Friday, 28 June 2013

Shave of the day 28th June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Derby shave stick
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE
Razors: Lord Racer and YUMA, both with a Zorrik Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Bowl or face?

When you boil it down, there are two ways to build lather; in a bowl or on your face.

Both have pros and cons, but the main difference is the dreaded YMMV - different strokes for different folks, it comes down to what you prefer.
  • Doing it in a bowl tends to minimize the variables, and lets you get a better grip of what's going on.. if you need more or less water, more or less soap, more or less vigorous pumping etc, etc, etc.
  • Doing it on your face lets you get the lather right into the follicles and gives you a nice little face massage as well... but can be messy if you're brush is too wet.
For the most part I'm a bowl latherer through and through - so it's kinda funny that this week have seen me use nothing but shave stick and face lathering...

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Shave of the day 26th June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: GzD shave stick
Brush: Omega 50014
Razors: Lord Racer and YUMA, both with a Zorrik Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Quick review of Derby Shave Stick

I tend to buy more soaps than I technically need - just like I have more razors and brushes than I can get away with - because variation is the spice of life, and I consider shaving to be a hobby and not a chore.

The downside is that it sometimes takes a long time for me to use a soap enough times to make up my mind on what I think about it, so this little review has been long in coming...

The Derby shave stick is, like most shave sticks, easy to use. It makes lots of lather and smells okay - mostly of soap - but it isn't quite up with the Arko as far as glide and cushion goes, it's more like the GzD in that respect. It's hard like the Arko, not soft like the GzD, and comes wrapped in paper.

If you can't handle the scent of the Arko, the Derby is a good substitute for an inexpensive, efficient shave stick. If you can handle it though, go for the Arko stick.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Shave of the day 24th June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Arko shave stick
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE
Razors: Lord Racer and YUMA, both with a fresh Zorrik Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Friday, 21 June 2013

Shave of the day 21st June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Arko Cool Mint cream
Brush: Omega 50014
Razors: Merkur 985CL travel razor with a Wilkinson Sword blade
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, tiny alum stick and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Travelling - but for once not on the Go

Thursday, 20 June 2013

To soak or not to soak...

...that is the question of traditional lather making.

There is a lot of talk about soaking: Should you do it? What brushes should you do it with? For how long? Hot, warm or cold water?

Personally I soak all my brushes, for about five to ten minutes, since then I have a consistent baseline to do a bit of contrast and compare. YMMV off course so if you are happy with just dunking yours in water before shaving, that is great as well.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Shave of the day 19th June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Lea shave stick
Brush: Omega 50014
Razors: Merkur 985CL travel razor with a Wilkinson Sword blade
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, tiny alum stick and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Travelling - but for once not on the Go

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

First impression of the Omega 50014 travel brush

Sometimes I'm on the Go, with the GoBag, other times I travel more leisurely and can bring more and other shave gear. It is for the later I invested in a Omega 50014 travel brush.
Being a travel brush, the 50014 comes with a tube to protect it while in on the go. The tube can also double as the handle while using the brush, but if you don't mind a slightly undersized handle you can just put it aside and not worry about it - I don't use the tube as a handle, since I tend to face lather when not at home (at home I'm a dyed-in-the-wool bowl latherer...)

I broke the brush in soon after getting it as per what seems to the recommended way; whipping up lather in my hand, then rinse and repeat. Letting it dry and then doing again a few times broke it in nicely, leaving me with a brush that is soft with plenty of backbone and just enough scritch for my tastes. Once broken in it behaves as a shaving brush should - ie.: it makes lather out of shaving creams and soaps, and helps you put the result on your face... in a most enjoyable way, off course.

