What's new

Maybe I'll learn something.

I have lurked in enough journals to see the benefit of gathering notes about the shave collected in one place. Plus it keeps my ramblings in other peoples threads down a bit.

I usually go a few days in between shaves, but, I am going to be volunteering at the local library and I need to get back in the habit of being presentable.
In that interest I want to start shaving daily. The last two days I have shaved with mild razors and it has left some irritation on my neck. I am probably using to much pressure and I rarely stretch my skin when I shave. Those are two things I want to start focusing on. I am getting great shaves DFS+. Of my razors that I use all but my Timeless bronze .38 SB are relatively new. I also reacquired a Merkur 34g to replace my first razor to take part in: Sunday's shave revisiting first equipment. Then a British flat bottom tech for:Monday's shave


Today's shave was my first with my Rex Ambassador. I had mild irritation on my neck left over from yesterday's shave, so I used setting 3.5 for my face WTG 1st past, then 2.5 for my neck and all over for the XTG and ATG passes. Yesterday I used A&E's slick stick preshave and today I compared it to the tube 2.0. I like that both have twist containers like deodorant. It makes them very easy to work with. Slick stick is softer and goes on a little easier. That said both options add to the slickness of the shave and accomplish the same task. I have been through one cubeso I know what is in store for tube 2.0. Both are great products. I think it will boil down to which soap I am using which preshave I reach for. The only thing that bugs me with slick stick is it is not available anywhere that I have found but A&E's site. I do hope other vendors that sell A&E pick it up.

I got a bunch of Saponificio Varesino in so I used my Felce Aromatica soap and paired it with Cubebe in both after shave and fragrance. Not bad. More burn than the Felce Aromatica splash. Not sure if I will pick this scent. I have a lot of samples to get through before I can say that. I'm in no rush. My various acquisition disorders are pretty bad, but, I have a lot to keep me busy.

Today's shave was feels much closer than with either the tech or 34g. I really was liking my Rex Envoy, but, having an Ambassador I am not sure how much use it will get. Both came from the scratch and dent sale, and both are in great shape. Both are phenomenal razors. I had a super adjustable and a slim earlier my journey, but, I think my technique was not ready for them. With setting 2.5 I achieved the best shave I have had all week. Comparable to my last shave with the Envoy. Alum burned and I saw one weeper, but, my irritation on my neck has settled down. Witch hazel helped I think. I didn't use a balm today because I am used to felce aromatica being really good for the skin, but, cubebe burned more than the alum all over. I always use a splash, but, todays was a little more burn then normal.I am not sure on what it lays because the shave was very smooth and I have no new irritation.

This brush surprises me every time I use it. I have two brushes that are supposedly 26mm this and my shavemac two band. I think this Frank Shaving 26mm two band Manchurian is actually a 28mm. It looks and feels that much bigger than my shavemac, and, without a set of calipers I don't know how to check.I mean of the two which is more likely to get it wrong. Either way this is a budget brush that performs way above it's pay grade. Is it as nice as my Rudy Vey Manchurian or my two band silvertip shavemac? No but it still a good brush and one I am glad to have in my stable.

As far as the Hyaluronic Acid. It is a nice addition. I need to add a moisturizer probably and maybe start using it at night. I am horrible about taking care of myself when I have no responsibilities so I am hoping volunteering helps me turn that around. I enjoy everything about this hobby. I should treat myself to a good pleasant shave more often.
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Prep: cool shower and face wash with King C. Gillette beard and face wash.
Preshave: PAA Tube 2.0
Razor: Rex Ambassador setting 3.5 WTG and 2 for XTG/ATG passes
Blade: Wizamet Polsilver Stainless (4)
Brush: Shavemac 26mm two band silvertip fan
Soap: Pannacrema labdano
Post: alum block, witch hazel, instaskincare hyaluronic acid
After Shave: Nivea Sensitive Balm/PAA Speakeasy


Today I had my second go with the Ambassador. My neck still had some irritation from the last two days. With that being the case I decided to do the first pass at 3.5, and, subsequent passes on 2. I am feeling out the razor. No nicks but there was some red irritation on my neck in my trouble spots. I should probably take a day off, but, I don't want to. I will see how I feel in the morning.

