South Side Soaps – Crackling Birch Pomade

Still on the new product roll guys. This stuff is a new pomade from my girl Claire up in Canada at South Side Soaps. Having loved her other pomades I was super excited to try this one out! And very honored that she sent me a tester as a gift to review. However, due to US or Canadian customs, I didn’t get it until the other day. But I put it right in the line up since I had a pale for it over a month ago. So let’s see what Claire has cooked up this time!

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Because it’s a tester, this one comes in a different container than normal. Now the formula is the finalized formula, but she sent me the pomade before she had tins for it. So I got a jar like her shave soap comes in. It’s an amber plastic jar with a black plastic lid. The labeling is really cool!! Both the lid and the can labels are the same. A nice tan background with red writing and a blue ring and tree bark ring around the edges. The background has a little expedition of sorts and some guys rowing a boat/canoe. Up at the top in between two fleur de lis is “Coureurs de bois” then “hair pomade” and “pomade pour cheveux” just below. At the very bottom is the website for her store. The only difference between the two labels is the front label says “Crackling Birch” and the lid doesn’t. Very cool label, but I think I still like the apple cider label the best. This one is definitely my second favorite though!

The second you unscrew, or in your case pull off, the lid you’re hit with one of the most unique pomade scents ever. It’s really a nice scent, definitely will be a favorite among the ladies. It’s a an obvious birch front note, immediately followed by some floral notes of rose and lily, and I also get kind of a lingering cinnamon after smell. Really nice complex scent. Claire said there’s bergamot, patchouli and vetiver in there too, but I don’t pick those up. Maybe you guys might though. Anyway, great scent, reminds me of like a Yankee Candle or Bath and Body Works scent. My lady really likes it a lot. As I said popular with the females. The pomade itself is a really waxy looking cream colored pomade. Very matte look on the surface.

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Trying to scoop this stuff out was a pain in the ass at first, but once I prone the surface it wasn’t bad at all. It was very waxy and creamy and tacky all at the same time. You can see how waxy it came out. Long wax globs in one line. I had to scoop it with my middle finger because for some reason I couldn’t get the right leverage with my index finger. First time this has ever happened to me. A little bit of the pomade stuck to my other finger though. At first the globs of pomade didn’t want to break down into my hands so I pushed each one with my finger to flatten them out. Then it spread around nicely. It has a very nice and tacky texture to it in my hands. Kind of reminds me a little of Bees Knees, but not sticky. It feels like it will comb really nicely.

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It goes in your hair perfectly!! It the most well balanced pomade between silky to put in and a nice resistance when you apply it. It’s unlike any pomade I’ve applied to my hair before. You can really work it around in your hair with your hands without feeling a bunch of tugging and pulling like with other heavy pomades. Yet it also has a nice resistance and hold to it just applying it with your hands. I had a lot of hairs puffing up from this stuff. Looks like it will hold pretty well. I noticed something kind of cool about this stuff when I cleaned my hands. It comes off super easy. I wonder if it will wash out of my hair as easily as it did from my hands? I’m sure I’ll find out tomorrow.

Surprisingly it didn’t have quite the hold I was expecting. I figured I’d be able to get more height from it because of how it felt, but I didn’t. It wasn’t a bad hold by any means. I liked the hold and control I got, it was just a little less than what I was expecting. This pomade gives your hair a great shine! I was really liking that about this stuff. One thing I did notice after I got my hair combed was that my usual stray hairs were all stuck to the rest of my hair. Definitely happy about that! I hate when my little hairs stick out, but this pomade took care of that problem.

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My hair held it’s shape pretty much all day long as well. I only had to recomb my hair once when I was playing with my boy and he messed up my hair. Super easy to put your hair right back into place though. My hair felt increasingly softer throughout the day too. By the end of the day it was really soft to the touch and very easily moveable. I decided to take a shower that night to see if the pomade was going to come out or not. As I suspected, a lot of it came out with just Johnson’s baby shampoo. So you guys that like the washable stuff, here’s another pomade for you to try out.

I was kind of curious to see what the buildup would be like since most of it washed out the night before. To my surprise, even more came out in my sleep and I was left with almost no pomade in my hair the next morning. The second day was pretty much a repeat of day one. I noticed a little more control with it since I had a tiny bit of buildup. But overall, it was exactly the same as day one. It kind of throws me for a loop when pomades wash out like this and I basically get a fresh start each day. I definitely like having unique pomades like this in my collection. They make it fun.

