Norsemans shave diary

Discussion in 'Shower or Shave of the Day' started by Norseman, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    The SOS threads gave me an idea to create my own diary of shaves.
    A diary to keep track of my trying and most likely failures to find a combination that does not mess up my skin.

    After most showers and shaves I have started experiencing a drying sensation of my skin, and I need to apply generous amount of moisterizing in several stages to diminish it.
    It does not go away completely, but I manage to reduce this sensation enough to take away most discomfort.

    I am not much to look at, but when examining my face, I see no signs of dryness or flaking. I guess it is more of a feeling than anything else. At least so far (knocking on the wood)
    In the past I have had more of a combination skin, and seldom experinced dry skin.

    So therefore I am pasting in my entry from the latest SOS thread and starts this diary with yesterdays shave:



    Wednesday 15.08.2012 @ 21.00 CET

    Shower and face wash using Bulldog face and body wash gels.
    Proraso Green Preshave Cream - Used before each pass
    Truefitt & Hill Sandalwood Shave Cream - Sample Pack
    Muhle Classic Style Silvertip Brush Size L
    Merkur 34c HD Razor using Treet Platinum blades
    Alum Block
    T&H Grafton After Shave Balm

    And after approx. 30 min when my face start tightening up, I put on some Fitjar After Shave balm to see if this elevates my "Cher condition"
    It did... for now.

    If I happen to violate any rule or norm by doing this, please let me know. That is not my intent
    Thanks
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  2. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Thursday 16.08.2012 - The difficult sequel post.

    I decided to make two small changes from yesterdays choices. I removed my two main suspects, the alum block and the face wash and continued with the remaining products from yesterdays selection. Since I had more left of the T&H samples I opened yesterday, the choice of shave cream and aftershave balm was given.

    As always the shower was a magnificent experience. For my cleansing needs I used NYASHA BLACK FACIAL CLEANSING BAR from Fitjarsoaps

    [​IMG]

    An excellent soap that really cleanses out the dark side of the face. At least it feels that way. And since Placebo is a personal friend if mine, I am inclined to believe this to be true,

    After the shower, I massaged in some of Prorasos fine pre shave cream. I am no menthol fan, but I do enjoy this green boxed goodness.
    While waiting for this to work its magic I started bulding my lather from what was left of the sample pack. I could probably have been more careful and milked another session out of it. But since it was time to move on to another product, I decided against it.

    Using my Muhle brush I managed to make a decent lather. Not perfect, but good enough. I think I used more water this time, since the lather felt more moist and fluffy. I have lot to learn about lather building, and I never imagined that this would prove to be such an interesting pastime

    In my razor I used the same Treet Platinum blade as yesterday. Normally I exchange the blade after two shaves. At this point I am not too interested in getting the most out of each blade. I am more interested in trying different blades.

    I did three passes. All with the grain, and I got a decent shave out of it. Although I did manage to cut myself alot more than I ususlly do. Even one of my earlobes got nicked.
    I find it kind of funny, though. I kind of like the Treet blade. It has given me two good shaves. Two good, brutal and bloody shaves. It cuts swiftly and with style. But apparently it takes a real man to handle them properly, and that is not me.
    Not yet :)

    After the shave, I skipped the alum block. It was sorely needed, but in the name of lousy science I had to make that sacrifice. I rinsed my face with warm and then cold water before I applied the Aftershave balm from Truefitt & Hill.
    This left me with the traditional home alone experience.

    [​IMG]

    Put in another way, it gave me quite a sting. If not the mother of all stings, it at least had to be an uncle. As the matter of fact, it still stings. And its been a good 90 minutes since I put it on.
    After 30 minutes had passed I put on a layer of TBS Maca Root moisturiser. That helped, but did not cure.
    But on the bright side, my face feels less dry and tight. Where it not for the before mentioned fire in my whiskers, it would feel pretty groovy.

    Tomorrow, I will see if I can locate an all not-scented cast to star in my shave of the day. If not, I know I have a whiskey scented soap from Portland General Store laying somewhere in my cupboard. So if I cant soothe my whiskers, I can at least get them drunk.
    It will be friday after all :)

    Cliff Notes: I shaved. It was a good shave. The aftershave burns like Tatooine on a hot summer day. Little to non dryness on the face.
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  3. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    No shave today. Not yet anyway.
    The razor stands for lorn, not a symbol of the dawn
    No shave today, it used to be a plight
    But people passing by don't know it about this delight.... suckers

    But I did do my morning shower and facewash routine, and where I usually experienced tightness from the day before, I did not do so today.
    My face still stings a little, but not much. But that might also be due to too much shaving. Perhaps I have overdone it by having six times a week, and need to heal.

