Month: September 2014

Catie’s Bubble’s “Glace’ Herbe”, and September 29th, 2014 SOTD

Menthol Monday ! A day I always look forward to, and today I will be talking about not only my SOTD but a first impression on a new soap by Catie’s Bubbles with those crazy French names….. this one is his first attempt at a menthol soap he called it Glace’ Herbe or, cold herb maybe, and more specifically methylated Vetiver. So onto the SOTD, and we’ll briefly touch on my initial thoughts of Glace’ Herbe.

I had a great shave today, and used a fairly unused razor out of my den the 1948-1950 Aristocrat. What makes mine unique is that it is an odd variant as it has the handle of the 48′-50′ Aristocrat the notched center pin also of the 48′-50′ Aristocrat, BUT it on the inside base it fully says Pat NOS on Package where in 1948 it became PAt. NOS. on PKG ! so this tells me this is an early model probably closer to the 1948 mark as Gillette was notorious for reusing parts from the previous generations in order not to be wasteful. I mean really, you didn’t think they were throwing out that precious post WWII metal ! The 1947-49 Aristocrat was extremely popular; so there was a lot of spare parts when they revised the model. Okay that was my history lesson of the day… you can also find this great info on www.razoremporium.com  and go to the razor archives section there is a full history of the Aristocrat there that is nothing less than excellent. I paired this relatively milder year Aristocrat “hybrid” with that pesky little Sputnik blade that I was using a few days back. This was now its fourth use, and you know what ? it will get a fifth as it shows zero signs of any degradation. I would usually move on after four uses but Getting Sputniks are not as easy as some other blades, yes I can get them but it may take 60 days for them to show up directly from Russia which BTW has awesome stamps on the package.

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Onto my initial impression of Catie’s Bubbles Glace’ Herbe ! Well it hit me the other day I participate in Menthol Monday every week, and was starting to get “bored” as I don’t have a large methylated collection. It then struck me….. the fool I am, I had bought earlier in the month a sort of special order over stock. That was Glace’ Herbe I was lucky enough to be able to be in the right place complaining at the right time to get one of the 5 overstocked tubs;  he had from this “run”. So my initial thoughts….. I think he has a hit here to be honest.  What resonated to me was that it was so upfront…. no real hard complexities to decipher which may be a turn off to some,  but this is Vetiver no more and no less… it almost has a nutty aroma to it which a good high quality vetiver grass has and should have. So in that department I give a lot of credit. I say this as to have a single note soap or, fragrance in general and to pull it off well is harder than mixing 5 or 6 scents to make a blend. As to the menthol I was also happy I would say it is pretty middle of the road, comparable to Proraso in intensity but not in feel. Where Proraso is just straight sneak up on you cold Glace’ Herbe was more natural feeling if that makes sense not that it was better or worse,  but I believe Chris probably used a method of adding the menthol that makes it smoother in feel …. that is the best way I can describe the coolness is smooth. Now as far as slickness or cushion I also have to say this IMHO was better than a few other soaps I have from Catie’s Bubbles. I do not mean this as any offense; as I happen to really like all of my Catie’s Bubbles soaps very much, but the lather on Glace’ Herbe is different, and for me in a good way. There was a lot more cushion and the lather was denser than previous soaps I have used which had adequate cushion or, some call it depth or, I even sometime refer to it as the explosive nature of the lather. This lather really explodes ! a very little goes along way. Finally I used my favorite 2-band badger brush my New Forest “Tubby 2” which is just about as soft a brush as you can get with more than ample backbone and amazing flow through.

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With such a great shave I wanted to nail the finishing touches, and unfortunately I fell I think a bit short. I think Fine Fresh Vetiver would have been a better choice to marry up to the earthy and nutty Vetiver of the soap, but all I own is Clean Vetiver; don’t misunderstand it was close but a touch sweet compared to the nutty nature of the soap. To remedy this and the similarity was astonishing to me was the balm I used by How to Grow a Moustache “Vetiver” which is a double distilled “true” Vetiver and not cheap to make; the scent was nearly identical so I ended up exactly where I wanted to be cold and smelling like nutty soil…… yeah that makes a lot of sense right 🙂 !! no one ever claimed traditional shaving doesn’t lead you down interesting roads of scent.

