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Win a Vie-Long Horsehair Shaving Brush at Shavetools.com this Halloween!

Congratulations on winning the brush. I thought you were kidding earlier when you said you were told you won via PM.. Kind'a expected it to be announced in the thread. Hope you enjoy the new brush. The olive wood handle looks very attractive. I hardly win anything either so I think I know how happy you must be.

Thanks, everybody. It arrived yesterday and is truly stunning. The handle is as smooth as glass and beautifully grained. The knot feels very soft. Unfortunately I was too busy to shave last night, but I'll give it a test drive tonight and tell you how it drives.
I still need to try a horse made from 50% mane / 50% tail. I've only used one with 65% tail, and while it does seem to soften over time, it's still a bit scritchy for my face. (It's fine for scalp -- I shave my head). I really love the handle on mine, and the way it loads hard soaps. Lathers well and flow-through is good. Not as great as some better badgers, but close enough for me. The scritch just makes me reach for other things, except when I head shaving separately from my face.
I used it for the first time tonight and was delighted. I'm a boar brush guy (I've no idea how many years it's been since I used a badger), so that's what I'll be comparing it to.

First, this is a fairly small brush (don't know the exact length of the loft), which is fine with me. I don't like long floppy brushes, especially since I have a mustache and goatee to lather around. I soaked the horsehair in a bowl of warm water while I showered, and when I pulled it out I noticed that it holds water well. I shook out most of it since I had already added several drops to my tin of Stirling Black Cumin Orange, a lovely soap that unfortunately no longer seems to be available. The Vie-Long loaded it very quickly and efficiently, so efficiently in fact that I transferred considerably more soap to my bowl than I'm used to (hey, there's no such thing as too much product!) and began to whip it up. The Vie-Long has plenty of backbone to whip up a thick rich lather in about half a minute or so.

Lathering my face was the real test, and the Vie-Long passed with flying colors. With no break-in, this brush had zero scritch. It was soft and comfortable but had all the backbone that I'm used to enjoying in my boar brushes--which I'm afraid won't be seeing any use for a while. This brush is a real pleasure, and I can't imagine how it will get any softer or nicer after it's broken in.

Many thanks to Shavetools for this nice gift, which I expect will be my favorite brush for a long time to come. I highly recommend it to friends here at B&B.