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 shavenation.com 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 shavenation.com 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.

The Comfort Knot Brush:

This brush has just became my all time favorite shave brush  in my entire collection. The lather this beast builds is unreal and since it&#...