26/02/2014

SOTD 26/02/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
T&H No.10 Pre-Shave Skin Protector
T&H No.10 Finest Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Concord 'Tech' (Merkur 100mm Handle) - Treet Platinum [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Lilac Vegetal Aftershave Lotion
Dolce & Gabbana 'The One' For Men EDT

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

T&H was a great choice. The pre-shave protector is simply grapeseed oi, borage oil and vitamin E, and seems to work well with the shaving cream, a light touch and a decent blade, proven by no stinging when alum was applied. What a great shave!

Yeah, cheap razor but what a surprise with the blade! Seriously, what a great blade which has given me three flawless shaves. Again, what a great shave!

Splashing on "the Veg" is a forming addiction and even curiously enhances the D&G, really bringing out the tobacco. Did I say this was a great shave?

24/02/2014

SOTD 24/02/2014

Just a quick single pass ...


Routine

Hot Towel
NSS Unscented OO & Goat Milk
Pure Badger 23mm
Schick E - Personna Stainless [3]
Hot Rinse & Cold Rinse
Brut Aftershave

Technique

Face Lathered
One Pass - WTG

Impression

Just a quick single pass to neaten up yesterday's difficult shave, difficult in that I could not grip with my right hand so everything was left-handed. Today, still painful to grip, but I can just about do it and so lathering was left-handed, the shave right-handed.

Great to be back with an NSS soap - the unscented olive oil recipe with added goat milk is just lovely. Slick, smooth and very nourishing.

Last shave with this loaner Schick E before it wings its way home tomorrow. I've enjoyed it!

23/02/2014

SOTD 23/02/2014

Eating Ibuprofen 400mg
Drinking Rum, Ice & Lime
Playing Southern Death Cult


Routine

Hot Towel
Wickham Soap Company 1902.2
Pure Badger 23mm
PAL Injectomatic - Personna Stainless PTFE [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

After a fencing injury yesterday, I can barely grip anything without pain ... let alone move my right arm around ... so, left handed shave!

It went well. Once again, I face lathered the 1902 soap and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thinner tonight, perhaps down to my left-handedness this evening, but slick, smooth and protective nevertheless.

The PAL Injectomatic is my "to go" injector. The angle is so forgiving, where a DE might not be in my other hand ... nor even a 1912. The PAL Injectomatic fitted the bill for this evening's shave and I was not left wanting. Good shave, finished the blade off.

How to make everything feel better? Bathe in "the Veg". Much enjoyed.

21/02/2014

SOTD 21/02/2014

Fencing again tomorrow ... Yorkshire Senior Foil. I don't like smooth shaven nor bit o'stubble in my mask and sweating makes both worse. Best get a nice single pass shave in and have done ..

So I did ...


Routine

Rum & Coke

Hot Towel
Wickhmam Soap Co. Club Cola
Pure Badger 23mm
GEM 1912 New De Luxe
GEM Stainless Coated [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Brut Musk

Technique

Face Lathered
One Pass - WTG

Impression

Club Cola is fun. I'm now well versed in the Super Smooth soaps from Wickham Soap Co. so tonight face lathered it. Nice scent, subtle, worked with my drink and aftershave. Enjoyed.

19/02/2014

SOTD 19/02/2014

What a great shave ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Whickham Soap Company 1902 Mentholated
Pure Badger 23mm
Schick E
Personna Stainless Coated [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal "the Veg"
Trumper's Eucris

Technique

Face Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

I've been wearing C&S No.88 today and so, high on crushed velvet and rose gardens imagine my surprise to find another little parcel from a chap on another shaving forum who is in the process of pre-market testing soaps. Two new soaps: Super Smooth Club Cola and 1902 Menthol, a hard soap.

Well, I could not resist giving the hard soap a go ...
Grabbing a Schick E and dropping a fresh Personna blade in, I dropped the puck into a fresh glass jar and swirled my brush twenty, or so times around. Nicely loaded, I face lathered.

What a great shave! I said that already ...

1902 is a hard soap formulation, based on a recipe that the maker found, dated 1902. Menthol is perhaps not the best term, since it does not give the Arctic blast that you might expect for that word, but something warmer, greener and more akin to peppermint than Glacier Mint. Barely felt on the skin, the only reminder was curiously through the nose. Very pleasant indeed! Very subtle.