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On that chilly note I hope you all had great mornings whatever you decided to use be it “Menthol Monday” or, anything that caught your fancy for the day. Have great days all ! – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Clinique facial bar
  • Prep: Proraso pre ( very light application )
  • Croap: Catie’s Bubbles “Glace’ Herbe”
  • Brush: New Forest “Tubby 2”
  • Razor: 1948-50 Gillette Aristocrat variant
  • Blade: Sputnik (4)
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: FireHouse Dark and Reuzel Red WB
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Shavex alum
  • After shave: Fine Clean Vetiver (methylated)
  • Balm: HTGAM “Vetiver”
  • EDT: L’Occitane Vetyver

SOTD: September 28th, 2014 “Almost Everything is New”

 

Today was a complete testing day that I am passing off to all you fine folks as a Shave of the Day (which technically this is) ! I typically face lather so my gear consists of a brush, soap, razor, blade, and finally whatever finishing materials. The last could be anything from a balm to an aftershave to styptics and a bunch of “other” stuff. Out of my entire shave only 3 were out of my normal den, being the soap and the razor and balm; I use a lot of items in a typical SOTD even though I don’t always list them. I will be reviewing at a later time the “other” material so I am doing the SOTD here and the review “where it came from” as most know I write for a few sites.  I am trying to be ethical, and keep the SOTD and review as separate as possible, So let’s get to it shall  we !

As I said earlier this was mainly a review day so lets talk  minute about what I already owned… Today was the last day on my GEM stainless steel blade, so I had to choose wisely my razor, as I am not sure the next time an SE razor will be in my rotation. I choose the GEM “Shovelhead” ! This is a notorious aggressive razor, I personally agree, but it is also extremely forgiving. So if your into that feel, but don’t want to worry about a zillion cuts or weepers this may be a great razor for you. Technique is of course pivotal here, and no razor is forgiving unless your technique is good. a neat little fact about the “Shovelhead” is that it flips forward to open, and you almost load the blade backwards; on more than one occasion I have tried to insert the blade incorrectly, think of the Every-Ready 1914 and the Shovelhead is the exact opposite flipping forward from the rear opposed to back from the front. I paired this great razor with a GEM SS blade now on use 4 … I really did not feel much tugging, but why chance it I have a lot of GEM and PAL blue blades…. sometimes you just need to let go….. so onto a new blade I went.

 

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The second “in my den” item is Mitchell’s Wool Fat aka MWF. I love this soap ! At first I hated it and couldn’t get it to lather,  as many others have made mention of, and have shied away from MWF because of this. I happen to have very hard water and by rights should have a terribly difficult time generating a lather. I used to have that problem, until one day on YouTube; I watched one of MAtic59’s video’s on lathering MWF, it changed my world. I finally was able to get this puck to lather ! I also have made video’s since as I modified the original Mantic video to my personal ways and to my “likes” in a lather. I find this soap relatively neutral to maybe powdery meets a barnyard hay like green aroma. I also find it does not residually  leave much scent after fully rinsed. What it does leave is a very moisturized face as the lanolin in the soap is a wonderful moisturizer…. I think this also sometimes inhibits lather formation due to the heavy fat concentration, but that is only a guess. At another time I will do a tutorial again on MWF but lets leave it at today I could not have had better performance from this soap.

