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Rusty Blade’s Wet Shaving Journey

Rusty Blade

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I have been a member of B&B for about a year now and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My thanks to the folks who run this forum. Recently, I have been perusing the “Journals and Diaries” section of B&B and I thought this would be a great way to chronicle my personal wet shaving journey.

A bit of personal shaving history: I started shaving more than 40+ years ago at the age of 14 or 15. Granted, the first few shaves were touching up a bit of peach fuzz, but I sensed even at that time that I would have to come to terms with this daily ritual for the rest of my life. I remember my first few shaves were with a Gillette Super Adjustable and then a Schick injectable of one kind or another. As the years passed I experimented with electric razors and finally settled on carts, the wonder-razor of the 1970s. Except for a brief foray into canned goo I always shaved with a brush and soap puck. Canned goo never did anything for me. Usually I used a cheap drugstore boar brush and a puck of Williams in an old porcelain restaurant coffee mug (I still have it).

I can’t say I ever really enjoyed shaving. I took every opportunity to skip days and I always grew a winter beard. Then about a year ago I read an article in one of our national newspapers about the resurgence of traditional wet shaving. The article struck an “old school” chord with me and before too long I had picked up a vintage Gillette from an antique store and the experimentation (and acquisition of products) began. :blink:

After 40 years with Williams the exposure to a plethora of new shaving soaps and creams was like a breath of fresh air. Same with aftershaves and pre and post creams of various sorts. I have accumulated a den full of nice shaving gear. I am generally a DE shaver but I have the occasional fling with one of my shavettes when I am feeling bold.:huh:

Now shaving is a daily ritual. A necessary ritual for me. It is the one time of the day that is “my time”. It seems the rest of my day is tending to the needs of others. Shaving is, for me, a meditation, a relaxing time when I can do something I really enjoy.

My Dad was a DE Gillette shaver all his life. One razor, one soap, one AS, one brush. He was a one-pass-no-nonsense-shaver. I like to think I am carrying on the family tradition. I hope with this shaving diary I can share some of my favourite aspects of traditional wet shaving. I will also post some pics of my favourite combos.:001_cool:

My wet shaving goal is very simple: To have an irritation free, darn fine shave, every day. I don’t like any kind of skin irritation from shaving, or nicks, or weepers, I don’t like removing layers of skin to get the last bit of stubble. Shaving for me has to be relaxing and enjoyable. If I can achieve that, I will consider the day’s shave a grand success. :thumbup1:
 

Rusty Blade

Ambassador
Lately it seems I am changing my razor and blade every Sunday morning. I recently purchased a Merkur 23c long handle DE razor. I like the longer handle as it just feels more balanced. This week I paired the 23c with a Gillette Silver Blue blade…one of my favourites. I like the GSB because it is both sharp and smooth starting with the first shave…and it keeps getting smoother with each shave. My brush for today was my Parker Pure Badger brush. It took me a while to get the feel for this brush. Now I find myself reaching for it more often.

My pre-shave routine is similar every day: I shower and use either Proraso White preshave cream or Noxema Classic as my prep. Today it was Noxema. Not sure it makes much difference to my actual shave...but it feels good, so I say, why not!

This week I am going to work on my Haslinger Schafmilch soap. I love the scent of this soap. And the lather provides both good cushion and good lubrication. Today I did a one pass WTG and ended up with a DFS. No irritation, just a great shave.

My post-shave routine doesn't vary much: I start with Witch Hazel and then apply an ASB. Today as well I am using a relatively new acquisition: Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel. I like balms/gels as opposed to splashes. And this gel is a winner for me. Very mild herbal scent and feels great on my skin.
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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
This morning I used my Simpsons Special badger brush with the Haslinger Schafmilch. I purchased this brush some time ago when I was looking for a badger with a bit of backbone. And this brush fits the bill perfectly and is a pleasure to use. My razor and blade are the same today: Merkur 23c and a GSB blade. I am liking the 23c...nice feel in my hand and it is a relatively mild shaver. Just my style. I like mixing up my vintage razors with modern razors. I did a one pass WTG, a few touch ups here and there, and ended up with a DFS. Just the way I like it.

My post shave was my usual Witch Hazel followed by Clinique post shave balm. Some time ago I started searching for an unscented ASB and came across this Clinique product. It is a bit expensive at $28 CDN, but I can purchase it locally and it is completely scent free and it has a good feel on my face. It absorbs well and isn't greasy. I have a number of unscented shaving products when I feel my scent-sensitivities are active or when I work in a scent free environment. Sometimes in winter (or when my skin feels dry) I will use a balm that I make myself: I melt equal parts of coconut oil and unrefined Shea butter. It is unscented and moisturizes very well.

