-classy joint, the perfect barber for a guy who knows a thing or two about shaving without a cartridge.  They’re extremely friendly, exceptionally dressed, professional to the tee, and are quite skilled in their craft.  And their craft has expanded, as they now sell their own shaving products.

So I’m going to do a double review.  Because these products are exceptional, and I want you to know about both of them.

First up, obviously, is the Shave Formula.  This is their shaving cream.  This stuff works with or without a brush.  For those of you gents who like me have a brush, it works REALLY well with a brush.  I found the best combination was bowl lathering with a silvertip.  Be slightly more generous with the cream than, say, Taylor of Old Bond Street.  However, once you get the lather going, you can take it to your face for an impressive slick cushiony roller coaster ride for your blade.  The more you work this lather, the better.  The way better, actually.

Ingredients include macadamia nut and soybean oil, tea tree oil, chamomile and aloe.  It is designed to be scent free so it is exceptionally good for your skin.  And it rinses away super clean.

Next up:  The Face Balm.  In my opinion, the opinion of a fake pirate who’s been reviewing shaving products for more than a couple years, it does not get much better than this.

First off, this stuff works as a total face moisturizer.  It alcohol free, mostly scent free (there is a slight eucalyptus-like scent) and has menthol, aloe vera extract, and white tea extract to first invigorate then calm your skin.

Going on it’s pretty straightforward.  Very light scent with a very slight menthol tingle.  Nothing like a winter blast, but a “hey my skin feels alive” kind of feel.  This goes away after just a few minutes, but let me tell you, this stuff really does seem to lock in the moisture balance on your face.  100% no greasy feeling afterwards.  Your face will feel awesome.  That there is some impressive stuff!

This is the tube I reach for the most after a shave.  Honestly.  And let me talk about these tubes that these products come in.  They’re really nice, standing there on their own.  And with a little twist, you can squeeze out exactly how much you want.  The only slight drawback is that when you close the tube again (twist cap) it ejects a droplet more of product.  But once you know this, you can adjust your original amount accordingly.

Great guys, great barbershop, great products.  Really can’t say much more.  If you’re in Jersey, go say hi either at their main location in Waldwick or their other spot in Jersey City.  Check out their website for more information.

Products used in this shave:
Weber DLC Razor with a Gillette 7’Oclock blade (yellow)
Da Vinci Uomo 293 Silvertip Badger Brush
– Virile Barber & Shop’s Shave Formula
Thayer’s Unscented Witch Hazel with Aloe
– Virile Barber & Shop’s Face Balm

 

Review: Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave

Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave

Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave

Ahoy!!!  Well now, it’s certainly been a while!  I bet you all thought my imaginary ship ran aground somewhere off the coast of the Bimini Islands, and that I had now accepted my fate of living in paradise with a constant supply of sun, drinks served in coconuts, and bikini-clad beauties who just love the smell of bay rum.  Well, have I got news for you!  None of that happened.  Because I’m a fake pirate.

What did happen was that I fell in love with a new aftershave:  Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave.  Heard of it?  You have now!  This summer, I used it almost every day.  And for someone who has as immense a collection of bay rums as I do, that’s saying something.  I just can’t find anything wrong about this stuff.  Seriously.

So let’s just dive into the scent, shall we?  As BC says, “each bottle is handcrafted with the finest and purest ingredients”:  allspice, vanilla, bay leaves, cinnamon, clove, and orange.  I know.  I know there are some of you out there that just do not like clove.  If this is a no-go for you, I can understand the sentiment, but just read the rest of this paragraph.  It really doesn’t smell like clove, like, at all.  What I get when I splash this on is a blast of bay rum and orange.  It’s a super warm citrusy scent that has some sweet and spice to it, thanks to the vanilla and —touch— of cinnamon.  The clove seriously blends right into the bay rum note, making it hold out a little longer than bay normally holds for.  The scent is also light and not overpowering.  Almost exactly as strong as it needs to be, with no stingyness for your shaving mistakes.

The other ingredients are water, alcohol, and glycerin.  That’s it.  Just enough alcohol to get by, and enough glycerin to prevent your face from drying out.  My face feels awesome after splashing it on.  And also there are no sulphates, parabens, dyes, toxins, or anything else.  Just the good stuff!

If you like the citrusy side of bay rums, especially if you have a love for orange scents, you really should try this stuff out.  I’m not kidding when I say it’s one of my favorites.

Barberry Coast Bay Rum is available at Amazon, and also Barberry Coast’s website!

