04-12-2016, 01:05 PM
#1
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A few things I've realized recently (some things I've known but forgotten along the way), and hoping that by writing this, I will remember, and others may benefit too.

1. My face is a bit sensitive, unfortunately, Even though I prefer face lathering, I have come to the realization that my face is better when I do not face lather. So, I will palm lather initially, then do a nice face lather to finish, but all the main lather building work will already be done.
(This is actually a hidden blessing, because, IME, lather that is worked longer is always better (some products may be exceptions, but as a blanket rule, I believe this to be true).... so, I can palm lather as long as I want and not worry about face irritation and get an excellent lather that way, then do a finish lather on the face, making the lather even better in the process. Also, by this time, the brush is at its softest (AND the made lather protects the skin from any brush coarseness), so less irritation during the brush experience, as well.)

2. (As the last step immediately prior to using razor to shave...) Always work the lather into the beard AGAINST the grain. This is a game changer, for me at least. This is the way to ensure lather gets underneath the hairs. If you try to work the lather into the beard with the grain, you will only be getting lather on top of the hairs.

3. Heresy for most, but true for me: At some points during the prep and shave, using the hand is better than the brush. For instance, getting lather REALLY into the beard on the mustache area (as well as jawline and chin, and Adam's apple...any of the trouble areas). Granted, if you do #2 above, this won't make as big of a difference (so make sure you're already doing #2), but this really will make it even better. So, I like to do #2 and #3.
Just make sure rub the lather in AGAINST the grain (doesn't matter if by hand or brush).

Furthermore, using the fingers to test the lather consistency on the face (thickness, hydration, uniformity across face, etc.) is clearly the best way and the only way to be certain of those qualities. You just can't check slickness with a shaving brush.

4. There are no rules. Use your own head and stick to what works. Experiment. But listen to your skin.

5. Synthetic brushes are definitely going to (or definitely should, on performance merit and consistency) overtake badgers some day. The current Mühle and Plisson hairs I received last month were immediately "better" than of any of the 20-30 silvertip badgers I've owned, so it is just a matter of time until this is discovered by the masses.
I say "better", as in "softer tips, stronger hair backbone, and better and/or faster lather".
I can't imagine what the next generation of synthetics will be like. (I think the only thing missing from the current synthetics is the ability to "more comfortably" do circle strokes instead of their preferring paint strokes.)

[EDIT: I think I should have said that the synthetics will be preferred by those with sensitive skin and those who prefer a softer experience over a scrubbier experience (such as D01 2-band, et al.). But yes, even YMMV on this statement!]

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 04-12-2016, 02:16 PM
#2
  • chazt
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Matt, you've clearly given this topic a lot of consideration. I agree with you on how important it is to really excel at prep for the shave. Personally, that's why I've chosen to use only the softest tipped brushes I can afford. I spend a lot of time building lather, and want only the softest possible brush tips working on my ugly mug. As far as synthetics, I'll take your word for it. My only experience with a synth brush is the Omega barberpole synth. Presently it doesn't satisfy me as do my luxurious badger brushes. Maybe someday I'll look into a high end synth, but not now. Ymmv and all...

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 04-12-2016, 03:08 PM
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Somewhat of a charged topic especially in regards to item #5. I respect the OP's opinion, but I don't think there is a synth on the market with as much backbone as my two favorites (shavemac d01 and chubby2m) - certainly not a plisson, which isn't known for backbone. I love my travel synthetic, but there is a considerable gap between it and a great badger. Both Mühle and plisson have been in circulation for a long time, and while there are certainly folks who prefer them (more power to ya), I don't know that there are any huge performance surprises which aren't general knowledge.

In terms of #2 - if you face lather with circular motions, I'd think you've got the lather fully worked in.

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 04-12-2016, 03:39 PM
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I like to get my hands in the lather to push it into places that I like to keep lubricated from the blade in case i nick myself. Did me wonders, especially up around the nostrils where there is some blade overlap on unlathered face above the mustache region.

Also, I love me some Synthetics. I have 6 Brushes. 3 Synthetics, and 3 high end 2-bands, and they are all used just as frequently, but when I need a fast shave, the hand immediately goes to the synthetic.


Love your thoughts

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 04-12-2016, 03:50 PM
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(04-12-2016, 03:08 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: Somewhat of a charged topic especially in regards to item #5. I respect the OP's opinion, but I don't think there is a synth on the market with as much backbone as my two favorites (shavemac d01 and chubby2m) - certainly not a plisson, which isn't known for backbone. I love my travel synthetic, but there is a considerable gap between it and a great badger. Both Mühle and plisson have been in circulation for a long time, and while there are certainly folks who prefer them (more power to ya), I don't know that there are any huge performance surprises that aren't general knowledge. 