The brush is a little on the small side, but that's not really an issue when face lathering - it still holds plenty enough for two passes and then some. Overall I'm quite satisfied with the Omega 50014 so far. If you're looking for a travel brush and don't mind it drying slower than a synth would, I suggest getting one of these.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Shave of the day 17th June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Lea shave stick and Arko Cool Mint Cream
Brush: Omega 50014
Razors: Merkur 985CL travel razor with a Wilkinson Sword blade
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, tiny alum stick and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Travelling - but for once not on the Go

Friday, 14 June 2013

Shave of the day 14th June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Orange Soap
Lather: Prairie Creations Walters Shaving Soap
Brush: Semogue TSN LE 2012
Razors: Merkur 39C slant and Parker 22R TTO, both with a ASCO Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest LE 80 Below

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Shaving videos

My favorite wetshaving forum has it's own YouTube channel - why not check it out?

Plenty of instructive videos, lots of tips to pick up.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Shave of the day 12th June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Orange Soap
Lather: Mike's Natural Lime
Brush: Vie Long 14033
Razors: Merkur 39C slant and Parker 22R TTO, both with a ASCO Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Pondering shavettes

I am seriously considering dipping my toes in the pool of straight razors, despite the possibility of reenacting scenes right out of Sweeney Todd in my own bathroom. Just to be clear up front; I'm not planning to give up on DE-razors - just pondering the possibility of expanding my horizon a bit. With that in mind I'm looking at shavettes, in particular the 'butterfly' ones from Parker (SR-series).

I raised the issue in a thread on my favorite shave forum, and it seems shavettes is the redheaded stepchild of the shaving world... double so the cheaper ones. It is hard to make up ones mind on the suitability and quality of a razor when no one talks about it - even if the few and far between reviews I've found online seems generally favorable towards the Parkers shavettes.

One suggestion - from a fellow shaver I respect quite a bit - was that I should go full out and head straight for, er, straights; complete with the honing, stropping and the whole nine yards.

Another suggestion - again from shavers I respect - was to invest in a Feather SS shavette; which looks good, has raving reviews and costs five to eight times more than the Parkers.

As much as I want to "embrace the colourful ritual" (which is nice turn of phrase by the way) it's impractical for me; perhaps when I'm retired I can devote that time, but as things stand now I can't. It's a bit of a bummer to realise that, admittedly.

I really cant justify spending a hundred US or more on a proper straight and strop, since even the cheapest option at Whipped Dog runs to 80USD for a straight and a strop - plus shipping and VAT. Double so when I don't know if I'll like it or not... By the same logic, I can't justify spending that amount on a Feather SS either - at least not until I know I can use and get a good shave out of a shavette.

I guess that for now I keep pondering.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Shave of the day 10th June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Mama Bear's Awakening
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE
Razors: Merkur 39C slant and Parker 22R TTO, both with a fresh ASCO Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Prototype Menthol

Friday, 7 June 2013

Shave of the day 7th June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Lavender Soap
Lather: Col Conk's bay Run
Brush: Turkish No7
Razors: Merkur 39C slant and Parker 22R TTO, both with a Laser Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Gillette Toggle

A short video about a rare but interesting razor - well worth watching:

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Shave of the day 5th June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Lavender Soap
Lather: Razorock XXX
Brush: Vie Long 14033
Razors: Merkur 39C slant and Parker 22R TTO, both with a Laser Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, and Aubrey Men's Stock North Wood After Shave (sample)

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Things to remember about traditional wetshaving as a hobby

YMMV.
Experiment.
Find what works for you.
Experiment more.
Enjoy the journey.
Make mistakes, and learn from them.
Keep experimenting.
High end and bargain bin can be just as good.
Try a new soap / blade / brush / razor.
Try your very first soap / blade / brush / razor again.
Embrace your Acquisition Disorders - within reason.
Shaving is most enjoyable when it is about the process, not the goal.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Shave of the day 3rd June

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Mike's Peppermint & Cedarwood Soap (sample)
Brush: Semogue TSN LE 2012
Razors: Merkur 39C slant and Parker 22R TTO, both with a Laser Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, alum and Krampert's Finest Prototype Menthol