That's it for Feather DE blades:

Today's shave also told me that I used my last Feather DE blade today. They're just too sharp for my sensitive skin and cause too much razor burn for me. So I have to pull the plug on ordering some more of those blades. Personna gave a pretty good shave in a slant, but unfortunately they simply don't last in a slant so it looks like I'll be trying some new blades here pretty soon. I'm also looking at getting a new razor here pretty soon. So I'm going to try a sample pack of blades to see how things go and which ones work best for me that doesn't cause alot of razor burn and go from there. I'm still pursuing my straight razor hobby and need to have a couple of razors re-honed.

Calling it Quits With Arko:

After much thought, I have decided to call it quits with Arko's shaving cream. This decision came after I recently purchased some artisan made soaps which also influenced my decision. I don't use it much at all and the tubes of Arko has a bit of a weak scent. The shaving stick was horrible and very drying, while the tubes had the opposite effect. The tubes of Arko performed well and all, but the made in the U.S.A. artisan soaps destroys Arko in every way possible in terms of performance and sometimes in price points as well. So once my tube of Arko is gone that I purchased 3 months ago, I will not be getting anymore of it. I also won't be getting anymore mainstream products either.

Maggard's Shaving Soap Review:

All I can say about this brand of soap is oh wow! I ordered their shaving soap along with the other I mentioned in the previous post and I chose the "London Barbershop" scent. It's nice clean masculine type of scent that's not too over powering and yet it lasts. The slickness was good, but the cushioning ability was epic. It would be perfect for a straight razor shave. The post shave feel was also really good. It was nice and clean with a little bit of slickness left behind but not alot. It can use a little bit of extra slickness during the shave so adding a pre-shave oil, cream, or some type of soap may help in the slickness department but it doesn't need much. The container it comes in is amber in color which makes a difference in the scent. By blocking out the light and blooming the soap, the scent actually becomes stronger. The price is also excellent. You get 5 ounces of soap for $12.95. So you are getting your money's worth. I would recomend trying Maggard Razor's brand of soap. It's really good.

Tiki Bar Shaving Soap Review:

This is another soap that I got to try here recently and it was really good and easy to use. I purchased Tiki bar Soap's Peppermint Bark scented shaving soap and it did NOT disappoint me at all. The scent will remind you of a "york peppermint patty" that was made with white or standard chocolate instead of the usual dark chocolate. It was extremely easy to load and even easier to lather. Speaking of lathering capabilities, I call this soap a "volcano" when it comes to lather. The cushion was good and it has a real good level of slickness when it comes to the lather. The post shave feel was great. Not too slick, yet clean and fresh. It also wasn't too dry either which I can't stand at all. In fact it's one of the reasons why I quit using Taylor of Old Bond Street and Proraso's products. The post shave is way too dry on those 2 product lines. I do recomend adding Tiki Bar Soaps to your shaving rotation.

Soap Commander Takes Top Spot:

Happy Thanksgiving ladies and gentlemen. Here recently, I have tried 4 new soaps and all of them are indeed top performers. The first one I tried stood out and has continued to do so. That shaving soap is Soap Commander's "Endurance" scented shaving soap. I have yet to find a shaving soap that equals the post shave feel it has which is beyond belief. It also didn't leave any irritation at all and each time I've used it, I have acheived that elusive B.S.S. or Baby Smooth Shave without even trying to. That's the kind of performance that I love to get out of traditional shaving. The price of Soap Commander's shaving soaps are spot on due to the fact that you get a huge 6 ounce container of soap. The container itself is black and easy to open even with wet hands and last but not least, the label is waterproof. The scent is that classic "old school" version of  a "certain cologne" from the 60's which is awesome. It's not like the molested stuff that's being sold on store shelves today. The post shave feel is epic. It has a moist post shave feel to it that is somewhat slick but you can tell that it's extremely clean. This soap also rinses cleany as well and does not leave hardly any white residue either like I get with some other soaps. Soap Commander is a "must have" in any shave den.

The Feather Blades Surprised Me:

I really didn't know any other way to title this post. The first time I used a Feather DE blade was in my Weishi and it performed like a superstar. So I tried them again in an Edwin Jagger DE 89 safety razor, and horrible is pretty much sugar coating it. So after changing razors again, I decided to try them again with great fear and trepidation, and got a really mild and almost forgiving shave. I never thought I would use the words "forgiving" and "Feather" in the same sentence. The last surprise was the fact that they didn't last past 3 multi pass shaves which is not good because they tend to be a little bit more expensive than other blades are depending on where you purchase them. I have never seen a blade so razor oriented in my life. They good in a razor that has no weight to it and very little blade exposure. That changes when you have more blade exposure and add weight to the equation. The twisted or scewed fasion of the slant bar razor must have changed the aggression level of the blade because it was comfortable in my Merkur 37C slant. I guess it was mainly due to the "slicing guillotine" action instead of the usual "straight chopping" action that you get with other razors. That probably has a lot to do with it. But for now the Feather DE blades are in the 3rd spot behind Voskhod blades.

Maggard Razors Review:

In the last post, I did a review of Arko shave cream and I purchased it at Maggard Razors. The service was excellent and my order got here really fast. This is the retailer that you'll want to add to your favorite suppliers list because they do something that a lot of online retailers don't do which is sell product samples. Instead of buying an entire container of a product that you're not sure you can use or if it doesn't work because of the type of water you're using, you can buy a small sample of that product to try for an ultra low price. This works out for both you the customer and it works out for them because selling samples allows them to get rid of products that often expire before getting sold. They also offer some restoration services for vintage razors and sharpening for traditional straight razors. Their price points are low which is a good thing and they have quite a bit to offer. I would definately recomend Maggard Razors as a favorite supplier. Here's the link to their website:

Arko Going in Rotation:

I recently purchased a tube of Arko shave cream. The scent I chose has been renamed to "Extra Fresh" and it was incredible. It used to be called "Ice Mint" but the chill factor was a bit on the mild side which was fine. The first impression I got was the price point. I paid $3.95 USD for a tube that weighs roughly around 3.2 ounces so that gives it a price point of $1.23 USD's per ounce which is ultra low. That's a really good thing in the shaving world. I don't even think you can get a can of your typical shave foam or gel for that price to be honest about it. Here's a photo of the product:

The tube comes sealed with aluminum foil:

 The first impression is always going to be the scent. Unlike their popular shaving stick, this product does NOT stink. In fact its scent is extremely close to Taylor of Old Bond Street's Jermyn Street formula only it's a bit milder with a little hint of mint coming through towards the end. This cream does NOT take a lot of water and does NOT require it either. All you'll need is about an almond sized dolop and 1 tablespoon of water and you'll have a massive amount of lather that has the consistency of yogurt:

 Here's the lather results:

At first, I added too much water so I doubled the amount of product and got the ratio I mentioned earlier and got the results you see above. This cream has a mild cooling affect which is soothing to the skin. The lather has really good cushioning ability and provides protection through out the entire shave. It's not the slickest, but it has more than enough glide to get the job done. This product has great staying power. The following photo was taken after a multi pass shave and I had already cleaned up my shaving area which I like to do to test the staying power of a product that I've not used before:

The post shave felt extremely good. It was clean, with a minimum amount of slickness left behind and there was a minimum amount of residue left on my equipment which was easy to rinse off. This cream has everything you're looking for and often outperforms the more expensive creams on the market. The performance is excellent, it has an ultra low price point, the product itself is easy to use, the scent is fantastic and you have a variety of scents to choose from. I would highly recomend trying these creams and it's going in my rotation.