Review: Bey Shave Aftershave & Vigorating Skin Tonic

Bey Shave Aftershave & Vigorating Skin Tonic

Bey Shave Aftershave & Vigorating Skin Tonic

Seriously now.  I can’t possibly be coming across in a believable manner anymore considering how many times I’ve started a post by saying how lucky I am.  But here be me, an extremely lucky and extremely fake pirate.  Day after day, I sit here, counting dolphins that are probably hallucinations, hoping against all hope that another amazing bottle will float by my ship.  And once again I strike gold.

Gentlemen, I present to you: Bey Shave Aftershave & Vigorating Skin Tonic.

Do you want a bottle in your shave den, or whatever you want to call your “bathroom”, that harkens back to the days of ye ol’ apothecary?  Whether you do or do not, you’ll friggin love this bottle.  A smallish dark brown apothecary bottle with a tin cap.  I would take a guess and say thats a fine looking Persian gentleman on the front.  Maybe he’s a Turk?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I’m a pirate.  And a damn fake one at that.  What I do know is that this is how aftershaves should be presented.  And the bottle has that little plastic hole thingy that lets you not accidentally pour half of it all over your bathroom sink.  So be a man and throw a few hefty splashes at your palm and slap it on your face.  You’ll make that Persian-ish guy on the bottle proud.

The scent is a deep yet light bay rum.  It’s not at all overwhelming, and its not going to disappear too quickly either.  Its a mix of bay, bergamot, cedar, frankincense, sandalwood, blood orange, myrrh and “locally sourced botanicals”.  Dammit, I just love that list.  And what’s awesome is that all of those scents are present but not like a hammer is present.  I could totally tell that the frankincense was there, but it’s not like it smells like frankincense.  It smells woody and citrusy.  Sharp and smart.  It’s a deeply rounded and well-assembled scent.  And it’s intentionally not strong, as per the maker’s intentions when he set out to create it.  And don’t even get me started on “organically sourced botanicals”.  Yes.  I’m just going to keep saying “yes”.  Yes.

And on top of that the first two ingredients are organic witch hazel and rum!  Yes!  Now there’s not a whole lot of bay rums out there with rum in it.  But it’s not too heavy handed.  The maker intended to keep the alcohol content low.  So it’s not an alcohol blast, but rather a nod.  And by starting off with witch hazel, this stuff does what an aftershave is supposed to do: treat your skin well.  (and smell awesome).  (and look good on your shelf).  (Yes).

And, as if you didn’t need more reasons to love this stuff, each batch of this elixir is handmade and takes a full month to develop.  I am absolutely sold.

Do yourself a favor and visit beyshave.com, do some reading, and then just try to avoid the “order now” button.  Just try.

All fake-pirate-kidding aside, this stuff is fantastic, and screams quality, in the most gentlemanly way possible.  I am thrilled to have it in my top aftershave rotation.  Thank you, Bey Shave, for making such an excellent product.

Review: Gilbert Henry Bay Rum Aftershave Splash

Gilbert Henry Bay Rum Aftershave Splash

Gilbert Henry Bay Rum Aftershave Splash

I’m a lucky guy.  Today I am lucky for so many reasons it’s almost unfair.  First of all, this month marks the TWO YEAR anniversary of the Bay Rum Diaries.  I love that I get to do this.  I love that I get to try more aftershaves, soaps, and creams than most guys even knew existed.  And being able to review them is such an honor.

I have been away for a while.  First came a business trip to India for most of December (I did pick up a few reviewable shaving products), and then I had a couple other personal things that kept me away.  But I am back, and man do I have a great product to tell you about today: Gilbert Henry Bay Rum Aftershave Splash.  Let’s just get right to this shall we?

I have a few products from Gilbert Henry that I am going to be reviewing, but today I chosen the Bay Rum Aftershave Splash as a tribute to how I started this blog exactly two years ago.  What got this all started was a sampler of bay rum aftershaves that I ordered online.  This splash brought me right back to those exciting days, when bay rum was a new thing to me, and each day led to a discovery of just how wide-ranging the “bay rum” scent could be.  I soon discovered that bay rum is a great vehicle to show the maker’s creativity.  Is it going to be citrusy?  Is it going to be woodsy?  How about sweet or smoky?  Bright or dark?  Since it’s not a perfectly defined scent, its completely open to interpretation and that is really exciting when you’re trying one out for the first time.

This splash comes in an apothecary bottle, with some nice modern design on the outside.  And its clear you need to give this stuff a good shake as there are natural elements in it that will settle.  I like that.  It tells me this stuff has got guts.

