Art of Shaving

Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by PloDrr, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. PloDrr

    PloDrr Member

    I'm obviously new here but I have been doing the wet shave with a DE safety razor for a while now Merkur Futur). Well, unless I'm in a hurry in which case I use a disposable, I find I tend to bleed a lot less that way! I just picket up a shavette (Merker)with the goal of getting comfortable with handling/holding and shaving with that style/layout. Used it once and finally the bleeding stopped which was a positive! The goal will be to eventually grow into a straight razor. IN TIME. :)

    So, I've be reading the various threads and will continue to do so. But I have a questions that I'm hoping you'd be willing to answer: what is your opinion of Art of Shaving razors, materials, supplies, etc. They seem to have nice stuff in terms of creme, razors, brushes, etc. They're not cheap and obviously heavy on the marketing and sales but there's a lot to be said for the convenience of going to the store, picking stuff up, handling it, etc.

    So, what are your thoughts on them (or the equivalent)?
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  2. mrchick

    mrchick Odd, Terrible Avatar

    It isn’t bad stuff, just pricey. If you want to pick something up at the mall, try Bath and Body Works Maca Root Cream. Good stuff!
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  3. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    AoS is indeed pricey. I wouldn't spend the $$ on their razors or brushes. They are way over-priced. Their soaps aren't bad and have some following here at TSD. Naturally, shavers discuss the vintage AoS Tallow soaps, which can still be found on Ebay. At the right price, they are second to none.
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  4. PloDrr

    PloDrr Member

    So I should stick to finding stuff here and/or similar stops. Next on the list is a brush. My el-cheapo CVS brush from decade ago (I tried it for a bit, quit and came back) is finally dying and it needs to be replaced. Once my proraso creme runs out I'll have to do a little searching and shopping but I do enjoy AoS sandalwood stuff.. But I will admit to the occasional Barbasol foam if I'm in a hurry or traveling.
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  5. Enrico

    Enrico Well-Known Member

    As you said they're not cheap. and that's what I am. Everything they carry I can get equal or greater value for far cheaper elsewhere.

    For new items I shop at Maggard's, Italian Barber, Stirling and of course Amazon.

    For used, I shop at antique shops, yard sales and of course ebay.

    Please don't take offense, but just my opinion and only matters in the six inches between my ears. :)
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  6. PloDrr

    PloDrr Member

    I take NO offense, heck it's great advice and I plan on using it especially when I finally decide to try a real straight razor. Of course I'll have to have someone on this grouping hone it (at a minimum) but we will get there in time. There are a few antique shops near me, I may just have to pop in from time to time.
  7. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    Asking questions is good. The tough part is knowing which ones to ask. AoS products are similar to many others, but tend to be higher priced. For the placement of their stores in nice shopping malls you will be helping pay their rent, get to sniff the products, and getting decent gear. Soap is soap, right? Everyone has generally the same skin, but subtle differences in personal chemistry have effects on how it works for you. Until the lather hits your skin you can only make choices based on avoiding ingredients that you know don't work for you, and seeking ones that sound good. Similar for razors, blades, and brushes. The basic straight razor, either vintage or new, say a 5/8" round tip, if properly honed will be a learning experience. For the average person 100 shaves (3 months!) gets you into basic mastery. For the first 20-30 shaves you might keep your well know razor close for clean up duty. Shavettes are a similar learning curve, but with a less forgiving edge - they can bite quicker than a SR. Not trying to talk you out of anything, more laying down truthful expectations. It's like choosing a brush or soap. If you have the money to invest in top notch gear you still gotta learn how to use it with proper technique. A $12 boar or synthetic brush and a stick of Arko make for a good lather. So do a high end badger brush and the latest exotic artisan soap. But there's a learning curve.
    That's what we call The Rabbit Hole! It's deep & full of many side passages. Keep asking questions! A little research may save you from costly purchases of gear you won't use later.
  8. MarshalArtist

    MarshalArtist Psychiatric Help 5¢

    Art of Shaving is just high end Proctor and Gamble. You don’t need to pay their prices. Their razors/brushes are made for them by the same manufacturers you can find online for less. Their products work, but they aren’t worth the money they charge for them.
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  9. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    I had no idea how many products these guys sell. The list of companies they sold off is big, too. LINK
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  10. PloDrr

    PloDrr Member

    Valuable lessons for sure! Thank you!
  11. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    The soaps and scents from AoS tend to be very nice, but similar quality soaps and aftershaves can be found for 1/2 that price.

    The Maca Root shave cream from the Body Shop is a good example above, the scent is mild and forgettable, kind of a clean soapy smell mixed with fresh cut potatoes, but it's cheap and a good introduction to British shave creams. If you like it, they often have buy two get one free deals.

    If you have a Whole Foods or Fred Meyer and nearby, check out Kiss my Face shaving cream. It's a top tier American shaving cream that is inexpensive, but scent selection is limited. Most people use unscented or limes.
  12. octoserge

    octoserge New Member

    Kiss My Face makes perhaps the best shave cream I’ve experienced - with brush or brushless if you’re in a hurry.
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  13. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    One thing I should have mentioned as well, the employees who work there are usually not shaving enthusiasts, just typical mall rats just looking for a paycheck. Shaving advice from them should always be taken with a grain of salt.

    The "shave ready" straight razors they sell, while decent quality, are not, in fact, shave ready. Should you purchase one, you will need to send it to a honer here to be properly honed.
  14. PloDrr

    PloDrr Member

    I worked in a mall throughout school and for a couple of years afterwards. I always, ALWAYS assume the employee is simply there for the paycheck, is motivated by their income and is most likely not an expert in any field. I've come to the conclusion that as far as straight razors go, I'll probably go the used route 1st and have a knowledgeable person here hone it for me. Their may be pretty but they won't get me on looks alone.
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  15. PloDrr

    PloDrr Member

    I just looked them up! Certainly worth a shot.
  16. Enrico

    Enrico Well-Known Member

    BTW you'll find quite the following for Stirling soaps here. They have a well deserved reputation for having amazing shave soap; at which I almost exclusively use.
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  17. Engblom

    Engblom Well-Known Member

    Kiss My Face is a non-lathering cream. Shaving is so much YMMV and I did not like this cream. The only way to find out if you like a product is to try it, because for each product there will be both supporters and people disliking it.
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  18. Frijolero

    Frijolero Well-Known Member

    Huh? It most definitely lathers. It can be used without lathering I guess, but I have never tried it that way. Fresh Thyme market and Kroger both carry it here in my neck of the woods.
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  19. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Oh boy, ain't THAT the truth. I would go one step further and call many of them 'shaving ignorant'.
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  20. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Just because it isn't sold as a brush lathering cream, doesn't mean it doesn't lather. It makes a fantastic lather, and is one of the most forgiving shave creams when it comes to water ratios. You can add far more water to it than with most creams and still get a decent lather out of it.

    In all my reading on various shave forums, @Engblom is the only person I've ever found that doesn't like it, but as always, YMMV.
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