Grooming

More reviews to come…

In the next weeks I’m going to review a bunch of Stirling Soaps (see picture) as well as the only remaining soap to try from my honeymoon wet-shaving shopping (October 2016), that is, Local Gent. Shaving Company – Tobacco Lounge. If you’re asking why did I wait 2 years to try it, well… I don’t know! πŸ™‚ Probably the scent from the puck is not strong and inviting enough, but…who knows? Maybe I’ll be proved wrong πŸ™‚

The Stirling bunch includes some of the most loved scents in the whole range, like Ozark Mountain and Stirling Gentleman, while Ben Franklin looks like an outsider which could be a nice surprise to me. We’ll see! πŸ™‚

The Pro Proraso Brush

Today was a simple, but extremely enjoyable shave. I’ve used Trufitt & Hill products many times, but not with a very awesome, and super affordable brush; the Omega Pro Pros aka, the Omega Proraso Boar πŸ— which is the brother to the #48 professional, but with more backbone, and a lower loft. This brush happens to be part of Omega’s professional lineup. The handle whilst being thermo plastic has a great hand feel which is fairly large in circumference, as well as a nice loft, and damned if this brush isn’t filled to the brim with dense natural boar hair.

I always soak any brush for 3-5 minutes for the hair to absorb as much water as possible, and the follicle to expand as much as possible; making it softer, and more likely to splay, and really pick up and whip up a substantial lather.

The dimensions are IMO very nice coming in at,

Height : 133 mmΒ 

Loft : 65 mmΒ 

Base : 64 mmΒ 

Knot : 28 mm

Making the Proraso Professional fairly balanced between loft and handle, though the handle is full in hand, and that fully stuffed 28mm knot is dense, and full of backbone. After about a dozen or, so shaves you’ll notice the break in and will load the hardest French tripple milled soaps with ease.

The rest of my shave went without a hitch. I appreciate you taking a moment to look at this short review of a top notch brush, at a $10-15 price point. Keep smooth my friends.

  • Pre: hot shower with Musgo oakmoss soap
  • Prep: Proraso White
  • Soap: Truefitt & Hill Trafalgar
  • Razor: Fatip Nero
  • Blade: Bolzano (1)
  • Brush: Omega Proraso Professional
  • Aftershave: Pinaud Gents Gin
  • Lotion: Trufitt & Hill Trafalgar Balm
  • Fragrance: Burberry Brit
  • SOTD 8-10-2018 the Spice

    As they say, he who controls the spice controls…….. okay, enough Dune references. Today’s shave was fantastic. Everything from the New Forest Tubby-2 to the Oxblood Bakelite slant razor from PAA was superb. Not shown, but I’ve come to love the Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Star Jelly. It really has an additive effect to the overall shave leaving your face smooth and subtle. More in depth reviews on each of these products, are to come. For now here’s to staying smooth my friends ! Cheers 🍻

      Pre: Hot shower w/ Jack Blacks Face Buff
      Soap: Phoenix Arizona Accoutrements Atomic Pumpkin πŸŽƒ
      Blade: Gillette made Wilkinson Sword (1)
      Brush: New Forest Tubby-2
      Aftershave: PAA Atomic Pumpkin Star Jelly
  • Fragrance: Viktor & Rolf SpiceBomb
  • The 3 day crisis of 2018

    Wow rarely do I go 3 days without shaving, when I say rarely I mean never. This happened, and yes I feel the shame; yet the interest of a certain product made me excited to shave.

    So earlier this year we had a group razor and soap made, it was a phenomenal deal. The razor made by Riccardo Tonarini, is fully custom 8/8 set in Olive wood with a T10 bolt 1/4 hollow and French tip. The grade steel escapes me, but something like “awesome” comes to mind.

    So the 3 day challenge; I was ready to go like a kid on Christmas morning. Soap 70th Anniversary Saponifico Varesino… Check. Totally rocking Alpha Shaving & Brush co.’s T-400 Silvertip Badger brush…check. WSR Custom 2018 LE razor… BIG CHECK. So when your dealing with a razor this large being careful is sage advice. Luckily I made it though the shave with zero effort. Riccardo Tonarini my hat is off to you Prego Mille !