Overall, it was a very nice shave, from start to finish.

I don't often wax up, but today I decided to put some Badger Mustache Wax in my short handlebars. A little treat.
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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
The Merkur 23c and GSB continue to work their magic. This morning I used my Victoria pure badger brush with the Haslinger Schafmilch. I picked this gem up at an antique store some time ago. It cleaned up well and I really enjoy using this great little brush. It doesn't have a lot of backbone, but it loads easily and feels great on my face. As a post shave I used my usual Witch Hazel and finished off with some Proraso Green ASB. I absolutely love this scent. (I sometimes apply it more than once during the day).

As I contemplate my razor for next week I am thinking I may try one of my Schick Type E razors. I have 3 that I picked up last summer on my rounds of the antique stores....and a fresh pack of blades. I haven't used one yet...so it may be worth a try. I've been watching YouTube videos on this razor...interesting history. I usually start thinking of my next razor, blade and soap for the next week around Wednesday. It will take me at least three days to decide.:blink:

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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
Today I decided to go back to one of my favourite soaps: Cella. I have been trying to use this container until its empty, but it is taking a long time and I needed a break this week. Hence the Haslinger Schafmilch and now I am back to Cella. I need a bit of variety now and again in my soaps.

Pre: Proraso white preshave cream
Razor: Merkur 23c
Blade: GSB
Brush:parker Badger
Soap: Cella
Post: Witch Hazel followed by Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel

As I mentioned above I have been shaving with a DE for about a year now. As I reflect back on this year of discovery I realize how much I have learned from the forums and from daily experimentation and practice. One thing that has really made a big difference in my shaves has been my attention to prep and lathering. I never get nicks or weepers any more. Can't remember the last time I saw blood. I will take that as a good sign.

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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
I have cleaned and polished a Schick Type E razor and loaded a new blade. I plan to use it tomorrow morning. This will be my first time using an SE razor. I have been reading positive reviews, so it is time to broaden my horizons and give it a whirl. Above I noted that I haven't drawn blood in a while...I hope I didn't speak too soon.

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Great detail and enjoyed reading your journal entries. I think you are in for a treat with that injector - I love the shaves that I am able to get with mine. The one you have cleaned up very well ad looks fantastic. Interested to read your opinions on it. One of the best things about the injector for me - is that you pick it up and it is very easy to find the right angle to the face. I think this style of razor if more widely known today and with a greater availability of blades could convince more people to put down the expensive cart razors.

Have a good day,

Pete
 

Rusty Blade

Ambassador
Great detail and enjoyed reading your journal entries. I think you are in for a treat with that injector - I love the shaves that I am able to get with mine. The one you have cleaned up very well ad looks fantastic. Interested to read your opinions on it. One of the best things about the injector for me - is that you pick it up and it is very easy to find the right angle to the face. I think this style of razor if more widely known today and with a greater availability of blades could convince more people to put down the expensive cart razors.

Have a good day,

Pete
Hey Pete...thanks for the feedback. I am enjoying your journal as well. Always interesting to see what others are doing and learning.

I picked up three Schicks Type E last summer for $5 each...and this was the nicest of the three. They are easy to find in antique stores because everyone seems to want the vintage Gillettes and straights. I purchased some Schick SE blades off Amazon and I am finally getting around to trying it. What blades do you use in your Schick injector?

I will post tomorrow after I try the Schick. I plan to use my Haslinger Schafmilkch soap because I know how to dial in the lather just perfect.
 
Hey Pete...thanks for the feedback. I am enjoying your journal as well. Always interesting to see what others are doing and learning.

I picked up three Schicks Type E last summer for $5 each...and this was the nicest of the three. They are easy to find in antique stores because everyone seems to want the vintage Gillettes and straights. I purchased some Schick SE blades off Amazon and I am finally getting around to trying it. What blades do you use in your Schick injector?

I will post tomorrow after I try the Schick. I plan to use my Haslinger Schafmilkch soap because I know how to dial in the lather just perfect.
Thanks for the reply.

I am using Personna injector blades I picked up from Connaught Shaving in England. Decent price and shipping was not bad, but it looks like you are in Canada, so the exchange rate would not be as favorable.

