shave gear

6 shaving tips that changed my life forever- Mark Herro

Just follow the link to a better shave every time ! 

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/6-shaving-tips-that-changed-life-forever.html

Mark Herro Aka Mantic59 again takes your shave to the next level ! Thanks for everything you do Mark ūüôŹūüŹĹ

Aaron’s Pick- Asylum Rx SE: By Ronald Davenport Sr.

The Asylum Rx like many new production razors, are modern¬†“SE” or, injector light styles. The Asylum Rx, IMHO sets itself apart in many ways from looks to the shave itself.

Our friend on the WSR Facebook Page who is equally as unique in a good way, has an opinion, and he is not afraid to voice it ! In steps Ronald Davenport, a Renaissance man in many ways, and a observant practioner of observation, as well as trial and error; will find every nook and cranny of his ever growing wet shaving collection; often posting these musings on the Facebook page. In steps Ronald in his own words about the Asylum RX !! Thanks for your contribution good sir !

 

 

Asylum RX Razor I would start off with good Pre-Shave discipline. Using a stiff Boar for a well exfoliated growth area. Then Pre-shave Oil followed by hot towels. Then my favorite Boar, but that’s just me. Remember, you get out of a shave what you have put into it (IMHO). If you are in the workforce and have a busy out the door routine, well maybe save this experience for a day off or at night. Out of the box one will notice the fine finish on this pleasantly satin metal. That and the style. It’s like a Jaguar sitting there ready to start. The fit of parts are so tight which makes this Razors curves smooth and sleek. We could hardly ask for a more sweet sexy looking instrument. As I write this, I still have a BBS face, well almost, and I shaved last night at 8 pm. It’s now 2:30pm, I have a medium to heavy beard too. Yes I chase a BBS Shave. As far as numbers? I don’t have a number where I get to and then done.
Sometimes I reach a four pass and touch ups, because touchups are a pass in themselves. When I get to a point that I’m happy with the shave, then I’m done. Much has been written on the topic of ‚Äú Comfort vs. Closeness‚ÄĚ. However the less scraping on our faces the better. That’s where this Asylum RX SE comes in. With a Feather Professional SE Blade ( subjective ) I think one will find an instrument which reduces the amount of work it ( razor ) is tasked with. Without reservations I can honestly say this razor gave me the best shave I have ever had, from any shaving system. This in itself, in my world is a feat, as I am a (BBS chaser), and I never expected to have this razor give me a shave even approaching a straight shave. The weight and balance are ideal. Not all of the heft is balanced, top is lighter and mostly in the handle, which speaks of how well it maneuvers in all those tight spots. Handle length is just right for a big hand but not to long for a Lady’s hand. Something about angle. Just with the eyeball it may appear to be an extreme slant when compared with some modern SE razors. However when compaired with most vintage SE standing up on the base of the handle, the angle of the blade will be very familiar, pretty close to most Vintage SE.
It was designed to take the Feather Pro-Blade or equivalent, however the Pro-Guard blade will not work. Speaking of blades, most SE blades are rounded on the ends, right? also on the safety bar there end guards or stoppers to hold the blade even. We find this feature on most Vintage SE like MMOC by Gem. Good feature. One person from a well-known talk-ey forum said this; ‚ÄúWell, if you like aggressive razors the Rx is right up your alley. I enjoy my Rx. Incredibly efficient with a Kai blade, whether a Captain, Titan Mild Pink or the ProTouch MG. All provide smooth and clean shaves. The Feather Pro and the Rx? Now that’s when it really shows its true colors. Viciously sharp, but efficient and if used with a very light touch and care, amazing.
A friend sent me a couple samples of the Pro and I bought 3 boxes with a coupon code from a vendor I purchase from. For me, it’s the pinnacle in achieving a fantastic, BBS shave daily. Only my 2 prized straights, Wade¬†& Butcher Wedge and Boker Celebrated are on par with it‚ÄĚ. This Razor is at the top of the Food Chain, alongside Muhle R41 (2011), and the Icon ShaveCraft Tec,. ATT H2 and lest we forget, the most aggressive adjustable, MERKUR VISION 2000.
Thank you again Ronald, this is what we at the WSR are all about, our members helping the wet shaving community; you have the hands on knowledge. It’s¬†an honor to us to post your review. – Aaron
If anyone is looking to have a review on any Grooming, Wet Shaving, Pipes, Pens or, anything that you are passionate about; please contact Aaron Schecter either on the Facebook group page or, at aschecte@gmail.com

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

 

Mei√üner Tremonia “Strong “N Scottish”

Today is long over due, and I have been meaning to get this out there for at least a month now, but as they say “life gets in the way sometimes”. I’m really excited to talk about today’s soap as it is the “Other” Mei√üner Tremonia¬†¬†soap I have used. I had stated in my review of “Dark Lime” from Mei√üner Tremonia; I felt each of their soaps had a specific skin type in mind when they were made. I also complimented German products as some of the most stringently controlled and tested products in the world, be it a car, boiler, or shaving soap I do not feel they cut any corners. So lets get to it, and talk about some suds !

