Grüum (or grüum, pronounced ‘groom’ geddit?) is a rather splendid box of shaving and skincare products, aimed at men. The idea is that you fill out a short survey on their website describing your shaving habits and facial hair (if any) and each month they send you a box of lovely things tailored to your requirements. You can adjust the things you receive according to what you use. The first box costs between £15 and £19, with free p&p.
Oh, they don’t test on animals, or use ingredients which do; no artificial colours or synthetic fragrances; EDTA free; and no parabens, sulphates, SLS or petrochemicals. Splendid. No dodgy crap.
This is one of those reviews for which I have required the assistance of my lovely husband, Big C. As he loves grooming products, he was more than happy to be a tester for the various lotions and potions that were available.
I was actually sent two separate boxes; one which was tailored for the bearded gentleman, and one for non-bearded. I figured this out by filling out the survey on the website with those two options, and the results matched what I received. Brilliant detective work, if I do say so myself.
The box is well designed and very sturdy. It won’t fit through the mailbox, but that’s hardly surprising, given what it contains. Both boxes look identical, so I won’t give you two identical pictures; just take it from me that they both look like this.
Open it up, and again, they look identical, so I won’t post this twice! A little leaflet, plus an intriguing-looking bag. I was kind of expecting that the box would just have all the items separately, but I like that they’ve put them all together in a bag. It means they’re all kept together, rather than rattling around and getting damaged; very sensible. The bag is transparent plastic with a ziplock. While it’s probably not durable enough for long-term use, it would be useful as a travel washbag, and might even be able to be used as your ‘plastic bag for all your liquids in hand luggage’ at the airport, and much sturdier than a regular little baggie. Don’t take my word for it though, you can never tell how strict those airport security people can be.
Anyway, I digress.
Here is what is in that little leaflet.
This shows all the items available, not all of which are in each bag, so I’ll go through them one at a time.
This kit contained shave gel, daily exfoliating face wash, daily moisturiser, facial tonic, plus a lovely razor handle and two blade cartridges.
According to the website survey, this is your monthly kit (except for the handle, you only get that in the first box!) if you wet shave. There is also the option to describe yourself as a ‘blade-dodger’ or use and electric razor, in which case you don’t get the razor stuff.
This is the contents of the second box, which as you may guess, is for the bearded customer. You get beard wash, beard oil, and beard wax instead of shave gel, skin tonic, and razor stuff.
My beautiful bearded assistant does actually shave part of his face and neck, so the razor and gel were useful. The little leaflet describes how and when you should use each item, and while it might sound a bit ‘idiot’s guide to’ Big C actually found it very useful to know exactly at what point he should apply, spray, and moisturize.
Here was his regime this morning, using everything except for the beard wax.
Beard wash (in the shower): lovely, smelled great, made his beard feel lovely and soft.
Face wash (also in the shower): as above, except soft face rather than beard. Excellent softness combination.
Shave gel & razor (after shower): only a small portion of the face is actually shaved. Because the gel is not of the foaming type, it’s not ideal for small areas like this. Also, a five-bladed razor is also not ideal for this kind of precision shaving. That said, the gel is very nice, and the razor is very comfortable to use, and would work beautifully for whole-face shaving. As those items are not included in the ‘beardy’ box, we can give them a break on that.
See the magnificent beard? (You don’t get a picture of him in the shower though.)
Beard oil: Mmmmmmm, soft. Lovely smell.
Facial tonic: lovely and refreshing, left face feeling zingy.
Facial moisturizer: wonderful, was absorbed incredibly quickly, left skin feeling smooth and relaxed, with none of that annoying feel of a greasy face an hour after application.
The beard wax is yet to be tested, but if the other items are anything to go by, it will be awesome.
I also did a little trying out of my own: I tried the face wash and moisturizer, and I completely concur. I have quite sensitive skin on my face, and it gets dry very easily. I tend not to wash my face with water for exactly this reason, but in the interests of the fullest possible testing I braved a wet face wash in the shower. How I sacrifice for my art. Anyway, to my amazement the face wash did not leave my face feeling at all tight or dry. The moisturizer was exactly as Big C described; again, I don’t use moisturizing lotion because I find it sits on my skin in a greasy layer, but this one was incredible. It really did sink into my skin, which felt lovely. So extra bonus wife points for those two items. I forgot about the facial tonic or I would have tried that too. I suppose I could have used the razor and gel to shave my legs, but I didn’t.
So here are comments and conclusions.
First. the style. The products have a very Scandinavian feel, elegantly minimalist. The company describes itself as being inspired by Scandinavian design ideals, which they have certainly carried off. I/we love the look of the products; they are nicely masculine without that aggressive hard navy blue and silver/white colour scheme that is so often seen on men’s cosmetic products. Very classy design.
Well, nice containers are all very well, but what about what’s inside them? As you can see above, they all work beautifully. The scents are all very herbal, with cedar, rosemary, sage, as well as orange and witch hazel. Again, this is a refreshing change from the much sweeter scents you often find in men’s cosmetic products. My husband loved how they all smelled, as did I, as he is an enormous fan of these slightly savory scents. It is rather like having a herb garden in your bathroom, and rubbing your face in it. Well, maybe not exactly like that, as the idea is to have a clean rather than earth-covered face, but the herbal atmosphere is lovely. Plus they smell like the real thing, not like some artificial scent cooked up in a lab. Presumably this is because they use the actual herbal extracts.
In the washbag there is a larger sheet which shows you the ingredients of every single item. And no, there’s no crap in there.
Each item in the box is available separately on the website. I’ll give you a little breakdown:
Shave box: Shave gel £5; Face wash £8; Moisturizer £8; Facial tonic £7; Handle £free; 2 blades £4.25
Total as a box: £19.00 inc. free p&p
Beard box: Face wash £8; Moisturizer £8; Beard wash £6; Beard oil £7; Beard wax £7
Total as a box: £15.00 with free p&p
Well, what can I say but this is a bloody bargain!
We can recommend this without reservation. Big C is seriously considering subscribing when we, I mean he, finished the products we received. He loves good skincare products, and they are remarkably hard to find at a reasonable price.
I also think it would make a fantastic gift, as often men can be a bit rubbish at buying nice stuff for their skin (my husband is not one of these men, but they exist). And it’s Father’s Day in June, this would be ideal. Not only that, but the face wash and moisturizer, and probably the skin tonic, razor, and gel, are totally suitable for women (unless you’re the kind of woman who insists on having your facial products marked ‘for women’, consisting of seventeen separate stages, each consisting of a different lotion or unguent, and all massively overpriced). So chaps, if you subscribe to this excellent service, and you notice you are running out of some of your products, you know the reason why…