    However, I do believe I have found the cause of my problems. The prime suspect is the alum block, and a quick google has more or less confirmed my suspicion.
    I am waiting for a shipment of Witch Hazel to arrive and will try this as a temporary replacements. Both witch hazel and alum block has been, up until this point, unknown pieces of technology for me. And especially the latter is not a common product in the land of Norse.

    Next shave will inlude the alum on just one of my whiskers, and only cold water on the other one.
    Followed by a quick norse-slapping with some unscented aftershave balm.
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  4. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Friday 17.08.2012

    Since I had to attend a work related party that night, I decided to go for the safe approach.
    As mentioned in the previous post, I went for my unscented alternatives.

    Shave Cream: Fitjar shaving Cream with Shea Butter - Unscented
    Razor: Merkur 34c HD - Unscented
    Blades Feather - Unscented
    Brush: Merkurs Classic Silvertip - Reeks of roadkill
    A dash of Cold Water - Fresh and delicious
    Boots Aftershave Balm - Unscented
    A pint of Prorasos cut medicine

    Some tightness, but after 30 minutes I added a touch of Fitjars Aftershave Balm and that helped.
    Cologne: Versace - The Dreamer

    Saturday 18.08.2012
    This is a no shave day. Testing various face wash products to find additional sources for my infamous face tightness.
    Morning: Bulldog Facewash and moisturizer
    Evening: The Body Shop Facewash and Face protector
  5. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    19.08.2012 - The Duel
    (This is rather stupid, but I am in a funny mood and likes to write stupid thing once in a while)

    Today it is exactly one month since my first wetshave with a DE razor. And to commomerate this joyus occation, I have decided to do a duel.
    A coconut duel if you will.

    The field of battle will be my face, and as shown on the picture below, it is a meager two day stubble.

    Stubble.jpg


    The contestants will be Taylor of Old Bond Street with their newly released coconut shaving cream.
    And defending the title as reigning Coconut Shave Cream Champion of the the of the World, is Geo F Trumper and their Coconut Oil Classic

    The referee will as always be Merkurs 34c and his Feathery sidekick from Japan.
    If the match goes to a decision, it will be in the hands of the judges. Mr. Righ and Mr. Left

    In the left cheek, I have placed GFT. He is coached by Omega Pure Badger Brush 63167.
    In the right cheek, I have placed the challenger; TOOBS. He is coached by The Muhle Classic Silvertip Badger Brush.

    Coming into this duel, I might have given a slight advantage to GFT.
    I received this cream a few days before TOOB made its entrance. And it was able to give me a slightly better fist impression. To counter this effect, I decided to use my favorite brush and lather up my "best" side with TOOBS.
    A foolish notion, I am sure. But since I had only one silvertip and only one right whisker (I am right handed), I had to think of something :)

    No preshave oil or lotion was allowed to interfere with this duel.

    First round:

    Both creams lathered up nicely, but I have to give the scent point to Taylor. He smells more natural with a slightly sweeter scent. He also smells more. But it is not overpowering.
    A nice decent coconut smell.
    This came as a bit of a surprise and Taylor more or less suckepunched the champ with his natural coconut aroma.

    The first round was very close. The rules said to go with the grain and both combatants delivered excellent glide and cushoning.
    But after a quick rinse and closer inspection by the judges, the round was given to Taylor.
    He managed to get a closer shave on his side of the field.

    Second Round.
    This time the contestants will move across the grain. Starting from the ear section and moving inwards.
    Taylor opens, and provides and excellent shave. However, he seems more defensive than Trumper who opens rather aggressively. A few nicks and cuts appears, but apparently nothing he's worried about. Nonetheless, he gives a fantastic performance and has managed to close the gap up to Taylor

    As the final round is about to commence, the contestants are neck in neck
    Both opens aggressively, and more than once can you see the contestants going back to a newly shaved area to give it another pass. All in the name of the closest possible shave.

    The match ends without a clear winner and it goes to the judges for a decision.
    The shave itself is declared an equal BBS, and it appears to be a draw.

    The decision are in and Taylor wins by scent alone. He also takes home the no cut trophy and thereby wins the shave of today.

    Good night everybody, thanks for watching and sorry wor wasting your time with too much nonsense


    This Aftershave party was brought to you by TAPout water and Geo F Trumpers Skin Food.

    Picture of the weigh in:

    19.08.2012 - GFT VS TOOBS.jpg
  6. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Tuesday 21.08.2012.

