29/12/2013

SOTD 29/12/2013

Saints be praised! I used my Schick Dial ... and ... I got a good shave out of it, at last!


Routine

Hot Towel
T&H Ultimate Comfort PSO
Palmolive Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Schick Dial
Personna Stainless PTFE [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum & Witch Hazel
Brut Aftershave Lotion

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - 7 WTG, 3 XTG & 1 ATG/Polishing

Impression

First pass with the razor wide open and I was starting to feel like I'd shaved. With the wide blade gap, I found I could enjoy a light touch and so shave without irritation, something which has been quite the contrary so far with my experience of injectors. Second pass, I closed the gap up and this pretty much finished off the shave. I could have stopped here and enjoyed a good shave, but let's just drop the gap right down and make a very gentle final pass against the grain with a little polishing to get a really smooth shave.

Finally! I got a fine shave out of an injector. I am sure this will stand me in good stead for returning to my other injectors in due course. It also confirms to me that I much prefer a more aggressive shave from an injector.

28/12/2013

SOTD 28/12/2013

I've used injectors before and never got on with them ...


I tried again tonight and it did not go well.

Routine

Hot Towel
Billy Jealousy Hydroglide
Personna Stainless PTFE (Injector) - PAL Injectomatic [2] **
Personna Stainless PTFE (Injector) - Personna [1] *
Personna Stainless PTFE (Injector) - Schick J1 [1] *
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Boots Bay Rum
Patchouli Oil

Technique

Three Pass - Once each

Impression

Awful! Horrible shave!

Enough said ... injectors are not for me.

27/12/2013

SOTD 27/12/2013

Friday evening ...

Drink: Vodka & Coke
Music: Bauhaus 'Mask' LP


Routine

Hot Towel
Alt Innsbruck Pre/Post Shave
Edwin Jagger Tea Tree Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Ever Ready 1924
ASR 009 RD Blade [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Alt Innsbruck Pre/Post Shave

Technique

Two Pass - WTG/ATG

Impression

Blow me down! That is one aggressive little f*cker!!!

I've shaved with the 1912s before and the Micromatics after ... the 1924 is one aggressive razor. Huge blade reveal and the comb, much like the 1912, becomes an open comb in use. Whereas you're lulled into a light sense of mildness with the 1912s, you're fast awakened as to the potential of this razor!

Light touches!

Do that and you're rewarded. After a medium pressure scrape down each cheek, I lightened up a lot and got my feather light touch all sorted for the second pass against the grain. All done, very smooth and a seriously rewarding shave. You have to work with the razor, though - this is one where you are NOT in charge.

The Alt Innsbruck Pre/Post Shave is a fun balm. As a pre-shave, I'm not sure it added a lot but as an aftershave balm, just lovely. Less fierce than the liquid, very slick, very smooth, just gorgeous as an aftershave balm. Lovely scent, too, and the first one which I noticed our little mog giving me a serious nose over ...

...sneaky splash of Trumper's Eucris later, eh?
"The man of shadows thinks in clay
Dreamed trapped thoughts of suffocation day
He's seen in iron environments
With plastic sweat out of chiselled slits for eyes
From the growth underneath the closed mouth
You'll catch if you listen
Rack-trapped cubist vowels
From a dummy head expression
From a dummy head expression
The transformation is invested
With the mysterious and the shameful
While the thing I am becomes something else
Part character part sensation
The shadow is cast"

26/12/2013

SOTD 26/12/2013

After last night's lovely shave which finished with a good rub of Alcolado, I fancied another ...


Routine

Hot Towel
T&H Ultimate Comfort PSO
NSS Ice & Slice
Pure Badger 23mm
Gillette Tech 1970s
Feather Hi-Stainless [5]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Alcolada Aftershave

Technique

Two Pass - Twice WTG

Impression

I am really starting to appreciate these vintage Gillette Techs. Run with a sharp blade, they are a lot of fun and this Feather blade, once run through a couple of times with a Muhle R41, has been used for quick polish ups in vintage Gillette Techs and they seem very well suited. Once run in, they'll continue for a good few shaves yet, hand-stropped each time.

