Video

Extro’ Tabacco Shaving soap and After Shave Review

An in depth video review of Tabacco by Extro’ Cosmesi. We will discuss both the soap & after shave created by Donato Cinniello, brought to me from Paolo Tondi of TVB Shaving. If you love Tobacco scents and top end European artisan shaving look no further than Italy and Extro’

  • Soap (croap) – Extro’ Tabacco
  • Brush: Marfin no.69 custom Italian Briar Silver tip badger
  • Razor: Vintage Dubl Duck GoldEdge straight razor
  • After Shave / EDT: Extro’ Tabacco

How to strop for beginners

Hello out there ! It has been quiet sometime since I have posted here, and this post is a great informative, concise, and correct way to strop a straight razor; especially for the new shaver. Now before I post the video I want to thank Lynn Abrams of Straight Razor Design and Straight Razor Place for allowing me to share his video. I could make a stropping video, but how do you improve what a living legend in the industry has already done. I consider myself very blessed to befriend such a giving and generous gentleman who is the worlds true Honemeister. I will add my .02 cents now though of course and dispel what stropping is, and why do it. This video is dedicated to @mickeyobe who requested a stropping 101 style video.

Stropping is not honing; honing is when you remove metal from your razor to sharpen or touch up the edge of the razor to make it shaving sharp again (That is the most direct, and basic description of honing) period. So what then is stropping, and why do I always say to buy a strop with your first straight razor ? Stropping inn my opinion is actually more important, again in my opinion; as you do it every time you shave before and/or, after. What stropping does is pull all those micro pieces of the edge, and basically like in basic training says get in a straight line ! Stropping is what tidies up all those erratic shards of microscopic metal the previous shave displaced ! yes your beard is really that strong, and literally pulls everything so it’s going in the same direction. This makes your shave more comfortable, the edge last longer, and finally you the new straight razor user interested in the art yes I said “art” of straight razor shaving. On closing yes there are many types of leather you can use for a strop as Lynn says in his video; I use Kangaroo personally, but also own Latigo, and English Bridal. For the new shaver buy yourself a nice Latigo strop also sometimes called a starter strop (I loathe that term), and go with 3″ these are only suggestion, you can use whatever you want to buy, but be forwarned just as honing is a skill stropping is as well, and strops are leather hence if you cut it, you have to replace it. I personally would replace Latigo than English Bridal, and hey Latigo is just fine to use don’t let a lower price tag make you think it’s less effective. Now get out there buy yourself that straight razor and strop and watch this video ! slow and steady wins the race, Shave on !  http://www.straightrazordesigns.com 

  • Aaron

 

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

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”

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”