10 December 2009

Men's grooming products: November '09 reviews

When it comes to male fragrances, are you a Tom Ford man or an Usher kinda guy? Our product reviewers wax lyrical about the latest male grooming goodies.

When it comes to male fragrances, are you a Tom Ford man or an Usher kinda guy? Our product reviewers wax lyrical about the latest male grooming goodies.

Tom Ford Grey Vetiver Male Fragrance, R995 for 50ml
Reviewer: Philip Langley, web designer

Scent is the most powerful sense of all, able to conjure places and memories long gone. Tom Ford’s new Grey Vetiver is a spicy eastern land laid end-to-end with grasses and citrus fields and smoke of ages. When it touches the skin it takes you there with a heady thump, no questions asked. A few people noted that it assaulted their nostrils but they did not linger to bask in the warmth of its base note. To me it seems a reaction against the sickly sweet metrosexual perfumes of late. This is unabashedly male.

King of Shaves Azor Razor, R74.99 (four replacement cartridges: R65.99)
Reviewer: Andreas Späth, Health24 ManZone

A razor is a razor is a razor, right?! Ok, they can come with one, two, three, four or 27 parallel blades and may or may not have one of those lubricating strips, but in the end they’re all basically the same, right?! Well that’s what I thought until I tried the Azor from King of Shaves, a UK-based grooming products company I’d never even heard of before. The Azor has got four blades and looks a little odd with its wishbone shape, but what makes it really different is that the head is really bendy and flexible courtesy of two little rubbery joints. I didn’t think that that was going to have a huge effect, but actually it makes for quite a unique shaving experience. The razor is much more responsive to the contours of your face, it hugs it the surface and honestly slides across it more smoothly than ordinary razors. I really liked using the Azor and what’s more, it comes at a reasonable price, as do the replacement cartridges.

Tropitone Acti-Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, R68.99 for 125ml
Reviewer: Ben Stevens, insurance broker

I have fair skin that burns to a crisp at the sight of a torch, so I really need a good sunscreen whenever I head outdoors. I also spend a lot of time in the water - kite-surfing is my passion - so I can afford a sun block that washes off my skin when confronted with spray and waves. Tropitone Active-Sport does a great job on both counts. It has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 and is water resistant. What I particularly liked about this product is its consistency: it’s thick and creamy and I can actually feel it creating a protective barrier on my skin. At the same time it’s not oily at all and has an unobtrusively pleasant scent.

Usher VIP Eau de Toilette, R495 for 100ml
Reviewer: Taylor Ahlgren, Curriculum Development & Training Manager, Grassroots Soccer

Usher Raymond's new fragrance, VIP is bold and strong, with a really woody scent. While it's supposed to be for everyday use, I would rather have a lighter fragrance for daily use and think VIP is more suited for a night out or if I'm attending an event - the fragrance is warmed by spices of nutmeg and saffron, which can be a little heady. The bottle is made of heavily weighted glass, inspired by high-end liqueur bottles in rich gold tones. It takes a while to settle so I only really appreciated it a few hours after spraying it on. Ultimately, it's quite likeable and definitely worth a try if you're looking for a dress-up fragrance.

Meadowsweet Sore Muscle Soak, R59.95 for 250ml
Reviewer: Frank Sander, Creative Director, Be Frank - New Media Agency

After sampling a number of highly branded beauty products in the last couple of weeks, it was a refreshing experience to try out Meadowsweet’s new sore muscle bath soak, as it is 100% natural and made lovingly like in the good old days. Even better, it’s made in South Africa. Being a seasoned (read “aging”) football player, I can certainly feel my sore bones and muscles on many mornings these days. But since I started using this product, which contains eucalyptus oil and leaves, organic rosemary, thyme, lemon verbena and mint leaves, getting the day started has become a breeze… Just two tablespoons in a warm, freshly run bath and a 20 minute soak really help to sooth and relax my strained and tired muscles. Pure enjoyment!

Everysun Aquasport Lip Balm SPF 30, R25.99 for 10ml
Reviewer: Oliver Coetzer, musician

You know how irritating it is when you’re out and about on a hot, dry day and you open your lip balm only to find it’s melted down into a useless, gooey mess? Well, those days are over thanks to Everysun Aquasport water resistant lip balm. That’s because it’s a moisturising cream-gel packaged in a nifty screw-top tube - as opposed to a potentially messy stick. Also, thanks to the tube’s angled head, it’s easy to squeeze the product out and apply it directly to your lips - to offer them instant soothing relief and sun protection that won’t wash off! As always, real power seems to come in small packages...

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


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