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Meet @TheVez2

Meet KJ, longtime B&B member, and big fan of AS.
(Try as I might, I can't get rid of those numbers at the top :blink:)
  1. Name: My name is KJ Vezino. It’s not Italian, it’s pronounced Vez-in-oh or Veh-zin-oh. So, most folks call me KJ but some call me Vez and others call me Spider or Spider-man (one guy calls me snake)…. I’ll answer to any of those, LOL. Spider-Man was my call sign in the Air Force (Given to me because I keep tarantulas, and always had one on my desk).
  2. Age: I’m 41 and am a Gillette date code W-2. This puts me coming in at the tail end of Generation X.
What do you do for a living?: I retired from the AF after 15 years of service. While on active duty I was a ICBM Combat Crew Commander for the first 5 years (yes I had my hands on the keys to launch nuclear weapons), and was and Engineer for the remainder of my career doing various jobs across the Air Force, mostly having to do with Nuclear Bombers like the B-2. Now as a civilian, I am a government contractor working for Northrop Grumman. I still work on the B-2, and when I say “on” I mean that quite literally. Part of my job entails visually inspecting the jet for material defects which would impact the Low Observability or Stealth of the platform. This involves walking and crawling around on top of the jet.

What got you interested in traditional wet shaving?: I was a long time Mach 3 user, and always pushed them as far as they would go (usually 2-3 months, sometimes more). After a while, I started getting really bad razor burn and bumps on my neck. Even switching to a fresh blade didn’t help. I used canned Edge Gel and did no sort of pre or post shave. I initially started looking online to see if there was something I could apply to my neck to ease the razor burn (thinking that some sort of aftershave product was all I needed). Within a couple of searches I quickly discovered the article on “The Art of Manliness” about shaving like your Grandpa. Everything they said about using a DE, soap, and having good pre and post routines made a lot of sense to me and I was intrigued. I think it was just a matter of a week or two before I found my first vintage razors (a Blue Tip and a Slim) at an antique store. After that, it was a slippery slope that led me to the depths of where I reside now: A fully certified hobby!

How did you learn of B&B?: The Art of Manliness website I referenced above had a link to B&B at the bottom of their article on shaving, and I’m so glad they did!

When did you become a member?: I joined the B&B in May 2010. Now here I am, over 7 years and 16,000 posts later, still loving the Forum!

Do you favor balms or splashes, or do you use both? Why?: Splashes. Definitely splashes. I probably use balms about 5% of the time. First of all, I enjoy the toning I get from an alcohol based splash. Secondly, I rarely use cologne, and I rely on my aftershave for providing scent. I enjoy stronger aftershaves that have lasting scents primarily. I usually only turn to balms in two situations. First, if I’ve had a rough shave and I feel I need a little extra comfort from my aftershave, and second, in the winter months when the air is dryer and I want some additional moisturizing. And honestly, 50-75% of the time I use a balm, I actually use a balm and a splash together. If it’s for healing, chances are, I’ll grab the balm first, then I’ll apply a splash on top, mainly for scent. If it is for moisturizing, usually I have already applied a splash, and my skin tells me it’s time to apply a balm, so I apply it second.

Favorite AS?:
Favorite soap, favorite blade, favorite razor, favorite brush…… these are all really easy questions. Favorite aftershave??? That question is really hard. I use, and love, so many aftershaves that picking one is just impossible. Probably my favorite, simply from a scent standpoint is Captain’s Choice North. But, very close runners up are Avon Everest, Skin Bracer, Brut, Booster Mosswood, Bootlegger’s Bay Rum, and Speick. Even looking at this list, I’m itching to add more, but these are probably the ones I grab more often than others.

I also really enjoy a couple of blends that I have made and some that others have made and posted in the Badger Blends thread. I have a lot of little 1oz bottles around my bathroom filled with “test batches”, LOL. The two of mine that I use all the time are Oriental Spice, which is equal parts Skin Bracer, Brut, and either Master Focus or Master Jade (I’ve made and use both formulas). The result is similar to Hai Karate. And my Musk blend, which combines AV Musk, Jeris Musk, Jovan Musk, and Pinaud Musk.