SciTex (Juan) and cmh737 (Chris) love the injectors as well.

Sent via Tapatalk from phone
 

Rusty Blade

Ambassador
First shave with my Schick. As my kids would say: OMG! :thumbup1: This was incredible. The Schick was a huge success. I was a bit nervous and had the styptic pencil handy...just in case. (I was a Boy Scout: "Always Be Prepared"). I did my usual preshave routine: shower, Proraso preshave cream. Lathered up with a my Parker Pure Badger. I used Haslinger Schafmilch because I knew I would get a top class lather.

As I started shaving with the Schick I wasn't sure if it was cutting or not. Very little auditory feedback. I checked and sure enough it was cutting. It was just incredibly smooth. In fact it was probably one of the smoothest shaves I ever had with almost no effort. I did a two pass (WTG/XTG) and ended up with a near BBS shave. I don't usually do multiple passes, but I wanted to test the limits of the Schick. Two passes and absolutely no irritation. Awesome little razor.:thumbup:

The down-side...I like the heft and the metal feel of a DE in my hand. The Schick is a lightweight razor and it has the general feel in my hand of a cartridge razor. But it has a storied history and that appeals to my old school sentiments. A great razor and it will definitely stay in my regular rotation of razors.

Pre: Proraso Pre-shave cream
Razor: Schick Type E
Blade: Schick Injector
Brush: Parker Pure Badger
Soap: Haslinger Schafmilch
Post: Witch Hazel / Proraso ASB
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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
First off...a correction. My Schick is a G Type, not an E Type. Chalk it up to being a newb to SE razors.

Day 2 with my Schick G Type razor. Another really nice smooth shave. I did two passes again and ended up with a tiny weeper in one spot that I always have trouble with on my chin. First weeper in a long time. My fault entirely...I was rushing. Still, overall, a success. This SE razor is tops. And nothing smooths a tiny weeper like Clinique post shave soother.

Proraso Preshave Cream
Schick G Type / Schick Injector blade
Simpsons Special / Haslinger Schafmilch
Witch Hazel / Clinique Post shave Soother

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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
I just happened to stroll through one of my favourite antique stores today and I could hear a little voice calling me from up on a shelf, "Hey dummy...over here...I am just what you are looking for! Look no further!" Sure enough I listened to the little voice and lo and behold...I came across a fine example of a Eversharp Schick Injector razor. Cleaned up nicely. I believe this is a Type E...but not sure of date. Any ideas?

$Antique store  1.jpg $Antique store 2.jpg $Eversharp head.jpg
 

Rusty Blade

Ambassador
For my Sunday morning shave I usually reserve a special place for Proraso. This morning I used my Schick Type G razor and once again I am astounded by how nice this shaver works. Smooth and easy all the way. I did a one pass WTG shave.

Pre: Proraso preshave cream
Razor: Schick Type G
Brush: Omega
Soap: Proraso White
Post: Witch Hazel / Proraso ASB.

This has to be one of my favourite combinations of products. If I had to be tossed overboard and cast on a desert island I would only make one request (besides food and water and a good book)...and that would be to bring along my Proraso. I discovered it early in my wet shaving journey and I have a good supply stored in my sock drawer just in case the shave apocalypse should arrive.

This morning I do feel a bit sad. I realize that now, after experiencing Schick SE shaving, many of my beautiful vintage Gillettes and modern DE razors are going to get very lonely. I must make an effort to use them now and again. :blink:

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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
Some time ago I decided I was going to try and use up some of my many soaps. I generally select one and then include it as much as I can over a period of weeks...enjoying the occasional dalliance with another soap or cream just to keep life interesting. Today I am working, once again, on my Cella. I am determined to find the bottom of this container, but I am in no rush. It is a wonderful soap: inexpensive, great scent and great lather. A little taste of Italy.

Pre: Proraso preshave cream
Razor: Schick
Blade: Schick
Brush: Simpsons Special
Soap: Cella
Post: Witch Hazel / Jack Black Post Shave Cooling Gel

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The Schick continues to amaze me. Such an unassuming razor, yet such a great instrument. It seems every time I walk into an antique store there is a Schick under the counter glass. But I always had my eye open for Gillettes. I tended to overlook the Schick...but now that has changed. What gets me is the little effort needed to get a DFS. And the angle just seems intuitive. Just hold it in your hand comfortably and the blade angle is already set. Amazing.
 

