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PPPS: Patrick Pursues Perfect Shaves

19 for 19
Evergoose with Leviathan
Flat-bottom Tech on Timeless Handle with Astra SP (2)
Bump patrol followed by Aveda ASB followed by Eau des Baux

The Bruce produced lather more easily than the Evergoose, but I can continue to dial it in. The Tech is very efficient and comfortable. Mine seems to have some sort of damage that prevents must handles from securing the base plate but the Timeless works well.

Irritation is mostly under control with some minor lingering trouble spots and also a large patch just under my jaw at my left ear. This patch must be some sort of lack of attention in my technique. I am hoping that a few days with gentle razors will clear these spots up.
Blackbird with Astra on 3rd shave

Went against my advice from yesterday and shaved with the Blackbird instead of a mild razor. Super light on pressure, basically floating over the skin, with a very steep angle. Due to this, the shave was not close at all and somehow it still seemed to introduce some irritation on my neck. Probably need to go not so ridiculously steep on the angle. Still not loving the bird.
Same shave as yesterday, just +1 on the Astra. But this was much much better. My angle yesterday was crazy steep, so I brought it in a bit more and the results improved. I have lingering irritation on the neck but I don't think the BB introduced much more. Still not in love, but it really did shine on the wtg pass on my neck, and that is something special. So I will be interested to explore the angles more. It has a lot of blade feel which is not my preference, but again I will explore whether that blade feel changes with angle.I am obviously taking it easy with the BB. Today was much closer than yesterday's shave but still not as efficient as what I am getting with milder razors. But that must juat be because I am putting caution above all else.

Best shave ever today! Omnibus with Plissoft is awesome. Fully wet the knot, give it a shake, load amply (count to say 55 swirls) and dip the tips about an inch between passes. CG LVL2 is the most pleasurable razor I have used. Efficiency was very nice today too.

Irritiation is lingering and I would really like for the base level to go down a bit. If I have the discipline, I would like to see if consecutive shaves with the CG LVL2 help it reduce.
Ug. Two steps forward, one step back. After a marvelous shave last night, my neck looks ravaged: lots of razor bumps on my right hand neck, and an increase on the left side.

I am not sure what happened and to be honest I don't think it was the shave. I have had plenty of shaves that felt tremendously close but it turns out I took off a layer of skin too, this wasn't one of those. I inspected my neck this morning and it looked decent. I washed my face: cerave moisturizing wash, thayer's, and cerave am lotion. I don't always wash my face with product (my routine is hectic since having kids) in the morning--sometimes just a splash of water. Later when we were in the car my neck was feeling a little irritated so I looked at it in the vanity mirror, with the sun shining right on it it looked super irritated.

I was wearing a shirt with a collar and that was brushing against the stubble so I do think that is the most likely culprit. I'm also wondering about the Astra on its 5th shave, but I think I would have felt it and noticed irritation sooner.

In order of likelihood it seems to me:
shirt collar rubbing against stubble
shave was worse than realized, particularly the blade
face wash routine made it worse

Not sure what I am going to do tonight about it. I do think although it is bad it does not look "deep" so to speak. It may clear up quickly. I am thinking one pass at most, but perhaps not even taking a pass at the neck.

Considering how good yesterday's shave was, if I can determine the CG LVL2 is not irritating the skin I think I should stick with it for a while (a week? 2?) to really control this irritation. That will take some discipline because I have some acclaimed razors I would like to use more, but seeing the irritation on the neck today was troubling.
Similar shave to yesterday, but new Astra SP and switched aftershaves to bump patrol and neutragena gel boost.

Shave was unremarkable (although CG LVL2 continues to impress). One pass on the neck to avoid exacerbating the irritarion that seems to have popped up during the day. I will be keeping an eye on collars from now on to see if they are a cause of irritation.

Also I am going to revisit my decision to shave my neck according to the beard growth pattern (mapped). I am curious about whether the benefits of going WTG outweighs the maneuevers I have to do to achieve this. I watched a youtube video with a shaver with a pristine neck who just went straight down as if it were the WTG all the way to the bottom of his neck. I want to revisit this assumption.
Same as yesterday +1 to the Astra. Everything is good except for the neck irritation which is healing. Will be curious of the state of it tomorrow after another single pass on the neck today.

Again today I tried just going straight down on my neck which is xtg. With the CG LVL2 this is not exactly comfortable so I will go back to going WTG according to the bears map. I really need to make sure I am getting the angles down.

Going XTG on my face with the CG LVL2 is fantastic.

Also, had a second thought to try cold water shaving again, which I tried a while ago but I have much more experience now. I thought it was pretty terrible then and it probably is but may be worth a try.
25/25 in 2022
It's a balmy 31° in Boston so a perfect night to try cold water shaving. Used the same equipment as yesterday except the asb was Aveda rather than the Bump Patrol and Neutragena Gel Boost. That's because the shave was very nice!

