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I've had eczema. I've had chicken pox. Suffice to say that I got sensitive skin and very careful what I put on it. Like most men, I've gone through my rotations of Old spice, Axe and Dove for Men body wash and they are alright but I've always been curious as to what else is out there. Well, If you recall back in October.........

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        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         I've had eczema. I've had chicken pox. Suffice to say that I got sensitive skin and very careful what I put on it. Like most men, I've gone through my rotations of Old spice, Axe and Dove for Men body wash and they are alright but I've always been curious as to what else is out there. Well, If you recall back in October, Dove had put out a Facebook ad that many deemed as insensitive and racist and being that the majority of people I follow on social media are minorities, I had a front row seat at the backlash. In the midst of verbal onslaught, a friend recommended supporting black owned businesses that provide just the same or even higher quality product, in this case, soap. A name was mentioned,  Herb N Eden , a black owned business based out of Atlanta GA that produces handmade soaps (have recently ventured out to lotions as well) made from natural herbal ingredients. So what the heck, decided to check them out to see if they were a valuable alternative to the commercialized house hold name brands we all know.   What I Got  and Their Ingredients   Before I actually bought anything, Herb N Eden actually offers a free sample pack of the four best selling soaps and all you do is pay shipping and handling. Pretty great deal if you don't want to jump all in and just want to test it out. So my pack consisted of Activated Charcoal, Rosemary and Lavender, Lemongrass and Patchouli and Oatmeal Honey. Those lasted for a good month and I knew I had to buy them so I settled for the Activated Charcoal and Lemongrass and Patchouli, let's start with the Activated Charcoal.    Activated Charcoal       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The scents of these soaps are what will body-slam your nostrils as soon as you up the package and the Activated Charcoal(let's just call it AC for now) isn't any different. I could sniff on that peppermint scent forever and it smells even better in the shower. The ingredients they used are coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, activated charcoal. All natural products that helps fight eczema if you suffer from it. The coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that helps prevent inflammation one might get from eczema. Remember a while back I did a post on  Facial Care Routine  when I spoke on the Scotch Porter products I used and the  Boscia Face Mask Peel ? Click on the links if you missed them but that was my first time being introduced to charcoal being used as a skin care ingredient. So those had charcoal and this soap has charcoal so what's the deal? Well, charcoal naturally detoxifies and cleanses your skin from all the bacteria and chemicals on the surface of your skin. It also removes any excess oils you may have leaving your skin really smooth. You don't know what chemicals they are using in these commercialized brands so you're better of safe than sorry.    Lemongrass and Patchouli       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Next up is the Lemongrass and Patchouli. I'm a newbie to this whole grooming thing so I was like 'what heck is lemongrass or patchouli?' Well, as the name suggest Lemongrass is grass that can be found in warm climate locatins such as Africa, Australia and South Asia that can be digested for health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and curing stomach disorders but also can be applied on your skin as an anti septic to prevent acne.  It's known for its citrus flavor and scent. Patchouli is a plant where the patchouli oil is extracted from and is used as an aphrodisiac, used to relieve inflammation (from your eczema) and it is one of nature's natural anti depressant that is commonly used in aromatheraphy for those suffering from depression. This particular product is recommended for exfoliating which removes the old dead skin cells that cause dryness and itchiness.   Final $0.02    Starting in November, Herb N Eden added lotions and liquid soap to their products line. Those would have to be my next purchases. Who knew herbal ingredients in soap would put me in a relaxed mood every time I use it, not only do you get a clean wash but the aroma from the soaps will put you in a good mood. If you're in the market for something different, or you want to support black businesses or you want to do both, give Herb N Eden a shot. So far, I'm pressed and they'll be seeing more of my business.
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So does Bevel help prevent razor bumps? That was a bold claim to make but after using it for three months I can say.............

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        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         So does Bevel help prevent razor bumps? That was a bold claim to make but after using it for three months I can say...............yes. Yes it does. However, I do believe that is the case based on two things: 1) The average man shaves improperly and Bevel shows you how to do it right 2) The ingredients used in their products.  In the interest of not wasting your time, I summarized how to properly shave in my last  grooming post . The pic below is from the Bevel website and it actually comes in a booklet form with the products (I misplaced mine).     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Courtesy of Bevel.com  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


