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Ya like Dags? My foray into wet shaving and the honorable order of aquisition

I must admit, I've been remiss in starting this journal. In the past, journals were for people to talk about “me”, which is realistically what a journal is for. But in other discussion forums I’ve been a part of, it always comes with the sniping, jibes and general lack of good faith. But after becoming an active member of this forum, and seeing how this community is built, on the foundations of genuine good will. That unlike other forums I’ve had the pleasure, (sometimes displeasure), of participating in, sniping just plain does not happen here. Judgements are reserved and when they are put forth, they are handed out only with the best of intentions, and that is to see the other person increase their enjoyment out of shaving. A piece of advice is often given here, along with an honestly friendly jibe occasionally, but it is all done in great faith. So it’s with my newfound understanding of, and respect for, this forum that I decided to start up this journal.

I will apologize for this first entry, as it could possibly turn quite lengthy. But I want to convey my journey as a shaver, to a non-shaver, to a wet-shaver. I’m sure there are many other stories similar to mine. But hopefully, this journey is unique enough to you, the reader. Critiques, tips, suggestions and banter are all welcome…I’ve built up a thick enough skin from my time in the military.

Like many of you, prior to getting started in wet-shaving, I never really enjoyed shaving. It was a perfunctory task that, as a Soldier in the Army, I was required to do daily as part of the uniform and appearance standards. So, through my close to 16 years in the military, I shaved, with every day with any day I didn’t have to counted as a blessing. I ranged from using the Mach3, to a “nice” electric Baun, Norelco, cheap Phillips, to the Fusion. I regularly used the canned goop, usually edge gel, at first, then eventually couldn’t be bothered. I would just splash hot water on my face, run the cartridge under the hot water, and go to town. To save money, I would use carts until I saw the first sign of corrosion, generally 3 weeks to 2 months depending on the humidity of the location I was at. I never shaved against the grain, or even across the grain. Just WTG, water only as a lubricant, no aftershave. Uncomfortable, with the occasional ingrown hair, razor bumps, and irritation.

Then 2 years ago, my military career ended, and though I didn’t have to, SWMBO did not really like, at all, facial hair. So I continued shaving periodically, skipping 2-3 days in between shaves. Generally, I would get around to shaving only if she said something, but not before. I landed a job that was going to be overseas. So, I packed up, and headed to where I still am, over to the sandbox. I didn’t worry about shaving aside from trimming the cheeks up a bit, as I don’t grow a thick full beard there. Now, for those of you who have worked here, outside of the military, there is only so much you can do here. So I surfed on a major discussion forum for what has been my passion and hobby for the past 20 years, Pool and Billiards. I would lurk, go through periods of posting, and return to lurking again. The overall atmosphere on that board was fairly aggressive, with people there very adamant about their opinions and not caring about being anything resembling polite. So, unless you were willing to get into one of those discussions, you kept to yourself. Until, while browsing through the NPR forum (non-pool related), someone asked a question about straight razor shaving. This piqued my interest, and I ate up the thread. How there were different grinds on the blade. The collections of antiques, more than 100 years old, that shaved as well, if not better, than many of today’s blades. About wet shaving in general. Someone linked to B&B, and I started lurking here. That was mid-June of this year. I started reading up here on wet shaving, (and over at another shaving site more devoted to straights), and finally decided to take the plunge.

At the time, I had a 6” long goatee I kept fairly well groomed. But I justified what I was about to get into with knowing SWMBO did not like facial hair at all. And it was a cost saver. (funny in retrospect) So, I searched around and ordered a new Dovo 6/8”, honed and ready to go, a strop, brush, cream (Proraso red), razor oil, a styptic pen and a scuttle. A few days later, I decided that a DE would be good to get as a back-up for days when I either, don’t have the time or am rushed. So, I ordered a Merkur Futur with some Feather blades, an alum block, another inexpensive brush, and some more cream, (some croaps actually, RR and PAA) as well as some pre-shave and aftershave. Those were ordered just before the turn of July. It generally takes about 2 weeks for things to arrive here from the states. Unfortunately, the package I ordered containing my strop and SR was coming from Canada, which was having Canadian Post issues at the time. So, instead of being patient, I ordered another SR off of that auction site, a Wade and Butcher 6/8” wedge. Then a Dubl Duck Goldedge 11/16”. Eventually, the Futur came in, and I started my journey into wet shaving.

