11-24-2013, 05:40 AM
#1
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I struggled for over a year to get Mystic Water soaps to lather. I read the success of so many where brush to soap produced easy lather, yet that was never my finding. I sold my soaps, ordered more, sold, ordered, and sold again, such was my failure.
I recently started a thread where I used a whole 1/2oz sample as a stick, and was rewarded with some of the best lather I had ever experienced. An extreme approach, but it was the lather that came from this method that made me realise I should be able to get them to work using a brush on the puck and face lathering in my usual fashion.
Roll on a few weeks and I have to say that Michelle's soaps are performing wonderfully. Knowing there a quite a few members out there who have had similar experiences to me in having difficulty lathering Mystic water soaps, it was suggested by my very good friend, Celestino, that I should post a thread, explaining my new successful approach. So here goes.

As much as I thought I was loading my brush with enough soap, I clearly wasn't. To ensure this happening, I use Michelle's suggestion of "roughing up" the soap surface. I then add a little water to the surface just to soften it a bit more.
I soak my brush for approx 30 seconds in warm(not hot) water and then shake the brush gently 4-5 times to get most of(but not all of)the water out. This is what differs for me with other soaps as I use "Marco's Method", with a wet brush, for everything else.
I then tip away the surface water on the soap and GENTLY swirl the brush on the soap. Again, my mistake before was that I was pressing down too hard, thinking this would encourage better loading. I keep swirling until a lather begins to form. After 30 seconds, I then add a few more drops of water to the soap and continue swirling for another 30 seconds. A total of one minute is all I now need. I scoop up with my fingers any lather on the soap and rub it over my face and neck, and then begin to face lather.
One very important thing here, and this was also my previous big mistake, is that I usually wet my face before face lathering. I have realised now that doing this with MW soaps simply adds too much water in to the lather building, and if not enough product is used, then a thin airy lather is almost certain to be had. So, no wetting face beforehand, I rub the lather from the soap surface on a my DRY face, and then continue to face lather that way.
A few swirling motions over the face and neck, then more importantly, paint brush strokes to thicken the lather. This will become thick and quite dry, so I dip the tips of the brush in to warm water very slightly, then continue to paintbrush. I repeat this one more time.
At this point, I now have a lather created that really is one of the best I have experienced. Having gone through so much disappointment for a year, I now understand all the errors I was making. The sweet spot for these soaps is very small compared with my other soaps. I know from my experience there is a learning curve, and I strongly believe, also, that water type does play a part, but get it right and these soaps are up there with the best.
I truly hope that this thread will inspire those who have struggled with Mystic water soaps, to try again. It has taken persistence on my part that many will consider unacceptable, but persistence does reward, and I am delighted to have come this far with total success.

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 11-24-2013, 06:13 AM
#2
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I hit the sweet spot a few times with MW before it became a shower soap, it's a nice lather to be sure, but certainly nothing worthy of donning your lab coat every morning at 5 am to create lather. I have too many other options that create wonderful lather at the mere sight of my Thater 4125/2 2 band, but to each his own. Enjoy your MW.

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 11-24-2013, 06:27 AM
#3
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Well done, David.

Your perseverance to get it right, and experience the wonderful qualities of this soap, is commended. Many would have simply given up after experiencing what you did initially.

A measure of patience and a little practice, in terms of getting the right technique, is quite rewarding for many. IMO this soap is not particularly difficult to use, but seems to require a modified approach, that can seem counterintuitive to some. Interestingly, now that I'm accustomed to my technique with MW, it sometimes takes me a day or two to 'shift gears' and optimize performance of my other soaps. Each soap has it's own nuances, and certainly some have a narrower sweet spot than others ... with MW, it's worth the effort to get it right. Once the technique is fine-tuned, MW takes no more time or effort to use, when compared to other soaps in general.

As with any product available in the marketplace, one product is not meant for all.
MW is a top shelf soap, with personality quirks that make it distinctive!

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 11-24-2013, 06:33 AM
#4
  • Deuce
  • Just a guy
  • Cave Creek
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David-You haven't been alone in getting your soap to perform. In my first full year of wet shaving, my frustration was high-blamed everything on the very hard water in Chicago. After looking/reading the various posts/videos, the technique came to me. I'm very glad that I joined TSN for the group knowledge.

