Vision:

Today's shave was great. I have to do some honing later on because these edges are just too sharp and harsh for me. Thank goodness that it's "Take Charge Monday" and that Soap Commander has a lot of cushioning ability and slickness to it. Another plus is that it's my top soap, "Vision":


If anyone says that you can't set a bevel or too keen of an edge with a Norton 4/8K, tell them they're mistaken because if you spend too much time like I did, they'll be too sharp to use. 

Another Product Down:

Well at least it's not a soap, L.O.L. I finished off my Clubman tonight and it took me nearly 2 years to do it. Usually if I'm in a rush and need to smell good for a little while, I'll splash on some of this at the last minute. The best part is that it's cheap:


I've already gotten another bottle. I can get it here locally without any shipping costs for $4.75 U.S. Dollars at various markets:


This stuff will always be in the rotation, along with Aqua Velva's classic ice blue aftershave which is also dirt cheap and easy to get. The classic Vanilla formula will NOT be added back to the collection. Mainly because it's hard to get due to most people not carrying it and the fact that the one soap I have that the classic vanilla goes with has been discontinued. So there's no need to get the Classic Vanilla version. I'm also thinking about getting rid of Brut but I may get disowned for that one though.


Fresh Barbicide Results:

Now that I've changed my Barbicide out, lets disinfect and clean my Edwin Jagger DE 89 along with a fresh Perma-Sharp DE blade. As you can see, it looks a little dull even after it got soaked for 10 minutes after this morning's shave and the blade was shot so it was definitely time for a new blade:


First, I disassembled the razor and along with a fresh DE blade, I put them into the fresh Barbicide solution that I had just finished mixing for 10 minutes. It was also still pretty hot as well, so I got the added cleaning power of both steam and heat on top of that:


Next I removed the razor and blade from the jar and rinsed the excess Barbicide off under cool running water:


Next I used a towel to dry off the razor and I patted the blade dry as well which I highly recommend doing because some of these DE blades will rust inside the razor if you don't pat the blade dry. I prefer to use Cotton terry towels to dry with and micro fiber cloths to polish and shine with:


Here's the results after drying the razor and it's been reassembled:


Next, I used a micro fiber polishing cloth to give it that extra shine and the beauty about Barbicide is the fact that NOTHING does a better job at making chrome pop like Barbercide does. Not bad for a 2 year old razor that's been abused:


This is the final results I got after doing some more polishing:


I've seen a lot of stuff come along in the auto detailing world that really makes chrome and polished aluminum pop and stand out and absolutely NOTHING even comes close to the results that Barbicide provides and I've used quite a bit of stuff considering that back in the day I use to love detailing cars and trucks as a hobby. It takes me a lot longer these days to wash and detail vehicles because of mobility issues obtained after multiple cancer removal surgeries. They got it all, but the results made me move a lot slower than I use to which is why I don't detail vehicles anymore.

Changing Your Barbicide:

After today's shave and clean up, I noticed that my Barbicide was no longer cleaning or doing what it's suppose to do so that means that it's time to change it out. Since it's just myself and my mom here, I only change it out roughly around once a month which is when it usually stops cleaning and disinfecting. Now if I was a professional barber or beautician, it would get changed out daily:


First I get me some hot water going with my kettle. Just when the water starts to boil, this kettle shuts itself off which is really cool. And also dump the old stuff out:


while my water is boiling, I'll take some hot soapy water to clean the jar out and then I rinse it with the hot water I just brewed in the kettle and start the kettle over again. This kills any and all germs and forms of bacteria that may be lingering in there:


Next I fill up the jar with the actual Barbicide itself to the bottom where the grooves start which is exactly 2 fluid ounces which is what the instructions recommend:


I'm getting low so it won't be long before I'll have to stock up. Get the REGULAR Barbicide and NOT the Barbicide Plus. The plus does NOT clean or disinfect period. The mixing ratio is 2 fluid ounces to 1 U.S. quart (32 fluid ounces) :