No Longer Interested in Purchasing DE Razors:

In a previous post, I eluded to another decision that I made after giving my Merkur 37C Slant Bar DE safety razor a real acid test on a week long heavy beard growth. It exceeded my expectations as to what kind of results I would get. I've been shaving with the slant for over 2 months now, and the shaves just keep getting better and better with each use. After this awesome experience, I have decided NOT to purchase any more DE or double edge safety razors. Why keep looking at other razors, when the one you have deemed your "go to" razor fits your every shaving need? That's why I made this decision. The Merkur 37C slant is mild enough to shave everyday with, but it also has no problem removing a full beard either. Before trying it against a heavy beard growth and seeing the results first hand, all I had seen was a few YouTube videos of this razor removing a full blown beard after letting it go for over a month which was impressive. No clippers were used or anything. Just this razor and a double edge blade. The cartridge system would have been totally useless in this scenario.

Trying Feather DE Blades Again:

The Feather DE or double edge blades are extremely sharp, but they're also very razor oriented as well. In my Weishi DE safety razor, these blades were excellent. However in my Edwin Jagger DE 89 safety razor, evil didn't do it justice at all. In fact they tore me all to pieces in my Edwin Jagger DE 89. I could compare it to shaving with a cheese grater. But I have since switched DE safety razors yet again. This time I'll be using a Merkur 37C slant bar DE safety razor and only making 1 or 2 passes. The Merkur 37C slant bar is not as aggressive as people make it out to be. True it does cut down on the number of passes with the right blade, but people have made this razor out to be evil which is not true. I have been using this razor for nearly 3 months now and I can say with certain that it depends on the blade more than anything else. So the first chance I get, I'll order some Feather DE blades and give them a whirl in my new razor and see how it goes.

BSS and The Trade Offs:

People in the wet shaving world often ask "How can I get a baby smooth shave?". Getting a BSS or Baby Smooth Shave is not really hard to do, but it's extremely uncomfortable to say the least. I got a BSS today using my wet shaving routine with my Gillette Fusion cartridge system, but I'll pay for it in spades. Getting a BSS involves making anywhere from 4 to 6 passes during a shave instead of the usual 3 and stretching the skin will be involved as well depending on your age and the area to be shaved. The trade offs is in these forms:

#1: Severe Irritation:
This is the first trade off you will come across because it happens almost immediately especially with a cartridge system. While those extra passes remove the left over stubble, they also remove the top layer of skin and a result is severe irritation during the shave.

#2: Nicks and Cuts:
Getting that B.S.S. weakens your skin very badly and has been known to make it easier to get nicks and cuts while you make those extra passes. This also can carry over to your next shave as well because your skin does need time to heal up from that BSS and can often take days.

#3: Severe Razor Burn:
While those extra passes may sound like a good idea, the post shave will say differently. It will feel like your shaved area was set on fire and and was exposed to the sun for too long.

#4: Ingrown Hairs:
These will drive you insane and often occur within a day or 2 after the shave is finished. This occurs more often with a cartridge system than with a DE safety razor, shavette or traditional straight razor.

There's stuff out there that can help with these problems after achieving that BSS or baby smooth shave, but they often ruin the post shave results that you achieved. So in the end it boils down to 1 thing. Do you want that BSS and the problems that come with it? Or do you want a close, clean comfortable shave that doesn't break the bank with a hint of stubble left over? The choice is yours.

Clubman Pinaud's Aftershave Review:

I recently ordered some Clubman Pinaud's afterhsave formulas from my new supplier, . I ordered the classic vanilla formula and their regular formula. Both are awesome and really good products. They have a few more formulas I want to try as well. Clubman Pinaud is made in France and has been around for over 200 years. The regular formula seems to be my favorite so far. The initial bite isn't really that bad while you get a nice cooling effect after the bite disipates which isn't very long after you apply the aftershave. The classic vanilla formula seems to be a bit milder in terms of scent. It also is a powder type of a scent. This stuff's scent seems to last roughly around 3 hours give or take a little depending on which formula you use. I recomend that you give Clubman Pinaud's products a try. You will absolutely love the jumbo styptic pencil. It's performance is beyon belief.

Bolzano DE Blade Review:

Well recently I did a DE or double edge blade exchange with someone over on Facebook. I sent him some Gillette Silver Blue DE blades and he sent me some Bolzano DE blades. They are made in Germany by an Italian immigrant. The first thing I noticed was the edge of the blade was alot more refined than most DE blades. Another thing was that these blades are a lot more thinner than other blades are. Now the first shave was a little rougher than I thought it would be, but that's to be expected with any new DE blade. After the first multi pass shave was finished, the smoothness was pretty good. It wasn't quite as smooth as the Gillette Silver Blue DE blades were, but the blade was just a shade sharper than the GSB DE blades are. The second shave was extremely good and at least a 1,000 times better. It was also a lot more smoother and the shaves kept getting better. I decided to call it quits after 5 shaves even though I could get up to 7 multi pass shaves out of it. All in all, it's a really good blade and I do recomend it.

How Water Effects the Shave:

People often blame their water instead of the product itself when they shave which has become problematic. I'll explain why it has become problematic. It causes something called "denial" which basically can be found on 90% of the wet shaving forums out there. They refuse to to acknowledge the fact that the product itself might be the problem rather than the water because each shaving cream or soap has a different formula and will perform differently in either type of water. I learned a lot about the different types of water and how it effects things when I use to be in the hobby distilling and home brew hobbies. Basically I have a medium/soft water here which makes some soaps and creams completely useless for me because they simply won't perform in terms of being able to lather and rinse off cleanly. Even when cooking we've noticed that our water really doesn't have enough backbone to break down things such as vegetable shortening and lard. Some soft soaps and creams do extremely well here, while others that are heavy in tallow and fragrances don't perform too good at all. While water can be a problem yes, but a lot of the soap and cream makers out there usually formulate their stuff to perform in both hard and soft water. So before you belive the hype about a product which is often excessive, do some research about its formula. You'd be surprised at how much better things are when you learn about what type of water that you have and once you learn what works best for the water you have, things get a lot better.

Bowl Lathering vs. Face Lathering:

One question that keeps poping up is which is best bowl lathering or face lathering? It's more of a personal preference than anything else. I like bowl lathering, but I usually end up throwing out more lather if I bowl lather. So I prefer to face lather instead these days. Now this also depends on wether you are a male or female as well and here's why. Women usually have alot more areas to shave than men do, so bowl lathering is recomended due to the fact that you can create more lather by bowl lathering. Men can do bowl lathering if they wish, but usually face lather instead which only creates enough lather that's needed for a good quality shave and clean up is also a lot easier as well. It's more of a personal preference than anything else.