My first few shaves with the Futur were fairly decent. I would classify them as CCS+ to DFS. I was experimenting with lathering techniques, watching what video’s I could. My fourth shave, the Futur taught me a valuable lesson. “Pay attention at all times when the blade is near or on your skin, and don’t get cute.” A nice slice, right under the nose. It bled for about 45 minutes. Eventually, after quite a bit of alum, and tissue paper, and pressure, it stopped. But the lesson was well taken. These aren’t cartridges. So care was taken from then on out.

The Wade and Butcher eventually arrived. By this time, I had been reading up on how to tell if your SR is sharp enough to shave with. This thing wouldn’t tree-top anything. I had no strop, (coming in the mail from Canada), so I remained patient and waited. In the meantime, a few more soap/creams had arrived. (MWF, CF, Green Proraso) More DE’s had arrived. (2 vintage ball end Techs, a Merkur 34c, a Maggards VR3 head with the MR5 handle) More blades arrived, a 50 blade variety pack, 5 blades per type. I’ve since fallen in love with Personna’s, but want to try more of them out before ordering in bulk to go along with the 50 Feathers. A nice custom brush in Super showed up as well as an inexpensive paddle strop. The AD’s had taken hold…and HARD.

Stingy SWMBO is not going to be happy.

The silver lining is I have others around me here who are very interested. I’ve already PIF’d one of the Tech’s out. I plan on PIF’ing the 34c, inexpensive brush, soap, bowl and some blades to a Soldier out here who is interested. It makes me happy to see others get involved in something I’m getting immense pleasure out of. My Dovo came in about 10 days ago. I have been stropping the crap out of the W&B to the point where it will tree top very easily now at about 1/8 – 1/4 “. I’ve shaved about 4-5 times with the straights. No real disasters, a little blood has been shed, but nothing discouraging, and everything can be chalked up to one thing…me. I understand the patience it’s going to take to learn and get comfortable with this new skill, and I’m totally down with that.

I’ll try and update this as often as possible, work permitting. The posts won't be NEARLY as long as this one. I hope i didn't ramble too much for you.

P.S. Oh yeah…so somehow a Semogue 830, a ’53 and ‘55 Superspeed, and an Ikon X3 got lost in Afghanistan...in my room. Apparently a SOC, Simpson Colonel, a ’55 red tip, and CV Heljestrand are also about to get lost. *oops* We won’t talk about the orphan soap samples I’m sheltering for the time being.
Welcome to the journal section if B&B! Great back story on how your journey started, and looking forward to seeing your posts here. :thumbup1:
Today was the 2nd day in a row using a straight for me, which over the past 3 weeks has been the norm. Here was the general set up...

Prep: hot shower, Lucky Tiger Face Scrub
Pre-shave: Hot towel, Baum.be Pre-shave Gel
Razor: Wade and Butcher 6/8" in Walnut scales
Brush: Excalibur Rustics (Rob Gubber) 24mm Super Silvertip
Soap: Castle Forbes Lime Shaving Cream
Post-shave: Alum, cold towel, Thayers Cucumber Witch Hazel
Aftershave: Castle Forbes Lime Aftershave Balm (sample)

Not a bad shave, as every day goes I learned something new, or at least was able to see in practice what people recommend constantly. I concentrated on blade angle today and keeping the spine as close to the skin, and when successful, it was very comfortable. A few times, in difficult areas, the angle got away from me. I generally was able to tell when that happened, though there were a few spots that the alum let me know were not quite right. I came away with one nick, when I managed to barely catch my right earlobe. Wasn't too bad of a bleeder, looked more like I had my ear pierced. I ended up with a DFS for the most part, with a couple of my trouble spots at what I would consider a CCS. I'm happy to be making progress, and am not discouraged in the least.

