Friday, 31 July 2015

Shave of the day 31st July

Pre-shave: Shanghai Yaozao soap
Lather: Col. Conk Bay Rum shaving soap
Brush: Turkish No7 'horse hair'
Razor: GEM Micromatic Clug Pruf with a GEM SE blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and BodyShop Maca Root Energetic Face Protection
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Popeye shaving muggs

"...I won't go out with either of you roughnecks until you get a shave and a haircut!!"

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Shave of the day 29th July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Lavender
Lather: Derby Lavender cream
Brush: Omega #10048 Boar Bristle
Razor: GEM Micromatic Clug Pruf with a GEM SE blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb

Monday, 27 July 2015

Shave of the day 27th July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Peppermint
Lather: Krampert's Finest Bay Rum Acadian Spice Shaving Soap
Brush: Turkish No6 'horse hair'
Razor: GEM Micromatic Clug Pruf with a GEM SE blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Friday, 24 July 2015

Shave of the day 24th July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Peppermint
Lather: Mama Bear's Awakening
Brush: Vie-Long #12705B natural white pure horse
Razor: Vintage Ever-Ready1914 SE with a GEM SE blade
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, 23 July 2015

Shaving as a lifesaver

A stick of Erasmic shaving soap with a German bullet embedded in it. Allegedly carried by a private of the 2nd Middlesex Regiment during World War One, who had his life saved by it.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Shave of the day 22nd July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Eucalyptus
Lather: Mike Natural Pine&Cedarwood soap
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE mixed boar-badger
Razor: vintage Ever-Ready1914 SE with a GEM SE blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Thayers Original Witch Hazel
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb

Monday, 20 July 2015

Shave of the evening 20th July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Lavender
Lather: Derby Lavender cream
Brush: Vie-Long #14033 mixed horse-badger
Razor: vintage Ever-Ready1914 SE with a GEM SE blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb

Friday, 17 July 2015

Shave of the day 17th July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Peppermint
Lather: The last of my Arko Cool Mint shaving cream
Brush: Vie-Long #13051M unbleached pure horse
Razor: GEM 1912 SE with a GEM SE blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Proraso Liquid Cream After Shave
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Brushes - on a budget!

To quote myself from a post I made over at my favourite shave forum:
If the brush whips up a good lather and it feels okay on your skin, then it's a good enough brush in my book - a more expensive brush will feel better / last longer / look better, but it won't shave better.
With that in mind, here is my current brush collection minus my travel brush* and shaving-at-work brush** (click the pictures to make them bigger). None of these are budget breakers, and all of them makes great lather and feels great-to-good on my face.

 As they sit on my shaving shelf - the tray is just to help organise them.

Spread out for  easy viewing

 Semogue "The Shave Nook 2012 Limited Edition" mixed boar-badger

 Vie-Long #12705B natural white pure horse

 Turkish No6 'horse hair'

 Omega #10048 boar bristle

 Turkish No7 'horse hair'

 Wilkinson Sword Badger

 Vie-Long #13051M unbleached pure horse

Vie-Long #14033 mixed horse-badger

*) A lovely Omega 50014 boar
**) An okayish Body Shop synthetic

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Shave of the day 15th July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Peppermint
Lather: Mike's Natural Pine & Cedarwood Soap
Brush: Wilkinson Sword Badger brush
Razor: GEM 1912 SE with a GEM SE blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and BodyShop Maca Root Face Protector
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Old Time Advice: Care of the face after shaving

Shaving made easy is a book from 1904 that I have mentioned before on my blog.. it's an interesting read and it's free (as in beer), so why not download it and give it a read? Even if it's 111 years since the book was printed, the advice given is just as valid.

