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Thread: Drug Store Bargains....

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    Post Drug Store Bargains....



    Outstanding products, and within arms grasp (Part 1)

    A quick overview of some inexpensive and outstanding products you can pick up at your local drugstore!

    The newest "gotta have" rare-handmade products from the tiniest factories all over Europe are great and all, but often they're over-hyped and over-priced. Many fellas forget how many outstanding products we have available at our local drugstore. From aftershave splashes, to balms and moisturizers, we actually have a good array of quality products within arms grasp - and at a fraction of the price of the foreign stuff. Part one (this article) will touch n the very common product you can find at local Walgreens, Wal Marts, Rite Aids, etc. Part 2 will uncover some of the outstanding products available at health food markets that aren't widely known, or discussed but can be found locally by digging around some local beauty supply stores, or salons.

    Aftershave splashes, balms, and moisturizers......





    Splashes -

    Aqua Velva Classic Ice Blue



    This is a really lovely aftershave splash. Smells quite lovely, comes in a nice glass bottle, provides a bit of a moisturizing, fights razor burn and irritation like a raging bull, has a great cooling/menthol effect - and is dirt cheap. What more can you really ask from an aftershave? Aqua Velva reminds me of Floid Blue (the Itallian stuff) yet is a mere fraction of the cost. In fact, the only real mentionable differences between the two products is that Floid smells different, comes in a different bottle and has a different name. Being that Aqua Velva is every bit as good as Floid, that puts it in the top running for the finest aftershave splash. Cost aside, Aqua Velva is outstanding stuff and shouldn't be looked at as merely a "bargain buy" but seen as an exceptionally high quality product that has seen so much success, it is available at a tremendously low price due to its mass production. All American wetshavers should have a bottle or two of Aqua Velva residing in their toiletry locker.



    Ok - so it's Aqua Velva again.... so what? While this doesn't have the menthol punch as delivered by the classic blue, it does have a killer scent (my favorite of the bunch) and provides an outstanding option for those not "ga-ga" over the classic scent.



    Akkk - Aqua Velva again? Ok - broken record time... but hey, at least only one more product from them will show up after this So what's this one all about? Well - a different scent, with the same cooling menthol as the classic, and a few vitamins added to help heal/calm your face. This has a "sportier" younger scent, which I am personally not as fond of, but it's still quite nice. Those who prefer oceanic/marine scents will quite enjoy this one. I'm guilty of liking quality packaging, and unfortunately, this version comes in a cheap feeling plastic bottle. Cest la vie... it's cheap



    Cheapie bottle like Aqua Velva Sport, but hey.... at least it's not Aqua Velva again! So this is a totally different beast, in that it has a SERIOUS punch of menthol. In fact, I think the only more mentholated product that can be used as an aftershave splash I have experienced is Osage rub. Suffice to say - this makes your face feel like someone blasted you with nitrogen... for you fellas in the Polar Bear Club - this is your cheap ticket to Antarctica. The smell is quite nice, and certainly a classic with a crisp woodsy scent. This, like the Aqua Velva splashes is an outstanding "daily" splash. For the price of a bottle of floid, pitralon, musgo real, etc - you can get all of the splashes above, and still have some money left over... oh, and you can merely drive to the store an pick 'em up, instead of having to scour the net, then wait a week or two for it to be shipped to you.

    Balms
    "Who told you to put the balm on?

    Anytime I hear the world "balm" I always think of Kramer (of Seinfeld's) attorney Jackie, all sorts of ticked off spouting off "Who told you to put the balm on?" What's the point? Well... a good balm heals, and makes a big difference. Like Kramer's burn that was quelled - a good balm makes a big difference.



    Wait... it's not Nivea balm? Sorry.... i've got 2 words for Nivea aftershave balms "You Suck!" They have their fair share of fans, but they smell like chemicals, don't work so great, and leave quite a bit to be desired. Are they better than the gillete fusion balm garbage? Sure, but so is a splash of water. Alright - back on track - this Brut aftershave balm is REALLY outstanding.... provided you like the smell of brut, as it has a strong scent that doesn't seem to fade....ever. Other than the potent scent, this balom is perfect. Loaded with butters (Shea and Aloe butters) beneficial vitamins, oils, etc - this is a tube of delight for wetshavers. Killer moisturizing properties, sinks in the skin quickly, fights irritation, works great, and is quite inexpensive. Pending you're a fan of the scent, you'll be a big fan. If you have skin as dry as dust, you'll be hard pressed to find a more moisturizing aftershave balm.