Today was about face freeze! I enjoyed it last night and wanted more, so shaved with NSS Ice & Slice which builds up a lovely chill while shaving and proper freezes when you get to the cold rinse. Lovely! Deep freeze to follow: Alcolado.

Last night, I fancied that the Alcolado left me feeling pretty dry. Tonight, with the olive oil based shaving soap, I feel great - dry, but not stretched. Just right to go to bed on ...

'night, all.

25/12/2013

SOTD 25/12/2013

Ahhhhh .... at last ... Christmas shave.


Routine

T&H Ultimate Comfort PSO
The Soap Opera 'Himalaya'
Pure Badger 23mm
GEM Featherweight
GEM Stainless PTFE [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Alcolada Glacial

Technique

Two Pass - 2x WTG

Impression

What a great shave! Closer than I would have imagined, given the razor, blade and technique, but close. Very close.

The T&H PSO is an expensive way of buying cooking oil! I reckon I could make up a litre or more from carrier and essential oils for the price of this tiny 60ml bottle, but boy is it good? Much enjoyed.

First run with this razor and I liked it. Not as clean or as close as a Micromatic from this shave, but very tactile, agile and intuitive.

Alcolado Glacial is ... GLACIAL! I love it! Very addictive ...

23/12/2013

SOTD 23/12/2013

The Edwin Jagger Experience ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Edwin Jagger PSC
Edwin Jagger Mentholated Shaving Soap
Edwin Jagger Best Badger 21mm
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Witch Hazel
Old Spice Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - Both WTG

Impression

First full face shave with my Edwin Jagger straight. It's not the smoothest thing I've scraped across my face, but a definite cut well above the Dorco blades in my CJB Kamisori. I've scraped down my cheeks with this before as well as a clean-up on my neck, but as I introduced, this was my first full face shave.

It went well ...

Two nicks - well, one nick and a slice. Nick on my top lip right in the complicated bit beneath one nostril and a dig in on my chin being ... well, stupid.

Nothing bled beyond a second pass, the alum proved it was a new shaving experience and the Witch Hazel was very welcome. Something sweet, spicy and relieving for afters: Old Spice. Love it!

In all, a good shave. I'll have something to shave off on Christmas Day.

21/12/2013

SOTD 21/12/2013

Today's acquisition and I couldn't wait to shave with it ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Tabac Shaving Soap
Pure Badger 23mm
GEM Micromatic Clog Pruf
ASR 009 RD
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Cold Rinse
Witch Hazel
Tabac Aftershave Lotion

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

In all, a very nice shave. Close, clean and without issue. I also have a solid bar GEM Micromatic which is very smooth; this is much the same but you can feel the crenelations on the bar.

I guess I'm working my way up to the open comb ...

18/12/2013

SOTD 18/12/2013


Routine

Hot Towel
Olive Oil Blend PSO
NSS Moroccan Sands
Pure Badger Brush
Gillette Super Speed (Black Handle) 1967 M4
Gillette Super Platinum [3]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Cold Rinse
Brut Musk Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

I finally "got" face lathering a couple of days ago, so gave it another go ... it worked ... again, and so I think I'll keep going with that technique through my various soaps and creams.

Talking of creams, this was the first run with NSS Moroccan Sands, a cream scented with Oudh. Heavily woody and a scent which does not dissipate much through the shave, it provided a wonderful backdrop for Brut Musk, enhancing, even prolonging the scent of the aftershave.

I have to say, I don't think the blade is anything special but from a couple of pretty mediocre shaves with it so far, it does seem to like it's sibling razors. Gillettes in a Gillette, who'da thunk it? Close in parts, others no so close. Still, good shave with no issues.

