Month: January 2015

SoTD ~ 27January2015 ~ New Soap

Thanks Lamar for entering our contest on the Wet Shaver Review on Facebook. I’m glad your enjoying your selection ! No doubt Irena make some wonderful products. check out her website at http://www.gingersgarden.com

Lamar's Daily Diary

Won a contest and received my first Ginger’s Garden soap. I selected, with her recommendation, the tallow based version of this scent. Set some time aside if you head to her website. The scent list is pretty long. Also there are things there for the ladies and bearded men. Back to the soap! The labeling is water resistant so that is a plus for those of us who post Shave of the Day photos. The inside diameter of the plastic jar is 3 1/4 inches unscrewed. The inside of the jar with the top popped open is 2 7/8 inches. Flipping the top provides a bit of a lip too, but I prefer the diameter of the lid unscrewed. It only took a few seconds to get enough loaded for 3 or 4 passes. I found the scent alluring which has got me to thinking abut ordering the matching aftershave…

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Your first straight razor ? Ralf Aust in 5/8 …Absolutely !

I see lately a huge interest in shaving traditionally with a straight razor, also called a cut-throat razor, or simply a “straight”. I see a lot of opinions, and of course I have my own as well. I am not an expert, but I know a few 🙂 and they all are in agreement that while cheaper brands are in the market; you really are getting your monies worth and then some with a 5/8 round point Ralf Aust in faux ebony scales !

This is a great jumping point or, even the only blade you’ll ever need…..until you catch the bug, and want that next “straight” to add to your shave den ! I hope you enjoy this fast overview, and shave with my NEW format !!! Please comment below I’d love to hear your thoughts on the razor, your suggestions, and what you thought of my new video style ! Thanks for watching. – Aaron

 

  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with normal head and hydrogel cleanser medium setting
  • Prep: Hot Shower w/ Clinique face bar
  • Cream: Taylor of old Bond street “Mr. Taylor”
  • Brush: Nathan Clark 2-Band custom
  • Razor: Ralf Aust 5/8 round point in faux ebony scales
  • Lather: Scuttle
  • Moustache: Dahli
  • Wax and Pomade: TOBS “Mr. Taylor’s” moustache wax & Layrite Super Hold
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse and Alum
  • After Shave: Barrister & Mann original “Kyovu”
  • EDT: Versace Eros

SOTD: January 24th, 2015 a week of Thiers-Issard

It’s snowing outside and cold as can be, but who really cares, I have enough to keep me busy, and my shave today started my day off absolutely on the right track ! My new video equipment came today so time to learn to use it as well so future posts will have more video real time reviews. But for now here is a little SOTD to keep things up to date.

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I have been rotating my favorite straight razors this week Thiers-Issard as I have four so it was a nice transition to some newer ones like the 6/8 Bison Red Stamina ! What an amazing shaver this is ! perfectly honed, and flawless in balance, and hand feel.

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I’ve also been rocking with Mitchell’s Wool Fat all week as well, as it’s about on it’s last leg, and I’m trying to use it up. I decided to Uber-Lather mixing MWF, Musgo Oakmoss cream, and finally some glycerin. This was a SLICK shave ! really thick lather as you can see in the photo’s, and all whipped up with a Nathan Clark custom silvertip on its maiden voyage as I recently bought a 2-band and a silvertip brush from Nathan. Perfect performance ! I could not be happier with the performance, first use and great lather out the gate, I can’t wait to see how this performs after a dozen or so uses.

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Finished it all off classic ! some alum, and Aqua Velva Ice Blue ! The MWF was definitely dominant and I find the Musgo Oakmoss there but very tolerant with most other scents, and took a back seat to the Mitchell’s. Finally as I had to take care of the snow situation from last night I used some Aveeno Naturals lotion. The Aveeno lotion is quite thick and goes on pretty thick as well, but absorbs easily once it reaches body temperature it seems.

