Wednesday, January 17, 2018

BEARDS: Marbeian Beard & Moustache Brush Travel Kit

As my quest for something of a Viking look continues my beard game is now up to levels where daily care is required to keep both the skin underneath moisturised but also the beard itself conditioned and looking tidy. Nobody wants to look as though they slept in a bush, even if they did. It wasn't until last year that I dipped my toe into the water of beard brushes. My Kent BRD2 brush however seems to have gone and done a disappearing act while waiting for me to regain my mane. I needed a new brush (I turn into a compulsive brusher once fully bearded) - step forward the Beard & Moustache Brush Travel Kit from Marbeian
BEARDS: Beard & Moustache Brush Travel Kit
I picked up this set of beard grooming goodness from Amazon for just under £15, so a real steal, particularly when you consider that you get two brushes and a comb within the kit. You can pick up the kits here.

So, they are reasonably priced, but is it just tat off Amazon? Well, no. 

I'd never heard of Marbeian before, so I did a little look around to see who they were and it turns out to be a family run venture from Spain stocking a range of hairbrushes and grooming tools. Their website here gives the lowdown on the products they have to offer for all your grooming needs. Their customer promise is:

'Our promise is a happy customer who gets only superior quality products. Marbeian products don’t have to be replaced often - some ever! We offer a lifetime guarantee on many products. Style and workmanship last time making Marbeian a sustainable choice. Please consider nature and reduce waste.'

All beard brushes from Marbeian are made using boar hair bristles and the beard brush here is a real corker - the bristles have the rigidity to plough through a thick beard but they also ease out tangles and knots like a hot knife through butter. Resembling more of a boot polish brush the wooden handle makes it perfect for use in either my left or right hand. 
Marbeian Beard & Moustache Brush Travel Kit
Marbeian Beard & Moustache Brush Travel Kit
Marbeian Beard & Moustache Brush Travel Kit 
Marbeian Beard & Moustache Brush Travel Kit
Marbeian Beard & Moustache Brush Travel Kit
If I had to pick up one flaw with the angled bristles on my Kent BRD2 brush it was that I could only use it with my right hand making brushing the left hand side of my face awkward. With the Marbeian brush I have no such problems. 

The smaller brush is also a star in it's own right - it makes 'tache shaping so much easier and means you don't have to get your hands messy with beard oil or balm when moulding into shape for the day.

Last up is the wooden 'tache comb - excellent at de-tangling the old tea strainer prior to trimming. 

All of the items in the kit are really well made, and with the cotton carry bag these are perfect for slotting into my travel bag when I'm off out and about around the country with work. I've had these brushes for just under six months and I get the feeling that as long as I don't leave them in a hotel somewhere they will still be working their boar bristle magic on my bearded face in many years to come.

When you look at the price and look at the goods it's a no-brainer to have this kit in your grooming arsenal.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

AFTERSHAVE: Pure XS by Paco Rabanne


Paco Rabanne, one of the first ever aftershaves in my collection and the original XS version of this aftershave was a staple for a good five years in my early 20s. Invictus was another triumph so when Pure XS fell into my collection after the good lady wife paid a visit to Disneyland in November I was mightily pleased. The massive velvet box of Pure XS by Paco Rabanne also looks the part with something of luxurious start to the testing process. 
AFTERSHAVE: Pure XS by Paco Rabanne
AFTERSHAVE: Pure XS by Paco Rabanne
AFTERSHAVE: Pure XS by Paco Rabanne
Is it worth £47 for a 50ml bottle of the stuff? 

The notes to Pure XS are:
  • Head: Green sap and white thyme
  • Heart: Ginger and cinnamon
  • Dry-down: Vanilla and myrrh
With notes like that I'd have expected a very heavy fragrance, earthy in nature with a sweet base, but I was astounded by how it played out after spraying it liberally across myself. 

First up, it's quite potent, anything more than four sprays and people around you will be gagging for a good hour after you've applied it. The green sap does give something of a earthy fragrance at first and weirdly, I found that it came across a little spicy for the first five minutes, with a warmth on the nose that brought a wry smile to my face - it doesn't give the impression that this is a complex blend but as it starts to evolve and dry down I swear you'll wonder how you did without this in your collection. 

The ginger is barely noticeable but you can pick up hints of cinnamon but only for again a few minutes before the warmth intensifies and it becomes very heavy, but again, for no more than thirty minutes. I started to think this was a little too heavy for my tastes, I'm more of a light, fresh citrus kind of aftershave wearer but just as I expected to be panning this for being a bit too blokey, it lightened and actually becomes sweet, on a par with Eros by Versace. Wheres Eros uses tonka beans for the sweetness, the use of vanilla means that this lasts and lasts on the skin. 

Just four sprays of this and you'll be smelling lovely all day long - it's strength plays out on the skin for a good ten hours plus making it a very hardwearing fragrance. Yes it does come across as a bit too heavy at first but the sweetness of the vanilla takes the edge off making it a perfect blend between masculinity and sweetness.

Nearly £50 for a bottle is a bit steep but this is a perfect fragrance for day wear around the office and with the excellent sillage properties mean you'll be badgered in a good way about what you're wearing today - those around you will be able to smell it, and if like my experience, at least 95 per cent of people will have a positive reaction. It's hard wearing, a bottle will last for months even if using daily which in my view makes it a decent mid-range aftershave.  

RECOMMENDED


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