I actually could easily skip a day as it is not necesary to shave daily with my medium beard. My soul patch area is a little more wiry as well as my neck that grows in several directions making it difficult to get close. These along with my jawline that grows toward my chin, are my trouble spots. I didn't today, but, to get my DFS I need to do a little buffing. DFS+ is the best shave I can get. I want a close comfortable shave though rather than BBS. First pass aside, the subsequent passes on 2 may not have been enough. That could also lay on my technique, but, I got better results at 2.5 yesterday. I also didn't do touch up or buffing today. Results on my neck CCS and everywhere else DFS. Good enough for a road trip day.

These are still a new razors. I have used the Envoy three times and the ambassador twice. I still need to get better acquainted with them. The Envoy which is supposed to be a 3, is enough to take four or five days growth. It also does it comfortably. I have read that the Rexes are aggressive, but, I don't find them so.

I also shave with a relitively new Karve CB brass with plates C,D, and, G solid plates; Timeless Bronze .38 SB (I have the OC but don't like it); a British flat bottom tech; a Merkur 34g HD; as well as the two modern R89 head gillettes I don't use because they aren't very efficient. Efficiency and comfort are what I look for in a razor. The razors I know best is the Timeless and the 34g. Both are very mild and I guess are good every day shavers. I find myself grabbing the Rexes more though. They are also my shiny new toys.

My various acquisition disorders have been running rampant for the past three months. Not that that bothers me. I have purged everything I don't like, but, the modern gillettes which I will keep. The King C. Gillette I haven't opened. I used the heritage once, cleaned, sterilized and put it case, blades, and, all back in it's mailer. I figure if Gillette is going to make a DE I want to support it. Not impressed with their offering. I really wish they would have stuck a metal handle on one of the modern techs from China or India.
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For shave five on the unobtainium polsilver, I threw it in the Karve C.B. with plate C. This is the mildest of my 3 Karve SB plates. The polsilver was just as smooth as the first. Brush was my favorite 2019 Rudy Vey B&B 25mm Manchurian. I am really lucky to have gotten this from a fellow B&Ber since there aren't many of this great brush. I am really liking the tube 2.0. The cube was already good, but, to add a dispenser made it even better. New to me was the Zingari Man No. 1 set. Great performance and I love the scent. Really glad I took a chance on this soap blind. The recovery splash is good stuff and maybe I could have skipped the balm and witch hazel, but, my skin feels good for it. I think I am already seeing results from the hyaluronic acid. I have only been using it since Sunday after the witch hazel. The brickell balm is good, but, I think I prefer the Nivea sensitive.

Today's shave was phenomenal. I did a three pass WTG, XTG, ATG, plus two touch up passes. I had a few weepers that disappeared with the alum but it felt really good and I got my best shave this week. Very close to BBS, even in my trouble spots it is very close. I wonder what I would have accomplished with plate D or G, but, shaving everyday seems like they would be too much at least with the G. I will go for the D tomorrow. I am just really pleased with today's shave.

This was my first time using ethos products. Good performance with a decent scent. Today I went with the Karve with SB plate D. Results DFS. I actually got closer with plate C on Thursday which puzzles me, but, either way it was a close comfortable shave. I really like this razor in a no nonsense kind of way.

Prep: Cool water shower with King C. Gillette beard and face wash.
Preshave/Soap/Balm/Splash: Proraso Green
Brush: Custom Shavemac 26/54 two band silvertip fan
Razor: Rex Ambassador setting 4
Blade: Wizamet Polsilver Stainless (7)
Post Shave: cold water rinse, alum block, witch hazel, hyaluronic acid, balm, splash

I skipped yesterday. I did teach someone to shave and pifed a flat bottom tech, cella red soap and balm, an alum block, and a Stirling finest brush I don't use anymore. Originally I was going to give him a 40's super speed, but, I figured the tech would be easier to learn with. He got a great shave and did well if it took a while. No nicks or weepers. He did make faces about the alum though. His lather could use some work. I sent him links. Maybe he will look at them.

