Archive for the ‘Shaving’ Category
This is what shaving is supposed to be: a pre-shave beard wash with MR GLO, then a wonderful lather made by Mr Pomp and VintageBladesLLC.com’s own shaving soap. The fragrance of the soap is a very traditional adult English shaving soap fragrance—none of the novelty fragrances that can be fun for a shave every now and then. This is your steady daily shave fragrance, a blend of lavender and other notes that I cannot recognize but that have an immediate reassuring familiarity.
The iKon DLC Slant with a still newish Personna Lab Blue blade, carefully loaded, performed flawlessly. I was pretty much BBS at the end of the second pass, but continued with the third because why not perfection? Not a trace of a nick, no irritation or burn, just flawlessly smooth skin.
I applied a good splash of Captain’s Choice aftershave, and the week begins.
Extremely nice shave today. I got an instant fine lather with Tiki Spice Islands—not the common “spice” fragrance, but somehow sweeter. Smelled something like a cookie.
The Simpson Persian Jar is a fine brush, and I was mightily pleased with the shave from that Rotbart vintage razor. When I first got it, I had trouble finding the angle, but now it shaves like a dream. The blade was an Astra Superior Platinum.
A good splash of Booster, and I’m back struggling with the computer: trackpad is dying fast. I’m using a wireless mouse now.
Something about digital cameras: autofocus seems to go off in time. I have no idea how to reset it. This happened to another digital camera, and it is frustrating. I hate to buy a new camera just because the autofocus doesn’t work (and manual focus is lame on new cameras), but I also hate to get unfocused photos.
I think you can make out the HJM brush, and the soap is Martin de Candre, so: great lather, easily achieved. Then three passes with the Shavecraft #101 with a Personna Lab Blue blade, a splash of Dominica, and I’m getting ready for the weekend.
A BBS result from an enjoyable shave—what could be better?
Although I do not have sensitive skin, I do enjoy this shaving soap, whose only fragrance comes from the (interesting) ingredients. And I’m developing a theory about shaving soap with Bentonite clay. I’m getting a strong impression—and I plan to investigate this more systematically—that it is more difficult to lather shaving soaps that contain Bentonite than those that do not. Moreover, with soaps containing Bentonite, it seems important to use this method of making lather: load the damp brush on at length, which loads the brush with a soapy paste, and then brush your hand briskly and at some length, adding small driblets of water and working those into the developing lather.
When I’ve attacked Bentonite soaps in my usual way—using a wet brush, holding tub on its side over the sink so excess water can spill away, and brushing briskly and firmly until bubbles being formed are microscopic, and then about 2-3 seconds more—the lather seems to wither and collapse by the third pass. Yet on non-Bentonite soaps this method works extremely well (e.g., D.R. Harris, HTGAM, Strop Shoppe, Honeybee Soaps, et al.).
I need to start a Bentonite shelf and investigate this more systematically, and I’m certainly interested in learning of your experience in this area.
This time—damp brush, palm-lathering—I had ample lather for all three passes, and the Parker 92R, while not quite so comfortable or efficient as the Parker 29C from yesterday, did a very nice job with a new Astra Superior Platinum blade.
A splash of Fine’s Clean Vetiver, and the day is launched.
A very fine shave, using tools from vendors I seldom use. Semogue brushes are beloved by many, and Semogue does explicitly grade their boar hair, an advantage. However, a succession of poor-quality brushes soured me on the brand. Nonetheless, this Semogue Owners Club brush is working fine, and I really should give their current product line a try. The brush made a very nice lather indeed from the Wickham English Rose shaving soap.
As with Semogue, some of the early Parker razors were of poor quality, and I drifted on to other brands whose workmanship and performance was better. But a learning organization typically is involved in some sort of program of continuous product improvement, and the Parker razors I’ve purchased more recently have been quite good. In particular, the open-comb razor shown is extremely comfortable and also quite efficient—one of the mild-aggressive sort—and while those are generally pricey, this razor is less than $30, which puts it in the price range most novices will accept. And it really is quite a good razor. The blade today is a SuperMax Titanium, and the result was BBS.
A splash of Coral Skin Food, and we’re halfway through the week.
A very nice shave indeed. I used this soap from Honeybee Soaps because someone mentioned on Wicked_Edge that he could not get this soap to lather, even when using distilled water. I was surprised, since I regularly get good lathers from Honeybee Soaps, so I took this one down and used the Wet Shaving Products Baroness silvertip since the guy having the problem was using a silvertip.
The Baroness has a very nice soft knot—that is, it is easy to smush. I recently learned that some use “soft” to refer only to the tips themselves, not the brush as a whole—thus a ball bearing wrapped in a soft fabric is “soft” with this definition, as is the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. And yet I don’t think of those as “soft.” Both meanings seem to be common use:
: easy to press, bend, cut, etc. : not hard or firm
: smooth and pleasant to touch
I was using the first meaning, he was using the second. (I personally would say that the brushes tips were soft to mean only the tips, and when I saw the brush is soft, I mean the whole knot. But it’s easy to see how the term is ambiguous, so I’m now using “easy to smush” to indicate a soft brush. Of course, even a soft brush is resilient: if you smush the brush, it does spring back into shape. But some brushes are undoubtedly easier to smush than others.)
At any rate, a fine lather ensued. I studied what I was doing to see how it might go awry, and the prime suspect is insufficient loading. It will be interesting to see whether he can figure out the source of the problem.
I loaded the Tech with a Feather blade (mild razor requires sharp blade) and got a very nice BBS shave. A splash of Saint Charles Shave’s Savory Rose, and the week lurches on.
Today’s shave was, naturally enough, excellent: a two-day stubble and a slant, in this case the Stealth holding a new Personna Lab Blue blade. The focus today is travel brushes. First is the Mühle travel brush, this one with badger knot, shown above assembled for use. The shave stick, from How To Grow a Moustache, is quite good. It seems to be a gift—I don’t recall ordering it—and the lather was splendid.
Three passes, a splash of D.R. Harris’s pink aftershave, and the week is launched.
I like the Mühle travel brush shown because it is quite compact when packed for travel, but does have a large opening above the knot to facilitate drying. However, it is made of aluminum and I wanted to get one of nickel-plated silver, so I recently ordered one from Mühle. Here they are side by side:
As you see, the nickel-plated one is noticeably larger. Worse, the design has been changed. Here are the two brushes disassembled:
On the left, the small piece in front serves a dual function: you remove it to extract the knot, then you screw it back in place on the base tube, and the knot screws into the opening in the middle.
On the right, the small cap in front serves one function only: to keep the knot inside the case. The knot on the nickel-plated brush is Mühle’s siverfiber synthetic. The brush knot screws into the opening at the top of the base.
The new brush is not only larger than needed, it’s quite clear that the five small holes do not allow for much drying compared to the single large hole on the left. Here are the brushes with the knots in the handles
And finally assembled:
In the brush on the left, you can (barely) see the knot exposed. In the brush on the right, you see the metal base on which the knot is mounted.
On the whole, the aluminum travel brush seems much better. I can’t imagine why they did not use the same dual purpose threaded closure design as on the black brush for the nickel-plated version.