I started the shave with some mediumish lingering irritation on the sides of my neck. I was excited so I think I may have been rushing. Also was in a bit of a hurry. The face was not as close as a perfectly dialed in shave with the CG LVL2. I did 2 passes on my neck. My right hand side feels like I may have irritated it a little based on angle. I think the lingering irritation is also sensitive. That said, the results look great. I am excited to see how this clears up in the morning. I am hoping this can be a game changer for me and it wasn't unpleasant at all, unlike my last experience with cold water shaving where I think the lather must have been very poor.
26/26 in 2022

Felt the urge to go back to the Timeless Ti .68 scalloped. Otherwise everything the same. This was shave 4 on the Astra.

Another cold water shave! I think it was a success. I can't expect the irritation to all disappear overnight but I think it is headed in the right direction.

I really enjoyed the Timeless again this time. Definitely lacking some efficiency in a couple of places but it allows effortless blade buffing and is so easy to use.
27 for 27 in 2022

Went with the Sabre Level 1 today. A nice change of pace but still a mild razor as I continue to shave daily while focusing on getting my neck healed.

The irritation is still there but I am pretty sure it is just lingering from the major irritation of the weekend. Shaving daily is probably making it take a little longer, but I think I am in pretty good shape. It seems like the cold water shaving is helping.

Really nice shave with the Sabre. The level 1 is not the most efficient but it is very smooth and I love the blade rigidity of the Gem.

The Leviathan is shrinking and shrinking. A big hole opened up and I reshaped it into a mound in the middle. I am guessing a few more weeks of shaves with it.
28/28 in 2022

Wonderful shave after a long day. I would prefer to shave in the morning: it just makes more sense, but right now with two toddlers, the mornings are too hectic. So I look forward to my evening shaves.

Wow. I don't want to count my chickens too soon but I think these cold water shaves are really making a difference and my skin is starting to look so much better. I wanted to go with a DE shave today after the SE GEM shave yesterday. I had pitched the Astra on its 4th shave, but I felt like trying something different: the cold water shaving was emboldening me. I was thinking I would go with a Personna Red, but couldn't find one in the medicine cabinet (must be up in the closet), so out of the choices of another Astra, Nacet, Gillette Platinum or a Feather (not sure why that is the cabinet, it used to be all I used but don't think I've used one in over a year), I chose the Gillette Platinum:

Bruce with Leviathan
CG LVL2 with Gillette Platinum (1)
Aveda ASB followed by L'Occitane Vetyver

I hate to say best shave ever a week after I said that but ended up with horrible irritation the next day... but best shave ever! I have really only been able to shave with Astras before this, but I was able to use the platinum and it made a huge difference and my face feels great. The Platinum really increased the efficiency of the LVL2 to where I wouldn't want anything more. I don't detect any new irritation. There are a few trouble spots linering, but the vast majority of the irritation has cleared up. May it continue to stay that way!
29/29 in 2022
Evergoose with Leviathan
Timeless Ti .68 with Gillette Platinum (2)
Aveda ASB and Bump Patrol

Not entirely out of the woods with irritation :mad2: Last night the neck seemed great. This morning it seemed even better, but throughout the day it seemed to get a little more irritated. Now some irritation is showing up, including a pretty serious patch just under the jaw at my right ear. This has consistently been a bad spot for me, but also one that I haven't paid too much attention to. It is definitely a technique issue in that area. I think it may be particularly when I am starting my against the grain pass on my face I am going below the jaw line and the angle is a little off. I think that is something I should focus on technique wise.

It could also be the CG LVL 2 or the blade, and the irritation is just delayed. But yesterday my skin was looking great after a shave with the Sabre, so maybe I should be looking to the Sabre as my stable razor.

The shave today was great, if predictable. Only did a single pass on my neck. The Platinum blade definitely edges up the efficiency over the Astra.
30/30 in 2022
Evergoose with Leviathan
Sabre 1 with GEM PTFE (shave #2, I think)
Aveda ASB

Very nice shave although not very close. Irritation is subsiding although I had been feeling it throughout the day. A lot of ideas have been bouncing around in my head around irritation:

The first is that my lather from Leviathan has been slipping as my tub approaches end of life. Not a knock on the bar-setting soap, but I have not been adjusting my loading to account for the smaller surface area and water saturation (I load in the tub and air dry). Today I wrung (wordle spoiler) out the Evergoose a little extea and got a great lather.

The other idea is that the Sabre and probably more particularly the GEM PTFE is my best or at least most reliable razor (or blade). While I love using the CG LVL2 is it giving me irritation (which is delayed showing up by a LONG while, like 12 hours?).

I recognize I am making a lot of defintive statements and they are all over the place. There is a saying in my line of work: "strong opinions, weakly held." So I won't jump to any conclusions (I may have been too hopeful for victory with cold water shaving) but I will try to keep my running thoughts in consideration. Specifically I will say my most recent irritation is probably due to my lather slipping and the GEM PTFE is an excellent blade.