I highly recommend that you get a decent kettle and use hot water to mix your Barbicide solution with because it seems to perform much better than it could with luke warm or cold water and you also get the added power of heat that also kills any and all bacteria on top of the Barbicide solution itself:


One U.S. Quart is what's recommend (32 fluid ounces) which is at the very top of where the grooves stop on this jar, but I like to add a little more hot water because I use straight razors and if I didn't add that little extra water, then a small portion of the blade wouldn't get disinfected. You dunk it in there briefly, but contact time is needed. A Minimum of 10 minutes. You can go longer if needed, but it's really not necessary to be honest:


Well I hope this helps anyone out who has or had questions about barbicide and how best to mix it. You can find the concentrate at Sally's Beauty Supplies, all across the U.S. and they're open to the general public which means no license is required to enter.


Confidence:

Today is "Soap Commander & DE Sunday" and "Confidence" was up in the rotation. The scent on this soap is one of my favorites after "Vision". The scent is sweet honey, patchouli, and musk. It's a perfectly balanced scent and the ladies love it. Today's shave was also an "ice rink" type of shave which I normally don't get with my Edwin Jagger DE 89 and it's also time to switch out both the blade and the Barbicide:


During the shave, I kept feeling the blade trying to tug and pull rather than slice an I do plan on getting another 37C slant the first chance I get. It's simply too good at getting trouble spots cleaned up and since I am planning on starting to shave my head, it'll be great for curves. You ladies out there might want to consider getting a slant for much closer and smoother shaves.

Dragon's Blood:

Oh wow is all that I can say about this shave soap. It's got a very refreshing, clean and not overly slick post shave to it and the scent is phenomenal. Today's shave was also an "ice rink" type of shave, but the edge was a tad bit too harsh. So I did one stropping motion on my flattening stone and then I stropped it again on my leather strop. So it should be good to go the next time I shave with both straight razors. I also had 2 day's worth of beard growth, so that made the shave even better:


This was my very first time using Reef Point's shave soap and they're definitely going in my rotation.

A Surprise Mail Call:

Today's mail call is from William Lusk Coppage of the Dirty South Shavers Face Book group and it was a total surprise to me and I'm tickled to death with it. I knew nothing about it till it arrived in my mail box today and these are some of the soaps that I've been itching try:


The unmarked reef point soap is their Dragon's Blood scent and the scent on knock out shave is called "Smoky" which fits it perfectly:


A total surprise to get this in the mail today:


He must have been reading my mind on some of these soaps because I was just looking at Mickey Lee Soapworks' "The Kraken" scented soap and I just happen to have a sample of Reef Point's Dragon's Blood scented soap that I was going to use tomorrow. Aqua Velva's classic ice blue will go perfectly with it. I also have one that will go extremely well with Brut aftershave splash. He also sent me a copy of his poetry book and a music CD. Thank You William. It's greatly appreciated.

Honing Session Completed:

Well these will be retarded in terms of sharp and keen edges. I just spent the last 2 hours honing these straight razors. I did 400 round trips and then I did 2 sets of half circles in my usual progression of 40 seconds, then 20, 10, 5 followed by 10 round trips to clean up the edges a bit. Now on the 8K side I added 10 "X" Strokes to that list before doing the final 100 round trips to give these edges that extra polish. I suspect that I probably won't even feel the blade tomorrow when I shave. We will soon see. After I done all of that, I performed 25 round trips on the scrub leather followed by 50 round trips on the smooth leather:


Pumpkin 3.14:

Today's shave started out with a hot shower and a rough edge on my Gold Dollar 208 so I grabbed my Gillette Fusion Proglide to finish the shave with. I'm not really fond of using a cartridge at all mainly because I know what that cartridge does to both your skin and hair follicles and it's not pretty either. It removes the entire top layer of skin:


This thing here normally does NOT get used at all:


I prefer a straight razor or a DE safety razor. I really didn't have much time to disinfect a new DE blade or anything so I grabbed this while I was in a bit of a rush.

