Christmas Shaves 2017

Boxing Day Shave

Yaqi Tuxedo

Wolfman with Gillette Wilkinson (1)

Maggard Razors Limes & Bergamot

Trumpers Lime Cologne

First try of the soap and brush which I got for Christmas. I’m a bit of a badger snob these days but actually enjoyed the Yaqi Tuxedo, which was quite a surprise. I tend to only really use my Stirling Kong brush these days if I’m in a bit of a hurry and don’t have time to soak a badger brush or I’m using a soap that might stain the tips.

The Yaqi seemed to have a bit more backbone than the Plisson type knots but without the horrible springiness of the STF type knots I’ve used in the past.

I’m impressed with the Maggard soap too which is made by the same artisan as Through the Fire Fine Crafts. I also got the Orange Menthol for Christmas which I’m still yet to use. They come in really nice tubs now like the new Barrister & Mann soaps. This soap had a nice strong lime scent throughout the shave.

The Wolfman as ever did a good job and I finished up with a splash of the Trumpers Lime cologne. I need another lime splash so I’ve got some Pinauld Lime Sec on the way.

Yaqi Tuxedo

Band of Brothers soap

Gillette Flair Tip Rocket with Gillette Wilkinson (2)

Fine Accoutrements Lavender Pour Homme

Another good shave with the Yaqi brush and another new soap. This soap was made as a limited edition soap for the British Based Shavers Facebook group. It has a nice lavender scent and is quite a soft soap.

The Rocket delivered a nice mild but efficient shave and the Lavender splash finished things off nicely.

New Forest 1901

Mickey Lee Soapworks Cape Verde

Gillette Tech on Mongoose handle with Gillette Wilkinson (3)

Mennen Skin Bracer

Back to a bit of badger to use another soap I got for Christmas, the Mickey Lee Soapworks Cape Verde. This is a really nice fougere type scent with a bright orange note, which makes for a nice twist on the usual fougere scent. Excellent performance from this soap.

I fancied trying out one of my old Tech razors so gave that a try and was surprised by the result with the heavier Mongoose handle. Pretty close after three passes.

I finished up with a splash of Skin Bracer, which I don’t think I’ve used in some time.

All in all three good shaves over the Christmas period with some newly acquired items. It’s nice being off work as I’ve actually had chance to write a blog post. I mainly stick to posting on the Shaving with Style Facebook group these days. If you frequent the Facebook groups join up.

MWF day 2

Trumpers Lime Skinfood
L’Occitane Plisson
Above the Tie H1
Schick Super Platinum (2)
Old Spice aftershave

Day 2 of using the MWF soap today. The puck looked a bit more hydrated today but still had some cracks on top. I filled the tub the soap is in with water and left it to soak while I had a shower.

When I came back to it to load up with the plisson most of the cracks seemed to have gone. Part of using this soap for the month is to put a good dent in it so I loaded the brush up well and began face lathering.

The lather seemed a bit better than yesterday and was nice and thick and certainly protected well from the ATT H1. I used the vintage Schick blade I had in my New LC for the last shave and found it still very nice and sharp but smooth. 3 passes and I had a BBS result.

I finished off with a splash of some vintage old spice from the 80’s I was given some time ago. It really did burn but not in the usual way, more like a reaction on my skin. It passed in a few minutes but I don’t think I’ll use this sample as an aftershave but it did smell nice.

I spent the morning putting together a new flat pack storage unit which I’ve transferred most of my shaving stuff into. It certainly looks a lot tidier and gives me something to take my SOTD photos on.

Soap Commander Gusto

Myrsol Emulsion preshave
L’Occitane Plisson Synthetic
Soap Commander Gusto soap
Ikon Shavecraft Slant
Jürgen Hempel Ti handle
Feather blade (2)
Soap Commander Gusto aftershave balm

This was Saturday’s shave, but I didn’t get time to post this yesterday. It was a very warm day yesterday, quite the opposite to today where it’s much cooler and rainy outside.

