What's new

Shave soap bowl question

...I think it's easier to load the brush from the container that holds the soap or cream and move to a separate bowl to build your lather. You use a bit less and have more room to work up your lather...

+1 I load the soap then move to a lather bowl to build up a moist glop, adding drops of water as needed. I finish by face lathering until I get the consistency & cushion that I like. I have a few reasons for not just face lathering though, mostly because I have very sensitive skin that doesn't tolerate it all that well. I've also made my own beautiful lather bowl and refuse to let it go unused.
After numerous misses in my lathers when switching brushes or soaps, I've been (don't laugh) palm lathering and it's really helped me to get the lather consistent from shave to shave. I've always done at least two practice lathers when I get a new soap and four with a new brush. Just load the brush, lightly wet the left hand and start working the lather up. I'd get these great practice palm lathers (you know, a practice face lather) with good slickness and cushion. No fingerprints, if you know what I mean. Then when I get to the showtime face lather, a miss. Bad shave. Plucky razor, irritation, ingrown hairs.

After doing this several times and chucking several soaps to the storage bin, I decided to try one of my "practice face" lathers one day for a shave. I just did like usual, but when I got to the "no fingerprints" stage I smeared the stuff in my left hand onto my face and scooped up what was left with the brush. Then proceeded to work the lather onto my face with the brush. Smooth it out, plenty of lather left over. Let it sit for a minute or two. Blade time.... Bam! Razor crushing the the beard! No effort! The soap? Mitchell's Wool Fat - a three-time "chuckee" to the storage bin and now a regular on the countertop.

I think what I learned is that when the soap is on my face I don't get a feel for how much water is going in - sometimes I'd get too much, other times not enough. Plus, the face is obviously a much bigger area so incorporating the correct amount of water everywhere is tricky. I've gotten to the point with some soaps where I can skip the "palm lather" step and just go right to the face. I also keep notes on the soap container when I get a good result. And for me, the lather is the thing that most often gets me into trouble.

The little details are all important until it becomes automatic. Back in the day, a guy would use one soap/brush/razor/blade for twenty years. With that many shaves, you get it dialed in. We're not doing that though, are we? Good luck.
Top Bottom