Remember a few days back I posted an article about Grooming – How much is too much?? If you don’t, then please have a quick glimpse through that so that what you read next here might blow your mind (yeah that’s exaggeration, but you would love it).
How often have you men used a female brand or at times even their products in your grooming regime?? Never?? Ok I don’t buy lies so be honest. Once, twice or still using? Don’t shy away, that has nothing to do with questioning your masculinity. The problem is we men lack all-for-man brands, products that are for us - to groom our body, our hair, our beard and so on. But as they say, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and thus today your horrific shopping decisions come to an end. No more shying away while you receive your grooming products, ever again.
The bro-saviour is called Ustraa. (Yeah the one you have been seeing often on Facebook)
As always, like all the lovely brands that want us to be honest about their product-review, the dialect started. They sent product. I said I write if I like. I use the products, AND BANG – I love it and I review them. So without bragging any further, let’s start the rituals.
Brand Name: Ustraa
Mother Brand: Happily Unmarried
What is Ustraa: Grooming products - just for Men
Ustraa, a Hindi slang and much of Bollywood’s gangsta’ armour, is technically a razor blade used for a clean shaved face. Hence, the brand name sounds quite apt and idiosyncratic thinking of its association with the grooming industry.
Before making up my mind on what to get for the review I went through the array of products they have on their website. The first thing that strikes you is the way they have done their branding – for products as well as the brand. For a quirky and branding enthusiast like me, it was appealing yet subtle.
Shaving Cream | After Shave | Facewash | Body Wash | Mooch & Beard Tonic | Beard Wash | Hair Wax | Travel Kit
"Not tested on animals, Only on rascals." (Click here for the Rascal’s Guide)
So after a lot of thought and strategies, I chose the products based on my need and the foresight of having an amazing moustache before Movember. So I chose:
- Body Wash-Old School
- Mooch & Beard Tonic
- Ustraa Travel Kit
Body Wash-Old School
If you would have read my review about AllGoodScents, you would remember that for my body fragrance I prefer lemon as one of the ingredients in the products I use. Old School is one of those. The flavour is strong and contains lemon oil which reduces excess skin oil and increases lustre of dull skin.
One the first go, you might not like to smell it directly from the bottle. It’s strong, smells like a medicated drug and might just turn you off. WAIT !!! Remember that it is a body wash and not a flower that you just smell. Old School does wonders in the shower. A little bit on the LooFaah (again, a girly product but chill its unisex nowadays), a little rub on the body and the Old School is just too rejuvenating. The menthol as one of the ingredient in the body wash gives an amazing fragrance and feel when it comes in contact with water. Natural & Refreshing.
The body wash is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Paraben free (these are widely used inexpensive chemical found in many mainstream personal care products) which means that this is completely chemical-free and harmless product. The ingredients like Almonds, Aloe-Vera & Lactic acid assures that the skin stays healthy, smooth and irritation-free.
Almond and Honey extract. Lemon oil.
Aloe Vera, Aqua, Decyl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Celquart 240C, Elfacos GT 2825, Basil Extract & Essential Oils.
200ml of pure love.
Mooch & Beard Tonic
Yes. TONIC !!! Similar to Gin-n-Tonic, that gives you strength, charm and next-level of confidence. But this you don’t drink. This is for those alpha men, the ones who take an oath to put their loved ones after their Moustache & Beard.
Mooch & Beard Tonic is a must-have or rather say lust-have for men who know the importance of both – facial hair as well as the benefits to groom them. I have heard that men with beard get laid more than the clean shaved ones (I am joking but I won’t be shocked if that true). This little tonic bottle has oil, magic-oil that has enough juice to make your mane legendary. After the rejuvenating Old School long-shower, damp your beard a bit and apply this oil thoroughly. The beauty behind any well-groomed beard or moustache is one big word - CARE !!! Carefully, with love oil the hair gently and turn your moustache up. This oil nourishes your facial hair and keeps that odour-free and shiny.
Silicone Fluid, IPM, Easttosil, Cyclomethicone, Coconut Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Jojoba Oil & Essential Oils.
35gms of pure lust.
Ustraa Travel Kit
Often called the dopp bag by many fashion brands and men-style bloggers across the globe, Ustraa Travel kit is more than that. You can actually make your better half envy you while you pack all your grooming products, like all, in this little kit. Having 2-partition zipper one can store liquids and dry items separately or oral and body needs in different compartment. The canvas fabric and leather linings are enough to shout “ Yes, that’s mine.”
While we just don’t review the products for the sake of it, we actually interview the founders/ co-founder’s/ COO of the brands for our readers so asto get a better insight of the vision and passion put behind these brands.
