Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quite a year!

What a year it's been! I began the year with one Mach 3 razor, a few blades, a can of goo and one decent after shave. I now have a collection of brushes, blades, razors, creams, soaps and after shaves that will mean that I don't really have to spend another penny on shaving for several years.
And what fun it's been. Each new item has been thoroughly researched. Orders have been placed and deliveries have kept on coming. Trips to Hungerford Gentleman's Shop and a Lymington Barber for a cut throat shave and endless browsing in pharmacies. Videos on straight shaving studied and stropping technique practiced.
And the shaves. What a delight it's been to try so many different things. Much advice has been sought and given as I constantly seek to improve my shaving technique and practices. Browsing and contributing to forums and then this blog. It all adds up to a massive learning experience this year. And the shaves I get each day are incomparably better than I was achieving this time last year.

2010 should be very different! But time will tell.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa gets in on the act!

DR Harris Arlington, TOBS Avacado and Van der Hagen join the stash thanks to a daughter who knows her way round the internet and a little help from Santa.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kent BK4

This little beauty was a prize from Kent Brushes for being the first to add 10 friends to their Facebook pages.

Kent's packaging is second to none and the quality of their brushes is excellent. I posted more pictures here and will post a review when I have used the brush a few times.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Semogue Limited Edition 2009

Here's No. 40 which arrived today:

These are really good value brushes made in Portugal and discussed a lot on the shaving forums. Indeed, it's down to clever marketing through the forums that sales are so good. This joins my Semogue 1305 and will soon be introduced to my rotation. Two more brushes are on their way to complete a line up of nine brushes. I wonder how many will be here this time next year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kent Brushes

Just won a Kent BK4!

By logging on to their Facebook page and getting 10 friends to post my name on their wall.

A very interesting initiative by GB Kent which I will follow from now on:

Kent Facebook

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Vulfix 2234

Top - out of the box. Below - after three lathering sessions.
 Recommended by Brett at Progress Vulfix, this is the Vulfix 2234. It is a super badger in faux ivory, handle height 53mm, overall height 100mm, knot at base 22mm. A very soft brush that provides a luxurious feel and likely to be more at home with creams than soaps. Will add more when I have used it a few times.

Friday, December 18, 2009

British made shaving brushes

British made brushes are world famous.
But who actually makes them? Not the brand name, but the manufacturer?

These are the main UK area shaving brush makers:

Many of the famous London barbers have their own brands made by one or more of these manufacturers.

You can find out a little more about these companies on their websites. Just click on the name. But you won't find out much about Rooney's present operations. That's a bit of a mystery right now.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vulfix 404

However many brushes you have you should get this one. It will reming you that you do not need to spend much money on a brush to get a fine shave. At £7.60 it has to be the best value brush around. Here's a review I did and the comments of some other people.

How many brushes?

Here's a thread I started on a forum. It says it all!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


When you become interested in this shaving business one of the hardest things to do is resist spending. Particularly if you are a regular on the forums. Endless discussions about razors, blades, soaps, creams, after shaves, preshaves, strops, hones... On it goes. Someone raves about something and the next thing you know, another package has arrived from the postman. I'm no exception.
Well I think I am just about there with my acquisitions.

Once the Art of Shaving Sandalwood Soap, T & H Rose cream pot, DR Harris Marlborough soap, Tabac refills, new Semogue limited edition and Vulfix 404 brushes arrive.

And then there's Christmas to come!

Absolutely no spending in the new year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

DE Razors - the survivors.

I'm now down to:

Merkur 38C in red
Gillette Superspeed (1940s)

And my favourite:

Edwin Jagger DE87 (with 2009 Jagger/Muhle head)

I use it now all the time, alternating between red personna and Gillette super thin and Crystal Platinum blades.

Allergic to eShave Almond!

This wonderful cream that produces a superb lather from a tiny amount of product sadly is not for me.
 I came out in a hot red rash. Classic symptom of an allergic reaction. First time for everything!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Martin de Candre

18 more days! It's sitting awaiting wrapping. Not too long now.

Guess what Fido's got for Christmas.

Coate's Shaving Cream

I'd never heard of Coate's until I read this:

Then I discovered some available here

Now have the Sandalwood and the Limes.

Is this a case of CAD?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pre shave preparation

We all agree that before shaving it is essential to do some preparation before applying the lather we shave with.

But what preparation is really needed?

I have tried or experienced several pre shave routines:

Hot shower before shaving.

Hot wet towel or flannel.

Pre shave products - simple home made oil mixture, pre shave oil, hot face mask - and there are plenty of others.

Lather/hot towel/rinsing before application of the lather used for the first pass.

And then applying lather can be done quickly or at length, using painting or circular movements or both.

At minimum, we can simply wash the face with hot water and soap, rinse, then quickly apply lather.

Having tried several approaches, I have found little difference between them as far as the end result is concerned. Certainly nothing that justifies the time and expense that can be involved. So in my opinion, a thorough wash with soap and hot water and a good rinse is all that is really needed.

But!  As with all things for shaving aficionados, it is not about need and efficiency and cost justification. It is about enjoying a bit of personal pampering, indulgence and fun.

So I will continue to use up my pre shave oils, hot mask treatment, get out the hot towel and generally indulge myself, when I have the time. But if like yesterday, I need to be off in a hurry, its a quick wash,   face lathering, a couple of passes and I'm off. With a nice smooth and comfortable skin.

Other opinions?

Here are some: