29/11/2013

SOTD 29/11/2013

Damn it! Damn! Damn! Damn! ... and damn a little more!

Recently, I tried my little haul of injector razors with a pack of Schick blades I got off Amazon. I could not get any razor to work for me - rough, didn't cut, uncomfortable ... and I finished off with my DE. Today, Connaught's blades arrived, felt sharper, injected well ... and ... in my Personna, very poor. I tried all manner of angles, worked with the razor to get it right ... it scraped some growth off, but left a patchy, rough and tough finish which no end of going over got any more growth off.

Damn it! I really wanted this to work out for me ...

Wanting "that" classic single edge shave, I grabbed my 1912 Brooklyn Made ER with a GEM blade and finished off. Noisy but smooth and finished the job to my satisfaction ... top lip and all.

Damn it! I really wanted the injector the play out ...


Routine

Hot Rinse
Olive Oil Blend PSO
Fitjar Shea Pleasure
Pure Badger
Personna Injector/Personna blade
Every Ready 1912 USA/GEM blade
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Witch Hazel Blend Toner
Alt Innsbruck Cologne

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - Both WTG

Impression

On an upbeat finish ...

Dear God! That Alt Innsbruck is nice!

27/11/2013

SOTD 27/11/2013

Drink of choice tonight is Whyte & MacKay with Ginger Wine.

Music? The sweet sound of silence ... and shaved whiskers.


Routine

Hot towels
OO/Olbas Oil PSO
NSS Unscented Goat Milk OO Shaving Soap
Pure Badger Brush
Merkur 23C/Astra Platinum [2]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash/Rinse
WH/Olbas Oil Toner
Jovan Musk

Technique

1x WTG followed by just a polish ATG (2 days growth)

Impression

Ahhhhh! Loved it ... not quite as smooth as I expected to find the Astra Platinum (not in the Muhle R41 or the Merkur 23C) but a good shave nevertheless without issue, just a good, close, clean shave evident in the technique.

25/11/2013

SOTD 25/11/2013


Routine

Shower
Olive Oil/Olbas Oil PSO
NSS Goat Milk Soap
Pure Badger Brush
Merkur 23C/SuperMax Blue Diamond [2]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Cold Rinse
Brut Aftershave Lotion

Technique

One pass WTG
Polishing ATG

Impression

Smooth and relaxing. That's all.

24/11/2013

SOTD 24/11/2013


Routine

Hot Towels
Olive Oil PSO
NSS Ice & Slice
Pure Badger Brush
Muhle R41/templ8 Fencing Handle
Gillette Super Platinum (Black) [2]
Witch Hazel/Olbas Oil Tonic
Brut Musk Aftershave Lotion

Technique

Two Pass - WTG/XTG

Impression

I am fast taking to the R41 as my "to go" razor.

Very close, very smooth to the touch and utterly without irritation. The blade was not the smoothest, but played out well making me a keen believer in oily PSOs.

20/11/2013

SOTD 20/11/2013

Second go with the R41 …


Routine

Hot towels
Olive Oil/Essential Oil PSO
Palmolive Shaving Cream
Pure Badger Brush
Muhle R41/templ8 Fencing Handle
Astra Super Platinum [1]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Witch Hazel/Essential Oil Tonic
Jovan Musk Aftershave Lotion

Technique

Two pass - WTG & ATG

Impression

To be absolutely frank, I found this a bit tough. My first run with the R41 was with a Feather and I absolutely loved it! I think I have a second perfect combination there - my first being the Merkur 23C with a SuperMax Blue Diamond.

Still, two passes … can't complain at that. The R41 mowed through three days of growth, not silently nor effortlessly this time, but did.

No issues, although I think the blade will be demoted to use in a milder razor.

17/11/2013

SOTD 17/11/2013


Where did the last 6 days go? Into my sink … that's where … whisked off by a Feather in an R41!

Oh, my goodness me, the R41 is one beautiful razor!

