Skin Bracer


     Yeah, so I’m late to the party on this one. This classic splash (which you can’t even find on the Colgate/Palmolive website) is a knockout. Powder, vanilla, mint, and hints of oak and leather blended together to make a clean fresh scent with a blast of menthol. I never tried it, having used the Vijon Brut knockoff, thinking that since both are made by the same company, that SB was the “premium brand” ie rebottled at a higher price point. Boy, I was wrong. My one knock on the stuff is that it doesn’t last. But, it’s only an aftershave, so it’s not meant to, which is truly a shame. Overall, great stuff that knocks Clubman off its pedestal and goes toe-to-toe with Aqua Velva. 
PS-it pairs excellently with Charcoal Goods shaving soap. It’s all I’ve been using 

St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime”

I was introduced to SJOL a while back e.g. 3-4 years ago. St.James of London is made by Creightons the same as Trufitt & Hill, Geo F. Trumpers, and the last of the three “T’s”. I was instantly blown away that such an affordable product was so darn good ! Back then it was Cedarwood & Clary Sage; today I used an scent that would deceive.
Today I used a tube I stead of my larger jars of SJOL Black Pepper & Lime 🍋 it reminds me of a warmer place like the Caribbean, but also that spicy black pepper warms and invites those around you a bit closer, then they realize that initial Citrus also has a musk to it that is seductive and alluring. This unlikely scent is a winner for the winter ❄️! For the spring and the summer. This jewel of a scent will evoke a different response and memory each season.
What can I say about the rest ? It’s a Semogue 830 which is so well broken in could pass for pure Badger. If you do not have this brush; it is a staple for every traditional Shaver. The PAA Double Open Comb has done right by me. The DOC is affordable and attractive at that price point, just remember this is a buffing razor so buff away folks for that BBS shave. The Boulder from American Stonecraft I used as my lather bowl is worth this many of these $$$ and is a luxury; all these products work equally as well face lathered for free. That’s all I have to say, but if you contact Brittney McDermott or, Todd Fisher I am sure they would love to talk about St. James of London and match you up with the perfect cream and other products that fit your style perfectly.

Soap: St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime”
Brush: Semogue 830
Razor: PAA Double Open Comb
Blade: Gillette 7 O’clock SharpEdge
After Shave: Royall Muske
Post Shave: St.James of London “Black Pepper & Lime” gel
Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet 💐 — with Roberto Monanni and 6 others.

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

Dr. Jon’s 13 for WSR

Having had great success with our collaborative KSW soap/splash “Frosen”, we were excited to embark on another collusion. I’ve been a fan of Jon Eplin’s products since receiving a tin of Hydra (#hailhydra) from Nathan Clark (he’s not a brushmaker, he’s a Dr. Jon’s vendor that sells overpriced soap, BUT IT COMES WITH A FREE BRUSH 😉). I immediately was taken with the product. The artwork, the scent, how well it worked; this was very new at the time. Up till Dr. Jon’s (at that point Gentleman Jon’s), most non commercial products looked like they were put together by hand in someone’s spare time. That was part of the allure; the products held the “human touch”. Dr. Jon’s was very different in that regard, with its pop art labels and new yet similar scents. You’ve got a cologne (as in literal cologne [ie 4711, Farina]) scent, only with a huge grapefruit kick, a bay rum with a blast of tea, a barbershop, yet it isn’t, etc. All in all, a commercial style lineup and packaging, with a fresh twist on the whole package. This brings us to 13. We at WSR had been itching to work with Jon and were delighted when his schedule allowed it. 
Thirteen is host to a whole new batch of awesome from Jon’s company. Firstly, the soap formula changed, and for the better. Not only is the soap harder and longer lasting, it’s now palm free. Palm farming has become a huge ecological problem of late; with many farms coming into existence after razing old growth forest. In the South Pacific, these farms are critically impacting the orangutan population. So when you buy a product with palm oil, think of a baby orang separated from its mother. Then do the humane thing and set it down, and buy a sustainable alternative. In terms of the performance, I noticed no difference, save for the post shave. Same awesome lather, with same awesome cushion and glide, with better (IMO) post shave feel. So, what we have is an environmentally friendly soap that feels better on the skin. +1

Secondly, the scent. We at WSR put our collective heads together and came up with a combo of off-the-beaten path stinks. Hedione, Iso E Super, Musk, and Oud. We felt this combo would allow the scent to be multipurpose (day/night, cold/warm weather) and richly masculine, while not being your typical fougere or oriental type scent. Jon put together a knockout mix from our input. I’ve had people say I smell like fresh laundry, their grandfather, a movie star, etc. but the compliment I’ve received most is that I smell great. And that’s good enough for me. 10/10 it works every time.