Beginner's Guide for DE Safety Razors:

I ran across someone today that was just staring at the shaving section in Walmart today and he was blown away at the prices and on my way out it hit me. Why hasn't anyone put together a basic guide for beginners on which razor to purchase? So I'll do what I can in terms of what to purchase and how long it will be before you'll need to upgrade and learn this new style of shaving. In my opinion, possibly 2 of the best double edge or DE safety razors you can start off with would be the Edwin Jagger DE89 and/or the Merkur 34C. Both will last a lifetime if they're maintained and cleaned on a regular basis.Now there are a few that have gone mainstream, but these aren't very good in terms off quality and I wouldn't call them the best either. The first is endorsed by Rick Harrison off of the hit TV show called Pawn Stars and that razor is called The Micro Touch One Ultra. This razor is the exact same DE or double edge safety razor that I bought online about 1 day before the commercial for the razor mentioned above and it's called The Weishi 9306 G which is almost a carbon copy of the 1960's Gillette Speed Glide which is why I bought it. They're decent but they're also poor quality in terms of construction and materials. They're both "twist to open" or TTO which is where the problems begin. The butterfly doors tend to be a little on the weak side around the hinge area and tend to come loose. All of the DE or double edge safety razors listed above are mild in terms of blade exposure and angles and can be used daily. I recommend that you use the razors at least 30 days before considering an upgrade because your skin has to get use to this kind of shaving, you'll need a solid technique and after 30 days, you'll have a really good idea of what works for you and go from there. I recommend avoiding the open comb and slant bar styled DE or double edge safety razors until you find the right razor and blade combination. The best double edge blade you can get will vary from razor to razor. To find that blade and razor combo, I recommend getting a Sampler DE Blade pack from a supplier. This will give you multiple choices to find out what works best for you. One of the most popular blades on the market today is the Feather DE blades. Unless you're using a Weishi or Micro Touch One Ultra DE or double edge safety razor, I recommend you avoid these blades because they're excessively sharp and in the Merkur 34C and Edwin Jagger DE 89, they'll do more damage on your face instead of removing your beard. This changes though if you have a extremely coarse beard. One of my personal favorites is the Gillette Silver Blue DE blades. They're currently made in St. Petersburg, Russia. They're sharp enough to get the job done, but they're also a very forgiving blade which is great for beginners or people whom have just returned to this style of shaving. They will also provide one of the smoothest shaves you'll ever have in your life. I've used both Feather and these blades along with a few others, and in my opinion the Gillette Silver Blue blades are the smoothest you can get. Now as for the DE or double egde adjustable safety razors, you can start off with one as a beginner if you want but if you're on a tight budget and really haven't found the right blades just yet, you'll be better off getting one of the safety razors mentioned in the beginning of this post. They usually start around $62 U.S. Dollars and there's only one brand that makes them which is Merkur (it's pronounced as MurKor for those that's wondering). Germany's finest safety razor company has alot to choose from. Wether you are a beginner or seasoned veteran, they'll have something for you. The first adjustable is called the Merkur Progress which has 5 settings and is a 2 piece razor. Setting 5 will have the most blade exposure while setting 1 will have the least amount of blade exposure which is where most of the aggressive characteristics occur in a DE or Double Edge safety razors. The rest will come from the angle of the head on the safety razor. The next adjustable safety razor is called the Merkur Futur which is also a 2 piece razor and also has 5 settings. There's several differences between the Porgess and Futur. The first is the finishes. With the Futur you have a choice in the finish, either a matte chrome finish or a polished chrome finish. The head where you install the blade has a cover that snaps on and off with the Futur while the Progress has to be unscrewed to remove and install the blade. The Futur is also much larger and heavier which does make a difference in terms of shave quality and the number of passes before getting that ultra smooth shave. The next DE or double edge ajustable safety razor is called the Merkur Vision. It has alot of the same characteristics as the Futur in terms of loading the blade and finish, but it has 6 settings instead of 5 because it uses the word "Vision" as its settings. It's also the largest DE or double edge safety razor on the market and one of the most expensive at around $180 U.S. Dollars.

Artisan Vs. Mass Produced Shaving Products:

One of the questions that often get asked is about the differences between artisan shaving products versus the mass produced products. It's somewhat tough to answer because there's good and bad stuff out there and with everyone being different, not everything will be a superstar in terms of performance, costs, as well as your own personal tastes. While one product could be extremely good for me, it may not be too good at all for you and you might even consider it to be down right evil because of those specific reasons. I tend to lean toward the artisan side of things to an extent because a lot of those product makers have a passion for what they do and if they do claim something, they usually can back it up in the form of sales, video reviews and verified buyers. Now there is another side to this as well and it's not pretty at all. I have seen some artisan product makers go out of business because of ridiculous claims that just simply couldn't be verified and often wasn't very good in terms of performance, too high of a price point, and just didn't quite live up to the hype that the product received. So choose wisely, pay close attention to the details of reviews and you should be fine. The only real answer I can give to someone about the difference between the 2 in terms of a product is what ever works for you.

T.O.B.S' Jeymyn Street Review:

Well today I decided to try the TOBS' Jermyn Street Collection today and it's awesome:

So let's start with the Pre-Shave gel. It is a little bit on the expensive side, but about the only amount that you'd need is a roughly about the size of your thumbnail. That will last throught out the entire shave and it's extremely slick and has more than enough cushioning ability for protection through out the entire shave. Now for those that are dedicated Proraso users, this gel will hold up to the thirsty properties of Proraso's creams and soaps but not as good as Proraso's pre-shave does which I think is by design. The scent is a dead ringer for a cologne that used to be made hear in the United States called Boss Elements which I use to love only it doesn't have the woody undertones to it. Now onto the cream. It's very easy to load and is towards the medium/soft cream side. The scent is the exact same as the pre-shave gel is. The cream also had some really good slickness to it. Not quite as slick as the all natural cream is but it's pretty close. The cushioning ability is awesome. I had more than enough protection through out the entire shave. The cream itself is a lather monster:

At first I thought I didn't add enough cream, but then lather just exploded from what little bit I did use. It does slowly disipate between passes but can easily be fixed by re-working the lather a bit between passes which is another thing I noticed. The more you work the lather, the better it gets with this product:

 Here's a photo after today's 4 pass shave:

It has some pretty good staying power, but you do have to work it more often than you would with their all natural shave cream. I will most definately be buying more of this cream very often.

Proraso Green Review:

Today I decided to try Proraso's menthol shave cream (green formula):

The first hing I noticed was the scent which is a mild medicine type of scent. It can be tolerated if the performance was really good, but unfortunately it's not good. I had to use double the amount of product needed to get a cream consistency type of lather here was the first attempt before I added more cream:

It was more foam than cream so added a little more cream and worked it till I got this:

Once I added the extra cream, the lather performed better. and it also had more staying power. The following photo was taken after a 4 pass shave with a Merkur 37C slantbar DE safety razor:

I won't be buying the green formula shaving cream but I will buy the small jar of the pre & post shave cream that you see in the photo. This cream does leave a small amount of white residue on your razor and equipment:

The post shave quality wasn't bad, but it wasn't that good either. The Menthol's cooling effect was decent. I've gotten a much better cooling affect from a can of shave foam. The Proraso green forumla shave cream would be best if mixed with another cream.