Rusty Blade

Ambassador
I am on Day 5 with my Schick and I am so pleased with how this razor is performing. When I started I didn't like the fact that it was a lightweight razor, and that it felt small in my hand...but I have adjusted and now it feels quite natural. Fits like a glove. I learned from using various DEs that you have to use a razor for a period of time before you learn how it performs and how it handles on the turns. Its Day 5 with this Schick blade that I ordered from Amazon.ca (~$5 for 7 blades) and it is still sharp and smooth. Indeed I can't seem to detect much change in the blade from my first shave. I am going to try and get between 10 to 14 days on this blade, just to see where the outer limits are. With a DE blade I always change after 7 days.

Pre: Proraso preshave cream
Razor: Schick Type G
Brush: Semogue 1438
Soap: Cella
Post: Witch Hazel / Clinique Post Shave Soother

The Semogue 1438 is a great brush. I always soak my boar brush in a mug of warm water while I shower. Softens the bristles..and I like soft bristles when I face lather.
Great shave this morning. :tongue_sm

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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
This morning I started my shave with Proraso red preshave cream instead of my usual Proraso white. This is a great cream, but I find I have to be careful because the scent can be a bit overpowering. Just a small dab is all I need. The scent can linger if I use too much. And I have to be careful if I mix it with other ASB scents. I prefer milder scents...so I don't use this cream often. The scent reminds me of my father. He must had used a similar sandalwood scent...I don't remember him using Proraso. It is in my view, a very manly fragrance.

The Schick continues to perform like a Ferrari...sleek, efficient and smooth on the turns. This is day 6 with the blade and I can detect no changes. If anything it is a bit more mellow but it has retained its sharpness. Love this razor.

Pre: Proraso red preshave cream
Razor: Schick Type G
Brush: Simpsons Special
Soap: Haslinger Schafmilch
Post: Witch Hazel / shea butter / Proraso white ASB

For my post shave routine I will sometimes use a blend of 50/50 coconut oil and unrefined shea butter. I melt this in the microwave and mix well and then pour it into a small jar. A small jar lasts forever. And it is great for dry skin. It absorbs well. And zero scent...though you could easily scent this with an essential oil.

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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
Will it ever end?! This Schick is just amazing...even Batman, the Caped Crusader can't believe it! Another wonderful, effortless shave this morning. Day 7 with the blade and no signs of losing its edge...just keeps getting smoother!

Noxema Preshave cream
Schick Type G
Semogue 1305 / Cella
Witch Hazel / shea butter / Pre de Provence ASB

I enjoy switching between my Proraso preshave creams and Noxema Classic. Great product...and cheap as dirt. And today I brought out the Pre de Provence ASB...a wonderful ASB with a great scent and skin feel.

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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
Friday the 13th! I was expecting bloodshed, but I had another amazing shave. Day 8 with this blade and I am detecting a slight change...still very smooth, but not as sharp. Actually i like the blade at this stage. I am not an aggressive shaver, so a smoother blade suits me fine. A little change up this morning as well on my cream. Simpsons shave cream is a nice mild cream, completely scent free. Some days I don't like a scented cream....and today was one of those days. Great shave overall. Another 10/10. How is it possible!!!

Pre: Noxema Classic
Razor: Schick Type G
Brush: Victoria Badger
Cream: Simpsons Shave Cream
Post: Witch Hazel / shea butter

I have several bottles of Thayers Witch Hazel (I think I have all the flavours), but I recently switched to Dickensons (buy it at WalMart for half the price of Thayers) and I really prefer this brand. Sometimes I am not in the mood for scented Witch Hazel.

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Rusty Blade

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I generally change my razor and blade weekly on Sundays. Clean up the old razor and select a new one. Today I am faced with the problem of deciding whether I will continue using my Schick or go back to a DE. Tomorrow is my "change" day and I have to decide. I have so many awesome DE razors, but I am getting such near-perfect shaves my my Schick. If I use the Schick I will clean it up with some Scrubbing Bubbles and a soak in soapy water and insert a new blade...even though this blade is still giving excellent smooth shaves. Decisions...decisions...:blink:

Today it was a typical Saturday morning shave...a bit more relaxed than during the week. No rush to get in and out and get lunches ready and breakfast on the table.

Pre: Noxema preshave cream
Razor: Schick
Brush: Semogue 1305
Soap: Cella
Post: Witch Hazel / shea butter / Jack Black Post shave Cooling Gel

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