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Packaging – As with the other offerings from Mei√üner Tremonia¬†I felt like I was more opening a box that would contain jewelry or, some other precious item. The packaging was for a refill that as you can see in the photo above, is encapsulating the soap in a foam protective form fitted case. The actual box is like I said nothing to say lightly, this is thick; not your typical thin refill box. The label is fairly basic in design but says a lot… it is that German minimalist thing, less is more and the box, basically says Finest Shaving soap with Scotch Whisky and Wool Fat. Keep that in mind down this review a bit. The back also lists a very different ingredient list than “Dark Lime”, again I believe each soap is intended for a specific skin type. We will get to that in a moment. So as far as packaging goes; don’t throw these out, I can think of many things worthy of the protection these boxes can be used for or, recycle them. Either way we are off to a good start !

Scent- This is a very love it or, hate it scent I will not sugar coat that. This is where that back label starts to tell us a lot about what to expect for the scent. The third ingredient is Whiskey ! the other two before it are just an oil and a hardening agent stearic acid as well as both NaOh & KOH salts to make this a shaving soap. Further down the list, but more potent in aroma you see types of wood like Cedar wood, and Juniper wood tar and Lanolin ! These all play a role in the scent you will experience.¬†I would describe this a believe it or, not¬†“like” a smoker used in smoking barbecue !¬†Similar to a southern pit that is smoke, wood, and most of all whisky ! instantly I was thrown back as I expected to smell only Scotch Whiskey, and that just is not the case. So in this department, I have to say if you were to blind buy this you may be saying “what the heck did I just get”. Please do not think I am saying it is a bad aroma, actually, I am saying it is way more complex then just whiskey….this is a smokey, woodsy, and whiskey scented soap where these scents blend wonderfully to create what most whiskey lovers would probably find to make a very fine libation. Do not drink this soap……I promise a different result from actual whiskey will ensue.

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Lather-¬† Again different soaps for different skin types and this is evident again by simply reading the back label ! The lather is absolutely on par with some of the best soaps I have used. If I was to compare it to it’s same brand “Dark Lime” I would describe the two as complete opposites, “Dark Lime” was wonderful so don’t misinterpret my words, but “Strong ‘N Scottish” was more my type of lather !¬†Cushioning is an understatement, easily no matter what brush or, water type I¬†threw at this soap it was fairly consistent; Thick, Creamy, and aromatic with the scents mentioned above staying with the¬†lather throughout the shave. Also worthy of mention is the reddish tint to the lather, which is mild and easily seen while making¬†the lather as a result no doubt to the red clay they use (again on the label) I found it unique. Post shave this lather left my face super soft due to the¬†lanolin that is in this specifics soaps formulation. I believe we are all starting to see with this brand each soap is formulated differently, where as “Dark Lime” is great for oily skin, “Strong ‘N Scottish” is meant to leave¬†your face fully¬†moisturized. It does however omit the Shea butter that¬†is in¬†other offerings. Just my¬†opinion, but I’ll take Lanolin any¬†day.

Slickness/Glide- What can I say here….. it is fairly straight forward. I would have to say aside from Scent, this is the only other place YMMV. For me as a primarily straight razor shaver, Glide is without a doubt your number one concern. Mei√üner Tremonia¬† has done an adequate job creating a slick soap…I can’t really say much more, except, make your lather properly ! Too much water or, too hot of water will make this a thinned out mess that is rendered sub- par, not enough water, and you will have an airy and again sub-par lather with little to no slickness. I always recommend start drier, and add water to your desired consistency. With a DE or SE razor….I would think you¬†would get great results fairly fast, and without much thought. I am not a DE shaver nor, do I put little thought into shaving with a straight razor held to my neck ! I make sure the lather is slick as can be, and this soap absolutely delivers ! Just take your time to “learn” the soaps nuances, once you dial it in there are few soaps that I find commercially that will¬†come close to¬†¬†Mei√üner Tremonia¬†“Strong ‘N Scottish”.

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In Conclusion-¬† No matter how slick or great a soap performs, you need to enjoy using it; on the most basic of level. That most basic level are two things “Do you like how it smells” you don’t want to gag through your shave, and “Does the lather hold up” no razor burn ! So based on this, same as with other offerings by literally every soap maker, there is a place in someone’s den for a Smokey Woodsy and Whiskey soap ! I would personally find this a great winter or fall fragrance as it just feels like that to me. Many could argue it reminds them of barbecue, and they would be 100% correct. Scent is subjective and to my senses I found this soap to meet the mark that I would say it’s worth a try, but remember the dominant notes ! this is not a mint julep !

