A Wet Shaver PReview

This 2018 has been a tough year for me. Hence the few posts here on the website, as well as on the various Facebook groups. Nonetheless, Wet Shaving remained one of my favorite hobbies, helping me to relieve the pains of my personal life.

Moreover, this has been a year in which my wallet told me “Thank you Roberto!”, since my purchases have been few and selected ones.

Among these, there are the new Pinaud Clubman aftershaves: Whiskey Woods, Gents Gin and Brandy Spice.

New Pinaud AS

This short post is just a preview of a series of three articles in which I’ll try to give my thoughts about these three new products by the glorious American brand. In doing this, I will propose some (IMHO) good Soap/AS pairings featuring these products.

Are they as good as their classic line brothers? Do they really add value to the whole range of products of Clubman? Stay tuned!

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

Tips for Straight Razor Beginners

  1. Watch lots of videos on how it is done. Read lots of information. BEFORE you start. I recommend the “geofatboy” and “mantic59” videos on YouTube
  2. Take your time – enjoy it. Waving around a surgically sharp blade in the bathroom is NOT for the times you are in a hurry.
  3. Soap dilution matters – don’t make the lather to pasty or the razor will skip. Slick is the trick.
  4. Shave prep matters – use a pre-shave. I use a number of different ones – Prep, 3P and Proraso. Sometimes I use a pre-shave oil
  5. TAKE NOTE – it is very very important to stretch your skin in order to get a good result.
  6. Did I say stretch your skin….
  7. Don’t get too caught up on which hand you use for which side of the face. I use both hands but it is not a hard and fast rule of left for left and right for right. Getting the razor positioned is far more important. Being able to both position the razor and also stretch the skin properly means, to me at least, that I use a combination of hands/sides that may seem unorthodox but hey it is MSMY!! as they say (My Shave My Way)
  8. Don’t get caught on the trap of thinking that pressing the razor to your face will mean a closer shave – it only means you cut yourself. A closer shave takes only a sharp razor, good soap and a good technique
  9. Don’t think you are going to get BBS straight away. Don’t make the mistake of shaving again and again to try and get it… on my second shave I did 5 passes and boy oh boy when I alum blocked did I suffer. I must have taken off way too many layers of skin and was sore for a day or more after. The mantra is be patient and gentle. No matter what you do the shave will be more satisfying and closer than with your cart.

YOU WILL ENJOY IT MORE!!

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

 

 

 

The maiden Voyage of Jayaruh #215 c/w Delfts Donderslag

SOTN 29/SEP/2018

The maiden shave for Jayaruh #215 – it was superb. I spent three days breaking in the boar before this first shave:

  • JMG Steelworks Kamisori
  • Delfts Donderslag
  • 3p Preshave

The brush worked its magic – look at the pics. The soap is ACES – that very special smell you only get after a summer thunderstorm, captured beautifully. 2-pass BBS.

Aromas – like I said that sweet summer smell that only comes after a thunderstorm has passed. Just like being on summer vacation. It is rich, heady and I just want to keep sniffing it. The lather was awesome too. The flavor notes are quoted as the fragrance of Parisian Lavender and Black Amber. Combined with these main scents is a mysterious Black Myrrh, Dulcet Vanilla, Tonka Bean and a splash of Egyptian Musk and Clary Sage. I get the sage notes and the amber as well. It is overall a wonderful soap.

I have two others from the same artisan and have not tried them yet – Soek and Wit. Soek – myrrh and orange with middle notes of ginger, cinnamon and cloves. It is then rounded out with caraway seed and vanilla to give it a warm, soothing feeling. This scent is a fine balance of spice, warmth and sweetness. Wit – woody scent that has notes of Italian bergamot, apple wood, tonka bean, patchouli, cedarwood, and oakmoss. And if that isn’t enough, it’s finished with cardamom, vanilla bourbon and allspice!

I cannot wait to try those two. Buy them while you can guys as when they are gone they are gone forever as Scheermonnik will no longer make shaving soap!

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.

Creamo Cream as Pre Shave

Creamo Cream as pre-shave.Creamo Cream is a very different kind of shave cream.  It is in a class of creams known as non-brush based shaving creams.  You don’t use a shaving brush to lather it or apply it.  In fact, it doesn’t really lather at all.  The cream that is produced is more like what you would get from lathering up a bath soap.  The thing to remember when using Creamo is that it requires a lot of water.  And what it really excels at is slickness.  You can use it to shave without anything else and in fact I do use it for a full shave some times when I am in a hurry and will be satisfied with a one or two pass shave.  But I don’t find this nearly as enjoyable of an experience as using a more traditional brush based soap or cream.

But the other way that I frequently use it is as a pre shave.  Applying Creamo Cream as a pre shave really makes that first pass very smooth.  The scent of the original classic Creamo is a fairly strong orange scent which I also enjoy.  And since Creamo is very thirsty, applying a layer of soap over it will keep it from drying out.  All in all using Creamo as a pre-shave for one of your favorite shaving soaps that you have lathered up will give a very nice shaving experience.  Try it and see what you think.

Review

In this particular instance I have used Creamo as a pre-shave for Barrister and Mann’s Sandalwood Latha.  This soap is unfortunately out of production.  But I have used it quite a bit and really enjoy it.  The scent is a somewhat sweet and very rich sandalwood based soap.  It is more like a cologne I think and I kind of believe that it is the smell I would get if I were inside the Taj Mahal.  The Latha soap itself lathers up fairly easily and is not thirsty.  It can become a bit thin if you get too much water in it.  It is fairly slick and generally good in all aspects.

I purchased another tin when I heard they were going out of production with it. In this case I also purchased the AS splash with it. This splash is a non-alcohol based splash and I have found it to be extremely soothing.  And unfortunately I don’t see that B & M makes another AS splash like this either.  For what it’s worth I really enjoyed using the Latha series Sandalwood.  It has been an incredible daily shaver.  I wish I could find something similar.

Blade

This blade, Ladas Super Stainless, was a new choice for me.  It is quite sharp but a bit harsh.  I tend to like the platinum coated blades more than the stainless ones.

Details

Soap Barrister and Mann Latha Sandalwood
Brush Semogue 630
Razor Rockwell 6c, plate 4
Blade Ladas Super Stainless

 

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 👑 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