CARE OF THE FACE AFTER SHAVING.
Most men who shave themselves seem to think that when they have removed the beard, they have nothing further to do. This is a great mistake. They undervalue the importance of a proper treatment of the face. A quick and easy way of caring for the face after shaving, is to remove the lather by a thorough washing, then to apply either witch hazel, bay rum or some other good face lotion, and to follow this with a small quantity of talcum powder, evenly applied. This is probably about all that the average man will usually find time to do.
In order, however, to keep the skin in a healthful condition, a little more elaborate treatment should occasionally be given. We recommend the following: Wash the face thoroughly to free it from the lather, and then apply a steaming hot towel, as hot as can be borne. The heat and moisture draw the blood to the face, open the pores, and set up a healthful action of the skin. Next apply witch hazel, and finally give the face a thorough massage. There is no other treatment so beneficial to the skin. With many persons the flow of blood to the face and scalp is very sluggish, because of enfeebled or slow heart action; and in consequence, the many small arteries and capillaries become clogged. Massage stimulates the circulation, and brings the blood from the inner centers to the surface, filling the many minute capillaries just underneath the skin, thus producing a tonic effect, which gives the skin renewed vigor and health. 
What to do for a Cut.
If a man cuts himself while shaving, it is usually due to certain causes that are easily avoidable. The principal causes are six in number:
First—Attempting to shave with a dull razor.
Second—Using a sharp pointed razor.
Third—Shaving with a razor that is too hollow ground, so that the edge springs and bends on the face.
Fourth—Holding the razor improperly.
Fifth—Shaving upward against the growth of the beard.
Sixth—Shaving in too great a hurry.
If you will avoid these mistakes and exercise proper care, you will seldom cut yourself. But when you do, it will be well to know how to treat the wound. If it be slight, the bleeding may sometimes be checked by using pressure. Covering the fingers with a towel, simply press the cut together. If this does not stop the flow, use an astringent. The styptis pencils, made especially for this purpose, are the best, and may be obtained at any store where barbers’ supplies are kept. In case you should not have the pencils, alum may be used. In any event do not be discouraged, for such accidents sometimes happen to the best barbers.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Shave of the day 13th July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Peppermint
Lather: Arko Cool Mint shaving cream
Brush: Turkish No7 'horse hair' brush
Razor: GEM 1912 SE with a fresh GEM SE blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Thayers Original Witch Hazel with aloe vera
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Friday, 10 July 2015

Shave of the day 10th July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Peppermint
Lather: Mike's Mixed
Brush: Omega #10048 boar brush
Razor: Yuma razor with a Super-Max Stainless
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


Thursday, 9 July 2015

Review time: Gillette Khaki Set

A few months back I got my hands on an old soldier - thanks to a fellow gentleman over at my favourite shave forum - and I've put the old warrior into use again when I take to the field. He don't live in my GoBag, but I use him when I'm away on training and when I've to spend the night at base.

I'm talking about my Gillette Khaki Set, off course. The serial number marks him as a mid 1918 production, and the single button enclosure he lives him is usually encountered with the first Khaki Sets manufactured for the US Army when they got entangled in the Great War.

The razor itself is a "typical" Old Type Ball End, and the handle has suffered the all too typical crack, without degrading the experience or making the razor less excellent. To me it simply highlights the fact that the old warrior is getting close to a hundred years old, and I actually decided against repairing it for now.

My kit is overall definitely "user grade": the mirror has gone AWOL at some point, which apparently detracts from the collectors value of the kit... good thing I'm not collecting, but using it. The blade holder is still in great shape, as is the enclosure itself. The print on the inside of the flap has worn a fair bit, but is still legible with the help of a bright lamp.

The Razor itself is a reasonable mild razor, at least when paired with a blade such as the Perma-Sharp Super. The ball on the end of the handle makes it somewhat tail heavy, which could help people new to traditional wetshaving keeping a low pressure. The chequering on the handle is still sharp, which helps with gripping the razor with slippery fingers - being from too much lathering or from the mud of Flanders... even if you're not in the marked for a Khaki Set, I can definitely recommend a Gillette Old Type.










Value - priceless, given the history.
Quality - high for the whole kit, having been around for almost a hundred years and still in great shape.
User friendliness - uhm.. it's a three piece razor, how can it not be user friendly?
Grip - as mentioned, great after all these years.
Blade replacement - again, it's a simple three piece razor.
Aggressiveness - midrange, despite some claims online that the Old Type is aggressive.
Balance - heavy in the tail
Overall - a good razor in a great kit.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Shave of the day 8th July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Peppermint
Lather: GzD shave stick
Brush: Turkish No6 'horse hair' brush
Razor: Yuma razor with a Super-Max Stainless
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

GzD shavestick in a shell

My GzD shavestick came with no wrapper, other than a card board box. For a while I had it wrapped in parchment paper, but that got messy when I started to wear it down... so for almost a year now it has languished in a Tupperware, half forgotten. Finishing off a deodorant however changed all that:

 One GzD shavestick, looking lonely.