Thirdly, there’s the awesome graphic art, which comes from the pen of Jason Kincaid a.k.a. McFly. The name and art came from the mind of Jon and Jason. Jon had the idea of the devil girl pinup, so of course 13 had to play a part. So, with the framework of a 50’s pinup devil who’d look at home on a Steve McQueen poster, 13 was born. 

All in all, we came up with an awesome idea for a scent, but Jon took that and ran, and ended up with a masterpiece. A great soap, with a great aftershave, with an even better scent (and my wife even likes it) with bitchin’ artwork. Where I’m from, we call that winning. Jon, we sincerely thank you for all your hard work. It was a pleasure working with you, and the end result is stunning.

Find out more about some of my favorite grooming productshand-turned shave brushesand bomb-ass artwork in these links

Journey to Italy – Part 2

In my previous article I wrote about two of the most iconic Italian products in the Wet Shaving fields, Floid and Proraso. If you remember, I also underlined the fact that I tend to use foreign products. This was particularly true until October 2014, when I took a train from Genova to Settimo Torinese with a close friend, to visit Extrò Cosmesi, run by Donato Ciniello, an extremely nice and competent guy who sells TFS (Tcheon Fung Sing, despite the name is a 100% Italian company) products as well as his own made colognes, moustache waxes, beard oils, shampoos, home fragrances, etc.

Donato was recommended to me by a fellow Wet Shaver, Adriano, who talked me about some of the TFS soaps and was so kind to send me a sample of Felce Italica (Italian Fern. Unfortunately, a discontinued soap). I was so amazed by both the scent and the performance of this soap that the first step was to add Donato to my Facebook friends, then getting some information on his products and finally purchase the train tickets to pay him a visit 🙂

That day of October I purchased several TFS soaps, Extrò Colognes, Donato’s homemade Bay Rum, made in batches which all differs from the previous one in composition, and a wonderful AS which has become a true favourite of mine, Pirata. The recipe of this AS dates back in the 40’s and is described as a “fresh, spiced old style fragrance”. Used with an atomizer is pure Aftershave Heaven!! I rarely buy the same product twice, this was an exception and I restocked during my second visit last year.

During the last year and a half I bought about a dozen of different Extrò Colognes, as you can see in the picture below. My favourite are Fresco (as the name suggests, a fresh fragrance for summer months), Arzakena (named after the Sardinian city of Arzachena, a myrtle scent), Tabacco and Farinik, a very strong tangerine and spices cologne which matches its related soap. Used as Aftershave, it will burn like hell, so I’d recommend it only for those brave enough to enjoy the burn feeling given by an alcohol-based AS! 🙂

Donato is also a straight razor aficionado, always looking for ancient razors to restore in the Sunday Markets around his town and he also sells strops and sharpening stones in various sizes.  Discover more at  Extrò Cosmesi WebSite.

Extrò

Me and my friend Claudio (smelling a bottle of Pirata AS) at Donato’s shop, October 2014.

Now I want to spend some words on TFS, since Donato is their main distributor and I had the pleasure of trying several of their products. The Chinese-sounding name comes from the fact that the founder was “a man, who was born in China and arrived in Italy in 1930. During the war he was interned in a prisoner-of-war camp and after the World War II he married an Italian woman. With his wife, he decided to found this society and following his knowledge in the field of soaps, he began to produce shaving soaps.”

The range of TFS soaps include different lines, from the basic, low-priced “monochromatic” jars (the most famous being the “Ciotola rossa”, almond-scented) to the luxury Linea Intenso, with different scents available (Bergamotto-Neroli, Tabacco Verde, Sottozero, Crazy Sandalwood and many others), from the Sensitive Skin line to the Torino Forti Sensazioni line launched in 2015, consisting of two scents, Corte Sabauda and Sotto la Mole, dedicated to the city of Turin, where the company is based. Other great soaps available are the ones dedicated to some of TFS and Donato’s friends, like Farinik (tangerine and spices), Ambassador (Tuscan lavender), Uncle Walter (Musk, Juniper). Finally, the latest addition to the catalogue is the Panta Rei soap, a “Manna” (see here) scented soap which I have still to try and will be one of the next purchases.