    I nevet got around to do my late nigh shaving snack ritual this Monday.
    So therefore a morning shave was required.
    And after a short night with way too little sleep I have to admit that I did not look forward to this endeavor.

    Having read about Prorasos qualities as a wake me up before I go go, I decided that this might be the Wham I needed to prepare myself for a long day at the office.
    And indeed it was. I enjoyed myself immensly and it proved to be exactly what I needed.

    The result was close to excellent.
    Having removed the alum from my routine my face feels smooth, delightful and quite a few months younger. (Let’s face it. This is no miracle cure)

    This was todays choices:

    Facewash: Fitjars Black Facial Cleansing Bar
    Razor: The Ususal Merkur 34c (I have to expand this collection)
    Blades: Feather
    Brush: The Usual Muhle Classic Silvertip Brush (I have to expand this collection)
    Preshave: Prorasos green Pre Shave cream. Used before each PAss
    Shave Cream: Proraso Green
    Cold water rinse
    Aftershave: A Witch Hazel gel (not sure this is suited to the job)
    Prorasos old formula Liquid Aftershave Balm (good stuff)

    Cologne: Clean for Men by Dlish
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  7. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Wednesday 22.08.2012

    Another morning shave. I had planned on using my newly aquired puck of Mitchells Wool Fat Soap on this one, but decided against it and went for the Arko Shave stick instead.

    This is only the second time using this wonderful piece of technology, and I must say that using a stick is smooth sailing. A few rubs, and off you go.

    I have noticed that I hardly notice the scent of the shaving product I am using, so therefore the infamous Arko smell never bothered me. I guess it helps that I do not find it to be unpleasant.

    Today I exchanged my fully functional Feather and fueled The Millenium Merkur with an Astra blade.
    After three shaves, it was time to try something else.
    I have been reading some good things about this blade, and it seems to be a nice everyday blade.

    Post shave I am not so certain about. It shaved alright, not as smooth as the feather (obviously) but something still feels out of place. But I am not sure what that is yet.
    I guess time will show.

    Flavours of the day:

    Facewash: Fitjars Black Facial Cleansing Bar
    Razor: Merkur 34c
    Blades: Astra
    Brush: Omega Pure Badger
    Soap: Arko Shave Stick – Urinal Soap Scented J
    Rinsing
    Sterex Witch Hazel gel
    Prorasos AS Balm for sensitive skin (Not quite sure if this does the job sufficiently)

    Cologne: Dr. Harris – Marlborough – Fantastic scent. Ironic for a non-smoker?
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  8. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Friday 24.08.2012

    It’s been an interestig week. I have received lots of goodies, but have had little time to shave.
    I’ve been busy spreading the gospel at work J
    And me receiving a 12 pack of Derby shave sticks and 1 kg og Vitos Extra Super Coconut soap, toghether with a six back of boar brushes has been instrumental in this endeavor.
    I have received a pretty good response, and one of my collegaues has already ordered a Dovo shaving knife.

    I have also received an Art of Shaving Start Kit. This kit contained decent sized samples of pre shave oil, shaving cream, after shave balm and the cutest little badger brush I’ve ever seen. And when I finally got around to shave this morning, it was the AOS products I went for.
    This kit is sandalwood scented, and after testing sandalwood samples from Dr. Harris, TOOB, Three Crowns, Trumper, TSD and T&H I have realised that I do not care much for Sandalwood.
    It doesn’t smell bad. It just reminds me of someones grandfather. And I am not there yet.
    But I guess that can also be said about most scents I have tried from the traditional barbershop brands mentioned above. Except Dr. Harris’ Marlborough. I like that one J

    Anyway, this was todays flavour:

    Facewash: TBS Maca Root Face Wash
    Razor: Merkur 34C
    Blade: Astra – 2nd shave on a two day stubble. Surpisingly good result
    Brush: Omega Pure Badger
    Pre shave oil from AOS on left half on face only
    Shave cream from AOS
    Rinse
    With Hazel gel
    AOS Sandalwood aftershave Balm

    And to drown out the sandalwood smell thar proved to be surpisingly resilient, a drop or two of TOOB Eton College was dropped on my neck.
    First time I tried this scent, and I did not like that smell either.
    Thankfully I ride my bike to work, and I managed to get rid of most of it by opening up my collar and let it be "roped by the wind"
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  9. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    25.08.2012 - Morning Shave

    Saturday morning and I am in a hurry. And as I found out, shaving when you're in a hurry, is not the best idea when you're a noob.
    But I still tried to mix it up a bit. This time I used two different razors with two different blades.

