Shave Of The Week Part One (24 June 2013 – 30 June 2013)

This will be my last desert island shave for a while.  My last week long dedication to one set up.  I enjoy getting to know my products by sticking with them, but I like variety too, so I will return to my random product use after this week.  I’ve learned a lot about choosing set ups that will last the whole week with becoming boring or irritating, and I now know that if I had to choose just one set up that I could do it without too much difficulty.  It’s been fun, but I am ready to wrap it up.

This week I am going with a few easy to use products.  For my razor I am using the Fromm hair shaper.  I bought this at Sally’s Beauty Supply for $6.19, but haven’t given it much use.  It came with a single blade and I also bought some Fromm blades to go with it, but after using it once they have just been sitting there.  It’s a nice razor and I look forward to getting to know it better.  The longer blade makes it feel more like a traditional straight razor, but the light weight and small scales make certain that there is no mistaking it for anything other than a disposable blade straight razor.

For my brush I will be using my Vulfix 376S Super Badger.  It’s soft, it’s fun, and it’s easy to clean.  I considered going with a boar because I have been neglecting my boar brushes, but the Vulfix just seemed to call to me.

My first shave soap was William’s Mug Soap.  I don’t know how I got it, I’m pretty sure that it was a roommate’s and that I ended up with it in my stuff by accident after a move.  The first shave soap that I ever bought was Van Der Hagen Deluxe, it came with the Premium Shave Kit.  I still use VDH Deluxe and enjoy it.  The first real, non locally available shave soap that I ever used was RazoRock Napoleon’s Violet.  I like it a lot.  RazoRock Napoleon’s Violet is a soft Italian soap that lathers easily, smells nice, and comes in a big container (I actually used the lid as a lather bowl when I first got it).  In honor of my ending the Desert Island month I have decided to go out with the RazoRock, my first ever “real” shaving soap.

I did my usual prep of a hot shower followed by a warm water splash before jumping on in.  I performed a three pass with the grain/against the grain/across the grain shave and finished up with a cold water rinse.  I also decided to experiment with a recipe that I found online for some home made after shave.  Glycerin, witch hazel, and essential oil for scent.  The result was a BBS shave with zero nicks, zero irritation, and very little effort.  The Fromm was kind of unwieldy the first time I used it, but I seem to have gotten the hang of it.  It glided along smoothly and easily and made for an effortless shave.  I removed the guard and used it with a bare blade, but I would be curious to see how it shaves with it on.  The small scales actually seemed to work in my favor in a few tight spots, but I would still like to see how it does when rescaled with a more traditional set.  The RazoRock continues to live up to its lofty reputation and made me happy with excellent lather and a nice clean after scent.  The Vulfix is a bit floppy, but good.  Its soft hair make it comfortable, even for folks with sensitive skin and it gathers up water and soap like a camel preparing for a long haul.  The home brewed A/S splash still stank, but instead of just smelling like witch hazel it smelled like lime scented witch hazel…ugh.  it did relax my skin and leave it feeling nice and smooth, but there has got to be a better way.  In spite of the witch hazel stink, I was very happy with the shave, and looked forward to continuing with this set up, it is an excellent way to close out the month.

Pre: Hot shower and warm water splash
Razor: Fromm Hair Shaper (minis the guard)
Blade: Fromm Teflon Coated Stainless Steel
Brush: Vulfix 376S Super Badger
Soap: RazoRock Napoleon’s Violet
Post: Cold water rinse and home brewed A/S splash

image

Product Links:

Fromm Hair Shaper:
http://www.sallybeauty.com/Shaper-Razor/SBS-525107,default,pd.html?cm_vc=SEARCH

Fromm Teflon SS Blades:
http://www.sallybeauty.com/Fromm-Shaper-Blades-105/SBS-525105,default,pd.html?cm_vc=SEARCH

Vulfix 377S Super Badger:
http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Vulfix-376S-Super-Badger-Shaving-Brush_p_553.html

RazoRock Napoleon’s Violet:
http://www.westcoastshaving.com/RazoRock-Artisan-Shave-Soap-125ml–Napoleons-Violet_p_1258.html