TFS are also makers of the new Figaro Monsieur, an oud-scented soap specifically designer for usage with DE and Straight Razors. The matching Aftershave is available, in a wonderful 400ml bottle.

After more than a year of constant usage of TFS soaps and AS Balms, my experience with ALL of these products has been ultra-satisfactory! The scents, the ease of lathering, the comfort during the shave, the wonderful post-shave sensation on the skin. There have been times in which I didn’t use any AS at all.

If you are wondering why I’m describing these products with so much enthusiasm, well, the answer is simple: because they’re excellent product at very reasonable prices and, most of all, because these products made me know great guys like Donato and Luca aka Farinik! 🙂 Which, in the end, I think it’s one of the best thing of our hobby: it allows to make wonderful friendships! 🙂

We’re at the end of our journey to Italy. I’m perfectly aware that there are other Italian products which were not covered in these articles (the first names which comes to my mind are Cella and Valobra), so I can’t exclude in the future there will be a Part 3.

ITALIAN VERSION – VIAGGIO IN ITALIA, PARTE 2

Nel mio precedente articolo ho avuto modo di scrivere di due tra i più classici prodotti italiani per la rasatura, Floid e Proraso. Se ricordate, ho anche sottolineato il fatto di come io tenda ad usare prodotti stranieri. Questo fatto era particolarmente vero prima di Ottobre 2014, quando presi un treno da Genova per Settimo Torinese insieme a un caro amico per visitare il negozio Extrò Cosmesi, gestito da Donato Ciniello, una persona affabile e competente che vende sia prodotti a marchio TFS (Tcheon Fung Sing, azienda italianissima a dispetto del nome), sia prodotti a marchio Extrò quali colonie, cere per baffi, oli da barba, shampoo, profumatori d’ambiente, ecc.

Donato mi fu segnalato e consigliato da un amico Wet Shaver, Adriano, che mi parlò in termini molto positivi di alcuni saponi TFS e fu così gentile da mandarmi un campione di Felce Italica (ahimè, sapone non più in produzione). Fui così folgorato sia dalla profumazione sia dalla performance di questo sapone, che il primo passo fu quello di chiedere a Donato l’amicizia su FB, poi di informarmi sui suoi prodotti e infine comprare i biglietti del treno per andare a fargli visita 🙂

Quel giorno di Ottobre ebbi modo di acquistare parecchi saponi TFS, Colonie a marchio Extrò, il Bay Rum artigianale di Donato, che viene prodotto in singoli lotti che differiscono ciascuno dal precedente quanto a composizione, e un meraviglioso dopobarba che è diventato rapidamente uno dei miei preferiti, Pirata. La ricetta di questo AS risale agli anni ’40 del secolo scorso e viene descritta come una fragranza fresca, speziata, old style.
Usato con lo spruzzino… è una goduria! E’ raro che io compri lo stesso prodotto due volte, Pirata è stata un’eccezione, poichè durante la mia seconda visita a Donato ho fatto scorta.

Nel corso dell’ultimo anno e mezzo ho acquistato circa una dozzina di diverse colonie Extrò, come si può vedere nella foto più sotto. Le mie preferite ad oggi sono Fresco (che come il nome suggerisce, è adatta per gli afosi giorni d’estate), Arzakena (una fragranza al mirto, che prende il nome dalla cittadina sarda), Tabacco e Farinik, una colonia dalla forte persistenza alla fragranza di mandarino e spezie. Usata come dopobarba, brucia moltissimo e mi sento di raccomandarla solo a quei coraggiosi che amano la sensazione di bruciore sulla pelle data dall’alcool del dopobarba (e anche dalla cannella, in questo caso) 🙂

Donato è anche un appassionato di rasoi a mano libera, sempre alla ricerca di vecchi rasoi da restaurare nei mercatini domenicali attorno alla sua città; nel suo negozio si possono trovare anche pietre per affilare e coramelle. Per maggiori informazioni, visitate il sito Extrò Cosmesi.