    The first razor is of course my usual one. Loaded with an Astra blade. The other one is a cheap Weishi aluminum/plastic piece of crap loaded with a derby blade.
    The idea was not to test the razors, but more to see if I could see any difference with the blades.
    I used the derby on my left side, and the Astra on my right hand side.

    The shave went OK. The Weishi was pleasent enought to use, and did a pretty decent job with the Derby. But after two passes, I have to say that the Astra gave me the best result. The Astra also managed to nick one of my nostrils. That is, I being a clumsy idiot, managed to nick one of my nostrils. And the amount of blood coming out was impressive.

    I also took the Wool fat soap out for a spin. Despite all that I have read, it lathered up pretty nicely. I soaked the soap for a minute, loaded the brush for 30 seconds and face lathered for another minute. Maybe two.
    I have to say that I didn't notice any specialties or differences from other soaps. Granted, my experience is rather limited, and I can not rule out any mistakes in my lather procedure. But for me it was just another soap.

    The setup:

    Soap: MWF
    Brush: Omega Pure badger
    Razors: Weishi and Merkur 34C
    Blades: Derby and Astra
    Rinse
    Witch Hazel
    Fitjars AfterShave Balm
    --------------------------------------------------


    25.08.2012 - The Evening Shave

    I was invited to my cousins baptism tomorrow. His latest offspring had to be baptised. And since I did not predict that I would have time to shave that morning, I decided to give it another go.
    I had planned on doing thre full passes, but I realised that more than two would be out of the question. It was not too pleasant. Pass two stinged a bit and felt like I was doing something wrong. Which I probably did. And since I already was in trouble, I went for broke and shaved against the grain. Decent enough result on the sides, although I went WTG on the goatee area, it was mediocre at best.


    The setup:

    Soap: MWF
    Brush: Muhle classic silvertip
    Razors: Merkur 34C
    Blades: Astra green
    Rinse
    Witch Hazel
    Fitjars AfterShave Cream
    ------------------------------------------------

    26.08.2012 - The Emergency

    Not a proper shave today. But as mentioned above, my goatee was not good. And after a night of little sleep, it looked pretty scruffy-looking.
    So I had to do something, and fast. Time was of the essence, and I had to resort to using the powers of the dark side. After a quick wetting of the face, I picked up my Wikinsons Sword 4 blade cartridge razor and my bulldog latherless cream and went to work.
    The result was not bad, Not bad at all. I never had much problems using cartridge razors before. I just found it to be tedious and charmless. But it works well when you're in a pickle.
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  10. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Tuesday – 28.08.2012

    Another inahurry shave.. Was not certain that I would make it today, but after my morning shower, I decided to whip up some more of the Wool Fat Soap and give it another go.
    Loaded the brush for a few seconds, generating lots of lather. Proceeded to the face for some more lathering, and got a decent layer after a few minutes. I had already prepped my face with some of that Proraso menthol pre-shave cream
    Used my Merkur 34, still with an Astra loaded and went to work. And although it had been a few days since my last shave, I was still surprised by the resistance. I had some tugging and tearing. Not unpleasant, but far from smooth sailing.
    I am not sure if the prep is to blame, the soap was mixed wrong, or if the blade was too dull. It was my second shave with this blade, so it ought to be sharp enough. Next time I have a few days growth, I will try a feather.

    I have read more than once that I should find a decent blade, and stick with this while developing proper technique. I have decided to heed that Advice, and have chosen Astra as my training blade. To me it appears to be a well-rounded blade that delivers very fine shaves.
    When my technique improves I will go back to my sample pack and experiment more. At the moment, I am not proficient enough to make clear distinctions between the different blades.

    I will however mix it up a bit with the occasional Derby or Feather blade in my cheapo Wish.

    I still have not experienced the famous Mitchell Wool Fat magnificence I have read so much about. But I also have to admit that my lather-building might have some flaws.
    I will try to follow Master Mantic's advice next time around.

    Anyway this is what I did:

    FaceWash: Fitjars black soap
    Preshave: Proraso's Green pre-shave cream
    Razor: Merkur 34C
    Blade: Astra – Second shave.
    Brush: Omega Pure Badger
    Rinse
    Witch Hazel
    Proraso’s Liquid Aftershave Balm – White one

    30 min later:
    Body Shop Maca Root Face Protector
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  11. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Tuesday 28.08.2012 - The Evening Shave

    Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to grow another set of stubble just in time for an evening shave. Now I could indulge myself and not have to rush things.

