Businesses make money from doing something different to their competitors. Whether that is doing it cheaper, offering higher quality, better customer service or simply doing something new and unusual…they need to grab your attention somehow.
When it comes to male grooming products, due to the relatively small size of the industry, generally businesses rely on the novelty of their products to grab the attention of those potential customers in the marketplace.
When ManCave asked me to do a review of their products there were a few things that jumped out to me above and beyond simply offering a great product. The first thing I noticed was their friendliness and openness to engage on social media…this may seem trivial but it shows an interest in the market and a thirst to understand what we want. This mentality is also reflected through in their 2-year product development process…now that is commitment.
The second thing that made me smile was how quickly they move, it was less than 24 hours between giving them my address and receiving the products. For a modern man in a modern world, speed means a lot, especially when it comes to getting a top-up of your favourite grooming products.
Thirdly, seeing their commitment to creating the best products in the most ethical way seriously appeals to my eye for quality and my personal values. Big tick boxes next to no animal testing, no sulphates or parabens and use of natural extracts.
Anyway, that is enough about my thoughts on the business, onto the good stuff, how I found the products. They sent me over a package containing:
- ManCave Sensitive Moisturiser
- ManCave Protective Moisturiser
- ManCave Sensitive Face Wash
- ManCave Texturising Hair Paste
Upon opening the box I was pleased to find a range of products that I was already using an equivalent of in my grooming routine, great to be able to compare. The packaging was right up my street, the neutral brown/grey and simple branding make the products look quality without being pretentious…that is an absolute winner for me. Plus there was no way my girlfriend would mistake her products for mine in a steamy bathroom, they are definitely for men, truly lending themselves to their signature hashtag #ownthebathroom.
This hair paste immediately passed the girlfriend test. When I opened the pot my girlfriend grabbed it off me and took a deep inhale.
”this one smells great!”
The only slight criticism of this product was that it smelt a little too great, or perhaps a little too strong for my personal liking. I usually like my products to smell nice and manly but subtle as to not overpower my Eau de Toilette. Saying this the hair paste smelt so great in it’s own right that it could easily replace other scents.
I have struggled in the past to find hair product to style my hair exactly how I like it. I have very flimsy hair and it is difficult to get the desired texture and shape. The ManCave Texturising Hair Paste gave me the hold and texture I wanted all day long without being too heavy.
Having used a sensitive moisturiser for men for some time I was excited to compare this product to the one I was already using. The first thing I noticed was the smell, unlike my current moisturiser the ManCave Sensitive Moisturiser gave off a subtle but manly smell. Always focusing on the ingredients and effectiveness of the moisturiser in the past, I have struggled to find one that ticks the boxes for quality but also makes me smell like a man.
When applying the moisturiser I found it very light and easy to apply. It absorbed quickly and most importantly it actually took a little of the shine I usually get on my nose away compared to the one I had been using before.
When I spotted this in the package I got a little too excited. I have spent some time looking for the perfect moisturiser that includes a protective property, in this case SPF 20. Previous to this I have either used products designed for women and had to go out smelling like a flower, mixed sun cream with my moisturiser (messy and a bit of a ball ache) or had to invest a bit too much of my hard earned cash in a tiny pot of product that lasts about a week. This also couldn’t have come at a better time, the hottest day of the year so far, followed by the hottest week…sun protection was needed.
Like all the products I tested from ManCave this smelt great and manly…no more smelling like a flower. Once I applied the moisturiser I found it to be a little thicker than the sensitive version and therefore took a little longer to absorb, but with a little extra rubbing the time difference is hardly worth mentioning. Honestly being a little thicker to be expected when applying a moisturiser with SPF 20 and is totally worth a trade off.
Throughout the day I was aware that I was wearing a slightly thicker moisturiser, however this did mean that by the time I got home from work I still felt my face was well moisturised where as usually I feel that the effects have worn off by then.
I can honestly say that this product is going to make it into my summer skin care regime.
This product quickly made it’s way as a permanent fixture into my gym bag. As a very active bloke I have suffered in the past from facial skin issues as a result of excessive exercise and I have become very aware of my post gym cleaning regime.
It goes without saying that this product smelt great. But the thing I found most impressive was how fresh and clean it left my face after use. Not only this but I also didn’t feel like it left my skin dry like a lot of cleansers I have used in the past. Usually if I cleanse at the gym and find I have left my moisturiser at home (this happens a lot) by the time I return I find my face is drier than the Sahara desert. On the few occasions this happened with this face wash I got back still feeling moisturised and fresh.
In my honest opinion, these are some of the best products I have used from a male grooming point of view and will genuinely continue to use them and try out their other products over time. It is great to see the guys at ManCave not only investing into making great products but generally creating a great business with strong values and philosophy. So, not only do they make you look and smell great but they make you feel great about buying from them as well.
To check out the rest of Owain's work follow this link: ojawilliams.com