    I warned you it was coming back, didn't I? This has a scent similar to the classic balm with more of an oceanic influence, yet unlike brut, the scent seems to fade quite quickly. This balm also has a light cooling effect which is quite nice, and does a superior job (to the brut) fighting irritation/razor burn. In fact, this is among the top 4-5 razor burn fighting aftershave balms out there in my opinion. The biggest difference between this and the brut (other than the fading scent) is this is far less moisturizing than Brut. Don't get me wrong, it does a great job moisturizing, and is suitable for fellas with oily skin, but the brut is on another level - and if you face is exceptionally dry, it won't cut the mustard like Brut. If you have normal to oily skin, this is a tough balm to beat.

    Moisturizer



    Ok, so there is one Nivea product mentioned. So as you can tell, I'm not a fan of Nivea.... but this product is too good to not mention. What is it? Well... they call it a "hydrogel" but they don't really tell you what to do with it, when or what it's really designed for. Basically they say it's for when you're face needs to be "refreshed" - which to me, means their marketing team bickered over what to release the product as - and they said screw it, lets send it out there in a confusing manner, and make this fine products destiny sure to fail So what is it? Well... it's kind of a gel like skinfood, but doesn't leave any residue and doesn't "seal" the skin. I think the best way to describe this is a cheap smelling aftershave, moisturizer, mid-day pick me up - skin conditioner, swiss army knife of mens grooming. It works good as an aftershave, provides enough moisture to be used as an aftershave (sinks in quick and clean) or as an all over the face moisturizer. It's efficacy is really quite impressive, and the pump bottle is incredibly handy, but the scent (at least for me) is really underwhelming. I have a feeling this product won't be around long (due to the bonkers marketing, or lack there of) so pick up a bottle whilst you still can.

    Stay tuned for Part II next week, which will cover some of the more advanced, and "wonky" products worth hunting down at local health-food stores.
    - Joel
    joel (at) badgerandblade.com

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    Awesome post! Too bad I can't find the Aqua Velva balm.
    Shane - Member since 6-10-06

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    iron maiden is offline The ever-elusive, asinine, puerile, and yes, often regrettable custom title....
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    Thanks for the post, Joel. I have almost every one of those products, with the exception of the Nivea.

    Shane, you could try a Rite Aid, Walgreens, or CVS pharmacy for the AV Balm.
    -David, but everybody calls me Dave

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    surprised pinaud wasnt in the mix? as much as i dont want to...buying the mennen tommorow! The smell will grow... I am looking for the feeling!!! got to be better than listerine! dont ask......

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    Very good post. I would add van Der Hagen shave soap to the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Awesome post! Too bad I can't find the Aqua Velva balm.
    Quote Originally Posted by iron maiden View Post
    ...Shane, you could try a Rite Aid, Walgreens, or CVS pharmacy for the AV Balm.
    I shop at Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS and have never seen Aqua Velva Balm. Maybe it's only in certain parts of the country?
    Last edited by Duckster; 06-22-2008 at 11:52 PM.

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    Where do you guys find the Brut aftershave balm??? I can't seem to find it over here, are there any stores in particular? (I'm in California btw)

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    You will not deny the power of Nivea Balm! I defy you!

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    modern man

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    It is about you guys started listing to me.

    Now, go get some Aqua Velva!

    ..and Clubman, Skin Bracer, Old Spice, Masters Bay Rum (Sally's) etc.
    Last edited by modern man; 06-23-2008 at 06:53 AM.

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    Default Oh really ??

    See this:

    Review Numero Uno..........................'nuff said



    Truth be told: I like the Musk mucho better
    and
    AFTA is a key ingredient in my home made ASB's
    Last edited by rikrdo; 06-23-2008 at 05:07 AM.
    rick

  10. #10
    modern man

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeca2009 View Post
    Where do you guys find the Brut aftershave balm??? I can't seem to find it over here, are there any stores in particular? (I'm in California btw)
    You really have to look.

    It is just as hard as the AV Balm to find now.

    If you cant get it local, try drugstore.com. Great site you can get a ton of dirt cheap and proficient wetshaving goodies.

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    The Pinaud Bay Rum

    Just a few ducats at Longs
    Last edited by King of Kailua; 06-23-2008 at 01:29 PM.