The straights are going to get put up for a couple of days to let the irritation calm down a bit on my neck, (my main area where I am having trouble with keeping the angle consistently acute), and to break out my favorite DE razor, the '53 Superspeed. It's menthol Monday, so I'm going to be using a sample I've recieved from Maggards, Dapper Dragon's Arctic Wyrm to go along with the Aqua Velva Ice Blue, and Shave Secret.

I just got the Lime Castle Forbes in today, and what a pleasure to shave with. It is quite thirsty for a cream, similiar to the Cedarwood and Sandalwood, but the scent is very nice to begin the day with.
Welcome to this forum section of B&B. Great introductory post. I was the same way with regard to shaving before getting a DE and finding shaving soaps, brushes and aftershaves. Great group of supportive folks here.

Looks like you have a very good handle on gear and great job on sharing stuff to get people into these methods of wet shaving.



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So today was slated, as Monday's are, for Menthol. I had just gotten a sample pack in from Maggards which included a sample of Dapper Dragon's Arctic Wyrm. I was looking for a stronger menthol soap than the Proraso green cream I had, and this intrigued me. The smell was typically pepperminty and mentholy. Promising.

With regards to what razor I was using, I decided to go with what has quickly become my favorite razor, the '53 SuperSpeed (Y-4 DC). I'm taking a break from straights for just a couple of days to give the irritation on my neck a chance to recover before I assault it with my poor ability to keep an acute angle.

Of course, mail call was right before I started shaving. I ended up receiving two packages. Wouldn't you know it, the TOBS Aloe Vera and my Red Tip showed up.

View attachment 679718

Now, Mondays are for menthol so that ruled out the Aloe Vera, Grapefruit and Coconut...and though I was tempted to use the Red Tip, the irritation on my neck was telling me to use what I've been told is a more mild razor. So...

Here's the set up for the day:

View attachment 679716

I soaked a large snurdle of the soap in my scuttle while I went through my prep. The soap whipped up quite nicely, and it is very thirsty, especially when paired with the scuttle. I've found that adding a little bit of water in between passes keeps the moisture at the correct level. Otherwise it gets very dry and "cakey".

I was on the hunt for a nice, strong menthol soap, with a lot of cooling for the face. I think I found it. Througout the shave it felt like my face was stuck in the freezer. Combine that with the warm lather coming out of the scuttle and the effect was quite dramatic.

The first two passes went by quite quickly. I was not rushing. I was paying attention. But it just flew by. The ATG pass has been the culprit for most of my irritation recently. (corners of the mouth, neck areas) So, I put a little more water in the soap to give a little more slickness, and applied it. I only had to lightly buff two spots after it was all finished. I didn't feel any areas of irritation, but reached for the Alum bar to check myself. Cheeks were fine, chin was fine, a very slight tingle around the mouth, and a little around the neck. Since I've started wet shaving, this is the closest I have been to being able to say I had no feedback from the Alum. Cleaned up, threw a little Witch Hazel on, followed by the Aqua Velva. After it dried, I checked my shave...and this is the first time I can say I was able to achieve a BBS. So, needless to say, my case of Monday's were reversed from the word "Go" today...

Tomorrow will be the TOBS Aloe Vera with the Red Tip...:w00t: I'm going to keep the Personna Red I had in there today, (it will be the 5th shave on it). I've read very positive reviews of this, which is the rationale I used to order it from the TOBS website directly instead of waiting for the U.S. release. I'll most likely use it for the next 3 days and give a review here and in the Shaving Creams forum...

Hope everyone's day is going well...
So today was the first day shaving with both the TOBS Aloe Vera Shaving Cream I received in the mail yesterday. This is going to be fairly short, as a longer review will be posted on the product on Thursday or Friday. I paired it with a Red Tip and Personna Blade, and brought in the Semogue 830 boar brush for whipping up the lather. I took a chance on bringing in the Red Tip, (1st use), and Semogue (only the 5th lather I've done with it. Still far from being broken in), as I wanted to put it though its paces. The cream, which has a faint, albeit plesant, aloe aroma with floral undertones, preformed just fine. I was able to get enough lather for a full three pass shave, which gave a comfortable DFS+. I did notice that my skin came away feeling much more moisturized than with other soaps, something that others who have tried it, have raved about.