      The Products      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     As I mentioned in a previous, who knew there was an actual process to shaving that involved more than shaving cream and after shave, let's break them down.  1)  The Priming Oil   - I have sensitive skin. I can't just go to town on my skin, I have to prep for it. This oil helps soften the hair and skin before the shave. Two main ingredients of this priming oil are caster oil and olive oil. Caster oil naturally hydrates skin while unclogging the pores. Olive oil has many other benefits to the skin but for razor bumps specifically, it fights the bacteria that cause razor bumps. This is important because when you wash your face with hot warm it opens up your pores and bacteria may go in.  2)   The Shave Cream   - applying the cream in a circular motion with the shave brush, this cream sets the razor up to run smoothly on your skin. With Aloe Vera and vitamin E, your skin will moisturizing and protection it needs when the blade comes in contact with it.  3)   Safety Razor   - I spoke about my love for a safety razor in my previous post. At the end of the day, whether it's a safety razor or five blade razor, a blade is touching your skin so you want to have as little irritation as possible. Of course the more blades on your skin the more likely the skin will be irritated therefore I recommend using a safety razor.  4)   Exfoliating Cream   - This is an product that is NOT part of the bevel shave system, this is my addition to the process based on experience. Anytime I use exfoliating cream my skin feels ridiculously smooth so I figured why not use it after I shave to have a smooth face/neck. And it works!!!!! So after I wash the remaining shaving cream with hot water, I exfoliate using the exfoliating cream that feels a little rough and looks like brown rice. Rub it in a circle motion for 10-15 seconds then wash it off with cold water to close your pores.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              courtesy of Bevel.com  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     5)   Restoring Balm   - I've put on some after shave and it stings! This is quite the opposite. It delivers a cool sensation and sweet aroma. The ingredient Witch Hazel stops the itch from your irritated skin, removes excess oil and stops any bleeding from nics (which can happen if you're not used to a safety razor). Another ingredient used in this is Tea Tree Oil which also stops bleeding from nics and relieves razor burns. This is probably my favorite out of the bunch, you just have to feel the cooling sensation it gives you. I use it on days I don't shave.   Final $0.02   All in all, I give Bevel a thumbs up. They made a big claim and so far has backed it up in my experience. I have to also give creditto the exfoliating cream, that does help as well. Two ways to purchase this: 1) Buy the 30 day kit for $89.95 or 2) get a subscription where they charge $34 up front and $29 for the next two months. Won't complain about the price because it does deliver the results I was looking for. I say it's well worth looking into, if you can give Bevel a shot.
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So you mean to tell me there is proper way to shave? I can't slap some shaving cream on my face and go to town? They make it look so cool in the commercial with the hot model running her fingers across your smooth clean shaven face. Of course, they are trying to sell you a product. And like most men......

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        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         So you mean to tell me there is proper way to shave? I can't slap some shaving cream on my face and go to town? They make it look so cool in the commercial with the hot model running her fingers across your smooth clean shaven face. Of course, they are trying to sell you a product. And like most men, I've been buying into it for years! But recently I posted a grid like photo on my IG and my frat brother challenged me that a gentleman such as myself should do better than a shave foam and cartridge razor. So I accepted the challenge and found out I was doing it all wrong for years. I kept the cartridge razor and foam though, for head shaving purpose like my  Bald Head  post a while back. So let's go through the instruments I'll be using for this shaving process.   Tools Of Trade   These tools are courtesy of Bevel but aren't synonymous to them. You can get similar tools from different companies, using the same process, I just happen to have Bevel in my possession. The tools I use for the shaving process are as follows:   Shaving cream  Safety Razor  Priming oil  Restoring Balm  Shave Brush    My NEW Shaving Process   Ok. We got our tools and we are ready to roll! I've created 3 phases and steps within these phases to guide me (and you) along this process to keep it simple.    Phase 1 Pre-shave       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Step One: It's best to start this phase right after you've hopped out of the warm shower. That warm water opens up your pores and gets your hair soft and ready. However if you are shaving without taking a shower prior, just wet a small towel with some hot water and gently go over the areas you want to shave     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Step Two: Priming oil. Pour about a dime size to a quarter size in your hand and rub it on the desired areas. This will give the blade a nice smooth glide. This is the first step to prevent irritation.     



