10 December 2009

Men’s grooming products: September ’09 reviews

The guys in our product testing team have been hard at work putting some of the latest male grooming products to the test. Here are their reviews...


Our intrepid product testing team - a bunch ordinary guys just like yourself - have been hard at work putting some of the latest male grooming products to the test. Here are their reviews...

Boss Skin Face Wash, R195.00
Reviewer: Petrus le Roux, geochemist

The stylish, understated packaging of the Boss Skin Face Wash sets the right tone for this product. Without much fuss, it does the job and does it well. The container is easy to stand, handle and use in the shower. The twist-opening cap allows controlled dispensing of the clear gel. The gel lathers instantly, with a fresh, masculine fragrance and application is trouble-free. Let’s face it, washing your face isn’t exactly rocket-science. Rinsing is quick and clean, with no lingering slow-to-move suds to slide into your eye when you think you’re done. The result is a fresh and clean face, without the common dry and tight skin after-effects. After a few weeks use my face is noticeably clearer and, dare I say, fresher.

Dunhill 51.3N Eau de Toilette, R675.00 for 50ml
Reviewer: Paul Ingpen, marketing and strategy director

I’m a somewhat typical 40-something South African male who grew up in the sanction era and still hasn’t come to terms with the post isolation explosion in luxury brand items like watches, sports gear and fragrances. Every trip to the mall is like Charlie’s visit to the chocolate factory. The novelty is still such that I tend to wear a different watch, underwear brand and fragrance every day, so when I was asked to review the latest Dunhill fragrance I ripped opened the deep blue and silver packaging like a 3 year old. I wasn’t disappointed. The box description reads like a food recipe with more spice references than Platter’s wine guide, so I ditched any pretence of depth or subtlety and opted to rely on the age old test: trying it out on the ladies in the office (who outnumber the boys 25:3). The name of the fragrance refers to the GPS coordinates of the city of London - home to a certain secret agent. So with 007 on my mind I shaved, donned a tie, splashed on some Dunhill 51.3N and headed into the city. This fresh new smell was mature and subtle and made me feel good. At the office I shimmied past a few desks and was concerned when I’d made it all the way to accounts without so much as a raised eyebrow. Then it came: “God, which one of you boys smells so good? That’s killing me!” - one of my female co-workers had picked up the scent. Being a conscientious and dedicated product reviewer, I invited her a bit closer for a formal appraisal and she confirmed that I’d best get my wife’s consent before wearing this weapon without her on my arm – it was as good for her as it was for me.

Vichy Homme Sensi-Baume Ca, R160.00
Reviewer: Andreas Späth, freelance journalist

I’ll be honest, shaving isn’t my favourite past-time. I usually only do it when I absolutely have to. I have quite sensitive skin and shaving usually leaves me with an irritated, splotchy, itchy and tight face that makes the whole experience rather uncomfortable. I’ve been using Vichy Homme Sensi-Baume Ca for about a month now - don’t ask me about the name, but it’s described as a “comfort balm for sensitive skin” - and it’s made a real difference. A small bead of the pearly white lotion spreads easily over the entire shaved area of the face and is absorbed quickly without being greasy. The fragrance is pleasant but understated and will not interfere with your normal eau de toilette, aftershave or deodorant. The product is alcohol-free, allergy-tested and contains “dermo-assimilable calcium” which apparently acts as a skin repairer and protector. Most importantly for me, the balm really soothes the skin after a shave - no more itching or irritated skin. I quite enjoy shaving these days!

Vo5 Extreme Style Texturising Gum, R35,99
Reviewer: Frank Sander, Creative Director, Be Frank - New Media Agency

In my opinion Vo5 Extreme Style Texturising Gum is the perfect product for a guy like myself who needs to look really sharp at his all-important 9 am meeting on Monday mornings. Rushing out of the shower, you use the gum to sculpt your hair. You'll fly through traffic, run up the stairs in a breeze and just on time and after all that you’ll still look SHARP! You can easily create your own personal style at night, too. The texturising gum’s long lasting and extra firm hold will make you look stylish on the dance floor and it’s sure to impress the cute girl at the other end of the bar. This product will give you the textured style to make you look and feel confident in any situation. I tried it and as they say on the product "a little goes a long way".

Vitamin Shampoo and Conditioner, R79.99 each for 375ml each
Reviewer: Ben Tredoux, electrician

I’m a hard working guy who needs a hard working shampoo after a full day’s work and this stuff really delivers. I’m not usually one for fancy “male products”, so I was a bit sceptical at first, but after using the Vitamin shampoo for a couple of weeks I’m really happy with the results. My hair is clean, shiny and it smells and feels great. I even used the conditioner - a new experience for me - and I really like that, too. This shampoo and conditioner combination is sold exclusively at Clicks and the great thing is that they both contain a whole lot of special ingredients. Essential oils, minerals, vitamins C, B, E and A, lemongrass for “nutrition and balance”, coconut milk “to moisturise and enrich”, as well as antioxidant-rich noni berries. Sounds good enough to eat, doesn’t it?! Well it really works wonders for my hair, too.

Lacoste Challenge Eau de Toilette, R610.00 for 75ml
Reviewer: Bernhard Walter, restaurant chef

I love the fresh, athletic and sporty scent of Lacoste Challenge, the latest fragrance for men from Lacoste. It’s sophisticated and classy without being old-fashioned. In fact, putting it on makes me feel really youthful and exciting, which goes perfectly with my outgoing personality. Lacoste Challenge has citrusy undertones with some great spicy and almost exotic accents to back them up. It comes in a funky bottle sporting the trademark Lacoste crocodile symbol. Very cool and definitely recommended!

More men's grooming product reviews:
• December '09
November '09
October '09
August '09


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