C.a.D. & Clubman:

Today is a special day. My mom turned 65 and I decided to let her pick out what to shave with today and she picked an all time favorite and my most popular shave of all time. The shave was also an "ice rink" type of shave as well. The first thing she picked was Pinaud's Clubman original aftershave which was really no surprise. What did surprise me was the fact that she picked PAA's C.a.D. to go with it which is the "1980's version of Barbersol canned shave foam" which is a classic barbershop scent. I also showed her this razor along with both of my straights and she picked the Edwin Jagger DE89 or the shiny one as she called it:


^ This is a classic and extremely popular S.O.T.D. post that has gotten more likes than ANY of my S.O.T.D. posts period. I'm certain about the exact number, but this shave got well over 200 likes combined from all of the Face Book groups and G+ communities that I was involved in at one time.

The Captain & Brut:

Today's shave was fabulous. The Captain which has a cherry pipe tobacco scent and Brut goes extremely well with each other. In terms of the post shave quality, I don't think I could have gotten a closer shave than I did today. I got that "ice rink" type of shave that's extremely comfortable:


Refreshment:

Today is "Take Charge Monday" and I needed some refreshment. This soap is no longer available because it was an L.E. soap but the scent is sweet tea and lemon which is the "wine of the south" if you will. After a hard day's work, nothing beats a tall cold glass of sweet tea with a little hint of lemon to quench your thirst with:


Today's shave was nice, smooth and close. I didn't get that "ice rink" type of shave because I didn't do a touch up just slightly to the right and above my Adam's apple. I would have if I had done a touch up. But it's still extremely comfortable and very enjoyable.

Eh+ and Tins are Out:

Well I can't say that I'm not surprised about this mainly because here lately, I've been just about the only one posting this soap in S.O.T.D. posts in various Face Book groups and G+ communities. It's a good soap and it had a really good run, but sometimes you have to make decisions you don't want to which is the case for PAA's Eh+ which has a maple syrup, vanilla and nutmeg scent to it and has a bit of sweetness to it but not overly sweet. It's been Discontinued by PAA. Clubman's classic vanilla aftershave which has a fresh talcum powder scent to it goes extremely well with it, but not too many people carry it and I can't get here locally. The surprise came when I paired it with Aqua Velva classic ice blue aftershave. They went extremely well together. Another surprise came when PAA decided to discontinue ALL tins period and go to a 4 ounce plastic container which is awesome because it's recyclable and they only have to get and deal with one size which makes sense to me in a lot of good and different ways:


So after the tin you see above is gone and been rinsed out, it will be going into cold storage since neither will no longer be available once they're gone. It's sad to see it go, but it's understandable in several different ways. I applaud PAA in these decisions and the effort in making these decisions because they put a lot of heart and soul into these soaps and discontinuing them is never easy.

Mary Kay is Out:

As many people already know that read my blog and follow my S.O.T.D. posts over in the HTGAM google+ community, I recently bought some killer shaving products from a local Mary Kay dealer. After doing some extremely serious thinking about over the past few days, I've decided not to use these products anymore because they're just too expensive. I bought 4 items off this dealer and they cost me $98 U.S. Dollars. That's more than both of my straight razors, and my Edwin Jagger DE 89 combined which is ridiculous. Another problem is that my local dealer seems to be a bit on the greedy side these days which is not normal for her at all. With me, she never pushed or twisted my arm to get me to buy something because I'm always looking to try some shaving products that's available to the general public that might be interested in them. I was told that this was NOT the case with a few other friends:


What told me that she had changed and not for the better I might add, was the fact that all she talked about was making more money. During her first visit, she didn't talk about it too much. But that was not the case during her last visit. Something seemed to be off with her as of late that I couldn't quite figure out and she's also really hard to get in touch with if you need to order something which is really the only thing she'll respond to these days. I understand and wish her all the best, but I can't afford to keep these products in the rotation at this time nor will I continue to keep using them either.