A questo punto voglio spendere alcune parole su TFS, poichè Donato è il loro principale distributore e ho avuto il piacere di provare molti dei loro prodotti. Il nome di origine cinese deriva dal fatto che il fondatore era un cinese arrivato in Italia nel 1930. Durante la guerra fu internato in un campo di prigionia e dopo la fine della Seconda Guerra Mondiale sposò una donna italiana. Insieme a sua moglie, decise di fondare questa società e, grazie alle sue competenze in materia di sapone, cominciò a produrre saponi da barba.

Il range di prodotti TFS include diverse linee, dalla linea base ed economica delle ciotoline monocolore (la più famosa delle quali è la Ciotola Rossa, alla mandorla) alla Linea Intenso, disponibile in diverse profumazioni (tra cui citiamo Bergamotto-Neroli, Tabacco Verde, Sottozero, Crazy Sandalwood e altre ancora), dalla linea per Pelli Sensibili alla linea Torino Forti Sensazioni, lanciata nel 2015 e consistente di due profumazioni, Sotto la Mole e Corte Sabauda, entrambe dedicate alla città di Torino, dove TFS risiede.
Altri ottimi saponi disponibili sono quelli dedicati ad alcuni degli amici di Donato e della TFS quali Farinik (mandarino e spezie), Ambassador (Lavanda toscana), Uncle Walter (muschio, ginepro).
Infine, l’ultima novità al catalogo TFS è il sapone Panta Rei, un sapone alla profumazione di Manna di Sicilia. Devo ancora provarlo ed è nella mia lista di prossimi acquisti.

TFS è anche la ditta produttrice del nuovo sapone Figaro Monsieur, alla profumazione di oud, pensato in maniera specifica per la rasatura con DE e Mano Libera. E’ disponibile anche il corrispondente dopobarba, nel classico bottiglione da 400ml.

Dopo più di un anno di uso costante dei saponi TFS e dei balsami dopobarba, posso dire che la mia esperienza con TUTTI questi prodotti è stata ultra soddisfacente! Le profumazioni, la facilità di montaggio, il comfort durante la rasatura, la splendida sensazione post-rasatura sulla pelle. Tutte ottime, e ci son state persino volte in cui non ho voluto usare dopobarba, tanto perfetta era stata la rasatura.

Se vi state domandando come mai stia descrivendo questi prodotti con tale entusiasmo, beh, la risposta è semplice: prima di tutto perchè sono ottimi prodotti a un prezzo assolutamente ragionevole, e, più di tutto, perchè grazie a questi prodotti ho conosciuto grandi persone come Donato e Luca aka Farinik! 🙂 Il che, alla fine, ritengo sia una delle cose più belle del nostro hobby: una parola tira l’altra e si finisce per creare bellissime amicizie. 🙂

Bene, siamo alla fine di questo nostro piccolo viaggio in Italia. Sono pienamente consapevole che ci sono altri prodotti per la rasatura italiani di cui non abbiamo parlato in questi due articoli (i primi nomi che mi vengono in mente sono Cella e Valobra); per questo motivo, non mi sento di escludere, per il futuro, una parte 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

B&M Barrister’s Reserve: Classic Splash

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    Upcoming from Barrister and Mann is his new line, Barrister’s Reserve. I was lucky enough to receive some tester packs from Will (more on that in a moment), so I’ll give my two cents on this splash.
    Will’s new addition is a standalone fragrance, designed to accommodate any soap or aftershave scent. With notes of “Grapefruit Zest, Mandarin Peel, Fresh Lavender, Dewy Moss, Patchouli Leaf, Sandalwood”, this aftershave is sure to appeal to any shaver.
    The scent itself is a chameleon of sorts, with roots in the late Sixties. A little bit Clubman, a dash of Lilac Vegetal, a dollop of Brut, a splash of English Leather, a spritz of British Sterling; all without becoming muddled. The interplay of notes gives the splash a delightfully retro, yet contemporary feel.
     As for the post shave feel? Top notch. The splash also contains witch hazel, glycerin, as well as several herbal components designed to soothe and tone the skin.
     Onto the fun bits! If this aftershave intrigues you, and you don’t want to wait for the official release, you may not have to! Simply go to my Instagram and check out the contest. Good luck to all who enter!