Advertisements

Shave Of The Week Part Two (17 June 2013 – 23 June 2013)

I finished out my week with my Union Cutlery 5/8 full hollow square point straight razor, Van Der Hagen Glycerin soap (in shave stick form), The Art of Shaving Fine Badger brush, and T.N. Dickinson With Hazel.  A few things struck me over the week in regards to this set up.  First, I hate the s,ell of witch hazel.  Even scenting it with essential oils or fragrance oils did little to diminish the awful smell…luckily it does not linger.  Second, shave sticks are awesome!  It’s so easy to run a stick of soap over your face and lather up.  No bowl, no messy puck, just a few quick swipes and some lathering.  I think I will be buying some shave stick containers rather than continuing to attempt to find suitable deodorant sticks to cannabalize.  Third, as much as I like traditional straight razors, I prefer disposable blade straight razors.  With DBSRs there is more customization available, less maintainance, less prep and clean up time, less cost, and just as much cool factor…and if you like the bigger blades, then hair shapers and Feather/Kai/CJB razors have them.

All in all, this week went well.  The VDH Glycerin shave stick worked beautifully, the Union Cutlery did what it does, the AoS brush is becoming a bit more bloomed and feels great.  I got good shaves all around and was happy, but it did take a bit longer than I like, now that I have become obsessed with DBSRs.  I’ll likely keep using my straights, but relegate them to the weekends when I have more time to devote to them.

image

Product Review: Sanguine X-D20 Disposable Blade Straight Razor

I am a huge fan of Disposable Blade Straight Razors (DBSRs).  DBSRs fit into my life perfectly, they have the style and unique look of a traditional straight razor, but without the necessary extra work, cost, and maintenance that traditional straight razors require.  A DBSR will give me an extremely close and effective shave without having to work too hard for it, and the razors look really cool doing it.  The only problem that I have with DBSRs is that, because of their relatively small customer base, they tend to be lower quality razors with quality control issues.  This trend is beginning to change as more and more folks discover a love for DBSRs, but it is still an issue.  I was hooked on DBSRs from my first shave, I love these razors so much that they have largely replaced both safety razors and traditional straight razors as my preferred shaving tool.  Once I became hooked I began my quest to find the perfect DBSR.  While my use and evaluation of DBSRs is an ongoing adventure, I believe that I have come very close to finding my perfect razor. 
During an internet search for DBSRs I stumbled upon an old forum thread discussing the Sanguine X-D20.  Sanguine is a U.K. based manufacturer of barber scissors and razors and is well known for its range of inexpensive half blade DBSRs (DBSRs which use a snapped in half double edge blade).  The X-D20 is unique among half blade DBSRs in that it has actually had some serious thought put into its design.  The razor has an ergonomically shaped handle, a long tang, a set of jimps on the underside of its spine, and a heavier than usual blade arm.  After looking at tons of pictures and reading several reviews of this razor I decided to jump on in and buy one.  While Sanguine does have an online shop, they also run an eBay store, which I found to be the less expensive choice.  After looking through various pictures and color schemes I settled on a yellow X-D20 (with a nifty leather pouch and 5 Wilkinson Sword DE blades), paid the $15 total price (which included shipping), and began waiting for my new razor.

I ordered the razor on a Thursday and was surprised when Sanguine had it posted promptly the next day.  Ten days later, it was in my mailbox.  I have found that, with basic shipping or small packets shipping, packages from the U.K. usually take about two weeks to arrive over here in Texas, so ten days is actually fairly quick.  The package was a smallish padded envelope with the razor inside and no other fanfare to speak of, which is fine by me because I dislike opening a package to find brochures, extra papers, and large invoices.