Commitment & Clubman:

Today is Soap Commander & DE Sunday, and I've got to tell you that is was one of my best shaves with a DE safety razor that I've had in a really long time. It was only a shade under my usual ice rink type of a shave that I get with a straight razor. I'm also glad I can use this soap with no skin issues. Which is a really good thing because Sandalwood is one of my favorite scents. Growing up as a kid, I worked in a lot of wood working factories and freshly cut and milled wood was and still is one of my favorite scents. My all time favorite scent is burning firewood:


On occasion if the wind is right, you can literally walk down the street and smell the wood stoves going and there's just something about it that I love.

Eh+ and Aqua Velva:

Pancakes anyone? I was craving this shave for some reason this morning. With that being said, this shave was very good and extremely satisfying. I normally use Clubman Vanilla with this soap, but I ran out and to be honest, I have no plans to restock the Clubman Vanilla. Aqua Velva's classic ice blue aftershave goes extremely well with sweet scented soaps and has a very nice and soothing cooling effect to it. I also made a decision about my rotation again which will be another blog post:


Chocolate Bourbon:

Today is Friday, which means a PAA/Crown King product(s) get used today and one of my favorites was up next in the rotation, Chocolate Bourbon. It has an old school made from scratch chocolate cake batter smell to it that was mixed with an electric mixer and the aftershave has more of the Bourbon scent to it with the same notes of chocolate, vanilla, and white oak which is what the barrel is made out of to age the bourbon for 2+ years depending on which distillery you got to. This is one of my most popular shaves of all time even with people whom are not interested in shaving love the scent of this soap and aftershave. The ladies really go nuts over it. Today's shave was also epically close as well. So close that there might NOT be a shave tomorrow. I'll have to wait and see how much beard growth I have before making a final decision:


Another Honing Session:

Today's shave was great but I did have to make an extra pass though to get the shave I got today which turned out to be the right decision and resulted in an "ice rink" type of shave. Sometimes that extra pass is too much and often requires skipping a day which is not a good idea for me considering how fast my barbed wire type of beard grows. In fact several of my friends on Face Book can and will vouch for me on this. So I will be spending a little extra time on my Norton 4/8K combo stone:


Mary Kay & The Commander:

Today is Thursday so that means Mary Kay products get used today and today's shave was another ice rink type type of shave. I also used Soap Commander's integrity shaving soap which is unscented and goes with ANY aftershave and/or cologne combo. An unscented shaving soap is great to have for those aftershaves that really don't go with anything and the same can be done with an unscented aftershave balm if you have a soap that doesn't have a matching aftershave or doesn't pair with anything else. That's why i keep unscented stuff in my shave cave:


Mary Kay Cologne:

My cologne arrived today and it's awesome. It has a masculine scent with a little hint of sweetness to it. It has notes of black fennel, silver sage, black tea, violet, royal king wood and amber:


It's an EDC or Eau de cologne:

It also has a really clean ingredients list and contains glycerin which is very pleasing an easy on sensitive skin. So for those who have allergies or are sensitive to colognes, this one is perfect for you:



All in all I'm very pleased with this product and I couldn't be happier with it. I'm already missing my MK dealer as well because she really lights up a room and is very pleasant to deal with. I kindly didn't want her to leave and I believe that I do have a bit of a crush on her. She is such a sweet lady.



Tiki's Windy City:

Well today's shave was a fast one. I didn't have enough time to use my scuttle so I went ahead and used Tiki Bar's Windy City. I may have to stop using this particular soap because the last few times that I've used it, I got a burning sensation that was very unpleasant. The aftershave will be Mary Kay's High Intensity Sport once it arrives here in about an hour and 20 minutes give or take a little. My lady friend that I enjoy dealing with is also getting her very first safety razor and some blades this morning. I decided to start her off with something mild and comfortable until she gets used to it. The aftershave I'm getting has a masculine scent to it with a little hint of sweetness:


Buying Hiatus Begins:

Well tomorrow I will be buying one last shaving item and that will be it for me in terms of wet shaving. It's NOT that I want to, but I have to. This all came about shortly after I found out that the state took my entire insurance claim from my cancer policy that I had and paid with my own money. Now I can understand that they might want piece of the pie and I even suspected as much. But for them to take the entire pie and the kitchen it was baked in was unexpected and unreasonable. I had plans to join the seasonal scent crew at Soap Commander this year, I was going to get a couple more honing stones and stock up on a couple of new soap brands. Now it can't happen. Thanks a lot Virginia. You really screwed me over and then some:


I found out that I don't even get what is left. They took everything.

