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Not Another Jorunal - SunShave Edition

I realized this was the better place to log and share my notable shaves as I begin my wetshave journey, so here are!

Shave Entry: First Lather

Brush: Omega 10066
Soap: Proraso White
Razor: Baili 171
Blade: Astra SP

Yesterday my soap and brush finally came in! I had a couple days growth to mow down, and I was excited to finally be trying something other than the cremo I'd used for cartridge shaves the past couple years. It looks like my blade sample pack won't get in til Monday or Tuesday of the following week, so that gives me more time to get more acquanted with my control variables. I decided that as I work on my technique/work through my blade samples, I'll stick with the Baili as my control razor. Per an earlier comparison, I preferr using the Baili with both the Astra SPs and the Derby Extras as opposed to my '55 silver tip superspeed, so it felt like a more natural choice. The other controls will be my Omega Brush and Proraso soap. I think it's worthwhile pointing out that all together - bowl set/stand, brush, soap, and razor - I must have only spent about $45. Not only is that a pretty low point of entry for the hobby, I'm getting GREAT shaves with this gear. Even if someone doesn't want to go down the rabbit hole, there's no need to break the bank to have a much improved shaving experience over cartridges.


*bonus: the cologne you see in the black bottle is a gem I first picked up while in Brazil 7ish years ago. Lasts a good while and not too hard to track down when I need a replacement

I'm normally a daily shaver and aim more for DFS as opposed to BBS, but I figured with new gear and more growth, this shave called for a proper three passes. Having a nice lather helped so much. I feel like having the thicker soap to clear away helped me with my jaw and chin problem areas much more easily.

Typically I find my shave angle by starting with the cap on my face and angling til I feel it, and make the adjustments from there. This works well enough, but I think I need to practice more on this technique to see if I can maintain a more optimal angle without having to default to riding the cap or guard like that.

I'm glad that I almost on a whim grabbed the SPs as my starter blade, because I genuinely enjoy how they feel and shave. I feel the blade enough to know it's there and be able to work with it, but not be afraid of it. They've been fun to learn with, and I do think they'll make for a good baseline comparison to go off of from here.

Looking forward to a couple more shaves with this setup before I start experimenting with the blade samples next week!

Thanks for reading, and happy shaving!
Welcome to the Journals @SunShave! Looks like you are off to a great start. The best advice I got (and which I found hard to implement!) was to not change things constantly. So stick to your plans and enjoy the journey. Cool thing is you get to do it every day as them dang whiskers keep coming back!
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the Nacet. We’re going to have the same problem - too many choices to experiment with ha.
I've gone two days in a row shaving with a nacet blade, and I love it. To me, it has the same presence of the Astra SPs on my face but much smoother and also a bit more efficient. I didn't expect the SPs to be knocked off their perch so quickly, but here we are!

I'm also eyeballing an adjustable razor, so I can get an idea of my aggressiveness preference so I can have a general starting point for trying out my first couple non-budget razors! I've found a couple cheap but clean gillette slims on ebay, and maybe I'll grab the 6c to test out that aggressiveness scale.

But all in all, I'm pretty happy to be working through these blades, I have a pretty meticulous spreadsheet to keep track of how I like them, and I think I'm going to have to get a few more soaps soon. The rabbit hole runs deep!
Notes from my shave this morning:

I got my hands on a 1967 Gillette Slim in really good condition for $30, and was really excited to try it out. I busted out a trusty Astra SP to have a bit more of a baseline comparison for my first shave with it. The rest of my setup was my standard, proraso white with my Omega 10066.

I started the shave on setting 7, but quickly ramped it up to 9 where it stayed both for my face and neck. I know that the slim itself is overall a mild razor, but I was still surprised at just how mild it felt even on its highest setting. Maybe I jumped the gun and need to start on setting 1 and slowly move up over the course of a shave. I know I also need to work on my technique more to get more out of it, but it took me a while to find a good shaving angle - I began each pass by starting steep and moving shallow in order to find where I could tell it was cutting hair.

I think I'm going to get a couple days growth in before I try again with the slim. It's a nice razor and I'm happy to have it in the den at least for the history, but I may be too novice right now to know how to use it well at the moment.
*I should also add:

It was still a pretty good shave! Smooth, fairly close, no nicks, and any irritation (if at all) can definitely be attributed to poor technique. It's also just a beautiful little razor, I'll try and get some pics of it up later.
Time for another update on the great blade experiment:

I got through a few more shaves with the nacet blade and continue to be a fan. I recently scored a pre-war tech with triangle slots, as well as a 1955 tech - I. haven't taken the post-war for a spin yet, but I did throw a two shave nacet blade into the pre-war.

