grooming

Live Clean Men’s Classic Clean Shampoo Review!

Good Evening Ladies and Gents,

In a previous post I mentioned how I was looking for a quality shampoo that is as natural as possible (by natural I mean sulfate and paraben free etc). And while I love Brickell products and was seriously considering their shampoo, the $26 CAD price tag had me hesitant. Seemingly devoid of options I was going to pull the trigger on it until I searched one last time and came across the Live Clean brand, a Canadian company (with Canadian made products, a bonus for the folks here in the Great White North!) founded in 2006 with eco friendly, plant based shampoos and grooming products. At $13 CAD (including shipping) from Well.ca, I pulled the trigger on it.

Now before I get into the review of this product, I thought it would be important to mention why I wanted a shampoo that was sulfate and paraben free. First off what are sulfates exactly? Sulfates (sodium laureth sulfate to be exact) is a chemical that turns the shampoo into a rich lather in the shower (it is also used in many cleaning products). So what is so bad about it? Well, sulfates in your shampoo have a tendency to dry out hair and scalp by stripping them of their natural oils. They can also cause an allergic reaction in those with sensitive skin. For me, not something that sounds particularly enjoyable.

Onto parabens, what are they? In essence, they are preservatives that have been approved for use in cosmetics and grooming products. They are virtually harmless (although there is conflicting research on the topic). For men however, they can cause a couple of unpleasant effects by causing hormonal imbalances that can lower sperm count and testosterone levels. Now I just recently turned 30 years old and I know that testosterone levels naturally start to decline at that age, so in no way shape or form do I want to help accelerate that process!!

Back to the point of writing this, the shampoo! What does this eco-friendly, paraben and sulfate free shampoo contain? The 3 main ingredients (what they call Power Tech 3) are tea tree oil, peppermint extract and Jojoba oil, all natural and efficient ingredients. But how does this stuff look and feel when it’s in your hair?

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Pretty much a clear liquid, not too thick however

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Lathers nicely, not as foamy as regular shampoo with sulfates but that’s alright.

So my thoughts? Lathers nicely, feels really nice when it’s in your hair. The tea tree oil and peppermint extract give it a pleasant tingly feeling while giving a nice deep cleanse to hair and scalp. I will say that after a couple of weeks use, my hair does not at all feel dry or brittle but a little more soft. At half the price of Brickell, although you could find it cheaper on Amazon! (sorry Brickell, still do love your other products!) it’s definitely great value. My only gripe is that I wish it came in a larger size than just 300 ml.

Thank you always for reading and I hope this review will be helpful for you in your search for quality grooming products.

-The Don

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Brickell Men’s Products: A Review

Good Evening Dapperites,

Bet you thought I was gone for good eh? Well I thought I was too, I was getting busier with work, I was tired, lazy, Doesn’t matter though I’m back now dammit! And tonight I’d like to talk about and review products from an awesome company I recently discovered and that is Brickell Men’s Products. (Note, I am in no way paid by the company to review their products nor was I sent them for free, I paid my own money for any product I purchased)

Who are Brickell and what sets them apart? Well first off the name “Brickell” comes from a pretty posh neighborhood in Miami, Florida, where the two founders are from. They sought to create grooming products for men containing natural, quality ingredients after being horrified to discover that most grooming products on the market were filled with toxins and synthetic chemicals.

What products do they carry? A better question would be what don’t they carry! They have a skin care line (face washes, scrub, mask and moisturizers), anti-aging (serums, cream, eye balm), shaving line (pre-shave oil, beard oil, shave cream, aftershave balm), hair care (shampoo, conditioner, pomade),as well as body wash, body lotion, hand cream and lip balm!

So finally, what products have I tried? Well I started out by trying their “Sample Kit”, which I feel provides excellent value to introduce yourself to their brand. Free if your in the US, only pay shipping if you’re in Canada like me (came out to about $10). You get 15 sample size versions of their best selling products, they also recently introduced a feature that allows you to build your own sample kit!