Scuttle = DE only:

Well I didn't use my scuttle this morning and yet again, I get a better shave without it when I use a straight razor. This is not the first time either. I've tried this several times and have gotten the same results each and every time. Now this is NOT the case with a DE safety razor. In fact the opposite effect occurs when I use the scuttle with a DE safety razor. So from now on, I will be using my scuttle with a DE safety razor ONLY which is on Sundays. If I'm in a hurry, then the scutle won't get used either because it takes longer to shave when you use a scuttle with a DE safety razor:


This is one is Royal Blue and is specifically made for face lathering. I got it from Straight Razor Designs for around $50 U.S. Dollars. I've had it for while and it does produce hot lather but if you get it too hot, the lather and soap dissipates quickly. I usually put it in the microwave for 1.5 minutes at the most with a little bit of the bloom water in the bottom to keep my soap from drying out between passes. The lather not only stays warm, but it tends to get hot between passes. That is how I use it.

Kilted Tiki & Aqua Velva:

Today's shave was epic. That touch up paid off in both comfort and resulted in a true BBS shave. I still have a lot of these soaps, so until they're gone it's still going to be called Tiki Bar Tuesday. It's nothing personal, I'm just wanting to try other stuff that's out there. Today's shave also proved something else today. For the last few straight razor shaves, I didn't use my scuttle and each time I didn't the straight razor shave was much better without it than it was when you use it:


For those wondering what I did about the edges on both of my straight razors, I used a Norton 4/8K combo water stone and I did 50 round honing trips and 1 round stropping trip on the 8K side only. I've gotten to where I just about don't need a finishing stone  now when it comes to using a Norton 4/8K combo water stone.

Touch Up is Complete:

After this morning's shave, I determined that the edges that I put on both straight razors which are extremely comfortable I might add, were too smooth for my beard. There was a lot of stubble left behind after 3 passes so I went ahead and pulled out my Norton 4/8K combo stone again and did a touch up on both razors. They more than passed the hanging hair test after this touch up:


I did 50 round trips on the 8K side with 1 round stropping trip on both razors:


That's the beauty of honing your own razors. You can always try different methods and various stones to do either just a touch up, or even start from scratch if you wanted to. You're independent and don't have to rely on anyone when it comes to straight razors and the possibilities are endless. Tomorrow's shave will be the ultimate test and pretty much confirm what I already know. Even though they passed the HHT test before today's shave, they performed it much more effortlessly after this touch up while they struggled a tiny bit before this touch up was done.

Gusto & integrity:

Today is "Take Charge Monday" which means that a Soap Commander product gets used. And one of my all time favorite scents that they made was up next in my rotation. "Gusto" which is a raspberry pink lemonade scent. The shave was extremely comfortable but the edges on my razors are tad too smooth for my beard so, I'll do a touch up later on today. I didn't get the matching aftershave balm when it was available so I got their "integrity" aftershave balm which is unscented and pairs with anything. So if you have a soap that doesn't go with anything, grab an unscented balm to pair with it. And the same can be said with the aftershaves. Just grab and use an unscented soap with it:


Dixie:

Today is Soap Commander & DE Sunday, but there's also an event that was created for a Face Book group called The Dirty South Shavers and the event is called Dixie Day where all of the members use a collaboration soap and/or aftershave called Dixie which was made for the meet up that they had last month which I wasn't able to attend. Fortunately a friend sent me a sample of the soap which is incredible. After I bloomed the soap I got notes of Magnolia, Jasmine, and Juniper along with a fresh soap scent which is really cool. That magnolia really pops after blooming it. Today's shave was very close and comfortable, but not quite a true BBS mainly because it was the 1st shave on this blade which will change the next time I use this razor:


All in all a very good and relaxing shave.