Proraso Blue Formula Review:

Today I got a really nice suprise from this cream:

It's one of the few products that Proraso makes that I had asked about and always ended up with more questions than answers. The first impression you get when you open the tube is the scent. People have sworn up and down that this smells like spiced eggnog and nutmeg when it does not. In fact it doesn't even come close to that scent. It does have a mild liquorish type of a scent which is extremely strong when you first open the tube, but it calms way down once it's worked into a lather:

It has a pretty clean ingredients list:

Now it's a bit on the thirsty side. I did try other pre-shave products and what not, and none of them held up. The only pre-shave product that held up was Proraso's Pre & Post shave creams which I think they done on purpose which is fine because I do like their pre and post shave creams. The performance of the lather was beyond belief. Not only did it have plenty of cushion for protection, it was also extremely slick which is not normal in my opinion for Proraso's soaps and creams. The lather just exploded from my new shaving bowl with a minimum amount of product. This product did leave a small amount of white residue in my bowl and on my razor but it's easily removed with either rubbing alcohol or barbicide. The post shave is what surpised me. Not only did I get that nice fresh and clean post shave that proraso is known for, but it also felt nice and slick. The price point isn't bad at all. I paid $10.00 dollars for it at West Coast Shaving supplies for a 5.2 ounce tube which gives it a price point of $1.92 dollars per ounce which gives it an average prce point. Here's how much product I used to build a lather which is all you need:

That small amount of cream created this amount of lather with roughly about 2 tablespoons of water:

Like I said earlier, the lather pretty much exploded from my new shaving bowl. I also need to mention that you might want to work it for a couple of minutes between passes before reapplying it to make sure that it doesn't dry out. Here's a photo of the white residue that it leaves behind which isn't much:

This white resiue can be removed with a little barbicide or rubbing alcohol.

Merkur 37C Review:

I was having an internal debate about which safety razor to order earlier this week, I made my decision and I decided to purchase the Merkur 37C slant bar razor. I just got it today from and it's awesome. It's the best razor purchase I've ever made. The chrome finish is great. It's not the same caliber as Edwin Jagger's safety razors but considering that they (Edwin Jagger) uses the same chrome plating artist as Rolls Royce, you are NOT going to get any better than that period. They could've cleaned it up and polished it more if they wanted to but it's really not necessary. I think Merkur is after function more than they are for looks which is fine because I got one of the absolute best shaves of life today with it and I used a different blade. It's 2 piece razor which means that you can't switch handles like you can with other 3 piece razors. The main difference is the angle of the head. Rather than chopping the hair off like a normal safety razor does, this razor slices the hair off cleanly with a guillotine type of an angle. This allows the razor to get a much closer and smoother shave with less passes which makes for a better shave. It was beyond smooth. With a normal safety razor, you'd have to make at least 3 passes to get a close comfortable shave and then touch up your trouble spots which often means making another passes which can cause irritation. With this safety razor you don't need to do that because it gets your trouble spots really well. In fact I have yet to see another razor even come close to acheiving what this one did today on my trouble spots and that includes a straight razor. I belive I'm done buying safety razors for myself now. I plan on getting a few family members a safety razor for Christmas this year. You do get one test blade which is a Merkur super stainless steel blade, but I have no intention of using it because it was the blade that came with the razor, and later on I want my family to be able to say that they have the original blade that came with it. Another reason is because the blade itself gets mixed reviews.

This razor seems to work best with this DE or double edged blade:

Castle Forbes Increases Prices:

This pretty much told me that I made the right decision when I ruled them out concerning their products. It was an extremely tough decision to make as well because they have a scent that I really wanted to try very badly. The price listed at Westcoast Shaving Supplies is $43.99 and you get a 7.2 ounce container (it's listed at 200 ML's which is double the size of Proraso's Pre & Post shave Cream). That gives it an extremely high price point of $6.11 per ounce. That's way too high for any shaving product. I just can't see paying that for a cream that may or may not perform like it should and I also can't see paying that for a cream that I might not be able to use due to my sensitive skin.

New Shave Stuff Ordered:

Earlier this week, I got a new credit card and decided to order some shaving stuff. I got a little carried away and ordered nearly $200 Dollars worth of shaving products and I've already recieved word from both supply companies that my orders have shipped. They should be here either tomorrow or Monday at the latest and since I ordered so much stuff from both of these fine companies, I got free shipping. I'm holding off on shaving because there's some stuff that I really want to try with a heavy beard growth to see how well they perform. It's killing me not to shave. I was kindly hoping that one of my orders would be here today, but it hasn't arrived just yet. One of the items I ordered was a new safety razor which I will reveal when my orders get here. I kindly want to keep it a surprise. Christmas will be fun this year because I plan on getting everyone in my family a new safety razor this year along with some blades. I gave up on cartridge shaving because 2 shaves in, I had some severe irritation (razor burn to be specific) and I only got 2 shaves out of a single cartridge before having to switch it out for a fresh one. I'll keep it around as my travel razor because they don't get questioned by airport security. I can't wait to use my new items and review the stuff I ordered.

T.O.B.S' Sensitive Skin Shave Cream Review:

If you read my earlier post, then you would know that I ordered this item along with an Arko shave stick which I just reviewed. The first impression of this product is that it's a cross between a shave soap and shave cream which is called a "croap" in the wet shaving world. This item had no scent to it at all. Normally you'd get a whiff of a fresh made cream scent or at least a fresh scent to it, but this is not the case here. The next thing I noticed is that it's a very stiff product. I can stand my shaving brush up in the container and it won't fall over. Another thing that I noticed was the ingredient list. It has Benzyl Alcohol as one of the active ingredients which is weird because most people like myself whom have sensitive skin avoid products that have any alcohol because it usually causes severe irritation. This product was extremely difficult to lather up and during the shave the lather seems to disipate. This can be fixed though by adding an extremely small amound of water and re-working the lather with your brush between passes. The slickness was ok. It's not as good as their other products are such as their All Natural shave cream is. The cushioning ability is pretty good but once again, it's not as good as some of their other products in terms of performance. The price point is a little bit higher than average but with Taylor of Old Bond Street's products, you get a lot of use out them with the exception to this Sensitive Skin shave cream. I paid $16.00 Dollars for a 5.3 ounce container which makes the cost $3.02 dollars per ounce. I won't be ordering Taylor of Old Bond Street's Sensitive Skin shave cream ever again because the price point is to high for a cream that has very poor performance which is not normal for Taylor of Old Bond Street. They usually have a pretty high standard and they also get rave reviews for 90% of their products. So far my personal favorite is their All Natural shave cream. This cream doesn't even come close to it in terms of performance.

Arko Shave Stick Review....

