Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Proraso Red

I just tried Proraso's red-tube cream, having received a tube in a trade. Here are my impressions, in the order of a shave's progress (2x used derby blade, '54 superspeed)

3 passes (wtg, xtg, atg) and some touching up. The scent wasn't as strong as the green tube, but it's a very smooth cream. Excellent lube qualities. NO irritation. After I finished up, I rinsed and used some Proraso aftershave balm. Easily the closest, least irritating shave I've ever had. Unreal how nice the red tube is. I think I have a new favorite cream.

Of course, that new favorite is completely discontinued. ARGH.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gillette Fat Boy day 2

I decided to give the fat boy another try today - this time running with Proraso cream at setting "5" and a 2nd-use Derby blade.

2 passes plus touchups and I'm smooth. Unreal. Usually it's a 3-pass affair (WTG, XTG/ATG, ATG) plus touchups. No irritation. My Superspeeds are sorta looking at me sadly at this point. I feel badly because I haven't even given the red tip a try. I am thinking tomorrow it's getting some use.

In other news, my girlfriend and I were looking at my razors last night, trying to figure out what's best for her - she's using a Gillette Ladies razor (blue stars, very pretty - essentially a long-handled superspeed) but wasn't happy with it. I grabbed one of the Gem Micromatics from my shelf and loaded it up with a Ted Pella blade, and off she went. Totally loved it. I think that the Gems might wind up being a great lady razor - worked beautifully for her. We'll see how it goes though, gonna give her a few days of use with it before I report for sure.

Music to Shave to:
Ride - Vapor Trails (EP Single)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fat boy, wait til tomorrow.

Yeah, I just quoted Silverchair. Sorry. Won't EVER happen again.... but that's the deal sometimes, you know, when you gotta come up with a title and it's early and there's not enough coffee and the monkeys are on your back and OH MY GOD THEY'RE CHEWING ON MY FACE

Sorry, back to the topic at hand.
I picked up a fat boy (gillette adjustable razor) from an antique store for about 40 bucks this weekend and spend some serious time cleaning it up, thinking I could sell it if I got it in nice shape.... then I realized "wait a second - I can't sell this without using it first." Whoops.

This morning, I lathered up with QED's Fresh Lime soap (my first time really face-lathering, worked nicely) and used a new Derby blade in the fat boy. Set it to 4 and off to the races we went. GREAT shave. Easily as nice as the Superspeed shaves I was getting. I'm keeping it. :)

A red tip I picked up on the B&B forums also showed up yesterday, and I'm pretty excited to give it a try in the next few days... I also get a Lady's Gillette (stars and pretty handle) coming in the next few days from a ludicrously cheap Ebay auction, and can't wait to give that a try as well. The GF has her own, and it's a very cool razor.

Music to shave to:
Dead Can Dance - A Passage in Time
Relaxing. Probably not a good start-the-day album, but whatever. It's pretty.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

QED Lime soap

I've been on a total lime kick lately - from the Trumper's Lime skin food to the Wesley+Scott lime aftershave, so it seemed like a natural fit to try the QED natural lime soap and the Vulfix Sicilian Lime cream.

They came well-packaged from QED's website, and when I opened the containers at my desk I was assaulted by the smell of fresh limes. Unreal - QED apparently uses a LOT of essential oils in his soap. So how was the shave?

Well, I gave the QED soap a try this morning - and it's really nice. I got the best lather I've ever gotten out of a soap, but I think I need to learn a bit more about face lathering before I make a real judgment. It lubed my face up just fine and left me feeling pretty smooth. Is it as nice as Proraso? Not yet. :) That king is yet to be dethroned.

On another note, I noticed the last time I used Art of Shaving's sandalwood that the sandalwood scent lasted most of the day - which was a bit weird to me. I am glad I like sandalwood, but it got a bit ridiculous. :) I will say that AoS's sandalwood scent is killer, and the quality of the cream is absolutely top notch, so this doesn't change my love of their product.

Music to shave to:
Ben Folds - Songs for Silverman

Sunday, August 3, 2008

This hobby was supposed to be cheap.

The gf and I hit an antique store next to an antique mall today on a whim after brunch. We walk in, and the place just doesn't look very promising at first. I take a quick look around, think "okay, whatev", and we're about to leave when the proprietors of the store ask if we're looking for anything in particular.

I mention that I'm into shaving supplies - and his eyes light up. He practically drags us across the store and sets us down in front of a big box full of razors. Straights, DEs, Gems, you name it. There was, for example, a BEAUTIFUL tiny travel tech in a red carry case that I would have grabbed if it wasn't 75 dollars. Tells me "buy more than one item, you get 20% off".

First thing I grabbed was a lovely blue-tip SS - TEN DOLLARS.

Second thing was this straight razor - my first, and I'm still not sure what to do with it. BEAUTIFUL razor though - 20 dollars.

THEN finally the piece I was on the fence about - listed @ 48, but 20% off brought it under 39, so it was kind of a no-brainer. Mechanically sound, but looks like hell. Needs serious cleaning, which is something I think I can do - but I'm not positive how yet. :)

Not sure if the deal was great or not, but I was thinking about a fatboy - and here it is, with a case that was in good shape. Impossible to resist. :) Debating the best way to clean it - never cleaned an adjustable before.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Whoops. Been a while. :)

Right then. Sorry about the distinct lack of posts. First, let me put this out there - Sue at Saint Charles Shave makes some of the best smelling creams I've ever tried. That said, I am having a devil of a time getting GOOD lather out of them. I know it's possible, because other people have done it, but lathering it winds up too foamy or soupy every time, and the one time I got the consistency right, it dried up on my face in the middle of a pass. THAT reservation aside, I would say that the Arabica flavor is simply the most amazing smelling cream I've ever had. It's made with coffee, and is absolutely gorgeous. I'm going to keep trying to get it to work. :)

SO what's been up in my shave world? Mostly I've been focusing on skin health. I've been trying to find the single best creams and whatnot for my face - and here's the thing: I keep coming back to Proraso. I have several other high-end creams, including Art of Shaving's sandalwood, and NOTHING comes close to the comfortable shaves I get out of the Proraso. It's a bit annoying to think that this 10 dollar tube of cream (which will last MONTHS) is better than everything else on the market... but I'm NOT complaining.

On their way right now - Vulfix cream (lime) and QED lime soap. I'm totally into lime lately, after having used a wonderful lime aftershave by Wesley and Scott (it was an experimental batch they sent out with some other flavors, their first attempts at aftershaves - once available, I'll link them).

Razor-wise, I just scored another SuperSpeed in about the same condition as mine (datecode Z3), so I have a nice backup. I'm also considering selling off my Gem Micromatics, as I find they're pretty much just raw evil. I haven't gone back to the adjustable yet, but plan to after this weekend. (my band is playing a show on Aug 2, and if I tear up my face too badly, the sweat onstage will SUCK)

I'm also really looking forward to the next availability of the Badger and Blade Essentials brush. The reviews are spectacular, and it sounds like a nice upgrade from my Crabtree and Evelyn Best Badger Brush.

And finally, to top it off- I was thinking about this for a while. The act of shaving with a DE setup is one which requires relaxation and helps to center me for the rest of the day. I was trying to think of things which help out, and realized that music would be a wonderful addition. SO....

Check out the band Asobi Seksu. They're kinda shoegazery-dreampop, out of NYC. Incredible stuff - if you've ever liked anything by My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Slowdive, Lush, etc - you'll love this band.