In terms of #2 - if you face lather with circular motions, I'd think you've got the lather fully worked in.

I didn't start the thread to argue or be charged.

I can honestly say that the Mühle tips combine the SOFTEST tips with a very tight backbone. Like SILK, wet or dry. Forget "gel" or whatever other nice terms there are. Honestly, my softest badgers (Thäter (2 and 3 band) and Art of Shaving (much softer than the Thäters, just used them for reference)) feel like sandpaper in comparison, pretty much.
Plisson are very soft tips also (but not as soft as Mühle) and definitely a lighter backbone.

Unfortunately, for #2, the circular motions don't accomplish the same thing for me as against the grain, even though I could understand that thought (I've had the same).

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 04-12-2016, 07:43 PM
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My intent isn't to argue - but in any thread with strong opinions, you must be prepared for some spirited discussion Smile

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 04-12-2016, 08:54 PM
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(04-12-2016, 07:43 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: My intent isn't to argue - but in any thread with strong opinions, you must be prepared for some spirited discussion Smile

Haha, I understand… it is all good… I did not mean to sound "one size fits all" (see #4)
Cheers : )

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 04-12-2016, 09:14 PM
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(04-12-2016, 02:16 PM)chazt Wrote: Matt, you've clearly given this topic a lot of consideration. I agree with you on how important it is to really excel at prep for the shave. Personally, that's why I've chosen to use only the softest tipped brushes I can afford. I spend a lot of time building lather, and want only the softest possible brush tips working on my ugly mug. As far as synthetics, I'll take your word for it. My only experience with a synth brush is the Omega barberpole synth. Presently it doesn't satisfy me as do my luxurious badger brushes. Maybe someday I'll look into a high end synth, but not now. Ymmv and all...

Thanks Charlie!  Prep is definitely very very important, as well as gear selection.
I have not used the Omega, but I believe you would be pleased with the Mühle STF v2 hairs… btw, I actually have the Edwin Jagger L (not XL)… the handle is awesome too.



[Image: xtoOexH.jpg]

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 04-12-2016, 10:10 PM
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(04-12-2016, 03:39 PM)DamnitGoose Wrote: I like to get my hands in the lather to push it into places that I like to keep lubricated from the blade in case i nick myself. Did me wonders, especially up around the nostrils where there is some blade overlap on unlathered face above the mustache region.

Also, I love me some Synthetics. I have 6 Brushes. 3 Synthetics, and 3 high end 2-bands, and they are all used just as frequently, but when I need a fast shave, the hand immediately goes to the synthetic.


Love your thoughts

Yes, the spot underneath the nostrils is where there always seems to be a gap without lather and the fingers can easily solve the problem (without errant lather in the nostrils).
More importantly for me, that whole area around the mouth seems to be more difficult to get the lather "worked into the skin" (it seems to "sit on the skin" instead). So, I find using the hand and rubbing the lather into the beard, against the grain especially, really ensures excellent coating (and you can feel-test the lather qualities in this critical area of the face).
Thank you for your post, as well!
Which synthetics are you using, btw?

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 04-13-2016, 01:05 AM
#10
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I have

An AMAK Game Changer

An Ubersoft II

A Chisled Face Fauxmere plisson type knot 28mm

The game changer really is just that... Incredible. Right now he only makes 24mm but it's plenty to get the job done as is any synthetic

[Image: ky8T5Sw.jpg]

Here's mine. Very silky. Superior to the plisson type knot and worth the buy @ $18.00

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

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 04-13-2016, 06:11 AM
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Matt, thank you for the information. It sounds as though you have a great routine going. Thumbsup

It is good to hear you are enjoying your synthetics, but I don't ever foresee them overtaking badger brushes, though. Of course, YMMV.  Biggrin

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 04-13-2016, 08:13 AM
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(04-13-2016, 06:11 AM)celestino Wrote: Matt, thank you for the information. It sounds as though you have a great routine going. Thumbsup

It is good to hear you are enjoying your synthetics, but I don't ever foresee them overtaking badger brushes, though. Of course, YMMV.  Biggrin

Thanks Celestino!

Try out #2&3, I think you'll be pleased.

I think I should have said that the synthetics will be preferred by those with sensitive skin and those who prefer a softer experience over a scrubbier experience (such as D01 2-band, et al.). But yes, even YMMV on this statement!
(Added to OP now, as well)

Peace.

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 04-13-2016, 08:25 AM
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Thanks, again, for the recommendations, Matt and I have, indeed, used my hand to try lathering and to work the lather into my whiskers, but I found it too soft and much preferred my 2-Band badgers. Biggrin

Honestly, I am very fortunate not to have overly sensitive skin, so I can face-lather with most any type of hair for 3-4 passes and be fine.