16/12/2013

SOTD 16/12/2013

Well, blow me down! That was the best shave yet ...

I think I've said that only a couple of times before, but tonight I really got the best shave yet. It started badly, became phenomenal!

I've been waiting for my Mühle R89 JET to arrive for what feels like an age - actually, 10 days. I really thought it was lost in the post, but imagine my joy to have it arrive today, safe, sound and utterly flawless. If I could be in love with something other than a woman or a cat (or a car), it'd be a razor ... and this would be she.

I've been waiting so long and built up an imaginary shave in my mind for so long, that I forgot it. It had Alt Innsbruck, Eucris, black blades, all sorts ... but I just grabbed a bunch of products that I thought would really suit my mood and this first shave with a razor that I've waited so long for.


Routine

Hot Towel
Edwin Jagger PSC (Metholated)
Edwin Jagger Soap (Mentholated)
Edwin Jagger Best Badger 21mm
Mühle R89 JET
Gillette Blue (1952 X2) [1]
Sputnik Stainless PTFE [7]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Cold Rinse
Edwin Jagger PSC (Metholated)
Quorum Aftershave
GFT Eucris EDT

Method

Face Lathered
Three Pass - 2xATG 1xWTG

Impression

On one day's growth, I slipped a 1952 X2 Gillette Blue blade in. I have a NSO collection of Gillette Blue blades and thought tonight was the night ... first pass, almost no stubble removal. I know the R89 is a mild razor, but this did not shift anything. I changed the angle and got a better swipe.

Okay, it's not going well ... ditch the blade. Strapping in my now 7th run Sputnik Stainless PTFE and having established the angle, this pass shifted the day's growth. Re-lathering in the soap dish, since the first lathering was weak and all gone now, I face lathered. Oh, my goodness! So THIS is face lathering? I get it now. I get it! Face lathered, I made a cross pass to finish up.

Just a little polishing and ... Gah! I nicked my top lip. No drama! Hot rinse, cold rinse, alum wash, cold rinse and I've got a smooth, clean and defect-free face. Pat some Edwin Jagger PSC (Mentholated) all over and rub in, gorgeous face feel. Pat dry and a splash of Quorum.

How fantastic do I feel?

Now, aftershave dried, nothing but smooth as the proverbial! Time for some Eucris ...

15/12/2013

SOTD 15/12/2013

Sunday evening ...

... and something put me in mind to use my recently acquired Ying Ji Li razor. Ying Ji Li who? They're Chinese and amongst all manner of other things, make an exact replica of the Gillette 7 O'Clock Sterling. Exact! It evens shaves the same: mild and smooth, not especially close, but perfectly presentable.


Routine

Hot Towel
Olive Oil PSO
Far North Goat Milk Soap
Edwin Jagger Best Badger Brush 21mm
Ying Ji Li 'Sterling'
Sputnik Stainless Teflon [6]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Cold Rinse
Blue Stratos Aftershave

Technique

Three Pass - WTG, XTG & ATG

Impression

Sadly, the Far North Soap is not up to much. I do like the idea of artisan soap, but all too often they're missing something ... this one lack lather. The lather is foamy, thin and all but disappears on the face. I had to make up some fresh lather for the final pass.

The razor performed exactly as expected and coupled with Sputnik, perfect. Actually, what I did for the first pass was unscrew the razor a little until the blade gap opened up just a little without the head becoming sloppy. Thereafter, the XTG and ATG passes were performed with the head fully tightened.

Presentable. No nicks, weepers, irritation, just a good presentable shave. I wonder if this might be one of those razors that takes to a diagonal stroke?

13/12/2013

SOTD 13/12/2013

Friday the 13th!

I was going to have a spooky goth shave this evening, Muhle R89 JET with a vintage Gillette Blue NSS Oudh shaving cream and finishing off with a splash of Witch Hazel and a couple of dabs of Eucris, all to the tune of Bauhaus ... but ... the Muhle has yet to land.