When I opened the package the razor was securely enclosed in its leather pouch, which was its self enclosed in a plastic pouch, along with my package of Wilkinson Sword blades.  The leather pouch turned out to be fairly well made and was, surprisingly, actual leather.  After taking a quick sniff of the pouch I opened it up and pulled out my new yellow Sanguine X-D20.  A few things struck me right off the bat.  First was the fact that the scales were much more yellow than the web site picture made them seem (I had the same problem getting the yellow to stand out in my pictures), second was that the tang on this razor is quite a bit longer than it is on any of my other DBSRs or straight razors, and third was that the razor felt heavier than many of my traditional straight razors.  My initial impressions of this razor were definitely favorable.

After having used the razor a few times I can say that I now have a pretty balanced idea as to its drawbacks and advantages.  The Sanguine X-D20 is an excellent DBSR, but it is certainly not perfect, and sadly most of its issues seem to stem from poor quality control. 

A brief physical examination of the X-D20 revealed a razor with a lot of potential, but not enough attention paid to build quality.  The X-D20 fits well in the hand and feels nice and balanced with a good weight to it, which makes for easier control while shaving.  My razor was loose in its scales upon arrival and felt as if that looseness might cause some problems while shaving.  I attempted to solve this issue by peening the rivet down to tighten it up, but the rivet continued to loosen after each use.  I will probably end up replacing the factory rivet with a brass or stainless steel pin.  The scales themselves are plastic and are extremely light, but fairly well made with no rough spots or finish problems.  The blade arm is made out of a nice heavy weight stainless steel with jimps on the underside of the spine for a better grip.  The blade arm feathers to allow easy blade replacement in a similar fashion to the Parker SR razors, with the main difference being that the head of the X-D20 is longer and heavier than that of a Parker.  The arm does not close as tightly as I normally like, which allows for the possibility of blade slippage before the lock secures it in place, I do not know if this is a QC issue or a design flaw.  The brass pins which hold the blade in place are placed farther back than a Parker, which unfortunately reduces blade exposure, again I do not know if this is due to poor QC or is by design.  The blade lock fits into place securely and easily, negating most of the issues caused by the less than spectacularly tight blade arms.  The lock has a sort of diamond shape by its pivot pin as well as the Sanguine name written across it, which I feel gives it a little extra character.  The blade arm locks securely into place inside of the scales when it is folded closed, I did not see any tab that worked to keep it snapped in place, so I assume this is simply a function of friction between the blade arm and the scales.  The tang on the razor is quite a bit longer than any of my other DBSRs or straight razors and, from the right angle, makes the razor look like a duck…which is why I chose the yellow colored scales (classy, I know, but I thought it was funny).  I doubt that the razor’s resemblance to a duck was on purpose, but I like the coincidence and have even started referring to this razor as the “mighty duck” .

Shaving with the Sanguine X-D20 is a bit different than other DBSRs.  The longer tang, jimps, and heavier blade arm make controlling the razor easier, but the loose scales and decreased blade exposure do create problems.  I found that the scales kept slipping while I shaved, especially when I held them straight and in line with the blade arm, as I usually do when shaving my neck.  The decreased blade exposure, while not huge was enough to force me to use a slightly different angle than I normally would with a DBSR.  The razor looks great and, once the scales are properly pinned, will likely handle extremely well, but there is not much that I can do about the lack of blade exposure.  While I was perfectly able to get a very close shave using the X-D20, the lack of blade exposure did bother me.  If the placement of the blade mounting pins is by design, so as to reduce the possibility of nicks and cuts, then I feel that it is a poor trade off and a flawed design choice.  If, however, the placement is a flaw due to poor quality control, then this razor has the potential to be my absolute favorite razor, I will just need to find one with proper blade exposure.

