The vanishing-lather conundrum
I’ve decided to use my Barrister & Mann soaps this week, a different soap with a different sort of brush daily. Today’s brush is the superb R&B (Razor & Brush) limited edition unclipped-boar brush. I understand from comments that some prefer badger brushes to boar, but of those who enjoy boar brushes or simply enjoy variety in their brushes should, I think, give this brush serious consideration. (I was right about the bakelite slant, remember.) The softness of the brush tips is remarkable.
Obviously a brush with a long loft will feel different on the face than a brush with a short loft, and some have preferences of a narrow range: that is, they like only brushes with long, or medium, or short loft, and don’t like variation from that. My own idea is to approach the brush on its own terms and see what it can do, adapting my technique to the brush, whether a short-lofted dense silvertip (e.g., the Chubby 1, or the Duke 3, both of which I enjoy) or a brush of greater loft of whatever material. In any event, you must determine your own preferences, and the only way I know to do that is to try things: our expectations and assumptions regarding an experience we’ve yet to have are so often wrong that they must be assigned little weight. (Think of those who have not tried DE shaving and the expectations they have of the experience: “cut your face to ribbons,” “cannot get nearly so good a shave as from a Fusion cartridge,” and so on.)
At any rate, my experience with this brush has been excellent, except that today the lather in the brush totally died and was gone after the first pass. I suspect the soap, Hallowe’en by Barrister & Mann. I relathered with another soap and the lather easily persisted through the next two passes and was still going strong when I rinsed the brush. I’m not sure what happened: I certainly loaded the brush well—I was enjoying the action of the brush—and I’m wondering whether it could be some sort of reaction with the boar bristles. I’m going to try the soap again, using a synthetic brush.
My bakelite slant did a superb job on the two-day stubble: completely BBS finish with nary a nick. (So much for the supposed superiority of a Fusion shave.) A good splash of TOBS Shaving Shop aftershave, and the day belatedly begins.