Tag Archives: alcohol free

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: 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.