Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Badger and Hone

This is a relatively new site from which I have bought some great value products. They offer good prices, free delivery ( within the UK ) and a fast shipping service. And are easy to contact by 'phone. Well worth a look.

Today's shave

Crabtree & Evelyn Sienna soap is great value and an excellent performer with one of my Finest Silvertip brushes. Just one loop with string dropped the loft to 48 mm. That's the loft of the new brush out next month. After a bad nick yesterday I had some plasters in reserve. Not needed! Proraso balm doesn't get many mentions on the forums but it's another good value and satisfying product.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today's shave

Some people find the Chubby 2 (Best) a bit too big. Once you get used to it the brush is sheer delight, as it was today.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shave of the day

You don't need to spend a lot to get a decent shave.
The Body Shop synthetic brush is just £5.50. It does a fair job. Soft tips when dry but a very firm brush in use that would take time to master but would serve you well once you decide the best way to use it. The casserole dish is excellent as a bowl for a couple of palmolive shave sticks (48p each) Tabac balm is great value. The razor is a Merkur 38C used today with a Gillette Super thin.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Old timers

I had a change today and bought out a few old timers. The razor is a Gillette Single Ring 1918 - it's a light 50g open comb which is very aggressive and needs a very light touch. The brush is an old butterscotch, possibly a Simpsons, with a 19mm knot/ 38mm loft - a real face scrubber! And the soap remained unopened from the early 60s until given to me by a friend a few months ago. It's lovely stuff and there is no sign of deterioration. The brush sits alongside the Simpsons Astor for comparison.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shave of the day

There is much talk on the shaving forums about cheap soap sticks, razors and brushes. You can have a great shave with a palmolive stick with a razor/brush combination for less than £10.

Or you could have wasted a lot of money on a Simpsons Astor (90th Anniversary Limited Edition (£185) Martin de Candre soap (£42 delivered to UK) Jagger Chatsworth razor (£55)
Floris Balm and EDT (£70)

Was the shave worth it? Of course not! Did I enjoy it? You bet I did!

John Davis Woodturning

I visited this place yesterday:

John Davis is a registered professional woodturner and a stockist of a wide range of wood, acrylics, tools, finishes and equipment for the wood turner.
His gallery in the rural setting of beautiful Hampshire, England, affords the visitor a glimpse of his artistic work and other products.
John carries a wide range of turning blanks in both native and exotic timbers as well as importing quality Australian Burrs.

That's directly from his website introduction. I went to Stockbridge to see if John had any hardwoods suitable for shaving brush handles. I came away with some Tambootie African hardwood and some Onyx.

This place is well worth a visit. A wide variety of materials and goods. And it was a pleasure to meet and talk with John.

Coffee and cakes with Ruth in Stockbridge before returning home.

Next stop, Brian my local woodturner to discuss more brushes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Since starting my blog, I have had many approaches from advertisers and also offers of contributing material for my blog, subject of course to acknowledgement and website links. I don't take the blog that seriously. I started it really as a personal diary of my shaving journey. If someone finds something here of interest, that's great. I don't like lots of clutter or giving the impression I'm beholden to anyone so apart from links to other sites of shaving interest I'm keeping things the way they are.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Don't waste lather

My shaving ritual includes three passes - down, up and across. And then I squeeze out any lather left in my brush, smear it over my neck,cheeks and chin by hand and gently shave it off. It's perhaps the nicest part of my shave - and it ensures I don't waste any lather.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Custom brushes

Every collection should have at least one brush made by a custom brush maker. This one is special. I selected the shape, the wood, the type and grade of hair, the knot width and loft. I then asked Rudy Vey to make it with a knot hand made by Bernd of shavemac. It is a lovely brush that will serve me for my lifetime. A real pleasure to organise, receive and use.

As new

Early bloom after a few lathers

Handle 53mm
Loft 52mm
Knot 23mm

A little more about:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Martin de Candre

How I love this stuff. I've used this often in my rotation since last Christmas day. Just look at how little I've used. Lovely lavender scent, superb lather. My outstanding soap I'll never be without.

Shaving Forums

If you want some valuable information, suggestions and opinions about shaving techniques and products; if you want to help others and express your own views; if you simply want some fun and intrigue - check out a few of the shaving forums. Fido roams among several. They can be a bit of a bear pit sometimes. Each forum tends to develop it's own rules and culture. Fall foul of them at your peril. Thick skins are needed and faint hearts are at risk.

Forums can be great fun. But don't take things too seriously. It's only shaving!

For starters, try google:

shaving forum

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A short holiday

I've swopped houses with my daughter and in Guilford for a few days. Wandered past L'Occitane, C&E, and Neales Yard yesterday. Might just pop in today!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Another shaving bowl

I got my local potter to make me another shaving bowl. This one has a slightly larger base for ease of holding. Great value for £12. If you can support a local potter it's really a very good way of getting exactly what you want.

Running a "business" from home.

My brush project has been a real eye opener. I don't really look upon it as a "business" but in effect that's what it is, albeit in its infancy. The research and assessment of all the things you need to do before you can launch a product is considerable. And if you sell directly yourself in this modern world you soon get hooked into 24/7 mode. Enquiries come in and you feel the need to give a prompt response, and once orders start coming through you need a routine for recording, responding, packing and trips to the post office. At first it's a novelty. Then you appreciate the commitment. People rightly expect good service. And that means promptness and a personal touch.
I launched my first New Forest Brush on 26 June. Five weeks later my first batch of 150 had sold out, apart from a few "seconds". This week end made me realise just what an effort it has been. And this for just one item! So I cannot begin to imagine the impact that running on line businesses at home must be having on some people who offer a wide range of products.
When I look at some of the fine ranges of shaving brushes on the market today and the inevitable chain from manufacturer to retailer I feel a little more sympathetic to the high mark ups on brushes, although I still think that some at the high end are hard to justify.
I'm now taking time to reflect on my future strategy. I am going ahead with at least three more brushes and will deal with each one as a separate project, aim to sell out, take a break and then move on to the next one. Then I will assess options for the future. Some brushes may prove so popular that I will consider restocking. And I can continue to add more brushes step by step.
Running a business from home can be fun. But be prepared for the hard work and find a way of ensuring you get some free time!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Daft questions?

About a year ago I asked TSR members for some suggestions about soaps and creams.
Will I ever get through this lot? I also asked about razors, blades, pre and after shaves and brushes. But that's another story!

Did I mention brushes?

Some people are truly sad

Last night I had 4 brushes left, at the rate I was selling I was concerned I would be inconveniencing people if I let them pay for a brush which was sold out overnight. So I posted sold out notices on the sites I had listed on. I had had some private messages that I knew would lead to the last brushes being sold.

I read on B&B an inference that my sold out notices were a device to promote more sales. How sad is that?

My brush sold out because it is a brilliant brush selling at less than half the price that would be paid if it was one of the old established brands. And because lots of enthusiasts posted positive feedback. No one was asked by me to express positive opinions about the brush. It sold itself.

It's such a pity that I cannot speak directly to members of B&B. We could have had a lot of fun together. I sometimes wonder why there are so many unresolved conflicts in the world. And then I think about what odd creatures we humans are. How words and intentions can be so misunderstood by people wanting to see what simply isn't there.

I'm happy today. A first step has been taken and successfully completed. And now I'm going to take a break from selling brushes. Until September.