Thank you Phog Allen, It is most definitely a "whisker killer"...I LOVE this soap. You're right about the lather "tightening up" so I usually have to wet the tip of my brush a couple of times and go back over the lather to moisten it up to where I like it for a straight shave. I melt the oils in the crock pot, measure out my KOH/NaOH and the total water, then I add both hydroxides to the water and let it dissolve. Once the lye solution clears a bit I add it straight to the melted oils. I haven't had a stick blender until recently, so I would just stir it for a while and let it start to cook. I do remember someone saying they add the stearic after trace, but I never have myself. Now that I have actually picked up a stick blender I'll look forward to a batch taking less time to cook after being able to emulsify the lye and oils. It really is pretty darn simple, however, after the cook the soap is nearly impossible to work with and will never make a "pretty" soap. Once it passes the zap test it's pretty much like waxy mashed potatoes and plopping it in the mold results in a pretty lumpy product that isn't able to flow to the shape of the container very well...but I don't want to have to wait around for weeks to test the soap!!! I've never actually done cold process soap. I don't have the patience for it!!