 One empty twisty tube, freshly washed.

 Insert one into the other.

 Turn knob counterclockwise.

And I'm done - all that is left is finding a permanent marker to make a note of what soap rests within

Monday, 6 July 2015

Shave of the day 6th July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Peppermint
Lather: Arko Cool Mint shaving cream
Brush: Vie-Long #13051M unbleached pure horse
Razor: Yuma razor with a fresh Super-Max Stainless
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest 80 Below
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Friday, 3 July 2015

Shave of the day 3rd July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Citrus
Lather: Mike's Natural Lemongrass & Eucalyptus Soap
Brush: Semogue "The Shave Nook 2012 Limited Edition" mixed boar-badger
Razor: Racer razor with a Personna Super
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, 2 July 2015

Bronze age razors

From Vere Gordon Childe's book "The Bronze Age" (1930):
It is quite possible to shave with a flint blade, and some predynastic flints were undeniably utilised in this way. The early Egyptian metal razors exactly copy these flint forms. One type, confined to the Early Dynastic period, was rectangular with four bevelled edges. Another form, going back to Late Predynastic times, looks like a broad double-edged knife with a short tang. Probably most were sharpened along one edge only, as is certainly the case with the specimens from Queen Hetep-heres' tomb. A very similar little implement has recently been found in early Sumerian tombs. The Mesopotamian razors, always unfortunately in bad preservation, are regularly found in pairs; it is uncertain whether both edges were sharp. In the Aegean area the earliest certain razors date from the LM III period. The majority are one-edged (Fig. 81) but there are double-edged specimens in which the handle was riveted directly on to the blade without a tang.
The majority of European razors belong to the same family. In the earlier graves of the so-called Siculan II period, containing Mycenaean vases imported from Greece, we find a long blade with slightly concave sides and an indentation at the lower end (Fig. 83). The purpose of the indent was perhaps to allow the forefinger to feel the skin while shaving. In any case it is a prominent feature in nearly all European double-edged razors. In contemporary North Italian implements the indent is much more pronounced, and, above, a wide slit separates the two blades. An openwork handle, generally terminating in a loop and cast in one piece with the blade, was attached to these Italian razors (Fig. 85). They belong to the Middle Bronze Age. Rather later a small group of razors appears in Franconia and Western Bohemia with a very broad double-edged blade, sometimes at least divided by a slit near the end, and an openwork handle cast in one piece with it (Fig. 86). Crude razors of this pattern are found at a relatively later date in Holland and Eastern France (Nievre and Rhone). But the contemporary Central European razors of phase E have already grown into developed horseshoe-shaped blades (Fig. 87).
In Upper Italy, on the other hand, during the Late Bronze Age and first phase of the Early Iron Age (Villanova culture), the razor assumes a rectangular outline, preserving the indent in the lower end as an almost circular aperture and provided with a loop of twisted wire riveted on to the blade as handle (Fig. 88). The same type is found in South Italy and Sicily, but in that island a type, derived from the earlier native form, but with wider blade, more pronounced slit between he edges and a flat tang for handle, is also encountered in the later tombs of the Siculan II period. Similar forms occur in Southern France (Arige and Charente) and probably give a clue to the ancestry of our British razors.
The latter resemble a maple leaf in form. A tang to take the handle projects from the base of the blade and is often continued downwards by a wide midrib along its face. In the opposite end is a deep V-shaped indent and just behind it a circular eyelet. Though generally Late Bronze Age in date, one such blade, though without the round eyelet, was found with rapiers and palstaves in Scotland.[38] It is generally believed that these razors belong to the group of foreign forms introduced into Britain by invaders arriving at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age. The affinities of our razors in any case seem to lie rather with Sicily and the Western Mediterranean than with the countries east of the Rhine.
While the standard European razors of the Bronze Age were double-edged, there is a series in Scandinavia with only one blade. Such are doubtless in the last resort derived from the normal Mycenaean implement (Fig. 91).


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Shave of the day 1st July

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Peppermint
Lather: Arko Cool Mint shaving cream
Brush: Vie-Long #14033 mixed horse-badger brush
Razor: Racer razor with a Personna Super
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb