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.

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&#...