Razor: Pre-War
Blade: Nacet blade with two shaves
Soap: Proraso white
Brush: Omega 10066

It was a great shave! I think the nacet blade was an especially good pairing with this mild razor. I did a proper three passes, WTG, XTG, ATG, and go an incredible BBS. It was some nice variance from my typical daily one pass to keep fairly clean-shaven.

This brings my current vintage haul to a pre and post war tech, a 1967 Slim (my parents' birth year), and a 1955 silver flare-tip. I'll post some pics of them all soon. I appreciate the history of these razors, although I'm not sure how much use they'll get when I add some more modern ones in (still a couple of weeks out from those acquisitions). For now my daily shaves (and blade experimenting) will continue with my Baili, which I appreciate despite it being milder than I think I would prefer.
A new entry for the great blade experiment:

Razor: Baili 171
Blade: Fresh Bic blade
Soap: Proraso white
Brush: Omega 10066

I've done two-morning shaves with this blade, each doing my typical two-passes with some touch ups before heading out the door. I like this blade a lot, although not nearly as efficient as the Nacet or even the Astra SP (at least on two passes. Maybe tomorrow I'll do a full three and see how it plays out). I would likely place it above the Astra SP in terms of comfort.

I'll be getting at least two more shaves out of it before moving on to the next blade! I'm starting to develop a pattern for my weekly shaves as I work through this 50-blade sampler I put together from tryablade.com. I'll let 2-3 days of growth come in over the weekend, do a full three pass shave on Sunday, then feel how it grows in before continuing daily shaves on Tuesday. This seems to let me break in a blade/razor combo over different conditions, and get a very good idea of how the pairing handles varying days of growth/consecutive shaves.
Mail call 👀




Super excited to finally have these. I snagged a gamechanger with both the 68p and 84p baseplates, a gold Lupo aluminum, and a razorock MJ90A (with the black aluminum head). These cover a pretty wide range on the mild-medium to medium aggressiveness of razorock’s scale, in addition to covering the bases of trying out differing materials (aluminum, aluminum w/ SS handle, and SS).

I’m looking forward to trying them all out, using some of the extra Astra SPs I still have as the control variable between them all.

Over the weekend I went out of town for a concert (The Killers in their hometown of Vegas), and took the chance to build up several days growth. I figured this would be the perfect chance for me to test out the game changer 68. “But Sunshave,” I can hear already, “the 68 is the mildest of the options. Why not use the 84?” I hear you, friends. And while I’m excited to continue trying new razors, I’m aiming to keep a pretty minimal den (3-5) when it comes to hardware (for now, easier to justify to my better half ;). So in the endeavor of finding razors that can handle a variety of my needs, trying a few days growth with a 68 and then trying a few consecutive shaves with the 84 to see which one might cover more bases to my preference. The aluminum Lupo I’m thinking will be my travel razor (my fiancée lives the next state over and we visit almost every weekend), and the MJ I thought would be a good value for grabbing razorock’s SS halo handle as well as trying out another razor head.

To summarize my shave with the 68: it was smooth. Much smoother than my shaves with the $9 baili, even if it was about as efficient. Excited to get some more passes in with it!
Awesome pick-ups! RazoRocks are stupid good value for the money; I've been extremely happy with my Lupos.

I look forward to further reports and your eventual conclusion. I feel like I started in a similar spot thinking that mild to medium would be my sweet spot but quickly found I prefer more aggressive razors. To each their own though so curious where you end up.
Oh yeah, getting a lupo is a forgone conclusion I think, hopefully from these I'll be able to triangulate which plate to get. I'm also really liking these razorock handles, so I'll be more than happy to grab another haha.

I was debating between the four plate and the three plate for the Era I'll be ordering, but now I think I can safely rule out the three plate. I'm actually thinking about starting with the five, and if it proves too aggressive, take advantage of their great return policy to just swap down to the four plate. But plenty of time to focus on what I've got before putting those orders in!