Journey to Italy, Part 1

Oh Italy, the Bel Paese… Art, beautiful places, women, food and wine! What about wet-shaving goods? Well, in these modern days there are still some old-school barbershops and wet-shaving raised a growing interest in the last 10 years. Together with the long-lasting Italian barbershop tradition, this makes Italy a very interesting place to visit for the enthusiast wet-shaver… Unless you already live here, as in my case, which makes things much less interesting… with some exceptions (more on this on Part. 2).

This couple of articles will be a short journey to Italy, talking about some Italian classics as well as other topics.

The first approach to wet shaving came when I was about 15. An old boar brush of my father, some tubes of Palmolive and Proraso, and for 2-3 years I wet-shaved (I still remember the strange looks my school mates gave me when I showed them the brush during the school trip to Naples in 1999. Ah the old good times!). Then, I don’t know why, I stopped and reverted to canned goo. I returned to WetShaving as soon as I started working. Probably earning money for the first time proved to be the deciding factor. TOBS Lemon and Lime came, as well as a big 200ml bottle of Trumper’s Extract of West Indian Limes AS. Since then, I never came back, the Soap Acquisition Syndrome grow year by year and I discovered great products made both in Europe and USA. Little room for Italian products, at least until I met with a guy I’ll talk about in Part 2.

The only Italian products which were constantly in my den were essentialy two classics of the Italian tradition. Floid (see Featured Image) and Proraso, which are sold at almost every supermarket here in Italy (especially Proraso, in its classic green packaging).

Floid: well, almost every barbershop in Italy has it proudly displayed in the cabinet. Classy, timeless, old-fashioned, it’s the perfect complement for an haircut, a straight-razor shave, a moustache-trimming. The (sadly, old. The new is an abysmal grey label. No comment.) packaging is wonderful, the light-yellow label and the smiling face splashing the AS are in the Italian aficionados’ collective imagination.  Not to mention the big orange atomizer!! 😀 I know that I’m not the only one who entering the bathroom and spotting the big Floid bottle can’t resist spraying some Floid on his neck and cheeks! This AS, moreover, is awesome in the hot summer month, providing an immediate sense of freshness! I never tried the spanish versions (Suave and Vigoroso) so I can’t compare them to the Italian one. All I can say is that if you love old-school scents, you must grab a bottle somehow!

Proraso: Proraso always makes me think about how mankind is strange: always seeking for things which can’t be easily obtained, often overlooking the local/national excellence. This thought is supported by serious evidence: me looking for the English and American soaps on one side, and many American friends who literally love Proraso and post several SOTD Pictures proudly featuring all the Range… Others ask where to buy it, and I often smile thinking about our local supermarkets. Given the price for a tub, about 2-3 Euros, they would feel like in Wet Shaving Paradise.

Those who know me are aware I’m always looking for that special and unique scents in my soaps, so… yes, I’m not really a fan of Proraso, since the scent is plain Menthol and I often got bored of it. This, however, doesn’t prevent me from saying that the performance of this soap, especially for the price, is top notch! Used in the summer months, Proraso will provide a very refreshing experience, as well as a thick lather which protects your skin while shaving.

Weird but effective tip:  add some drops of Floid on the tub and then build the lather. The scent will improve and the freshness will be multiplied x 2 🙂

 

The classic Proraso Soap tub, with its distinctive green colour.

 

ITALIAN VERSION – VIAGGIO IN ITALIA, Parte 1

Ah, l’Italia, il Bel Paese… Arte, luoghi meravigliosi, donne, cibo e vino! E per quanto riguarda la rasatura tradizionale? Beh, in questa epoca improntata alla modernità esistono ancora delle barberie vecchia scuola e la rasatura tradizionale è tornata a suscitare notevole interesse nell’ultima decina d’anni. Ciò, unito alla tradizione barbieristica italiana, fa dell’Italia una nazione molto interessante da visitare per l’appassionato wet-shaver… a meno di non abitarvi già, come nel mio caso, il che rende tutto molto meno eccitante… con qualche piacevole eccezione (su cui tornerò abbondantemente nella seconda parte).
Questa coppia di articoli vuole essere un breve viaggio in Italia, in cui parleremo di alcuni grandi classici italiani, ma non solo.
Il mio primo approccio alla rasatura tradizionale avvenne più o meno quando avevo 15 anni. Un vecchio pennello di mio padre, in setola, qualche tubetto di Palmolive e qualche ciotola di Proraso, e per 2-3 anni andai avanti così (ricordo ancora gli sguardi perplessi e stupiti dei miei compagni di classe durante la gita scolastica a Napoli, quando feci vedere loro il pennello. Ah, i vecchi tempi!). Poi, non saprei neanche dire perchè, smisi e tornai alle bombolette. Fino a quando, nel 2007, iniziando a lavorare ritornai alla rasatura tradizionale. Probabilmente guadagnare soldi miei per la prima volta ha influito notevolmente ed è stato decisivo. Una ciotola di Lemon and Lime di Taylor, una bella bottiglia da 200ml di dopobarba al Lime di Trumper, e via! Da allora, non son più tornato indietro, la SAS (Sindrome da Acquisto di Saponi) è cresciuta di anno in anno, consentendomi di conoscere prodotti straordinari prodotti sia in Europa sia oltre oceano. Nel mio regno/antro della rasatura, c’era poco posto per prodotti italiani, almeno fino a quando non ho conosciuto una persona, di cui parlerò nella seconda parte.

