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Input on building a gift kit

So let's put something out for members... like a lot of folks around here, I love to give wet shaving gear and kits to friends and family. Whether it's a good buddy, colleague, or an in-law, I love to put together bundles of gear and consumables to get them started or advance their collection/knowledge/enjoyment. Makes for unique and personal gifts. So on to the current bundle I'm building and your thoughts and input on inclusions.

The bundle I am currently building is for my Brother-in-law. My wife's half brother. He's an NCO in the army, in his 30's, a family man. We don't get to spend any time together really, as we are spread all over this great country but he and converse on Insta/facespace etc when we post stuff we enjoy. He's shown interest in the wet shaving and he's got a new job that requires a certain amount of business casual attire and civilian interaction. While he of course needs to maintain strict grooming standards, it's my understanding that he has some leeway for style and personality in his day to day.

I am putting together a bit of a basic plus kit for him that will include a couple of razors, a couple of brushes, a ton of blade choices, and some basic consumables for taking his routine in whatever direction he wants to go.

The razors, I think, are already chosen. I like to give adjustables as gifts for noobs and in this case I chose the Yaqi. It seemed interesting to me. Doesn't cost an arm and a leg but if he wanted to upgrade to a similar but better or vintage version he could. I am also going to give him a 1955 Gillette Diplomat. His father's birth year. His father passed in 2012. They had a complex relationship as some of us often do with our fathers but his father was very proud of his son's success in the military. We are all proud of his success. He is a honest, good man, raising kids and working hard.

For brushes, I have already purchase a Colorado Razor Designs handle from Etsy, made in the town he has adopted as his home. I have placed a Manchurian Silvertip/High Mountain White knot from Razor Emporium into the handle. I am also thinking a synthetic brush might be the ticket as well. In the past I've given boar brushes but I think the quality of synthetic has come so far that I'm started to lean towards them for starters. Currently enamoured with the Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement brushes. They seem a nice value and fun shapes.

For consumables I typically give everyone a stick of Arko. Whether you love it or hate it, it works as a soap. It's a classic. He'll definitely be getting Arko. In the past I've also given Proraso creams or Godrej when I had a good source. Again the PAA products seem very interesting as well as Stirling neither of which I've used. I'll probably throw in Alum (Razorock stick is easy) and maybe some thayers. But I think I'd also like to throw in some aftershave and a matching cologne.

There will probably be a travel case of some kind, like the ones printed and assembled by FrugalShave on etsy.

So here's where y'all jump in and comment. What soaps or creams would you give. Is PAA a good route or should I look somewhere else for a high quality value synthetic. What post shave products do you give as gifts? Let's hear it.

Todd
 
For razors my choice would be the SLOC, or King C. Gillette if modern. They're both inexpensive and easy/safe to use. I'd give the nod to the SLOC. Vintage I'd go Tech, 50's SuperSpeed, or Slim Adjustable.

Soap/Cream I'd go Stirling or Proraso red in a tube. Both are easy to use and solid performers. Most like the smell of the Proraso red. La Toja stick is also a good choice.

I'm fond of the Yaqi Timberwolf brush. Cheap and nice and soft. Personally I'd not give a boar because of the break in required.

A nice neutral yet manly aftershave would be Virgin Island Bay Rum.

If you're thinking about a lathering bowl it's hard to beat Captain's Choice copper bowl.
 
Outstanding choice on the Diplomat. It’s one of the best shavers in the Gillette lineup. And super smooth! You’re giving him an heirloom, well done, sir. For starter soaps, I suggest TOBS Sandalwood, Cella, Haslinger Schafmilch, or Proraso Green. Of those four, the Haslinger is, IMHO, the best performing.
 
Wow, what a lot of thought and time you've put in. I'm sure he will appreciate it very much. PAA does, indeed, have some great soaps so it is hard to go wrong. If time is ever an issue for him I'd toss in a stick. Tabac and Arko just to make him feel at home.
 
The gift of traditional shaving is exceptionally thoughtful, especially for a man who must shave every day!

All of the PAA synthetic brushes perform very well and the price point is quite nice. Yaqi synthetics also perform well and are low priced. You can’t go wrong with either.

Two thumbs up on Arko!!

borwish suggested at Captain’s Choice copper lathering bowl, and I’m in full agreement.

With respect to shaving software, the full gamut of Proraso Green (pre-shave, shaving cream, aftershave lotion (their aftershave splash), and aftershave balm) is perfect for any shaving den. I also recommend any of the Stirling citrus scents with lemon and orange being personal favorites.

You might also throw in a variety of blades, a blade bank, a simple razor and brush stand, and a Styptic pencil (Pacific Shaving’s Nick Stick is an awesome choice).

An incredible gift to be sure. One that will last a lifetime, and provide a lifetime of enjoyment.
 
in my personal experience, gifting razors or blades blindly is not advised. rather, i've had more luck in gifting soaps, creams, brushes, aftershaves...eg stuff that guys can use right away with whatever his current razor choice is!!

especially like gifting small tins of Cella cut from the kilo brick! those have generally been much appreciated!

cella brick penhaligon schulze tuesday truefitt hill 1805 november 25 2015.jpg
 
So let's put something out for members... like a lot of folks around here, I love to give wet shaving gear and kits to friends and family. Whether it's a good buddy, colleague, or an in-law, I love to put together bundles of gear and consumables to get them started or advance their collection/knowledge/enjoyment. Makes for unique and personal gifts. So on to the current bundle I'm building and your thoughts and input on inclusions.