I’ll say that I pretty much got the kit because I was interested in the eye balm, face scrub and shave cream. Along the way however I did end up falling in love with the body lotion with its tingly feeling and quick absorption, this will be the next product I buy from them once my current lotion runs out.

So, for the eye balm (officially called Restoring Eye Balm) I will say I absolutely love what this did for my eyes. As we get older, the first signs of aging always appear around the eyes, and as a chronic sufferer of tired looking eyes with dark circles. this balm fit the bill. Immediately after putting it on my eyes feel rejuvenated and energized. I kid you not this stuff seems to put an extra spring in my step! At $52 CAD it’s at par with most quality eye treatments for men but the quality ingredients (protein peptides, caffeine and hyaluronic acid). I’d recommend this one.

The other product I ended up purchasing was the Renewing Face Scrub. Why a scrub? Well even though we wash our faces (you do wash your face with a quality cleanser right?) it is not enough to clear off all the crap that accumulates on there throughout the week. That’s why twice a week it is recommended to use a scrub to exfoliate and purge your pores of any lingering impurities. Using a scrub before shaving as well will soften the whiskers for a closer shave. And trust me that’s exactly what this stuff does. I’ve never gotten a closer shave than when I use this beforehand. Also, the natural ingredients such as aloe vera, avocado butter, vitamin E, pumice, and jojoba beads have been an absolute delight to my complexion. You really feel and see a difference when using quality products. At $28.60 CAD, this scrub should last you a few months (only a minimal amount is needed per use). I’d recommend it.

Now, what products would I consider buying in the future? Well for someone who has sensitive skin when shaving the brushless shave cream and instant relief aftershave are ones I would probably buy. I have no need to buy them right now as I shave once a week maximum and still have product left from my sample kit. But each time I use them I kid you not, I have no redness post shave and rarely get nicked. The only reason why I would maybe not go with the cream is the fact that this is a brushless cream and I am pretty into the whole “traditional wet shaving” thing.

There is one item I am considering at the moment and that is their Daily Strengthening Shampoo . While I enjoyed the sample of this and am currently searching for a quality shampoo, the $26 CAD price tag has me a tad hesitant at the moment!

UPDATE: I ended up purchasing a Canadian brand natural shampoo, Live Clean Classic Men’s Shampoo, paraben and sulfate free from Well.ca. $13 with shipping. I’ll post a review when it arrives.

To conclude, Brickell Men’s Products definitely fit the bill for the modern gentleman looking to take care of himself from head to toe. Quality natural ingredients to help a man present the best version of himself to the world. Feel good, look good!

Until next time, stay dapper my friends!

-The Don

Shave of the Day! August 7, 2017

Good Evening Dapperites,

Just thought I’d share with you tonight my shave of the day pic and give a little review of this marvelous classic aftershave that I picked up on my recent visit to Boston. So without further ado:

 

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This shave brought to you by Clubman and Proraso

The aftershave I am referring to of course is the classic Clubman Bay Rum. Now I had always heard great things about this particular bay rum aftershave, but remained skeptical as the only other bay rum scent I have smelled was particularly nasty (Royall Bay Rum). When I was in Boston (well Cambridge) I found this great little man shop called Leavitt and Pearce and they actually had tester bottles out with different Clubman scents. I picked this one up and was blown away. It’s a sweet, spicy scent infused with bay leaves and as an aftershave/cologne absolutely does the trick, soothes the skin after it’s encounter with a sharp blade. I actually splashed in around my body to get a little more of an all over scent. At $13 USD (which is what I paid) it’s good bang for the buck. The only gripe I would have with it is that the scent doesn’t last that long, but then again aftershaves are not meant to have long lasting staying power (and I did put my moisturizer on over it so that probably took off a bit of the scent as well). I am definitely glad I picked it up though and have added it to my rotation.

Shave dapper my friends.

-The Don

Summer Skincare Guide!