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      
    
   

  

 






  
  
  

     Step Three: Put a small amount of the shaving cream on the shaving brush and go in a circular motion on the desired areas until it is completely covered.    Phase 2 Shave       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Step4: Shave!!! In case you didn't know, the rule of thumb is to shave with the grain not against it. Shaving against the grain will cause that irritation we are trying to avoid. SO pay close attention to how your hair grows    Phase 3 Post Shave       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Step Five: Wash off the remaining shave cream with some warm water, then go over that area with cold water. I never knew about about the benefit of using cold water until I learned that the cold water closes your pores which then prevents bacteria from going in and cause problem     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Step Six: After drying the shaven area, take about a quarter size of the restoring balm and gently massage it on to the newly shaven area. This post shave ritual is critical in preventing that dreadful itch and razor bumps.   Final $0.02   It's been an interesting two month, trying out this better way to shave has been and eye opener and I will not go back to my old ways. As I continue to get more knowledge in the art of shaving,  the products will change. I intend on trying out different brand safety razors, shaving cream and other versions of priming oil and restoring balm. This isn't the end all be all, the journey continues. Expect a revised A Better Way To Shave post in the future.
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Been hearing about this brand for some time now, finally decided to take the plunge. The main reason why I got it was because of their claim to help stop razor bump. Now that got me a little skeptical but what the heck I'll try it. I opted for......

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         Been hearing about this brand for some time now, finally decided to take the plunge. The main reason why I got it was because of their claim to help stop razor bump. Now that got me a little skeptical but what the heck I'll try it. I opted for the 90 day starter kit at $39.95 a month where I'll get the 20 blades, priming oil, shave cream and restoring balm. I decided not to go with the safety razor because I already had one. The reason I called this a preliminary review is because I've only had it for one month and I don't think that's long enough to give guys a thorough review. What I can say so far is:  1) It's affordable   2) Delivery was fast  3) Packaging was good  4) Easy to use step by step booklet on how to properly shave  5) Does it prevent razor bumps? Well, I don't know for sure yet. I already had bumps before using this so it's hard to tell so soon if new ones have come up, hence me wanting to use it for 3 months. A hint of positivity is that itching irritation that I usually get after shaving I dont have any more ever since using this to that's a good sign.  Well, I'm enjoying the transition of using a safety razor as opposed to the five blade razor I was accustomed to. I believe the reason why I haven't seen any new razor bumps is because Bevel actually gives you a booklet and teaches you how to shave. Who knew there are steps you need to take before putting razor on your skin. Definitely a learning process and I'm not afraid to stumble my way to doing things the right way.
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I've seen the videos. The pain. The agony. The screams that can haunt you in your sleep! If it is so painful, why are people putting themselves through it even after seeing evidence of its torture? There was only one thing I could do, the only thing a man in his right mind in my position would do............

ian rileyComment
        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"         I've seen the videos. The pain. The agony. The screams that can haunt you in your sleep! If it is so painful, why are people putting themselves through it even after seeing evidence of its torture? There was only one thing I could do, the only thing a man in his right mind in my position would do............Try it for myself!! My years of fitness have made me into a low key masochist, not that pain turns me on but I don't shy away from it! When it comes I embrace it with open arms. What people may run from, I run to so it was only right that I accepted the challenge of doing a post about the black mask peel. How bad can it be? I've got sensitive skin, will I feel the pain more? Is this just another internet fad or is there something really beneficial here? Well let's dive into this shall we?   What Is The Black Mask And What Are the Benefits?   A simple google search will reveal quite a bit of brands out there that carry the black mask product. I ended up going with Boscia, admittedly from seeing another youtuber use it. They are sold in Sephora and Sephora is a trusted brand in my book. The Black Mask is a cream mixture of skin loving ingredients such as calcium, charcoal powder, various flower and leaf extract that help remove blackheads, clear acne, reduce oil on your face.    Final $0.02   Does it work? Is it painful? Yes and No. Well, at least with me it wasn't painful but it really does make you skin feel soft and smooth while removing blackheads and excessive oil on your face. It took about 30 mins for it to dry up (I took a quick nap with it on for the last 15 mins) and the peel off took about 5 mins. Between this and exfoliating, you face will be feeling baby skin smooth in no time however unlike exfoliating putting on the black mask, in my opinion, should be done couple of times in the month with exfoliating in between. It's just too much time and work to be doing it couple days a week bro! Remember, I like to be in and out of the bathroom. I definitely recommend it even if you have to try it once, get the cheaper version and see if you like it. It is important to note, with almost everything, you'll see the long time result if you do it over time not just a one time experiment. I'm definitely doing it again.
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Times are changing. There was a point when men would shy away from grooming topics like this. Facial care was something left for women and pretty boys to do but I've been seeing an influx of the everyday man giving a damn about taking care of themselves