Just on a whim, I went and gave the Cocounut a test lather later in the day, (I work about 50 meters from my living quarters), to see what I could expect. Just like the Aloe Vera cream, it lathered up quite easily. This is something I expect from creams. The scent is not overpowering, but the coconut smell is there. I took it through from a lather that was too dry too a lather which was sopping wet. These test lathers are ultra helpful in figuring out exactly what you need to do for each combination of your brushes, creams, soaps, croaps, bowls, mugs, etc...

I'll be changing the set up tomorrow. I'll be using the Excalibur Rustics 24mm Super, the Ikon X3 slant and a new Feather blade. If the performance is the same or better, then Thursday is going to be done using the Wade and Butcher 6/8" near wedge and my Edwin Jagger Super.
Congratulations and welcome to the journal. I am glad that you are realizing all of the money that can be saved with wet shaving.:lol:
Today's shave was an exercise in ignorance. I say this, because I know what I should, and shouldn't, be doing. The little voice in my head gives the correct advice. But ignoring those things leads to irritation.

So here's what the set up was today:


Now, that being said, the irriation is no fault of the cream. It developed a nice thick lather, slick lather. The cushion on the face, along with the residual slickness, was great.*** The subdued aroma does not distract you from your task. The post shave feel is second to none; only perhaps rivaled by MWF.

So today it was the Ikon X3 slant's turn. I'm not quite familiar with this razor, a reason I chose it today. I wanted to see how the cream treated technique with a razor that was not quite dialed in. I learned that poor razor technique will punish you even if you have the best lather. I conducted my normal 3-pass shave. WTG, which for me would be N-S on the face, L-R on the underside of the chin and neck. XTG is ear to mouth on the face, and S-N on the neck, and ATG is S-N on the face and R-L on the neck. The first two passes went well, though a little too much pressure at the right corner of my mouth caused a very small nick. The ATG, I concentrated on my pressure, and the angle kept getting away from me, causing some buffing in areas, instead of taking my medicine and a lesser shave. Lesson learned. DON'T DO THAT! The result is, almost 2 hours after my shave, my neck and moustache areas are still tender. I've definitely had worse irritation, and the Alum wasn't overly talkative when going over those areas. But after 2 days of irritation free DFS+/BBS, it served as a wake up call. I think in the future, I'm going to limit my X3 to two passes, an XTG and a hybrid XTG/ATG pass. At least until my technique with it improves.

All of that sounds like it was a terrible shave. It honestly was not. I still came away with what I would call a DFS+ shave. It would call it BBS, but for the irriation I'm feeling. So I'm still happy with the result, just not the tenderness.

***the residual slickness might have been why I tried buffing over places multiple times. This cream induces confidence almost bordering cockiness!

With that being said, my poor technique overrode the qualities of this cream. Tomorrow, which was originally planned to be the W&B. But I think a change in strategy is in order. I do not want my still developing, and admittedly poor technique to effect the outcome of my review. So, I will be doing a side by side comparison of this cream to one of the gold standard creams on the market today, Castle Forbes Lime. It will be a 2-pass shave, with my '53 Gillette Superspeed and Feather blade. Each cream will get applied to each side of the face once. I'm not going to be using any hot water in my scuttle, to keep the playing field level with the lathers, and an Old Spice mug will be the other lather recepticle. If this cream can perform to the level of a CF cream, then TOBS has really hit a home run here. Tomorrow will tell.

Thanks for the comments and encouragement, it's always appreciated!
So today was the third, and final day of the TOBS Aloe Vera Shaving Cream review. I was originally going to be using a Wade and Butcher Straight today, but after the irritation yesterday, I decided against that and went with my ’53 Superspeed. I kept the Feather blade from yesterday, which ended up being a mistake. As my technique has improved over the past month and a half, and I’ve tried different blades, the Feathers continually give irritation and weepers. I don’t see this with the Personna’s or Pol Silvers. So, for the future, I’ll put the remaining Feathers off to the side, saving them for the Saint Sue Auction, and stick to the Personna’s or whichever other blade seems to work for me. (I still have a tuck of Astra’s, Vokshods amongst others to try) On to the review…

