Review – Zirh – Prepare Botanical Pre-shave Oil

Zirh PrepareFor all intents and purposes, a gentleman’s shaving regimen is seemingly relegated to the application of a chosen shaving cream to the face, closely followed by customary hair removal, courtesy of a series of meaningful strokes from a safety razor. It is a relatively standard practice, free of affectation and complexity. However, as my education in the art of shaving advanced, I soon became exposed to grooming details that were wholly unfamiliar. And one of those details: pre-shave oil. Coordinating with a gentleman’s shaving cream, pre-shave oil is designed to assist your razor with an easy, fluid glide across your skin. Today, we are looking at a pre-shave oil offering from Zirh, their Prepare Botanical Pre-Shave Oil. Did I escape with no cuts, razor burn, or nicks. Let’s see how it performed.

Observations

  • Packaged in a small silver squeeze container, Zirh Prepare arrives with a clear appearance and clean, odorless fragrance.
  • Given that this product is oil based, it is pleasantly light with a non-greasy touch. It does not leave a greasy residue and absorbs into the skin at a moderate pace.
  • Depending on the thickness of one’s beard, only a small amount is necessary to prepare the area that is being shaved. I estimate that perhaps a dime-sized amount is sufficient enough to cover an area an inch in diameter.
  • Regarding performance, Zirh Prepare does reduce the friction that may arise when shaving. My shave was noticeably smooth and easy. But aside from aiding my safety razor with an effortless glide across my skin, it was the post-shave feel that really stood out. Not only was there an absence of burn & irritation; my skin felt incredibly soft and supple. So, Zirh Prepare not only provides a smooth shave, it also helps moisturize and calm the skin. Please note: A Gillette Fusion safety razor was used during shaving.
  • Given its moisturizing qualities, I even employed Zirh Prepare as a beard moisturizer. My hair is slightly coarse, so Zirh Prepare really helped in softening up and providing a healthy appearance to my beard. Only a smaller amount is required if you choose to utilize Zirh Prepare in this capacity.
  • Now, I have to exercise a measure of honesty, the price point of $18.50 for just 1 fluid ounce will surely frighten some gentlemen away, especially with less expensive alternatives on the market. Nevertheless, if your shaving regimen is infrequent and your wallet can sustain the financial commitment, Zirh Prepare is a great product to have stocked in your medicine cabinet.
  • As mentioned above, retails for $18.00 at 1.0 fl oz (30 ml). Zirh offers a unique payment plan. A gentleman can choose a one time payment, or an auto-replenishment is available in bi-monthly or quarterly intervals. If anyone has any experience with this replenishment program, please feel free to comment.
  • For more details, please visit http://www.zirh.com/men-shaving-products/prepare-preshave-oil.html for information.

Product Specifications

Zirh Prepare Botanical Pre-shave Oil

Zirh Prepare is formulated for all skin types. Designed to lubricate the beard area and improve glide while shaving. Provides a protective layer that can help prevent razor burn as well as making shaving easier and more comfortable.

Key Ingredients

  • Safflower Seed Oil: Emollient plant oil that contain beneficial fatty acids that help to repair the skin’s barrier and re-moisturize dry skin
  • Carica Papaya Fruit Extract: Has exfoliating properties to provide for a smoother shave.
  • Mango Fruit Extract: Antioxidant.

The Standard #36

Mountain

To be sure, it is certainly not common for self-esteem issues to be discussed in respect to adult males. Surely, any deeply rooted issues regarding self-respect and self-worth should have been addressed and resolved during adolescence and early adulthood. At least that is what some people hold to be true. However, this misguided belief is not grounded in reality. Being a male does not preclude one from experiencing tribulations that weigh heavily on the heart and mind. If there is a certainty that a gentleman can rely upon; it is the certainty that life will continue transpire as long as he continues to live. And as such, there may be a myriad of life events that may call into question the value of a gentleman’s worth, well, at least within his own psyche.

Nonetheless, please understand, a gentleman should never allow adverse circumstances or another individual’s profound insecurity to diminish or corrode his worth. Life is stained with imperfection and no one has been granted immunity from its reach. What a gentleman may perceive as flaw or failure; there is fertile opportunity for triumph and happiness. Embrace your imperfections. Welcome your flaws. And then proceed to put in the work to be a better you. However, do not act to please another individual or individuals. This is for you. Your worth is not predicated upon the integrity of someone else’s opinion. Your worth is predicated upon the fact that you are your own unique individual: confident, strong, happy, successful, and great. You just have to believe. I believe in your greatness, and so should you.