Enjoy your personalized routine and have fun. Thumbsup

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 04-13-2016, 09:29 AM
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(04-12-2016, 01:05 PM)Nero Wrote: Matt, I have sensitive skin and used to believe that I had a reaction to almost every soap I tried (even the "hypo allergenic" versions) so as I began to evaluate my routine I noticed that my face didn't even like when the soap touched it after hot water was applied.  While doing some research I stumbled back upon this forum and read a thread on cold water shaving I have tried cold water shaving and can now report that I am having some of my best shaves with almost zero irritation (unless I try dumb ideas).  Just a thought but reading your thread does pose some interesting ideas, thank you.

Marcus

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 04-13-2016, 11:32 AM
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(04-13-2016, 01:05 AM)DamnitGoose Wrote: I have

An AMAK Game Changer

An Ubersoft II

A Chisled Face Fauxmere plisson type knot 28mm

The game changer really is just that... Incredible. Right now he only makes 24mm but it's plenty to get the job done as is any synthetic

DamnitGoose, that Amak synthetic brush looks amazing! I haven't tried teied that particular brush fibre..may I ask where you ordered it from and what the dimensions of the brush are? 

Thank
DM

[Image: ky8T5Sw.jpg]

Here's mine. Very silky. Superior to the plisson type knot and worth the buy @ $18.00

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

Nero,


Thank you very much for sharing. I have very sensitive skin and I'm going to use some of the reminders you have mentioned in my shave today. 

I'm exclusive user synthetic brushes..and have tried the muhle silvertip fibre, plisson type fibres and omega synthetics and enjoy all of them.

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 04-13-2016, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for sharing your tips Matt.  Even an old timer like me can gain some new knowledge to make things easier. Smile

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 04-13-2016, 11:43 AM
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(04-13-2016, 11:32 AM)D_SM Wrote:
(04-13-2016, 01:05 AM)DamnitGoose Wrote: I have

An AMAK Game Changer

An Ubersoft II

A Chisled Face Fauxmere plisson type knot 28mm

The game changer really is just that... Incredible. Right now he only makes 24mm but it's plenty to get the job done as is any synthetic

DamnitGoose, that Amak synthetic brush looks amazing! I haven't tried teied that particular brush fibre..may I ask where you ordered it from and what the dimensions of the brush are? 

Thank
DM

[Image: ky8T5Sw.jpg]

Here's mine. Very silky. Superior to the plisson type knot and worth the buy @ $18.00

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

Nero,


Thank you very much for sharing. I have very sensitive skin and I'm going to use some of the reminders you have mentioned in my shave today. 

I'm exclusive user synthetic brushes..and have tried the muhle silvertip fibre, plisson type fibres and omega synthetics and enjoy all of them.
Absolutely. The artisan who crafted this brush is Gluck Huck with Bristle Brushwerks. I have had him make me a few brushes and he does really incredible work. He has a very prolific portfolio

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

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 04-13-2016, 11:49 AM
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(04-13-2016, 09:29 AM)Mastermason151 Wrote:
(04-12-2016, 01:05 PM)Nero Wrote: Matt, I have sensitive skin and used to believe that I had a reaction to almost every soap I tried (even the "hypo allergenic" versions) so as I began to evaluate my routine I noticed that my face didn't even like when the soap touched it after hot water was applied.  While doing some research I stumbled back upon this forum and read a thread on cold water shaving I have tried cold water shaving and can now report that I am having some of my best shaves with almost zero irritation (unless I try dumb ideas).  Just a thought but reading your thread does pose some interesting ideas, thank you.

Marcus

Marcus, I started doing cold shaves during March Madness, and can report that I notice less irritation (less redness/more even complexion).
Cold water shaves (or at least cold rinses between passes, for non believers, haha) is #6!
Thank you for your post and reminder, as well.

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 04-13-2016, 12:33 PM
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(04-13-2016, 11:36 AM)hrfdez Wrote: Thanks for sharing your tips Matt.  Even an old timer like me can gain some new knowledge to make things easier. Smile

Welcome, Hector! Hope you're enjoying that Coconut Oil soap and loading like you hate it.

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 04-13-2016, 12:40 PM
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(04-13-2016, 12:33 PM)Nero Wrote:
(04-13-2016, 11:36 AM)hrfdez Wrote: Thanks for sharing your tips Matt.  Even an old timer like me can gain some new knowledge to make things easier. Smile

Welcome, Hector! Hope you're enjoying that Coconut Oil soap and loading like you hate it.

It is an awesome soap!  The scent is not strong, which I like a lot.  That's me, Loader McLoader, lol......

Thanks!

I hope the move went well!

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