Proraso Green & The Doc:

Today's shave felt really good. It's also Proraso Friday over in the How To Grow A Moustache Google plus community which I finally decided to participate in. Usually I don't get to because I either have already shaved & forgot or an event would take place on a day where I didn't need to shave because I had gotten close the day before. Today I went with the green formula which has a Menthol & Eucalyptus scent to it & it's very refreshing. And to finish it off, I went with a nice healthy dose of good old Skin Bracer which was like putting icing on a cake:

The doc razor was perfect. I was squeaky clean & slick as black ice after just 3 passes. It's also just about time to put in a new blade which I probably will do after I get back. I have to pay my grandmother a visit in the hospital. About 2 weeks she fell & broke her upper left arm & she's steadily been going down hill ever since. Her niece has been giving false information & saying things are good when they're clearly not. In fact they have actually been worse. My aunt called me this morning around 10 minutes till 9 in a panic. They had to give my grandmother blood this morning & my aunt has been calling me through out the day from the hospital. My grandmother has a blood clot in one of her legs & they can't dissolve it so surgery may be required which is risky business in of itself since she's 93 years old. She also can't eat either which is really scary. My grandmother has also not been cooperating either when it comes to taking medicine & things like that.

Confidence & The 100:

Today's shave was great. Today I went with Soap Commander & their fabulous semi sweet Confidence matching set. This specific scent makes Carrie cringe for some reason or another because she does not like it, but that's okay because there's ton of people who love the overly sweet honey, musk & patchouli scent which works perfectly together. The Musk & Patchouli allow the honey to come through but they calm the sweetness way down to a mild semi sweet type of scent:

The 100 was great. I was clean & slick after 3 passes & a spot touch up. I even used the straight in moustache area which was pretty good today but I'm really loving the Doc on my moustache area. Right now I'm in the process of getting things together for making videos. My tripod can't be fixed so I'm forced to order another one & I do plan on checking Amazon out for that after seeing some people's Vlogging set up & how affordable it actually is. I watched one person set up an entire studio for around $75 dollars & he got lighting and everything. All I need is the smart phone mount, tripod & microphone and I'm good to go because I have LED lights in my home.

C.a.D. & The Black Diamond/Doc:

This morning's shave was pretty good & it wasn't the soap either. Today I wanted a classic Barbersol canned shave foam scent so after a nice & hot shower, I went with Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements and their modern day classic C.a.D. scent & I finished it off with the matching aftershave which really nice & soothing:

The black diamond is about to get tossed out. It was good but no where near good enough & this thing was fresh off the stones too & I know it's definitely not me in that regard. It's been a problematic razor for me since the 1st day I got it. I'm thinking I got a lemon on this one which does happen from time to time. I've already decided on its replacement but first, a new leather strop & 8K stone which I will be ordering here pretty soon. People are really going to dig my next 2 razor purchases & they were very inexpensive too.

Proraso Green & the 100/Doc:

Tonight's shave felt extremely good & was very refreshing. After doing yard work all day today & taking a nice hot shower, I decided that I needed a little extra refreshment so I went with Proraso green which has an incredible menthol & eucalyptus scent to it. And to finish off tonight's shave, I went with a healthy dose of Pinaud's Osage Rub which puts the menthol chill over the top:

Today I tried something a little different. First I did 2 passes with the 100 which was fantastic but that's where it ended with the straight razor. I can & have gone against the grain with my straight razor on my moustache area but it's extremely uncomfortable for me even with a razor fresh off the stones. So from now on, I will be using my Doc razor on my moustache area. It's too sensitive of an area for me to use any other razor but the Doc & I get perfect results with no blood every time I use the doc in that area. I also went ahead & done a half pass on my neck area with the doc to clean it up more which turned out great. I could not have gotten a better shave than I did tonight.

Lemon Chill & The 42C:

This morning's shave was great. My allergies have kicked into high gear so I went with Stirling Soaps & their lemon chill scent which is loaded with menthol & is great for opening up the sinuses when you are having issues. The scent reminds me of a fresh made lemon meringue pie. You can still tell that it's a lemon tart type scent but it's leaning towards the semi sweet dessert type scent which is fabulous. And to finish off today's shave, I went with Stirling's Glacial Lemon Chill scented aftershave balm which was the icing on the cake so to speak:

The 42C started off decent at best & as I went along during the 1st pass, I could tell that it was definitely a bad blade & needed to be replaced. So I switched it out for a brand new Perma-Sharp blade & man that made a huge difference for the better:

After switching the blade out, I ended up doing 2 passes with the grain & 1 pass against the grain which ended up being a nice clean shave with no irritation. I also did not get any sting from the alum block either which is always a good thing. That's the secret to eliminating bad shaves. Don't be afraid to stop & switch out the blade & if you are using a straight razor, don't be afraid to take a moment or 2 to strop the blade & if that doesn't help switch it out for another straight razor. It's been so long since I've had a bad shave that I can't remember when the last one was.