At $15, including shipping, the Sanguine X-D20 is hard to beat, but with just a little more attention to detail and some better quality control Sanguine could easily take over the entire half blade DBSR market.  Sanguine has excellent looking razors, interesting design choices, and an eye for comfort that other manufacturers simply do not posses; sadly, until more can be done to improve the build quality of these razors they will likely sit squarely in the cheap seats.  If you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing razor and are not afraid to face the possibility of a little extra work, then the Sanguine X-D20 is an excellent choice.  In spite of its flaws I really like my mighty duck and will gladly do a little extra work to get it up to par.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Product Links:

http://stores.ebay.com/SANGUINE-SCISSORS/Shaving-Razors-/_i.html?_nkw=shaving+razor&submit=Search&_sop=15&_fsub=555674013&_sc=1&_sid=182498003

http://www.sanguinescissors.co.uk/Shaving-Razors/c13/index.html?osCsid=0b277fd0a612e6a8529c28ebc3dd829d

Shave Of The Week Part One (17 June 2013 – 23 June 2013)

Last weeks shaves ended up pretty poorly.  I tried to extend the life of a blade beyond what was reasonable, I made a few mistakes, and I ended up paying for it with some rough shaves, and a pretty significant inch long cut on my neck.  This week I decided to keep things simple, a good razor, some good products, and no experimentation.  So far things are going well and I am happy with my choices and the results, I will recap the week after it’s over in part two.

For my razor I decided to return to my Union Cutlery 5/8 full hollow square point straight razor.  I have been enjoying my shaves with my Parker SR1, but felt like reminding myself that there are other good razors out there.  The Union Cutlery had been tugging a little the last time I used it, so I started off by stropping it along my pasted balsa strop before moving on to my regular linen/leather strop routine.  This razor may not win any beauty contests, but it works well and has taken a lot of effort on my part to get it to this point.  Even if I were to abandon straight razors, I don’t think that I could ever get rid of this particular razor, it will always have a home with me.

For soap I am using Van Der Hagen Glycerin.  I am partial to Van Der Hagen soap, but I usually go with VDH Deluxe or a melted together puck of Deluxe and Glycerin, rather than just straight VDH Glycerin.  I melted two pucks of the glycerin soap into an old repurposed deodorant container and made a shave stick out of it.  I had some extra VDH Glycerin and thought it might be interesting to try to make a shave stick.  It turned out very well, but I have yet to use it in any of my shaves, so I decided to give it a go this week.

I will be face lathering, obviously, so I decided to use my The Art of Shaving Fine Badger brush.  It has a lot of backbone for a badger brush, but still manages to maintain a nice soft feel against my face.  The AoS Fine Badger also does an excellent job of holding onto tons of water and product with very little effort.  In short, it is a perfect choice for face lathering.

I’m holding off on the alum this week in order to use some of my T.N. Dickinson Witch Hazel.  I don’t often use the witch hazel, but I figured that it would be a nice change of pace.  I dislike its smell, but the scent disappears quickly and it leaves my face feeling smooth and irritation free without any real burn.

Following a hot shower and a warm water splash I did a three pass with the grain/against the grain/across the grain shave with a cold water rinse and an application of T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel.  The result was a damn fine shave with a mild amount of irritation and a single nick on my upper lip that was caused by an unfortunately timed hiccup.  The soap worked remarkably well and proved so slick and effective that I didn’t even miss using my preshave gel.  The soap lathered up quickly and effectively and never dried out or disappeared.  My AoS Fine Badger brush held up well and did not slosh around lather like my Vulfix did when I used it for face lathering.  Transitioning from my Parker SR1 back to a square point straight razor proved to be slightly difficult as it took a little time to reacquaint myself with the larger blade and the deadly square tip.  I had some difficulty getting my neck and jaw line as smooth as I wanted, which resulted in some mild irritation, but nothing too awful.  I managed to hiccup right as I was beginning the xtg pass on my upper lip…which is when I nicked myself.  It was a small nick, but it did require me to pull out my handy Clubman Styptic Pencil.  I hate styptic, it burns like crazy, but it works.  After rinsing off I threw a little witch hazel on and felt the irritation slowly melt away, the stuff works well and helps to prevent infection.  In spite of a few issues my shave was a pretty good one and I look forward to the rest of the week being more of the same.