Bottom line great Saturday shave and great gear ! I love shaving with these Thiers-Issard razors so needless to say I have had a great week, but truth told I must confess I think today’s Bison Red Stamina in 6/8 is maybe my favorite TI in my den. Happy shoveling to everyone in the northeast with me, and more so happy shaving !!!! – Shave on everyone -Aaron

  • Pre: Hot shower with Musgo Glyce pre shave soap
  • Prep: Glycerin
  • Soap: Mitchell’s Wool Fat
  • Cream: Musgo Real “Oakmoss”
  • Brush: Nathan Clark 24mm silvertip badger brush
  • Razor: Thiers-Issard 6/8  “Bison” Red Stamina
  • Lather type: Scuttle
  • Moustache type: English
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse, Alum, and A. Logistics IGHT
  • After Shave: Aqua Velva “Ice Blue”
  • Lotion: Aveeno naturals lotion
  • Fragrance: British Stirling H.I.M. Reserve

SOTD: January 18th, 2015 and Thiers-Issard Bison first impressions

Good afternoon everyone ! Just a quick SOTD, and I used my Thiers-Issard Bison in Red Stamina scales for the first time today ! Awesome shave, the guys at Straight Razor Designs out did themselves with the honing of this TI razor ! I wish they actually wrote “honed by” on the invoice etc….as I own a few TI’s, and this was by far the smoothest shave I’ve had in a while.

The Baume.BE is no joke ! I’ve been using it for the last 7 days, and it has been for quite sometime my benchmark cream. All other lathers are held to Baume.BE’s standard. Of course YMMV, and a few others like Esbjerg and Castle Forbes are also darn close, and on any given day I could say those are my benchmark ! They all perform very similarly. Zero hang up and smooth shaving for all passes including the ATG pass.

The biggest part of today’s shave hands down was the Thiers-Issard Bison 6/8 in Red Stamina scales. This is not a full on review, but a glance at my first use. I am not a novice to Thiers-Issard, and own more TI’s than any other straights in my den. The Bison today really brought a smile to my face. I loved the length of the blade ! I did not measure but it is on the shorter side compared to lets say my Spartacus TI. The hand feel and balance was excellent and the gents at SRD where I bought this razor did an amazing job getting it shave ready. The blade as with most TI’s are not “pretty” they are masterfully made, but the gold wash is nothing to write home about, and the etching was somewhat basic, but I use a straight razor to shave not to stare at the artwork. The TI’s IMHO are worth every penny as far as their ability to shave, and to hold a great edge. First shave with the Bison in Red Stamina scales was maybe my best shave this year, in no small way or,  doubt due to whomever honed it up. Last but not least the Red Stamina performed equally as well, doing their job as a water resistant form of scale. The pivot pin was a drop on the tight side but hey this was the first shave, I am sure it will loosen up !

Overall- A great cream with Baume.BE, a sharp and quality blade like the Thiers-Issard Bison in Red Stamina scales, honed by the right person, and finally finishing off with a quality artisan after shave made this guy super happy with his shave, and new razor ! – Aaron

  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria w/ deep pore head and cleanser
  • Prep: Hot Shower with Jack Blacks face wash aloe & sage
  • Cream: Baume.BE
  • Brush: Omega 63185 black badger
  • Razor: Thiers-Issard Bison Red Stamina 6/8
  • Lather type: Scuttle “Mother Earth”
  • After Shave: Gingers Garden “Haight  Asbury”
  • Lotion: HTGAM “Meta Nectar”

Review: RazoRock “Stealth” V3.0 and SOTD: January 8th, 2015

I have been shaving with the RazoRock Stealth now for a bit over a month, and fairly regularly at that ! It became quickly my go-to razor at the end of 2014. The video will go into much further depth than I am here, but quickly.

Material- The Stealth is still in prototype phases and is on it’s 3rd generation of build. The razor itself is made of aluminum but is anodized for blade and rust protection. The head is CNC billet machine made for tight tolerance, while the handle is lathe turned.

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Hand feel or ergonomics- For an average size guy such as myself but has larger hands this feels perfect ! Even if your hand were a bit larger or, smaller it would still fit your hand very nicely ! The weight is on the light side at 40 grams, but the razor just seems to glide and assist you not to apply any pressure despite the low weight. Again I find the V3.0 to excel at this compared to the other versions; though that may be in my head.

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Ease of use- This is a standard 3 piece design slant that was inspired by, but not a replica of a older German Bakelite slant razor. This razor has a slight learning curve due to the head being a bit bulbous. I could not test it under the nose due to my super-awesome handlebar moustache 🙂 , but I would guess to a slightly increased angle that it would shave just fine.