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        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"            Times are changing. There was a point when men would shy away from grooming topics like this. Facial care was something left for women and pretty boys to do but I've been seeing an influx of the everyday man giving a damn about taking care of themselves. I'm not a woman and i'm far from being a pretty boy but I have seen the benefits of taking care of your face.  I mean, you need to! It's the part of your body that is exposed most to the elements that have no mercy for you. It's a war out there bro and you need weapons to fight! Fight to preserve your skin and purify your youthful glow. In this blog I'll go to facial care routine that is quick, easy and is the reason why people think I'm younger than I actually am.   Water and Diet   Before we dive into the products and routines, whether you have these products or not, one thing that is readily available to you (at least I hope) is water. Water is life.Drink it. Lots of it. Not only does it helps is numerous areas of our survival as humans, it is good for your skin. Also your overall health plays a role in how you skin looks and feel. Heard the phrase "you are what you eat"? Yea that applies with healthy and unhealthy food. Choose healthy foods, easy on the drinking, do away with cigarettes and you have won half the battle already. With that out of the way, let's talk about it.   Products    Unscented face soap  - pretty straight forward. You can find this at your local pharmacy and I just use this to wash off any dirt particles on my face. This makes my face dry despite the fact I have naturally oily skin but then I use the next item to moisturize.   Dr Jart + Water Drop  -  Fellas, if you haven't gone to Sephora you need to. In fact you should sign up for their Insider Beauty Card thing and get point on every purchase, points add up to you getting something for free. Yes that store is mainly for women but men have a small little section. Anyway, the lovely ladies there are there to help you as one did with me a few months ago and introduced me to this water based moisturizer. If you have oily skin like me, you need a water based moisturizer like Dr Jart + which helps control the oil secretion while moisturizing the skin.    The Next Two Products Can Be Found AT Expresscuts1018.com. Click The Names To Go Straight To The Product Page      Scotch Porter Charcoal and Licorice Face Wash   - I may switch out the face soap for this one.  According to the Scotch Porter Website, it "cleanses and restores dry skin without wrecking havoc on your skin's PH balance". Ok cool, I get the cleansing and restore part, and it really does! But what the heck is a ph balance? I'm glad you asked. PH stands for power of hyrdogen which is a scale that shows your body's Acid/Akaline balance. You body needs both in equal amounts in order to survive, too much of either one and you life could be at risk. Who would have thought a face wash can assist in saving your life huh? Different parts of your body have different levels which range between 1- (acid) and 8-14 (alkaline) so it's best to keep your pH levels at  neutral 7. Alright, that was a simplified definition of pH, I'll rather leave that to folks more smarter than I am but it is important to know the basics of it. Click  here  to learn more.    Scotch Porter Face Lotion   - We should be using the same lotion on our face as we use on our body. That lotion is more of rougher skin and make cause crazy breakouts , our face has more sensitive skin and need specific face lotion. I rotate between this and the Dr Jart+ moisturizer giving me that smooth moisturized feeling I love.   Spin For Perfect Skin Exfoliating Face and Body Brush  - You can use your hands to cleanse and exfoliate and if you do it is best to go in a circular motion to stimulate blood flow. Well, this brush does that for you with interchangeable brushes and one very smooth speed. My face feels like it has been pampered by cherubims after using this, it's that amazing!   St Ives Exfoliating Cream  - you don't exfoliate? think it's a girly thing? Man, you a missing out! We don't shed our skins like reptiles but our skin is constantly rejuvenating itself, creating new skin under dead skin. Now when you exfoliate it doesn't mean you'll see the dead skinon your hands but the feeling you get after washing it off, you literally feel brand new. To my knowledge there are two types of exfoliating cream: one that looks like white rice and is smooth and the other looks like brown rice and is rough. The 'white rice' one is the one that can be used frequently say about 3 times a week. The 'brown rice' one can be used once or twice a week because it's rough and as great as exfoliating is this is the one that really gets in there and cleanses your skin. Don't want to do that everyday   Procedure      



 
   
    
      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      

        

        
          
           
          

          
        

        

      
    
   

  
     
    
      
         
            
            
         
      
    
       
  

 






  
  
  

      Final $0.02   Facial care is as manly as chopping wood after wrestling a 400lbs grizzly bear.  Sensitive need to be cared for and choosing the right products to do so should be a priority. You don't have to compete with your girl for some bathroom time, as you've seen in the video my process is less that 10 mins. For those of you who have any interest in growing a beard, your facial care is VERY important in the growth of your beard. All beard enthusiasts know this. Grooming of any sort tells the world you give a damn about how you present yourself.
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Maintaining A Bald Head

More dominant. More confident. More attractive. More masculine. These are results from a University of Pennsylvania study, linked here on the how people perceive bald men.

Now, as much as that strokes my ego.....

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Maintaining A Bald Head
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Scents

You can’t speak of style and not mention grooming. Consider the two twins, each has its unique identity but can’t imagine living life with one and not the other. Let’s face it, your style can be aesthetically appealing making you.....

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Scents