Pre: Hot shower and warm water splash
Razor: Union Cutlery 5/8
Brush: AoS Fine Badger
Soap: VDH Glycerin in shave stick form
Post: Cold water rinse and T.N. Dickinson Witch Hazel

image

Product Links:

T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel:
(This is easily found in most pharmacies and grocery stores.)
http://www.walmart.com/ip/10321470?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227000000000&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=&wl3=21486607510&wl4=&wl5=pla&veh=sem

Van Der Hagen Glycerin:
(This is also easily found in most pharmacies and grocery stores.)
http://www.drugstore.com/van-der-hagen-glycerin-shave-soap/qxp155183?catid=183790

The Art of Shaving Fine Badger Brush:
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/the-art-of-shaving-fine-badger-shaving-brush-black-handle/2808208?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=the_art_of_shaving(r)_fine_badger_shaving_brush_-_black_handle:13799U&cm_pla=personal_care_accessories:men:shaving_accessories&cm_ven=Google_Product_Ads&mr:referralID=31c4d643-d787-11e2-9389-001b2166c62d

Perceptions And Limitations

I was thinking about perceptions the other day.  Our perceptions are colored not only by our experiences, but also by our lack of experiences and by the ways that we want others to perceive us.  If you want to be seen as competent and knowledgeable, but lack experience, then you will tend to see any questioning of your abilities as an attack, whether that is true or not.  If you are not well traveled, but want to be seen as worldly and sophisticated then you will tend to see anyone who is actually well traveled as a threat.  No one starts off knowing everything, we all have to learn along the way, but most of us still want to be seen as competent and interesting folks who fulfill a vital role.  It’s Human nature to want to feel important, and there is nothing wrong with that.  What is wrong is when we are unable to recognize our limitations and to be honest about our shortcomings.  If a person can not admit when they need help or when they aren’t quite as spectacular as they would have everyone else believe then it leads to conflict.  Eventually, no matter how amazing you may be, someone else will come along who is smarter, faster, more knowledgeable, or just plain better at a particular task.  It’s inevitable.  You can either learn from the experience and grow, or become bitter and shrink.

I had all of these thoughts in my head when an incident from several years ago suddenly popped into my memory, as if to illustrate the point.

Back when I was new in the Navy, and had just graduated from Naval Hospital Corps School, I was feeling invincible and important.  I was temporarily stationed at Naval Hospital Great Lakes while I waited for a class to open up at Field Medical Service School.  I was learning something new every day, and I felt as though I possessed a vast wealth of knowledge and skills.  Unfortunately for me none of this new found knowledge or my freshly acquired skills seemed to show on the outside.  To everyone who knew me outside of my Corps School class I was still just goofy Nick.  I had been living in Kalamazoo, MI before joining the Navy and Great Lakes, IL. was a short train ride away, so I had ample opportunities to return home on leave, but every time that I made the trip I felt myself getting more and more frustrated by the way my friends would treat me.  They would see me in my dress blues and act as if I had been away forever, but as soon as I changed into normal clothing it was as if, in their eyes, I became the person that they had always known, no different than I had been before I left for boot camp.  It was frustrating and it bothered me a lot, but I eventually just let it go.  I knew who I was, and I was OK if my friends didn’t quite see my new self just yet.  I figured that I still had a lot to learn and that eventually my friends would realize that I had changed, there was no need to boast or brag about my limited accomplishments just to make myself feel more important.  Beyond those initial understandings, I also realized that when you brag too much that eventually someone will come along to knock you off of your pedestal.  Not long after having this revelation I ended up being that someone for another person, an unfortunate person who did not realize that bragging is a bad idea in mixed company.

