Swirl or paint lather on face?

Discussion in 'Shaving Creams' started by mscott, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. During my straight razor shave at Truefitt & Hill in Vegas this weekend, the barber said that when I use a brush, I should swril it in circles to apply the lather to my face. When I was at Cambridge Chemists in NY the other day, I was told never to do that as the hair would then all be going in different directions. They said that I should paint it on in up and down strokes and side to side strokes, but not circles.

    I am not sure now how to proceed. Any help guys?
  2. Kyle

    Kyle Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Try both. I'm a painter, but that's just my preference. For me, it is easier to get even distribution this way. This technique also fits best with my current brush of choice.
  3. PoshRichM

    PoshRichM Moderator Emeritus

    I tend to swirl early in the shave when my whiskers are longer and easily cut, and paint later, in the opposite direction from the one I'm preparing to cut. For me, at least, the painting action helps to stand the now-shorter whiskers up for better cutting.

  4. I do both as well. I use the swirl to start, and then paint on the lather to get an even layer of thick lather.
  5. DoubleE

    DoubleE Moderator Emeritus

    I too use a combination of both. Simpson's brush instructions says to use a painting motion. The short loft of the Duke 2 and Polo 8 tend to work better for me in a painting motion. I typically use a circular motion with the longer hair of the Vulfix, SR, and Shavemacs.
  6. I use a painting motion on everything except the arko soap stick and my small/cheap pure badger brush. with this combo ive developed the most incredible hard soap lather ive ever made by *gasp* using every which motion AND an up and down pumping motion, i swear the pumping motion (which makes the brush look like you're beating on it) pushes out lather and water that is stuck in the brush creating a much more 'cream like' lather. if you have a cheap/small brush and the arko id recommend trying the pumping action (ps i also seem to get far better results with arko by using it as a stick and not like a soap cake). that said ive found the pumping to do nothing with my nicer/slightly larger brush or with creams, but i guess that's becuase i build creams in a bowl and soaps on my face.
  7. guenron

    guenron Moderator Emeritus

    I never realized that I start off in vigorous circles followed by a criss-cross crosshatch. If I had the time, I would probably exercise another half-dozen or so patterns.. In the case you haven't determined it as yet, I enjoy lathering a great deal.:w00t:
  8. Truth be told, unless the stubble is grown out into free flowing, curly locks, I can't imagine a badger hair brush exerting so much torque on stubble that it changes their direction of growth.

    A wise man (OK it was Ron) told me that the real goal in applying lather with a brush was to infuse the lather and water onto the hair and skin in order to have a smooth medium for the blade to glide over (contrary to the exfoliating effect, the "get the hairs standing up" effect, and other urban shaving myths I've heard.)

    I suspect that circular motions, paint-brush motions, and James' "pump-the-brush" action all work successfully toward that end
  9. I swirl it all around then finish up with a few paint brush strokes for good measure. Though if I get too into the latering I can end up with a snoot full of lather.:blushing:

  10. Lather, Lather…How do I love thee!!! :001_wub: Let me count the ways!!! :biggrin:

    I love to…

    Brush it, Build it, Rub it … Dab it, Daub it … Flick it, Flip it, Slick it … Glaze it, Skim it, Coat it … Lather it, Slather it … Mop it, Flop it, Blot it …Mound it, Pound it, Round it … Paint it, Plaster it, Pile it … Pump it, Push it, Pull it … Spread it, Smooth it … Smudge it, Smear it … Smush it, Mush it … Spin it, Sweep it … Swipe it, Wipe it … Smish it, Swish it … Swoosh it, Whoosh it … Swirl it,Twirl it and Whirl it!

    But…..I never, never, never…..SQUIRT it on!!! :shaving:
  11. ^^^^now that's a post!
  12. Kyle

    Kyle Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Are you sure that you were never employed by Dr Seuss?:lol: :lol: :lol:
  13. after rereading this and wondering why the pumping and going every which way to build up a soap cake lather didnt work with my larger brush or every soap i had to hit the bathroom and revisit it.... i can say i was completely wrong, the pumping and going in every direction works great with my better brush and every soap i have, up until today i will admit that i had been settling for medicore lather out of my soaps by painting it on. Guess i just thought they werent supposed to build lather as voluminous and meringue like as the creams i was whipping up in my bowl, but no more, the lather is truly on par with any of my creams.

    if your soap lather seems a bit thin (not runny, i had thick and heavy lather but it was thin and kept close to my face) i really suggest trying a pumping action with your brush against your face to unlock the water and lather in it.
  14. I must say I never really thought about it in terms of hair direction, rather just building a good lather on my face. Of course I've only been doing this for just over 2 weeks, so what do I know.

    My technique is to use a bowl for lathering, and then put it on my face primarily using an up & down motion while simultaneously making tiny little swirls as I move it up & down. Then I have found that if I just lightly take the tips and move the brush off more on to its side rather than straight on I can then get better lather by circling it real fast with the brush in that position. If that makes any sense, as it is harder to explain than do.
  15. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    I prefer a logarithmic spiral.:biggrin:
  16. I started out doing everything in the bowl, then applying to my face, but now I enjoy building the lather directly on my face as much as possible, only using the mug or bowl to get it started. First I do the circular motions to build the lather up, then paint it on, then wipe the sides of the brush on the edge of the bowl, and scooping that glob of lather it made in the bowl, to the tip of the brush, then slapping it on my face, ensures a great thick lather. I take probably way too long lathering my face, but hey good prep is time well spent right?

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