The splash burns a little when it hits your face, as it is an alcohol-based splash.  But it’s not quite as much a sting as, say HTGAM or Captain’s Choice Cat-O-Nine Tails.  Just a nice little smack in the face.  Let’s call it an admonishment for forgetting to take your time with your shave.

The scent starts really spicy, with a woody backdrop to it.  And there is a slight hint of citrus and a warm clove note as well.  Clove is interesting, because some people love it and some hate it.  In bay rum, it is very close to the the bay scent, and acts to draw out that aspect of the scent profile.  That’s why I am one who does not mind the clove addition to any bay rum.  But whats really nice about this scent is that it evolves as your morning goes on.  Bay rums don’t last too long, and this one is not much different, but while it is there, it is really nice.  It’s not a beat-you-over-the-head bay rum.  It’s warm and mellow, and I do think that mostly due to the sandalwood backdrop.  It’s really nice.

And a nice bonus to this bay rum is the additional ingredients like Sunflower seed oil, which moisturizes and protects without being greasy.  Theres also Provitamin B5 and Vitamin E, which help soften and heal the skin after the war it just went through with your razor, you brute.  I must say, I have been using this product for a few days now, and I actually do notice how soft the skin feels and how it’s not dry or greasy, it’s just right.  I’m quite impressed.

Overall, if you’re a bay rum fan, you should try this stuff out.  It’s really a nice, warm, slightly woody scent, that gives your face a really nice treatment to start your day with.

Keep an eye here on the diaries, as I will have more Gilbert Henry reviews coming soon.  You would be amazed at how many products I have sitting around here that still need to be reviewed.  Must get to work on them.  Thanks guys!

Review: HowToGrowAMoustache.com Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave (Alcohol Based)

HGTAM.com - Alcohol-Based Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave

HGTAM.com – Alcohol-Based Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave

Good day readers!  Today I bring you yet another offering from a man amongst men.  Douglas Smythe, the Willy Wonka of the shaving world, keeps pumping creation after creation upon us.  Just as soon as we receive a package of his newest creation, he announces another.  But there’s a very special one that caught my eye, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to write about it: HowToGrowAMoustache.com’s Alcohol-Based Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave.

The Packaging!  Just try to convince me that these bottles from HGTAM are not one of the best lookin things in your shave cave.  That little brown apothecary-style bottle with the awesome pirate smiley just begs to be at the front of your array of aftershaves.  (By the way, if you don’t have an “array” of bottles in your shave cave, start with a bottle of this stuff).

The Scent!  Yeah!! This is a dirty, no-holds-barred, kick-you-in-the-face-with-an-awesome-smelling-boot kind of bay rum.  Think Clubman VIBR, mixed with Captain’s Choice.  It’s spicy, it’s warm, it’s a little sharp.  Off the top theres some light citrus notes, a touch of lime and maybe orange but not too strong. And the bay is a little more prominent.  I would also say it’s light on typical bay rum ingredients of cinnamon and clove, if there’s any at all.  I also detect heavier woodier bottom notes, which are hard to identify.  The bottle says there are 10 essential oils.  No wonder I am having a hard time describing the scent.  As a whole, this is definitely a smart bay rum.  But it also succeeds at not smelling like clove, or Christmas potpourri, or any of the negative comparisons I see out there for bay rum.  The scent is strong (it -is- marketed as a cologne/aftershave, so it should be), and stays with you for a long time.  And as a person with sensitive skin, I was worried that the strong scent would translate into itchy skin.  Not even a little, and I’ve been using this every day for a while now.

The Alcohol!  Right on.  This stuff is bracing.  Do you like that alcohol kick in the morning?  Get this stuff now.  To me, it was very reminiscent of Captain’s Choice’s Cat’O’Nine Bay Rum.  You’ll splash it on, and almost instantly your skin will feel the kick.  After about a minute things will calm down and the scent takes over.  It’s a rush that will definitely open up those groggy eyes.  Not uncomfortable, mind you, but more awesomeish.  And there is also a healthy amount of glycerin in this stuff to moisturize your skin after the battle.

Overall, this stuff is one of the best smelling bay rums I have tried.  If you look at HTGAM’s catalog, or have tried any of their other products, you will understand exactly why I call Mr. Smyth the Willy Wonka of the shaving world.  His whimsical nature and uncanny ability to blend scents make for some really fantastic-smelling and great-performing products.