I last shaved six nights ago and that evening my cat patted me. He's a seven month old kitten, already four kilos and now over 3 feet long! He's mostly Maine Coon and that size of cat as that age of kitten is one interesting combination. The following day, an area of my top lip puffed up and by the evening, face pain and feeling pretty grim. TCP to the rescue, all cleaned out and a couple of days later the swelling went down.

I left it until it was all healed up …

… which gave me plenty of time to grow a meadow for the R41. Not so much a razor, more a combine harvester!

With a run once Feather strapped in, I placed a great deal of attention to the angle, the pressure, the direction and the tautness of skin, and it paid off.

Wow! VGS! Very good shave in one WTG pass. I am impressed! I previously used the Feather in a Merkur 37C Slant HD, which was very nice, but I felt that razor played better with a Silent Soviet Assassin, like the Sputnik I tried that razor with first. The Feather found its place in the R41.

Splitting the 37C and the R41, I'd say the 37C could be a fantastic daily razor, sweeping away both minimal and days of growth in that one pass - just that one pass would make a great daily shave. The R41 seemed to need more careful handling and certainly handled days of growth without even blinking.

I must try a daily shave with it to compare, but initial impressions are extremely positive … and I meant to start this post with 'Best Shave Yet' … which it was.

Routine

Hot Rinse
Nuage Men PSO
Ingram's Shaving Cream
Pure Badger Brush
Muhle R41 templ8 Fencing Handle
Feather Hi-Stainless [2]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Witch Hazel/Olbas Oil Tonic
Brut Aftershave Lotion

Technique

Three Pass - very disciplined WTG, XTG & ATG
No polishing necessary

Impression

What else can I say?

11/11/2013

SOTD 11/11/2013

For some reason, I feel really chilled this evening … and my shave reflected that ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Olive Oil/Grapefruit PSO
NSS Goat Milk OO Soap
Pure Badger Brush
Merkur Progress
PolSilver Super Iridium [7]
Sputnik Stainless (Teflon) [4]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Witch Hazel/Grapefruit Toner
Jovan Musk Aftershave Cologne

Technique

WTG PolSilver Super Iridium [7]
XTG Sputnik Stainless (Teflon) [4] … and minor polishing ATG

Impression

I'd forgotten about the PolSilver Super Iridium sitting in my pile of "in service" blades, but believed there to be life in it yet, I ran it through for a gentle WTG pass having opened up the Merkur Progress to 3. It was smooth and did a good first pass. I'll keep hold of it and see if can push an eighth run.

Going XTG with the Sputnik Stainless (Teflon) and the razor set to 4, I got the result I wanted: a good shave. Light polishing with the razor closed up to 1.

Tonight, I'm not too fussed about getting very close or very smooth, just wanted a good shave, and I got it.

The combination of the olive oil PSO and the olive oil based soap, not to mention the moisturising goat milk in the blend has left me with a great post-shave feel.

09/11/2013

SOTD 09/11/2013

I did not intend to shave this evening, but circumstances dictated …

… so, I picked a SuperMax Blue Diamond, a blade I really clicked with early on for being smooth. Not necessarily sharp, but smooth. I could shave with it and not really feel it. Since then, I've discovered sharp Russians … which I love, but I have 100 of these fellows and they're going to get used.

They're smooth …

I have the Merkur slant lend in my possession at the moment and I am curious as to what a simple daily shave with one with the grain pass might feel like. I noted that I thought it would work out well, but here's the proof.

It did ...

Not a fantastic shave, but good. Not great. Good.

Yes, slightly liquored up it might have been a seriously daft thing to do … well, it was, but I survived.


Routine

Hot Towels
Nanny's Silly Soap Ice & Slice
Pure Badger Brush
Merkur 37C HD Slant
SuperMax Blue Diamond
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Witch Hazel/Olbas Oil Toner
Brut Green Aftershave

Technique

One Pass - WTG

Impression

… the one standout product here is the NSS Ice & Slice. Cool, refreshing, healing and olive oil based. What a soap! Practically a post-shave treatment, too, just letting the cooling lather sit on my face.