 

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Now onto what is “new” and up for review in a bit. I was very graciously PIF’d a single first month “Wet Shaving Club” starter box kit. These Kits seem to be very popular, and a lot of sites now have “boxes” or revolving monthly products. It reminds me of when I smoked cigars more often. I would subscribe to one of the larger cigar sites, and each month 5 Random cigars would be at my front door. This is the same concept, but with traditional shaving ! Today I used the Boar brush, Whiskey ink and Lace cedar wood after shave, and yes match type styptic alum called Legends of London. I won’t go into detail as all these items are going to be reviewed. I will say I think some of these items are absolutely brilliant, and I would use again and recommend and others are still too “new”, and need to break in a bit more before I pass judgment. In fairness of the SOTD though I will say I had a great shave, and I used the Whiskey ink and Lace aftershave which has moisturizing oils as well as the great L’Occitane Baux balm, and that was the end of my shave. More on these items later though.

 

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So that was my shave in a round about kind of nutshell !! I wish I could say more about these “club” items but it’s just firstly not time yet, and secondly these items will be reviewed from the PIF source before I go into details here out of respect, and simply I just haven’t used some items enough times to fairly talk about them …maybe Ill do an initial impressions review and later a “real” review. I hope you all had great shaves, and awesome days ! Tomorrow it’s back to work. – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot shower w/ Garnier facial scrub
  • Prep: USP grade glycerin 10 drops applied to face and neck
  • Soap: Mitchell’s Wool Fat
  • Brush: Wet Shave Club boar brush
  • Razor: GEM “Shovelhead”
  • Blade: GEM stainless steel (4)
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Brooklyn Grooming “Williamsburg” & Zizilia
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse and Shavex alum as well as “The Legends” styptic match
  • After shave: Whiskey ink and Lave “Cedar wood”
  • Balm: L’Occitane Baux
  • EDT: L’Occitane Baux EDT

09/26/2014 Review of Captain’s Choice Lather Bowl

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Bowl: Captain’s Choice Sea Foam Lather Bowl

Brush:Edwin Jagger Pure Badger

Shaving Cream: Taylor of Old Bond Street Mr. Taylor’s

Even though I am a face latherer, I do enjoy taking out my bowl and whipping up a killer lather. When I do I grab my Captain’s Choice Lathering bowl. This is a palm sized bowl that measures approximately 4 1/4 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches deep. It does bow in slightly at the top to keep the lather inside. I chose the Sea Foam colored bowl that’s a teal color. It has a prominent star on it that you put your thumb on for stability. I has large grooves inside to help produce lather and they perform as advertised. It is a ceramic bowl that I would recommend not dropping. Being ceramic it holds heat well but definitely not scuttle-like.

I took out my Edwin Jagger Pure Badger brush with a 50mm loft as I do think this brush is great on creams. For this review I pulled my Taylor’s of Old Bond Street Mr. Taylor’s cream off of the shelf.

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As you can see it whipped up a nice creamy lather-in about 45 seconds.

To say I love using this bowl is an understatement, it’s so easy that it’s almost like cheating. But the great part is the price point being only $18.75 on the Captain’s Choice website. You will not be disappointed with this bowl.

Thanks for reading.

09/26/2014 SOTD & REVIEW of Mitchells Wool Fat

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Mitchells Wool Fat

Omega Boar

HTGAM Tombstone AS

Gold Dollar from Bill Tsugranes 6/8 Barbers Notch

HTGAM S42 Prototype

Supermax Super Platinum Blade

We have all heard about “The Fat” and how difficult it is to lather. If you follow a few guidelines that I picked up off of You Tube it will be much easier. I soak the puck with slightly warn water while I shower, then soak my brush for about 30 seconds and shake all of the water I can out of it. I do find it’s easier with a stiff brush. I then load my brush using more pressure than I normally do for 30 seconds to a minute and voila! this works every time with my hard water.

The scent to me is a soapy scent that’s moderately powdery. I doesn’t last long post shave which makes it great for choosing any AS or cologne that strikes you. Also post shave your face is soft and slick due to the lanolin. I get great lather by doing a face lather and not being afraid of adding water. Remember you started out dry. The cushion and glide are very good, this soap performs really well.

as far as packaging I sprung for the ceramic bowl. It’s very well made but don’t drop it as it will break. I think the trade off is worth it as it looks very classy sitting on the counter awaiting the next use. YMMV if you have children.