I finally was able to order from and I ordered 2 items. The first is the Arko Shave stick. The other item I ordered was Taylor of Old Bond Street sensitive skin formula which will be in another review. The first impression I got of the Arko Shave Stick was its actual size. It's a lot smaller than what I was expecting, but that's ok because it's perefect for traveling. Once I opened it, the smell had an "old world" clean soap scent to it. If I can compare it to anything in terms of a scent. It smells like a stronger version of Ivory soap's classic formula. Now on to the performance. At first, I tried face lathering and this soap didn't quite perform and I did a review over on Badger & Blade forums reflecting this. I thought that it would work better if I melted it, but a member suggested that I just press it into a bowl instead of melting it because it would ruin the soap. So using hot water, I pressed it into a bowl and the lather just simply exploded from my shaving bowl. The cushion was very good and the slickness was very good as well. It's not as good as some of your premium shave creams and soaps in terms of slickness and cushioning abilities, but it does get the job done. The price point is excellent. I paid $3.99 for a 2.8 ounce shave stick which makes the price point really low at $1.43 per ounce. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars and it's definately going in my rotation. Normally with something that has this low of a price point, I don't expect it to perform to well but this one is an exception to the rule.

T.O.B.S. Lather Performance Photos....

As many of you know, I purchased and done a review on Taylor of Old Bond Street's all natural shaving cream. I also done the same review over on Badger & Blade wet shaving forums. Well a member requested some photos of the cream's performance so I went ahead and mixed up some lather and took some photos. I also took some photos of what I started with which was nothing but my empty shaving bowl, a photo of how much cream I used which was just dipping the brush into the cream, and of course the lather results. So during the next reviews that I do on shaving creams and soaps, I will be posting some photos up on that product's performance. It makes for a better review. So please enjoy the photos:

New Shaving Stuff Ordered Today...

Well today was very interesting. I was unable to use a pre-paid gift card that my dad sent me for my birthday so I used one of my other cards instead. I decided to try another supplier as well because they had a couple of items I wanted to try that my usual supplier West Coast Shaving doesn't carry. I ordered Taylor of Old Bond Street sensitive skin shave cream (West Coast Shaving was out of it) and a Arko shaving soap stick which West Coast Shaving supplies does not carry. So a couple of reviews will be coming soon. I did think about getting a badger brush for face lathering, but my Omega 10049 boar brush is all that I'll be needing. I'll also be going back to cartridge shaving because I'm tired of getting cut all to pieces. With cartride shaving, I didn't get cut and the post shave was excellent. That and I'm wanting to try Taylor of Old Bond Street's creams with the cartridge shaving system to see how it does.

Shaving Brushes 101....

I've had several brushes in my lifetime and most have not lasted for very long at all. Remember that you get what you pay for in terms of a brush quality when you look at what's available especially in drug stores and super markets. There's 4 types of shaving brushes you can choose from which is boar, badger, horse and synthetic. For the money, you won't beat the price of a boar brush. Now depending on whom makes the boar brush, try to avoid the ones found in drug stores, walmart and super markets because these will not last at all. I've got 2 boar brushes here and one of them came from a local super market and is already on its last leg. The other is an Omega 10049 black handle boar's hair brush which is and has a lot better quality and performance to it compared to my other which will remain nameless. The boar brushes tend to be a bit more stiffer than the others and are best suited for bowl lathering. The only real problem with a boar shaving brush is that some have an excessive animal type of smell to them which can be over whelming. The next type of brush you can get is badger. These tend to be a lot softer than the boar as well as more expensive than most brushes on the market today. The badger shaving brushes have the tendency to hold moisture better and are best suited for face lathering. These can range anywhere from $18 bucks and so far the most expensive one I've seen is a super badger that was pushing $200 bucks which is way too high. The only problem with a badger brush is that they tend to take the longest to dry after use due to their moisture holding capabilities. Horse hair shaving brushes are some what in the middle. They're still soft to use, but will also have that typical animal smell to them. They also tend to have an average price point which is slightly above a boar, but not as expensive as badger. These tend to dry at or maybe a tad bit faster than the boar and they're also pretty easy to find. The last type of brush is the synthetic shaving brush. These often use the same materials as wigs and artificial hair pieces do. They're reasonable when it comes to price points and they're extremely soft. However they also have a major problem. These dry way too fast. That would be bad if you're in the middle of a shave and you go to apply cream with a brush that's bone dry. It would be like using sand paper to apply shaving cream with. But this also could be good for traveling as well. My personal choice will be boar because they're much more affordable and easier to load and build lather with and they're best with shave creams.

West Coast Shaving Supplies Review...

This company has been my "Go To Supplier" for quite some time now. They have been excellent to me in terms of service, and product questions that I've had. They're also pretty reasonable in their price points compared to some other suppliers whom are beyond belief. I highly recomend that you check these guys out. Their selection is massive so you should have no problem finding what you're looking for and they're pretty fast in terms of shipping as well. They will continue to be my "go to" supplier for years to come. I usually spend a lot of time over there because I can't decide on what I want to purchase.

Omega 10049 Boar Brush Review....

Last week I ordered this shaving brush and it's awesome. It did NOT have the typical animal or foul smell that you'd normally get with a cheap boar brush that you can find in your local drug stores and some super markets. The size of this brush makes it perfect for bowl lathering and deep containers. The bristles are still extremely soft for face lathering and yet the 25 mm knot has enough back bone for it to be used on really hard soaps and creams that often need to be soaked in hot water before being used. The amount of lather this brush can hold is epic to say the least so you should have no problem building a really good lather using this brush. I paid $9.00 dollars for this brush and it has out performed both my cheap brush and my higher priced badger brush that I got locally which fell apart after a month's use. So I consider this price point to be a steal. The handle is nice and really easy to grip even with wet hands. This brush was made by Proraso in collaboration with Omega whom often work and do a lot of business together which is a really good thing.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Cream Review.....

I bought this shaving cream last week and all I can say is WOW. This Cream Rocks. All that's needed to create a monster amount of lather is an almond sized dollop and 2 teaspoons of water and you'll have enough lather to do at least 2 or more multi pass shaves in one batch which takes no time at all and no effort to produce a quality lather. The cushioning ability is what protects the skin from the weight of the blade which is extremely good with this cream. I like to prepare my cream and use it to prep my face before shaving which is suppose to clean and hydrate my beard before a shave and provide a layer of protection during the shave. After preparing the cream and working it in with an Omega 10049 brush, I used a wash cloth to remove the cream and the slickness was beyond belief. When I shave, I want to have extremely good cushioning ability and beyond belief slickness during the shave and this cream has it.
It's excellent for sensitive skin because there's no excessive amounts of perfume or cologne in this formula. There's also no excessive amounts of alcohol in this formula either which can lead to razor burn and severe irritation. This cream doesn't have fragrances or preservatives in it which have also been known to cause severe skin irritation. Now this cream doesn't have a specific scent such as avocado or coconut, but it does have a fresh made cream type of scent. It's a very mild clean scent that can easily be hidden with your favorite pre shave and aftershave products. The container is water tight which makes it great for traveling, but there might be a problem with airport security due to its size. The price point is not bad either. I paid $14.99 for it at West Coast Shaving Supplies for this 5.3 ounce conatiner which puts the costs around $2.83 per ounce . It's a little bit above the average price point but a little bit goes a lot further than needed so I consider it an affordable cream with epic performance. I will definately be buying more of this cream in the future.

