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What's a (how to get a) good base?

I face lather.

I load the brush for about 1 min, dip the tips of the brush in hot water and swirl and lather on the face. Been doing that for 30 years.

Since joining B&B, I tried the bowl lathering methods suggested in videos and in the forums, but the lather always dried as I was learning to use my Feather SS (and now DX).

So I went back to face lathering. When using creams, I take a pea sized blob, place one on each side of the face, and one on the neck and swirl around occasionally dipping my brush tips into hot water. Build up the nice, warm and wet lather on the face where it needs to be.
I too prefer a wet, slick lather. For me, the difference came when I ditched the bowl and started face lathering. It was much easier to tell when I'd gotten it right because I could feel it. I've also found that it's easier for me to get creams right than soap, but I can usually get good lather from soap as well.
Cella (kilo) and Arko stick (bowl pressed) are my main soaps. After my brush is soaked and a layer of water on my soap has done it's work and have given my brush a shake . I just swirl my brush right on the puck for about a minute to build a great lather, adding a few drops of water as needed. I get a nice rich lather that lasts the whole shave, re-lathering for a second pass. Personally, I like to keep my shave simple.


three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
You need to load enough soap for a good lather, but I don't see the point of brushing on lather that resembles glue and then slowly turning into something useful. I try to leave the perfect amount of water in my brush for a great lather, which for most of my brushes is two vertical (handle straight up) shakes at a force I am unable to accurately describe (other than to say not as hard as I can - find your own method). I load between 4 and 8 seconds, depending on the soap. I marvel at 60 second load times, but remember you are probably not using my brush, soap or my water, and you are no doubt loading a much drier brush (which really increases the length of the load time).

From there it takes me about 45-60 seconds to make the lather. If I've shaken too much water out it takes a little longer, because I obviously have to make too thick a lather and then add water. Once in a blue moon I leave the brush too wet, and that provides me with an opportunity to try a thinner lather. I don't go back to the puck. It's a good test for what I think of as perfect lather, and has caused me to shift perfect to a little wetter than before.
I'm heavily influenced by this Michael Freedbreg Youtube video about a good lather. He lathered up for quite a while and got a nice thick base but that he said was "sticky" and not the best. So he sprinkled a few drops of water onto the brush and got back to face lathering. He did the sprinkling/face lathering quite a few times. Finally, he'd arrived at what he called "slick." Ready to shave.

Attempting to emulate him, I seem to go from the initial good thick "sticky" base to beyond "slick," nearly runny.

I'm not dousing the brush with water. The thick base I've built up just doesn't seem to hold.

Any suggestions for keeping the base?

Hello there!

I personally believe in making my lather into a creamy yogurt level of consistency. Through trial and error, I have discovered that, the best lather I can do, is a lather that has both enough soap in it yes, but also a lather that has enough water in it, to make it slick. For me, in order to achieve the level of slickness that were talking about here, I have to make my lather into a creamy yogurt consistency. Of course, with everything in this wet shaving hobby/journey, YMMV.


Creamy Yogurt consistency lather, using Captains Choice Italia shave soap.

When creating the creamy yogurt, may the shwarts be with you!
My lather looks like a runny mess ( in the bowl ) most of the time. I tend to finish the lather creation on my face to get to that slightly thicker and firmer lather I like to actually shave with. At no point does my brush ever look like some of the pictures you see around here of that 'perfect' ice cream cone lather. If I plop my brush down on the sink, there's usually some soap running down the handle unless I'm on pass three or touchup.

So I have a hybrid face lather/bowl lather thing going on.
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