I’m a noob to straight razor shaving, and loving it. I did my entire face with a single WTG pass, then switched to my DE. The Fat performed well as always and I never felt in danger from not having a good lather which is very important with a straight razor.

upon completion I did a cold water rinse and finished with my favorite AS, HTGAM Tombstone. I love the beginning scent that reminds me of a Bourbon soaked saloon, in a good way, followed by the gunpowder scent that changes to a mix of the two.

This was a great shave but I expected nothing less.

Thanks for reading.

Tombstone by HTGAM “The Review”

Today we will be looking at our Vendor of The Months “Synergy / How to Grow a Moustache” after shave “Tombstone” This is a newer offering from HTGAM, capturing the essence of the west or, old west as hopefully we still don’t have gunslinger and outlaws roaming Tombstone. So when reviewing an aftershave we all have different criteria we look for so YMMV, and I will try to cover all the big points we look for when looking for that perfect finish to our hopefully perfect shaves ! So lets jump right into it !

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Packaging The packaging of the after shave is standard issue for this particular brand. It comes in a 3.5 ounces brown glass bottle with a screw top lid. First I want to point out the brown bottle. Sounds like a no-brainer on the surface but the darker bottle does not allow sunlight to penetrate the bottle, remember HTGAM uses natural EO (essential oils) and FO (Fragrance oils),  and can deteriorate from sun exposure so these brown bottles actually protect your liquid gold.  Okay that out-of-the-way, and thanking my brewing background for that knowledge let’s move on. Those that remember the first generation HTGAM after shaves will remember the flow issues … you couldn’t control it ! This has been improved quite sometime ago, and a flow restrictor has been put in place to control the flow ! This was a big deal for me as I hate to waste good things, and referring to the earlier offerings that was always a big complaint of mine. Corrected ! The only downfall I will give the packaging is that it is glass….. later on I will get into attributes and the packaging; if not careful it can slip, you have been forewarned, be careful and your fine….,and in fairness I have never slipped, fumbled or, dropped a bottle, but the potential is there.

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Contents and Fragrance First and foremost this is an alcohol based aftershave. This is also a strong alcohol aftershave ! not for the weak of skin or, heart by any means. This is easily one of the more WOW type burn aftershave out there, and I do not have sensitive skin, and actually enjoy the burn, sicko that I am ! There is more though as Douglas Smythe the blend master behind HTGAM and Synergy would never just through alcohol at us ! too simple number one and number two and just a guess he probably has issue with it as his aftershaves traditionally where alcohol free, but the market spoke and he delivered. So what else is in there ? Glycerin which I have spoken about before which actually is hygroscopic and pulls water into the skin while soothing it. Menthol which has a chemical reaction within the brain that sends a cooling cold signal to your skin to trigger the nerves to sense cold, much like hot peppers are not actually “hot” that is a chemical reaction that tricks the brain. Alum ! This is my favorite aspect to HTGAM aftershaves is they contain alum a mild styptic or, blood clotting agent. Now if I have a weeper or, nic I always will reach for an alum block first that is 20+ years of conditioning. I will say though that there has been times I have been in a rush like today ! and I used my alum block for a tiny nic and it closed it off about 75% then I splashed on some of this and the alum in this actually contained the weeper from continuing the flow. Could it have stopped it from the start ? I don’t know, I don’t get cut or bleed often, but alum is not ONLY for blood it also soothes the face and acts as a mild antiseptic. Finally there are essential oils and fragrance oils…… in this particular scent there is gun powder, leather, tobacco, geranium, bergamot, and rose.. if you want my opinion I also pick up on soil, ozone, tanning oil which I believe are synergistic of the other scents mixed together. Is this scent for everyone ? no. Of all the HTGAM I would personally say Tombstone is the wildcard of the fragrances for his aftershaves… as far as fragrance it’s always subjective, but I personally feel Tombstone is a love it or, hate it scent. It took me a few uses to really like it and then eventually I found myself smelling the bottle just to smell it. Don’t pretend you don’t do it too !!! don’t judge me 🙂 !