After all was said and done, I really dug this pomade. It’s one of the more unique ones I have in my collection for sure. Really cool looking label, fantastic scent, good hold, nice shine, plus it washes out of your hair pretty easily. Everyone should try this stuff! Whether you like pomades, hair creams, ringing gels, doesn’t matter, you will most likely dig this pomade. It caters to all crowds. To get one of these, which you should, head to Claire’s etsy site
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SouthSideSoaps
Check out her other pomades while you’re there. Oh and pick up either the soap with the deer on it or the tiki soap! They’re awesome!! I’ll be reviewing one of her soaps here pretty soon too. Thank you again Claire, you’re the best!!

See you soon,

-JC

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Barber Side – Madman Ringing Gel

Keeping on the new product roll that I’m on, I will be checking out a new product from my friends over at Barber Side. A couple months ago Marvin contacted me about this new product he thought I should try out. Then a couple days later I had a care package waiting for me. Very stoked to try this stuff out! I’ve loved every Barberside product I’ve used so I’m sure I will love this one too. Thanks for the gifts Marvin, I really appreciate it. Ok let’s get started.

It’s packaged in the same type of double walled plastic tub as Layrite or Suavecito and a lot of other products like that. This one is a white tub with a black lid and a white can wrap with black writing on it. Very classic look to it. No over the top or cluttered design, no flashy color scheme, just simple and to the point. I like that very much. You don’t often see that too much anymore. In big, bold, 60’s type letters across the front it says “MADMAN” with white circles in black lines above and below it. To the right of that are the directions, ingredients, caution, and company info. To the left of that is the company logo with “pomade ringing gel” across it, and the weight info.

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This stuff is a product catering to the people that like the washable aspect of grooming that has become super popular these days. This one has a different, but correct name to it too. They put “ringing gel” on the label. I’m very surprised, in a good way, to see someone labeling a product like this one with the correct terminology. As I stated in my “What is Pomade” post a while back, people call these ringing gels, pomades for marketing reasons. Makes total sense from a sales and marketing standpoint. The make up and chemical composition of them is technically a gel, but I’m sure they wouldn’t sell as well labeled that way. However, I personally find it cool to see a product labeled this way.

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When you open the lid you see a light neon yellow goop inside the tub. And you’re immediately hit with the fresh scent of this stuff. It’s kind of a crisp and clean scent with a cologne feel to it and some floral notes as well as like a citrus rind kind of after scent. It doesn’t smell like an orange or lemon or any specific fruit, but it my nose does pick up a citrusy scent. More like the peel than the fruit. Very good scent in my opinion, and I know Marvin said a lot of his customers were getting positive reactions from the ladies when using this stuff. From the look of the surface it appears to have the same texture as like Bona Fide or Cool Grease blue. Maybe it will work like those! I love both of those products.

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As I scooped it out I was reminded a lot of Cool Grease. It did feel a bit softer though. The scent bursts out as soon as you take the first scoop out of the tub. I’d say it’s easily twice as strong as in the tub. I put the scoop in my hand and then got distracted by my kid getting into the pantry for a second. When I went back to what I was doing I had noticed that this stuff was staring to liquify. Huh?! Just the heat of my hands was melting this stuff? Whoa! I am questioning whether this stuff will hold my hair at all. But I’ve been way surprised by stuff in the past so I gotta throw my initial judgements out the window. I barely had to move my hands together before it all turned to a very watery consistency. As I rubbed my hands a little bit it became kind of tacky. Hmmmmmm, odd. Isn’t drying up on me already, or what is going on? I decided to rub my hands together a little bit longer to see what would happen. It kept the same tacky consistency and didn’t get any more tacky like it was drying up.

It goes in your hair almost like water, and feels like nothing when you apply it. You really get the pop of the scent once you get this stuff on your head. I didn’t think it could get any stronger than when I scooped it out, but it did. Just like applying it, combing it is like combing water in your hair. It was really starting to worry me that it wouldn’t hold at all. But when I went to comb up my pomp, it pulled a Lone Star and started to get firm. It’s weird how those two do that. Soft and very malleable when combing, but when you go to lift your hair it grabs and holds. Kind of nice actually. Way better than hard to comb that’s for sure.

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As you can see I was able to get nice hold with this stuff. I probably could’ve combed my pomp a little bit taller, but it looked good enough to not mess with so I left it alone. I was really impressed with how good this stuff made my hair look. It wasn’t crazy height, but I thought I got a really nice, rounded pomp. I noticed this stuff had a nice shine to it as well. Like I stated earlier, way surprised with this stuff. Just like I have been with other ones in the past. Sometimes it’s hard to look past the initial reaction, but you kind of have to because of situations like this.