Anyway the scent of the Gusto is really nice and a great refreshing summer scent. It’s pretty much as it says on the label, raspberries and lemonade. Time will tell if this becomes my favourite Soap Commander scent but it’s right near the top with my number 1 scent Respect.

The performance is the same as any other Soap Commander soap i.e. great. When lathered up with the Plisson I got a really nice thick slick lather. I’m not sure how Carrie and Darren do it but it is just like a good tallow soap and certainly seems richer and thicker than any other vegan soap I’ve tried.

I decided to use the Ikon 102 slant with the once used feather blade which I used in the Phoenix Dbl OC last time around. Although a feather blade is nice and sharp, I find they aren’t the smoothest of blades and don’t last very long before the edge gets uncomfortable. I got a good shave second time around but I’m not sure I’d push for a third shave.

To finish off I used the Soap Commander Gusto balm. I’m not a huge balm fan but heard that the Soap Commander balms are really good. Those thoughts were right, it’s very nice stuff, not too greasy but soothes the skin and has a nice menthol kick. This to me smells exactly like the soap.

Well now all that remains is to work out what to use next time!

Phoenix Vloid and DOC

Preshave Oil
Plisson Shaving Brush
PAA Vloid soap
Feather (1)
PAA Vloid Aftershave

Well I learnt an interesting lesson today. If I use a preshave oil before this soap I get no irritation at all, must be the layer of oil providing protection for the skin.

3 passes with the PAA Dbl OC with a feather with no issue. I have found this razor to be very mild and given I already have a few mild razors it’s not one I would buy at the moment. I think it would be a safe bet for someone starting out DE shaving or someone with a light beard. It provides a visually clean shave but not quite BBS for me.

The soap provides a very nice lather that’s thick and very slick with a light pleasant scent. Definitely one to recommend but alas with the irritation issues not one I would buy. I’m happy though that what I have learnt from using the oil I can use with some other soaps that have irritated my skin.

I finished off with a splash of the aftershave, but after last time not as much to avoid the menthol tear gas incident again. Very nice face feel and super cooling.

That’s me done with this passaround and it’s off to the next recipient to try.

Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Vloid

I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a PAA passaround to try out the Vloid soap and aftershave, as well as the double open comb razor.

Let’s start with yesterday’s SOTD

Myrsol Emulsion
Frank Shaving Purtech
Vloid shaving soap
PAA Speakeasy
Dbl OC razor
Gillette Silver Blue (2)
Vloid aftershave

All started off well loading the brush off the huge puck of soap, I found it loaded really easily after I left some hot tap water to bloom while I had a shower. I began face lathering adding water as I went and I soon had a nice thick slick lather built. I felt a bit of a tingle but carried on with the first pass. Unfortunately the tingle got worse and I couldn’t go any further with the Vloid soap so I reached for another PAA soap, Speakeasy which I had no problems with to finish off the shave. There is obviously something in the scent of the Vloid my skin didn’t like as it has the same soap base as speakeasy.

The DOC razor really did impress me though. It’s an unusual design with an open comb top plate as well as a base plate. I found it mild but efficient and gave a very good shave with the stock handle which on first look I thought may be a bit small for me but the small handle made it a very agile razor. The double open comb leaves little lines of lather on your face which makes it easy for little touch ups or blade buffs as you go along, a really good little idea which suits my shaving style and makes for a very comfortable shave.

Now onto the aftershave, this particular passaround version had extra added menthol and this stuff is ridiculously chilly. Splashing some on after the shave it had a really nice skin feel leaving the skin nice and soft, but the menthol kick is huge. It felt like tear gas and I could barely see for about five minutes after splashing it on. The scent of the splash matches the soap and its a nice old school barbershop scent similar to Floid Vigoroso but with a twist. Definitely a classic powdery barbershop scent.

So after the shave I spoke with Douglas of PAA who said perhaps bowl lathering the soap with a nice soft brush and painting on the lather may ease the discomfort.