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 11-24-2013, 06:46 AM
#5
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@ Ravi: Thank you, Ravi. I have to admit that I was reluctant to return for this final attempt, such was my frustration from previous experiences. But those scents are just outstanding and their attraction won.
It is so true what you have said about technique going back to other soaps. I hate to say it but after using MW soaps repeatedly over several days, I then used my favourite JabonMan, and forgetting, used the MW approach. The lather was nowhere near what I was used to.

@Chris: Chris, whilst I believe water type does play a role in quality of lather, it does not prevent good lather being produced. You merely have to adapt your approach accordingly. And yes, TSN, in my opinion, is THE best shaving site around.

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 11-24-2013, 12:29 PM
#6
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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(11-24-2013, 06:13 AM)Loudoun Wrote: I hit the sweet spot a few times with MW before it became a shower soap, it's a nice lather to be sure, but certainly nothing worthy of donning your lab coat every morning at 5 am to create lather. I have too many other options that create wonderful lather at the mere sight of my Thater 4125/2 2 band, but to each his own. Enjoy your MW.
2424

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 11-24-2013, 01:06 PM
#7
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The common theme with difficult artisan soaps is, in my observation, starting with too much water in the brush. It needs a squeeze with your hand. This is because there will need to be quite a bit of loading to get enough soap off they puck (they tend to be more tallow-ey and resistant to loading). If you have a wet brush, you'll have more of a wet slurry on the puck before enough soap material rubs off.

Start with a more dry brush, and get as much soap off that puck as you can. Then you can always add drops of water to get the right consistency. (I use a bowl).

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 11-24-2013, 02:13 PM
#8
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(11-24-2013, 01:06 PM)Face Bannon Wrote: The common theme with difficult artisan soaps is, in my observation, starting with too much water in the brush. It needs a squeeze with your hand. This is because there will need to be quite a bit of loading to get enough soap off they puck (they tend to be more tallow-ey and resistant to loading). If you have a wet brush, you'll have more of a wet slurry on the puck before enough soap material rubs off.

Start with a more dry brush, and get as much soap off that puck as you can. Then you can always add drops of water to get the right consistency. (I use a bowl).
The lesson I have learned. Whilst I ditched the bowl in favour of face lathering a long time ago, I did trial these soaps with a bowl during the learning phase. To my surprise I found it easier to build a good lather than face lathering. This is of no consequence now as face lathering no longer creates difficulty for me.

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 11-24-2013, 02:26 PM
#9
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David, congratulations, once again and wonderful to see you starting this thread. I know how much you love Michelle's scents and, I believe, they are worth the effort you have put into getting the soaps to work for you. A bit of patience and a more refined technique can do wonders with almost any soap!
Congratulations, my friend, and I wish you continued success with them!
By the way, I told you the Sardinian Honey was addictive! Biggrin

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 11-24-2013, 02:32 PM
#10
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(11-24-2013, 02:26 PM)celestino Wrote: David, congratulations, once again and wonderful to see you starting this thread. I know how much you love Michelle's scents and, I believe, they are worth the effort you have put into getting the soaps to work for you. A bit of patience and a more refined technique can do wonders with almost any soap!
Congratulations, my friend, and I wish you continued success with them!
By the way, I told you the Sardinian Honey was addictive! Biggrin
Thank you, my friend, and I couldn't resist the Sardinian Honey this morning. This has to be the best scent Michelle makes, although I am contemplating which will be the next to order and experience. The Maple syrup has caught my eye already.

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 11-24-2013, 02:40 PM
#11
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I would probably have to agree with you on the Sardinian Honey, but I also love the Sandalwood Rose and her Bay Rum is such a pleasant, relaxing and reminiscent scent! Smile

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 11-24-2013, 09:30 PM
#12
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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I haven't encountered a Mystic Water scent that I didn't enjoy.

That being said, my favorites ... right now ... are :
1. Almond
2. Mysore Sandalwood
3. Sardinian Honey
4. Sandalwood Rose
5. Bergamot, Cedarwood & Juniper

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