Another Honing Session:

Well after some thought, I decided to kill the edge completely and start from scratch. I already knew that I was going to have to perform a massive touch up and since I was going to pull out the old Norton 4/8K combo stone, I figured why not start from scratch and see if I can get it more comfortable than I did the last time which I believe I have. First I started off by doing 100 round trips which was the same as the last time, followed by my usual 40 seconds worth of half circles on each side of the razor. Then my usual 20 seconds, 10 seconds, 10 seconds, 5 seconds and then 10 round trips to clean up and polish the edge a bit. Now here's where things changed a bit. I added 10 stropping round trips on the 4K side and 5 stropping round trips on the 8K side to help make the edge smoother and more comfortable to use and I believe I was successful because I got zero burn after doing this before stropping both razors:


I also changed my stropping routine a bit as well, but this is ONLY after I perform a honing session. Other than that, my usual stropping routine stays the same before and after each shave:


I performed 25 round trips on the scrub leather, then I performed 50 round trips on the smooth leather after each honing session only. Before each shave, I'll be performing 15 round trips on the smooth leather only. And after the shave, I'll be performing 5 round trips on the scrub leather only. That's my new stropping routine for honing sessions only. It's been a good bit since I performed a honing session. I'd have to go back and look at my previous blog posts to determine when I honed both straight razors last. I could have gotten away with a touch up for sure because both razors still had a decent edge on them that was just barely starting to pull and they were becoming slightly uncomfortable, but where's the fun in that ? So if anyone tells you that these Chinese made razors don't hold and edge or are impossible to hone, tell them they're stupid because I don't know if I can get ANY razor sharper than these Chinese made straight razors to be honest about it.

No head Shaving yet:

Here lately, I've been thinking about shaving my head and going for the "Vin Diesel Look". So I talked to a couple of really good friends of mine Con Kazantzidis and Marty Pape about this. Con strongly suggested that I go ahead and do it and he's correct in the fact that I'm only delaying the inevitable by not shaving my head because I'm already having to get a buzz cut when I go to the barbershop. Marty suggested that I should wait until I absolutely had to shave my head which is what I decided to do for now. I must inform people that it will NOT be long, before I'll have no choice but to shave my head with a razor blade instead of going to the barbershop:


A lot of people out there do shave their heads because they're going bald and it simply doesn't look right until they do which I totally understand now. Their confidence goes through the roof because they know for a fact that they shaved their head and are more than happy with being bald. Doing the hair club treatment and having hair transplants costs a lot of time and money and is something I don't have a lot of especially after getting shafted out of my insurance claim on a cancer policy that I have which I no longer have to pay the premiums on now. So why waste time and money getting all that done when you can shave it all off in 10 to 15 minutes? I say by the age of 41 if I'm lucky, I'll probably start shaving my head. It may come by the age of 40 for me which is less than 2 years now.

Crackling Birch & Pantie Dropper:

Well today's shave was great but unique. It's also Saturday which means it's Sample Saturday and samples are always awesome. It allows you try multiple soaps without breaking the bank to see what you like and I finished off a sample of Mickey Lee Soap Works' "Pantie Dropper" today. I had just enough for the 1st pass and that was it and I needed 3 passes today:


In order to finish my shave, I needed 2 more passes and the Pantie Dropper sample was completely gone, so I looked around and I just happen to find a Soap Commander sample of their crackling birch scented soap so I rinsed my brush out and re loaded it for the other 2 passes:


Crackling Birch and Pantie Dropper pair really well together. I'll also probably be hitting the stones later on tonight. It's been a while since I've done any honing and both razors are starting to pull a little bit but not a lot though. So I will think about whether or not to start from scratch or to just perform a touch up this time around.


366 & The Shield:

That was one really sweet shave. Today's shave is in honor of Kelly Daugherty  half owner of KShave Worx . Happy birthday Kelly. I went...