So today I conducted a side by side comparison between the TOBS Aloe Vera and one of the gold standard creams on the market, Castle Forbes Lime. To try and keep things equal, each half of my face was covered in the different creams once, and the two passes were XTG/ATG. The partial third pass would be completed using the cream that gave the best combination of cushion, glide, slickness and residual slickness. I have to discount scent, because I’m a big fan of both of these scents for different reasons. Here’s the set up:

View attachment 680418

The brushes are both Super Silvertips, the one on the left being the Edwin Jagger Super, and the right being the my Excalibur Rustics (Rob Gubber) 24mm Super Silvertip. Both are very good at creating lather, though the EJ has a bit more backbone.
Since I’m going to be lathering both up at the same time, I needed two different lather bowls. I went with the Old Spice Mug and the Classic Edge scuttle, (no hot water, it’s just a bowl today).


The creams have slightly different consistencies, with the CF being a bit more “creamy” and the TOBS a bit more firm. Here is a photo of the creams as they sit in the tubs:


Both creams are extremely easy to get a good lather from, and both are pretty thirsty, especially from a cream. After putting some Baume.be pre-shave gel on, I used an almond sized snurdle from each tub and whipped up the lathers. Here is the results from each:

Castle Forbes:

TOBS Aloe Vera:

Afterwards, I applied the hot towel and went to apply the lather, left side TOBS and right side CF for the XTG pass. This pass went smoothly, with both creams showing creat cushion. The Aloe Vera cream was giving great glide and residual slickness, while the Castle Forbes, even on the dry side, was phenomenal cushion and great glide as well. No irritation from either, but the Aloe Vera's post shave feel shone through with the moisturizing feel.

The 2nd pass, I switched sides of the face for each cream. The reason I'm doing this is I shave with my dominant hand only, so I wanted both creams to have to deal with the cross face shaving. This pass, ATG, is where using the feather really bit me. I had re-hydrated the CF with a bit more water, so both creams were giving great cushion and glide. But the Feather, even with the lightest of touches, wanted to dig in around the moustache area. The residual slickness of the Aloe Vera allowed some buffing around the mouth, but the CF just couldn't take it, as the residual was nowhere near what the Aloe Vera provided.

The result was a couple of nicks around the mouth and one on the neck, right under the chin. Much of the irritation was from buffing when I knew I shouldn't, considering by that point I knew the Feather wouldn't take it. But I'm a chaser, and in my mind, those extra few strokes, with the light touch, couldn't cause any more irritation...right? HA HA HA...jokes on me.

I rinsed the remnants of the 2nd pass away, and tried to decide which cream to use for the half a pass I had remaining for cleaning up. I thought again about throwing in the towel and taking the shave as it was, a SAS/CCS, but already being on the receiving end of some irritation, my sado-masochistic side of me said screw it, and drove on. Not entirely wanting to put myself through a hellish pass, I decided the best cream for this would be the TOBS for the exceptional glide, residual slickness, and post shave feel. I applied some lather to the parts that needed touching up, (mainly around the chin and neck area), and finished up. The Alum bar told me what I already knew, that I had torched my neck pretty well. But, outside of that, I ended up wtih a DFS overall.

After three days with the Aloe Vera, and seeing how it stacks up to what is considered one of the top creams on the market today, I have to say that this is one product that I will ensure is on my shelf at any given time. The post shave feel alone is head and shoulders above what you will find most other places; in this case it certainly put the Castle Forbes to shame. The other factor that hadn't been spoken about often is the residual slickness it provided, which, as I stated in yesterday's post, gives you a false sense of confidence bordering on cockiness. Where it fell short of the Castle Forbes is in glide, (not quite as smooth but better than most others) and cushion, (no contest here, the CF had by far more cushioning).

On a scale to 10 of this product, I would have to give TOBS Aloe Vera the following marks:

Lathering: 9/10 - Very easy to lather, like most creams. Be prepared to add more water than you think you need.
Scent: 7/10 - It only gets a 7 because it is very subdued. If you are looking for a cream with a lighter, softer scent, you would enjoy this. Aloe Vera up front, with floral middle notes, and a very fragrant carnation scent as a base. But very light, and far from overpowering.
Cushion: 7.5/10 - Better than most creams, but not quite as good as the CF.
Glide: 9/10 - You can't get much better from a cream as far as glide is concerned
Residual Slickness: 10/10 - unbelievably good residual slickness
Post shave feel / moisturizing: 10/10 - Granted, I have not tried too many products, but after the shave, it felt like I had just put moisturizing lotion on my face, even after the Alum.