Aggressiveness- I find this slant to be a contradiction. A slant by nature uses a slicing action. This one does as well ! But it is mild enough to be used as a daily shaver, and still get a BBS shave. I would not recommend a slant aside from this ever for a daily shaver as it would cause irritation and possibly be way too harsh for most peoples needs.

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Overall- In a few words, this is a prototype so it is not readily available. If you are on the Italianbarber.com website an see it listed as available I have zero reservations saying go for it ! This is an amazing shaver, a bit mild for a slant, but delivers a shave that is comfortable, and if used properly a level of safety that most razors don’t offer while allowing a BBS shave with ease.  Finally a daily slant bar razor;  thank you RazoRock ! – Aaron

 

  • Pre: Clarisonic with normal head and hydrogel cleanser
  • Prep: Hot Shower and Clinique face bar
  • Soap: Catie’s Bubbles “Pomander”
  • Razor: RazoRock “Stealth” V3.0 PROTOTYPE
  • Blade: Personna Med Prep (4)
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: TOBS Mr. Taylor’s wax & no hair dressing
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse, RazoRock alum, Anthony Logistics Ingrown Hair Treatment
  • After Shave: Alt Innsbruck
  • Balm/Other: Alt Innsbruck Emulsion
  • Fragrance: Viktor & Rolf “Spice Bomb”

SOTD: January 4th, 2015 “Pomander day 2”

I am amazed, I made 3 New Years resolutions. The first was a very strong “No more shave soaps until I use 50% of my den”, the Second was I must use a straight razor 3 times for every DE/SE shave or, a 3-1 ratio, and finally I did NOT have to shave everyday. Last year my resolution was to shave 365 days ! I did it; I was writing more for 365shaves.com as well so it made sense. I am still an author there,  and recommend them as a great resource, as well as they are just great guys.

actual WSR logotop hat 365

Well, I can live with the no new soaps, no problems with using a straight razor….., but I’m emotional messed up ! after 365 shaves in a row;  I can’t stop shaving daily. That in a way is great, but now I feel “naked” if I don’t shave like I forgot an important part of my day. So here I am still shaving daily, though if I miss a day I doubt I’ll beat myself up too bad.

Today’s shave was excellent, I am using Catie’s Bubbles “Pomander” soap every day for a week, and changing all the other variables to see how flexible I can make my shaves. Pomander is a clove/orange scent and I have a pre-sale production version in a mason jar from early 2014; almost a year ago. The soap held up great, and has about a week maybe 2 worth of shaves left. I loved today’s shave and as I said yesterday Pomander delivered a cushioning, slick and fragrant shave. No reservations using this soap with a straight razor even against the grain it has ample glide though I added vegetable glycerin out of habit. I hope you all had excellent shave this weekend as well, details below, shave on everyone ! – Aaron

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** side note- The Lord Randall brush is breaking in amazingly well. Not a single shed hair, a bit more scritch is coming out and the flow through is becoming a lot better, holding the lather inside, but releasing it easily, again I can just tell this brush is something special. **

  • Pre: Clarisonic Aria with sensitive skin head and cleanser
  • Prep: Hot shower with Razorock/HTGAM lime pre-shave soap
  • Soap: Catie’s Bubbles “Pomander” beta version
  • Brush: Vie-Long Lord Randall mixed horse/badger
  • Razor: Ralf Aust 5/8 straight razor in faux ebony scales
  • Lather type: Bowl
  • Moustache type: Natural
  • Wax & Pomade: Ginger’s Garden beard oil & None
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse, RazoRock alum, Anthony Logistics ingrown hair treatment
  • After Shave: Old Spice
  • Balm/Other: Catie’s Bubbles whipped Shea butter
  • Fragrance: Prada Luna Rossa Extreme EDP

Review: TGGR “Essence of Scotland” “Sweet Gale”

Here is my first soap review of 2015 ! I have wanted to try this soap from the Gentleman’s Groom Room for some time, the soap being “Sweet Gale”. I have heard over multiple forums about the soap, and the infamous Cola scent associated with this soap. I had also heard iffy at best results, but all agreed these soaps the TGGR were interesting. I agree.  The video is 22 minutes but is a full straight razor shave and I talk about the ups and downs of this “interesting” melt and pour soap from Scotland. Here is a written breakdown, whilst being more generalized than the video. Enjoy ! – Aaron

Overview- This is an imported melt and pour from The UK specifically from Scotland. The contents are in a plastic clear 120 gram container, with apparent suspended particulates; probably spices and herbs. This is a very hard puck of soap, the unused soap had a considerable amount of bubbles on the top meaning there was direct pour into the jars and rapid cooling. There are no apparent signs that would lead me to believe this is either a cheap nor, a top line product. The cost was very affordable appx. $15 USD for 120 grams.