Gli unici prodotti italiani che hanno sempre avuto un posto costante nella mia rotazione erano essenzialmente due grandi classici della tradizione italiana. Floid (vedi immagine di copertina) e Proraso, che possono essere trovati pressochè in qualsiasi supermercato qui in Italia, specialmente il secondo, nella tradizionale confezione verde.
Floid: che dire, in quasi ogni bottega di barbiere in Italia fa bella mostra di sé una bella bottiglia di Floid, sul bancone, negli armadietti, ecc. Di classe, senza tempo e con un gusto piacevolmente retrò, Floid per me costituisce il perfetto complemento di un bel taglio di capelli, di una rasatura, di una spuntatina ai baffi. Il packaging, specialmente nella vecchia versione (sulla nuova, con un’orrida etichetta grigia, stendo un velo pietoso) con etichetta di colore giallo tenue, con la facciona sorridente mentre le viene spruzzato il Floid è qualcosa che è nell’immaginario collettivo degli aficionados. Per non parlare del mitico spruzzino arancione!! So di non essere l’unico che, entrando in bagno e notando la bottigliona di Floid, non resiste alla tentazione di spruzzarsi sul collo e sulle guance un po’ di dopobarba! 🙂
Tale prodotto, inoltre, è perfetto nei torridi mesi estivi, garantendo una immediata sensazione di freschezza! Non ho mai avuto modo di provare le versioni spagnole (Suave e Vigoroso) e quindi non ho modo di fare paragoni. Ciò che posso dire che è se amate le profumazioni old-school, dovete assolutamente prendere una bottiglia di questo classico intramontabile, in qualche modo!

Proraso: questo prodotto mi fa sempre pensare a come sia strana la natura umana: siamo sempre a cercare cose che non possono essere facilmente ottenute e spesso ignoriamo o tralasciamo di proposito le eccellenze locali e nazionali. Questo fatto è suffragato da prove concrete: il sottoscritto a cercare saponi in terre lontane da un lato, e molti amici americani che adorano letteralmente i prodotti PRORASO, al punto di immortalarli in numerose foto di Sbarbate del Giorno, chiedendo dove si possano acquistarli, ecc. E io nel leggerli sorrido al pensiero che se vivessero qui, con i nostri supermarket si sentirebbero in paradiso, visti i prezzi (2-3 euro a pezzo).

Quelli che mi conoscono sanno che son sempre alla ricerca di quel sapone dalla profumazione particolare, speciale e unica, e quindi… non si può dire che io sia un fan di Proraso, visto che la profumazione è mentolo schietto e tale profumazione mi stufa dopo poco. Ciò tuttavia non mi impedisce di dire che la performance di questo sapone è eccellente, a maggior ragione vista la fascia di prezzo! Usato nei mesi estivi, Proraso vi garantirà, oltre a una rasatura ben protetta, un’esperienza assolutamente rinfrescante!

Consiglio strano ma efficace: aggiungete qualche goccia di Floid direttamente nella ciotola di Proraso e montate la schiuma lì. La profumazione migliorerà e la freschezza raddoppierà! 🙂

 

 

Straight talk about Straight Razors

When I was a child I remember the feel of stubble on my fathers face; it intrigued my young mind. I also envied at 5 years old why I couldn’t grow this scratchy stuff that I loved to touch, it was a way I believe fathers, and sons bond; the physical contact as well as the manly aspect of the beard, and generations past that also looked at their grand fathers, fathers, brothers……or, whoever your favorite stubbled face growing up, and inspiring that youthful mind to think of the future that someday; I too will have stubble for my sons to ponder over.