Good Afternoon Gents,

Today is July 19, meaning we are in the full swing of summer. And with it being summer, skin tends to feel a little more dirty, sweaty and oily than usual. I’ll share with you some tips from my own routine to keep your skin looking and feeling good all summer long!

Note: I can only speak for someone that has oily/blemish prone skin like myself, if you have dry or sensitive skin, there are plenty of resources out there for that as well.

Suffering from oily/blemish prone skin, which is only worsened by the heat of summer there are a few steps you need to do.

Morning: Gentle cleanse with saltwater (yes, I said saltwater). I used to think that I needed to use scrubs every morning to get rid of everything on it, but found that it only aggravates everything. Gone back to basics recently with the saltwater technique. Proven benefits include regulating oil production, drying out and healing blemishes. I usually follow this up with Kiehl’s 24 hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer , which helps in absorbing oil while keeping skin hydrated. I then follow up with an eye de-puffer, currently using Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye Depuffer. Best thing about this one is that I can toss it in my bag and re-apply if necessary throughout the day. Lastly before I head out the door I apply some Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion. I used to disregard sun protection for the face, but sunscreen is probably the best anti-aging product you can own, plus this one is created specifically for acne prone skin, so it won’t clog pores.

Afternoon: During the course of a day, you will probably feel your face beginning to get sweaty and oily again. This is where you need a refresher, and I like to use Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Refreshing Toner. A couple of quick sprays refreshes the skin and restores a matte appearance.

Evening: This is where the deep cleanse happens after a day at the office and commuting back and forth. In the past few months I’ve been using DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, now while it may seem counterproductive, the cleansing oil lifts out all the impurities and leaves the face feeling clean while retaining natural moisture. Recently however I use L’Oreal Men Expert Pure Power Red Volcano Face Wash which contains volcanic minerals, zinc, menthol and acne fighting salicylic acid. I apply this wash using Clinique For Men Sonic Deep Cleansing Brush, it’s got 2 kinds of charcoal bristles, softer ones for the cheeks and stiffer ones to deep clean the oily T-zone (forehead, nose and chin). I would normally never purchase this item full price, but I somehow found it at Winners for $30, a steal! I once again follow this up with the Kiehl’s moisturizer and if there’s any spots on my face, I apply Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment, it’s got cinnamon bark (with known antibacterial properties) and glycocic acid (to smoothen the area).

Twice a week I will use Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Deep Cleansing Mask after washing to get in there and lift out all the deep lying crap in the pores.

Bonus: Don’t limit skin care to the face, after you shower, apply a body moisturizer (I use Vaseline Men), to keep your skin feeling hydrated and soft. Especially apply it if you’ve gotten some sun outdoors as it will prevent peeling and flaking, as well as locking in that tan!

Bonus 2: I do mention Kiehl’s products a lot here, as they have worked well for me, but I understand it’s not always convenient to spend that amount on products. A range that I really admire as well and that I plan to use when I run out of Kiehl’s, is the L’Oreal Men Expert range. Plenty of other bloggers have done reviews on them and seem to get similar positive results. The products are affordable and can be found at pretty much any drugstore. If you really want to look for deals, they have some (not all) of their products at discount retailers such as Winners or Marshalls.

A final easy tip I’d like to include that won’t cost you a thing is DRINK YOUR WATER! Not only will you keep your body hydrated, but flush toxins from your skin which will naturally improve your complexion.

Thanks for reading, and remember that being dapper isn’t just how you dress, it’s taking care of yourself too and that includes your skin!

Cheers to summer!

-The Don

Summer 2017 Update!

Yup Yup Yup, I’m still here.

So what’s been going on the past few months in the life of the Don?

Well I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy with work at Jack Victor (and loving it). I keep myself on a pretty rigorous routine (I’m up at 4:45 every morning to get an early morning workout in). And I work right up until 6 pm so by the time I get home I don’t have much energy or brainpower left, hence the large gaps in my posting.