Drat! So, change of plan ...

I have a CJB Kamisori which I must try at some point. Let's keep it to cheeks and perhaps neck, and grab a Gillette Parat with a 7 O'Clock Sharp Edge blade to finish off.


Routine

Hot Towel
Olive Oil Blend PSO
NSS Rasage Traditionel
Pure Badger Brush
CJB Kamisori/Dorco Barber Blade [1]
Gillette Parat/Gillette 7 O'Clock Sharp Edge [2]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Cold Rinse
Witch Hazel/Olbas Oil Toner
Old Spice Aftershave Lotion

Technique

One WTG pass with the CJB Kamisori/Dorco Barber Blade
One WTG and one XTG with the Gillette Parat/Gillette 7 O'Clock Sharp Edge

Impression

The soap had a pleasant scent, lathered well and did its thing, but by the second pass with the Gillette it was starting to sting. Perhaps there's something in there that's not for me. Nanny's Olive Oil and Goat Milk based creams are really up my street and pretty much my "to go" creams now.

With intrepidation, I made my first cut with the CJB Kamisori. It's noisy! I tried a couple of different angles as I went down my cheek, but found I had it pretty much bang on to start with. Great! Great, but scratchy and draggy. These Dorco blades are not overly sharp and it showed in the performance. I must get some Feathers - Pro and Pro Guard, I reckon.

So, both cheeks done, my jawline done, too by skin stretching, I proceeded onto my neck. Ouch! Just nicked myself getting the angle setup. That was the only issue. Encouraged, I did the rest of my face, my chin and around my mouth, all of which I found oddly to be perfectly straight forward.

I'd chalk that up as a passable shave. Not great, good, perhaps not good enough after a couple of hours when re-growth would have shown it not to be a close shave, but good enough for a first go.

Onto the Gillette, another couple of passes and we're smooth as the proverbial.

Rinsed, the alum wash proved it to be mostly uneventful, although a little rough. Witch Hazel to calm and a spicy aftershave to finish off.

Encouraging ...

11/12/2013

SOTD 11/12/2013

SOTD 11/12/13 and what a great shave!


I have so many razors now, I really didn't know where to start ... so I started by going backwards with my most recent acquisitions: a Valet VB1 and a GEM Micromatic Bullet Tip.

Routine

Hot Towel
NuAge Men PSO
TOBS Eton College Shaving Cream
Edwin Jagger Best Badger 21mm
Valet VB1/GEM Stainless PTFE [1]
GEM Micromatic Bullet Tip/GEM Stainless PTFE [1]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Cold Rinse
Brut Original Aftershave Lotion

Technique

One pass WTG - Valet VC1/GEM Stainless PTFE [1]
One pass WTG/One pass XTG - GEM Micromatic Bullet Tip/GEM Stainless PTFE [1]

Impression

Did I say, "What a great shave!"?

Thank you to the kind gent on a popular shaving forum for his generous PIF of Taylor of Old Bond Street shaving creams - I got the Eton College, a gentle citrus scent with light woody notes behind. Perfect with my G&T. Lathering was a case of wet brush, shaken free of hanging water and swirled in the pot five times clockwise, five anti-clockwise ... and what an explosion of lather! The lather got better with each pass, too. I had way too much, so think just five light swirls should do me proud next time. I really enjoyed the soap, so thank you again Sir.

I have four days of growth and so an open comb seemed a good choice.

Selecting the Valet VB1 with a GEM Stainless PTFE blade, de-spined and snipped at the corners to fit, I carefully and purposefully gave my cheek the first stroke. Well, blow me down, what a smooth razor! The blade, is of course, a known good, but what a smooth razor! I said that already :D Par for the course with single edge razors like this, the sound is like scraping butter onto toast. The angle was easy to find and my whiskers just blew away with great ease, no discomfort and with great feedback from the razor - it goes quiet when you have the wrong angle. One with the grain pass.