Aroma- They call this “Sweet Gale” or, myrica gale,  Wikipedia tells me Sweet Gale is shrub that grows in Bogs ! It is used in  everything from insect repellents to gruit which is an ancient way to spice alcoholic beverages,  and even to bouquets in royal weddings ! This little shrub really runs the spectrum. This soap is dominant of Sweet Gale and it listed as the first on the label. I personally did not pick up much scent upon lathering though by the last pass I was able to pick up a incense like quality. I can’t say I was overly impressed with the aroma, but it was not offensive it just could have been, stronger. It absolutely lived up to its reputation as having a cola like aroma, but this was pre lather in the tub, upon warming and lathering it was herbal, incense like and as I said above not offense and could have stood to be a bit more intense.

Lather- Simply put the lather started out very good. I used my Edwin Jagger best badger brush loaded for 60 seconds, and there was more than ample lather formed as the video shows. My complaint would be that as the passes went on, and more water added to my face the lather became unstable. I was disappointed here as the soap showed so much promise on the first pass.

Glide or, Slickness- As I mention in the video on a scale of 1-10 I would not go above a 2 or, 3. This was the biggest let down of the entire soaps use. On WTG passes it was not horrible as glide is not as pivotal, past that the soap was terribly dry even though visually, and consistency was spot on leading me to believe it was better than it actually was. This to me was the deal breaker.

Overall- An interesting soap with a decent lather amount produced. The aroma was meh at best with a incense like quality that some may like more than I. The packaging was on par for the price paid; simple plastic container with minimal graphic design. This is a melt and pour soap which IMO are harder to produce a really good quality soap though there are many out there ie. Mama Bears, Diamond bar soap, and Ginger’s Garden. This is not on par with any of these soaps I just mentioned. There was barely any slickness to this soap, and as a straight razor shaver that is a huge deterrent to use this soap, I also had a mild sensitivity to the soap, but that is my personal problem not a problem with the soap.

Recommended- Unfortunately no.

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  • Pre: Hot shower with Clinique face bar
  • Prep: Clarisonic Aria deep pore treatment
  • Soap: The Gentleman’s Groom Room “Essence of Scotland” “Sweet Gale”
  • Brush: Edwin Jagger best badger in faux light horn
  • Razor: Theirs-Issard 6/8 Sheep & Wolf C135 steel straight razor
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax: Dandy Candy soy free formula by Petal Pusher Fancies
  • After Shave: Fine “L’Orange Noir”
  • Balm: Soap Commander “Courage”
  • EDT: Geoffrey Beene “Grey Flannel”

SOTD: January 1st, 2015

Here we are 2015 ! Happy New Year everyone. Today’s shave I dedicate to Anthony Esposito aka, the “Stallion”. Anthony educates daily on the use of straight razors, and really took the style and ran with it ! I can’t think of a better person to start off 2015 honoring.

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I also use for the first time a Vie-Long “Lord Randall” mixed Horse/Badger brush for the first time, the video says it all WOW ! The video is a complete shave, and a bit long, but I really hope you enjoy and take something away from how I use a straight razor while navigating my facial hair.  – Aaron

  • Pre: Clarisonic with normal head and hydrogel
  • Prep: Hot Shower and Water
  • Soap: Barrister & Mann “Vetyver Santal”
  • Brush: Vie-Long “Lord Randall” mixed Horse/Badger
  • Razor: Dovo “La Forme” 6/8 shoulderless straight razor
  • Lather type: Face
  • Moustache type: Handlebar
  • Wax and Pomade: Pinaud Brown and Layrite Super Hold WB
  • Post Shave: Cold water rinse, RazoRock alum, Anthony Logistics IGHT
  • After Shave: Fine “Clean Vetiver”
  • Balm/Other: Alt Innsbruck Emulsion with a little Cremo balm
  • EDT: L’Occitane “Vetyver”