In addition to the kais, I've got some feathers in so I'm excited to spend the next bit trying out the more "aggressive" blades.
I shot for the moon, loading up the gamechanger 84p with a feather blade. It was a mixed back of the shave - I think I handled it a little too gingerly, I was very aware (or at least in my head, I thought I was aware) of being able to cut myself more easily with this setup than previous ones I've tried. That manifested itself in a nice little weeper on my chin towards the end once I got a little careless. In spite of that, it was still both a comfortable and smooth shave. The highlight was hearing the blade sing while cutting through some think stubble under my chin on an ATG pass. Even the future Mrs. Sunshave poked her head in as she was passing by and asked "was that your shaving?" (the shave also got her stamp of approval as "one of the smoothest yet," so a strong endorsement!).

Overall I liked it a lot. Tomorrow morning I'll get another shave in but probably revert to the Astra SP just to get a closer measure to the baseline. But all things considered, I think I'm favoring the 84p at the moment over the 68p.

I'm moving into a schedule where for the next couple of months I'm home four days, and then traveling for three, so I'm planning on taking my aluminum lupo with me to see how I like it. hopefully, I'll be able to take advantage of its lightweight build to continue traveling with it.
Gamechanger 84p update:

This morning I paired the razor with a new Astra SP and it definitely made a world of difference. This is easily a daily driver-type setup. I'll give it a couple of days more before revisiting the 68p for a few days to get a better comparison, but right now I'm doubting I'll even keep the 68 plate. But this morning with a full three passes was easily the highest overall yield in terms of overall comfort, efficiency, smoothness, etc., Very happy with it!

Now that I'm honed in on testing these two plates out for a bit...time to work in some new soaps 🤓 updates forthcoming on that front.

Aluminum lupo with Astra SPs on deck for the long weekend while traveling.
Yesterday I had a great first shave with the Razorock M90, with the stainless steel halo handle and an aluminum head, and followed it up with a few passes with the aluminum Lupo this morning. Neither of these have been the closest shaves, but they’ve been very smooth and comfortable. I feel really good about how my technique has progressed especially over the past couple of weeks. Now that I’ve tried each of my four Razorock acquisitions, I would rank them as follows:
  • Gamchanger 84p
  • Lupo Aluminum
  • MJ90A
  • Gamechanger 68p
I think it’s interesting that my preference orders them *nearly* in the order they can be found on the Razorock aggressiveness scale, with the Lupo and MJ90 reversed. Granted I have very little experience with each of these, having the most (4) shaves with the 84p, but I’m going to attribute my flipping the middle two to the quality of the Lupo. It’s a fantastic little piece of hardware, and I enjoy how lightweight it is.

This next week I should get my synthetic and badger brushes in along with a couple new soaps, a Blackland Era razor with a level four plate, and a Yaqi tile (which I hear should be comparable-ish to the out of commission Winning razor).

I also have a little food scale coming in from Amazon, so I can try out some different head combination with my lupo’s handle. I really enjoy how maneuverable it was with its weight, so I want to hone in on my preference as I’m planning for my next acquisition to be a handle from Mr. @Rosseforp! I think I’ll enjoy rotating it through some of these heads that I’m likely to keep. Next on deck after that is to replate my Slim, and get a nicer quality brush beyond the budget ones I’ve grabbed so far.
Today was a quick shave while I was running out the door, but I did get to try the chiseled face soap that came in yesterday. I opted for the MJ90A paired with an orange derby blade.


The orange derby performed very similar to the green derby. Maybe it was more comfortable - it was a bit less efficient but that could have been due to how quick I went through my passes (which, if anything, boosts the comfort level for the blade). I had been using derby greens while traveling, but they might get swapped out for the oranges as a convenient mindless shave.

I liked the feel of the chiseled face soap, it lathered well and helped the shave. I was a but disappointed with the scent - it’s listed to have notes of tobacco, leather, earth, and pepper. Maybe it was my nose, but I got much more of the pepper and some earth over the tobacco and leather I was hoping for. I will say it was a bit more even “on my face” as I was heading out the door, but I’ll likely not keep it in the rotation.
Mail call!

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These beauties came in Monday and Tuesday. I'll share my thoughts on the brushes over on the Beginner Brush thread a few of us have going. This post is aaaaall about my first outing with my new Blackland Era.