Today's shave was special. Third outing with the Ambassador 7th with the unobtainium blade. So very smooth and efficient. I don't see where the rexes get their reputation as aggressive. I don't get that at all, just close, smooth, comfortable shaves. I get comparable shaves with both the Rexes and the Karve. Now that I have such great razors I wish I would have gone with the the timeless slim .95 instead of the bronze .38. My bronze timeless is my prettiest razor but, not, my most efficent. I think I will give it another go. I also have the OC plate somewhere, but, it is too much for me. I just don't get along with open combs.

Back to today's shave. I went all proraso so that I could sample other aftershaves throughout the day. Cold water seems to be helping and using a bowl has helped my lather. I did three passes and a fourth on my neck. Great all the way around.

I wish I would have gotten a either the fine bowl or the large captain's choice. The timeless bowl is good but small and tall. It is the same diameter.as the regular captain's choice bowls, but, they looked better shaped. I only just got the timeless bowl and my AD has been going nuts of late. Maybe next month.

Today's shave was #8 for the Polsilver and 4th run with the Ambassador. I ran at setting 3.5 and got damn near BBS. My neck is closer today than yesterday, but, that is due to an extra pass and buffing. I tend to do a 3 pass WTG, XTG, ATG, and touch ups. In hinsight while a very close comfortable shave, but, I want to experiment with higher settings. Four was good yesterday. I will try five tomorrow.

Slick stick helps A&E soaps not sure if I like it as much as tube, but, it is good stuff. I got my best A&E lather ever today. Need to take what I have learned to my other soaps other than B&M which I know well.
It has been about 45 minutes and I can hardly feel any stubble. This was an even closer shave than I thought. So close to BBS and so comfortable. This was a really great shave. Everything was just right.

I got over confident after the last three shaves and basically did a five pass shave on setting five. WTG, XTG in both directions, and 2x ATG. It felt smooth as the previous shaves, but, the alum feedback was pretty high and my face feels over shaved. All that said, I did achieve BBS or close enough to not matter.

Fine classic soap is great stuff. I like the scent from the lavendar soap more than the aftershave which I do get the peppermint from. Wonderful lather.

My post shave routine might be too much. First I rinse with cold water and use an alum block. I let it dry on my face, then use witch hazel. I could probably cut one of these two out. Next hyaluronic acid which I again let dry mostly followed by a balm. Last after all that has dried I finish with a splash. It takes a little while, but, I'm a hermit and generally not in a hurry. My skin does feel good. I will keep doing what I am doing for now.

I would like to achieve this level closeness without post shave irritation. The fault today was chasing a BBS. My recent shaves have all been close and comfortable. I can be happy with that. It is just my neck a line from my Adam's apple to my ear grows diagonally up. The skin on my neck is very hard to stretch and is difficult to go both WTG and ATG. My soul patch area also is difficult. Not sure what I can do to improve my technique.

After yesterday's irritation I decided to switch things up with a grandpa shave. The old spice soap's scent has faded over time, but, the after shave is still great. I gave the Polsilver a break to use a Gillette blade. Not sure of what I think of the 7 o'clock yellows. It was a smooth shave in the superspeed, but, I am left with a BBS with light irritation from a three pass shave plus touch ups. I probably should have taken a day off, but, that is no fun.

We'll see how my face feels tomorrow.


Returned to the Polsilver Stainless (10) Rex Ambassador combo today. Rex set to 4. Did three passes and then touch up in my trouble spots. Results DFS+ in trouble spots BBS everywhere else. It was close and comfortable. Slight neck irritation due to touch up pass. I am wondering if I need both alum and the witch hazel. I may experiment with just the witch hazel if I can escape a shave with out a nick.
091121 Saturday

First time using the Fatip lo Storto Gentile. I paired it with the unobtainium Polsilver blade for it's eleventh shave. Such a smooth combo. I did three passes, WTG, XTG, ATG, and two touch up passes to my trouble spots beneath my jawline and around my Adam's apple. DFS+ or as close as I ever get for a 9.8/10 close comfortable shave.