New Stuff on The Way....

I just recently ordered a new boar hair shaving brush, some Proraso Pre & Post shave cream (green/menthol formula) and some Taylor of Old Bond Street all natural shave cream which is fragrance and alochol free. I also plan on getting another DE or double edge safety razor here pretty soon. The Merkur 37C slant bar will be my first choice, but I also have to get a couple other safety razors which will be christmas gifts for my dad and brother. So stay tuned for some new reviews and new information on upcoming products.

My favorite Type of Shave...

People often ask me what kind of a shave do I like? This is really easy to answer. While I'm shaving, I like the shave to have plenty of cushion which gives good protection from nicks and cuts. I also like the shave to have that impossibly slick feeling as I go along with the shave. If the shave is extremely slick, that means the razor's blade will not be tugging or pulling and the hairs get sliced off cleanly. The slickness and cushion also prevent razor burn which I can't stand to have. The best shave I ever had was with my Weishi DE or double edge safety razor. The first thing I did that day was shower and I washed out my beard that day with a hydrating and moisturizing shampoo. Next I added Proraso's Pre & Post Shave Cream green formula and rubbed it in the opposite direction of beard growth which made my beard stand up for a close shave. Little did I know that it would be an epic shave. The product that I used was Gillette Fusion's Pro-Glide Sensitive Shave gel and I treated it like you would a tube of shaving cream. That shave was the best. The post shave will also tell you a story. For me, I like the post shave to impossibly slick and extremely close. It also has to have that "Baby Smooth" feeling as well which usually means practically no stubble. That is my favorite type of shave that I'd like to get often.

Gillette Flexball Review & Results....

Today I decided to try Gillette's new Flexball razor and their menthol based shave foam:

The foam was ok. It had pretty good cushion which offers protection from nicks and cuts, but there wasn't enough slickness for me. The cooling affect was minimum compared to Proraso's green formula which has an epic cooling affect which is good for damaged skin. The new Flexball razor itself done a pretty good job. It did conform to the contours of my face pretty good but unlike my old Gillette Fusion handle, it didn't give me that baby smooth shave or BSS. I didn't have to stretch the skin with my old Fusion handle at all to get my trouble spots in which I did have to with this new razor. It's also a tad bit shorter than the old handle is and it curves in toward the skin while the old handle does not. I got this new razor today at my local Sam's Club for $16.87 which is a steal considering that back in the day, I paid alot more than that just for the cartridges. But you'll never get me away from DE safety razors. The shave is at least a 100 times better and a lot more economical in the long run compared to the cartridge systems that are out there. The DE or double edge safety razor's up front costs aren't that great, but they'll last a lifetime compared to today's cartridge systems. The cartridge system's up front costs are great, while the long term costs are terrible and the post shave qualities are medium quality at best. I would Not recomend buying this version of the Fusion razor and stick with their older handles instead.

Men-U Shave Cream Review....

One of the very first products I ordered was Men-U shave cream. The product was terrible. It says cream on the website and container, but it's not a shaving cream. It's a lotion that doesn't lather to good. In fact it doesn't create any lather. It had some slickness to it, but practically had no cushioning ability and you need that in a shaving product. Another problem was the fact that I paid $16.75 for a 3.3 ounce bottle. That's $5.08 per ounce so the price point is way too high. I don't intend to purchase this stuff or anything else that says "Men-U" on the container. So please do not waste your money.

Feather DE Blade Review...

These blades are my personal favorite DE or double edge blades to use in all of my safety razors. The price point is a bit on the high side at $4.50 for a package of 10 blades which is $.45 cents per blade over at West Coast Shaving Supplies, but some places charge as much as $8.50 for a pack which is not nessecary so please shop around. West Coast Shaving seems to have the cheapest price point for these blades at $4.50 for 10 blades. One blade is good for 8 shaves before having to replace it which is awesome. The package itself also has a used blade storage comparment which makes disposal alot easier. These blades are made of stainless steel so you won't have to worry about rust. These paticular blades are excessively sharp which is really good for my medium beard and if you have a really coarse beard, then these will definately be your first choice. The post shave will be a little rough until you get to the 3rd shave if you have sensitive skin like I do. The first shave you'll have to take alot longer due to the extreme sharpness of these blades so please use caution. After the 3rd shave is completed, you'll notice that the post shave gets much smoother as you go along. The 8th use of these blade are still very good but the post shave starts to fall off a bit, but not much. The 9th shave pretty much told me that these baldes had reached their limit. They started to pull and tug really bad on my trouble spots and started to leave some stubble behind and the smoothness of the post shave was just about gone. For me, one 10 pack of these blades are good for 80 shaves. Now for those that have light beards, one 10 pack of thse blades could be good for 100 shaves (2 extra shaves per blade) at the most. Now for those that have heavier beards, you will probably not get more than 6 shaves per blade and only one shave will be needed to break in the blade for comfort. The smoothness will also start to fall off at around the 5th shave. I will be looking at getting these in bulk here pretty soon, but not just yet.

Gillette Silver Blue DE Blades....

These gave me a really solid shave and the post shave was really good. They're not as sharp as Feather DE or double edge blades, but they more than make up for it in smoothness. I have not used these in a while and I've not used them in my Edwin Jagger DE89 safety razor either. I did use these in my Weishi and they were great. If they're that good in a mild safety razor, then I'm in for a real treat using these in my Edwin Jagger DE89 because it has a much superior design that's geared towards shaving compared to the Weishi. These blades did not tug or pull on any of my trouble spots which was really nice. They didn't struggle to slice through the hair like the Derby blades did and the shave quality didn't fall off till about the 4th shave which was really nice. The post shave was very good. No left over stubble at all which was extremely nice. The price point is $2.25 for 5 blades which puts the cost at $.45 cents per blade so they're a little on the high side considering you don't get but 6 shaves before having to grab another blade. If I can't get my "go to" DE or double edge blades, then these are my next best choice. I might want to buy these in bulk later on, but right now I can't just yet.

Personna Medical Prep DE Blades....

This was my first DE or double edge blade purchase over at Westcoast Shaving Supplies. The first shave was ok but the post shave was not quite there for me. These blades also have a high price point at $3.13 per blade. These only come in a 100 pack and the package will set you back $32.00 bucks. The closeness was alot better than most blades due to the fact that these are often used in hospitals to prepare the skin for surgery so they'll need to be close. The post shave wasn't good for me. There was no slickness at all and my trouble spots gave this blade a really hard time. These blade don't last at all. You'll be doing good to get 2 multi pass shaves out of each blade. I definately won't be purchasing these blades again. Personna has another blade that's similar to this called Lab Blue which is made by another company here in the united states. My supplier mentions that these lab blue blades share the same characteristics as the medical prep blades I just reviewed earlier in this post. So that tells me not to waste my money on the Personna Lab Blue DE or double edge blades because they won't work for me.

