Thursday, 30 April 2015

Wetshaving newbie mistakes

As I was poking about the dusty corners of the interweb, I stumbled over an article over at The Art of Manliness that I had missed previously - "7 mistakes new wet shavers make".

It's noting earth shattering in the article, just mistakes we all have done at some point... but if you're new to the art of traditional wetshaving it's worth keeping them in mind. In short, the seven mistakes pointed out are:

  1. Poor prep - which is quite literary the first mistake many do. No, just splashing some water on your face isn't good enough... soap is needed to strip the oils and grease off.
  2. Lousy lather - which I was guilty of when I started. Canned goo and aerosol cream is even worse in my opinion, but what your face needs is a nice, creamy lather whipped up with a decent brush.
  3. Ignoring grain - hair grows in any which way on my face, and if you want to avoid shave bumps and rashes you need to with your hair.. or against it, for the ATG cut.
  4. Too much pressure - a bad habit most picks up while using a cart. If you're using any pressure at all when you're using a DE or an SE razor, you're probably using too much. Let the weight of the razor and the sharpness of the blade do the trick.
  5. Incorrect blade angle - something that can be tricky to figure out even for experienced wetshavers when switching razors. A "proper" razor do not have a swiveling head - all the movement that changes the angle is in your wrist.
  6. Shaving over unlubricatred skin - you got that luxurious lather on your brush for a reason. Use it, even for the second pass, and your face will thank you.
  7. Repeating strokes - well... I'm not sure I agree with this as a mistake. I'll always do at least two passes, and I do buff under my chin. In my opinion, repeating strokes is only a mistake if you use too much pressure or fail to prep or lather properly.
Everyone makes mistakes when we're starting out - but if you learn from them the reward is well worth it.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Shave of the day 29th April

Pre-shave: Warm water splash and rinse
Lather: Proraso Eucalyptus & Menthol Cream
Brush: Vie-Long #12705B natural white pure horse
Razor: Merkur 25C Open Comb with a Green Astra blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse and alum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb

A quick, one pass shave before rushing out the door - still better than a cart for me though

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Pondering

I find myself wanting a shavette - which is like a straight, but without the potential pitfalls of stropping.

I mean, what is the worst that could happen? All I have to do is to put the ambulance and blood bank on speed dial before I shave...

Monday, 27 April 2015

Shave of the day 27th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Crabtree&Evelyn Sandalwood
Brush: Semogue "The Shave Nook 2012 Limited Edition" mixed boar-badger brush
Razor: Merkur 25C Open Comb with a fresh Green Astra blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum Aftershave
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Friday, 24 April 2015

Shave of the day 24th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Mike's Natural Soap, Peppermint & Rosemary
Brush: Vie-Long #14033 mixed horse-badger brush
Razor: Merkur 39C Slant with a Polsilver blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum Aftershave
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Shaving lather moistening and heating device

When the canned goo was the hot new stuff, people realised that unlike brush and soap - which you could use with a scuttle - the hot new stuff soon got cold... and cold lather can make for a miserable shave.

However Mr Henry Allen Wilson came up with a cunning solution, built into the very can of goo that the multinationals were pushing, without the clumsy contraptions that previous patents had relied on
To overcome all such methods and means as set forth above or other means of adding moisture and heat to the lather as it is dispensed from a container for use, I propose by the means herein disclosed and described to produce in a confined area properly heated and moistened lather from the ordinary and usual aerosol can or bottle, adequate moisture laden lather without adding to the expense or complexity of the ordinary aerosol dispensing container or to the lather-producing liquid within the dispensing container.
Or, as I see it, he floated the cap in the sink one day and realised that if he could keep it from capsizing, any goo added to the cap would indeed be heated up. Since plastic is less dense than water, stability can be achieved by adding water ballast to the cup without sacrificing floatation. Squirt some goo on top and it will indeed be heated (and dampened, which may or may not be a good thing). Or as Mr Wilson states it:
By reference to the sectional view in FIG. 2 it will also be seen that the body of lather L rests on the surface of the hot water within the cup by which it is constantly moistened and heated during use. It will be obvious that the quantity of moisture may be varied as desired by merely adding the hot water from the cup as the shaver successively dips into the lather and water as he applies same to his beard in normal preshave fashion.
I suspect the downfall of the patent lays in the last cited sentence - most "modern" shavers will simply squirt goo in their hand or face and rub it around, not "dip into" the lather. And thus they'll have to deal with cold lather year round... poor fellows.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Shave of the day 22nd April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Arko Cool Mint shaving cream
Brush: Vie-Long #13051M unbleached pure horse
Razor: Merkur 39C Slant with a fresh Polsilver blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Thayers Original Witch Hazel with aloe vera
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Weird Japanese shaving advert


Okay... I think this officially can ble classified as a "What Is This, I Don't Even". For us westerners, Japanese pop-culture is weird enough to begin with... but this takes things one step beyond what I've seen so far. Still, he ought to have gotten a brush and lathered up on the way down...