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After it had dried I noticed that the shine of this stuff had increased a lot! It was as shiny as Royal Crown hair dressing or Layrite super shine or my Silver Dollar hair dressing. It was a very high gloss, loving that!! Nice hold with a super high shine, perfect. When it dried I felt my hair to see how it had hardened up. It felt much more gummy than hard like most ringing gels do. It wasn’t even as hardened as Monkey Brains when it dries, but it wasn’t completely malleable like Cool Grease blue is or normal pomades are. You can see in the picture that I did run my fingers through my hair, so it does let you work with it a little.

I didn’t try recombing it until the end of the day. It held all day long without moving by the way. So I didn’t need to recomb it during the day. I did wet my comb and try I recomb it and was surprise how easy it recombed. Usually I have to wet my hair, let it sit, wet my comb, and then I can work with products like this one. However, this one was very easily recombable with hardly any water needed to get it workable again. I did notice after I recombed it and it dried again, one, it was a little harder, and two, the shine was gone. My hair looked more natural than glossy. I mean it had shine, but it looked like your hair’s natural shine, not a glossy shine. Still looked good, just wasn’t the same shine as the first time it dried.

20140323-221909.jpg I took another picture in a better light to show you the true neon yellow color of this stuff. The first picture didn’t show it correctly.

The next morning I washed it out and felt my hair after I got out of the shower and let it dry some. To my surprise my hair and scalp were both not dried out. My hair actually felt nice and soft. Definitely a plus! Most ringing gels leave my hair feeling like straw, so it’s really nice when one doesn’t. The second day using I got the exact same result as the first. Marvin suggested putting it in fridge for a few hours before I used it again so I tried that and the cooling sensation I got was pretty rad. Plus with it being cooler I could get a little more control with it when I went to comb my pomp. So do like I did and take his advice, it’s a nice change up from the norm. Marvin and I talked briefly via email this morning about this and other ringing gel products, how I liked the review and about me visiting the shop if I get to go to San Diego this summer. Super cool guy, always a pleasure talking with him. If any of you guys reside in SD go pay him a visit at Barber Side.

All in all, I liked this stuff quite a bit. It’s not like your average ringing gel whatsoever. The scent, color, texture, hold, shine, everything about it is unique. And I happen to really like that about this stuff. It way out performed my initial impressions/expectations. Do yourself a favor if you like products like this one, but it! It’s really a good product. You can find it at
http://www.barberside.com
While you’re there make sure you check out everything they have. They have some of the best products out there. And they have everything you need! Pomade, shave cream, shoe shine bar, hair cream, razors, wallets, aftershaves, ringing gel(water based), pre shave oil, tshirts, heck even hair spray if you fancy some. Great shop, great guys, great product. Try them out and tell your friends. Huge thank you again to Marvin for this stuff and for all of his support of my blog!! I hope to get to finally meet you this summer and have you cut my hair and give me a shave.

Til next time,

-JC
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Rusak – Medium

Alright, back with another pomade review! This pomade I found about on ATP, what a surprise huh? I then proceeded to contact them about their pomades, and I got a very quick response. I inquired about buying their stuff to review and they hit me back with “just cover the shipping.” Which I promptly said an excited “okay” to. This stuff comes all the way from Russia, however, the shipping wasn’t very much at all. I think it was like $10 or $11 maybe. Thank you very much guys. Now let’s get to the review!

This pomade is packaged in a slightly familiar tin, but it’s much smaller than the normal one. It’s a tin that looks like the Bone Crusher/Grant’s tins, but it’s about half the size. However, it’s not flat like the Crown pomade was, it’s just smaller. There is only the lid label and a small can wrap on it. The can wrap is super simple, it just has “Medium Hair Pomade” on it. The lid label is a little more eye-catching. It has a jack rabbit with boxing gloves on in the center. It’s kind of depicted in a picture frame looking circle with filigree around the outer edge of it and “No.2” at the bottom. In the same lettering as the can wrap it has the name of the pomade up by the rabbits head. One guy said that it looks like a wallaby, but I think that it’s a jack rabbit. You guys will either have to make up your own mind, or ask the makers which animal is on it.

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When you open the tin you see a yellowish-brown looking pomade. To me it kind of looks like High & Tight awesome hold by DAX. Maybe it will work like that stuff does!! This stuff doesn’t have very much of a smell to it at all. I do detect a very slight soapy bergamot sent to it, but it’s very faint. I have to really really smell in order to pick it up. Otherwise, at first sniff it doesn’t smell like anything. Having white smelling pomades isn’t a bad thing, they are really good to use when you want the smell of your aftershave to last for a long time and not be overpowered.