Style & Substance – The Medium Brown Oxford

Edward Green Brown OxfordBecause, when the severity of a black oxford threatens to compromise the sanctity of a fresh spring day, an alternative pair in a warm shade of brown will enable a gentleman to properly complement the day in style. Trust, as a gentleman’s presentation gradually adapts a lighter hue, the loyal employment of the black oxford will lessen more and more. Now, this is not a call for a complete excommunication from your shoe rotation. Rather, this is a thoughtful regulation of your trusted pair of somber kicks to specialized duty: overcast mornings, job interviews, funeral services, special events during the evening, etc. So, in other words, with the exception of moments that beg darker attire, a sprightly pair of brown shoes will marry perfectly with almost any lighter shade of trouser. Light to medium gray. Of course varying shades of brown or khaki. Earthy sage. And even softer hues of blue can coincide beautifully with your brown shoes. Now, whether you rock a cap-toe or wingtip, the selection is solely your own. I humbly suggest adding two pairs – more if you can afford it – to your footwear arsenal if you haven’t procured said pairs already. And with that – happy spring gentlemen!

Heritage – James Baldwin

James-Baldwin

  • James Arthur Baldwin was born August 2, 1924 in Harlem, New York
  • Novelist, essayist, activist, playwright, poet
  • Graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1942
  • Awarded Eugene F. Saxton Memorial Trust Award in 1945
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain published in 1953
  • The Amen Corner published in 1954
  • Notes of a Native Son published in 1955
  • Giovanni’s Room published in 1956
  • Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son published in 1961
  • Another Country published in 1962
  • The Fire Next Time published in 1963
  • Awarded George Polk prize in 1963
  • No Name in the Street published in 1972
  • Professorship of Literature and Afro-American Studies at the Five College Network in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1983
  • La Légion D’Honneur, France’s highest honor, awarded by President François Mitterand in 1986
  • Died December 1, 1987 at the age of 67

Black Thought

Frederick Douglas“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

-Frederick Douglass

As a parent, it is absolutely paramount that you ensure your child’s maturation is nurtured and cultivated for maximal, positive growth. To be certain, there are a myriad of unfortunate realities that work tirelessly to undermine and hinder your child’s development. Harsh realities such as poverty, crime, low self-esteem, bullying, and poor academic performance can lead to self-destructive behavior that regretfully transitions into adulthood. Moreover, if that adult decides to have children, there is a high risk that self-destructive behavior will be consciously or subconsciously transferred to the subsequent generation.

Truth: Some of the biggest bullies, critics, and abusers live right in the household. And that is a reality that we cannot tacitly accept. We have to do better. We must become increasingly more active by protecting and educating our youth, ensuring that they are intelligently prepared for the life that awaits them. We have to encourage. We have to impart meaningful wisdom. We have to enlighten them. We must unconditionally love them. We must fortify the integrity of their spirit and reinforce the foundation of their character. They deserve our parenting best – let’s get to work.

Gentleman Essentials – Brooks Brothers – Umbrella

Brooks Brothers Umbrella

Brooks Brothers

As unusual as it may seem, it is not uncommon to observe a certain breed of  gentleman, seemingly oblivious to the weather conditions around them, forgo the necessary accoutrements that grant protection and comfort from Mother Nature. Residing in Michigan, where the winter season is frigidly unflinching, I have spotted many men commuting to and fro, absent the requisite gear such as a hat, a pair of gloves, and even a coat. My humble opinion: That practice is simply insane. So, with spring headed our way, I am here to endorse a gentlemanly essential that should not be ignored – the gentleman’s umbrella. Yes, I have even spied gentlemen, leisurely strolling without a care as they are completely drenched by pouring rain. Don’t be that guy. Perhaps an umbrella is too old-fashioned nowadays. Well, I’ll just be old-fashioned, and comfortably dry. Maybe you will join me.

Review – Zirh – Shaving Cream Heavy Beard

Zirh Heavy Beard Shave CreamGentlemen, today we will revisit a subject that elicits both passion and fervor within us all – shaving. Sure, we have fervently scrutinized this topic on numerous occasions in the past, nevertheless, the subject matter never fails to provoke interest and discussion. And so today, I am examining a shaving cream from a trusted brand that I have reviewed in the past – Zirh. Now, this shaving cream distinguishes itself from previously reviewed products because it is specifically formulated to address heavy beards or thick, coarse hair. Being an African-American gentleman, I am the proud owner of both. That being said, let’s get to it gents – Zirh Shave Cream Heavy Beard.