Splashing a liberal amount of "the Veg" on afterwards was a little cooler than usual, leading me to believe the soap continued to have its contribution after shaving. Great combination!

So, smothered in "Veg" and a splash of Eucris, I smell sensational! Like an Hungarian Cavalryman back from battling Dracula's hordes!

What a shave ...

17/02/2014

SOTD 17/02/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Wickham Soap Company SS South Sea Spray
Pure Badger 23mm
Pilot (Muhle Clone) - templ8 Custom Ball End Handle
Treet Platinum Stainless [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Blue Stratos Aftershave
C&S Citrus Paradisi EDT

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

A perfect Monday evening shave ...

Following on from the fun I had with my last shave using a Pilot Merkur head clone, tonight, the Muhle head clone and another flawless run with a Treet Platinum.

Yet again, the Wickham Soap Company soap lathered up just beautifully and gave a great shave. Not as moisturising as some, but excellent otherwise.

Blue Stratos. Classic. C&S Citrus Paradisi (sample) made a good topper. Not one I'd buy, but very pleasant nevertheless ...

15/02/2014

SOTD 15/02/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Fox's Super Smooth Bay Rum
Pure Badger 23mm
Pilot (Merkur Clone) - templ8 Custom Ball End Handle
Treet Platinum Stainless Steel [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Old Spice Aftershave
C&S Dark Rose

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

First, the soap. Another go with Fox's Super Smooth Bay Rum and I take back comments I might have made about it perhaps lacking that punch in the face that you want from Bay Rum - it doesn't have it, but doesn't need it. That heady clove scent is just right.

I've said it before, but this soap is like a polite gentleman valet. He does everything really well, doesn't interfere, but just gives you those ever so gentle reminders that he's there. Much enjoyed!

The razor is curious - on the face of it, it looks like an impoverished Pakistani knock-off Merkur head ... which it is, but it has hidden depths. Compared side by side against a genuine Merkur head, the baseplate is ever so slightly longer while the cap is just a little slimmer.

And, that is the difference ...

This head gives a greater blade reveal and once screwed down, a much greater blade gap. Yes, making it a much more aggressive shave. With a fresh Treet dropped in and the lightest touch made just right with templ8's heavy ball end handle, I had an absolutely perfect shave and the alum wash at the end proved it. The alloy being a lowly blend gives a hollow, rasping sound as you shave, not dissimilar to 1912 razors.

Quite an experience!

Merkur (left) Pilot (right):


Lately, I have found myself doing more and more polishing. It occurred to me that I was perhaps racing through the WTG and XTG passes, relying on ATG to get the smoothness I like. Determined to perfect this, I've been concentrating on two passes with the first pass being as perfect as I can make it, which has included just a couple of areas on my face where I make a diagonal stroke.

Continuing the Karachi Barber experience, I splashed a load of Old Spice over at the end and one that died down, tried out my sample of C&S Dark Rose. Yes, I know it's intended for women, but I thought it would compliment this shave ... and it does. It's exotic, like Turkish Delight!

Great shave!

14/02/2014

SOTD 14/02/2014

St Valentine's Day

Started early with some Jack Daniels.
Music Carlos Santana.


Routine

Hot Towel
T&H Ultimate Comfort PSO
Fox's Super Smooth Southsea Spray
Pure Badger 23mm
Ever Ready 1912 (potentially, a Radio handle)
GEM Stainless Coated [1]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Shibden Spice
C&S Cuba

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - With & Cross the Grain

Impression

First, the soap - a pre-market home made soap that I am testing.

Once again, a pleasure to lather up, initially quite foamy which would give a thin covering with poor protection but nobody stops after 15 seconds of building a lather. What happens next is sublime and something I discovered with his Bay Rum soap. You keep building and building and building ... don't add water. It will thicken, it will build and then something which cooks look out for when whisking cream - resistance on the brush. Suddenly it really thickens! Now add a drop of water to loosen it up and it will stay just like that for three passes, or more.

I live in a soft water area and use a porcelain bowl, warmed up with the brush soaking in it which I prepare with my pre-shave ritual.

The scent is curious and I couldn't figure it out, but think there might be some neroli in there. It's fresh and certainly evoked that nasal scent of sea foam. Again, subtle; certainly not intrusive, but gently reminds that its there as you shave. Very well pitched.

Next, reflecting on my first shave with my new razor, in a word: £2 well spent!