One day, while I was home on leave, I was out with my girlfriend at the time when she managed to drag me along to one of her friend’s houses.  Many of her new friends were stuck up college girls who truly believed that they were what they studied (‘Oh, I know ALL about photography, It’s my major, so if you need a good shot you should probably ask me, because I like, KNOW photography.’).  These girls would take every opportunity to flaunt their limited knowledge and skills and to put down my girlfriend in the process.  My then girlfriend was quiet and non-confrontational, so she rarely ever stuck up for herself.  I never understood why she would hang out with these people and I hated seeing it, so I avoided her so-called friends like the plague, but occasionally it was unavoidable and I would end up dealing with annoying college girls all night long.  On this particular day we were visiting a girl who had absolutely never done anything important in her life and had never accomplished anything for herself, she paid her way through life using her daddy’s bank account and co-opted the accomplishments of others to make herself feel more important.  I hated her with every fibre of my being.  This girl was busy blah, blah, blahing away when something she said grabbed my attention.  She was jabbering on about some Navy guy that she had dated and how amazing it was to be with someone so brave and important, someone who was willing to risk his life for our freedom.  She then mentioned that he was an important Navy Mess Specialist.  I smiled at that.  Mess Specialists are important, the run the galleys, the organize the food supplies, manage the berthing, etc.  The Mess Specialists that I have known were all good guys and I liked them, but I would hardly hoist them up as brave Navy sailors, fighting the good fight.  They are important functionaries, not combat hardened soldiers.  The girl must have noticed my smile, because she paused long enough to look me over and then made her fatal mistake by saying,

“Nice peacoat, my boyfriend gave me one too, but mine is real.”

I laughed and told her that mine was real too.  She sneered and asked me where I got it.  So I smiled and said, “It was issued to me, in boot camp.  I’m a Navy Hospital Corpsman.”

The girl blanched at that and began to sputter something about his coat probably being older, and that’s why it looked a little different.  I just smiled and shook my head.  The rest of the visit was pretty awkward and I mostly sat in silence as I contemplated the example that I was just handed about why boasting over minor feats is such a bad idea.

On our way out I smiled politely and said, “Making yourself look important by putting other people down never works out, does it?”

She looked down at her feet, and shut the door on me.  I felt kind of bad about that, but she had spent the whole night subtly putting us down while she talked herself up, so I felt as if she had it coming.

A lot of things could be taken from that event, but what I chose to take away was that if you have to throw your accomplishments (or the accomplishments of your friends) in other people’s faces, then maybe you haven’t really accomplished much at all.  Being proud of your self is Human, being boastful is just stupid.

Eventually my friends realized that I wasn’t just goofy old Nick anymore and treated me with more respect, but it didn’t happen because of any skills or knowledge that I could flaunt at them.  It happened because those skills and knowledge made me into a better person, someone who didn’t need to boast or brag to gain respect or attention.  I also realized that no matter how much I learned or how many amazing things I did that I would always still be goofy.  There would always be someone out there who could run faster, jump higher, and know more than me, but no matter how great someone else may be they could never be me.  That knowledge helped me to be happy to be me, flaws and all.

My Latest Desert Island Experience

Last week’s desert island shave finished up well, I enjoyed my products and really felt sort of sad to be moving on to something else.  It’s always nice to find something that works really well.  I did replace my Union Cutlery straight razor with a Parker SRW, but other than that I stuck with all of the same gear.

This week I began with the Parker SRW, but switched to the Parker SR1 after the first day.  The Parker Disposable Blade Straight Razors (DBSRs) really do an amazing job and are quickly becoming my favorite razors.  The Parker SR1, in particular, is nice.  It has a slightly longer handle than the SRW and weighs a bit more as well, it also feels a bit more like a normal straight razor in the hand.  I used a superlather of Klar Kabinett soap and Kiss My Face Key Lime shaving cream.  The Klar I decided on for a couple of reasons.  The first reason is that the soap is being discontinued and it just seemed like a good time to use it.  The second reason is that this soap was given to me as a sample several months ago and I have yet to use it up, mostly because I just was not that impressed by it.  The KMF Key Lime I chose to pump up the Klar, I figured that the superior performance of the KMF would produce an excellent superlather and the nice lime scent would go well with the artificial rose scent of the Klar.  I’m sticking with my Comoy/Vulfix376S Super Badger brush, it is nice and soft and seems to excel at handling large amounts of lather.  For my blade I am using SuperMax Titanium, it is my favorite double edge blade and I never have any issues with it.  I’m also using The Art of Shaving Ocean Kelp Preshave Gel to help keep things nice and smooth and during the second day my SAL Alum came in, so I began using that as part of my post shave.