Yeah, it worked out well and I got away with it. No weepers, no cuts, no issues.

One "with the grain" pass to strim off a day's growth. It feels nice. Not great, nice.

After my first run with this razor, I mused that it might make a great daily shaver with one single and simple pass for a decent cut.

It does ...

08/11/2013

SOTD 08/11/2013

Happy Friday, guys.

Tonight, I'm drinking Stone's Ginger Wine and Whyte & MacKay Whisky (even portions). I'm fast losing the week from my memory and looking forward to a fantastic weekend.

No music, enjoying the silence.

My shave …


Routine

Hot Towels
Olive Oil Blend PSO
Tabac Shaving Soap
Pure Badger Brush
Merkur 37C HD Slant
Feather Hi-Stainless [1]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Witch Hazel/Grapefruit Tonic
Tabac Aftershave
Recipe for Men Aftershave

Technique

Once, with … once, cross.

Impression

Friday night, and I'm relaxed. I took my time enjoying the hot towels while my brush and razor soaked in hot water. PSO on and I started lathering. Ten times clockwise, ten anti-clockwise in the soap and then into my porcelain bowl which has also been bathing in the hot water …

I built the best lather ever! I gather Tabac lathers well anyway, but I may have been too hasty with it previously. Slowly, slowly does it. Clockwise, anti-clockwise, pump, drop of water … repeat. I got the thickest, slickest, lightest, flightiest lather ever.

Sadly, that's where the dream ended …

Strapping a Feather Hi-Stainless into my lend of a Merkur 37C HD Slant, it went well on my cheeks, my neck and then … my chin and lip erupted in weepers. I ran the Slant with a Sputnik Stainless (Teflon) [2] last night and it was heaven. Tonight was not Hell, but it was certainly South of Heaven. Cue Slayer!

That was "with" …

Cross the grain was better. After the "with", I could see it was nowhere near that one simple "with" that I enjoyed last time and quite frankly have to put the near legendary Feather quite down there in the bawdy ballads. I'll raise my Sputnik up there into legend. It deserves it.

Hot rinse, cold rinse, gone, alum wash and it's all back to normal, just humming. Tonic, then aftershave … then moisturiser.

Lessons learned?

I like moisturising shaving soaps. Nanny's OO, for me. Tabac is soooo worth it, though. That, and I like Russian blades. Ffff Feather!

06/11/2013

SOTD 06/11/2013

Readers, I'm in love …

She's got a stout little body and one crazy head! I am one for those French sounding ladies … Gillettes, but today, letting this German lady caress my face, I found myself truly in love.

She's called Slant, from the Merkur family. Nicknamed, HD.

Oh, boy! What a shave! She's not the mad cat of reputation, that is most undeserved. She is slick, slice, quick and clean. I let her go with a third run Sputnik Stainless (Teflon) and she did her thing. Do not look at her while she does … she will make your eyes swim. Let her run by feel …


Joni Mitchell 'Blue' LP on the turntable
G&T - Greenall's & Fever Tree

Routine

Bath
Nuage Men PSO
Nanny's Silly Soap Ice & Slice
Pure Badger Brush
Merkur 37C HD Slant
Sputnik Stainless (Teflon) [3]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Witch Hazel/Menthol Tonic
Blue Stratos Aftershave Lotion

Technique

WTG, XTG and very localised (and slow) polishing of peculiar areas

Impression

Wow! What a shave …

G&T and menthol was the theme, blue the colour.

Oh, I already said that! Once with the grain over two days of growth, I'm left in a similar position to a with and cross the grain shave. This slant does work - it does do that. I tend to run with twice with, then cross, then polish … I would say this got me all the way there in one pass, just polishing to go.

I'm so glad I carried on with the Sputnik - it's smooth and sharp, sharp and smooth, practically silent, still … even after three runs. Damn fine blade!