I am trying to figure out my most stable setup. I would like to establish a baseline of getting a week (or two!?!) of irritation free shaves. Is it the cg lvl2? the timeless? the sabre? the tech?

Right now I think the tech and the rigid GEM blades are my best bet, so I am going to try to go with this for consecutive days and see where it takes me.
31/31 in 2022

Bruce with Leviathan
Sabre Level 2 with GEM PTFE
Bump Patrol and Aveda ASB

Irritation is looking much better. There are a couple of lingering spots but overall the progress is very nice. I also noticed that my neck is feeling slightly itchy/irritated during the day, which is funny because @thombrogan just asked me about that. I have never done this much daily shaving before so there are bound to be some new experiences. I feel like as the hair grows out after about 18 or so hours after the shave it starts to be noticeable.

This, and wanting to dial up the efficiency on the sabre overal are the reasons I switched to the more efficient level 2 baseplate. The bump in aggression was definitely noticeable. For me, it went from "carefree" to "comfortable." I definitely think there is an easy place for both base plates in my rotation.

The shave was very nice. I hope I didn't go too aggressive too quickly on the neck again. I did get a small weeper on the most pronounced spot of irritation on my neck; it was a bit odd because I don't think there was pressure. The spot may have been slightly raised into a bump that was cut. I am pretty sure the neck is still in decent shape after this but we'll see. Also, my face may have perhaps gotten another form of irritation that looks like dry skin (but I think they are actually skin tags); it is hardly noticeable unless you inspect the skin closely but I will want to keep an eye on that to figure out what in my technique is causing this. I have only had this with the Masamune, which for me was way too mild and I struggled with angle-wise.
32/32 for 365 in 2022
Bruce with Leviathan
Sabre Level 1 with GEM PTFE (4)
Aveda ASB

Wanted a quick easy shave so I went back to the Level 1. After shaving with the level 2 I didn't get the feeling of itchiness I've been experiencing on my neck as it grows back the following day. I will be interested to see if I experience it tomorrow after switching back to the Level 1. The Level 1 definitely allows me to shave with care and speed without aggravating the irritation on my neck. The irritation on the neck looks pretty steady, not better not worse. I may work on a system to track this.
33/33 for 365 in 2022


My Paladin is back! Got the package in the mail from Ken and used it immediately. Definitely my favorite/knot brush. Decided to go with the Vector today. I am rather positive I can shave with the Sabre/GEM everyday and not get irritation. As much as past me says to just keep going with getting irritation-free shaves, present me must experiment!

The Vector is relatively new: certainly fewer than 10 shaves, but it has not clicked with ne yet. I have tried some shaves with the Schick Proline and now (including today) with the Kai Pink Titan Mild. The shave today was not smooth or particularly comfortable but I was careful and the results seem great. The efficiency is excellent and no irritation yet. Time will tell whether any pops tomorrow.

I am definitely noticing that things rubbing against my neck can cause irritation: collars, hoods, even skin against skin. But it seems manageable right now which is all I can ask.
34/34 for 365 in 2022
Bruce with Leviathan
Level 2 Sabre with GEM PTFE (5)
Aveda ASB

Great--really an amazing--shave with the Sabre. Sabre has been a top razor for me for a while; and it very well may be the #1. I think most consider the vector superior, but right now the Sabre is hands down better for me, and the sabre did not have anywhere near this learning curve.

If I had to choose one blade type (not to mention one blade) it would definitely be GEM PTFE. And I look forward to eventually (after GRUYERE) adding an MMOC to my rotation, especially if I were to tackle multi day growth.
35/35 for 365 in 2022
Paladin 2XL with Leviathan
Vector Ti with Kai Pink Titan Mild
Bump Patrol followed by Aveda ASB

Not a great shave today. Right before shaving I noticed some faint irritation in my typical trouble spot in the bottom left of my neck. About eight bumps were forming, although it was very very mild. It must have been from the Sabre Level 2 shave last night, but definitely not a big deal. The irritation seemed to get much more red after one pass with the Vector, so I stopped after the first pass. Three on the face, and my face feels pretty great, but I still don't find the vector particularly smooth. I will probably continue to experiment with blade choice, and I will focus on absolutely zero pressure, sort of a hovering hand on the neck passes.

Also the Paladin seemed to be hiding lather: the Leviathan is really down to the last bits so it is not so easy to overload. I had to keep going back to the soap for more. I absolutely adore this brush but it might need to sit on the sidelines until the Leviathan is finally kicked.
36/36 for 365 in 2022
Bruce with Leviathan
Sabre Level 1 with GEM PTFE(6)
Aveda ASB
Pretty standard shave at the moment. Skin is slightly irritated but clearing up. Main patch of irritation on the neck is looking better. 3 passes on the face and I would say DFS. Neck I did 2 passes but I still feel a lot of beard there. The second pass I went really light so it may not have been very effective. I wonder if this growth will be a little itchy tomorrow afternoon.
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