So onto today’s shave
Myrsol Emulsion
Vloid bowl lathered
Reef Point Sublime
Gillette Silver Blue (3)
Fine Accoutrements American Blend

So I tried bowl lathering the Vloid and painting it on with my softest brush, which was a touch better but I still couldn’t get past the first pass. So I got out the new tub of Reef Point Sublime soap and face lathered that up for the last two passes. I really like the fresh sweet lime and lemon scent of this soap, I can see it being a summer favourite. It has a nice light cooling menthol feel too and the lather is just great, thick and slick the way I like it.

3 passes with the DOC and a little touch up on the neck and I was good. I’m going to try the head on a heavy handle next time around just to see how that changes things.

I finished off with a splash of the Fine American Blend aftershave which was a Father’s Day gift from my kids. This is a really nice splash with a great scent and a nice hit of menthol. It’s based on YSL Rive Gauche and smells very nice. The wife likes it too which is a bonus.

Reef Point Fougere Santal

Myrsol Emulsion
Plisson Synthetic
Reef Point Fougere Santal
B2 Satin Mongoose
Dr Bomber handle
Feather Pro Guard (6)

A quick one tonight. A good shave with no issues. I used a sample of the Reef Point Fougere Santal I traded with a friend to try out after my skin didn’t agree with the Dragons Blood. No issues and a great scent and lather. I’ll definitely be picking up a full tub.

I had mentioned in my last post the feather blade was feeling a bit rough but the change of handle seemed to improve the shave. Not particularly close under the chin so I think the sharpness has dropped off. Six shaves off the blade isn’t too bad I guess.

I’d got the Alpa Fougere cologne out for the photo but didn’t actually use it in the end so no aftershave at all today. My skin feels ok for it though.

Monday is Date Night

Well Strop Shoppe Date Night that is.
I didn’t get much of a chance to post over the weekend, but I did manage to shave. It seemed like the shortest weekend ever and I seemed to lack energy to do anything. I guess that’s what having two young children does to you.

Today’s shave was:

Myrsol Emulsion as preshave
L’occitane Plisson Synthetic brush
Strop Shoppe Date Night soap
B2 Satin Mongoose
Jürgen Hempel Ti
Feather Pro Guard (5)
Brut Sports Style Aftershave

The Strop Shoppe I traded recently for the Reef Point Dragons Blood which didn’t agree with my skin, luckily this does.

The lather seemed to explode over the sides of the bowl loading up, quite bubbly at first then it got nice and creamy in the brush. I rubbed the bubbly lather on my face and worked it in well by hand before beginning face lathering. It seemed to work up into a nice thick lather and I just dipped the brush tips twice in water to hydrate the lather to a nice consistency and it had a good sheen to it. The scent is very nice and similar to Dior Fahrenheit I’d say, very nice indeed and about medium scent, not overpowering. I found the scent lasted throughout the pass.

3 passes and a few touch ups with the mongoose was all good. Switching to the lighter titanium handle made for a change from the heavier Dr Bomber handle I’ve been using although it seems a little head heavy.

Fifth shave off the Pro Guard blade and it felt as if it was struggling a little against the grain and I got a couple of weepers. Maybe it’s time to change the blade? I’m not too sure but do read about 10 shaves are pretty average for a blade. Maybe I’ll put it to one side and revisit it at a later date.

I finished off today’s shave with a splash of the Brut Sports Style aftershave which worked quite well with the scent of the fresh Date Night soap.

I’ve been using the same razor, handle and blade setup over the weekend, the rest was:

Proraso Red Pre
Omega 49
Reef Point Fougere Santal
Myrsol Plastic Shave aftershave

Myrsol Emulsion as preshave
L’occitane Plisson Synth
Soap Commander Vision
L’occitane Verdon aftershave
One Planet balm

Stirling Ozark Mountain & Gem Clog Pruf

Myrsol Emulsion Preshave
Plisson Synthetic Shaving Brush
Stirling Ozark Mountain Soap
Gem Micromatic Clog Pruf
Gem Blade (1)
Marks & Spencer Woodspice Aftershave

Continuing the month of using samples I reached for my sample pick of Stirling Ozark Mountain shaving soap. I am always pleasantly reminded how slick this soap is every time I use one of the Stirling soaps, I think they have to be the slickest shaving soap around.