So here’s the interview with Mr. Rajat Tuli, Director and Co-founder of Happily Unmarried, the brand behind Ustraa.
QUICK Q&A WITH MR. RAJAT TULI
1. Happily Unmarried - a quirky name with quirkier products on the e-shop, what made you think of Ustraa?
USTRAA came up because we realized there was no one offering quality grooming products to men. So after taking care of his bar, his home, his supply oft-shirts, we at happily unmarried decided to help our brothers look and smell better.
2. It’s interesting that you guys had balls, like literally, to put in market a grooming product that says “Just for Men”. What were your 3 big challenges to launch Ustraa?
Our main challenges were:
- Create products which are comparable in quality to the best in the world.
- Make sure we let everyone that this is only for men( that we can see has worked).
- Get people to buy it ( the response so far has been overwhelming)
. Honestly, just like your bottles even your product’s fragrance gives a strong medicated feel, not that it’s a complain but why so?
When we spoke to men one feedback we got was that men are sick of the sweet smelling feminine fragrances that are imposed on them. We decided to use essential oils to add the flavor. We have tried to create fragrances of manly associations so there is a smoke house flavor and a badass sexy variant.
4. Yes, the chemical friendly products, but isn’t it "great fragrance" that the larger consumer audience asks for?
- We are working on a lot more fragrances to launch. A lemon or a musk or a confused fragrance and call it " classic" is not what we want to do. We are developing signature fragrances and you will be pleasantly surprised with what is in store.
5. You guys are off-beat, with your products as well as the branding, so what’s next in store and please don’t tell me it’s : “Bindi” or “Jhumka” ora just for women e-shop (no seriously, women have had a great time shopping now it’s about Men)
Well we want to add a lot more products including a line for men who are expecting action. Happily Unmarried will continue to grow and we are also doing movie merchandising. So life is busy but good.
6. Lastly, if you were to recommend Ranveer Singh or Wolverine 3 keys products from your showcase, what would they be?
For Ranveer Singh, a quirky Bollywood Actor:
- Hair wax cause he is big on hair styling/
- The brain freeze body wash so that he smells as sexy as he looks.
- The smoke house facewash to get him looking all fresh and recharged in 30 seconds
For Wolverine, fictional superhero on Marvel Comics:
- The beard & mooch tonic to nourish those sexy side burns
- The beard-wash to make them even better
- The old school body wash for the occasional shower that he may take.
What is Happily Unmarried?
Happily Unmarried was anti established in 2003 with no vision and no business plan. Actually at some point they did make a business plan but according to that they should have retired 5 years ago.
They make fun products, do music festivals, work with corporates when they want to do interesting work and lately they have been doing a lot of projects involving branding, communication, interiors, marketing all rolled into one (they are trying to think of a name for someone who does all that but no luck yet).
What Is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)? What does Ustraa use instead?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (commonly known as SLS) is a widely used and inexpensive chemical found in many mainstream personal care products such as facewash, bodywash, shaving cream, shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, soaps, and detergents. SLS is a detergent and surfactant that in turn creates lather. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is so inexpensive that it’s found in a number of industrial cleansing agents. This Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is exactly the same as what you would find in a car wash or even in a garage, where it is used to degrease car engines.
Instead of SLS, Ustraa uses Decycl Glucoside and Coco glucoside. They are 100% natural and chemical free.
What Is Parabens and what does Ustraa use instead?
Parabens are chemicals which have preservative qualities. They are frequently used in personal care and health care products. Presence of parabens in personal care products increases product shelf life. Some medical researchers believe that Parabens interfere with healthy endocrine system functioning. Everyone who uses Paraben-laced ingredients and products should be aware of the potential downside of using these chemicals in personal and health care products.
Instead Ustraa chose to use Phenoxyethanol and Triethylene Glycol (TEG) which are relatively gentle preservative that is considered non-irritating and a great solvent used in personal care products due to its natural properties. It has an excellent resistance to acids and oxidizing agents, respectively.
"I am too picky when it comes to fragrance and body care products, more because I have a bad skin history and now make sure I use products that hurt me less. Also, I prefer products that are specifically designed and produced by men because I believe that men and women have a different reaction and tolerance for their skin. Beyond that, I often order my hair styling-grooming products from international websites but seeing the availability of the similar kinds by Ustraa, I guess I will be saving some on shipping. Personally I loved Ustraa, as a brand and for their products. Their packing and graphic style is too global and neat, something one can relate to that of Aesop. I would surely ask you men to try them once and glamorise your bathroom shelves”