03-13-2013, 08:53 AM
#1
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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I, as most of us do, have a bit of an acquisition disorder. Now my disorder doesn't delve into the high dollar range, but I have managed to build up quite the inventory of both software and hardware alike. I have only been shaving traditionally since July of 2012, but have racked up a few dozen brushes, several dozen razors, soaps, and creams. The blade stash is in the thousands. It is a sickness, a disgustingly satisfying sickness. Enough stating of the obvious, we are all in the same boat here.

One of the side effects of buying and trading so much is that it is hard to truly dedicate time to each product for a true evaluation. Especially in the case of soaps and creams where I tend to use a different one each day and often write off a soap as undesirable after only one use, even if it's lack of performance is my own fault. Such is the case for the following items that I decided to try together for my last two shaves, Portmann Square Notting Hill shaving cream (the scent is still not my favorite but has grown on me a bit and the performance is stellar), aluminum handled Gillette Super Speed (black handled beauty was written off as too light and mild to get decent results) and of course the good old Derby blade (the ultimate victim of blade snobbery). I did use a different brush for each shave, SOC boar and then BG dyed horse beehive, but both shaves were very close and amazingly quite comfortable. The lather was thick and very stable, the Super Speed loaded with the Derby was able to easily match my usual 3 pass with touchup efficacy I expect from my favorite Merkur razors.

I guess the reason for this post was just that I have come to a realization, or change of heart if you will. I still believe that life is too short to shave with something you don't enjoy. However, don't write off something until I have give it a little effort to dial in and especially don't bias my recommendations to others on one experience.

In the spirit of shaving brotherhood, I challenge each of you to grab an item or two that you may not have given a fair shake and use it for a few days in a row and report back if you found yourself able to enjoy it for a change. Or, if you too have had this same epiphany please share it here. Happy shaving to all and too all a good life!

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 03-13-2013, 09:03 AM
#2
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Dave, I have revisited shaving products and tools with mixed results. As prep, technique and understanding improves so does results, although there have been some items that I simply could not reach an accord with...

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 03-13-2013, 09:17 AM
#3
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(03-13-2013, 09:03 AM)ben74 Wrote: Dave, I have revisited shaving products and tools with mixed results. As prep, technique and understanding improves so does results, although there have been some items that I simply could not reach an accord with...

+1 i have found that the Merkur Progess SH and large brushes have found their way into my routine/arsenal after initially not enjoying them!

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 03-13-2013, 09:30 AM
#4
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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I think it's a great idea. Especially trying products again that were wrote off soon after starting.

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 03-13-2013, 09:36 AM
#5
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I have given away more soap/creams in the past year than I have used in a lifetime, just searching for something better, to me at least. I have my soap inventory down and I am down to just two creams. Razors boils down to four different Schick Injectors, 288 BIC Sensitive Razors, and one Progress. I have a few more speciality Italian soaps on the way, then I hope my soap buying is over for a while. I've been looking at brush pictures lately, but the good lord knows I do not need anymore brushes.

It is a sickness.

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 03-13-2013, 10:59 PM
#6
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Revisiting written off products is a very interesting experience, I agree it is wise to give said products a second chance after tastes and technique might change/improve with time.

Recently, I aquired a Wee Scot from the BST in a last ditch effort to fall in love with a brush that I had originally hated and sold within days after purchasing a few years ago. At that time, I bowl lathered exclusively and used soft soaps and creams only. I found that particular brush scritchy, inefficient and painful to lather with. Fast forward to this week...I exclusively face lather these days with hard soaps primarily and have much, much more experience with many different brushes in various knot types and sizes. I absolutely love my new Wee Scot. I find it soft, very fun and of course extremely efficient to use. I owe this to the fact that I face lather hard soaps now, which of course is what I believe the Wee Scot was designed to do primarily. Trying to bowl lather a cream or face lather with no face lathering experience with such a tiny brush was a total disaster 2 years ago...

It is amazing how time, experience and tastes can completely change your perceptions/experience with certain hardware/software...

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 03-13-2013, 11:09 PM
#7
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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It's not that I had written it off, but today I shaved with a $3 British Flare Tip Rocket (the catalyst of my disorder) coupled with a Feather blade, Proraso new formula tub croap and a Semogue 1250.

The result?

A very close shave indeed, 2.5 passes, very smooth going, no nicks, weepers, nothing, and I have to say it shaved me no better and no worse than anything else in my arsenal. No, wait, it shaved me far better than the AS-D1, waaaaay better with no finicky blade angle nonsense. It also fitted under my nose easily.

I finished off with Speick splash with a little 444 chucked in for good measure. Ahhhhh....

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 03-13-2013, 11:20 PM
#8
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(03-13-2013, 11:09 PM)Shaun Wrote: It's not that I had written it off, but today I shaved with a $3 British Flare Tip Rocket (the catalyst of my disorder) coupled with a Feather blade, Proraso new formula tub croap and a Semogue 1250.

The result?

A very close shave indeed, 2.5 passes, very smooth going, no nicks, weepers, nothing, and I have to say it shaved me no better and no worse than anything else in my arsenal. No, wait, it shaved me far better than the AS-D1, waaaaay better with no finicky blade angle nonsense. It also fitted under my nose easily.

I finished off with Speick splash with a little 444 chucked in for good measure. Ahhhhh....

Sounds like a great shave!

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 03-13-2013, 11:31 PM
#9
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(03-13-2013, 09:36 AM)Johnny Wrote: I have given away more soap/creams in the past year than I have used in a lifetime, just searching for something better, to me at least. I have my soap inventory down and I am down to just two creams. Razors boils down to four different Schick Injectors, 288 BIC Sensitive Razors, and one Progress. I have a few more speciality Italian soaps on the way, then I hope my soap buying is over for a while. I've been looking at brush pictures lately, but the good lord knows I do not need anymore brushes.

It is a sickness.

My wife accuses me of looking at "shaving porn". That could give the wrong impression totally, I realise.

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 03-17-2013, 05:38 AM
#10
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Great thread. It is so true. I have revisited my blade samplers multiple times with different results as I gained experience. Success in lathering various soaps and creams is another example where experience helped.

I continue to refine my A-list, but take breaks dusting off inventory and equipment and having a go. It adds to the fun.

Still learning and having fun.

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