Not wanting to push my luck, I switched razor and repeated a with the grain pass using a GEM Micromatic; a closed comb razor, reputed to be milder than the 1912s. Milder, yes, smoother, too. I could have left it at that, but boy, was I enjoying myself and pressed on for the proverbial smooth shave and a cross the grain pass.

Rinsed off, the alum wash proved nothing untoward and so ... a very generous splash of Brut complimented the shave perfectly, the citrus now a memory and the woods just coming through, adding further complexity to the Brut.

You can tell, I really enjoyed this shave ...

07/12/2013

SOTD 07/12/2013

It has been a week since I shaved. I absolutely love shaving and find that every other day works out well for me - I can get a seriously smooth shave which is not quite ready for a shave the following day; the day after that, perfect.

I have, however, found a combination that I absolutely adore ... but it does not like short stubble ... yet?

It's the Muhle R41/Feather Hi-Stainless combo.

I am developing technique with this one, since I want it to become my de facto shave. While I am honing my technique, it does take some growth, hence giving myself a few days growth to go at.

Oh, my goodness! I love this combo ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Edwin Jagger Pre-Shave Cream
Edwin Jagger Shaving Soap - Menthol
Edwin Jagger Best Badger (21mm Loft - Size M)
Muhle R41 - templ8 Fencing Handle
Feather Hi-Stainless [3]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Cold Rinse
Edwin Jagger Pre-Shave Cream
Olgallala Bay Rum Skin Toner
Captain's Choice Bay Rum Aftershave

Mount Gay & Stone's Ginger Wine ... Ice & Slice (Lime)

Technique

Two pass - WTG/XTG

Impression

What a great shave! I cannot stress that enough ...

I got to play with a bunch of new stuff - I bought a mixed bunch of Edwin Jagger gear off eBay, including a (potentially dud) straight, but the brush and pre-shave cream are really nice. Shopping today, I spotted an Edwin Jagger stall in a department Store (Harvey's in Halifax, if you're interested ... have a good perv at the cosmetics girls while you're there, eh?) and picked up a tub of their mentholated shaving soap. Soap! Damn it! I like creams ... never mind, let's go with it.

The soap lathered up nicely into a good, thick lather, but it was ... well, soapy? I prefer a creamy mix which I get from ... well, creams. Duh! Still, a fun experience. I should give soaps a chance and try harder - creams seem to just build up and you're done; soaps need some effort and perseverance.

Anyway, I got a lather and hit my face with a Muhle!

Did I say I love this combination? The Muhle R41 and the Feather Hi-Stainless is a match made in heaven! Using the lightest touch, enabled by my custom handle made by templ8, a week's growth just brushes away. Smooth, silent and effortless. What a combo!

I could have left it after the single pass. I have a great face map now and don't religiously go north/south, but my "with the grain" is with the grain - I know how my stubble grows and know how to follow it now. I went with a second, cross the grain pass and was rewarded with a seriously smooth shave.

Post-shave, I rinsed: hot, cold, alum (no stinging), cold and then a dot of Edwin Jagger pre-shave cream all over my face. Lovely menthol chill!

Now, onto something special ...

A kind gent from a popular shaving forum sent me a bunch of Bay Rum samples. I've had a crafty sniff at them all, mentally sorted them out into favourites and established a plan of enjoying them. Tonight, I went with Olgallala Skin Toner after shaving, then Captain's Choice Aftershave. I love this one! My Mrs doesn't - her father was a Dentist and something in it reminds her of dental treatments. It'll be the cloves.

Anyway, as a Bay Rum virgin, I am now on my path towards a great shaving routine and know I need Bay Rum as part of that. My love of menthol skewed me a little; concerned that it might not work with Bay Rum, I wondered about West Indian Limes as the shave routine, but actually, the menthol, then the Bay Rum works lovely ... NSS Ice & Slice will work well (my favourite cream), that lime and ice working with the rum.