I just picked up the trio of new Pinaud aftershaves: Whiskey Woods, Gent’s Gin, and Brandy Spice, and while I’m still in the testing phase, I honestly see some or all of these entering my favorites list as well.

Do you pair your AS with soap/cream? With cologne? Favorite combination?: No, not at all. Each step in my shave is an independent choice. My brush and soap choices are made first. Then I select a razor. I usually have a dozen or so brushes, soaps, and razors on deck, so it’s whatever strikes me at the time. Once my shave is over, I rinse, and apply some witch hazel. I do other bathroom chores, like brushing my teeth and applying deodorant while the WH dries. Then, I will look to the wall of aftershave, and select whatever I happen to be in the mood for at that moment. Every day is a new day and each aftershave gets a fair shot every day!

Interests/hobbies: Before I got into traditional wet shaving, my primary hobby was researching, studying, and keeping tarantulas. I used to have over 100 of them, but I’m down to about 50 right now. I also keep snakes, and have 9 of them. I just started getting into native fish tanks, and currently have a 30 gallon with some small bluegill and sunfish. They will soon be upgraded to a 75 gallon tank, and the 30 gallon will go to my daughter for her goldfish. I will also be getting a 150 gallon tank which will house bass and catfish (hopefully a bullhead).

I enjoy fishing with my sons, working outdoors, and just about anything that has to do with being in, and experiencing nature: camping, hiking, stargazing, snorkeling, etc.

I love music and mainly listen to alternative, rock, and metal. And when I’m lounging at home I love watching moves, mainly science fiction and horror.

Add any comments you wish: When I first got into traditional wet shaving, I asked my family if there were any shaving items left behind by my Dad or either of my Grandfathers. You know everybody loves heirloom pieces. Sadly there was nothing. I began a collection of vintage Avon aftershave decanters off of the memory of seeing some of those decanters on display in my Grandparent’s bathroom while I was growing up. When my Parents learned of my aftershave collection, they asked my Grandmother about the bottles she used to have. It is believed that her old Avon decanters had been sold at a garage sale. Bummer! However, my Grandma later unearthed some very rare pieces that are even better than the Avon decanters.

Not only did these belong to my Grandpa, but he helped make them! You see, my Grandfather worked for Amway, back when Amway was just a handful of guys producing laundry products in a basement. My grandfather was in charge of R&D. Later on, and relative to us here, he was involved with the design of their aftershave decanters and he worked with the glass and plastic suppliers to have them made.

The three aftershave decanters that my Grandma found, were given to me for my birthday a few years back. The two Gramophone decanters are ultra-special, as the one with clear glass is a pre-production sample, and the one with the brown glass is the prototype for the production model! I don’t know anything about the Powder Flask decanter, but assume it is also an early production piece. These are the pride of my entire shaving collection.

Lastly, I’ll just say that, what I say in my signature line is true. I came for the shaves and stayed for the banter. This place is great, and there is a wealth of information here, but what makes it stand out from the other sites is the people. Yes, there are good people on every site, but I mean as a whole, the community here is outstanding. We have fun, joke with each other (sometimes at each other) and it’s all in good fun. The things we do here, like the Sue Moore Memorial Auction for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the Reindeer & Sleigh Secret Santa gift exchange, Check 6, B&B Bingo, and numerous box passes and PIFs are just some of the amazing things that happen here. And participating in the threads and interacting with the members in those threads is always fun whether you win the Auction/PIF or not. I love this place and am proud to be a B&B Member!


~ KJ ~ "VEZ" -- "I came for the Shaves.... I stayed for the Banter!"
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It oddly made my day to know that I have similar taste in aftershave to someone that works on our nuclear arsenal.
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