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Semogue Silvertip HD vs SOC Finest 2-band

Face-latherer with actual-doctor's-note-sensitive-skin (not just "I don't know how to shave" skin) here. Slowly pondering what my next badger brush may or may not be. My current feelings toward various brushes:

Brushes I love:
  • Almost every soft Synth bulb I have tried (Cashmere, SynBad, Plissoft, misc. other modern Asian knots) because they're gentle for face-lathering, they have good flow-through, and they're intuitive to paint and smooth lather with because they hardly bloom at all when they're fulla lather
Brushes I mostly like:
  • Very broken-in, soft, medium-to-large sized boar brushes like Semogue 1305 / Omega 10005 / Zenith B03-A26 / Omega 21762 because they give a gentle face massage without being too scratchy, they still have good flow-through, and they're still reasonably easy to paint with when they're all lathered up (though not as easy as a synth knot)
  • 24x52mm Yaqi silvertip because it's nice and soft and not too dense and I don't experience any brush burn with it, but it does get pretty big, bloomy, and awkward to paint with when it's full of lather
Brushes I have not much enjoyed:
  • Maggard 24mm SHD fan - way too big, too scrubby, too difficult to paint with, lather hog
  • Some old 24mm badger/boar fan - same geometry problems as the SHD plus the boar bristles weren't broken in at all and it was crazy scratchy
  • DG B9A - waaaaaaaaay too big and difficult to paint with and the density gave me some brush burn... but it Did feel lovely aside from the damage it caused
  • Semogue SOC Boar - way too dense for its size so it chews my face up like a belt sander but maybe it will soften up enough to be usable after another 30-40 hand lathers? (ugh, had higher hopes for this brush due to all the hype)

ANYWAY I think the general trend there is "I like soft brushes that are intuitive to paint with and don't bloom so huge they look like a flying saucer when they're lathered up." I've been considering the Semogue 2015HD Silvertip for its modest size (22x55mm) and not-actually-high-density-despite-the-name density, which is probably a good thing for my preferences, but almost every review thread has somebody pop up to say "buy the Finest 2-Band SOC instead! Better density and backbone and texture!" (24x53mm, often noted to be much denser than the 2015HD).

I'm worried the 2-band SOC would be too big and too dense for my tastes despite its legions of fans. Do the Semogue experts here have any thoughts or guidance for me? Does the generally-less-well-regarded 2015HD sound like it might actually be the better choice for Me?
 
The SOC Finest Badger does not bloom nearly as large as the SOC Boar does. I love mine. However, if you value softness above all, I think you will be happy with the 2015 HD in Silvertip, or even the standard 2015, which is slightly less dense. The 22mm knot is a great size for face lathering.

The SOC in Finest Badger has some scrub to it. I think it is comfortable and a nice size, but it does have some backbone. That is an advantage for hard milled soaps.
 
I know it's not on your curiosity list, but have you considered horse? There are middle-diameter, long-haired options. They have the softness and with a straight from the cake load they have enough strength to bend in on themselves instead of splaying out. The floppiness makes for great painting once you get the majority spread & add a bit of water. You'll also never think a horsehair is too dense.
 
Have definitely used horse. Was far too scratchy for face lathering for me, but you're right that they're great painters.
 
Based on what you've described, I don't think you would like the soc badger. It is an excellent brush and punches way above its price point. However, being Uber soft (which is what I've interpreted your need to be) it is not...I wouldn't even describe it as kinda soft.

I can't comment on the 2015 hd, as I have never used one. If I had to recommend anything, it would be a higher lofted Simpson brush in super.
 
Get yourself a 2015HD, you can't go wrong with that brush. Soft to medium backbone with soft tips and it's a great face latherer. I had a 2015HD with a 3-band knot that was very soft and great and currently have one that looks more like a 2-band and that's even better knot with a little bit of scrub.

SOC 2-band is a great brush too. Mine was very scratchy and stiff when i got it and after a break in it turned to a wonderful scrubby brush with a medium backbone.
 
I only came across this post now, and read it because I own both a Semogue 730HD silvertip and a SOC 2-band. Both are great brushes. I don't know if you got your new brush in the meantime (your post was in October), but here is my thoughts on the matter. If you generally have sensitive skin, I would leave out 2-bands altogether. On the other hand, Semogue 730 HD is much softer, and it is one of my absolute favourite badgers. Apart from the different handles, I am not sure how the knot of the 730 HD compares to the 2015 HD, but I guess either one would be more agreeable to sensitive skin than a 2-band.
Still, considering your emphasis on sensitive skin, allow me to recommend a different brush altogether, which I think is a true gem, but rather overlooked. It is the Omega 31064 or the 81064 boar. The only difference between those is the packaging. Super soft hug..! Supreme lather machine. Not well known, but an outstanding brush. Given the preferences you described at the outset, I think you would really like that brush.
 
I only came across this post now, and read it because I own both a Semogue
... 2015HD and SOC 2 band. I kept the 2015 because it's my favorite brush for use in a bowl or for face lathering. It's actually a sleeper model among other silvertips. I passed the SOC 2 band along for someone else to enjoy.

I own Rooney, Vulfix and Thater but Semogue are simply my favorite brushes. Classic style, priced right and great performers! :thumbup::thumbup:
 
I only came across this post now, and read it because I own both a Semogue 730HD silvertip and a SOC 2-band. Both are great brushes. I don't know if you got your new brush in the meantime (your post was in October), but here is my thoughts on the matter. If you generally have sensitive skin, I would leave out 2-bands altogether. On the other hand, Semogue 730 HD is much softer, and it is one of my absolute favourite badgers. Apart from the different handles, I am not sure how the knot of the 730 HD compares to the 2015 HD, but I guess either one would be more agreeable to sensitive skin than a 2-band.
Still, considering your emphasis on sensitive skin, allow me to recommend a different brush altogether, which I think is a true gem, but rather overlooked. It is the Omega 31064 or the 81064 boar. The only difference between those is the packaging. Super soft hug..! Supreme lather machine. Not well known, but an outstanding brush. Given the preferences you described at the outset, I think you would really like that brush.

Nope, hadn't made a move to purchase a Semogue badger yet but the consensus here seems to be that the Semogue silvertips may indeed do what I want them to do. I may buy one still but I think I need to unload some of my other brushes before I buy more of them. 😅

That Omega definitely looks like it would be a soft brush. I actually do have a few boars that are quite broken in and quite comfortable at this point (Semogue 1305, Omega 10005, Omega 21762), a few more that I don't love as much for various reasons (Semogue SOC, Zenith B03-A26, Yaqi Green Viper, DSC P.O.S.), and a few Oumo boar knots in-transit to try out. So I'm pretty well-stocked on boars already!
 
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