The Timmermann line from Pasteur Pharmacy and Wholly Kaw is marvelous. all the great things from Wholly Kaw and an exquisite scent. It reminds me a bit of a favorite of mine, WCS exclusive B&M Beaudelaire.

Not sure if it was blade or prep, but, it was pretty tuggy till I flipped the blade. I do this every shave when I remember. It helped, but, it was not as smooth as it has been for the previous eleven shaves. I took considerably more time because of the tugging.I achieved a CCS with no irritation whatsoever. A good shave for the twelfth run on the unobtainium Polsilver Stainless blade where as the first eleven were great. I will try to push through in my Timeless bronze 0.38 SB and software I know. See how it does. If it tugs today the blade will get replaced.

13th shave on Polsilver stainless blade. Was much more smooth than the last. I am going to try again and if I get any tugging I will retire the blade. I do flip them when I remember. Not sure if it helps or not. Regardless the shave a three pass with touch ups was again in the great category. DFS. Not sure I can get much better with the timeless 0.38 SB. It is certainly my prettiest razor, but, I am not sure how efficent kit is and I have used it a year or two. Could be lacking technique still. We'll see.


Shave 14 on the Polsilver blade. Smooth again today. No tugging, minimal irritation completely technique related and from buffing.

Today I tried Mitchell's Wool Fat for the first time. Performed as well as any soaps I have, and, was not hard to lather. I missed having a scent though. I don't see myself choosing to use this.

Results DFS. Pretty great shave all things considered.


First WTG pass I used blade #1 for shave 15 but it was tugging so I switched it out with a fresh blade. While some of it is technique it was like night and day. So smooth. I really like A&E's slick stick preshave. I am going to use it this week to compare to cube/tube from PAA. The post-shave serum is not a bad balm either. Great shave after the first pass. Results 9.0/10 CCS to DFS.

Day two with slick stick. This time with Cyril R. Salter soap. The soap has a nice lavender scent and produces a slick lather. For the cost it is great. I got the vintage Yardley to pair with it. It is okay. Not quite what I expected. The Polsilver and fatip closed comb slant is smooth combo again today.
Results CCS to DFS.

Slick stick didn't add much to old spice. It is not fair comparing vintage soap with today's performers. I do think I got more residual slickness when using cube with old spice soap than slick stick. I'll test it next time I'm in the mood for old spice. Not as close today. My technique was okay, but, I did not buff today due to the lather. I'm glad I bought the old spice but from a performance perspective I think one of the artisan homages would have been better. It is neat though.


After the so so old spice soap I was in the mood for a real performer. Pannacrema Nuavia is one of my best. Such a nice shave. I took my time, but, I think I can slow down more. My neck trouble spot on the left is baby bottom smooth. This gives me hope. My jawline, right side neck, and soul patch area is DFS. I want to stick with the Fatip lo Storto Gentile / Polsilver Stainless combo for the rest of the month. Hopefully I can take this second blade farther than the first. Four shaves in. The razor is a lot lighter than I am used to. It will take time to adjust.


The last five days I haven't felt well so I slacked on shaving. All the better because this blade and razor combo mowed down five days growth like it was nothing. This was a very satisfying shave. PAA / Pasteur Pharmacy The Battle of NYC is great stuff. My new favorite PAA. Best blind buy since Timmermann, also a Pasteur collaboration. Also the Captain's Choice Copper Bowl is awesome. Much better experience than the blue Timeless bowl.



B&M Reserve Fern was lovely. Lathered extremely easy. Lather was slick had residual slickness good enough to buzz. Around my mouth CCS, everywhere else DFS+. Did three passes, WTG, XTG, ATG, plus touch up. Touch up on neck resulted in some blood, but, very smooth and a great shave.
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