Secondly the lather, as said above and again every soap has its own ways, and this is no exception. I found this soap when started a bit drier and worked into a rich & creamy lather with tons of glide was simple ! 2-3 minutes and I was on my way to a BBS shave !

My last thoughts to convey are pairings being this is such a unique blend of scents is what to use for an aftershave. Well you have a few options. My¬†first reaction is to make sure you know Mei√üner Tremonia¬†makes after shave splashes and lotions. They unfortunately do not say “Strong ‘N Scottish” or, “Dark Lime” though what they do offer will compliment their entire range of soaps as all the after shaves have a wood note combined with beer or, wine etc. or, even a unscented version. I am a fan of unscented with this particular soap as its just that unique. If you wanted to get adventurous a fine musk or, even a Bourbon infused bay rum will work well with this….Just don’t rub Scotch whiskey on yourself….. try explaining that to the police !

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Would I recommend this- YES , but please judge the soap against itself not it’s name as this is a very complex soap with way more than whiskey in its vein.

You can find Meißner Tremonia  at these distributors

www.straighrazordesigns.com

http://www.meissner-tremonia.de/

 

Diary of a Road Warrior: Travel Tips

How do you bring the comforts of home while traveling for business or pleasure? Simple, bring your gear¬†with you! The trick is to pack them in a way that won’t take up space and provide some variety. Why limit yourself, or worse, shave with¬†that ‘Goo & Plastic’ while away. First, decide what you would like to bring and where are you going. If you’re going someplace warm & tropical, perhaps Coconut Cream Soap or something that smells like The Beach (wink wink). For me, there’s nothing better than a nice mentholated freeze when visiting someplace hot & humid. I have tried many travel cases & toiletry bags and found that eBags is the absolute best for traveling with your shaving stuff. ¬†My shaving gear packs nice and flat ¬†without sacrificing space in your luggage.¬†¬†At only 2-1/4″ thick, you’ll be amazed how much shaving stuff you can pack into it! My travel bag wasn’t cheap, but it works well for me, as I’m able to fit all my gear with room to spare.

Remember, variety is the spice of life and as you can see, I travel with a number of soaps, lotions, splashes and razors. All you need is to find the containers to ‘right-size’ the amount needed for your journey. Let’s start with soaps. My TOBS Sandalwood is always with me and the container tubes work just fine for travel. Tabac is another go-to soap that’s Always with me when on the road. Since the a Tabac jar is glass and very heavy, I simply added shavings that I pressed in a Tupperware container. ¬†I also travel with the matching AS & Cologne, which I placed into miniaturized containers. ¬†By the way, eye dropper containers work great for cologne and AS , as well as little vials pictured. I think vials can easily be found with the local crack dealer (only kidding!). ¬†The eye dropper contains my Tabac AS and the vial has Tabac cologne. Both are secure and have never leaked. Another tip is to bring your favorite AS/Cologne in travel sprayers that can be found in any fragrance specialty store. I found mine in Perfumania in the mall for a few bucks. I have two that I have brought along for my journey. The red sprayer has Al Fin and the clear has Penhaligon’s . ¬†I sometimes travel with more than two razors, but for this trip, decided on just two. Below is a list of what I’m ¬†traveling with this week:

  • Preshave:
    Homemade Oil (in bottle w/ black cap)
    Proraso Green (small round container w/screw top lid)
  • Soaps:¬†
    TOBS Sandalwood
    TOBS Coconut
    Tabac (in Tupperware)
    Soap Commander Courage (Sample)
    WSP Black Amber Vanilla (Sample)
    Trumpers Eucris (round container w/ screw top lid)
  • Aftershave & Cologne:
    TOBS AS Gel (Sandalwood)
    Soap Commander Balm (Courage)
    Al Fin (Red Travel Sprayer)
    Tabac AS (eye dropper container)
    Tabac Cologne (tiny bottle)
    Penhaligon’s Endymion
    Osage Rub (mouthwash travel bottle)
  • Razors:
    Vintage Gillette Black Handle SS
    EJ DE89L
  • Blades: Voskhod
  • Brush: Plisson Synthetic with Travel Container

 

Written by: Peter Charkalis

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Shaving and Traveling ? Lets make it easy !

