Sunday, February 23, 2014

Trying the Parker SRB again...

What a way to start out my week!  Perhaps the best shave so far.  

I opened up the sample puck of Stirling Coniferous and pressed it down into my Old Spice mug.  I limbered up the Parker SRB and placed the Merkur 34HD in reserve.  Lathering was pretty easy and I soon detected the scent of southern pines around my face.  

I made a little more progress with the Parker, shaving both cheeks and jaws, cleaned up around my mustache and then down my neck on either side of my adam's apple.  I got a little jumpy when I got around my jugular so I put down the Parker and finished up with the Merkur.  I did 2 more passes then I squeezed the remaining lather from the brush and had it in my left hand and went chasing stubble on the back of my jaw and on my lower neck.  Much neck contortion was implemented and soon I was done.  Absolutely no prickles or missed spots anywhere!

I finished up with the Old Spice aftershave.  I've used Old Spice Cologne for years but have not used the OS aftershave for quite a few years.   It smells about the same, but the AS doesn't stay around like the cologne.  I'll have to add some cologne if I intend to seduce the Mrs.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sterling Glacial - Mini Review

In a previous post, I mentioned that I received a huge package of soaps as the recipient of a PIF thread on the Shave Nook.  I chose the sample of Stirling Glacial to start out.  I've used the soap 5 times and have about 1 more shave to go before it is all done.

 I used it for 2 full head shaves and 3 full face shaves.

My initial impression upon peeling off the wrapping was that it smelled minty.  I also noticed that the soap was much softer than I expected, not that this was a problem.

I pressed the soap down into my shaving mug and pondered what I ought to do.  I decided to put a little water on it and let it set for a few minutes while my brush soaked.

When I took the brush to the mug, the scent of mint became much stronger.  It took quite a while to make much lather and the lather, while slick and creamy looking, seemed a bit thin.  I brushed it on my head for the first shave and my eyes started watering and my skin felt cold!  I finished up the shave in somewhat stunned cold silence.  I was impressed by how cold it was.

My subsequent shaves were very similar, however, I was able to get a thicker lather each time.  The last two lathers were augmented with the addition of a bit of Van Der Hagan glycerin soap with the thought that I might be able "thicken" up the lather.  I think it worked.  I also think that it cut the menthol and mint down just a bit as my eyes did not water as much.

All in all, the Stirling Glacial was a superb introduction to Stirling Soaps.  Stay tuned for the next installment when I review the next sample in line.

Gillette Weekender

SoTD - 2/22/14

Today's shave was not great.  Not bad, but not great.  This was my first use of this particular blade.  I can't say that I liked it.  Will try again tomorrow with better face preparation.

Gillette Tech
Gillette Super Thin
Stirling Glacial soap
Omega 31025 boar bristle
Captain's Choice Bay Rum aftershave.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sort of straight and narrow

I purchased a Parker SRB shavette this week.   It takes replaceable blades.  I thought I wanted to give a try at shaving with it and see if straight razor shaving might be something I want to do.

I realized that I likely wouldn't want to do a complete 3 pass shave with the Parker, so I kept my Merkur 34HD handy.  I prepped up with a warm face wash and started soaking my brush and the Stirling Glacial soap.  I also soaked up my puck of Van Der Hagan glycerin soap to help cut down on the menthol eye burning. 

It worked!  I made a good lather in the mugs and painted up my whiskers.  I opened up the Parker and got going.  It really wasn't as hard as I expected.  I was fairly tentative but did not open any gaping wounds or cause any weepers.  I had absolutely no issues with using my left hand to shave the left side of my face.

After pass 1 with the Parker, I picked up the Merkur and finished up the shave in easy fashion.  I completed the whole shave with an application of Captain's Choice Cat O 9 Tails.  The combination of ice cold Glacial and the sting of the Captain's Choice made for a wonderful face feel.  I really liked it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stirling Glacial Shave Soap - Headshave

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I received a massive gift box of shaving and bath soaps.  I decided to give one a try tonight for shaving my head.

