Trevarno Natural Shaving Handmade Soap Product Review (From Male-Organics)

Male-Organics (more about them at the end of the review) gave us one of their favourite products to test – the Trevarno natural shaving soap. However, as I’m not really a shaver (more of a ‘trimmer’) I gave it to my friend, Jez, to test. Maybe he should be called Mr Stubble for the rest of this review as it’s a pity he wouldn’t allow pictures as he’s like a different person before and after shaving. To be fair he goes without shaving for three or four days at a time which is not only a test for any razor he uses but also for the shaving crème – perfect then.

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He usually uses a shaving crème that he puts straight onto a brush, rather than a gel or foam from a canister. However, with this soap he first attempted to lather it up in the manner of a hand soap. It didn’t go too well.

“It’s just a bit big for that,” says Jez. “You have trouble keeping the foam or lather in your hand and the edges are a bit square so it’s not very comfortable either. I decided to put it in my shaving bowl and do the work with the brush – it went beautifully from then on.

“It took to the brush well and went onto my face pretty easily. I used a pretty new blade which helped but here was no irritation and gave a smooth shave. I had a good four days growth to get through and it handled that well, the blade didn’t catch at all even though my beard was fairly thick.

“You can still feel some gels after shaving but there was hardly any excess residue with this to wash away. I can’t say I felt amazingly refreshed but it gave a good, clean shave. There didn’t seem to be any smell but then that’s probably a good thing as it means it doesn’t have any irritating perfumes or additives.”

So it works nicely, but how does it compare to his usual, non-environmentally friendly crème? He says: “It compares very well. It’ll be interesting to see how long it lasts though, as a good shaving bowl soap could easily last me half a year ( I don’t shave every day). In comparison with my current product, it was just as good. But the crème I use now comes in a pump action bottle that is applied to the tip of the brush, so no mess at all, and it’s easier to transport as you don’t have to wait for it to dry or put it in some protective bag.

“The fact that the Trevarno shaving soap comes in a small cardboard box is great as it’s recyclable and doesn’t waste packaging, but once you’ve used it, where do you put it? Unless you’ve got a soap holder or bowl handy, it’s just going to sit on the edge of your sink which is a bit messy.

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“I’d recommend either changing the shape of the bar so that it’s a bit more tactile, allowing you to lather it up as a soap and apply with your hands, or supplying it with a small wooden bowl/dish so that you can use it with a brush. Supplying a dish/stand would also be good for storing it afterwards.

“On the whole, it was a good shaving product – and shaving since the age of 12 I’ve been through a few.”

I told you he was a hairy man. The soap seems to live up to its promise of “…an extra rich and creamy lather, together with deep moisturising and cleansing without irritation”.

Made in Cornwall, England, the ingredients are as follows: Sodium Cocate, Sodium Olivate, Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoa Butterate, Theobroma Cacao and Olea Europaea.

It only costs £2.55 and is available from Male-Organics in the UK.

Male-Organics is an interesting company as they have very strict standards when choosing products. Their about page tells you all about them (obviously) but basically they don’t stock products that contain synthetic fragrances or chemicals such as SLS, Parabans, PEGs, Propylene Glycol or Phthalates and many more. And why did they set up the company? “We had difficulty finding a dedicated organic webshop for men on the internet, so we’ve created our own.”

Fair enough.

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Hemp Soap With Olive Oil Eco Product Review

After reviewing plenty of soap, I passed one of the bars onto a friend to get her perspective. It was a bar of Hemp Soap With Olive Oil available from Sativa Bags, which sells all manner of hemp products. Over to Kate:

“I was very excited to be given the soap to review. It’s an appealing olive colour and smells good enough to eat and although the packaging is simple, it is pretty enough for the soap to be given as a present.

Hemp Soap With Olive Oil

“The website, www.sativabags.com, that sells the soap, claims “this glycerin soap leaves your skin fresh and lively, relieving the stress and strain of modern life”. I therefore had high expectations for this soap. So did it live up to the marketing spiel?