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Performance Yes there is an actual performance level to after shaves ! I was shocked by this too actually. I have been wet shaving or, heck just shaving for 20+ years, and I always thought an aftershave hurt and smelled good or, bad. That was it no more or, less….I was wrong ! I learned, and became educated. This thing called growing up and life experience coupled with just being passionate and learning about products has taught me a lot. It would be easy for me to call out a bunch of aftershaves that do not work for me, and as always YMMV. But an after SHOULD close the pores down acting as an astringent or, a toner (there is a difference), enhance the shave by delivering comfort in the form of either soothing irritation or, by adding in moisturizing qualities to replenish your skin. Most do not realize how hostile the act of shaving actually is to your epidermis despite all the precautions we take. Think about it your taking a super sharp blade to your face ! just read that sentence it’s terrifying ! but Tombstone I find zero bad to say about. Actually I could blanket that to all HTGAM aftershaves, though I prefer his alcohol based ones. There is alcohol there is your astringent. Is alcohol drying ? some yes… some no it depends on the type used but even if it is that is ok alcohol is an astringent and actually kills bacteria during the drying process, that’s ok by me. Secondly Glycerin to soothe the skin, I used the word hygroscopic up a bit in this article. Hygroscopic means it pulls surrounding moisture into your skin. There is some moisture for you. Alum and menthol, that is your comfort and functional antiseptic and styptic, and finally essential and fragrance oils. Think of baby oil, I always recommend shaking your aftershave before use to mix these oils. I have found each HTGAM blend to vary greatly in menthol, oils, and scent. Tombstone falls lighter on the oils than let say Al Fin but you still have a silky feel on your face from the oils added… again condition that freshly shaved face. Didn’t  you hear ? you just brought a sharp blade across your face ! barber

Conclusion Tombstone by HTGAM in a few words this is a masculine scent in the sense of old school and old west. Dominant are the gunpowder which in a million years I never thought I would enjoy the smell of gun powder considering my background, and leather. Not your Prada or, Coach handbag leather but your horse saddle that has been in use for a decade and absorbed your sweat, blood and tears type of leather. Finally I pick up on the Geranium flower. It works very well with the other dominant scents and is not a flowery floral aroma but a compliment to the gun powder specifically acting I believe as a neutralizing fragrance. The bottle also speaks about Tobacco and Bergamot and Rose. I do not pick up on those as prominent scents, but above I did mention a few notes that I believe are synergistic. Some of those other scents are just “in the blend. The performance is outstanding and comprehensive is a good word to use here as it covers so many things a shaver needs from astringency, styptic use, menthol for comfort, and Glycerin for moisture working alongside with those essential and fragrance oils to make your skin feel great. Finally the packaging, it’s glass and oil on your hands and glass can be tricky this is my only concern, but as I said I have never had nor heard of any problems with slipping I only bring it up as a possibility. So at the end of the day is Tombstone from HTGAM your type of aftershave ? I don’t know but I will say it’s worth a try, I can only say what y my first hand use led me from its okay to a fragrance I look forward to and darned if I don’t smell like the old west !

Week 3 and Final Synergy raffle !

Ladies and Gents this is it the final week of the Synergy soaps, How to grow a moustache and our time with the man himself Douglas Smythe. This last week I am envious of ! again very easy to enter and I do keep all entrants in a file though you do not see it published. I want to also take a minute to assure everyone last weeks raffle was not forgotten, being I was sick… I did not do the winning video, I will be drawing both winners for both weeks on the same video. So without further ado here is the final week and what need be done to be entered !

First off what do you win ?

The winner of this weeks raffle will win a tin of the Limited edition Steeplechase Sport ! This was a limited edition so aside from a BST there is no other way to get this soap. Autumn Factory the scent behind the seasonal Pumpkin 3.14 is also on the table ! This is a wonderful Aftershave and I personally own this and this years Pumpkin 3.14 and it is outstanding ! SO Steeplechase sport and a bottle of Autumn Factory for one winner, and this is INTERNATIONAL !!! all members abroad from the USA can enter your aftershave will be alcohol free in order to be able to ship and get it through customs etc.