All in all, I give this an 8.75/10 (actual average), but when you factor in the cost, it pushes it well into the 9/10 range. It performs, IMHO, as well as the Castle Forbes creams, at roughly half the cost. With that being said, this will become my baseline cream, against any other creams I might try in the future. It's not the best in all categories, but if a cream can outperform this, it deserves to be in my shave cave.
Congratulations and welcome to the journal. I am glad that you are realizing all of the money that can be saved with wet shaving.:lol:

In the month and a half, I've saved a bunch of money. It's all tied up in razors, soaps/creams, AS's, and blades...but the equity is still there. :tongue_sm
That led to a cut on my mug yesterday! Slickness can be a trap. :thumbup:

I'm still fighting off bad habits from my cart shaving days, i.e. buffing over spots with no prep. The Aloe Vera does provide decent residual, but it doesn't stand a chance to excessive buffing, (i.e. bad technique). At least the voice in my head told me before I started buffing that it was a bad idea...now I just have to listen to him. :blush:
I'm still fighting off bad habits from my cart shaving days, i.e. buffing over spots with no prep. The Aloe Vera does provide decent residual, but it doesn't stand a chance to excessive buffing, (i.e. bad technique). At least the voice in my head told me before I started buffing that it was a bad idea...now I just have to listen to him. :blush:

Nice review of the creams. When I do try to do a fair assessment on new products, I go with a set up that is reliable so my recommendation would have been go with the blades that work best for you. Then you can give it a fair evaluation on performance IMHO.

One shaving cream that I found and am intrigued is from Stone Cottage Soapworks. Not much have been said about them but they do have a dedicated thread on this forum. From what I have researched, the creams get favorable reviews. Seems like price point is around TOBS. So may be worth a shot to look at.
Nice job Josh and very good write-up on the shave and comparison of the creams. Love the pictures of the shave bowls filled with lather.
So after the review (good!) and the irritation that the Feather caused the last two days (bad!), I decided an easy, relaxing day of shaving was in order. I was going to go with the '53 Gillette Superspeed which is my go to razor, and try out another blade that many here on B&B are very fond of, the Astra SP. I only planned on going for 2 passes today, WTG/XTG, and foregoing the ATG pass to let my face recover. (my neck is still uncomfortable when rubbing against the grain) For soap, I went with one that I, at first, was having a very hard time lathering and was about to give up on. I hadn't used it in about a month for an actual shave, but did a test lather a day or two prior to the Aloe Vera showing up, trying out a few different things, and was able to get a nice, stable, slick lather from it. I love the scent, (it reminds me of a sugar cookie with an undertone of musk), and I have both the pre-shave oil and aftershave splash.

Here's the set up for today, mid shave:

View attachment 680712

The test lathers were done using an old spice mug, so cold. Today was with the scuttle filled with warm/hot water, and the lather still held up well. The two passes went by without any incident. Alum confirmed this, as there was zero feedback. After a cold towel, witch hazel and the aftershave and clean up, I checked to see how I did. A very comfortable CCS. A few places were DFS, but I wasn't about to chase after the last few days. (see I can learn)

So I was headed out the door to work, when mail came in. I think I know what is going to be used tomorrow...
View attachment 680713

Dubl Duck Goldedge 11/16"
Mountain Blue glazed Lather Bowl from The Shaving Place on Etsy

I'm pretty excited to use the bowl, and the razor is one that's been in the mail for a month, today. (The canadian post hasn't been the most reliable lately). The razor tree-topped leg hair at about 1/4", albeit with a little bit of tugging, singing a nice tune as it did so. I'm planning on running it about 50x on the CrOx and 100-150 laps on the strop and see how it does. If not, I'll use the W&B. I think I'm going to go with the flow in regards to what soap to use. Better yet, I'll ask ya'll...