Today is the third day of this week’s desert island shave, I’ve chosen to do a run down of today’s shave because it does a good job of highlighting the highs and lows of the week so far.  I did my usual prep of a hot shower followed by a warm water splash and then applied a little bit of AoS Ocean Kelp Preshave Gel.  The gel smells nice and adds a little bit of slickness, but I actually prefer the preshave oil.  The gel is water soluble and seems to lose some of its effectiveness when my face is extremely wet.  I have chosen to face lather for a change of pace and have found that I have a slightly difficult time keeping my lather from splashing everywhere.  The Vulfix brush is a bit too floppy when it is really loaded down and although it does well with bowl lathering, when I try to get my lather worked up using just my face it gets a bit messy.  Beyond the mess, this superlather whips up quickly and easily and provides a nice slick and thick lather.  The Key Lime mostly overpowers the rose scent of the Klar Kabinett, but enough breaks through to make it an interesting combination.  I did a three pass with the grain/against the grain/across the grain shave followed by a cold water rinse and an application of alum.  The results were a baby butt smooth shave with no irritation, but my first ever nick while using a DBSR.  The nick occurred on my final pass and only happened because I managed to accidentally hit a mole.  The mole is nearly flush with my skin and rather small, so I rarely even notice it, but it is there and it made its self known.  Moles are vascular, so even though it was a tiny nick, it bled a lot.  A little pressure and some styptic easily stopped the bleeding.  The SAL Alum applied easily thanks to its rounded form and plastic base, it made my skin nice and tight and helped to keep my skin irritation free.  This shave is pretty typical of the rest of this week’s shaves–some issues, but mostly good.  I like the superlather of the two products well enough, but I won’t be sad to move on from them.  The Vulfix brush, while nice is starting to show its limitations.  Next week I will pick a different brush to take its place.  I can see myself using DBSRs exclusively if they continue to perform as well as they have been, I really like them and will probably be using them for the rest of the month.  Sometimes extended use of a product will make it shine, other times it will overstay its welcome, but it’s always nice to get a good feel for your gear rather than switching out every day, I highly suggest that every one gives “desert island” shaving a try every once in a while.  Just puck some gear that you like and stick with it for a week, the results just might surprise you.

Pre: Warm water splash and AoS Ocean Kelp Preshave Gel
Razor: Parker SR1
Blade: SuperMax Titanium
Brush: Comoy/Vulfix 376S Super Badger
Soap: Superlather of Klar Kabinett and Kiss My Face Key Lime
Post: Cold water rinse and SAL Alum

image

Product Links:

Parker SR1:
http://www.razorsdirect.com/catalog/item/7409120/9008946.htm

SuperMax Titanium:
http://www.razorbladesandmore.com/content/10-supermax-titanium-sweedish-steel-blades
http://www.razorbladesandmore.com/content/100-supermax-titanium-sweedish-steel-blades

Klar Kabinett:
http://www.bullgooseshaving.net/klkashso.html

KMF Key Lime:
http://www.pureformulas.com/key-lime-moisture-shave-34-fl-oz-by-kiss-my-face.html
http://www.pureformulas.com/key-lime-moisture-shave-11-fl-oz-by-kiss-my-face.html

Vulfix 376S Super Badger:
http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Vulfix-376S-Super-Badger-Shaving-Brush_p_553.html

SAL Alum:
http://www.connaughtshaving.com/allumblock.html

AoS Ocean Kelp Preshave Gel:
http://www.amazon.com/Art-Shaving-Pre-Shave-Gel-Ocean-Kelp-2/dp/B005NWHOPE

A Pictorial Tour Of My Shave Den

These are pictures of the various pieces of gear that I currently own.  A few things have been left out, either because they have been leant out or because I forgot about them until after I took the pictures and did not feel like taking more.  There are many things that I have owned in the past, but no longer have and a few things which either broke or were lost, but this is a pretty accurate representation of what I think of as my good gear.  Enjoy the show.

image

Den overview shot 1 (This is how my shelf looks from day to day, this is the stuff that I or my wife use most often.)

image

Den overview shot 2 (My Box-O-GoodStuff, the majority of my creams and soaps.)