Observations

  • White in color, this product arrives with an extremely thick, creamy texture. Allow me to reiterate: This shaving cream is exceedingly dense with a velvety touch. No seriously, this is probably the thickest shaving cream that I have utilized to date.
  • That being said, a gentleman should be mindful of the quantity used during the application process. I severely underestimated its robust texture, therefore, the result was an undesirable goopy shaving brush and a clogged safety razor head.
  • I would strongly suggest applying small to medium amounts in an incremental fashion that satisfies your shaving needs. This can be achieved with either your fingertips or a badger shaving brush. I prefer using a shaving brush. Applying the cream with my fingertips proved to be too sticky for my tastes.
  • This shaving cream has no discernible fragrance. There is a hint eucalyptus, but it is very discreet.
  • The resulting lather is rather indistinguishable. No worries. The strength of this shaving cream resides in its heaviness, thereby providing supreme protection from that sharpened blade gliding across your skin.
  • Now, the thickness of the shaving cream does have its rewards. Namely, a gentleman need not worry about blowing through product because a little will definitely take you the distance in your shaving adventures.
  • To minimize a clogged razor head, I definitely recommend clearing your razor of any debris after each stroke with running hot water.
  • Unlike some foam shaving creams, this offering will not quickly dry into skin, thus requiring repeated applications. At the most, a gentleman may be inclined to employ an additional layer of cream after the initial application.
  • Post-shave – my skin was calm and smooth. The barrier provided by the shaving cream between my skin and blade was more than enough in providing optimal protection. My skin was left well hydrated and supple. Please note: A double edge safety razor was used during shaving.
  • Retails for $25.00 at 8.4 fl oz (250 ml). Zirh offers a unique payment option. A gentleman can choose a one time payment, or an auto-replenishment is available in bi-monthly or quarterly intervals. If anyone has any experience with this replenishment program, please feel free to comment.
  • For more details, please visit http://www.zirh.com/men-shaving-products/shave-cream-heavy-beard.html for information.

Product Specifications

Zirh Shaving Cream Heavy Beard

Created specifically to provide a smooth glide on even the toughest and roughest beards. Luxurious cream calms the skin, reduces irritation and counters the effects of aging.

Key Ingredients

The Standard #5

successUndeterred by difficult obstacles in his path, the accomplished gentleman understands that he must remain true to his beliefs. Resolute in making decisions regarding his future, he does not let circumstances or individuals negatively influence his actions. Doubt can never become a factor, for doubt is a killer of faith and kidnapper of hope. Nevertheless, this gentleman is acutely focused. All challenges are welcomed. He remains remarkably steady, even in the face of naysayers. And even if success does not arrive expeditiously, he understands patience is an ally of diligence. And together, they will bring forth prosperity. Transforming aspirational dreams into reality, this gentleman never betrays his goals. He never betrays his work. And most important, he never betrays himself. Success feels so much better this way.

Style & Substance – Linen Blend Necktie

Richard James Linen NecktieTo be sure, the artful procedure of dressing well can arrive with an array of anxiety and trepidation. And that should not be viewed as uncommon or surprising. The magic of a perfectly coordinated, immaculately fitted ensemble can surely elicit an erroneous perception of sartorial complexity that proves daunting for any gentleman not deeply entrenched in some serious style. Nevertheless, rejoice gentlemen, dressing oneself with a sophisticated hand is not as mentally taxing as it may seem. Sometimes, a mere departure from your sartorial comfort zone is all a gentleman requires to inject elegance into his wardrobe. So, circling back to the aforementioned comfort zone, let’s talk about one – the necktie zone. Now, standard necktie policy dictates the status quo selection of silk as a gentleman’s first choice. However, with spring on the horizon – don’t worry, it’s coming - I implore the gentlemanly audience to introduce a different type of flavor  to knot around their necks – the linen blend necktie.

Now, a linen blend necktie may arrive in a combination of cotton & linen or silk & linen. The percentage of each textile within the necktie will depend on the selected brand. As a personal favorite, I lean towards cotton and linen. So, what are the advantages of a linen blend necktie over a regular silk necktie? Well, none really. It all depends on taste. However, in the spirit of introducing a creative wrinkle – pun intended - to your necktie rotation, a touch of linen will add a lovely, delicately wrinkled texture that will contrast beautifully with a clean, smooth dress shirt. Given the impending season, a gentleman’s options will become plentiful. If I may further suggest, soft pastels in paisley or plaid are great patterns to complement the spring season. And if those are too bold for your palate, a solid necktie is still a great choice as well.

Heritage – Carter G. Woodson

carter g. woodson 2

  • Carter Godwin Woodson was born on December 19, 1875
  • Graduated from Douglass High School in 1897
  • Became principal of Douglass High School in 1900
  • Earned his Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College in 1903
  • Earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Chicago in 1908.
  • Earned doctorate from Harvard University in 1912
  • Historian, educator, author, publisher, and journalist
  • Founder of Association for the Study of African-American Life and History in 1915
  • Authored The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 in 1915
  • Founded The Journal of Negro History 1916
  • Became Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Howard University in 1920
  • Founded The Associated Publishers in 1920
  • Authored The History of the Negro Church in 1922
  • Established Negro History Week in February 1926, which later expanded to Black History Month
  • Authored The Mis-Education of the Negro in 1933
  • Founded the Negro History Bulletin in 1937
  • Died at the age of 74 on April 3, 1950
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