So, onto a drink: Mount Gay & Stone's, over ice, with lime.

... pretty much what I've just enjoyed as a shave.

04/12/2013

SOTD 04/12/2013

I'm giving my face a break and a treat at the end of the week with a Muhle R41/Feather planned.

I do get a patch on my neck/throat that looks untidy when I do this and usually just whisk it off dry but I decided to try out a new pre-shave cream and razor; a barely used Edwin Jagger gift set which I won on eBay for a very nice price.

The box contained a pre-shave cream, a Best Badger brush, a straight razor and a lovely stand.

Hot Towel
Edwin Jagger Pre-Shave Cream
NSS Ice & Slice
Edwin Jagger Best Badger
Edwin Jagger Straight
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Turtle Bay Rum Aftershave

The razor is on a popular list of brands to avoid list. Nevertheless, a patch of fine hair on my hand and a patch of tough hair on my leg proved perfectly smooth with one pass, so ... on with it ...

The Edwin Jagger pre-shave cream  is very nice. Mentholated, slick and the subsequent lather went on very nicely indeed, already with a lovely glossy sheen, applied seemed to take on a real whipped cream look. I'd be interested to try again using just the NSS with a proto-lather - I think it's oily enough to work out for both pre-shave and the shave itself. I should also check out the Edwin Jagger pre-shave cream as a post-shave - just a dot massaged into a cold, wet face.

The brush is a Best Badger. My entire experience of brushes is a synthetic Wilkinson Sword, which does its thing, but it's nowhere near a badger; and, a Pure Badger, unbranded, but a "large" size. This Edwin Jagger Best Badger is a Medium - 21mm loft, 23mm handle. It felt tall compared to my Pure Badger, although they're the same height-ish. I think the narrower core gave that apparently height. It lathered well, not especially better than my Pure Badger, but certainly no worse. It's one I'll keep on with since it's pretty much unused and perhaps needs a few good lathering sessions to really find its character. So, three brushes now ... am I succumbing?

The razor did its thing in one pass, leaving the intended area smooth, without issue and so, tidied up, I rinsed and applied the alum ... just to see. Nothing overly prickly, so I think that went well. Whether the blade is competent for a whole face and whether that edge can be maintained is another question entirely. I have absolutely no comparison here, this being my first straight shave, but it slicked through the stubble so efficiently. I have used a shavette, which needed a couple of passes to get to this.

I have a new collection of Bay Rum samples and so decided to try one out: Turtle Bay Rum. Much enjoyed, with an initial blast of the Caribbean, it certainly is a scent which develops over it's albeit short life - after an hour it had a really mellow feeling and another hour, or so, it was gone ... to my nose.

So, happy with that ... I got to try a few new things and got away with it, if you like.

Fun ... like it should be.

01/12/2013

SOTD 01/12/2013

After a not so great shave on Friday involving a Personna injector and finished up with a 1912 Ever Ready, I gave my face a brief break. Stubble back with a vengeance, I couldn't stand it, so ...


Routine

Hot Rinse
Olive Oil Blend PSO
NSS Ice & Slice
Pure Badget Brush
GEM Micromatic/Personna [1]
Merkur 23C/Gillette 7 O'Clock Sharp Edge [1]
Hot Rinse
Cold Rinse
Alum Wash
Cold Rinse
Brut Original Aftershave Lotion

Technique

WTG - PAL Micromatic/Personna
WTG/XTG/Polishing - Merkur 23C/Gillette Sharp Edge

Impression

Trying another injector, I went with a single with the grain pass. Better, today, but still falling short of what I would have expected from a DE single pass with any number of blades I use.

I switched, made another with the grain pass followed by a cross the grain using my Merkur 23C and a fresh Gillette yellow.

Lovely job. The Gillette blade was smooth, sharp and without issue. I really enjoyed it!

Brut Aftershave ... Sorted!