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Tom's Deodorant

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Oh, Tom's. Tom's, Tom's, Tom's. I don't hate you. I don't even dislike you. I really don't. I swear. So, it was with an open mind that I approached your deodorant. This one was labeled as a  men's deodorant with a "Mountain Spring" scent. So, I was looking forward to seeing what this would be like. If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that it's been a bit of a mixed bag for me when it comes to cruelty-free deodorant. I liked the smell of the Herban Cowboy deodorant, but it turns out that I developed a rash under my arm as a result of using it. The Burt's Bees deodorant was nice, worked well, didn't leave a rash, but was just a little bit sticky when applied. So, while not a wholly negative experience, I also haven't one that I've been completely impressed with either.

So, next in line was Tom's of Maine Mountain Spring Deodorant. On first sniff, all signs were positive. Nice, not overpowering, not frui…

Every Man Jack Face Wash

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Face wash is not an easy thing to find. Well, let me rephrase that. Face wash - that isn't skin-clearing (meaning it contains 2% salicylic acid), isn't a face scrub, and isn't prohibitively expensive - is not an easy thing to find. Considering that I wanted to pay less than $15 for 3oz., I was left with very few choices. One of the few was a face wash from Every Man Jack. I'd been looking to try new brands, but that really wasn't an option in this case. So, I grabbed the tube of Every Man Jack hydrating face wash (fragrance free), making sure not to grab one of the skin-clearing tubes, since there was very little difference in their appearance.

I admit it, I like fragrance. Minty, flowery, fruity, something. I'm a sucker for it. I like to breathe in a nice refreshing scent. So, I wasn't thrilled about having a fragrance-free face wash, but it's not a deal-breaker either.

Performance-wise, the Every Man Jack face wash is outstanding. Nice foaming action…

Burt's Bees Deodorant for Men

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On the heels of my experience with the Herban Cowboy Deodorant, which was my first foray into cruelty-free deodorant, I was a little bit wary. I liked the Herban Cowboy, but it did aggravate the skin around my armpits. So, I was curious to see how my skin would react to a different brand of deodorant. Next up was Burt's Bees Deodorant for Men

My experience with Burt's Bees products has been a bit less-than-stellar, so I was hoping that this might be the one to turn the tide. It has a nice woodsy sort of smell, which was a good masculine scent. The texture is a bit sticky, almost. It didn't flake off or leave residue, but it certainly didn't feel like it was going on smooth. I don't know if it was the beeswax that produced this texture but it wasn't what I was expecting, and I can't say I'm really a fan. Once it's on, however, it doesn't feel sticky at all, so it's really only an issue during application.

As for the most important factor, w…

Giovanni Magnetic Energizing Shampoo

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The name alone makes me feel that after using this, I'll be able to join the X-Men. And while I can't say that I felt neither particularly magnetic nor energized after washing my hair with this, I was pretty pleased with it. It was hard for me to pinpoint exactly what it was that impressed me about the Giovanni shampoo. So, after thinking about it, it wasn't that I was overly impressed by its cleaning ability or that it left my hair so incredibly thick and lustrous, or any of the typical criteria by which I'd ordinarily judge a shampoo. Instead, I was impressed by the Giovanni shampoo for the same reason that I'm impressed by Paul Mitchell shampoo. This is a brand that you expect to see in a hair salon, a brand that has a certain cachet to it.

In general, I'm not swayed by that sort of thing. But I get particularly excited when a name brand of sorts (like Paul Mitchell) makes a commitment to producing cruelty-free products. Not to diminish in any way what grea…

JASON Toothpaste

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If you've read either or both of my posts on cruelty-free toothpaste, you know that I've had a less-than-stellar experience in this category. I've had great success with cruelty-free body wash, shampoo, and face wash, and a bit of a mixed bag in other categories like deodorant and shaving cream. Thus far, however, cruelty-free toothpaste has pretty much been a disaster. Granted, I've only tried two so far, but the Tom's Toothpaste tasted like dirt, and Burt's Bees toothpaste essentially blew up in my hand and I had to throw it out after having only made it through about half of the tube. So, I was a bit discouraged, but far from the point of giving up.

While at Whole Foods, I stood in front of the small section of toothpaste and surveyed my options. Not many. Dozens of options from Tom's, but there's no way I'm trying that again anytime soon. Clearly Tom's has a firm grip on the all natural / cruelty-free toothpaste market. But I did see a hand…

Every Man Jack Shampoo

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I really want to like Every Man Jack's products because I like the idea of cruelty-free 'health and beauty' products for men. So many of the products in that aisle are really geared toward women, perhaps even more so in natural food stores than in regular grocery stores. In grocery stores, you'll find products like AXE or Old Spice or a handful of others that specifically target the men's market. But in stores like Whole Foods that only carry cruelty-free products, it's rare to find something that has men in mind. Frequently, the products have a floral or fruity scent, which I actually kind of enjoy, but they're not exactly 'manly'.