The handle is much lighter than other 1912s that I have in my collection and it made for a very nimble shave. I found, contrary in behaviour to my heavier handles for double edge razors, that it was an instinctually light shave, barely touching. One pass with a fresh blade was perfectly acceptable. I know my face and there are a couple of areas that I make a diagonal stroke over, so that one pass works out well. Two passes made it perfect.

Homemade Bay Rum aftershave and then a good helping of C&S Cuba - basically, all the things I love about Bay Rum with added tobacco. What's not to like? Erm ... "that" smell that explodes after a couple of minutes of application. After checking the litter tray, I find that I'm one of those people that can smell "that smell" in this, but after another couple of minutes, that's gone. Perversely, I rather liked the experience :D

11/02/2014

SOTD 11/02/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Nuage Men PSO
Fox's Mentholated Shaving Soap
Pure Badger 23mm
7 O'Clock British Long Comb - templ8 Custom Ball End Handle
Gillette Sharp Edge [5]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Blue Stratos

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - With & Cross the Grain

Impression

Fun building up the lather carefully for a really satisfying shave. The menthol is by no means a burn, nor does it really build up - it simply has a subtle character which keeps reminding you that it's there, simply a good soap with an unintrusive character.

09/02/2014

SOTD 09/02/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Edwin Jagger Mentholated Pre/Post Shaving Lotion
Edwin Jagger Mentholated Shaving Soap
Edwin Jagger Best Badger 21mm
PAL Adjustable - Personna Stainless PTFE [3]
Gillette e1940's Tech - SuperMax Blue Diamond [5]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Edwin Jagger Mentholated Pre/Post Shaving Lotion
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal
Trumper Eucris

Technique

Bowl Lathered
One Pass - WTG (Aborted)
Two Pass - WTG & XTG

Impression

I gave this PAL Adjustable a final go before sending it back to its owner. I just couldn't get it to do anything ...

So, early 1940's Gillette Tech in hand and a final run for this SuperMax Blue Diamond blade and we're smooth again ... ready to face the week.

Pinaud Lilac Vegetal all over, gorgeous! Trumper Eucris and we're proper sorted for the evening. Love 'em both!

08/02/2014

SOTD 08/02/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
NSS Rasage Traditionnel
Wilkinson Sword Empire E21
GEM Stainless PTFE [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Ogallala Bay Rum - Limes & Peppercorns

Technique

Bowl Lathered
One Pass - With the Grain

Impression

Just a quick one pass over a day's growth. Lovely.

Splash of Ogallala L&P. The Burn! The Relief! Great shave, not uber-smooth, but perfectly passable.

Now, on with the evening ...

07/02/2014

SOTD 07/02/2014


Drinking tequila ...

Routine

T&H No10 Face Scrub
Hot Towel
T&H No10 Skin Protector Lotion
T&H No10 Shaving Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Gillette New Standard (templ8 "key")
Gillette Sharp Edge
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Brut Musk

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Three Pass - With, Cross & Against the Grain

Impression

Ahhhh ...

What a great Friday night shave. Much enjoyed.

05/02/2014

SOTD 05/02/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
NSS Rasage Traditionel
Edwin Jagger Best Badger 21mm
Durham T Type
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse & Alum Wash
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - With & Against the Grain

Impression

NSS Rasage Traditionel is "a spicy and exotic scent, with rosewood essential oil being the dominant note, but also containing cedarwood, citrus oils, black pepper, bergamot and others".

Another shave with this monster of a razor! Exceptionally smooth, exceptionally safe and delivers exceptional results.

04/02/2014

SOTD 04/02/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Menthol Soap
Pure Badger 23mm
Ever Ready E-Bar
PAL Blue Carbon [3]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
James Bronnley Original Moisturising Balm

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - With & Cross the Grain

Impression

Ahhhhh ...

Lovely mentholated soap and a soothing aftershave set following a slightly rough one day shave with the last of the edge on this PAL blade.

Right! Time for fencing ...

03/02/2014

SOTD 03/02/2014


Routine

Hot Towel
Bay Rum Soap
Pure Badger 23mm
GEM 1912 (Gold)
GEM Stainless Coated [4]
Hot Rinse & Cold Rinse
Shibden Spice (Bay Rum)
Next Absolute EDT

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - With & Cross the Grain

Impression

Very nice, smooth shave - no such thing as a bad 1912 shave, eh?