Derby DE (double edge) Blade Review...

These are the blades that came with my Edwin Jagger DE89 safety razor. The first use which I like to call the "break in" shave, the blade did a pretty decent job. It had trouble with the first pass but I also had 3 day's worth of beard growth. As I went along, the shave got a little better. The final pass was pretty good, but it had left quite a bit of stubble and I needed to perform an extra pass to clean up what was left. I have a beard that has a medium level of coarseness and it grows in all different directions along with sensitive skin. The post shave did not feel to good. This blade also had a lot of problems getting my trouble spots with the first shave. So I waited for 2 days before shaving again with the same blade. Once again I got the same results and the blade struggled through out the entire shave. Even short stubble proved to be difficult for this paticular DE blade. After this shave, I waited 2 days and tried again. The blade was virtually useless. It pulled and tugged even worse than it did before and I didn't even finish the first pass with this blade. So I tossed it and installed a new Feather DE blade and finished the shave with that. In my opinion the Derby brand of DE or double edge blades, would be good for those with soft hair that doesn't grow in all different directions and sensitive skin. The most shave you'll get from these blades is 3 or 4 at best. The price point of these blades are low at $1.75 dollars for 5 blades and if you decide to buy these blades in bulk, the costs are $20 bucks for 100 DE or double edge blades over at Westcoast Shaving Supplies. I won't be purchasing these blades because they are not sharp enough for my medium level beard and they snagged really bad in my trouble spots.

Edwin Jagger DE89 Safety Razor Review....

After determining that the Feather AC shavette system wasn't for me, I ordered an Edwin Jagger DE89 saftey razor. The first impression you get is the handsome black box packaging that the razor comes in. It's extremely nice and classy. This is a 3 piece razor with a preset angle which means you just load the double edge or DE blade, shave and go. The handle is very light weight while the head of the razor is a little on the heavy side which is a good thing. This means that all of the razor's weight is focused towards the head which is where you'll need it while you shave. The handle has a pretty good grip to it but there are other razor out there that have more grip than this one does. The finish is emaculent. There's no rough edges scratches or nicks in the razor and the chrome is beyond belief. If you ever had to send a part out to get chromed, you'll only wish that it comes back this good. The shaves and post shave qualities are alot better compared to what I was using in the past. I'll definately be looking getting a couple more of these razors for christmas gifts this coming holiday season. The price point is really good considering the quality of the razor you'll be getting. It has an average price point of $40 bucks. Most safety razors that have this kind of quality and finish would usually go for at least double that.

Merkur Safety Razors.....

I have not tried them just yet, but there's a few safety razors that I intend to try. The first one is a Merkur 37C. It holds the blade in a "twisted or scewed" fasion which creates a guillotine affect for a much closer and smoother shave. Another razor that I want to try is a Merkur 25C open comb razor with a long handle. It holds the blade normally, but there's no safety bar for protection like you'd get with a normal safety razor. This will be your most aggressive type of safety razor that you can get on today's market due to the amount of blade exposure. The other razor I'm itching to try is the Merkur Futur which is an ajustable razor. I'll be going for the polished chrome version because from what I've read at about the matte chromed version, the finish tends to wear off after so many uses which is very disheartening considering that it's a fairly expensive razor. The price point of the Merkur Futur is around $90 bucks give or take a little, while the 37C is around $50 bucks. The 25C has an average price point at $40 bucks which is not too bad at all. Another thing I've noticed is that the chrome finish used my Merkur Safety Razors over in Germany, gets alot of mixed reviews and is often compared with Edwin Jagger's quality. Edwin Jagger is an excellent chrome plating artist considering that they do the chrome for Rolls Royce which says alot about the quality. I'm going to look at the glass half full instead of half empty. If Mekur's chrome finish is often compared to Edwin Jagger's chrome plating, then it must be extremely good. So my wish list over at Westcoast Shaving supplies tends to get a bit longer as I go to try out new shaving products.

MicroTouch One Ultra Review.....

Shortly after ordering my Weishi online and getting word that it had shipped, I saw a commercial for this safety razor featuring Rick Harrison off of the hit tv show Pawn Stars. This razor sold out rather quickly and stayed that way for at least 2 months before I could get a look at it which was fine because I was enjoying the quality shaves I was getting with my Weishi at that time. One day I found this safety razor in a local shop and I got quite a shock after getting a real close look at it. It's the exact same razor as the all stainless steel Weishi 9306 G model ! The only difference is the travel case is black and lined with red velvette. It also comes with a little chromed wire stand for storage on your sink and 2 packs of 5 Dorco DE or double edged blades. The price point is $20 bucks and this razor can be found in the "AS Seen on TV section at most retailers. In my opinion, Rick Harrison endorsing this razor will bring alot of people into the wet/classic shaving world. Wether or not he truly uses it like he claims is a completely different story. I think he does use a safety razor, but not the one he endorses because there are much better safety razors out there compared to this one. It still gives good shaves for those that have extremely sensitive skin and for beginners like I said in my review of the Weishi. The price point is about the same because you do get more with this safety razor in the form of a wire stand and 2 packs of Dorco 5 DE blade packs. The only bad part about this situation and razor is that most people will only try it and keep using it until it falls apart. When this does happen, they'll say screw it and go back to shaving with cartridges. You might see roughly around 4 out of 10 people look for a better safety razor and stick with it. This is the bad side of wet/traditonal shaving. Celebrities like Rick Harrison and Conan "O" Brien are basically in it for the money and nothing else. They just don't have the passion for it.

Parker Barber Shavette Review....

Back in April after using my Weishi for about a month, I decided to purchase an all stainless steel Parker Barber Shavette. It's all stainless steel construction is a plus. That means you won't have to worry about it rusting over time with use. This shavette uses a DE or Double Edge blade split in half which means you'll get to sample the various DE or Double Edge blades that are out there which is a really good thing. The price point is extremely low at around $15 to $20 bucks. Most of your quality straight razors and shavettes are 3 times higher than that if not more. Remember you get what you pay for when it comes wet/traditional shaving tools. The finish on this shavette leaves alot to be desired. Some of the edges and corners of this shavette could've and should've been cleaned up a little better than it was before being sent out. The blade is hard to load. To load the blade, you must unfold the shavette. Take the actual blade holder and twist it until you can split the entire arm to expose the blade compartment and then you load the DE blade which was split in half onto the tabs and twist the main arm back into place and the blade is secure and ready to be used. Loading the blade on this shavette takes a little while and is not as easy as some other shavettes such as the Dovo shavette where you simply slide the blade holder out and unfold it. Install the blade onto the tabs and fold it back and reinsert the blade holder back into the shavette. Due to nerve problems, I can't use a folding straight razor or shavette. All in all I'd give it around 3 stars for performance mainly because it takes longer than most other shavettes and traditional straight razors and the price point is low and much more affordable than most shavettes as well as other straight razors that are on the market. As far as the finish and functionality goes, I'd give it 2 stars because it's really hard to load the blade and the finish is terrible. Seeing what I got and experienced, I would NOT buy this razor again.