The bundle I am currently building is for my Brother-in-law. My wife's half brother. He's an NCO in the army, in his 30's, a family man. We don't get to spend any time together really, as we are spread all over this great country but he and converse on Insta/facespace etc when we post stuff we enjoy. He's shown interest in the wet shaving and he's got a new job that requires a certain amount of business casual attire and civilian interaction. While he of course needs to maintain strict grooming standards, it's my understanding that he has some leeway for style and personality in his day to day.

I am putting together a bit of a basic plus kit for him that will include a couple of razors, a couple of brushes, a ton of blade choices, and some basic consumables for taking his routine in whatever direction he wants to go.

The razors, I think, are already chosen. I like to give adjustables as gifts for noobs and in this case I chose the Yaqi. It seemed interesting to me. Doesn't cost an arm and a leg but if he wanted to upgrade to a similar but better or vintage version he could. I am also going to give him a 1955 Gillette Diplomat. His father's birth year. His father passed in 2012. They had a complex relationship as some of us often do with our fathers but his father was very proud of his son's success in the military. We are all proud of his success. He is a honest, good man, raising kids and working hard.

For brushes, I have already purchase a Colorado Razor Designs handle from Etsy, made in the town he has adopted as his home. I have placed a Manchurian Silvertip/High Mountain White knot from Razor Emporium into the handle. I am also thinking a synthetic brush might be the ticket as well. In the past I've given boar brushes but I think the quality of synthetic has come so far that I'm started to lean towards them for starters. Currently enamoured with the Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement brushes. They seem a nice value and fun shapes.

For consumables I typically give everyone a stick of Arko. Whether you love it or hate it, it works as a soap. It's a classic. He'll definitely be getting Arko. In the past I've also given Proraso creams or Godrej when I had a good source. Again the PAA products seem very interesting as well as Stirling neither of which I've used. I'll probably throw in Alum (Razorock stick is easy) and maybe some thayers. But I think I'd also like to throw in some aftershave and a matching cologne.

There will probably be a travel case of some kind, like the ones printed and assembled by FrugalShave on etsy.

So here's where y'all jump in and comment. What soaps or creams would you give. Is PAA a good route or should I look somewhere else for a high quality value synthetic. What post shave products do you give as gifts? Let's hear it.

Todd

This is a gift that will keep on giving! Especially as you made some thoughtful choices. :a29:
 
Very thoughtful bundle! That's really personalized for the recipient!

As far as soaps go, I know I'd have loved a run of Stirling samples when I started! Or cut the journey and send him straight to MdC ;)
 
When I think of gift razors, the first that come to mind are:

Merkur 34c
Edwin Jagger DE89
Gillette Heritage
Muhle R89

...all of which are considered a safe starting point.

Of course, a vintage Gillette seems even better. 🙂
 
For razors my choice would be the SLOC, or King C. Gillette if modern. They're both inexpensive and easy/safe to use. I'd give the nod to the SLOC. Vintage I'd go Tech, 50's SuperSpeed, or Slim Adjustable.

Soap/Cream I'd go Stirling or Proraso red in a tube. Both are easy to use and solid performers. Most like the smell of the Proraso red. La Toja stick is also a good choice.

I'm fond of the Yaqi Timberwolf brush. Cheap and nice and soft. Personally I'd not give a boar because of the break in required.

A nice neutral yet manly aftershave would be Virgin Island Bay Rum.

If you're thinking about a lathering bowl it's hard to beat Captain's Choice copper bowl.
Borwish, I'll check out the Yaqi. I liked giving boar for exactly the reason you don't like giving boar, the break in. I think the break is part of the charm of wet shaving. Improvement with every shave and every use. A well used boar brush can be an excellent tool. Also The Omega 49 is just so inexpensive. I also used to buy the boar brush from the old turkish website that sold arko and some other products. The brush was like $3 and once broken in, an extraordinary performer.

Now, though, I think the synthetics are going to be the trick. For a bowl, My mother in law's husband, I don't call him father in law because of a bunch of reason (none of which are negative, really like the guy) is a potter and ceramic artist. He has a line of shave bowls and trays and I have purchased a set for this gift. Coincidentally I have gotten him involved in wet shaving and created a bit of a monster. I gave him a full set of birth year speeds (red, silver, blue) which he promptly added to and now is purchasing product at a breakneck pace. If anyone is in the Spokane area and wants a hand made bowl and tray set, Harry Mestyanek Pottery has you covered. He is at the local Spokane farmers markets weekly.

Todd
 
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For the soaps I would choose a small variety, Arko is fine, or Razorock What The Puck plus a couple of shaving creams, Palmolive, Nivea, Proraso Blue or Red, easy to lather and excellent performers. If you want something more performing Wet Shaving Product and Pre de Provence are great and will last a lifetime. As an aftershave / cologne I would choose Proraso Green and Clubman Pinaud Citrus Musk, great for the hot season.
You have chosen a nice gift kit!
 
Personally I would prob stay away from an adjustable, it seems good, you can adjust to whatever aggressive you like, but for a beginner, that's just too much choice and variability to start off with, whereas I would suggest stability/less variables to begin with and working on technique first.
 
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