TOBS - Eton College (unused sample)
TOBS - Aloe Vera
TOBS - Grapefruit
TOBS - Cocounut
Katie's Bubbles - Pink Grapefruit (3/4 a sample left)
Mickey Lee Soap Works - The Drunken Goat (3/4 a sample left)
Mickey Lee Soap Works - Kraken (unused sample)
Mickey Lee Soap Works - La Belle du Sud (unused sample)
Henri et Victoria - Chestnut L'Orange (unused sample)
Razorock - XXX
Razorock - Classic
Proraso - Green
Proraso - Red
Castle Forbes - Lime
Castle Forbes - Cedarwood and Sandalwood

Soaps not eligible for tomorrow:
MWF - unsure about the lather. Going to test lather it a few more times to try and get it right
Dapper Dragon - Arctic Wyrm (3/4 a sample left) - until the full tub shows up, this is reserved for Menthol Mondays
The Blades Grimm - Smolder (it's going to be sidelined for a bit in preparation for a 3017 push with it)
Razorock - P.160 (waiting on the matching ASB to arrive)
PAA - Cavendish (also waiting on the matching ASB to arrive)

Hope everyone has a great Friday!
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So the weekend I generally reserve for straights, and today was no exception. I received my first Dubl Duck in the mail yesterday and went ahead and did 100+ laps on the CrOx and another 150+ on the strop between last night and this morning. I decided to go with the Henri et Victoria Chestnut L'Orange, along with the new lather bowl from The Shaving Place. In retrospect, I shold have only gone with either the new bowl or the new soap, because the lather was an issue for me this morning. The soap was a free sample from Classic Edge, which was an awkwardly small portion, good for maybe 1.5 shaves with how much soap/cream I use. I ended up throwing the whole thing in there and was a little over exuberant with the water, ending up with a very foamy lather. I worked it a little bit more to get it more towards what I was wanting, but it still was a little lacking. I should have just started over with a new soap or cream, but waste not want not. Being an analyst by trade, I'm constantly evaluating things, and today I found that I did not like an overly wet, weak lather. In regards to the soap, the scent of the Henri et Victoria was not bad, but I very much prefer the Cuban Cigar and Cognac scent, so much so that I ordered a full tub with the matching aftershave from Maggards. HeV lathers up very easily with a little bit of soaking, and the previous sample I had was a joy to shave with.

A note on the bowl by The Shaving Place...it far outperformed me today. It made making lather even easier than it has been in the past. In the future, I will make sure that I live up to it's performance level and get the lather right!

The set up this morning was:

Pre-shave: Baume.be Pre-shave Gel
Brush: Semogue 830
Soap: Henri et Victoria Chestnut L'Orange
Razor: Dubl Duck Goldedge 11/16"
Aftershave: The Blades Grimm Smolder Aftershave

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The Duck was great, however, and despite the fact that my lather was on the thin and runny side, still managed to give me a good 3 pass shave, albeit with a bit of tugging at the end. I really concentrated on no pressure and a very shallow angle today, and it paid off with very little feedback in one of my trouble spots around my mouth, a bit more feedback on my neck. Overall, I ended up with a DFS, with my chin and cheeks at BBS. The Duck was a pleasure to wield! It's a bit smaller than my other two blades, both 6/8", (a W&B wedge and a Dovo 6/8" half hollow), and I was really enjoying how light and nimble maneuvering it was. I loved the audible feedback it gave as it took the whiskers off as well!

Tomorrow is going to be the W&B. I went ahead and ran it on the CrOx and strop tonight and it was tree topping leg hair at more than 1/4", so I'm looking forward to tomorrows shave! I'm going to pair it up with Razorock Classic, my EJ Super Badger and my scuttle, as I know I can get a very slick and stable lather that combo.
Congrats on the path to straights. They are, by far, THE most fun method of shaving ... even if my honing sucks. :tongue_sm

I am having a fun time figuring out what works and what doesn't. The information on here has saved me from quite a bit of pain and suffering, though there is a price to be paid to get to the promised BBS land...a price in irritation and blood. lol...it sounds worse than it is, and the price is all worthwhile.
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