    I chose Vitos Coconut SuperCrema, a soap that smelled as much of coconut as a brand new badger brush soaked for the very first time.
    The only smell I could detect, was marzipan. Having never been a fan of that stuff, I have to admit that I would prefer another scent. Perhaps I can spike it with something?

    But the lather was excellent. I did three passes. WTG, XTG and for the first time an almost complete AGT. Even on my neck area. I skipped the chin and upper lip area, and did another XTG here instead.

    A few times I was a little careless, and managed to nick myself. At least that was how I perceived it. But no cut detected. Either I have become influenced by the red sun of Krypton, the Vito soap has been infused with red sun extract, or the blade is sharp enough to cut the beard, but not the skin. Perhaps all of the above :)

    These where my dance partners for evening:

    FaceWash: TBD Maca Root FaceWash
    Razor: Merkur 34C
    Blade: Astra – Third shave.
    Brush: Muhle Classic Silvertip
    Rinse
    Witch Hazel
    Proraso’s Liquid Aftershave Balm – Old Formula

    I have to say that Proraso’s Liquid Aftershave Balms does not work for me. I always have to put some other form of moisturizer later on. That's too bad because I really like Proraso products
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  12. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Wednesday 29.08.2012

    New blade and new possibilities.
    I know I had promised myself to stick with one type of blades for a while, but I was getting tired of the smooth no nonsense shave with the Astra, and curiosity got the better of me.

    Therefore I loaded up my weapon with the Personna Platinum Chrome.
    The cream of choice for this fine evening was D.R. Harris Marlborough.

    During the shave it is safe to say that I hardly noticed any difference using this blade. However, post shave I have felt some irritation and soreness. Not much, but enough to be a nuisance. It’s too early to blame it on the boogie just yet, so I guess I have to give it a few more tries.

    But the DR. Harris cream felt slik and delightful. Last time around I had some problems building a decent latter. But this time it felt great. The Marlborough scent is my favorite, and I have ordered a cologne and shave stick as well. My current stock is just a sample, and I suspect that a full sized bowl might also be in the works for the old Norseman.

    The shave was a three pass with two WTG and one XTG. The last pass did not feel great, probably due to the blade or perhaps because of too much shaving the last few days.

    Also I used my silvertip brush for this one, and although it makes excellent lather, I am starting to resent the lack of backbone.
    I decided to mix it up a bit, and replaced the silvertip with the smaller brush I received with the AOS starter kit. Since I build lather in a bowl, it was easy peasy to remove the lather from the silvertip brush and put it back in the bowl, and make a few twirls with the mini brush before proceeding to lather up my face for the third pass.
    It did a decent enough job, but then again it was not more than a half decent job it was going to do anyway. I guess I will have to give this a proper trial later one.
    Perhaps on shave stick day?

    This evening my friends in need where:

    FaceWash: Fitjar face soap
    Razor: Merkur 34C
    Blade: Personna Platinum Chrome
    Brush: Muhle Classic Silvertip & AOS Starter Kit Brush
    Rinse
    Thayers Witch Hazel
    Fitjars Aftershave Cream

    Isn't that just the cutest little brush :)

    Brushes.jpg
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  13. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Thursday – 30.01.2012

    It’s sample day in the land of the Norse, and since I have too many samples, I have decided to celebrate this joyous occasion twice a week.
    Today it was my only soap sample from Fitjarsoaps that was put to the test. Having spent some time that afternoon making practice latter on soaps from MWF, GFT, Vitos, I was excited to see how this one would compare to these master soaps.
    I am happy to report that this soap lathered wonderfully with a rich and creamy lather.
    I was so happy with this soap, that I ordered two pucks later that evening.

    The fact that Fitjar is moving away from tallow based soaps to pure organic ones, was also a part of my reason to purchase. I wanted a few while still possible to get them.

    I used the same Personna blade as yesterday, and went for three passes with the grain.
    The shave was decent enough, but I did feel slightly flayed afterwards. Got a few nicks and cuts, but this was mostly my own fault. I have a few outbreaks of teenage wisdom on my face, and those little buggers where promptly beheaded.

    The first pass was without any pre shave lotion, for the second pass I used Prorasos green pre-shave cream on half my face. For the third and final pass I used this cream on my whole face.
    And as always I do feel it gives me a better and smoother experience on the affected areas.
    For my post-shave routine, I did my quick rinse. First with warm, and then with coldish water. I then put on some Witch Hazel. I have to liquid versions. Thayers and some unbranded stuff. The Thayers has a pleasant scent, while the other ones kind og smells like undistilled teen spirits.
    I decided to use the Thayers on my left side, and the other one on my right side.
    I followed up with a quick dab of Prorasos white pre (post?) shave cream on both sides.
    It gave me quite a reaction, and it felt like someone was making a remake of a Paul Newman and Robert Redford movie on my face.