    Now I’m as they say BBS smooth, made it through the 3 day crisis of 2018′ and have gained more experience using large blades. This is where I leave all of you for now so as always thank you, and stay smooth !

    -Aaron

    The HeirComb-Beard and Hair Comb

    When you think of the different aspect of Beard care what first comes to mind? Moisturizing? beard oil or balm? Today I’m going to talk about the grooming aspect of beard care more specifically, I want to talk about beard combs. If you google beard combs online you’re gonna find a lot of brands that sell their own version of beard combs and what they claim is that their beard comb is the only comb you need to buy. I don’t necessarily believe that, not because I think their product is over rated or because it’s not worth buying, but rather a beardsman may need a different comb to fill different needs. I have several wooden beard combs all different sizes that get the job done. I like all my wooden combs for different reasons, but, I don’t use even one of them to comb the hair on my head. The wooden beard comb is not really meant to accomplish that. I also have a couple of handmade combs that I’ve tried using for moustache styling but get really warm when I’m using my wife’s blow dryer to warm the wax spreading it throughout my stache. I have a whole drawer full of beard combs that I use throughout the week. Why so many beard combs you might ask? The simple answer is, because I want to! I love beard combs and I can’t seem to get enough of them. I recently had a chance to try a comb from Heircomb.com If you read the about section it tells the story about how their company was founded when he came across the metal comb passed down to him from his grandfather. His grandfather used this metal comb everyday. Through thick and thin with all of life’s ups and downs, good time and bad times he always carried his comb. Years of living life day in and out and learning from your mistakes helps you grow as a person and gain wisdom. Eventually his grandfather passed his metal comb full of wisdom and glory down to him to carry on passionately throughout life gaining his own wisdom until one day passing it on again.

    Obviously I’m referring to the comb in more of a symbolic and not organic manner. His grandfather used his comb during the AH-HA and OH-NO moments in life. Passing his comb down is his way of saying without words, this is what I used everyday as I was becoming the man I am today, now it’s your turn. I get it 100% and I’m along the same train of thought when it comes to passing things down to my children. My eye glasses, watch and wallet are all small items to me but are the things I want to pass down to my children. My wallet represents my passion and strength in providing for my family and the sacrifices I made along the way. My watch represents all the minutes I’ve counted until the time I can be home with my family. My glasses represents trying to see the obstacles in my way of raising a family with good morals and judgement. They also represent seeing visions of the future when I retire so I can spend more of my time with my wife. I can add a comb to my list that represents pretty much what I described above. Heircomb states on their website, “Restoring American Pride…..Pride in our Family, Pride in Ourselves, Pride in our Country, Pride in our Products” and I think that’s a powerful statement. Our children today are living in a society that provides whatever they want when they want and tells them that they don’t have to work hard to get the things that they want. The pride of craftmanship, stewardship and just making a living through hard work and pride for what you do is slowly slipping away. Heircomb is simply saying, let’s make America great again even if it’s through smaller increments at a time so lets start with a smaller token that is useful in everyday life that you can take pride in, Enough about emotional stuff!……..let’s talk about the Heircomb shall we?

    I was very excited for the chance to try their ‘THE HEIR’ beard and hair comb. The comb came packaged in a sturdy cardboard box. The comb itself was sealed in soft plastic resting against a foam insert with the American flag printed right on the front. The first thing I noticed when unpackaging was the weight of the comb. It was neither to heavy or to light. The ‘THE HEIR’ comb is laser cut from T304 stainless steel. T304 is the most common used stainless steel in a lot of products including forks, knives, steel wires, medical and personal care instruments, automobiles, machine parts, so on and so on. The T304 steel comes from the family of 300 steel grades. The T304 is very soft and durable with a lot of long time reliability, better finish and durability, as soon as I held the comb in my hand I knew I was holding something special and one day could be passed on to my son or daughter. Measuring in at 5″ x 1 1/4″ ‘THE HEIR’ fits perfectly inside your pocket and is just the right size for beard management. The signature ‘H’ cutout located at the top gives this comb its own flair. The comb is dipped in their premium “Satin Black” polyester coating creating an effortless glide through your beard and the hair on your head. I used this comb every day for seven days straight and loved every minute of it. Every time I got a chance to I was in the bathroom combing my hair and beard. The polyester coating provides a static free ultra smooth glide that’s very important. The last thing you want is to be out and about or at work with your hair sticking up from static cling. That’s just no good for anyone! Each stroke of this comb through my hair and beard felt good on my skin, like a mini massage for my scalp and face. This increases circulation helping to promote hair growth. I really enjoyed using ‘THE HEIR’ beard and hair comb and I know you will to, all you have to do is try it for yourself and you will be happy you did. Thanks for reading!