So what do you need to do ???

There are now pushing 40 Moustache and Blade episodes

1- List 20 M&B guests in any order just list 20 guests that were on the show.

2- On September 6th how fast did CaD sell out ? This was a very announced time as it was so fast…. this was the first official release of CaD.

3- What 2 original Synergy soaps have been discontinued, and which Synergy 2.0 soaps are the newest.

 

This weeks raffle will take a bit of typing but is actually pretty easy and most can be found right on the http://www.howtogrowamoustache.com site or, on the Wet shaver review Facebook group using the search feature.

 

Good Luck to all and remember this is international and open to ALL member so please enter !

This raffle starts today September, 24th and will be drawn on October 1st, 2014 when the new vendor steps in ! Please PM me Aaron the answers to the raffle and nothing in the body of the Facebook comments or, this will disqualify you from entry. Thanks again and good luck to all !! – Aaron

September 24th, 2014 “Chocolate Bourbon”

I’m really happy to be home today and back on my feet so to speak. Today was WSR Wednesday, and my shave was in camaraderie with all the great people over on the Facebook group. I’ve said it before that any soap can be used it’s more about the fellowship than the products used. I did happen to use our official soap “Chocolate Bourbon” from Synergy soaps loaded with my WSP Stubby in high mountain white badger. This brush is great as it is perfect for face lathering due to the stubby handle, but has a decent back bone while having super soft tips also and maybe most important is how easily the brush also releases the lather. this is a very dense brush so the fact that it release the lather so well is a big deal, of all my WSP brushes this is the one I would recommend without hesitation. Chocolate Bourbon is just a phenomenal soap, Typical Synergy performance with that explosive lather and a scent that is completely decadent and of all the scents I have this is the one I probably get the most compliments on. I really changed up my razor today to a 1957 Gillette Super Speed Flair tip; actually it is my mother’s birth year razor, I just felt like using it…. no ones birthday or, anything like that. I paired it with the Sputnik blade I have been using and where the Sputnik was less than ideal in the HTGAM Symmetry it worked great in the milder super speed the blade is now on the third use.

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To finish up after 3 passes and one or two touch up spots, I followed my normal post shave routine. I started with a really good cold water rinse, and Shave alum (even though it broke I am not letting go to waste). Again after rinsing the alum and cleaning up the few pieces of gear I had to clean up….. that is a positive of face lathering; less mess. I used the matching “Chocolate Bourbon” aftershave. This stuff is amazing and I think anyone that has tried to get it while it was selling out in under 8 minutes will agree this is a top-notch aftershave as well as cologne that lasts all day ! a very little bit goes a very long way, and what’s great to top it off is the aftershave contains alum and a touch of menthol. Simply an amazing aftershave; unfortunate that it is limited edition so I’ll keep my fingers crossed it is re-released a few times over the course of a year. The soap though is year round and part of the regular rotation.

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That my friends was my simple but excellent SOTD ! I hope all your shaves were great as well – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot Shower with Clinique facial bar
  • Prep: Proraso pre shave cream
  • Soap: Synergy ” Chocolate Bourbon”
  • Brush: WSP Stubby in HMW
  • Razor: 1957 Gillette Super Speed Flair tip
  • Blade: Sputnik (3)
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud natural & Crew Molding Clay and Royal Crown mixed
  • Post shave: Cold water rinse, Shavex alum
  • After shave: HTGAM “Chocolate Bourbon”
  • Balm: Simple brand scent free face moisturizer

Shaving and Traveling ? Lets make it easy !