I got one weeper on my lip, polishing. It stopped and healed up while I was finishing off.

Alum wash proved no further nicks and proved a seriously smooth shave, my hand proved a close shave. Gosh! That is one great razor.

I have that kind of skin that can cope with a quick sharp shave or a multiple pass with a very smooth blade. I have a few peculiar areas that like some localised attention at the end, but I know where they are and can get to them without issue.

I can see myself buying this razor, in the HD format … soon. I love long handles, but this short handle performed so absolutely perfectly that I don't even want to try a longer handled version. I can see that two pass being such a great every other day shave and a single once over being a phenomenal daily swipe. I might even pluck up the courage for a morning shave!

The Merkur 37C HD is a game changer!

04/11/2013

SOTD 04/11/2013


Routine

Hot Towel
Olive Oil Blend PSO
Tabac Soap
Pure Badger Brush
DE89 Head on Fencing Handle
Sputnik (Teflon) [2]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Witch Hazel/Grapefruit Toner
Brut Musk Aftershave Lotion
Recipe for Men Moisturiser

Technique

Three Pass - Twice WTG, once XTG

Impression

Another pleasing glide with the Sputnik, although just starting to get scratchy at the very end. No issues, though.

I decided upon Brut Musk to compliment the Tabac soap which has a subtle but different scent to the Tabac Aftershave. I find Brut Musk to be "more Tabac" than Tabac when finishing from a Tabac Soap shave.

02/11/2013

SOTD 02/11/2013


Routine

Hot Towels
Personal PSO
Nanny's Ice & Slice Shaving Soap
Pure Badger Brush
Gillette 'New' Open Comb
Sputnik Stainless (Teflon) [1]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Puig Quorum Aftershave
Bulldog Sensitive Moisturiser

Technique

Twice WTG, then once XTG

Impression

Fast growth and it felt scratchy from the last run of a couple of blades which were honestly past their best …

Tonight, first run with a Sputnik Stainless and what a fantastic first run! Absolutely silent, so much so I had to double check that I had actually installed a blade. I had. I had to double take to see that I had the angle right. I had.

Smooth and silent … like Red October.

Nanny's Ice & Slice Shaving Soap is wonderful. Light on the menthol and just a spritz of lime to arouse the nostrils as the thick, creamy and strong lather goes on. This is not face freeze you get from Ingram's, but a gentle caressing as if an ice cube is being run over your skin as you go. Nourishing, the soap is a sheer pleasure to use.

Feeling very cool, it's time for some Quorum.

01/11/2013

SOTD 01/11/2013


Routine

Hot Towels
Personal PSO*
Nanny's Goat Milk Soap
Pure Badger Brush
Gillette Parat
PolSilver Super Iridium [6]
Wilkinson Sword [6]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Personal Tonic**
Jovan Musk

Technique

2xWTG with the PolSilver Super Iridum
1xXTG with the Wilkinson Sword

Impression

Well, the Nanny's is wonderful! I used the goat milk and absolutely loved it after a PSO* of olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and essential oils of ylang ylang, patchouli, grapefruit and Olbas Oil. It's one of the olive oil formulations, more like a cream than a soap, which I took to immediately. Great gloss, thick lather and very soothing. That'll be the goat milk.

With the grain twice on my trusty PolSilver Super Iridium which is now a little scratchy - it's good for 5 runs, for me, switched to a similarly used Wilkinson Sword for that I have found very smooth for the cross the grain, again, good for five runs. Just a little scratchy, it did the job. RIP both blades.

Finishing up, I splashed some tonic over** made from Witch Hazel and essential oils of grapefruit, lemon, ylang ylang, patchouli, tea tree and Olbas Oil.

I am seriously impressed with Nanny's and can't wait to try out the Ice & Slice. The lip balm is subtle, but perceptible - nothing like Burt's Bees with the smack in the face peppermint, which can burn the lips - Nanny's is a gentle kiss.

My Parat played very well. Nice razor.