This bay rum is great and holds a prime spot on my overpopulated shave shelf.  And if you happen to not be an alcohol kind of guy, there are alcohol-free options as well.

Long live Douglas Smythe and his factory.

Review: Barrister & Mann Kyovu Aftershave Splash – Bay Rum

Barrister & Mann Kyovu Aftershave Splash - Bay Rum

Barrister & Mann Kyovu Aftershave Splash – Bay Rum

Ahh the life of a fake pirate is good.  There’s nothing like pretending to be on an old pirate ship, completely not at sea, nor smelling the salty air.  I also am very lucky because don’t have to pay attention to the upkeep of our cannons, mainly due to the fact that I don’t have any.  But what I do have is this incredible aftershave on my face that makes me think that indeed I am sailing the seas in search of rum, women, and booty.  Often the latter two are one in the same.

Today’s smell is one I often wear.  Barrister & Mann’s Kyovu Aftershave Splash in Bay Rum.  Kyovu comes in three scents:  Bay Rum, Seville (the scent of which I have already given a tremendous amount of love), and Cheshire, which is a lovely patchouli-based scent.  But this bay rum.  Yeah, it’s awesome.  Yet another take on bay rum that is just outrageously good.

First off, it’s alcohol free.  So this should reside right at the front line of your “My skin is a bit irritated today” aftershaves.  And for a splash, this has a lot of botanical ingredients that make this feel like you just put on a balm.  It starts out with two of the best ingredients for aftershaves:  witch hazel and aloe.  Awesome.  And then there are a half dozen or so botanicals, like lavender water, willow bark extract, Qinoa extract, cucumber water…  I could go on.  The ingredients list is very large, and for the most part they are not the hard-to-pronounce chemicals.  It’s just a large list of botanicals.  Really really awesome.  And it definitely feels that way when you put it on.  Ingredients-wise, I friggin love this stuff.  One special ingredient is panthenol, a powerful redness reducer and moisturizer.  And yes, it does reduce redness, which can come in handy considering how often you shred your neck with that blade.  Easy son…

As for the scent.  Here we have a really nice take on bay rum.  Luckily the maker of this stuff lists out his bay rum scent profile:

a rich, spicy blend of West Indie Bay oil, Sweet Orange Oil, Styrax Benzoin (a warm, woody vanilla scent) and a touch of Cinnamon

Let me tell you something… That is a really great blend.  No clove, and no christmas potpourri worries here.  Strait up bay with that orange/cinnamon scent.  Now the benzoin, which you don’t see too often, is a damn-near perfect ingredient for this profile.  That woody/vanilla base is just right up my alley for what I like in a bay rum.  And it’s something I’m going to look for in future bay rum purchases.  The combination is a really spicy warm sweet bay rum.  Really really awesome stuff.

And let me tell you something.  I have all three scents.  You really should at least order a sample of this Kyovu stuff.  I feel strongly that you will love it.  If bay rum is not your thing, then don’t even think twice about trying the Seville scent.  I can’t get enough.

Review: The American Bay Rum Aftershave Elixir

The American Bay Rum aftershave

The American Bay Rum aftershave elixir

It has been quite a long time since I got back to my roots and reviewed a bay rum aftershave.  While there have been a bay rum soap review here and there, you’d have thought I had lost my way.  Well, my friends, I am back with a new bay rum to tell you about, one that sounds all too familiar, but you most likely haven’t heard of yet:  The American Bay Rum aftershave elixir.

As far as presentation goes, clear out a nice prominent spot on your shave shelf.  Because this is a product that stands out.  Look at that bottle.  We’re talking a classy glass corked bottle that obviously costs the creator more to use, rather than, for instance, a plastic squeeze bottle.  The end result is that I’m proud to have it on display.  The labels are well designed and fit the product perfectly.  Really really well done…

The scent is a fantastic bay rum blend.  For the newcomer, bay rum is tough to categorize, but you know it when you smell it.  There is a lot of wiggle room in how each maker can interpret bay rum.  It’s not stringently defined scent.  So I appreciate it when someone out there takes some liberty to create a unique version of it.  This one is no different, and at the same time is totally unique.

Now there is an initial blast of alcohol.  And that is because there is Isopropyl Alcohol, but also RUM!!  Now that is awesome.  I do love it when bay rum makers include actual rum, even if it’s a splash.  But yes, there is a tinge of the isopropyl when it first hits (you can even let some of it evaporate before hitting your face), but once it’s gone, which is very quickly, the bay rum blend invades your senses.

The scent profile consists of: Pimenta Racemosa Leaves (yes, the primary bay scent is distilled from actual bay leaves), lime, allspice, whole spice, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla.  Now I know some of you out there aren’t that into clove.  I also don’t enjoy when the clove is too dominant.  But here’s the deal: there’s a balance.  Clove is a great scent to use to extend the bay scent.  the Bay of bay rum is a top note, a very short-lived scent.  And clove is similar, but stands out longer.  And cinnamon is similar still, and lasts even longer.  So you put it on, and go through this walkdown.  If the balance of scents is right, no scent should really stick out, but instead you’ll go from a young bay rum, to an adolescent bay rum, to the mature bay rum.  bay, citrus, cinnamon, clove… they all fit in the bay rum mix, but too much of any one can be a turnoff (clove being the prime example).  Luckily, The American Bay Rum is a really really well-blended mix of those.  Honestly, I have had it on for a while now and not one of those scents was too strong above the others.  It’s a great take on bay rum.  To compare, I would say its a more refined, maybe slightly sweeter version of Pinaud Clubman Virgin Island bay rum.

And this stuff feels great on my face with the addition of glycerin in the mix.  And it’s not too much, so my face doesn’t feel tacky, just smooth, with a fantastic scent.

If you are a bay rum kind of guy like me, you really should try this one out.  You’re not only gonna love the scent and the face feel (and the RUM!!), but even the bottle is a great addition to the shave den.  And even the price is in line with other brands in the market.  All-around great stuff!

Review: Schaf Skin Care For Men

Schaf Skin Care

Schaf Skin Care

Recently I have been noticing that I have sensitive skin.  There are just some soaps and creams out there that have been leaving my face itchy and irritated.  I’m shaving great now that I’ve found a better go-to blade for my Weber DLC.  With Gillette 7 O’Clock Yellows, I feel I have found gold, and have sent nicks for a walk on the plank.  But yes, sadly, I am noticing the issue with sensitive skin.  Tabac is an emotional example.  How I love the scent of that soap.  Too bad I just can’t use it.  It leaves my skin itchy every time.  I love the strong scent, but it’s the strong scent that hates my face.  Sad face.

Well I have a new addition to my shave den and my shower that is the answer to sensitive skin.  Enter Schaf Skin Care.  All in all there are four products available, and each of them are fantastic.  These were designed by Peter Schafrick, who was tired of all the products with all the harmful toxins and strong scents that cause irritation, and decided to make his own line of products that are simple, mostly natural, and fragrance-free, leading to an irritation-free morning ritual.

First up is Scrub:  To be used every other day, this scrub is made up of volcanic rock and ground apricot seeds, loosely bound in a foaming gel.  It feels fantastic and is easy to use, leaving your face feeling completely rejuvinated.  I probably like the scrub the most out of all these products.

Cleanse is a gentle facewash that is lightweight and rinses clean.  And it’s packed with goodness like chamomile, aloe, cucumber, and Japanese Green Tea extracts.  It gets rid of dirt and oil, leaving your face cleansed but not stripped.

Next comes the meat of the lineup, the shave cream.  I had a little trouble at first getting a good lather going, but I have found after much use that ideally you want to use as little water as possible, and lather directly on your face, instead of a mug or bowl.  I put a couple of squirts out of the can (yes its in a can, but its pump-action, not pressurized goo) right onto my brush, and face lathered and got a very slick lather.  I can’t say the lather is on par with some of my favorite creams out there, but it is a very slick lather providing a great glide for my razor.  I ended each shave baby-butt smooth and with zero irritation.  And the lather also rinses very clean very easily.  No soap residue here.

Last, but definitely not least, is Hydrate, a post-shave moisturizer loaded with fantastic ingredients like avocado oil, organic coconut oil, sunflower oil, pumpkin seed oil, vitamin e, aloe, and on and on and on.  The “final touch” is an ingredient called “Matrixyl 3000”, which according to the Schaf website, is a “proven anti-wrinkle peptide that defends against the signs of aging.”  I can tell you this:  It doesn’t feel oily or greasy at all.  A little goes a long way, and it absorbed into my skin almost instantaneously, and my face looked great every day I used it.  No joke.

At the end of the day, you really should check out the Schaf website, read the story of how this all came to be, check out the ingredients lists on all the products, and decide for yourself.  There is high attention paid to making sure the ingredients are as natural as possible and organic when they can be.  The ultimate goal is to provide non-irritating and non-toxic products for your entire morning routing, and I think Peter has nailed it.  This is great stuff, and if you have sensitive skin like me, you’ll love it too.

Review: Jack Earle Co – I’m Your Huckleberry Aftershave

Jack Earl Co - Im Your Huckleberry Aftershave

Jack Earl Co – Im Your Huckleberry Aftershave

Today’s shave was rough.  I was trying a new blade, and that blade was trying me, leaving me with a few nicks and a little bit of burn on my neck.  Which, in the case of today’s review, was somewhat of a good thing, allowing me to test this new aftershave I received in the mail: I’m Your Huckleberry Aftershave, by Jack Earl Co.

The Jack Earl Company is a newcomer to the market, being founded less than a year ago.  Their purpose is to create a line of organic and all natural products to the market.  They also target sensitive skin, which I, my friends, happen to have.

The aftershave itself is unique in so many ways.  The first impression is the texture.  It’s sort of like a fluffy pomade.  So you only need a tiny dab of this stuff, spread it on your hands, and then work it onto your face, massaging it into your skin.

Then there is the huckleberry scent, which is just phenomenal.  It’s a mixture of huckleberry and peppermint.  So you get that really gorgeous huckleberry scent with a hint of mint.  It’s such a perfect balance.  And the scent stays with you for a long time, but not in an obnoxious way.  In a way that partway through your day, as your wondering why your printer keeps saying “paper jam” when there is obviously no paper jam, you’re going to get a slight whiff and go, “oh yeah, there’s that huckleberry again!”

The ingredients list is a shining star, and contains NO alcohol:  Shea butter, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Huckleberry Oil, Peppermint Oil.  That’s it.  A whole lotta moisturizers and no unpronounceable chemicals.  Unless you have a hard time pronouncing “shea”, in which case for you there would be one.  I should mention though, and this is my experience so far with this product, that a little goes a long way.  If you use too much you could end up looking a little shiny.  A little tissue paper dabbing took care of the shine, and still left my skin feeling remarkably moisturized, and smelling great.

Now, if this sailor had a moustache, I would be extremely tempted to try out their moustache wax.  Indeed I would.

Review: Baxter of California – After Shave Balm

Baxter of California - After Shave Balm

Baxter of California – After Shave Balm

This was a surprise all the way around.  I recently purchased some Klar Kabinett from Fendrihan.com, and in the package they shipped me came two samples.  The first I’ll keep a secret for now, but the second was a little sample packet of Baxter of California’s After Shave Balm.  The subtitle of the package reads “Alcohol Free / Soothing Formula”.

Very very true.  So today I shaved with a Hoffritz Travel Slant with a Weber bulldog handle.  For those slant experts out there who might be saying “Hey the handle on a Hoffritz Slant is permanently attached”… you are correct, but not on the travel version.  It is a head that fits on any standard razor handle, and as such I have an epic frankenrazor.  🙂  Whats more important is that I had a truly awesome shave with it.  A couple weepers on the against-the-grain pass but that’s expected from a slant.  But today’s shave resulted in the very definition of baby-butt-smooth..

So I skipped my normal toner application and went straight for the sample pack of Baxter’s.  I squeezed it all out in my hand, and then immediately realized I shouldn’t have because this stuff is so slick and awesome that it could have lasted maybe three applications.  For something smaller in thickness than a typical wetnap, I was very impressed.  So I kept about half of what came out of the packet and applied it to my freshly shaven skin.

“Yeah….” I literally said that as I was putting it on my face… This stuff is just fantastic.  First off, it’s alcohol free, a quality that is becoming increasingly more sought after aftershaves, as it is known that alcohol is not the best thing for a freshly shaven face.  But this isn’t a tame substance!  Oh no, there is a hint of menthol under a bed of citrus.  It’s a truly invigorating sensation for the senses.  Your nose gets blasted with a clean fresh scent while your face feels a warm tingle of menthol.

And it really hydrates the skin well.  Consistency-wise it’s like a gel-balm hybrid, that goes on cool and warm at the same time.  Honestly, as I put it on and massaged it in, my skin feels very well hydrated, and also protected.

The ingredients list is long and has a lot of hard-to-pronounce words.  It’s not the worst thing in the world, but I’ve been trying to align myself with products with more natural ingredients, something that is fairly easy to do when it comes to shaving soaps and creams.  That said, this is still some fantastic stuff that really calmed down the razor burn and left me feeling smooth, hydrated, and protected.  Baxter’s After Shave Balm is one of the best closers I’ve put into the game in a long time, and I think I am going to be getting a bottle of this stuff to add to my rotation.