Stirling Soaps makes natural, tallow based soaps.  The samples I received are nicely sized and you can tell by looking at them that they are natural and handmade.  I chose the sample of Glacial for tonight's headshave.
I decided to use my Merkur 34HD tonight.

I was impressed by the "minty" smell when I removed the package.  The soap is relatively soft so I decided to press it into my Hull Pottery Old Spice #3 mug.

I soaked my Omega shaving brush in the sink for about 5 minutes while I prepped the soap and my scalp.  I then shook out most of the water from the brush and started swirling it in the mug.  I swirled for about a minute, adding drops of water as the lather developed.  It became thick and creamy looking and the brush appeared to have plenty of lather.

I then took the brush to my head to continue developing the lather.  I swirled, painted and slapped the lather on my scalp.  The lather was slick and thick and immediately the menthol in the soap began to cool my scalp. 

The shave proceeded smoothly.  I did notice that as I shaved away hair, the resulting bare skin felt really cold, almost stingingly cold.  That's not a bad thing.  I ended up doing a 2 pass shave, meaning I shaved my head completely, rinsed my scalp, re-lathered and shaved again.  I did not nick myself at all.  

I think it turned out very well.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wet Shavers are so generous!

The wet shaving brotherhood (can I say that?) is really wild.  We all buy too much stuff and then feel the desire to share with others.

I won a little Pay It Forward (PIF) contest over at the Shave Nook late last week and this massive amount of shaving soap arrived in the mail today!  Apparently a group of wet shavers in the Austin, Texas area actually break the "virtual" mold and get together in person to talk about shaving and sharing their loot.  They brought together a bunch of stuff and put together 2 similar sized giveaways.  I happened to be fortunate enough to win this one!

I have no idea about the retail cost of this, but it is huge.  And, Bob covered the postage cost to boot!

I hope to give a few mini reviews of each product as I try it out and use it up.  That ought to cover the next several years!

Better go start shaving!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SOTD - 2/18/14

Quiet shave this morning.  No issues at all.  Paired a Gillette Fat Handle Tech with a Wilkinson Sword blade and it worked well.  The tech is a nice razor.  Face lathered the soap sample and got along fine.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Anytime I take up a new hobby I tend to hit it really hard and engage in a little purchasing overkill.  My medicine cabinet is filling up.  So I have put together a kit for a beginning wet shaver.   Here is how you can enter:

  1. Leave a comment to any post on this blog
  2. Indicate that you are in by posting on this thread over at The Shave Nook
  3. Have a CONUS mailing address
The winner will be announced here on February 22.  

So here is what I am giving away:
  • 1963 Gillette Ball End Tech
  • Van Der Hagan boar bristle brush and bowl
  • Full bottle of Kroger Brisk after shave
  • 98% full bottle of Pinaud Clubman - classic barbershop scent
  • Unopened puck of Provence Sante shaving soap
  • 3 boxes of Astra, Gillette and Wilkinson Sword blades
Good Luck

Sunday, February 16, 2014

SOTD - 2/16/14

The house is cold this morning, so I thought I would just keep the cold theme going with the C.O. Bigelow shaving cream and the Proraso Green aftershave.  It turns out that the Bigelow soap is made by Proraso for Bath and Bodyworks so it all matches up very well.  I didn't realize that I liked menthol and eucalyptus so much, but I do.   Face lathering this stuff will cool down my face and neck pretty quickly.  Cheeks are cold!

I prepped by soaking my brush in hot water in the vintage Old Spice mug while I showered.  After the shower, I rubbed a bit of the Bigelow cream onto my face and neck and then went after it with the well shaken brush.  After about 20 seconds, I dipped the tip of the brush in water and went back to brushing.  About 30 more seconds and I was ready to shave.  I made 3 passes today - N to S, W to E and S to N which is similar to with the grain, across the grain and against the grain or WTG, XTG and ATG.