“Well I’m not sure it relieved the stresses and strains of modern life but I’d be willing to pay a lot of money for a soap that did. I liked the product despite being slightly disappointed that the soap didn’t lather up particularly well and felt quite hard. As a result I wouldn’t recommend it as a soap for the shower but I do think it makes the perfect hand soap for the kitchen where the lather factor isn’t so important and the lovely herby fragrance can be fully appreciated.”

Bulldog Natural Grooming Moisturiser Product Review

In doing a thorough product review of Bulldog Natural Grooming Moisturiser involves a lot of washing of my face. I’m not one to moisturise all the time for no reason but after washing my face I always need to so twice a day I’d come to squeeze the tub onto my hand and rub it in. And what a joy it was.

It took me a little while over the testing period to work out why it was a joy and I realised it was down to two things. Firstly, the smell. Now the list of ingredients is quite long (I’ll come to that) but I think it’ll be down to the eight essential oils, green tea extract (which is an anti-oxidant) and mabe the green algae (which I’m told is to help with skin hydration). It really does smell nice, almost medicinal.

The packaging says:

“No parabens, no sodium laureth sulfate, no artificial colours and not synthetic fragrances.”

But as I said the list of the ingredients is huge. And confusing – do you know what ethylhexyl palmitate is? Well actually I sort of do, it’s an emulsifier and I know this because at www.meetthebulldog.com it tells me what that is and all the other ingredients which is very handy. There a downloadable pdf which also tells me it’s derived form vegetable/palm and that: “Emulsifiers modify the interface between water and oils, allowing tiny blobs of oils and waxes (micelles) to float freely in water (or vice versa) without merging together and separating out.” It’s also not tested on animals and no ingredients come from animal sources.

But how does it actually work as a moisturiser? Traditionally I tend to use a cheap moisturiser, not actually because I’m cheap but because I fine more expensive products too thick and as I have a slight beard, I found it wouldn’t rub into my skin/beard properly and I’d end up looking like Santa Claus. So I approached the thick, white substance out of this bottle with some trepidation.

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I shouldn’t have worried really, although the consistency seems the same as other brands I’ve used I found it was absorbed into the skin very nicely both on areas with hair and without. There was no white or oily residue. I enjoyed using it as much as one can.

Bulldog are a small company based in London. Currently it’s just available in the UK through Sainsbury’s stores, and online through the Life Goggles Reviews and Shop page. Read Joel’s review of Bulldog’s shave gel here.

Bulldog Natural Grooming Shave Gel Product Review

I try to shave as little as possible, but as I don’t want a beard (unlike Adam), and my wife complains, it means “as little as possible” is almost every day. I tend to think shave gels and creams are pretty much alike, some are cheap and some expensive but they all do the same job. Then we were sent some Bulldog Natural Grooming Shave Gel.

Bulldog Natural Grooming Shave Gel

It didn’t change my world massively, but I was impressed. For example, as I was testing it for the first time, this is the conversation I had with my wife:

“Something smells good!?”
Me: “It’s me!”
“No, seriously, something smells new and different.”
Me: “I know, it’s ME!”

She was right to a degree, it wasn’t really me but the shave gel. Made with seven essential oils, paraban free with Aloe Vera (apparently for cooling and softening), Jojoba (a natural moisturiser) and Konjac Mannan (for, er, “slip”), there are a full list of ingredients plus a downloadable explanation to what each ingredient is, on the Bulldog website. The gel had an almost menthol flavour and tingled on my lips, and as I had a cold at the time, actually helped me :).

Besides the product itself, I like the humour on the packaging, for example the back states “Unless you’re a geography teacher or a communist revolutionary [or Adam] you’ll have to shave sometime”. Besides that, there’s not much left to say. it’s nice to use a decent shave gel that has been naturally sourced. My face was fine afterwards, no more ugly than usual so I guess it works well.

Bulldog are a small company based in London. Currently their products are just available in the UK and through our new Life Goggles Reviews and Shop page.

Bulldog Sensitive Post Shave Balm Green Product Review

As the bottle says there comes a time in a man’s life when he has to take a long hard look in the mirror and say, “Yes I need some Sensitive Post Shave Balm.” That man is you and that time is now.