The Ozark Mountain soap has a very nice scent which has a nice pine note to it along with a spicy woody scent as well, like all the Stirling soaps I have tried so far they really do have pleasant strong scents and provide great skincare. About 20 seconds loading up the Plisson after leaving a few drops of water on the puck while I showered produced more than enough passes of thick, super slick lather for my 3 pass shave, and left my skin with no real need for anything more post shave. I did have a little splash of the M&S Woodspice aftershave mainly for a little scent than anything else.

First go with the Clog Pruf after using the OCMM and 1924 Gem razors previously, and this time with a fresh blade. I have found with these razors they can be a little rougher on the skin than a typical DE razor, and I have found the blades to be a little harsh on their first use. No problems with that today but I can’t put that down to the razor or the thick Stirling lather. I guess I’ll find out on the next use of this razor. Overall a DFS result from this razor but not as close as the OCMM shave I had previously.

I finished off the shave keeping the woody theme going with a splash of Woodspice aftershave. I’ve had this bottle quite a few years now, definitely over 15 years, and it still smells as fresh as the day I bought it. It brings back fond memories of being in my early teens, before I got into the various “designer” scents, and is still a pleasant scent for me.

Catie’s Bubbles Barnegat Bay, Plisson and Schick Dial

Proraso White Pre
Plisson Synthetic shaving brush
Catie’s Bubbles Barnegat Bay
Schick Dial @ 8, 8, 5
Personna (4)
Proraso Aftershave Splash
First try of the Italian formula Barnegat Bay shaving soap from Catie’s Bubbles. First impression is I like this a lot and I’m surprised that you don’t hear as much about the Italian formula soap compared to the French formula.

It’s a strong classic bay rum scent, which lasts throughout the shave with no hint of irritation. I was using the Plisson synthetic fibre brush today which lathers everything with ease and this soap was no exception. It’s been a while since I used this brush and its reminded me just what a great brush it is and I should really get myself a spare direct from Plisson. I think one of the acetate handles would be very nice.

Back to the soap, I found this to be a nice thick lather that was very slick and had great post shave skincare. I’m almost thinking it’s better than the French formula for me.

I had 3 days growth to remove today so I set the Schick on the highest setting of 8 for the first two passes then down to 5 for the final against the grain pass. The results were very smooth, one of my best shaves in a while I think.

Finished off with a splash of Proraso green aftershave splash, it’s my favourite aftershave and I really like the cooling menthol chill. When the two bottles I have are gone I’m going to buy the 400ml bottle.

Quick spray of YSL La Nuit De L’Homme EDT and I was all set for the day. I’ve decided I’m going to try to use the many little soap samples I have accumulated over the next month to clear a bit of space in the den.

Cold River Soapworks Nouvelle Fougere

Proraso Red Preshave
L’Occitane Synthetic Shaving Brush
CRSW Nouvelle Fougere
Merkur 37c Slant
Personna Platinum Chrome (1)

Today was the first try of a Cold River Soapworks shaving soap for me, as a friend lent me a tub of the Nouvelle Fougere scent to try.

It has a nice typical fougere scent which is fern like, but with a touch of anise, which I liked and felt it gave a different scent to the typical fougere scents I’ve tried so far. I’d say it’s a medium strong scent which I could still smell at the end of each pass.

The performance is very good and I found this very easy to load and lather. I found it needed a fair bit of water to get the lather where I wanted it, so would say it’s a pretty thirsty soap. The lather was nice and thick and protective, but maybe lacked a little residual slickness for any touch ups.

I found the post shave skincare to be excellent and I didn’t use any aftershave or balm because of this, and also I still keep getting hints of the scent of the soap some 2 hours later.

I switched to a Personna Platinum Chrome blade today, which for me is quite a mild blade which I wanted to see how the slant transformed. It didn’t feel especially sharp but did a good job at removing the stubble with no irritation or razor burn.

I’m quite liking the smaller slant but as I own a 39c I won’t be getting one myself.

That’s another shave down so time to think about what to use next time around. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment below.