Now I wouldn't really consider a mint scent to be specifically for men, but that is the scent of this 2-in-1 shampoo. Speaking of it being a 2-in-1 shampoo, I really don't remember the last time I used one of these, or even conditioner on its own. My hair is pretty fine and conditioner always seemed to make my ha…

Alba Shaving Foam

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I was really excited about this one because I felt like the creamy texture of the Alba shave cream maybe was part of the reason why it didn't work as well as some of shaving cream/gels that I used prior to going the cruelty-free route. So, when I saw the bottle of Alba shaving foam on the shelf, I quickly snatched it up. Eager to use it, I decided to shave the next morning during my shower (usually I'll go a few days at least between shaves). So, I popped off the cap and pressed down on the plunger. What came out was not the typical, thick foam with which anyone who has used standard shaving cream is familiar. No, this foam is just like the kind of foam that you get from those hand soap dispensers. A very light, airy kind of foam. When applied, it actually feels less effective than the shave cream because it feels like it's just a diluted, fluffy version of the cream that I was hoping this would replace.

Unfortunately, it looks like I still haven't a shave cream or foa…

Burt's Bees Whitening Toothpaste

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I was relieved, to say the least, when I finally reached the end of my tube of Tom's Toothpaste. After going through the entire tube, it did grow on me, but not enough to the point where I'd say I actually enjoyed it. So, I went in to Whole Foods to see what other options were available and there weren't that many brands. Tom's really dominates the shelves (and probably the cruelty-free toothpaste market). Other than Tom's, there were a handful of other brands from some I recognized (like Burt's Bees and JASON) and a few brands I don't know. I decided to stick with a brand I knew and chose Burt's Bees Whitening Toothpaste.

Opening it up, it had some visual similarities to Tom's, with it's off-white/beige hue, which still requires a little acclimation on my part. I need to get used to the notion that the shiny aqua gel with the little sparkles in it is not exactly 'natural'. So, I squeezed the toothpaste onto my brush and started my routin…

The Body Shop body shower gel

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The Body Shop occupies this odd space in my mind. I've tried their products on occasion, and usually it's the result of an "occasion" when I find myself at the mall looking for presents, and end up at The Body Shop. I've always been impressed with their products and, particularly, their no animal testing ethos. But I've never really considered their products as something that I'd use on a regular basis because I don't find myself at the mall all that often. But now that anything and everything is available online, their products are just as accessible as any other company's. So, I couldn't resist when I saw their Coconut Shower Gel. I've expressed my love for coconut in a previous post, so I was particularly excited about this one. And I have to say that it did not disappoint. In fact, it is amazing. It has an unbelievable, rich, coconut scent. It's not often I use the word "luxurious" but I can't think of a better way to…

Kiss My Face!

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I have an issue with products with declarative names like "Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific" or "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" So, I think that explains my reluctance to buy the "Kiss My Face" shower gel. The name "Kiss My Face" just bothers me. Aside from that, however, I wasn't a big fan of the different scents they offer, scents like mandarin ginger lily, cardamom mint and, worst of all, "peaceful patchouli." I've expressed my distaste for patchouli in a previous post, but I truly can't understand why people would choose to smell like that. It is downright offensive. But I digress. I'm not talking about the patchouli body wash, although I was tempted not to buy anything from Kiss My Face simply because they have the gall to produce a body wash with that vile scent.
Instead, I thought their cold & flu shower gel might be interesting, particularly this time of year. Though I didn't have a cold, I …

Avalon Organics Cleansing Milk

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This is my second cleansing milk purchase (the first being the Alba cleansing milk that I wrote about in a previous post) and I'd questioned the actual cleansing capabilities of something that seems to have the qualities of a lotion rather than the typical bubbling facial cleansers or scrubs that I have become accustomed to. Surprisingly, though, the Alba cleansing milk seemed to do a fine job of cleaning my face, from what I could tell, and had a nice coconut smell, as well. So, I decided to stick with this odd cleansing milk stuff, trusting that it must actually work, though I was curious to try a different brand. So, I came across the Avalon Organics Vitamin C Hydrating Cleansing Milk and figured I'd give it a try.

Avalon Organics seems to have a whole line of orange scented Vitamin C cleansers, toners, etc. The smell is nice and very refreshing, with a light orange scent. The texture is very similar to that of the Alba cleansing milk, which is much like a lotion without le…

Herban Cowboy Deodorant

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I hadn't really realized how long a stick of deodorant lasts until I decided to completely make the switch to products made by companies that don't test on animals. I've gone through several bottles of body wash, a number of shampoos, face wash, shaving cream, and toothpaste, all while working off the same stick of Old Spice deodorant. So, finally the time came when I could finally see the little plastic platform beneath the cake of deodorant, and I actually got excited that I was about to step into new territory. I did some poking around on Amazon and there were some very solid review for Herban Cowboy, so that's what I was going to go with next. I've been using it for about a week now and first impressions are that it's pretty impressive. The first use was a little rocky, however. Like some deodorants, it was flat at the top (rather than rounded), so when I first applied it, those hard corners broke off in my armpit rather than pressing down and forming a ro…

Burt's Body Wash

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I really hadn't paid much attention to Burt's Bees, or the number of skin care products they make. In fact, I can't honestly say that I was aware they produced more than lip balm, but now that I've taken a look at their website, the number of products they offer is astounding. They even have a dedicated line of men's care products which, as I mentioned in my previous post, is nice and somewhat uncommon to find among natural, cruelty-free skin care products. In need of new body wash after finishing off my bottle of Every Man Jack, I purchased a bottle of Burt's Natural Skin Care for Men Body Wash. I've been using it for three days now, and I'm still not sure what I think about it. As with the Every Man Jack body wash, the Burt's for men body wash has a distinctly different scent than the more floral scented ones that I'd become accustomed to. Though, unlike the somewhat musky aroma of Every Man Jack, the Burt's body wash smells like an intere…