Monday, 20 April 2015

Shave of the day 20th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Mama Bear's Awakening
Brush: Turkish No7
Razor: Merkur 39C Slant with a fresh Polsilver blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest 80 Below Aftershave
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Friday, 17 April 2015

Shave of the day 17th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Wet Shaving Products pre-production soap
Brush: Omega #10048 Boar Bristle
Razor: German (likely Merkur) Bakelite Slant with a Super-Max Stainless
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum Aftershave
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Art Nouveau Safety Razor


Sadly not mine, but... how does the modern, plastic razor compare to this work of craft?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Shave of the day 15th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Mike's Natural "Mixed" Soap
Brush: Turkish No6 brush
Razor: German (likely Merkur) Bakelite Slant with a Super-Max Stainless
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and BodyShop Maca Root Face Protector
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

More reasons for old fashioned shaving


Because we all know advertisements never lie to us, right? Right... ? Oh, they do, don't they? Bummer...

Still; even if old fashioned shaving wont get you any more girls, you'll get a better shave and a moment of zen in the morning. And two out of three ain't bad, as Meat Loaf told us back when I was a wee kid.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Shave of the day 13th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Citrus Soap
Lather: Last of my Orange Essential Oil Shave Soap
Brush: Vie-Long #12705B natural white pure horse
Razor: German (likely Merkur) Bakelite Slant with a fresh Super-Max Stainless
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum Aftershave
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Friday, 10 April 2015

Shave of the day 10th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Mama Bear's Awakening
Brush: Semogue "The Shave Nook 2012 Limited Edition" mixed boar-badger brush
Razor: Merkur 45C Bakelite with a Derby
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest 80 below
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Thursday, 9 April 2015

75 years ago today...

...the Third Reich invaded Norway. In my line of work such dates tends to be noticed, and my mind is on things not terrible related to shaving today.

April 9th 1940 marked the start of a two month long campaign that ended in the Norwegian Armed Forces in Norway surrendering. It was the longest campaign after being invaded in 1940 - Poland fell in four weeks, France in six... but Norway, with the numerically smallest, barely trained and even worse equiped army in Europe at the time held out for eight. Granted, our geography makes it easy to defend - but our soldiers and volunteers for the most part simply did not give up.

For those unfamiliar with this - in the grand scheme of things - minor part of history, here is a few links:
Operation WeserübungNorwegian CampaignHNoMS Pol IIIBattle of Drøbak SoundBattle of Hegra Fortress, Battle of VinjesvingenBattles of NarvikBattle of Dombås, and German occupation of Norway - Wikipedia
The king’s defiance, and chaotic escape and Norway to recall loss of freedom - NewsInEnglish.no

It sounds like a cliché, but freedom isn't free. Sometimes it must be protected against enemies from outside the nation, sometimes it must be protected against enemies from the inside the nation - but it must be protected regardless.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Shave of the day 8th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Citrus Soap
Lather: Mike's Natural Lemongrass & Eucalyptus Soap
Brush: Vie-Long #13051M purse horse brush
Razor: Merkur 45C Bakelite with a fresh Derby
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Proraso Liquid Cream After Shave
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The guy in this advertisement...

...is WAY too excited about shaving cream. Only a select few artisan shaving soaps warrants this level of wide eyed excitement.


Monday, 6 April 2015

Shave of the day 6th April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint Soap
Lather: Arko Cool Mint shaving cream
Brush: Vie-Long #14033 mixed horse-badger brush
Razor: Merkur 45C Bakelite with a fresh Derby
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest 80 below
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb

Friday, 3 April 2015

Shave of the day 3rd April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Citrus Soap
Lather: Orange Essential Oil Shave Soap
Brush: Vie-Long #12705B natural white pure horse
Razor: Phillips Philite with a Feather
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Thayers Original Witch Hazel
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Thursday, 2 April 2015

Shaving cream applicator

Canned goo can be messy... as can brushless creams. But fear not, Mr P Solaini's patented shaving cream applicator was invented to solve that problem - if a problem it is.
It is well known that when the spreading of lotions to the face or body requires the use of the hand the operation is both wasteful and extremely messy. Brushes have been used for this purpose, however they are not satisfactory in applying an even coating of the lotion or shaving cream to the face or body and, additionally, such brushes are extremely expensive.
So far Mr Solaini... my experience is that brushes are just the thing for applying an even layer, and there are a large number of great-but-inexpensive brushes available 50 years after the patent.
[B]rushes ... do not readily adapt themselves to the wide variety of lotions and shaving creams now available to the consumer. ... The gaseous bomb dispensed lotions, creams or shaving soaps are soft and require gentle application to the skin while the creams dispensed in jars or tubes are much thicker...
Okay, you got us there - a shaving brush is often not that great for the canned goo. So what is the solution?

...the present invention comprises various forms of a rubber or plastic material applicator which is fiat in conguration and either an integral handle member or an adjustable handle member cooperating with slot and gripping means on the applicator to provide different forces and angles of applying a spreading force from the hand to the spreading end of the applicator.
 Uhm... that is a spatula. I got several in my kitchen drawer but while it might be just the thing for not making a mess from the canned goo, I really don't see how I can use it to whip up a good lather from a tube of shaving cream.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Shave of the day 1st April

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Euclayptus Soap
Lather: Krampert's Finest Bay Rum Acadian Spice Shaving Soap
Brush: Semogue "The Shave Nook 2012 Limited Edition" mixed boar-badger
Razor: Phillips Philite with a fresh Feather
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Oil (Factory) and Big Red No7 Beard Comb