Another thing that has happened is that I have left my side gig with Eph Apparel after about 2 and a half years. I just did not have enough time or energy to dedicate to the hustle that it entailed. I will forever to be grateful to them for the opportunity to learn about and sell made to measure custom suiting . That opportunity came about at a time in my life where I needed extra money being a student in Ottawa. I have nothing but full respect for the whole team there and wish them continued success.

In leaving my gig with Eph, I did it because I wanted to focus more on growing myself in my career at Jack Victor and to a certain degree, get back to running this blog a little bit with more frequent updates and useful posts for you all. Since I am officially on vacation in the coming week, look for at least one post. Stay tuned for more 😉

 

-The Don

Layrite Cement Clay Review

Good Evening Ladies and Gents,

Tonight’s post will be a nice little hair styling product review from a fantastic brand, Layrite. Now I could get into the history of the brand and all that but just click on the link and read it for yourselves! (it’s been a long day).

Now it’s been well noted that I am a fan of the oldschool hair products, the greasy, slick, “stays in your hair for 3 days” pomades and brillantine. However as the weather gets warmer (ever so slightly) and as I would like to avoid breakouts on my forehead caused from the product leaking down I need something different. I always like to have a noticeable shine on my hair but this time I wanted to switch it up and find something with a matte finish and that was water soluble (so it would wash out easily at the end of a day). I did some research on hair clays and finally settled on Layrite Cement Clay.

Now I’ve used Layrite products in the past when I used to live in Ottawa and had a shop in my neighborhood that carried it, but this was my first experience with the clay.

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Great package design

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I followed the directions and reviews from other users and took just a small amount onto the fingers. By the way this stuff has a great little vanilla scent to it.

 

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Worked it in

And combed in. Now I used this on towel dried hair which gave it a little bit of a shine. Tomorrow I will use it on dry hair for a more matte look.

I realize now I should have posted pictures to show how it held up after a long day so you’ll just have to take my word for it. This stuff really lives up to it’s name! I applied this at around 6:15 am and by the time I returned home at 7 pm, there was 0 difference. I’m convinced this stuff would be bulletproof and hold up to a nuclear weapon if it had to! And it rinsed right out with water.

The only major gripe I would have with this product is that it is a little hard to work into the hair (don’t be surprised if you end up with a few pulled out hairs). Also the vanilla scent, while pleasant, was slightly overpowering for me.

To wrap it up, if you’re like me and have naturally oily skin and are looking for a water based product that can hold up to anything, then this is well worth the cost. Depending on where you look, a 4.25 oz. tin of this will run you $20-30. Well worth the price in my opinion and cost effective as it doesn’t take much product to work.

Thanks for reading and as always keep it dapper!

 

-The Don 😉

 

Birthday Haul! (A little late)

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Good Evening Dapperites,

I’m posting this a little late, yes it was my birthday this past Tuesday and so I wanted to share this nice haul I got courtesy of my brothers via Fendirhan.ca. I’ve been lusting after some more Pinaud Clubman products for a while. If you don’t know Clubman yet, get with it! They’ve only been around for 207 years. Got their Lime Sec Eau de Cologne, Eau de Quinine Hair Tonic and their shave soap. (which produces a thick rich lather btw). And to try something new I got the Tabac Aftershave balm.

Now Tabac is another classic brand. A German brand launched in 1959 making shave soap, aftershaves, cologne, deodorant etc. A unique scent that harkens back to barbershops of decades past. I love the balm, it soothes the skin and moisturizes after shaving with that rich scent.

Perhaps most unique of the bunch are my disposable kamasori Japanese straight razors (shown in the bottom photo). Japanese straight razors are unique, as they are usually lighter and are a straight 1 piece, and don’t fold like traditional straight razors. And as I also found out the hard way, are sharp as f*%$^! Caught a couple of nice nicks on the cheek. But man are they fun to use, the hair just slices clean off!

Moral of this story is, I just can’t get enough of classic grooming brands and products! Give them a try too, you may just stop buying fancy $60 aftershaves and start smelling like your grandpa or dad did, and not in a bad way!

Until next time my friends,

 

-The Don