    -TheNaturalBeardsman-

    You can also find me on Thebaldnation.com and my new website Thenaturalbeardsman.com

    You can find Heircomb.com on these other social media platforms.

    (1.) Instagram
    (2.) Facebook
    (3.) Heircomb.com

     

     

     

    Love those Almonds !

    Today’s shave reminded me of a few general rules of traditional shaving. Firstly a great soap does not have to be ultra expensive. The second is that you need to enjoy every part of your shave, from the soap to the method of hair removal. Lastly your shave should be memorable !

    Today’s shave hit every one of those three simple criteria. Natura Essenziale alla Mandorla is a modest Italian soft soap that cost around €5 and has a wonderful sweet almond aroma, and ample glide and cushion. This is also a vegetable based soap.

    I enjoyed literally every moment of today’s shave, from the prep using hot towels infused with almond essential oil to my 6/8 Thiers-Issard Bison Straight razor, to my post shave of Chella Cool by Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements. I took my time, and overall I’d say the experience lasted one and a half hours.

    Finally yes it was memorable on many levels. The soap reminded me of my friendship with a great friend I proudly call my brother. About a half hour before I was able to add another wonderful author to our page, and to the shave itself the individual components of soap, brush, razor and post shave delivered a close, no super close shave that made me proud that I stuck with using a proven soap, a freshly honed razor, and a vigorous aftershave that left my face feeling great, and smelling like I was going to conquer the world.

    What I suppose I am getting at, is make your personal shave count. The art of traditional shaving is so much more than one part, but the sum of all the parts combined. On this wonderful Saturday I wish you all happy shaves, and as always stay smooth.

    Orange 🍊 & Amber Delight

    I look forward to different days of the week; I usually have a theme for the day. Today happens to be Thursday so it’s from a “Tube”. Tubes ROCK ! They are usually compact, slick, and easy to travel with, compared to their rigid tub counterparts.

    Today was going to be great as I had chose Musgo Real “Orange Amber”. This is a great transition scent as we move between summertime, and autumn. So let’s get a closer look at this classic. Musgo Real was originally made in 1920 by the Portuguese Musgo Real co. the clock has turned, and the Claus Porto Co founded in 1887, acquired Musgo Real and is now formulated by Ach. Brito

    Appearance: 5/5

    Musgo Real no.1 Orange Amber is a 100ml tube of shave cream. The tube utilizes a aluminum based orange packaging, that seems to be of a little thicker wall. The Orange is bold with the Musgo Real logo; a crown πŸ‘‘ and a very utilitarian no.1 Orange Amber embossment. Simple and to the point making this a humble visual to the cream inside. This is a higher end cream despite its packaging and falls into that price point of $22 for 100ml or, 3.5 ounces.

    Performance: 4/5

    This mini review can be finished in two words; Lanolin and Glycerin. This is the base of this top shelf cream. This allows the cream to have amazing glide, as well as being moisturizing, and to leave your face feeling not only healthy, but smooth as we say a baby’s bottom. The only detraction in my experience is the moderate lather it produces; many would argue this is not an issue, but I like a little thicker lather. Brush used: Envy Shave custom Silver tip Badger.

    Fragrance: 5/5

    This is a subjective topic as always YMMV, and one person wonderful is another’s awful (Lilac Vegetal for instance). The aroma wafted up to me as I lathered the cream with my brush. A combination of orange and musk along with a pronounced Amber, benzoin smell. I don’t usually pick up on the aroma that quickly, but this was well formulated.

