Friday, May 31, 2013

New product updates

In my never-ending quest to find suitable grooming products, I take the chances so you don't have to. That's the job of the Wingman. Learning from the experiences & wisdom of others is your job, young Padawans.

As we've established before I spend a fair amount of time with razor in hand making my pate smooth as freshly-squeezed Italian silk. That said, I've gone through a long list of shave products & razors in my time.

I think I may have finally found the perfect disposable razor in the Schick Quattro Titanium. It gives a good, clean shave without hacking my skin like a cheese grater, stays sharp for several shaves, and comes with a clever edging blade on the reverse of the pivot head. It's moderately priced and came with a nifty coupon in the package for the next pack. Bonus!

When I bought the razors, another product caught my eye on the shelf above. Always on the lookout for the best in shave goo, I spied a tube of Every Man Jack Shave Cream. I'd never heard of these guys before, and the stuff had a very snazzy upscale looking container, so I have it a shot. Their whole product line is geared toward grooming a refined gentleman without bankrupting him. But does it work?

According to the website, "This rich, low-foam formula softens and preps your skin and beard for a more comfortable shave. Won’t dry out skin or clog pores, either. Made for sensitive skin..." and that it contains something called Squalane derived from wheat germ, which lubricates and softens; olive oil extract that hydrates; chamomile that soothes; and aloe that heals. Nifty. So what doesn't it have? No parabens, no phthalates, no dyes, no sodium lauryl sulfate, and wasn't tested on animals. But does it work? Yes and no.

It is indeed a rich and low-foam cream. Problem is, that richness also clogs the bejeezus out of my razor. It will give you a great shave as long as you start with a steamed, damp beard or scalp, and you clean out the razor often, and I do mean often. If you often shave in a hurry, or lack patience, this might not be for you.

I had also previously stated that I wanted to try some of the new stuff coming out from AXE. While I haven't tried the shave products, I did go ahead and get one of the skin products. I'm always concerned about heavy scents in products so they had to first pass the sniff test. I took a whiff of the BOOST Energizing face wash and it smelled odd and kinda strong, almost off-putting. My face didn't need energizing, so I then smelled the CHILLED cooling face wash. More pleasant but still pretty strong, and my face wasn't feeling warm enough to need chilling. Instead I opted for the generally low-fragrance CONTROIL oily skin face scrub, because while I'm not prone to severe face grease, I do have a bit of shine in the T-zone. Gang, this stuff is the real deal. It only takes a small amount of scrub to lather the whole face and it leaves you feeling exceedingly clean. I highly recommend this product.

I also recently tried the Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleanser from Biore, just on a lark. They aren't kidding about the warming; as soon as you squirt this thick goop onto your fingers it starts to heat up and that heat  feels really interesting on your face. The heat soon fades, almost too soon, as you work it into your skin and the little beads that every facial cleanser is infused with these days scrub you clean. Of course, the bulk of the action is done through salicylic acid, found in every anti-acne product on the market. If you have a blackhead problem, give this a try & see if it help.

Okay, gang. That wraps up this latest update.  Feel free to let your wingman know if you've found stuff that works, or if you've found success based upon my advice. Who's got your back? I do.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Now Hear This, Volume 1

I'd like to make this a regular feature here at The Savvy Guyde. Part of being a savvy guy is being hip to music that doesn't suck monkey balls. Any assclown can listen to the local Top 40 station & hear the same ten or fifteen songs that the record labels want you to hear regurgitated on a 60-minute loop. That takes zero effort and zero imagination. You're above that chicanery, else you wouldn't be reading this blog.

I've lived a lifetime assiduously eschewing the drivel of average Top 40 pop music and listening instead to what used to be called New Wave and Alternative and then became Modern Rock and EDM (Electronic Dance Music). As I've matured into the Virtual Wingman that I am, I've found it a daunting challenge indeed to find new music that I can get into before it becomes popular and thusly ruined by overplay as it gets Top 40 rotation. As I find stuff I shall endeavor to share them with you in a timely manner. A savvy guy does not listen to Justin Bieber. A savvy guy does not listen to Taylor Swift. No, not even as bait to get laid. Ever. Again, you're above that.

That said, listen up and get savvy.

Capital Cities-- Safe and Sound

Found this gem from Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian (the duo who make up Capital Cities) by accident listening to Sirius a couple weekends back and it was absolutely love at first listen. Great beats, catchy hooks, impossible to keep from dancing while listening to. This is my new jam for Spring. Even features live trumpet instead of a sample, courtesy of young virtuoso Spencer Ludwig, and it really makes the song. Look for the full album out June 11th. This is just one of several clever videos out there for this song.

Icona Pop--I Love It (I Don't Care)

Great techno-pop dance music from Sweden, where good dance music seems to grow on trees. Caught this for the first time last week on Sirius as well. I dare you to sit still while listening. It demands to be blasted at peak volume with the top down.

 The Airborne Toxic Event--Timeless

Another accidental finding on Sirius (Detecting a pattern yet?). A few years back I fell head over heels with their song "Sometime Around Midnight" and even named it one of the best songs of 2008 on another blog site. This one grows on you rather quickly.

Radioactive/It's Time--Imagine Dragons

Took me awhile to finally get into these guys. I've been let down by so many newer alternative/modern rock bands that I'm reluctant to get into bands that are heavily hyped on alternative radio. You've probably already heard these but if not, you need to. Both of these songs are really great.

 Tegan & Sara--Closer

Twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin have been around awhile, an indie staple and a closely guarded secret of sorts.  I think I first heard them in 2004 with their song "Where Does The Good Go". This is a great pop track that should break them huge.

Metric--Breathing Underwater
It's not often when I can say I first heard a band by watching Carson Daly's bland late night tv show. I usually fall asleep before it comes on and even if I'm still awake, his show will put me to sleep before the first commercial. As a band, Metric has been hanging around in the background for awhile, and this is from their fifth album. Still, it's a damn sight better than the sizzurp-soaked , shinily polished turds they try to feed you on commercial Top 40 radio. Kinda reminds me of 90s shoe-gaze bands like Lush.

Pet Shop Boys--Axis
The first single off their upcoming "Electric" album, not due till July 15th, Axis is the kind of intelligent dance music that I've come to expect from a band that I've listened to since 1986. This looks to be a great return to the dancefloor epics I knew & loved from PSB after a couple of hit-or-miss albums that were sort of on the mostly mellow and tepid side. Oddly, it's damn near an instrumental, with muted, minimal vocals. Don;t watch the video if you're seizure prone.

And, of course, there's new Depeche Mode.....

Disclaimer: Yes, I am biased. Depeche Mode is my favorite band of all time.

The new album is called Delta Machine, and while I'm sad that it wasn't close to the glory that was "Violator" despite claims that it was a return to that sound, there are some good tracks on it and the new single is in my opinion the best track of the whole CD. Whereas the first single "Heaven" was an austere minimal (damn near funereal) ballad, "Soothe My Soul" is a dancefloor stomper with a dark, murky, sensual edge, just the way a Depeche Mode song should be. Play it LOUD, friends, and see what a 32-year career as the cutting edge of music brings to the table.

Who's got your back? I do.