Grooming Lounge Review: A Cut Above The Rest?

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For some men, finding a new line of grooming products to try out can be challenging.

When browsing popular online retailers, you are often served with a wide mix of results that leaves with more questions than answers…

…it can be frustrating to say the least.

The other day, Mike Gillman, Founder of the Grooming Lounge, reached out and introduced himself asking if I wanted to review of few of their products on the site.

Needless to say, I was humbled and excited…

For those unaware, Grooming Lounge is one of the most established online shops for men’s grooming products in the world.

Founded in 1999 (before the original iPod even came out) – they have been serving men with great info on quality products, advice, and more:

My goodness have websites changed over time!

So, before getting into the reviews of a few of their staple products, there are a few things you need to know:

  1. These products were sent over for free – I did not pay for them.
  2. There was no other payment made in exchange for this review.
  3. I am in no way, shape, or form swayed by receiving free stuff. Throughout my time writing for Tools of Men, I have stockpiled a ton of grooming gear. A free shave cream or body wash doesn’t make me suddenly view the company favorably – I am here to serve you.

Let’s get started:

The Grooming Lounge Difference

Unlike many companies that may just purchase a white label product and slap their logo on it, Grooming Lounge does things a bit differently.

The Grooming Lounge lineup has been conceptualized, created, and tested by their own barbers and skin care experts…

…that’s right – it’s all in house.

This not only ensures a higher level of quality from the start, but the fact that they use their own products at one of the two Barbershop locations they run speaks volumes.

They aren’t some anonymous name behind a brand that doesn’t interface with the customer – and likely the reason they’ve been around since 1999.

Let’s look at a few of their products:

Mug Scrubber

Winning awards from other prestigious men’s publications, this face scrub was on point when it comes to performance and its eco-friendly design.

Using various sized jojoba beads to target both dirt and oil build-up, we found that it was extremely effective in providing a gentle exfoliation.

Perfect as a before shave routine, the natural oils used in the formulation of Mug Scrubber will help to ensure a much more supple skin prior to shaving.

But even if you don’t plan on shaving, the natural oils are still going to be great for both your skin and beard.

Fragrance typically isn’t something that is too important when it comes to face scrubs as you will be rinsing it off immediately once you are done exfoliating…

But for the sake of completeness, this scrub does deliver a light and fresh scent – perfect for starting your day on the right foot.

If there was one sticking point about this face scrub it’s that it did have a few difficulties in rinsing clean. It’s a thicker solution that wanted to stubbornly stay on in some areas (particularly the eye brows).

To counteract this, we would recommend using Mug Scrubber before you hop in the shower.

Overall though, it still performed great and went toe-to-toe with some of the other leading face scrubs on the market.

Body Wash

If there is one product that would be the most polarizing of Grooming Lounge’s lineup it would be this black pepper based body wash.

I’ll be honest, the scent did take some getting used to…

…one doesn’t really expect to smell peppery/spicy notes in the shower first thing in the morning.

But after a few days test driving this stuff, we were hooked!

Coming in a slightly thinner solution, this body wash goes on and rinses off incredibly easy – perfect for men who crave efficiency.

Scent and consistency aside, we also loved the fact that Grooming Lounge adds aloe vera leaf juice, acai, and seaweed extract to the formula.  These key ingredients work together to moisturize your entire body amazingly well.

However, the most important aspect of any body wash is the ability to target dirt, grime, and other environmental pollutants and ultimately wash it away.

After hopping out of the shower and giving ourselves the once over, we were pleased with the results.

Beard Destroyer Shave Cream

Quite possibly the strongest product in the Grooming Lounge lineup that we tested was their shave cream.

Whether you plan on shaving your head, face, or body the shave cream will work wonders on any surface.

But to get the most out of it you must follow these steps…

  1. Wet your skin with a little bit of hot water
  2. Massage shave cream deep into your skin
  3. Add just a few drops of water to help thin out the solution (this was the one we initially missed)

Skipping any one of these steps will result in a shave cream that is a bit too thick resulting in some mild clogging particularly in both disposable and cartridge razors.

But once you perfect the routine, your skin will be incredibly supple and receptive to the razor blade.

Ultimately this translates to a way more comfortable and closer shave.

For those men who want to take it to the next level you will also want to combine this with their pre-shave oil.

Best For Last Aftershave

The biggest difference between aftershave balms and splashes is their reliance on alcohol.

A quality aftershave balm should never sting, instead, it should be working to nourish and moisturize the area you shaved.

Trademark features of a quality aftershave balm should contain both humectants and emollients.

After applying this aftershave balm, we were incredibly pleased with the results.

It not only provided a smooth surface on both our head and face, but ensured there was no ashyness or flaking as the day wore on.

The reason why it worked so well was likely due to the inclusion of these three key ingredients:

  • Olibanum Oil
  • Almond oil
  • Lavender

All of these ingredients played a role to calm, soothe, and moisturize.

For the men who are averse to any sort of fragrance, you will be happy to find out that this aftershave balm is also fragrance-free.

Greatest Pits

Last up the deodorant:

Not a formal antiperspirant (doesn’t block sweat), this deodorant will help to counteract any odors that you may give off.

With a eucalyptus base, this is undoubtedly the best smelling product that we tried from Grooming Lounge.

The gel stick goes on wet and will dissipate within a few short minutes.

Even when doing a sniff test part way through the day, we were greeted with the subtle smell of eucalyptus – which was rather refreshing.

It’s not a product we would recommend wearing when going to the gym, but for the daily office grind, it is a great pick.

Overall Thoughts On Grooming Lounge Products

Overall we were really happy with Grooming Lounge’s lineup of products.

While they do tend to cost fair bit more than your typical grooming supplies, they are definitely worth the price of admission.

For those men who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge and plunk down $22 on a tube of shave cream, we would recommend checking out their sample pack.

The sample pack not only includes many of the products that we covered here today, but they’re also TSA friendly (under 3.4oz).

So, if you are looking for an upgrade on your morning grooming routine, check out the Grooming Lounge line of products – you won’t be disappointed.

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About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.