    Post Shave: 5/5

    Wonderful as the lanolin has done its job perfectly. My face felt like a dream with a BBS outcome, but no redness or, irritation anywhere after 3 passes, and a mild touch up. I really debated if a post shave splash or, balm was needed. I ended up using Fine Accoutrements Italian Citrus, with a drop of Aqua Velva musk.

    I hope this little overview of Musgo Real’s no.1 Orange Amber cream in the tube was somewhat helpful. I purchased this cream from Straight Razor Designs Musgo Real Orange Amber Happy shaves my friends, and stay smooth.

    • My daily driver- SS 303Phoenix Bomb Tip handle with a Merkur 41C OC
    • Blade: Gillette Silver Blue (1)
    • Soap: Musgo Real no.1 Orange Amber
    • Brush: Custom Envy Shave Silver tip Badger
    • Post Shave: Fine Accoutrements Italian Citrus & Aqua Velva Musk
    • Fragrance: Bvlgari Aqua Amara

    Just when you least expect to see something….

    …up it pops.

    Imagine – you are in India, Bangalore (I am here on a business trip) and you are going out for a casual dinner with colleagues. Fifteen minutes in a bumpy Uber car, you are desperate to get to the restaurant for a beer and you see, in the distance, an oasis…

    Imagine my surprise when I spot a Truefitt & Hill sign – “what’s this?” I say!. yes in the middle of Bangalore, on an ordinary street, is a Truefitt & Hill gents grooming salon and barbershop. I cannot help but go inside and 25 minutes later I am out with my swag having sniffed, oohed and aah-ed-Β  a bottle of Apsley cologne, a bottle of pre-shave oil and a tin of texture clay in my baggy.

    It certainly lifted my mood I can tell you. I even dragged in a colleague who also bought a nice cologne – Spanish leather I think he bought. I am the one with the mo.

     

     

    A nice, lightweight, travel setup

    IMG_3123

    All in all a great shave and not much chit to carry. Next time you travel – try going light!

    Hi All – my first post and what better way to do it than a SOTD. I travel a lot in my line of work and I am prone to “over-carrying” shave gear. I have been known to take 5-6 straights, 2-3 soaps, 2+ aftershaves and so on – not to mention lather bowls and strops.

    So this time… – I set myself up with a nice, lightweight, setup:

    Details
    Soap Arko Stick
    Brush My ΑΛΦΑ [Alpha} T-400 shaving brush with a nice 24mm Silver Tip knot
    Razor Merkur Futur
    Blade Feather on shave #2
    AS Joe Malone Sage Wood & Sea Salt
    Bowl Face lathered!!

    The shave was superb – I soaked the brush for about a minute in cool water and took that time to wet the Arko stick and rub a nice layer all over my face. I then face lathered for about 4 minutes – what a lather guys!!! I tell you all – Arko is THE BOMB – it is cheap, slick and whips up a nice lather in no time at all. Some folks hate the smell but to me it just smells like soap – fresh with a hint of citrus.

    Yes – look at the gel-tips!! If you want a brush like this one then give me a shout.

    The Shave

    A 3-pass – pass 1 WTG on setting #4. Pass 2 ATG on setting #4. Pass 3 ATG on setting #1

    All in all a great shave and not much chit to carry. Next time you travel – try going light!

     

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    I’m going to the ClubGuy !

    Okay who loves the classic Pinaud Clubman clean scent ? The only problem I have had was matching that scent to any other soaps than the scentless or, mildly scented like the original Arko stick or, to Ingram cream. Such a great scent over 100 years old and as time passed, well it stayed relevant, but harder to pair leading up until today in 2018. Well the folks at Phoenix Arizona Accoutrements about 5 years ago made made a tribute soap, aftershave, Star Jelly, and sport deodorant to pay homage to this classic ! Really you only need is the soap, and use your original Clubman aftershave. To bring your shave to the next level though I would alternate with the ClubGuy aftershave which has rose water, aloe, and menthol; if your looking for the modern feel of a classic aftershave.

    This is also part of a GIVEAWAY ! Watch the linked video, to know the easy way to get entered into winning this great set ! Stay smooth my friends – Aaron

    ClubGuy product spotlight πŸ”¦πŸ’‘