I used my Merkur 34C HD razor this morning, coupled with a Gillette Silver Blue blade.  I've tried the blade in another razor and was not impressed, but my opinion was certainly changed today.  The pairing of Gillette and HD were awesome and I got a great close shave.  I really like the weight of the razor and it just seems to glide nicely.  The blade never tugged or caused any issues.

The aftershave was just fantastically cold as well.  Absolutely no stinging anywhere.  I guess I got a good shave.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Shave of The Day - February 15

One of my motivations for this blog is to keep track of what I am shaving with and how it works.  So I will be doing an occasional "Shave Of The Day" post.  I hope to write compelling copy and take some decent photos to go along with it.

So let's get going!

February 15 SOTD

Today I used the following:
Razor: Gillette PreWar Fat Handle Tech
Blade: Gillette 7 O'Clock Super Platinum
Soap:  RazoRock for Captain's Choice
Brush and Bowl: Van Der Hagan starter set
Captain's Choice Bay Rum aftershave

I received a sample of the shaving soap from Captain's Choice when I purchased the aftershave and was not sure how much to use.  As you can see, it appears I may have used enough, but upon shaving with it, I'm not certain.  It didn't really last on my face, but the shave was fine.  I added some more soap to my bowl for the 2nd and 3rd passes and still did not have a long lasting lather.  It felt slick but not very cushioning. 

Regardless, good shave to keep my day going.  Can't wait to shave again tomorrow!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Welcome to my Wet Shaving, Old School Double Edged Razor blog

Well, I have a new "hobby". Don't laugh. Its known as wet shaving or perhaps more appropriately as traditional wet shaving. Yes, that's right, someone decided that trying to enjoy the everyday thing that most men have to do and quite honestly, hate, ought to be a new type of pastime. I have found many message boards, forums and websites dedicated to the pastime of shaving using soap, brush and old style razors. Apparently I caught the bug.

Here is my disclaimer. I have been shaving my face for more than 35 years. I have pretty much hated this daily obligation for most of my adult life. I have worn a variety of facial hair features from a full beard to a goatee to a simple mustache. The mustache has been pretty constant since I was 19 years old. I've used double edge razors, 2, 3 or 4 bladed cartridge razors, and electric razors. From my first shave at age 14 or 15, I've always used some sort of canned shaving cream, gel or the like. I've fought ingrown hairs, razor burn and piss poor shaves. I grew beards to avoid shaving. When I didn't have a beard I would typically shave every 3 to 4 days, if even that often. I hated it!

This all changed right after Christmas 2013. I purchased a couple of DE razors and shaving set-ups for my two grown sons for Christmas. I looked it all over and thought I might want to try it out myself.

I purchased a starter set from a vendor, Garry at Badger and Blade and got going. The kit included a razor,some blades, an Omega boar bristle brush, a sample of soap and some aftershave samples. I read a great many threaded discussions at B&B, The Shave Den and The Shave Nook while I waited just a few days for the starter kit to arrive and was good and ready to get rolling.

If you must shave and have not used a brush and some soap to prep your beard for shaving, you are missing out. I think just the soaping up of the face is worth it. It feels so good. The shave with a DE razor is really nice as well, even if it takes a little longer than scraping a 5 bladed monstrosity across your skin, but the shave from my DE is smoother and lasts longer.

I think I received my starter on January 6. That first shave was a little sketchy and left me with a little blood in a few places on my face. I let my face recover for 1 day and I proudly say that I have not missed a single day of shaving since then! That's right, I even shave on the weekends.

I also shave my head pretty regularly. I started using the DE razor to shave my head about 3 weeks ago and I really like the smoothness of my scalp when I am done.

Here is what I used today. Pretty simple set up. Prewar Gillette Fat Handle Tech razor, Gillette Silver Blue blades, an Omega boar bristle brush, Williams Mug Soap and Captain's Choice Bay Rum aftershave.

I don't know how often I will post on this fledging online journal. I don't know if anyone will find it. But if you do, please say howdy in the comments!