WTF Cuban Tobacco & The Black Diamond:

Today's shave was great. Today I went with Wet The Face and their phenomenal Cuban Tobacco scented soap which has an incredible deep & rich semi sweet tobacco scent. And to finish off today's shave, I went with the matching aftershave splash which is also phenomenal:

The black diamond was great. I was squeaky clean in 3 passes. I'm also waiting for a YouTube video to upload as we speak. I'm not quite set up for shave videos yet but I did do a stropping video specifically for new guys getting into straight razor shaving. I hope it helps answer some questions that they may have in regards to stropping.

Update on Videos:

After visiting one of the 3 Walmarts that I have access to Saturday, I decided to wait & check at the closest one & I'm glad that I did. Tonight, I bought an Omn branded adjustable tripod & I also got some advice & a product suggestion that will definitely work for making shave videos. This specific tripod is for stropping & I'm also looking at a smaller Joby styled gorilla pod. So all I really need now is a universal smart phone bracket that will allow me to use not only this tripod but others & I did find a magnetic suction cup style mount for about $20 U.S. Dollars which is what was suggested:

So I am working on getting videos made. It might be a little bit before I can do an actual shave video but I am set up for other videos such as stropping & things that require more space & this type of equipment. I'll probably do a stropping video tomorrow.

A Quick Honing With The ILR:

After having to take my 100 to my ILR water stone during the shave, I decided to go ahead & take my other straight razor to the ILR. This took longer to photograph, write & post up than it did to hone 2 razors & to strop them. I used Dr. Matt's under running water technique which is extremely fast & effective. I'm sold on the ILR's effectiveness & speed:

Using a light stream of water, you simply do subtle or abbreviated "X" strokes using the weight of the razor only until the razor gets sticky & nearly stops on the stone:

Once the razor starts to get that sticky, you simply turn the water up slightly & repeat the process until you get the same effect:

Now this is where it gets really interesting. Using either vintage linen such as the fire hose strop that you see below or the fabric side of your strop that you currently have, you do 6 round trips & no more than that:

Then you go back to the ILR stone & repeat the process that you did earlier which is abbreviated "X" strokes until the razor gets extremely sticky:

And once again slightly turn up the water & repeat the same process until you get the same effect that you did earlier:

And that's all there is to it. It's easy to do & stupid fast. This technique also works extremely well with the Belgium Coticules which I haven't tried yet.

Honor & The 100:

Today's shave ended up being outstanding. Today is Sunday which means that Soap Commander Sunday was in full effect. After a nice, hot & relaxing shower, I went with their "Honor" scented soap which is their Barbershop scent. It's some where between Phoenix Shaving's C.a.D. & the older version of Fine's American Blend. And to finish off today's shave, I went with a healthy dose of Fine's American blend which isn't pictured because I decided to add it at the last minute & then I followed up with a healthy dose of Soap Commander's Honor scented aftershave balm which adds a touch of menthol to the epic post shave feel:

The 100 ended up being great but not before I took it to my ILR stone during the shave which will be in another post. My first pass with it was decent but uncomfortable & was still tugging. So I took it to my ILR water stone using Dr. Matt's under running water technique & let me tell you, it put that razor's edge exactly where it was when I first got it. I ended up doing 2 more passes at which point I was squeaky clean. I also did NOT get any stinging from the alum block & only minimal stinging from the Fine American Blend aftershave due to the alcohol content. But no cuts or bumps were mowed off & no weepers either. I'm sold on the effectiveness & speed of the ILR.

Honing Time! With Both Razors:

Well this was fun & it was fast too. Both razors needed to be honed especially my Gold Dollar 100. It was starting to pull & tug something fierce. I'm more than certain that both razors are up to snuff so let's get started:

All of my stones were soaked & flattened after wards. These stones got a really good 15 to 20 minute soak at the very least:

I love these bench pads. Not only did they work, they held all of my stones in place & they didn't budge hardly at all while I was doing Japanese style honing. These are the $15 U.S. Dollar Suehiro bench pads from Chef's Knives To Go website:

The first thing I noticed was the fact that this 1K stone had no trouble bring up a slurry at all which tells me that this 1K is a fast cutter:

The slurry is also a grayish color. You really can't see it on the stone very well, but it turned my water a grayish blue type slurry:

As I mentioned, this Suehiro Cerax 1K is a fast cutter but the bonus is the fact that it polishes while it cuts which is a very good thing. This stone also leaves extremely little to no spine wear as well:

The Suehiro 5K Rika was also a fast cutter & also left a nice polished edge behind but it was slightly slower than the 1K which is & was expected. In fact I suspected that it would be slower than it actually was which is also a good thing:

After that, I finished on my Shoubandini Type 100 & the non skid bench pads made a huge difference with this stone. It made using it much easier & there's no doubt that I got better results on this stone today than I have been:

Next up was the fire hose strop which I did 5 round trips on with both razors:

Then I did 5 more round trips with both razors on the scrub leather:

Then I did 10 round trips on the smooth leather with both razors:

All in all, I'm extremely pleased with my new stones & progression. My new progression is 600, 1K, 5K, Japanese natural. That's the progression my friend Anthony Esposito uses & my other friend, Frank Misa also suggested it. Using 4 stones to take any razor to shave ready is pretty cool & I can't wait for tomorrow's shave.

Proraso Green & The Doc:

Today's shave felt really good. It's also Proraso Friday  over in the How To Grow A Moustache  Google plus community which I finall...