    To top it all, I used Prorasos Liquid Aftershave Balm (old formula) as a moisturizer.

    After the shave, my face felt good. Not great, but good. But after another half an hour, I started to break out on my left side only. Today this has dissipated, but I am left with a sore feeling that more or less correspond with the same type of sensation that the Alum block gave me.

    Since the next day is soap day, I will have to try the Vito’s or MWF in combination with an Astra blade and see what happens.

    In my toolbox I had the following:

    FaceWash: TBD Facewash
    Razor: Merkur 34C
    Blade: Personna Platinum Chrome
    Soap: Fitjar Shavingsoap - Fjellheimen
    Pre-shave: Prorasos Green
    Brush: Omega Pure Badger
    Rinse
    Thayers & whatsitsname Witch Hazel
    Prorasos Pre/Post White edition
    Prorasos Liquid Aftershave Balm – Old Formula

    Since I do not have a picture of the soap, I took the liberty of putting a cream sample in the picture instead.
    Artoo approved :)

    artoo.jpg
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  14. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    No shave today. I have decided to skip it and give my face time to heal. It looks and feels ok, but I think it might be wise to take a break anyway.

    Luckily the postman did not take a break. And today he brought me some goodies.

    First was a brush from Franks Shaving. This is made from finest badger, whatever that means. And my little testing so far tells me that this one might be a good face lathering brush.
    I also received two soaps.One from Mama Bear, with a scent from Pipe Tobacco with cherry and vanilla. I did not care for this scent. It reminds me of some coffee watered out bourbon crap. I do not drink coffee, and I am far from any bourbon fan. This is of course not Mama Bears fault, but I was hoping it to be a scent similar to DR Harris's Marlborough. It was not.
    On the upside, though. It lathers beautifully and appears to be a wonderful soap. I will probably try this again, despite the fact that the scent makes me nauseous.

    The other soap was from the Handmade Soap Company. An Irish brand I believe. This was a rather small puck with a pleasant smell. It did not lather as well, but that might be my fault. I suspect I did not load it good enough. And since I was using the method where you do not remove the water from the brush, and gently load it with soap using only light strokes for a few minutes. I probably stopped too early.
    But I am looking forward to my second try.

    I also received some Aftershave from D.R. Harris. I have always thought it said doctor Harris, and not D R Harris. Anyway, the good "could have been a doctor, but was probably just a mister" Harris is getting to be a favourite of mine. Despite the fact that this balm is actually the first regular sized product I have from this brand.
    Hopefully this one will help me with my skin issues.


    DSC_0076.JPG
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  15. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Sunday - 02.09.2012

    I’ve been having some issues lately. My whiskers have been sore and in need of lots of moisturizing. I tried to shave on Saturday morning, but had to abort due to work and my kids demanding attention. And thank the maker for that. My face was sore the whole day and I felt the need to put on more moisturizers once every other hour.

    I am not sure if I experienced a late reaction to the Personna blade, to soaps in general, to using too much pressure on the razor, too frequent shaving or all of the above.

    What I do know, is that when I felt ready to give it another go I went to Proraso green for my delicate shaving needs. I have used this with good result in the past, and I think it is the only one I actually have used without any side effects at all.
    I applied the pre-shave cream and let that work its magic while building the lather.

    FaceWash: TBD Facewash
    Razor: Merkur 34C
    Blade: Astra green version
    Cream: Proraso Green
    Pre-shave: Prorasos Green
    Brush: Muhle Silvertip
    Rinse
    Thayers Witch Hazel
    Prorasos Liquid Aftershave Balm – Old Formula

    Using this I had a fantastic shave. I “razed” 2.5 WTG and 0.5 XTG.

    Not the closest shave, but still with fantastic result. No irritation, very little to none form of the tightness problem I have had lately. Only one application of AS balm, and I felt the force was indeed with me.

    DSC_0135.JPG
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  16. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Monday 04.09.2012 - Going for Progress

    After receiving my new Merkur Progress, I was eager to take it out for a spin.
    In my hand it felt great. Slightly heavier and larger than the HD (or so it appears to me without making a direct comparison) and perfectly balanced.

