TBT… To one of our first ever posts, and our first product review back in 2014!
Everything you read below still rings true. We love Ursa Major, especially that face tonic! So epic, and so gentlemanly.
So sit back and enjoy our first product(s) review from way back when….
Its not just about the clothes you wear; your best laid fashion plans can be ruined by unkempt stubble, dry skin, or a scraggly beard. Clearly this is understood by the fashion forward gent, why else would there be hundreds if not thousands of shaving and face specific products available for our use. But how do you determine what is best, what combination will work, what do I spend my $ on? Well, Take a step back, use a little discipline, ask yourself, what matters to me? Comfort? Smell? All in one? Brand? Where it’s made? Is it natural/organic? Common sense would dictate, when dragging razor sharp metal against your neck and face, you better hope your shaving cream or gel is up to task. A clean and smooth shave is literally one of the best ways to start the day.
Now that I have you thinking, below I review a very cool and somewhat new brand that just happens to be located in New England. Burlington Vermont to be exact. Ursa Major is far from your average product manufacturer, in true Vermont/New England fashion all of their products are 98.5 – 100% natural, and at least 59% organic, not to mention affordable. What does this mean to you and your face? It means that nothing foreign, some weird mad-scientist creation or uncomfortable chemical ever touches your precious face. I want to know when investing in a product regimen that the creators care as much about how it effects my face, my style and lifestyle as I do – Ursa Major does just that.
Here is a breakdown of my 7 days with Ursa Major’s product offerings: Face Balm, Face Tonic, Shaving Cream, Face Wash and Face Wipes.
I patiently awaited the arrival of the Ursa Major delivery Carmen Craig (Marketing/Customer Service) sent. She was kind enough to send a sample of each of their 5 products. They clearly know how to make the entire experience cool and personalized, as the samples arrived in a branded Ursa Major pouch, with a couple stickers and a post card, not to mention a personal note from Carmen! A nice touch!
Day 1 and a little background:
I don’t shave every day, a constant stubble is a key to my personal style, but maintaining it is an every other day activity. With that, I tend to use and try a lot of products, creams, gels, name brands, not so name brands etc… I was most pumped to begin my Monday w/ a shave. As a note, the “sample” of the Ursa Major Shaving Cream is huge, at the rate I use this, I will have it for months!
My first impression upon opening and applying to the neck and upper cheek area, was how it covered. I never enjoyed a clear gel or light cream, as I need to be very precise with what I shave, and what I don’t. Ursa Major’s Stellar Shave cream not only covered and soothed the area I intended to shave, I could immediately tell that only natural ingredients are used. If a product is overly perfumed, my first thought is always, what are they covering up? Not here, just the fresh yet subtle smell of essential oils.
Great natural smell and feel aside, how does it perform? Anyone with sensitive skin or prone to razor burn skin, take note – This product tackles that with no issue. The razor seemed cushioned, as it glided through the rough stubble. Before I knew it, I was done, truly, nothing to it. (Hey, Esquire voted it “Best Shave Cream” in 2012, that clearly means something!)
It was time for what is truly my new favorite grooming product ever,Ursa Major’s Essential Face Tonic. Designed for daily use, the Face Tonic soothes, cleans, dissolves and revives the skin on both your face and neck. But used as an after shave, I felt like I was channeling my grandfather, there is something so Mad Men about this. Pouring a liquid into the palm of my hands, gently clapping them together and massaging it into the face and neck, it felt “vintage.” However, the ingredients are far from vintage, you are met with a subtle aroma of orange, lavender and touch of the outdoors encompassing a natural feel that immediately soothes the neck and face after shaving. Last but not least, this regimen finishes with Ursa Major’s Fortifying 100% natural Face Balm. It’s the best finish, the balm is very hydrating and incredibly lightweight, a hint of lime finishes the morning off perfectly.
With this three step, three product start to the week, I already feel more confident, stylish and ready for what lies ahead.
No need to shave today, but the Face Tonic is a must. I literally wake up thinking about how I am looking forward to using it. But first its time to test Ursa Major’s Fantastic Face Wash. This is another great way to kick off a morning- a foaming cleanser that acts an exfoliator but doesn’t dry my skin. This is the most fragrant product in their offering but it is SO refreshing: lime, lemon and some woodsy cedar. What it means to be made in Vermont!
Now its time for the tonic and balm! This is going to be a great week!
Time to shave again. To test the shaving cream, I decided to turn what is approx 3 days of full facial growth into a beard. I knew the shaving cream would be up to the challenge, but this meant shaving much longer growth over a much larger area. I was not disappointed. Again my shave was smoother, easier, lightweight with a natural smell! Followed up w/ the tonic and balm, my skin continues to feel cleaner, smoother and “younger.” No reason to change this regime.
Day 4 and 5:
No shave, just wash, tonic and balm. What I am noticing is no razor bumps, burns or irritation. Having sensitive skin makes finding a shaving cream or gel tough- I found it.
Day 6 and 7:
A full run today, face wash, shave, tonic and balm! Now that is how we kick off a weekend. At this point I know the smells, the natural feel, the hydration, but what is astonishing is the lack of irritation around the edge of my neck. As mentioned above, historically, no matter what I used irritation was a guarantee. To boot it is finally warm, sunny and “springy” here in New England. It’s a new season, and I feel like a new man. Clean, hydrated, exfoliated and irritation free skin pairs nicely with a new spring wardrobe!
All in all, I have nothing but great things to say about my week w/ Ursa Major; high quality products, all natural, made in Vermont, affordable and a personal experience…what else do you need? What’s more – I have enough of the face wash, face tonic and shave cream to continue this regime for a few more weeks!
To purchase or learn even more, checkout http://www.ursamajorvt.com
Thanks and happy Shaving & Cleansing!
NEFB (well now known as Life As A Gent!)