Travelling and traditional shaving for the modern wet shaver can be a daunting challenge or, is it ? I remember when I first started shaving we did not have the artisan community pumping out soaps, creams, and aftershave at lighting speeds, but that was back in the early 1990’s. Today’s wet shaver is living in a time only rivaled by the early 1900’s when we were literally liberated; from having to see a barber to have a shave 1-3 times a week, now we can do it ourselves. What happens though when we travel ? Be it for work or pleasure the world has become smaller with invention of travel like flying, railways, and even just long car rides. What absolutely changed was our options as wet shavers….. I in the last year alone 2014 have lost count of the amount of razors being made for distributors as private labels, soaps that are private or, artisan made, finally we still have the “big” houses of razors, soaps, and blades. How do we travel with all this and how do we keep the TSA from charging us more in baggage claims because we brought a few extra soaps, after shaves, and a few razors. Well the solution is way simpler than you may think, trust me I travel for work on a regular basis, and have to an extent gotten into my groove, so this may just work for you too !

The first thing I would invest in if you do not have one is a bag known as the “Dopp bag”. Simply put it is either a single or dual zippered bag about the size of a lunch box and this is home base for you shave gear. I have a few Dopp bags I use depending on how long I’ll be away. Lets assume for this article it’s for a week.¬†Now I need you the reader to kind of trust me on this one, but only you can answer this question. What is most important to you in your shave ? is it the razor ? soaps ? changing up different blades ? After you answer this simple question your on your way to packing you Dopp bag more efficiently. For me it’s usually soaps, I am a 3017’er, and have more soap than I will ever use, but when I travel soap sticks are king. If you have a favorite soap chances are they make a shave stick version. If you do not travel often not all is lost, if you don’t want to use soap sticks invest in a few small containers that you can place some creams or, ¬†soap in so you don’t have to clog your Dopp bag up with 5 full tubs of soap. I still would recommend multiple shave sticks, but the mini container method is still VERY viable, and will save tons of space.¬†You also have the option if you want to bring only 1 maybe 2 full size tubs…. keep in mind though this is taking up space, exactly what we want more of.

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Next up is the brush, this is an important choice. A brush on average takes 3-4 days to dry completely depending where you are both temperature wise, humidity, and elevation. I love my badger, boar, and now even horse brushes but when traveling…..Synthetic all the way. The newer synthetic brushes dry within an hour and 1 single brush can be used for your entire trip. I usually bring 2 as I believe in redundancy just in case something goes wrong with the first brush. Today also synthetic brushes are near as good as any natural fiber, and usually cost less and some prefer the synthetic feel. My personal favorites are the Plisson, Vanguard by Dreadnaught (Blue Beard in the EU), and the Omega Syntex. If for any reason you want to or, have to use natural hair brushes, never dry them with a blow dryer let them naturally dry, and I would only bring 1-2 as the last thing you want is mold to start growing in your favorite Silvertip. Remember the outer bristle may feel dry, but it can still be wet towards the knot.

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How to travel with your razors and brush you may ask ? I would NEVER just throw a razor and brush into any bag and jump on a plane or, in my car. I personally use or reuse actually the boxes that my Simpsons brushes and WSP brushes came in they are the perfect size to hold you razor or brush and fit perfectly in any Dopp bag I have ever seen with tons of room for your other gear, other use Altoids tin filled with foam, toothbrush holders for straight razors and over sized pill bottles for your brush ! just be sure to store the brush as dry as possible, and drill holes for ventilation.  for your soap, they make travel tubes that work wonderfully !

 

Next up is your aftershave……this all depends how you travel. If by plane it’s going in your luggage and into a cargo hold…..all I can say here is I wish you the best of luck ! if you are traveling any other way if you followed the above advice and brought shave sticks and boxed your razor(s) and brush(es) you can actually fit a few FULL sized bottles of aftershave. If you want to like I do save more space, you can decant jus enough aftershave into travel tubes they are about an ounce for the larger ones, I have seen them as small as a 1/4 ounce. This is also true for your balms.

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By this point if you are looking into your Dopp bag and saying WOW ! I still have a ton of room in a tiny bag….. well throw your deodorant, facial soap in a container, styptic pencil, alum, 3 oz. shampoo, and whatever ever else makes you feel a bit closer to home in there.¬† This method yes involves a bit of compromise and even maybe a bit of sacrifice in your daily routine. I will say though always keep in mind travel is temporary, and even when we as wet shavers make compromise or, travel “light” we are still leaps and bounds beyond our friends that are traveling with canned goo and the newest 20 blade cartridge razor as we will still have more options than they will EVER have in a single tiny Dopp bag. Oh and blades….. a 5 pack is enough usually for 2 weeks of travel, so go nuts ! I would recommend a mini Altoids tin to¬†keep your blades in, and organized just remember to clean the sugar out before you throw your blades in there.

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I hope this helped a little for all of us road warriors that travel regularly, from here on out you never have to be that far away from the comforts of home, and still get the best shave possible. – Aaron