    Since Astra has so far proven to be my go to blade, I thought it prudent to load this one in my new razor.
    Since it also was Stick Day in the Norse, I had an opportunity to finally try the fabled Tabac soap. The scent is strange, and reminds me of old cheap soaps that my father uses to wash everything from his face to the dishes. Not unpleasant, but not enjoyable either. More neutral, I suppose.

    The shave itself was interesting. I started the first pass with a setting of 1.5.
    The second pass was promoted to a clean 2, while the final pass jumped at the chance of trying out the 2.5 setting.
    I am not sure I noticed much of a difference, but it was great razor to shave with.
    It is of course too early to give a proper verdict. But so far sooo good.

    Like the day before, I shaved 2.5 passes with the grain, and against the grain in selected areas.
    Since I have just picked up a few new terms, I can say that the result was not BBS, probably not DFS, but at least a CCS. And that is good enough for a shave Padawan like myself.

    Progressing with:

    FaceWash: TBD Facewash
    Razor: Merkur Progress
    Blade: Astra green version
    Soap: Tabac Stick
    Pre-shave: Prorasos White
    Brush: Frank Shaving Brush Finest Badger
    Rinse
    Thayers Witch Hazel
    AS Balm: D.R. Harris Aftershave Milk

    DSC_0161.JPG
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  17. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    04.09.2012 – More Progress

    I am not much of a whiskey drinker. I have been told it is an acquired taste, and so far I have not acquired it. But I am working on it.
    Therefore my tub of whiskey scented soap from Portland General Store has been left untouched since the day of purchase.
    But I guess it was time to step up and give this bad boy a chance. I am getting into soaps more, and this and a soap from MamaBear is the only soaps in my den I haven’t tried yet. And since the latter needs more airing out, the choice was easy.

    Soaking my boar brush for a few minutes and getting ready to try the creamy lather technique described by a few masters of shaving.

    I probably did not get it right. I made heaps of lather, but I suspect it contained too much moisture. The lather had too many smaller bubbles, felt like it dried up my face. The feeling I got when shaving with it was less than outstanding.
    In the end it did a decent job, but I’ve had better J

    In honor of the adjustable week, I am of course still using the Progress. I switched between 2, 2.5 and 3, and it did a fine job. Still a CCS, but that’s close and comfortable enough for me.

    After a quick rinse, some witch hazel and a touch of Prorasos old formula AS Balm, I was good to go.
    No tight/astringent feeling. No dryness and other skin issues. I am knocking on wood when typing this, but I think my face is getting more used to this type of shaving. Maybe I am getting a tad better aswell.

    FaceWash: TBD Facewash
    Razor: Merkur Progress
    Blade: Astra green version, take 2
    Soap: Portland General Store - Whiskey
    Pre-shave: Prorasos White
    Brush: Proraso Boar Brush
    Rinse
    Witch Hazel: Thayers Alcohol Free Toner
    Afterhsave: Proraso AS Balm


    Whiskey1.JPG


    This is how my bad lather looked like:

    Whiskey2.JPG
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  18. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    07.09.2012 - Joshua Tree Soap Works.

    I have read on more than one occasion that olive oil based shave soaps are impossible to lather, and I have had no reason to doubt that. But despite this knowledge, I was still curious enough to order such a soap from Joshua Tree Soap Works on Ebay.

    The soap arrived earlier this week, and I just had to take it out for lather and a movie.
    I soaked my boar brush for a few minutes, and did more or less the same with the soap.
    Without draining the water from the brush I started the loading process. I loaded the brush for about 60 seconds, but since my seconds are unusually long, it was probably closer to two minutes. I transferred my brush to my lathering cup and went to work and immediately started to generate lots of lather.
    If you can call it that. It looked more like regular foam to me. The kind I use in my kids bath water. I tried to work this foam into a decent lather for another 60 seconds, (still the slow kind) and even beyond that. But to no avail.

    Still being slightly enthustiatic, I blamed my lack of experience and tried again. Same channel, same result with seemingly useless foam.
    I decided to quit for the day, while still retaining my health and with the intent to try again tomorrow.

    When tomorrow comes, sings the 80's pop duo Eurythmics. And indeed it did, giving me another chance to try the Joshus Tree Soap Work Shaving Soap.
    With the same boar brush locked and loaded with soap and foam, I started "climbing the lather". But the lather broke and I fell flat on my face once again. :)
    Foam foam, nothing but foam. I even put some on my face this time, perhaps to get a better feeling and reverse my initial impression of this soap.
    And at first it felt slick and promising. It even felt more like proper lather. But it did not take more than a minute before most of it had dissipated into almost nothing.

