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My cheap, cheap shave of today!

Today I thought I'd go for a real cheap shave and see how good or bad it would turn out to be!
I decided I'd use the cheapest tools and products:

1. Williams shave mug soap ($.99)
2. Surrey Boar brush ($4.99)
3. Super-Max blades from India ($1.00 for ten at the Dollar store)

For consistency, I'd use my standard razor, a Gillette Slim Boy adjustable.

I had tried the Williams pug before, with awful results. I thought perhaps the problem was mine, that I did not spend enough time to whip-up a good lather, so this time I made sure I did. The lather was ample and rich and I must say I really like the smell of this cheap soap.

Surrey Brush: there is something to be said for boar bristle brushes, in that they really massage the skin while lathering. The Surrey brush is not bad, but it does shed bristles in a very annoying way, and lots of them! Before using it, i rubbed it between my fingers, pulled at the bristles and got most of the loose or weak bristles out.
Back to the Williams soap: I applied a great lather to my face and started shaving: results: Awful! No lubrication whatsoever! I found the razor did not want to glide across my face at all. This is definitely the worst performing shaving soap I have ever encountered in over thirty-five years of wet shaving.
I guess that's the end of my experiments with the Williams pug!!

Switch to plan B: substitute cheap Palmolive cream (US made) for the Williams soap.

The Palmolive is a great cream: the more I use it and the more I ilke it. The lather was superb and the lubrication very, very good. The scent is vintage Palmolive and that, to me, is good!

This time the razor did its thing: the SuperMax blades are not bad. At 10 cents each, they are incredibly cheap. Not as sharp as some, but, let me tell you youngsters out there, these blades are better than the best blades we had 20 years ago!!! I get 3 good shaves out of them (at 4 passes per shave), and that's OK. This was my second shave with the blade and it did ok on the first two passes.
The third pass was not as easy as it would have been with a keener blade, but the end results were quite good, with a near BBS shave and zero irritation.
I always finish with the application of Proraso pre-post cream, watered down slightly. The Proraso raises the last few obstinate whiskers, which are then easily eliminated with a light touch-up pass.
After the Proraso-enhanced touch up, my shave is up to BBS and no irritation or razor burn.

My final performance ratings:
1. Williams Shave Mug soap: 1/10
1a. Palmolive US Shaving Cream: 7/10
2. Surrey Boar Brush: 5/10
3. Super-Max blade: 7/10

My value for money ratings:
1. Williams Shave Mug soap: 1/10
1a. Palmolive US Shaving Cream: 9/10
2. Surrey Boar Brush: 7/10
3. Super-Max blade: 9/10

Special mention: Proraso Pre-Post cream: I give it a 10/10 for everything!

Try a cheap shave sometimes!
Here's another version of cheap but damn good:

The $10 body shop brush is inexpensive and good quality. (3 c / shave)
Some Red IP blades are sharp, smooth, and probably the cheapest you can get. (4 c / shave)
A $3 tube of Florena will last you two months. (5 c / shave)
A $3 bottle of Aqua Velva will last two months (5 c / shave)

Thats a grand total of: 17c a shave.... give or take a penny :biggrin:
Yes you can shave on the cheap and the products work in the same way you can drive a yugo and it will get you where you want to go.

To me the shave on the cheap just takes the true pleasure out of wet shaving and really when you consider how long a puck of soap lasts how much are you really saving on a shave by shave basis. Even buying a decent badger brush over boar when calculated over 20 plus years how much are you really saving?

So for you guys who like to shave on the cheap and enjoy it I'm very happy for you but it ain't for me, I'll pass.
I've had the same experience with Williams. I just can't get it to lather right, and it dries out quickly leaving my face feeling like old leather or something. I'll stick to Van Der Hagen when it comes to cheap soap, I love it! I love the stale beer smell of it. :biggrin:
My cure for Williams....8-10 drops of glycerine in shave bowl and soap the soap in hot water with brush while you shower. Go to town and a tolerable shave but DAMN drying still.
I know this has been said before, but some of the post counts suggest they may not have read the previous threads on Williams.

I am not saying that Williams should compete with your Penhaligons or Cade or other soap puck that cost $15-$35. Or for the sake of argument let’s say your puck cost $10. I won’t say that your soap is not better. But it does not perform 10 times better than the puck of Williams that cost $1. Performance of 1 in a scale of 10 is unusable and does not reflect Williams.

Just to prove the point I took out the Williams and used it for my Saturday shave. This is usually my luxo shave incidentally, but to make the point I used Williams. If you use my method you will get a great shave. Certainly in the 5 of 10 range. While doing your prep, allow your Williams to soak in a mug of very hot water with your brush. For a few minutes. After face prep, dump the water and shake the brush. The puck will have developed a thin layer of slimy soap, swirl your brush to transfer as much soap as you can to the brush. Continue till lather begins to form. Then transfer the brush to your face and continue to face lather. A thick slick lather can be developed. Shave and repeat two more times.

What I notice when trying to rinse is that my face stays slick and the soap resists my rinsing efforts. So you must make sure to do a thorough rinse, or you will get what others describe as a dry face when the remaining soap residue dries and contracts. Today I let it dry fully to make sure I was giving you the straight scoop. Then slap on a dose of Musgo splash and I am good for the day.

Williams is a tallow based soap but does have some glycerin in it. You have to use a lot of soap to make Williams work. The method I describe would be terribly wasteful with your $20 puck, but I can get a month and a half out of a puck, maybe more, so the per shave cost is less than 1.5 cents. It has a nice old timey scent. In my estimation Williams rates a 5+ in performance and an 8 in value.
It works if you just lather on the puck itself and use water. Ironically, I got a loftier lather from Williams than I did from my creams.
My shaves are getting cheaper the longer I'm doing this, because the AD's are becoming less frequent/severe. As the wet shaving honeymoon comes to an end, I'm starting to land on a strategy that gives me variety and enjoyment while keeping my costs reasonable.

1 soap, 1 high end cream (eg. truefitt and hill), 1 everyday cream (eg. poraso), 1 brushless cream (eg. KMF)

One brush, a few razors (need to thin the herd actually).

I certainly don't knock those who have drawers full of the stuff, just not my style. Although I admit, it's a struggle not to gather too much.
It works if you just lather on the puck itself and use water. Ironically, I got a loftier lather from Williams than I did from my creams.

I haven't used Williams, but you can get lofty lather by adding Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate and still have a dry, poorly lubricating lather.

However, this thread has piqued my interest. I'll give it a try. For a buck, why not? Maybe I'll drizzle some glycerine over the soap first, too.

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