Archive for the ‘Shaving’ Category
The Beluga Razor is an interesting variant. It is a single-edged razor that uses a double-edged blade, so that when the edge dulls, you switch the blade to give it a second life.
I have gradually learned not to give too much weight to my expectations, since experience so frequently contradicts them. So take my worries about the razor with a grain of salt.
I am disinclined to abandon control of blade angle. With a pivoting head, you lose any chance of controlling blade angle, and I have found that I vary blade angle during my shave. For example, for the little depressions underneath my jawline on either side of the chin, I increase the angle. (I didn’t even know I was doing it until I shaved with a Gillette Guard, a single-blade cartridge razor with a pivot: I tried to increase the angle in the usual way, by moving the handle, and nothing happened: the pivot killed the maneuver.)
It also seems as though the head may be too large for shaving (say) the upper lip: the cutting edge is at the bottom of a relatively large assembly. Once I shave with the razor, though, I’ll know for sure.
At any rate, it’s an interesting razor and the prototype seems very well made.
A very fine shave this morning with a lesson learned.
Today is the second Honeybee Soaps sample. I really like the fragrance on this one, but I’m a sucker for vanilla. (One thing we do know about fragrances: they are very much YMMV.)
I used two brushes, both synthetic, to test lather. Almightywhacko likes that Omega brush a lot, and indeed I bought it on his recommendation. The HJM synthetic I’ve had for a while, and a more recent version (not quite so soft and fluffy) is now what’s sold.
No one could say that the Omega brush shown is soft or fluffy: the bristles are extremely resilient and practically snap back into place. When loading the brush, I use some pressure to splay the brush open a bit. Not with the Omega: the knot strongly resists splaying and actually seems to draw itself together. You can also feel this almost-rigidity on the face. I do see how some could like such a brush, and I’m pretty sure those would dislike the HJM I have: a nice, very soft, fluffy knot that splays open under very mild pressure on the soap.
Both brushes quickly worked up a good lather, and I do see that this lather is not so dense and creamy as lather from (say) a D.R. Harris shaving soap, or a Synergy soap from HTGAM, or one of the Strop Shoppe Special Edition soaps—but of course those also cost substantially more. Stainless steel is better for a razor head than a chrome-plated zinc alloy—but stainless steel costs substantially more. If the cost tradeoff is relevant, then I continue to find that I get a good lather from Honeybee soaps. So far.
I read this account of discoveries made in switching to a slant just this morning, and as I shaved this morning I was extremely conscious of pressure—I really tried using too little pressure, as I have so often recommended to others. And lo! not one nick or even trace of a nick. No weepers. Just a BBS face.
I think what I had done was learn a good pressure for most DE razors—light, but effective—and in using the iKon used that same pressure. It was light enough that I had few problems, but still I kept getting one or two nicks more frequently than is good. Today I realized I was using noticeably lighter pressure than usual with this razor—and no problems. I wonder….
Seriously, it seems another instance of an old story: “I thought I was using light pressure, but then I found I could use even less pressure, and the problem vanished.” Live and learn.
A good splash of Very V, and I’m getting a late start. Still, I’m very excited for tomorrow’s shave: light pressure. No, lighter than that.
And so far the lather is still pretty good for me.
I ordered the samples shown above after reading this review of one shaver’s experience with Honeybee Soaps shaving soap. I decided to do the test because his experience was completely different than my own. The YMMV effect (“your mileage may vary”) is strong in shaving, but it does not often lead to such contrasting results, so I thought perhaps the formulation had changed: thus the samples. I will use a different sample each day, and today I began with Double Chocolate because, when in doubt, go for chocolate. (Also go for chocolate when you have no doubts, to celebrate.)
And here’s the shave. I used the Omega 11047 boar+badger brush because I was talking about how good it is. And lo! I got an excellent lather: fragrance, fine-grained, and effective.
Why the difference? It could be water, since soaps are sensitive to the hardness of water, but the reviewer said he was unable to get a good lather even in using distilled water. So probably it is not the water. It could be the brush (I don’t know what brush he was using), so I’ll use a variety of brushes this week: horsehair tomorrow. And, of course, it could be simply a matter of practice: over the years, I’ve made a lot of lathers. But Honeybee Soaps have always worked well for me, even at the beginning of my reacquaintance with traditional shaving.
I got a very fine shave with the iKon DLC slant (shown with the SE handle). I did get 3 very small weepers on the upper lip, but more and more I’m thinking that the nicks I occasionally get with this razor are due to a skill issue. I’m going to be using it more to see.
Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte as an aftershave balm, and this time I very much noticed (and liked) the fragrance.
Stay tuned for the entire Honeybee Soaps series.
A very nice shave today. The Whipped Dog silvertip with the optional ceramic handle did a fine job with Wickham’s Garden Min shaving soap, which is a soft soap—you can see where the soap stuck to the lid and got lifted when lid was removed.
The ATT with the R1 baseplate did a fine job: it has both comfort (the feeling that the razor is safe and will not cut you) and efficiency (face is largely BBS after the second pass).
A splash of Shulton Old Spice—which always heats up my skin slightly—and the weekend gets underway.
Extremely smooth and pleasant shave today, with no nicks or other problem.
The shave began well with the wonderful Rusty-Nail fragrance of Sweet Gale. Mr Pomp created a fine lather immediately, and then the Standard with a SuperMax Titanium blade cut away the stubble. I read where some find this razor has a very narrow angle of efficacy, but I’ve never had a problem finding the angle: for me, it is quite natural and quite easy to use.
I did notice that the blade was not cutting quite so easily as before, so at the end of the shave, I swapped in a new blade.
A good splash of Aventus by Creed, and the work week draws to a close.
A very nice rose-fragranced shave today. Very fine lather, and the ATT with a SuperMax Platinum blade did a fine job with a couple of nicks. I’m going to try a different brand in it.
A slash of Saint Charles Shave Savory Rose, and the day begins. The brush is a Rooney Style 3 Size 1. It says “Super Badger” and is sold as their “Super Silvertip.” Quite a nice brush.