image

Den overview shot 3 (The stands are from Cutting Edge Razors, they do excellent custom work.)

image

Razors shot 1 (Parker SRW, Parker SR1, Sik Bay, Edwin Jagger DE86, Gillette Flare Tip, Gillette Black Handle Super Speed.)

image

Razor shot 2 (Robeson ShurEdge, Union Cutlery, Joseph Allen & Sons – Without Scales, James Rodgers & Co., P.H. Hahn, Sterling Mfg.)

image

Razor shot 3 (Fromm hair shaper, Sanguine X-D20, Hawk Blue)

image
Rolls Razor (I picked this up at a flea market, two razor heads, a usable strop and hone, and a handle.)

image

Brushes shot 1 (Van Der Hagen basic boar, Muhle HJM, Muhle HJM Tortoise, Omega 11137.)

image

Brushes shot 2 (Turkish Horsehair #6, Comoy/Vulfix 376S Super Badger, Turkish Horsehair #6, The Art of Shaving Fine Badger.)

image

Blades shot 1 (I have many more packs in a box, but these are representatives of the non pictured packs. (Gillette 7 O’Clock SharpEdge, Croma Diamant, Derby Extra (new style), Derby Extra (old style), Max Herder Elite Swedish Steel, Treet Platinum, Jewel Super Stainless, Bolzano Superinox Inossidabile, Dorco ST-301, Dorco ST-300, 7A.M. Platinum, the Altoids tin is filled with random blades of various types, Wilkinson Sword Stainless, SuperMax Stainless, Asta Superior Stainless, Voskhod Teflon, Vasco red/blue, Rapira Stainless.)

image

Blades shot 2 (My 100 packs of blades, these are my favorite blades. Shark Super Stainless, Lord Platinum, SuperMax Titanium, Personna Labs, Personna Labs.)

image

Soaps shot 1 (L’Occitane Cade, RazoRock Napoleon’s Violet, Vitos Extra Super, eShave Linden, Ogallala Bay Rum, Limes, and Peppercorns, Ogallala Bay Rum, Sage, and Cedar. I created the eShave label, the Ogallala labels are scans of the labels that come on the boxes.)

image

Soaps shot 2 (Mama Bear Toasted Coconut, Pre De Provence, Proraso White, De Vergulde Hand Extra Fris, RazoRock Cumba Cheech, RazoRock Nonno Michelino, Godrej Shaving Round, Pyrate Cove Rose, Pyrate Cove Cucumber Mellon.)

image

Soaps shot 3 (Van Der Hagen Glycerin in a shave stick, Provence Sante Green Tea, VDH Glycerin, VDH Deluxe.)

image
Soaps shot 4 (Kell’s Original Ultra Aloe Energy, Kell’s Original UA Vanilla Bean, Kell’s Original UA Juniper Sage, Pyrate Cove Coconut)

image

Creams shot 1 (Real Shave Co. Sensitive, Karo Classic, Every Man Jack Sensitive, Ikar Tornado, Derby Normal, C.O. Bigelow, Kiss My Face, Green Tea & Bamboo, KMF Key Lime, KMF Pomegranate Grapefruit, RazoRock S. Maria, Local Pig Cream, The Body Shop Maca Root.)

image

Creams shot 2 (Kiss My Face Green Tea & Bamboo, KMF Cool Mint, eShave White Tea, Taylor of Old Bond Street Rose, The Art of Shaving Ocean Kelp, KMF Cool Mint, KMF Key Lime.)

image

Pre/Post shave stuff shot (The Art of Shaving Ocean Kelp After Shave Balm, AoS Ocean Kelp Preshave Gel, SAL Alum, SAL, Alum, Clubman Styptic Pencil, T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel, eShave Cucumber After Shave Balm.)

image

Strops & Hones (Whipped Dog Poor Man’s Strop, Dovo/Col. Conk Leather & Linen Hanging Strop, Whipped Dog Dual Sided Pasted Strop, Barber’s Hone, Dual Sided 1000/4000 Hone.)