Travelling and traditional shaving for the modern wet shaver can be a daunting challenge or, is it ? I remember when I first started shaving we did not have the artisan community pumping out soaps, creams, and aftershave at lighting speeds, but that was back in the early 1990’s. Today’s wet shaver is living in a time only rivaled by the early 1900’s when we were literally liberated; from having to see a barber to have a shave 1-3 times a week, now we can do it ourselves. What happens though when we travel ? Be it for work or pleasure the world has become smaller with invention of travel like flying, railways, and even just long car rides. What absolutely changed was our options as wet shavers….. I in the last year alone 2014 have lost count of the amount of razors being made for distributors as private labels, soaps that are private or, artisan made, finally we still have the “big” houses of razors, soaps, and blades. How do we travel with all this and how do we keep the TSA from charging us more in baggage claims because we brought a few extra soaps, after shaves, and a few razors. Well the solution is way simpler than you may think, trust me I travel for work on a regular basis, and have to an extent gotten into my groove, so this may just work for you too !

The first thing I would invest in if you do not have one is a bag known as the “Dopp bag”. Simply put it is either a single or dual zippered bag about the size of a lunch box and this is home base for you shave gear. I have a few Dopp bags I use depending on how long I’ll be away. Lets assume for this article it’s for a week. Now I need you the reader to kind of trust me on this one, but only you can answer this question. What is most important to you in your shave ? is it the razor ? soaps ? changing up different blades ? After you answer this simple question your on your way to packing you Dopp bag more efficiently. For me it’s usually soaps, I am a 3017’er, and have more soap than I will ever use, but when I travel soap sticks are king. If you have a favorite soap chances are they make a shave stick version. If you do not travel often not all is lost, if you don’t want to use soap sticks invest in a few small containers that you can place some creams or,  soap in so you don’t have to clog your Dopp bag up with 5 full tubs of soap. I still would recommend multiple shave sticks, but the mini container method is still VERY viable, and will save tons of space. You also have the option if you want to bring only 1 maybe 2 full size tubs…. keep in mind though this is taking up space, exactly what we want more of.

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Next up is the brush, this is an important choice. A brush on average takes 3-4 days to dry completely depending where you are both temperature wise, humidity, and elevation. I love my badger, boar, and now even horse brushes but when traveling…..Synthetic all the way. The newer synthetic brushes dry within an hour and 1 single brush can be used for your entire trip. I usually bring 2 as I believe in redundancy just in case something goes wrong with the first brush. Today also synthetic brushes are near as good as any natural fiber, and usually cost less and some prefer the synthetic feel. My personal favorites are the Plisson, Vanguard by Dreadnaught (Blue Beard in the EU), and the Omega Syntex. If for any reason you want to or, have to use natural hair brushes, never dry them with a blow dryer let them naturally dry, and I would only bring 1-2 as the last thing you want is mold to start growing in your favorite Silvertip. Remember the outer bristle may feel dry, but it can still be wet towards the knot.

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How to travel with your razors and brush you may ask ? I would NEVER just throw a razor and brush into any bag and jump on a plane or, in my car. I personally use or reuse actually the boxes that my Simpsons brushes and WSP brushes came in they are the perfect size to hold you razor or brush and fit perfectly in any Dopp bag I have ever seen with tons of room for your other gear, other use Altoids tin filled with foam, toothbrush holders for straight razors and over sized pill bottles for your brush ! just be sure to store the brush as dry as possible, and drill holes for ventilation.  for your soap, they make travel tubes that work wonderfully !

 

Next up is your aftershave……this all depends how you travel. If by plane it’s going in your luggage and into a cargo hold…..all I can say here is I wish you the best of luck ! if you are traveling any other way if you followed the above advice and brought shave sticks and boxed your razor(s) and brush(es) you can actually fit a few FULL sized bottles of aftershave. If you want to like I do save more space, you can decant jus enough aftershave into travel tubes they are about an ounce for the larger ones, I have seen them as small as a 1/4 ounce. This is also true for your balms.

