Truly exceptional shave today, and I’ll be running an experiment this week.
Following the shower, I rubbed a small dab of The Shave Den’s Pre-Shave Balm into my beard. This seemed to work once or twice before when I tried it, but then it didn’t seem to work, and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing different. So I decided another week on, week off, another week on experiment was in order. It certainly seems to be good stuff—from the description at the link:
Our unique, and highly rated preshave balm has a warm, rich scent of sandalwood and oakmoss.
Ingredients; Shea Butter, Lanolin, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E, and fragrance
When I then washed my beard with the glycerin soap (right now I’m using Whole Foods 365 glycerin soap), I didn’t try to really wash my beard but more to lay down a light layer of soapy lather by rinsing lightly, and then I immediately applied the lather.
The Ecotools brush has zero problem in loading from the Mitchell’s Wool Fat shaving soap. I do not wet the soap beforehand—seems completely unnecessary to me: I wet it with the wet brush when I start loading the brush. Vigorous and brisk brushing for about 15-20 seconds at most, and I bring the brush to my wet, washed beard and brush briskly and firmly to bring up the lather. Because the Ecotools is so soft, firm brushing feels quite good, and I think it’s the combination of firmness and brisk action that produces the interesting lather I get with this brush.
Perhaps because it’s so enjoyable, I notice that I prolong the lathering when I use this brush, which may help contribute to the quality of the shave. At any rate, after three passes with the Merkur 37G (now out of production) holding a Gillette 7 O’Clock SharpEdge blade, I had a totally BBS face. It felt terrific even when I rinsed it, and it feels terrific now.
A good splash of Pinaud Coachman aftershave, a gift from a reader, and I’m ready for the day.
Absolutely no trace of razor burn and again no nicks—will I ever be able to test that Clubman styptic?—and while I cannot be for sure that the Shave Den’s Preshave Balm was a significant factor—well, that’s the point of the 3-week-test protocol. (BTW, she does offer a menthol version of the balm as well.)