The shave:
Razor - Blackland Era level 4 plate
Blade - Personna Lab Blue
Soap - Proraso white
Brush - Razorock bruce plissoft

A couple of housekeeping items to get out of the way. I lied, this includes some brief thoughts on the razorock brush. I was wrong to assume I could use it the same as my omega boar brush; this thing soaked up a *lot* of soap, and not as much water, meaning I had a much thicker, almost pasty-like lather. After applying it to my face, I needed to remove it and add some more water first to get a better consistency that the razor could glide through better. That's definitely user error, and I don't fault the brush at all. The only thing I can say about it so far is - holy cow, this thing is SOFT! Way to early to tell what I prefer, but I'm definitely glad I have some more options to play with.

Now on to the shave itself. I opted to load the Era up with the lab blues that came with it. This was my first time using the blades, and I was glad to grab a tuck of them with the razor. I'm looking forward to both trying them in other razors, and loading up the Era with the Nacet and Astras to get to know it better.

Even with the unknown factor of the new lab blues, the Era was an absolute treat to shave with. I ordered it with the level 4 plate, and it was great. Easily a daily shaver. I could likely even step up to the 5 plate for daily use, and I may still order it just to try, but the 4 plate gave a super comfortable shave with almost the right amount of blade feel. It was easy to find the sweet spot, and maintain it over multiple areas. I usually have a hard time getting the back/upper corners of my mandible, even with touch-ups, and it gave those areas my smoothest shave yet with two WTG passes.

In short, I'm glad I opted for the stand, because this razor is definitely sticking around. For $75, this is a steal of a steel razor.
Razor - Blackland Era level 4 safety plate
Blade - Gillette Nacet
Soap - Proraso white
Brush - Razorock bruce plissoft

I'm getting much more familiar with the plissoft brush. I enjoy how soft it is, and how well it paints, but I don't think it's my favorite.

Conversely, I'm loving this Blackand Era. It paired really well with the Nacet blade. I got a very smooth and close shave with two passes this morning. I went ahead and ordered the level 5 safety plate as well as the level 4 OC plate. The ratings are equal between the two, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how I like OC razors. They should get here early next week, and I'm looking forward to spending more time dialing it in!

I'm also planning on getting some shaves in with my GC84/Permasharp combo next week. Heading into the weekend I'm off traveling again, this time I'll be taking the MJ-90 with me (on the lupo aluminum handle). It's a good piece, and I get really good shaves with it, but I'm not sure it fills a role that any other razors in my den don't already, specifically the lupo aluminum.
Halfway through the week, time for some updates!

My first shave after traveling last week was with a gamechanger loaded up with a permasharp, and I gotta tell you - I immediately ordered a 40 pack so I can use them in my razor comparisons. It's the first multi-pack I've bought since I got my sampler. It was easily the best blade I've used so far. I was pretty sure I had been using the 84 plate, but when I took it apart to dry and sat it with my other gear, I realized I may had mixed them up without checking. This was a bit of an existential shock to me, as I had gotten a such a good shave with it, and had totally ruled out the 68. But if anything, it was a testament to just how great the permasharp is if that really were the case.

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I got my Chiseled Face soap sampler in the mail. I'm excited to try out more of their scents - despite sherlock not being my favorite smell, the lather really was fantastic. Early smell tests have Pine Tar and Ghost Town Barber leading out.

I also got my additional Era plates in! Currently I have both level 4 plates, and the level 5 safety bar plate.

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Today I loaded up the Era with the level 4 comb for one side of my face, and switched to the level 5 safety bar plate for the other. On Era's website, they're spec'd exactly the same for blade feel, efficiency, smoothness, etc., across the board. Early impressions are that the OC life isn't for me. The 5 plate worked fantastically, I love the feel - decently prominent blade, but still smooth and efficient. Tomorrow I'll probably do the 5 on my full face, then switch to the 4 safety bar on Friday to better compare those two.

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In other news, while I was waiting for my plates to come in, I had my first outing with the Yaqi Tile. I'm a big fan of the handle I ordered with it. It lived up to its reputation of having a small but very intuitive optimal angle. It was a good shave. It's taking a backseat right now while I'm putting the Era through its paces, so I'll have to circle back to it. I think it and the MJ90 may be on the chopping block, as I'm trying to keep a small collection and the Lupo 72/95 is calling my name.

One last note for today, I've started adding just a small bit of Cremo cream into my bowl as I build my lather with my Proraso white and it adds a nice level of moisture-retaining slickness.

Anyway, thanks for following along with these sporadic thoughts! I've got something really special coming back my way after a visit to Back Roads Gold, more on that in a few days. Happy Shaving!
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