A little while ago, less than a month, my good friend Michael Tafoya put out his new shave products. You may be familiar with him, he used to own Grandad’s. So when he told me he was working on some new shave stuff I had to get my mitts on some to try out. Being the awesome friend he is, he sent me some of his stuff for free to review. He wouldn’t even let me pay for shipping. Thanks Michael, you’re the best!! Can’t wait for what’s in store with this kit.
I’m going to do a review like I did with the Soapbox Gypsy shave box. All three products together in one go like they’re meant to be used. After having such a blast with that review, I am really excited to get started on this one! These products aren’t packaged in a box, just separately. I think they would look really nice in a little wooden box lined with some straw or cotton, as the have an old timey feel to them.
The pre-shave oil comes in a unique little bottle. Well unique to all the ore-shave oils I have anyway. It’s a cobalt blue plastic bottle with a white pump type lid. It has just one circle label on the front. The label is a white background with black writing. In the very center it tells you what it is, Shave Oil. At the very top is the ingredients, just below those it says “all natural.” Just above the product distinction it says “peppermint” indicating the scent. Below that is the company name, and logo. And at the bottom is the weight info. Very simple and straightforward design. Has a prohibition era feel to it. I like it.
This one is a clear oil, nice change up from the norm. It feels a little but lighter than the average pre-shave oils out there. However, it’s not a super light oil either, it’s on the lighter end of the medium spectrum. It has a nice light peppermint scent to it. It’s not overbearing, but you don lose the scent either. It’s just right.
On your face it has a nice smooth feel, but it’s not super greasy or oily. Your hands don’t just slip all over your face while you work it around. It has a slight resistance to it, you an really feel the vitamin e oil in it when you apply it to your face. Some of it soaks into your face and whiskers really quickly. There’s not a much of a shine to your skin after you apply it. I personally like when most of it soaks into your face and whiskers, it makes for a smoother shave. It really softens up your whiskers and smooths your skin, allowing the blade to glide and cut easier.
Now on to the shave soap. This one is packaged in a slightly lighter blue plastic tub with a metal screw top lid. It has the exact same label as the shave oil, the only difference is that it says “Shave Soap” instead. Because of the larger container, the label is naturally a little bit larger. I really love these labels! They make me feel like I bought them in a turn of the century barber shop or drug store.
The soap itself is a bright white soap. It has a shiny surface to it, something I haven’t seen from a what soap thus far. I’m not sure what to make of it. Come to think of it I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shiny soap before, bar or shave. Let’s see if that has any play in how the soap performs. It has a really nice mint scent to it. It kind of smells like candy canes to me. Sort of a sweet minty scent, very very nice scent.
I soaked it in some hot water for about 5 minutes, then dumped out the water so I could load up my brush. It seems to have a light, airy load lather. I had a lot of bubbles floating up out of the jar while I was loading the brush. Hopefully it doesn’t stay too light when I go to lather it up. I was given the answer to that at the end of loading up my brush. The bubbles seemed to shrink or pop, leaving a thicker foam. I was pretty happy with the fact that it didn’t stay really light and frothy.
I began to lather it up and the same thing kind of happened at first. A light frothy lather sprang up immediately, pushing it’s way up out of the bowl. And just like with loading my brush, the bubbles begin to pop and form a thick lather. It got so thick that I had to add a little bit more water to keep it a nice consistency. That little bit of water made the lather turn into a lot of puffy clouds!! Very thick clouds, similar to the texture of Greek yogurt. A lot of the lather wanted to just stick to my brush. That made my brush packed to the gills with thick lather. Definitely a great thing!
You can see how thick the lather is on my face. It looks almost like a paste instead of a soapy lather! And boy does it feel great on your skin. Nice and warm when you first apply it from the heat of the water. Then the mint starts to cool your face! Very nice contrast. I love the cooling effect a lot. It’s not so strong that it almost burns or messes with your nose. Yet it’s not so soft you don’t feel it at all. It’s really a nice medium, both scent and tingle wise.
Having a lot of lather left in the bowl and in my brush, I decided to scrape off my brush into the bowl. With how thick this lather is and how much is left in the bowl, I’d venture to say there’s at least another 9 more shaves worth of lather left. I didn’t even squeeze the later from inside my brush either. So I’d say this soap could get you from 10 to 12 shaves with one lather. Now I didn’t do anything special either. I soaked my soap and brush for 5 minutes in moderately hot water. I only swirled for 30 seconds total when I loses my brush. And I only lathered it up for about 30-40 seconds. Nothing out of the ordinary at all. This shave soap is just a really great shave soap!
During my shave I noticed a nice smoothness to the blade as it glided over my face. The hairs seemed to just fall right off. No resistance at all. By far one of the smoothest shaves I’ve ever had. The oil and soap really softened up my hairs and face. It felt like there wasn’t even a blade in the razor it was so smooth. Really really nice shave.
I noticed a significant difference in the feel of my face after my shave. It’s a noticeable difference from most of the other shave soaps I’ve used too. I was able to get a really close shave as well. Closer than I usually do. Very happy with the turn out of the first two products! I will definitely be buying more of this soap immediately. It comes in 3 scents so I will start with the other two scents. It may be hard to shave with another soap. Yeah, this stuff is that good!
Finally for the aftershave! I’m really excited for this one. It’s a witch hazel aftershave!! I love witch hazel a lot. It comes in a blue plastic bottle with the same metal screw top lid. It also has the same label as the others with the obvious name and ingredient differences. Other than that, it’s the exact same. I really like the blue a lot, I kind of wish it was glass though instead of plastic. Either way it’s still a really cool bottle.
Unscrewing the lid you see a familiar site to big name aftershaves, but not smaller ones. A plastic lid to help prevent spilling the aftershave everywhere. Although, the hole in this one is much smaller than most of the other ones out there. Michael really put some work into these products. The scent of this aftershave is a nice balance between mint and witch hazel. You can kind of smell the rum that he uses in it as well, but it’s definitely more faint and on the back end. It’s a slightly yellow colored aftershave. It has a much less runny consistency to it than the big name brands do. Even less than other witch hazel aftershaves I’ve used before. I like it a lot so far.
Going on I was shocked at how it felt. It didn’t burn at all whatsoever. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about that. I love the kind of numbing burn of witch hazel normally. However, I did kind of like the fact that it didn’t burn at all. It was more of a cooling feel on my face. Mainly due to the mint in it, but it was still nice to get something new and unique. Towards the very end of it drying I really got that awesome witch hazel scent. Witch hazel drying almost reminds of rain, which is part of the reason I love it so much. Definitely a great aftershave. It leaves your face nice and soft and dry, almost like talc does.
After the whole ordeal was said and done I was completely sold on the whole set. One of the best shaves I’ve ever had, by far. The oil really gets your face and whiskers ready for the shave. The soap really coats your face and whiskers and allows for an effortless and supremely smooth shave. And the aftershave leaves your face cool, soft and smelling great! This set rivals the Soapbox Gypsy set. These are some very very good products! The soap I think is my new favorite shave soap. Plus an even better thing about this set is it comes in 3 scents. So if you don’t like mint, you can choose lemon or lavender. Hit up Michael for a set on Facebook via private message or on ATP. Well that concludes the review for this set. I’m looking forward to using this set for a long time to come. I also can’t wait to try some other new stuff and see how they compare to these products.
This set up won’t be moving from this spot for a while! It looks so cool all laid out like that too. Thank you again Michael!! Pick up a set guys!