02/02/2014

SOTD 02/02/2014

Sunday Evening ...


Routine

Hot Towel
Palmolive Cream
Pure Badger 23mm
Durham Dorset/Honed Blade
Hot Rinse & Cold Rinse (no Alum or Witch Hazel, as is my usual routine)
Brut Aftershave Lotion

Technique

Bowl Lathered
Two Pass - With and Against the grain

Impression

Wow! Enjoyed!

I'm green, dabba-dee dabba-die ... no, that's blue isn't it?

You know what?

If someone told me that the carpet cutters that Durham still sell (and incidentally reference their shaving past on the product website) were the self-same razors that they made for shaving and they came in at a price I liked, I could really go for one of these. It's that step towards single edge shaving that fills me with shivers - all that honing, stropping and beggaring about.

If someone told me these blades were available, I might well jump at one of these razors in a flash!

You know what else?

I think I know exactly why this shave was so satisfying. It's down the the blade thickness - it's like an SE blade, just two sided. DE? Schmee-eee! This razor is an SE with two sides! That the blade does not succumb to microfine movement as it glides over your face puts it side by side with any respectful SE blade. That you can slick up against the grain in a counter-movement without flipping the head around is the joy of this razor.

Yes, it's an SE ... but with two edges!

SOTD 02/02/2014

... and so, the morning after the night before.


Routine

Hot Towel
Palmolive Stick
Pure Badger 23mm
PAL Adjustable
Personna Stainless Coated [2]
Hot Rinse, Cold Rinse, Alum Wash & Witch Hazel
Pinaud Lilac Vegetal

Technique

Face Lathered
One Pass - WTG

Impression

PAL Adjustable left on H I made one pass with the grain to catch some of the overnight stubble. It worked. Not baby smooth, but perfectly acceptable to go to work ...

But it's Sunday! Yay! So, nice breakfast with some Bucks Fizz and out for a damn good walk! It's sunny, crisp and promises to be awesome!

Regarding "the Veg". There are two types of people: those who can wear Lilac Vegetal and those who cannot. I'm in the former camp - what a phenomenal experience! Cooling, then the burn, then the numb, then the flowers.

01/02/2014

SOTD 01/02/2014


Routine

T&H Cleansing Scrub
Hot Towels
T&H Pre-Shave Skin Protector
Palmolive Stick
EJ Pure Badger 21mm
PAL Adjustable Injector
Personna Stainless Coated [1]
Boots Bay Rum

Technique

Face Lathered
Multiple Passes - like a Harvester after too much cider!

Impression

When I first started shaving with injectors, I tried a couple of Schicks, a PAL Injectomatic and a Personna. I just couldn't get a tune out of any of them ...

After some perseverance and something "clicking" when I tried a Schick G I found that I was really getting to enjoy a shave with an injector, the notoriously divisive Personna, too.

This PAL is much like the Personna in shape and in use, similar, in that you really don't want to simply put the top of the head against your face and draw down, a là Schick, but use the bar to tension your skin and find that minute angle to do the business.

The PAL works in quite the opposite way to the Schick Dial, which is about blade gap; the PAL more about blade reveal. So, while the Schick Dial will, upon dialling up the numbers, open up the gap between the blade and the bar vertically, the Schick goes from L to H and closes up the lateral gap between the bar and blade.
Schick: more gap = more aggressive.
PAL: more gap = less aggressive.
According to the instructions (which I found online), L and H equate to the "weight" of your beard. I was on two days growth so swung the lever around to H.

Well, after trying it this way, that way, changing the angle, changing the angle, changing the angle and changing the angle again, changing direction, washing off, starting again, huffing, trying again, I looked down into the sink and after running around my field like a Harvester drunk on too much scrumpy, I saw the merest hint of stubble in the water and a face like I'd gone at it with a blunt cartridge!

I finished off with my Merkur 23C and a SuperMax Blue Diamond blade, the most irritation-free combo I have in my collection. Soothed with a couple of helpings of Boots Bay Rum, off to bed.

Experience has taught me one thing ...

If you don't succeed at first, try again the morning after - something happens overnight, something happens to muscle adeptness and the following morning, things tend to have clicked. I learned to ride a bike this way, motorbike, too, car also.

Let's see if it works for this PAL ...