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When I scooped it out I immediately thought that Murray’s had made this pomade. It feels exactly like Nu Nile! And that’s definitely a good thing for me because I love that stuff. Come to think of it, it looks like a darker version of Nu Nile on the surface! I will say this one had a slightly smoother texture and appearance though when I scooped it out. I really do like the texture of the pomade a lot! In my hands it also felt almost exactly like Nu Nile. Had the same creamy feel with a nice tacky resistance to it. Once I got in my hands and rub it around the soapy bergamot set started to increase a little bit. I also dated a slight floral note as well, but it was a very soft floral not. Not something as abrupt as say lavender or jasmine is.

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The moment I applied it to my hair I began to wonder if this was in fact Nu Nile only darker and a different scent. It has so many of the exact same properties as that pomade does. Not a bad thing whatsoever, I love that pomade! It’s just so similar to that pomade, it could easily be it’s sister or something. Crazy. Definitely loving this stuff so far. Combs beautifully. Has a nice tacky resistance to it, you see the shine right out of the gate like with Nu Nile, yet allows for really easy and fast combing. I’d say the biggest difference combing wise, was it wasn’t quite as hard to comb in at first.

I noticed another difference when I went to comb my pomp. It had turned quite soft after combing it in. With it being softer I didn’t think I could comb it as high as I was able to. But I got pretty much the exact same result, height, look, and shine wise as I did with Nu Nile. So I was really happy with it. My hair didn’t really seem to move much at all throughout the day either. I checked my hair a few times and only noticed a couple tiny gaps at the end of the day. Not bad! I’m very impressed with this pomade so far.

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Now for the true test. Second day, with build up, let’s see how it does. Not very much came out of my hair during sleep and my shower. More so than Nu Nile, but not very much. With the pomade already in my hair, the second day it was a lot easier to comb. I noticed some more shine as well. I was able to comb a more solid and full pomp than the first day. I didn’t think that was possible, because I thought it was pretty sharp the first day. But it did improve the second time around. It held even better all throughout the day too. No gaps at all, even at the end of the day. This pomade sure is great. It’s quickly moving up my “favorites I’ve ever used” list. I’d say it’s right behind Nu Nile right now. I’ll have to see how I like it in the future when I use it again.

This is definitely a pomade you guys have to look in to. It’s really a great pomade. The only thing I can really find that I’m not loving about it is the fact that I don’t have much left. I wish it was in a bigger tin or that I had a few more tins. I will just have to order some I suppose. To get some of this awesome grease hit them up on Facebook. Their page address is
https://www.facebook.com/RusakHairPomade
And give them a message right away! When they sent me mine, the box was wrapped in brown paper and tied with string. Reminded me of the old school parcels that people used to send way back when. It was the perfect touch and really appealed to me and my likes and affinity for classic things and eras. Thank you guys so much for that, the pomades, and giving me the opportunity to review them. I will absolutely be purchasing more in the future! Great stuff you guys have! Don’t sleep on this pomade guys! Hit them up for some ASAP.

Keep it greasy,

-JC

English Laundry – 3-in-1 shampoo

A little while ago the fine folks over at Birchbox contacted me about reviewing a new product for them. I of course said yes. So they promptly sent me out a bottle of English Laundry’s 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. I don’t use body wash so I am reviewing it as a shampoo/conditioner. Let’s get to it!

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It’s packaged in a black, soft plastic tube, crimped at one end. The labeling on it is pretty cool looking too. It has a badass crest up at the top of the tube. The underneath that it has the company name in some awesome English script. The it describes what the product is and has a blurb inside a silver box. At the very bottom is amount of product you get and a chrome line wrapping around the tube. The back has the directions, ingredients, some warnings, and the company info. Like I said pretty cool labeling. That crest is really really cool!!

The lid is it the standard flip top with an opening in the center for the shampoo to come out. It’s a shiny black hard plastic lid similar to a toothpaste lid. I don’t know if you can see, but under the lid is a black seal. You have to unscrew the lid then remove the seal to use the shampoo. I like this a lot. Makes for safe transit of the product without the possibility of it leaking everywhere and potentially ruining it and/or other products.

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The moment I removed the seal I was hit with a very strong scent of this shampoo. It has a very manly, cologne type scent. It smells very “Englishman” to me. The cologne type scent that has is a very crisp and clean scent with a hint of a floral note. I happen to like the smell a lot. The shampoo itself is kind of your standard pearly white shampoo. It has the same consistency and texture as any of your other big-name shampoos you can buy any store. It also reminds me a little of the JS Sloane moisturizing shampoo.