Bulldog Sensitive Post Shave Balm

Bulldog’s new sensitive range also contains a post shave balm. We have previously given a great review of the normal Bulldog shave balm, so I expected similar good things. It is a white balm, and was easily absorbed helping cool the little razor burn that I had. It contains rosehip oil to help nourish and soothe skin and also vitamin E as an antioxidant.

The only downside is that the bottle came in seemingly an unnecessary box that wasn’t even made out of recycled post-consumer material. In fairness the bottle is pretty small and perhaps wouldn’t fit the ingredients or barcode on, but a recycled box would have been nice.

Bulldog products contain no parabens, no sodium laureth sulfate, no artificial colors or synthetic fragrances. Go to www.meetthebulldog.com to buy online or find stockists. A 100ml tub/bottle costs around £4.99.

Product Review: Recycline Preserve Razors

To give them their correct (and unweildly) title – Preserve Razor Recyclable by Recycline – are recycled razors. While with their bright colours and plastic handles they look like disposable razors, they are in fact anti-disposable razors and while light and similar to say a Bic razor, the blade pops off and you can add a replacement. In fact you can buy just the blades separately here as well which fit some other manufacturers’ handles.

The come in a pack of four which may seem over the top, but I know how grubby handles can get over time so I’ve just stored the rest away from when I need them. Well, two of them – the other has gone to my girlfriend (see later).

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So what’s different about these razors? Well the handles are made from 100% recycled plastic – mainly from yoghurt (or yogurt if you like) pots and once you’ve finished with it you can recycle it again. The manufacturer says anywhere who takes type 5 plastics will recycle it or they will do it themselves, www.recycline.com provides address labels or you can request envelopes to send them back in and they’ll make them into picnic tables. Lovely. Same with their toothbrushes and tongue cleaners (my tongue is fine thank you very much). No mention of the actual blades though.

But the important thing with a razor is whether it works or not. And here’s the thing, I have a beard. It’s only a short one though so I considered shaving it off to test it. I have only had the beard for 18 months and have shaved it off twice so do have considerable experience in shaving, but there’s the itchiness involved with growing it back and I didn’t fancy it. So I cheated instead.

The test for men
Well not cheated exactly, but shared the wealth and asked someone else to do it. Rob duly obliged. Happy to have something for free and willing to give almost anything a go, he shaved to his heart’s content. And you know what? He loved it. Shaving is a solitary pursuit but I was there before and after his first shave. He has two razors he uses normally – a flashy one with a metal handle and expensive blades, and a rigid disposable one which he uses more often. While the Preserve razor looked more like the disposable one but bigger, it was much lighter than the ‘proper’ razor so I was interested to see which he preferred. And I was surprised with the results.

He loved the Preserve one. In fact, he said it was the nicest shave he had ever had! And “I only cut myself once, and that was my fault”. Not sure what he was doing but it’s good to hear. Despite being made of one piece of (recycled) plastic, the Preserve razor offers a lot of flexibility and comfort. Even disposables have the soothing strip on these days, but this seemed a bit better and cut with ease.

After five minutes of Rob talking about it, I thought maybe he’d had too much and was tempted to take it away from him. But razors need to be used over and over so I left it with him to get a longer-term opinion. And he still likes it a few weeks later. One happy customer.

The test for women
Legs this time. While I could have tested this myself, I’m not a cross-dresser or a cyclist, so left this to the girlfriend. Sadly she wouldn’t let me take pictures to put up but I assure you she did use it. I know this because she cut her knee open and I had to get up off the sofa to see what all the noise was about. However it turns out it was user error, rather than the razor’s fault, and the rest of her legs were silky smooth.

She’s used it a few times since and likes the fact it’s light and shaves as well as her well-known brand multi bladed razor and as it’s better for the environment she’ll be using the other wones too.

Thanks again goes to Nigel’s Eco Store for supplying them, you can buy the razor and spare blades here and just the blades here if you’re in the EU. For the rest of the world, try Drugstore.com.