Archive for the ‘Shaving’ Category
What a great shave! Effortless, smooth, enjoyable.
I enjoyed yesterday’s Mystic Water shave stick so much that I went with a shave stick again today: the Valobra, which is quite good. My Ecotools brush I continue to enjoy: a very smooth and soft feel on the face, but also makes a very nice lather.
Three passes with the Stealth, which holds a SuperMax Titanium blade. No nicks, no burn, but absolutely smoothness at the end.
A good splash of Shulton Old Spice (from India, purchased at Bullgoose Shaving), and the work week gets a late start…
As you can see, my camera is starting to have focus problems. I may have to get a new one.
Still, an absolute perfect shave. I do like that Vie-Long horsehair shaving brush, and the lather from the Mystic Water Coconut shave stick was terrific: fragrant and thick and creamy.
My Above the Tie R1 baseplate (the moderate one) is fantastic—with an Astra Superior Platinum blade it removed my two-day stubble comfortably and effortlessly. As I wrote to them when I returned my H1 baseplate to exchange for an R2 (open-comb), “I’m extremely impressed by the R1’s shaving feel and performance: it somehow conveys a feel of precision: no slop in the razor ups your game a notch, I think. You want a shave that lives up to the razor.” I continue to be impressed by the ATT razor.
Then a good splash of Speick at the end to start the week in fine style.
Today’s shave exceptionally BBS, with no sign of a nick. Perhaps the RhysRazors Bacon did the trick. (It’s a special scent for August, and it’s but $5/tub for a good-sized puck.) I got a good lather with my Omega 20102 boar brush, though I did have to reload for the third pass. I tend to attribute this to user error, particularly on first use of a soap. We’ll see how it goes next time.
The bacon fragrance is strong and good. In fact, I’m now going to cook some bacon—perhaps a drawback of using this soap. The (very nice, IMO) UFO handle obscures the ingredients list, which reads:
Beef Tallow, Castor Oil, Stearic Acid, Potassium and Sodium Hydroxide, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Coconut Oil, Glycerin, Water, Sodium Lactate, Bentonite Clay, and Fragrance and/or Essential Oils.
Hmm. Hadn’t noticed the Bentonite Clay. I’m beginning to suspect that clay may be at the root of some of my lathering problems: soaps with clay include Stirling, for example.
This particularly UFO handle is one of my favorites, and here you see it with the Weber Polished Head, which holds an Astra Superior Platinum blade. It was a VERY comfortable shave—the Weber is definitely in the mild-aggressive category—and I would say that Standard and Weber razors are pretty much on a par, so you could get equal performance with either: choose the one you like.
Three passes, a final rinse, dry, and then a good splash of D.R. Harris Pink Aftershave. It’s going to be a good weekend, I can tell.
The Paisley lid is, you’ll note, upside down. Sorry about that.
The Mühle silvertip produced an extremely good lather from the Paisley shaving soap (with its octagonal puck). Indeed, all three of the vintage soaps produce a lather of the quality of the lather from D.R. Harris, and I imagine that is because D.R. Harris continues to use the shaving soap formula from back in the day—the day in which my vintage soaps were used. More competition required tip-top performance.
Nowadays shaving soap makers still face competition, but mostly it’s competition from canned foam, and in many companies hypercompetition rules, so that there is always an urgent drive to cut costs—thus reformulations to use cheaper ingredients. Oddly, those cheaper (to make: no change is retail price) soaps don’t work so well.
I would say of the modern commercial soaps D.R. Harris leads in value. (Creed’s shaving soap is perhaps better, but Creed’s shaving soap costs $82/tub.)
Three passes by the Stealth holding a newish Personna Lab Blue and my face was BBS with no trace of nick. A dab of D.R. Harris After Shaving Milk, and we start our vacation weekend. (The Wife is taking today as a vacation day, so her schedule is very nice: just finished a 4-day work week, starting a 4-day vacation, followed by another 4-day work week.)
A very fine shave today. My Rooney Style 3 Size 1 Super Silvertip made an extremely good lather—I’ve noticed that all three of my vintage soaps (which date back to the 1950’s or 1960’s, I believe) make extremely good lather. They knew what they were doing. And the fragrance is still quite good, though all three tend toward the standard lavender-oriented fragrance that seemed to be popular for shaving soaps.
Three passes with the iKon slant holding a Personna Lab Blue blade left my face perfectly smooth, with a tiny nick on the upper lip: no problem for My Nik Is Sealed.
A good splash of Hâttric aftershave, and the day is launched.
I should add that I just discovered the Shaving Buddy app for Android. I’ve not used it—no smartphone—but would be interested to hear from anyone who’s tried it.
Extremely nice shave today, despite a couple of nicks (easily fixed with My Nik Is Sealed).
Lenthèric has not made shaving soap for about 50 years, so that soap is very vintage indeed—and yet it easily made a wonderfully fragrant (and very good) lather with no effort. I used my Rooney Style 2 Finest, and the lather was a pleasure in itself.
Three passes with the iKon DLC slant holding a Personna Med Prep blade (which I’ll replace, given the nicks), and then a good splash of Pinaud Coachman to set me up for a productive day.
And, regarding yesterday’s Lilac Vegetal: it turns out to have (for me) quite a pleasant fragrance after the dry down: within an hour, it was smelling good, and it persisted through the day.
A very nice shave, overall.
Huntlee is the American brand name for Wickham shaving soap. I noticed that this one was much smoother and firmer than the Garden Mint Wickham I had tried before, and when I went to load Mr Pomp, it did not lather at all. I then figured out that what I took to be the soap was a cardboard cap for the soap. I removed it and discovered that the soap has the same soft texture as my previous experience with Wickham, and the brush loaded easily.
I got a very nice lather but the Southsea Spray fragrance was too light for me to detect.
The Lutz slant is NOS that I just received. The handle bears a striking resemblance to the Merkur 1904 handle, but I believe this pattern was pretty common at the time. I used a Personna Med Prep and got a good shave, though this razor is not so mild in its feel as the Walbusch bakelite slant or the Merkur 37C. But perhaps I have not found the right brand of blade for it—plus it generally takes a few shaves to find your groove with a new razor.
Still, the result is a flawless BBS.
The aftershave is an experiment. Pinaud’s Lilac Vegetal is roundly disliked by many, but those who favor it advise ignoring the smell fresh from the bottle: what you want is how it smells after the drydown, after an hour or so. (Obviously, fragrances are very much YMMV, both in appreciating (or not) certain fragrances and in how they respond to your individual skin chemistry. So my conclusions may not hold for you.)
At any rate, the fragrance out of the bottle didn’t seem all that bad to me, and now, about half an hour after my shave, the fragrance does indeed seem changed. I will probably use this one fairly regularly.
UPDATE: The fragrance does indeed improve as the top notes depart. Interesting. It reminds me of those blades (Sputnik was one, as I recall, and perhaps Zorrik) that shave better on the second shave than the first, presumably because the first shave abrades some coating from the cutting edge. Second time charm, as they almost say.