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    Excellent review. I'll have to try the Brut. I would also add Mennen Afta (original) to the list. It feels good on my face, and I like the scent. I tried the Aqua Velva Balm, but the scent seemed to trigger allergies or something. And I didn't care for the Nivea either.
    A big "+1" for AV Ice Blue, Ice Sport, and Mennen Skin Bracer.
    Last edited by norman931; 06-23-2008 at 06:39 AM.
    Norm

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    Thank's Joel for the reminder of what is just down the street.

    I've seen most of these at the local grocery store.
    Jp - Horse power is how hard you hit the wall. Torque is how far you drag it behind you

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    Great post. In my mind, these products almost have to be grouped separately from things like Pinaud and Masters because you can find AV and Nivea in any supermarket in the U.S., but you typically have to hit a Walgreens or Sally's to pick up the "barbershop" stuff like Pinaud. In some ways, I think that puts these products at a distinct disadvantage, because it seems like Nivea (and Neutrogena) in particular, design their balms to meet the lowest common denominator in terms of scent. On the other hand, the Brut Aftershave Balm puts almost every other balm I've tried to shame in terms of post-shave comfort.
    Danny

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    +1

    VDH soap is great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
    Very good post. I would add van Der Hagen shave soap to the list.




    I shop at Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS and have never seen Aqua Velva Balm. Maybe it's only in certain parts of the country?
    --- Gabe
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    You know, if we had any moral character, we wouldn't be standing here covered with mud drinkin', when we should be washing.
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    If I walked into my office smelling of Brut I'd get laughed right out of the building! Maybe its a European thing but I've never seen any of the other products (barring the Nivea of course). In fact there's only one scent I've ever smelled that's really hooked me and that's Trafalgar. Just wondering when I'm up for spending the $76 for 350ml of it. (almost everything's twice the price in Scotland as it seems to be in the US)

  17. #17

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    Great thread - its amazing that we often overlook the great classics that are just under our noses.

    I bought my first bottle of AV a couple of weeks ago (the green "Original Sport" flavour that we can get up here in Canada) - and I've gotta say that, after using it almost every day for a couple of weeks, I'm mighty impressed - to the point where I could hapily use AV every day and my skin would be very happy.

    A couple of other recommendations for folks in Canada:

    1) AV Original Sport - most Canadian drug stores/supermarkets

    2) Nivea shaving cream - available at most Shoppers Drug Marts

    3) Life brand aftershave balm and moisturizing gel - the gel is very good for the summer, as its got no oil in it - a must try for anyone who likes skin foods/oil-free moisturizer. Its loaded with good stuff - and is dirt cheap.

    4) Real Shaving Company stuff - decent stuff available at most Shoppers

    A couple of suggestions for the folks in the UK/EC:

    In the UK:

    1) Boots brand products - the soap in particular is quite good, but the cream and other products are also good value for the price

    2) Erasmic - I think the stick is the best product

    3) Palmolive - creams and stick

    In the EC:

    1) Tabac - soap, stick, AS - all great products and pretty easy to find

    2) Vergulde Hand - great drugstore range of products available in Holland/Netherlands

    3) 4711 aftershave

    4) Pitralon - I think the Swiss is the best in terms of skin-soothing properties, but the Classic has a nice cedar scent

    I know there are others out there, but to Joel's point - its worth trying the tried and true products, which are often quite good and a fraction of the price of the high-end stuff.
    Chris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzuki View Post
    3) 4711 aftershave
    I think Jim wrote a year ago that this was one of the best underated AS. I just picked some up at Merz. He was right good stuff, I like it better than Speick.
    --
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    Great stuff, Joel! I've been an avid AV Classic Ice Blue fan from the get-go and have recently had the pleasure of adding the green Pure Sport splash to my collection. In the past I have used the Ice Sport, but it sucked. Read: my shaves sucked.

    This article was the final push I needed to get out and pick up the AV Musk, Ice Sport, Balm, and Skin Bracer. For less than $20, why not?

    [YOUTUBE]IzowSs9mNOM[/YOUTUBE]

    Cory - Great Irisch Moos Campaign '08-09 - New Golden Age Pomader - S.A.B.R.E

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    Thumbs up

    Loved the review!!!! I couldn't agree more!!
    [COLOR="Red"][/COLOR] Longing for home ...:whistling:

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