How in the world does any of this have to do with Straight razors then, and removal of that moustache or, full beard ? A few month’s back I received a comment on my YouTube channel  that basically read “why is anyone taking advice about straight razor shaving from a guy with a full beard” ? At the time I had a chinstrap beard, not a full beard there is a difference, actually a very big difference.  So this is a good time to say why I choose to use a straight razor, and why a bearded man has a tougher job overall removing that face fur.

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Many people find that using a straight razor can be tough, and I won’t disagree. If it was easy we would be using a 5 blade cartridge razor. The straight razor shave is different in most aspects of the actual shaving from the 10-30 degree angle you shave at, to the grips and reverse grips to accommodate your face. Yes it is more difficult then some people would like. Other people instantly know this was meant for them;  it’s a time of reflection, accuracy, solitude and stress relief that is unique to any other form of introspective activity. I love using a straight razor ! there I said it loud, and proud or, wrote it (I was yelling in my mind). After a good 30 days most people find that while having a learning curve that ultimately the switch was well worth it. so lets get into some Straight talk.

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Straight razors are broken down to a few simple terms. The edge is the actual sharp portion of the blade that shaves, The remainder of the blade is known as the face. The toe is the end of the front portion, which may have different looks like round tip, French Point, Spike to name a few and there are more. The opposite of the edge is the spine which will lead into the shoulder which are stabilizers more for the mfg. then the shave. Finally for our purposes you have the scales which is the counter balance, and grip assist to the tang which is everything the blade is not. As we see there are some terms there, but don’t drown in the physiology of the blade just know every aspect of that blade whether you use it or, not impacts your shave. So what is right for you ? the first time Straight razor user.

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Lets make this simple, and black and white as there is so much non-sense in circulation you could be turned off by taking bad advice. here is a rule of thumb. Avoid Chinese razors in general as the quality is pretty much like everything else with that logo. It works, and will shave, but the upkeep can send you right back to your previous shaving device. I will be the first one to say a quality straight razor does NOT have to be expensive, it’s just not ! this is what sends many people to those Chinese blades is price, $30-100 is the lie that anything else is a small mortgage payment. Guess what you can get a quality vintage razor for that maybe less or,  even a brand new razor for $100; like the Ralf Aust base model which I still use today. The constant performance just is not there with any Chinese razor I have every tried. A straight Razor is an investment in you ! your worth the extra few dollars. I recommend buying a round point which looks like a sideways “U” at the toe, which will help you avoid cuts, and are in general,  just an all around go to for most gents. Next up bigger is NOT better. You will hear mathematical terms used that sound like your back in school. Some are 3/8, 5/8, 6/8, 13/16, 15/16, 8/8 and we can talk fractions all day, but at the end all that means is the width of the face (see above) of your razor. I recommend 5/8 for two reasons the weight, and feel is great for both beginner and veteran shaver alike. The second reason is back to the guy who questioned my facial hair, because you can maneuver tight hollow of your face easier allowing you some facial hair like a chin puff, any moustache, as well as some pretty awesome side burns without the fear of loss of blade control and bulkiness. Finally you’ll see a ton of scale options (again see above) ranging from plastic to celluloid, to even precious Abalone. I would encourage the plastic or, acrylic scales as they keep cost low, and there is nothing wrong until you know a straight razor is for you, to be prudent. To cut to the point I usually just tell people there is a brand called Ralf Aust sold by SRD that is made in Solingen Germany the city of blades known for high quality carbon steel,  and it fits every recommendation I said above. Just do not forget to buy an introductory strop as well it’s not an option. Down the road once you get the technique down as permits get more bling razors, but remember this is an investment, and I promise you will never find a successful business that didn’t crawl before it ran so take your time, and enjoy it !

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one last thing before I go. Never let anyone say you cannot use your DE/SE razor, and a straight razor in the same shave why give up a DE or, SE razor !…. I don’t know about everyone else, but I invest in myself, and trust me all three of those razor belong in my life, and maybe yours too. Shave on everyone, I hope this helped a bit. – Aaron