    It was time to cry uncle and admit defeat. I picked up my Mama Bear soap instead for a completely different experience.

    Looking at the ebay feedback for this seller, I have to wonder. She has a count of over 3000 and a 100% rating.
    Is it me, is it them or is it due to the fact that people rate the soap before actually trying it?
    My rating will probably be neutral. I have not been scammed, and knew what I was buying. More or less
    I will give it final try and this time actually shave with it, and see how that works out. I probably should have before writing this post :ashamed001:

    Nonetheless, I'll probably make a backup lather. Just in case


    Here are some pictures:

    DSC_0198.JPG

    DSC_0200.JPG
  19. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    07.09.2012 - Shaving with the Mama Bear.

    After my failures with Joshua Tree Soap Works, it was time to try something else. Although I had just received a brand new Merkur Futur set, I opted to remain calm and continue testing the Merkur Progress. Afterall, I have yet to be blessed with the RAD and is able to remain patient still.
    The soap of choice was Mama Bear with a foul smelling odor. I am sure its just me, but I do find the smell to be rather nasty

    Soaking and loading the brush as mentioned above, before building the lather in my ugly green cup. This time the Muse of Shaving sung a sweeter tune, and I was able to build a decent piece of lathery goodness.
    As usual a disclaimer is warranted as I do not claim to build a perfect lather. But good enough for now, I guess

    I have left this soap ventilated with the lid off and near an open window to try to reduce the amount of scent. I have been partially successfull, and the odor was not as pungent as before. Noticable, but not nauseous. Smearing my face with the white proraso pre shave cream did also help.

    In my razor, my usual Astra blade was ready to mow some weed. I had not shaved for 48 hours, and the blade was on its fourth shave, so I was curious to see how that would go.

    And it went rather well. A slight tugging and some resistance on my first pass. Razor was dialed in at 2, and did a fairly decent job. I upped the ante to 2.5 for the following two passes. All of them more or less with the grain, but with the usual XTG twist. The result was a decent CCS.

    My aftershave of choice for this fine evening was Prorasos new formula splash. Smelled like a combination of typical Proraso and someones grand uncle. Not unpleasant, but nothing to try to impress the ladies with.
    (To do that, I use my wit and charm. And to this day I do not know how I managed to produce to lovely daughters with such halwit charmless tools as that in my toolbox. But I guess that is not the topic for a shave diary :) )

    Anyway, I am pleased to announce that I am getting more and more fond of my boar brush. It is made my Proraso, and I suspect that I am evolving into something of a Proraso fanboy.
    Perhaps i hav PAD? I hope so :)

    Tonite's contributors was:

    Facewash: TBS Maca Root washer
    Soap: Mama Bear Pipe Tobacco Vanilla with a cherry on top flavour
    Brush: Proraso Boar
    Razors: Merkur Progress
    Blades: Astra Platinium Supersonic blade (or something like that)
    Rinse
    Prorasos Aftershave Lotion New kind
    Prorasos Liquid White Balm

    DSC_0207.JPG

    DSC_0209.JPG
  20. Norseman

    Norseman Well-Known Member

    Sunday - 09.09.2012
    The time was come to try out the Merkur Futur.

    I loaded the razor with a green Astra. Loaded my face with some of Proraros finest red cream, using the Futurish brush and went to work.


    The razor itself was remarkably comfortable. Larger than what I am used to from before, but that was more of a good thing than bad. Although I had to pull out the Mantic method when shaving my upper lip, but this is hardly a drawback.
    The shaving itself did feel kind of weird. Good, but weird. I do not how I can describe it differently.
    I also suspect I used somewhat of an awkward angle in the beginning. I have to use it more to tell for sure.

    The brush itself is heavy and with a long and interesting handle. The knot was smaller than I had expected, with less density. The fibres themselves are supposed to be silvertip, but felt less soft as with my other silvertip brush. But it did have more backbone. To me it felt more like my finest brush from Franks Shaving, but in a contest the latter would win.2
    Making lather with this brush was also less effective and more tiresome, if I can use that work to such a non-demanding" task. You might say that I am not imrpressed.
    I admit that it is way to early to give a definitive conclusion. But this is my first impression.

    I will of course use both brush and razor a lot more before I can say for sure.

    This session was sponsered by:

    Facewash: TBS Maca Root washer
    Cream: Proraso Sandalwood Cream
    Brush: Merkur Futur
    Razor: See brush
    Blade: Astra Kermit version
    Rinse
    AS lotion D.R Harris Arlington
    AS Balm: Can't remember

    DSC_0340.JPG
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