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It seems to work into your hair just like most of the store bought shampoos as well. Then as I started to lather I was very surprised. It creates the thickest lather of any shampoo I’ve ever used apart from my own shampoo. I was like “holy thick foamy lather Batman.” It really threw me a curve ball, I was not expecting that from this shampoo at all. Kind of cool. As I started to rinse out the lather I noticed it takes a bit longer to rinse out than your normal shampoo. I’m not sure if this has to do with me having pomade in my hair or not. It shouldn’t, as no other shampoo does this, but you never know. It didn’t seem to take anymore pomade out of my hair than your average shampoo does. However this isn’t marketed as a degreasing shampoo so I wasn’t expecting it to do anything for me in that aspect.

My scalp did seem, or feel rather, noticeably cleaner than with my regular daily use shampoo. But my scalp felt much dryer after my hair dried completely. Being that this is a 3-in-1 I am not surprised at that. I used it a couple times without any pomade in my hair to see how it was on it’s own. It had slightly differing effects. My scalp would get dry, but my hair would be decently soft. I noticed a slight increase in the body of my hair after using it a few times as well. Kind of weird for a shampoo to do that. Maybe it’s because it’s a 3-in-1, I don’t know for sure though.

All in all it was a pretty cool product to check out. I want to give the fine folks over at Birchbox a huge thank you for thinking of me and sending me a bottle to try out. You guys are the best!! If you guys want to pick up some of this stuff to try out head over to
http://www.birchbox.com
to get it. While you’re there, poke around a bit and check out all the stuff they have on there. Thanks again guys!

Stay fresh, and clean,

-JC

Doc Elliott – Pre-shave oil

Shortly after the holidays were over Courtney contacted me about reviewing her shave line, which I of course said an excited yes to. To my surprise, she sent them to me as a gift and didn’t let me pay for them. I thank you very kindly Courtney, you’re the best! I can’t wait to get to all of these products! After loving her pomade so much I am very thrilled to be using her shave line. I’m starting with the pre-shave oil first. I was going to review it as a set like the Soapbox Gypsy and Walter Wilson, but she said to try them individually so I am.

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It comes in the familiar glass bottle with the dropper lid. This bottle is brown and has a bright yellow label across the front. The label is basically the same label as the pomade with the obvious product name change. The ingredients and directions are on the ends of the label. I really love the scarab beetle logo a lot. And the history behind the beetle and it’s significance in Egyptian culture.

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The oil itself is kind of your standard light yellow/clearish oil. This one seems to be about the same consistency as the Barberside oil. Little bit lighter of a color than that one though. The scent of this oil is just awesome! You get a whiff of vetiver right off the bat, followed by a nice rosemary note, and I could detect a hint of clove in there too. Very nice scent. Best scent for a pre-shave oil I’ve had so far.

It goes on really great too. Feels a bit like the Barberside oil as well. It leaves a very light residue on your face and whiskers. Not shiny at all, most of it soaks into your face. I happen to like when oils do this. I’m not a fan of an oil face before I go to shave. I like less of a residue personally, so this one is just about perfect for me.

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The oil seemed to make the shave go nice and smoothly. Definitely better than a shave without the oil. It’s effectiveness seemed to be on par with most of the other shave oils out there. I’d say it’s better than a couple of the ones I’ve tried too. This oil will definitely be in my normal use rotation. It smells great and works for me. I can definitely recommend this one for you guys to try out. Based on the scent alone it’s one you should work into your regular shave product lineup. Plus the label is really cool! And it works good for ensuring a nice smooth shave. Courtney thank you very much for sending this to me and the opportunity to review it! Hit her up for your shave and pomade needs on her site
http://www.docelliottshop.com
And make sure to check out everything she has on there. I haven’t been disappointed in any of her products that I’ve tried. And I doubt I will in the future.

Til next time,

-JC

Clearing my name

Hey everybody, I need a moment of your time to clear my name of false accusations. A person posted in a comment on Facebook and said that Rob Mason’s pomade label looks hipster. Chops Barbershop, the maker of The American Gentleman Soap Co products, then messages Rob and says that I was the one who said that his pomade is hipster shit pomade. I’ve cleared it up with Rob, but I’m making a public statement to everyone everywhere that I am not the type of person to degrade someone’s product like that. Even in my reviews when I don’t like something I find a nice way to say it wasn’t for me, but some people may like it for x and x reasons. I also want you to know the type of person he is, that he tries to ruin my reputation for no reason and makes up lies about me, and who your money goes to when you purchase his products. I’m not in any way telling you not to buy from him! But you should know the type of person and attitude you’re supporting if you do.

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As you can clearly see I am not the one who said it. Yet this guy tells Rob that I did. For what reason, I don’t know.

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Thank you for your time and allowing me to clear my name publicly.

-JC