A Weishi Safety Razor Review....

Back in March, I purchased the all stainless steel Weishi 9306 G model safety razor. I got some really good shaves with this razor. The first thing you'll notice is that it comes in its own blue travel case which is nice. Inside the travel case, you'll find a mirror inside the lid and a small brush for cleaning out the safety razor which I recomend doing after each use. My travel case was damaged during shipping and I had to use the hot glue gun to install the mirror back into its frame and then back into the lid. The little brush was also missing when I opened my razor which is fine I usually do rinse it on a regular basis through out the entire shave which I also recomend doing. It came with 1 Dorco DE or Double Edge blade which I tossed. Dorco blades get alot of mixed reviews at various shaving supply stores and they make Dollar General's brand of DE or Double Edge blades which you can get 10 blades for around $2.25 which is a really good price point. There's some drawbacks to the Weishi. The first is that there's no aggressive angle to the head of the razor which is great for those that are just starting out with a safety razor, sensitive skin, or have just returned to safety razors and their technique is a little rusty. The Weishi also doesn't have much blade exposure compared to others that are on the market. That means you'll get a mild shave which can be both good and bad for some people. Those with sensitive skin and mild beards will like it while those that have the same skin type but coarse beards may not like this razor. Another drawback is that this safety razor has no weight behind it which can easily be fixed by using an ultra sharp DE blade such as Feather,Gillette 7' O clock, or Gillette Sharp Edge DE blades. The finish of the Weishi is pretty good. It's a replica of an early 1960's Gillette Speed Glide. The all stainless steel construction means that it will not rust which is a really good thing. It's a TTO or "Twist To Open" type of safety razor which is much faster and easier to load razor than most. The last drawback is the buuterfly doors where thwe blade is loaded. They're a little on the weak side around the hinge areas. I retired mine from use because of this. I want the razor to last and not fall apart so I keep it in storage. The price point of this razor is extremely low. At less than $20 bucks, this is pretty much a steal. After using it for a few months, I'd give it 3 stars and recomend it to beginners and those that have extremely sensitive skin. I also must say Buyer Beware because it does have poor construction where it clearly could've been alot better.

Feather AC Shavette Review....

About 2 months ago, I purchased a Feather AC (AC is short for Artist Club) non-folding japanese style razor. It's a shavette which works like a straight razor, but it uses an injector style replacable blade system. That takes all of the maintence out of the equation for those that are on the go and want a classic or traditional wet shave that you can get at alot of barber shops across the country. The razor itself is kindly on the expensive side of things and usually starts at around $100 bucks or more. The version I purchased can be used like a safety razor on certain areas of the face such as the cheeks, along the jaw line and chin areas. The blade holder of the razor is solid stainless steel while the previous models were a mixture of brass and stainless steel. The current model also has a rolled edge which relieves pressure along the blade which allows a much more comfortable and milder shave compared to the previous model's pointed version of the blade holder. The handle has a gel like resin which is extremely easier to grip even with wet hands compared to hard plastic type resin that you'd get on the folding version and previous models. Feather's shavettes or straight razors all use the same blades and only those blades. For me, the folding version was ruled out because I have alot of old injuries and some nerve problems and can't use the proper techniques need to acheive a close and smooth shave. Unfortunately, my skin is too sensitive and can't handle the post shave of a Feather straight razor or shavette. Now the only drawbacks to this shaving system is the fact that you can only use Feather's injector style blades and none of them are budget friendly either. You only have 4 to choose from and they're extremely sharp. Some say that they're too sharp. I find this to be true for some people especially those that have extremely sensitive skin. Another prblem is the price of this razor. The model I chose sold for $120.00 bucks at westcoast shaving supplies. That's more than all 3 of my other razors. So if you do have the funds availible, you can try the Feather AC or DX systems if you wish to try a straight razor type of shave but with the ease of a safety razor. I would NOT purchase this item again mainly because it has too high of a price point.

Tabac Shaving Products Ruled Out....

Thank goodness for Westcoast Shaving Supplies for posting up the ingredients list for Tabac shaving soaps and creams. When you have sensitive skin, you have to look at the ingredients listed on the packages and containers of shaving products. Westcoast Shaving Supplies are one of my all time favorite suppliers. They often place the ingredients list underneath most of their products which is a very good thing for those of us that have sensitive skin because it lets us know wether or not we can use that product without having a really bad reaction. Tabac shaving products have a really strong reputation. The first thing I noticed was that Tabac has alot and I do mean an excessive amount of perfumes listed in the igredients list. One of the things that I've learned the hard way over the years was to avoid any and all products that have alot of or excessive amounts of perfumes, fragrances, fragrance oils, and alcohol. Some sensitive skin products can't be used because they one or more of these ingredients. Another thing that came up alot in the reviews about Tabac's shaving products was the scent. While some say they tolerate it due to its performance, others avoid Tabac because of it. That's a red flag to me. They say Tabac's scent won't run people off but in my humble opinion, if people are already avoiding it because of the scent then my guess is that it can run people out of the room. It's a really contradicting situation with Tabac's shaving products. They say it peforms really good but unfortunately, I won't get that chance to try it out. Another problem that I seen with Tabac's products was that they intend to dry out really fast and can take an excessive amount of water through out the shave. While hydration is one of the keys to a good shave, this is not good for Tabac's products in terms of post shave quality. If their stuff dries out quickly, then you'll be forced to rush your shave which can damage and irritate your skin quite severely. It ruins the zen like experience of the shave. The biggest thing that also went against Tabac's shaving products was the price point. The jar of Tabac shave cream costs start at $20 bucks. If you just get the refill soap, then it lowers it to $18 bucks. That is not cheap at all. In fact that is 1/3 higher than Taylor of Old Bond Street's shaving products and you still don't get anywhere near what you'd get from Taylor of Old Bond Street either. So for me, I have ruled out Tabac's shaving products. Sorry Tabac, but you need to reformulate your shaving products.

The Shaving Experiment....

So far I've tried just about every type of shaving that's out there. I recently invested around $150 dollars in a non folding japanese style shavette that's made by Feather whom is world reknown for having the sharpest blades on the market. I can vouch for their DE or double edge blades because I did get a few nicks with those blades and I didn't even feel it. That's how sharp their blades are. The first blades I purchased for this shavette was the Super Professional blades which was a mistake. They're way too aggressive for me. I recently joined a shaving forum called Badger & Blade which is awesome and someone sent me a couple of Kai Captain Titan Mild blades which was alot better than the super professional blades. Unfortunately they're still a bit too much for me so I'll need to get the Proguard blades. As far as soaps or creams go it's between either Cella which is reported to be good for sensitive skin and it's also very affordable. The other is Tabac which is extremely expensive and a bit on the difficult side when it comes to aquisition. So far my DE or double edge safety razor is winning but not by much considering that it's a cheaply made razor.

Fortitude & The 430:

Today's shave felt extremely good. Today I went with something that I hadn't used in a while and that would be Soap Commander's...