Archive for the ‘Shaving’ Category
So far as I’m concerned, the Progress is head and shoulders above any other razor Merkur currently offers. Now take a look at how Bob Quinn has transformed the Progress. I do want one, but I think I may actually have enough razors. But any of you looking for a superb gift for some traditional shaver could do worse than one of these.
Another GEM razor with a snap-shut top but a different (and quite comfortable) handle.
I had no trouble lathering the Stirling Bonaparte—to the extent that I now wonder what the problem was before. (It was using too little water as I loaded the brush: I learned to add small amounts of water as I loaded.) Once you learn something, it’s hard to remember your previous difficulties, one reason many who are experts in their skills find it difficult to help novices: “Just do the natural thing,” they advise, forgetting that it’s now natural for them only after a considerable amount of experimentation and practice and experience.
Morris & Forndran makes (made?) a fine brush, but they are now difficult to find and rather expensive. I do like the two I have, though a Polo model (a kind of extreme Persian jar) would be nice.
The GEM felt very good and very comfortable and provided a BBS result with no problems at all: no nicks, no awkwardness. I think these will return to my regular rotation. It is true that I have to rinse the razor head noticeably more frequently, though.
A few sprays of Creed Aventus into my palm, and that slapped onto the face, and the weekend begins.
Very fine shave. Texas on Fire yielded an excellent lather. I forgot to time it, but I would guess the loading was perhaps 2-3 seconds longer because of adding a little water twice as I loaded the Vie-Long horsehair brush. The fragrance is very definitely smoke.
I was asked about SE razors, so I thought I’d bring out one today: the GEM G-Bar, as it’s commonly called—I have no idea of the actual model name. The angle is right when the flat head is held against the skin. One drawback: more frequent rinsing is required: you can’t just flip to the other side. Another drawback: very few choices of brand of blade.
That said, I did indeed get an excellent shave. I think I have the Blue Star GEM blades, but no indication on the container. Loading is a snap—that is, the top snaps down to hold the blade, rather than a threaded connection.
Three passes, rinse off the smoke (as is the case with almost all lather, the fragrance is to provide enjoyment during the shave and does not linger), and a then a good splash of Stetson Classic to finish the job.
With the role of “Popeye” Doyle played by the iKon Shavecraft #102 slant:
Still testing soap lathering for someone who is working out how to lather efficiently. I had thought that, Martin de Candre being a very generous soap with the lather, that the brush would load faster. I checked the time, then focused on loading the brush until I had it the way I wanted it, then checked again: 10 seconds. Perhaps that’s just how long it takes.
And when I worked the lather into my beard, focusing solely on that job until I had it the way I wanted it, and then checked: 30 seconds for that step. So maybe the result of experience is pretty much fixed by now.
Three passes with the #102, with the usual pleasure in shave and excellence in outcome, then a splash (several sprays into my palm) of l’Occitane Cade EDT to finish the job.
This is some degree a test shave: a WEdger reported that he could not get The Kraken to lather, so I took it out for a spin. And lonesomewhistle mentioned that he found the Whipped Dog knot (and I think he means the silvertip) softer than the Omega S-Series knot. Finally, another WEdger found that the Standard was too aggressive (and I assume he means “uncomfortable” here).
All this may simply fall under “YMMV,” but my own experience was different in each regard.
First, I find the S-Series knot noticeably softer than the Whipped Dog 22mm silvertip knot (set at standard depth) shown in the photo. Indeed, the S-Series knot is close to the Plisson in softness.
I had no trouble at all in creating a lather. I was going to time the loading and forgot to look at the clock until I started, but it seemed to be under 10 seconds. The lather was extremely good, and no problem in working it up. Fragrance is pleasant but light.
I use my Standard head (holding an Astra Superior Platinum blade) on a UFO handle: the heftier handle helps, IMO. Three passes to a BBS result, totally comfortable.
As you see, YMMV does affect many things.
A good splash of Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Sandalwood, and the day is well launched.
An extremely nice shave today. The lather was excellent, and I need to use my Omega 20102 more often: it’s broken in nicely and is really a good brush.
The Gillette Slim is particularly handsome because it was replated in rhodium, which looks better than the original nickel. And it has one of my few remaining Astra Keramik Platinum blades, so the shave was super-nice: easy cutting, BBS finish.
A little bit of Mickey Lee Sopaworks Italian Stallion aftershave milk—which I like a lot—and another day begins. I don’t know what the day is like in other parts, but here on the Central Coast it’s pretty nice: daytime temperature in the mid-60’s. The view from my balcony yesterday morning:
A wonderful shave this morning—and every day since making the 10-second load video I have been pleased that I did it, because it forced me to clean up and organize the bathroom. And it turns out that a well-organized bathroom is a pleasure and makes the shave even better. (I have been told this, but it’s a lesson I seem to lose and must relearn from time to time.)
Mr Pomp made a fine and instant lather with Latha, and the stainless Stealth with a Voskhod blade did a superb job—really, almost completely BBS after the second pass, but I did do a third.
A good splash of Stirling Vetiver and the week lurches into motion.