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By this point if you are looking into your Dopp bag and saying WOW ! I still have a ton of room in a tiny bag….. well throw your deodorant, facial soap in a container, styptic pencil, alum, 3 oz. shampoo, and whatever ever else makes you feel a bit closer to home in there.  This method yes involves a bit of compromise and even maybe a bit of sacrifice in your daily routine. I will say though always keep in mind travel is temporary, and even when we as wet shavers make compromise or, travel “light” we are still leaps and bounds beyond our friends that are traveling with canned goo and the newest 20 blade cartridge razor as we will still have more options than they will EVER have in a single tiny Dopp bag. Oh and blades….. a 5 pack is enough usually for 2 weeks of travel, so go nuts ! I would recommend a mini Altoids tin to keep your blades in, and organized just remember to clean the sugar out before you throw your blades in there.

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I hope this helped a little for all of us road warriors that travel regularly, from here on out you never have to be that far away from the comforts of home, and still get the best shave possible. – Aaron

September 22nd, 2014 “Menthol Monday”

Ok so I am sick and I have I’m pretty sure told everyone within at least 5 countries I think I’m dying. I do not handle being sick well at all, what I handle even worse though is excuses, and I have been making a lot of them lately, and am man enough to call myself out on the carpet. When I don’t feel well this is just how I get. SOOOO where is the silver lining ? in a few places first off it’s Monday and the beginning of the week….. I have a whole week to change my outlook and secondly it is “Menthol Monday” ! when your sick with the flu or, a head cold what could be better than either a shot of booze or, menthol ? hey it’s one of the ingredients in Vick’s vapor rub. I figured it would help me breathe a bit better, no not really , but I got an awesome shave.

I Super-Lathered Mitchell’s wool fat and Proraso green after applying Proraso pre shave. This unto itself was chilling, not Yeti snot territory yet, but we will get to that soon enough, and using the Omega 63185 badger brush I couldn’t go wrong. I kept the razor fairly simple using my Edwin Jagger De89LBL which while beautiful and shaves wonderful carries such an affordable price tag, really this is a phenomenal shaver as it is priced right and shaves like a dream the key is ? The right blade. I have said this countless times over the years and YMMV I firmly believe a mild shaver paired with a sharper than average blade will be the shave of your life. So I used a Russian Sputnik which are Teflon coated. I love these blades. While on average a 4-5 shave blade they are consistent, sharp, and irritation free.

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After my clean up as I bowl lathered I pampered myself a little. I am sick after all. I took a little extra time rubbing the cold water on my face which in turn made the menthol go into over drive really chilling my face, I then used my broken Shavex block…. I am using the jagged edges as I am trying to round them off…. the block is and will not be wasted. As my friend and Brother Timothy Moore from the Royal order of Wet Shavers and I always said waste not want not. Finally I went for the coldest aftershave I own and I keep it in the fridge. Fine aftershave “Snake Bite”. As I write this an hour later I still feel the menthol and it is stronger now than when I was shaving with the Proraso. Keep in mind I am sick so my skin does feel very sensitive. Finally I closed off the shave with a product I don’t love but it is pretty chilly, Lucky Tiger Menthol Vanishing cream. This cream is pretty good and here is a little tip if you use it add a few drops of water to the cream after rubbing it into your hands. I find otherwise the cream is drying.

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This concluded my WSR “Menthol Monday” ! I hope you enjoyed the read and temporary distraction from your daily grind….I know writing it while not “cure” for the common cold made me feel great to write it as I have been absent for a bit and it made me feel better sharing my day with all of you ! I hope you all had great shaves as well. – Aaron

  • Pre: Hot Shower w/ Clinique facial bar
  • Prep: Proraso Pre shave
  • Soap: Mitchell’s Wool Fat
  • Cream: Proraso green
  • Brush: Omega 63185 black badger
  • Razor: Edwin Jagger De89LBL
  • Blade: Sputnik (1)
  • Lather type: Bowl
  • Moustache: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud natural and Suavecito firm
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse and Shavex alum
  • After shave: Fine “Snake Bite”
  • Balm: Lucky Tiger menthol vanishing cream