Tutorial: How to make lather from a shaving cream with a bowl

Discussion in 'Shaving Creams' started by Luc, May 28, 2010.

  1. Luc

    Luc Moderator Emeritus

    Hopefully, this tutorial will help you building lather using shaving cream and a bowl.

    I found my first brush, a Bristle Wilkinson Sword that I bought in a Pharmacy in St John's, Newfoundland in 2004. That brush was used a bit but not that much. Not bad for a $3.99 CDN brush!

    Let's get started.

    • 1 x Tube of Proraso shaving cream (replace here with your favorite shaving cream)
    • 1 x Bristle Brush
    • 1 x small bowl (this one is 3" wide by 1" deep, approx.)

    2-Soak the brush in hot water. The water should be warm enough for you to tolerate it (so, hot but not boiling). Soaking should be a few minutes. I usually take a shower while it soaks.

    3-Do not squeeze out the water completely otherwise your lather will be too dry. I usually half squeeze the brush. If you squeezed the brush too much, you can either re-soak it or add a few drops later while you mix.

    4-Empty the bowl.

    5-Add some shaving cream in the bowl, I have the equivalent of a big almond in there.

    6-Start mixing, this is after ~20 laps

    7-After ~60 seconds

    8-I squeezed too much water out so I will add a few drops (the lather is pulling the brush too much and can't seem to get bigger). I added around 3-5 drops of hot water.

    9-Lather is almost ready, I did a few more laps for ~30 seconds after I added the water.

    10-Again, few more laps and, as you can see, thick lather, apply and shave!
  2. A grrreat tutorial. IMO step 3 just can't be overemphasized since that is the most common mishap.

    Boar brushes are fun to use!
  3. The heating of the bowl with water beforehand is a good tactic.

    The amount of lather you get out of that "almond" seems a little light. Do you get enough passes out of it? Personally, I'm a face-latherer, and I can get 3 passes out of one loaded badger by adding a small bit of hot water after pass number 2, but when I decide to do bowl lathering, I have to get much more lather than your photos show for 3 passes.

    I also use TOBS, so I'm not sure it's completely comparable.
  4. Luc

    Luc Moderator Emeritus

    Yup, I got enough for 3 passes. I don't have any DE blades anymore otherwise I would've used that as a reference for the size.

    I normally face lather also but did an exception as I didn't see a tutorial for it!
  5. Excellent post.
    I had a Truefitt & Hill sampler pack arrive today, full of creams I'm looking forward to trying, but at the moment I use a Pirate's Cove soap and face lather, so this tutorial really will come in handy tonight... :thumbup1:

    Now which to try first, 1805 or Trafalgar... Hmmm.
  6. Nice tutorial, I wish I could get that much lather from proraso :sad:. I blame the hard water here, will give proraso another try tomorrow.
  7. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator

    Great job, Luc. I found the mug I was using was too narrow on the bottom and I could not swirl it just right. Picked up another one yesterday and will give it a try.:laugh:
  8. Nice job, Luc.
  9. Don


    Thanks Luc. :thumbup1:
  10. jakespoppy

    jakespoppy Moderator Emeritus

    Great pictorial, Luc! I'm glad you included Step 8, adding a few drops of water. It's helpful to show that you're not always going to get the "mix" just right the first time, and sometimes will need to add a little water. Likewise, if it's too thin you may need to add a little cream. You can tell it's right by the look and feel.
  11. Luc

    Luc Moderator Emeritus

    Thanks everyone!

    Yes, it just happened that I didn't have enough water this time!
  12. Two questions.
    What pharmacy did you get that brush at because I want one Especially at that price

    and what kind of pressure should be used with brushes in the bowl noone ever goes over that should they just barely be touching the bottom or splaying out or somewhere inbetween

  13. Luc

    Luc Moderator Emeritus

    Which pharmacy? mmm, I will need to think about it, it was a few years ago and I was there for a week only...

    Pressure? Not a lot, the weight of the brush is usually enough, you want the bristles to brush the cream at the bottom and the sides.
  14. jakespoppy

    jakespoppy Moderator Emeritus

    I will add that as far as pressure, when I do this, like Luc says, there's very little downward pressure, except I do pump up and down a few pumps several times during the swirling process to "push" some lather up into the brush. I try to not push down more than makes the bristles bend about half way to avoid damaging the bristles.
  15. Luc

    Luc Moderator Emeritus

    I knew I could find it using google street view! :tongue_sm

    I bought the brush at Shopper's Drug Mart, corner MacDonald Drive and Torbay Road. I don't know if they still stock it...
  16. Thanks for this, Luc. I found the picture of the lather on your hand particularly helpful. It gives a clear indication of the consistency to aim for. Its much harder to see when theres only a pic of the lather on the brush.
  17. Well your pictures is amazing really, but i suggest you, Fill the bowl full of tap hot water. No need to use a boiling water because it could harm your brush. I like to stand the brush in to water instead of throwing it in. This saves the wooden handle when it doesn't soak in the hot water. Soak the bristles 5 minutes or more to get the proper absorption of water. Now it's great time to take a shower.
  18. That was great, except I lightly flick the brush instead of squeezing it. Also, I usually use just slightly less proraso, but also, my cream doesn't look quite as good until it has dried out a bit... i think I will try using a bit more...
  19. Really helpful tutorial, i still get irritation and i think it has to do with my lather.
    Going use some of the tips to see if i can get better lather.
  20. Great tutorial!

    I'd used some of the other threads and wiki to improve my technique since joining, but this one makes it really clear. Plus, Luc's using the same brush I've used for a couple of months now! My good boar brush gave out after many years of service. I pulled out the Body Works "Mostly Men" brush my mother gave me years ago. Turns out it's the Wilkinson with a Body Works logo slapped on the handle. Of course, I just pulled the trigger on an Omega 10265 (the 10065, with a faux-badger stripe added), after deciding to pass on the Semogue 1305 for now. I suspect a mild case of SBAD may be in my future!

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