Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Your Mileage May Vary...


Your face is one of a kind - a testament not only to your parents (and your parents parents, and your parents parents parents etc etc etc) but also to your life so far and your daily wear and tear. The contours and beard of your visage have been subtly moulded by forces internal and external... so off course it willl react differently to soaps, creams, blades, and aftershaves than my face does.

When you come down to it, that is one of the things I like about good old fashioned wetshaving: There is no One True Way™. Despite what the major international shaving industry giants try to tell you there is no one perfect combination of lather, blade and razor that will magically give everyone a perfect shave (and it's funny how the combo they try to push is always a little bit more expensive than what they tried to sell you last year... with a little less foam in the can, one more blade in the cartridge and one more pointless gimmick in the handle - most of it probably in the name of the all mighty bottom line).

No One True Way means you can, nay; must, experiment - not just with the equipment you use but more so with the ways you use your tools. It's a upwards spiral, really: Procure tools, learn to use them properly, find a better tool, relearn your skills, rinse and repeat - always improving, always learning, always getting better.

Building a consistently good lather was something it took me a while to master, but I still like to try out different ways of doing it. Some work better, some work less good - but I've found a few tricks that I've rolled into my 'everyday lather'. I am still searching for the perfect combo of blade and razor - right now I would say I'm 95% there, maybe a little less. That might be as close as I'll get, but again part of the fun is the experimentation. Brushes is a science all it's own - or perhaps closer to black magic. Some prefer badger, some swear to boar, some of us like horse the best... but synthetic is good too. And don't get me started on pre- and post-shave... all I know is that it's important.

What I'm driving at is that since you're one of a kind, your perfect blend of kit and technique will be one of a kind too. No one can tell you that what you're doing is wrong if it gives you a good shave - but many wetshavers out here will be happy to point you in the right direction if you can't get a good shave.

Your Mileage May indeed Vary... but that is the way it should be!

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