02-12-2017, 02:14 AM
#1
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I see people get caught up everyday in "luxury" items wether it be cars, clothes, wallets, and even shave gear. The issue is many times we justify the price with the "luxury" label just to tell ourselves that it's worth it. What soap, brush, razor in your shave den that is considered "luxury" do you think is well worth the price? I've heard many YouTubers consider $25 and up luxury for a soap and $100 and up for a razor as well as a brush be considered luxury in the shave game.

I always ask myself "Is the juice worth the squeeze "?

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 02-12-2017, 03:56 AM
#2
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As far as soaps go, Pannacrema soaps (have Blu & Rossa). Absolute top-notch performance with strong, sophisticated scents, and great presentation (love the bowls).

A quality SE razor that uses the Feather Artist Club blades is where I think the value lies in razors.  These blades give a superior shave imho to any razor that's going to use modern DE blades.  I like a heavy razor so my preference runs towards Stainless razors.  

Currently have an ATT SE1 and a v2 Mongoose that both give me fantastic shaves.  Expect a quality straight razors would fit the bill as well, but I have not had the urge to delve into straights.

As far as brushes go I don't think you can beat a Shavemac 2-band Silvertip brush, either direct from Shavemac or in a custom handle from an artisan.  26-28mm Bulbs are the sweet spot imo, but the fan knots are excellent as well.

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 02-12-2017, 07:47 AM
#3
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I have not had the pleasure of using a pannacrema soap but o will do someday  Biggrin

But when it comes to soap i have MDC is it good yesis it better than CRSW, B&M, PAA, TIKI ect... i dont think so.

Brushes that is another thing , i feel a personal/custom or special  handle is nice should it be more expensive because of that ? No but it is and then the knot size,density and hair type is where the $ is adding on and i must say i quite happy with my Rodney Neep's and Simpson..some manchurian and this cost $ so be it..

Razors is the same thing i was quite happy with Muhle and Merkur until i tried Feather asd2 and a couple of ikon's..got a wolfman and with that craftsmanship i must say I'm pretty pleased.

Do this razors shave better perhaps not but is it a more pleasant shave yes indeed...do the brushes make a better lather in the end no but they loads up better, feel better and makes everything better   Biggrin

If you can afford it why not spend some money on yourself.its al about getting a more pleasant shave .you can come to a point where soaps, brushes and razor dont work any better then you must think about if it feels better/pleasent.

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 02-12-2017, 07:58 AM
#4
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There is no need to go luxury to get a great shave.  I can do just fine with an Omega 49 brush, tub of Arko soap, and Merkur 34C razor.  However, in a hobby we are dealing with things we want, as opposed to need.  I get luxury shaving items because I enjoy them.  These luxury items don't make sense in a strict, cost/benefit analysis.  However, if I factor in my subjective enjoyment of them, they are worth it to me.  So, to answer your question, any luxury shaving item that is within your means and which you enjoy is worth it.

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 02-12-2017, 08:31 AM
#5
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(02-12-2017, 07:58 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: There is no need to go luxury to get a great shave.  I can do just fine with an Omega 49 brush, tub of Arko soap, and Merkur 34C razor.  However, in a hobby we are dealing with things we want, as opposed to need.  I get luxury shaving items because I enjoy them.  These luxury items don't make sense in a strict, cost/benefit analysis.  However, if I factor in my subjective enjoyment of them, they are worth it to me.  So, to answer your question, any luxury shaving item that is within your means and which you enjoy is worth it.

I agree with this 100%. Give me the 'humblest' of soaps, a Proraso, some Cella, etc. and an inexpensive Omega boar or Stirling synthetic, a Merkur, or even a $15 from eBay Schick or Gillette, and a decent blade, and I'll get a good shave. But the pleasure I get from the luxury products-to be honest, both using them and owning them-is one of the small joys of life. Does one need a Titanium Wolfman, Santa Maria Novella, and a two-band wooden-handled brush from SV (my SOTD today) to get a great shave? No. But when I wake up in the morning, seeing them laid out, ready for the shave, I smile, and see a promise of a great day ahead.

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 02-12-2017, 11:38 AM
#6
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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A great shave doesn't have to be expensive. I shaved for fifty years with the same two razors, a Gillette Slim and a Fatboy that I purchased for $1.50 in the early 60's, an inexpensive synthetic brush, and for many of those years, a puck of Old Spice which was less than $1.00. Since I discovered the forums, I've experienced nearly every DE, most SE's, around 50 straights, more soaps than I like to admit to, and a variety of custom brushes. I've had a lot more fun, and I enjoy interacting with others who are equally as crazy for this hobby. However, my shaves aren't necessarily any better than they were for the first 50 years, just a lot more fun. Yes, my "luxury" shaving items are worth every penny.

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 02-12-2017, 11:49 AM
#7
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The more years I get under my belt enjoying this hobby, the more I seem to realize, that shaving gear is like anything else.

Sometimes the expensive stuff really is just that much better, but too often it really is not that better, than the cheaper stuff.

For instance red wine. The more years I have been enjoying red wine, the more I'm certain, that my taste has now reached a limit, where I simply feel the extra Kroner/Euro/Dollars I pay are not giving me better wine quality, just a better story of how it was made and blah blah blah......

Then you have golf gear, which I paid a small fortune for, when I played the game. Putters, that cost you 2-3000 dollars, and yes, the craftsmanship was fantastic, but did you really put better with them ? Did it improve your balance with the putter compared to a $80 putter ? Honestly NO !
Same with forged Japanese wedges.....did you really play that better with a $1000 wedge compared to one that cost $150 ? NO, not really ! But they sure did look and feel nice.....

But I do feel some shaving soaps that are a little bit more expensive, are worth it, but all in all, you can get a great shave with very cheap items.

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 02-12-2017, 01:53 PM
#8
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Yes and no for me.  My favorite razor, the One Blade, was not cheap.  I spent well over $500 on a cart handle and it performs about the same as a stock Fusion, however it looks and feels really good (art).  I have a $9 synthetic brush I love and have paid $200+ for a synthetic (Plisson solid brass) I don't like it bc it's too heavy.

My shaves are consistently better since investing so much time and money in this hobby.  I think a large part of that is due to understanding my face better (face mapping), how to properly prep for a shave, understanding pressure / technique and knowing what works for my face.

I feel like I am in a post modern shaving phase.  Almost anything works.  I'm trying to enjoy the process more, and not focus on the tools.  

That said, I go through major acquisition phases.  I got much more excited about new things early on.  Now I could almost care less about the nicest of things.   I also tend to get more frustrated due to the high expectations I have with luxury gear with the occasional bad shave.  

I have seen similar patterns in different hobbies.  I like luxe, tend to max out and then eventually move on

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 02-13-2017, 05:58 AM
#9
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[Image: 7910465ed99102fdf79cdc719a655c8f.jpg]


Luxury....
Many luxurious shave items are not worth the money.
Will a Wolfman perform that much better than a reasonable priced decent razor?
I doubt it.
Will my Wiborg brushes give much better lather?
Ummm. I doubt it.
Expensive software?
There are cheap Speick and Klar/Dusy and I Coloniali (puck for 7EU in Italy) which will be hard to beat.
At least the expensive toys will offer a lot more fun, at least to me.

Claus: seriously, there are some great wines at affordable prices, but when your preferences go for Barolo, Tuscany, Amarone and Riesling, the very best have rather steep prices.
What are your affordable favorites?

Cars? I don't think it is just luxury here, but how pleasant or exhausting a longer trip can be, and safety.
Performance on the road and some high tech brakes are not luxury but sometimes a life insurance.


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 02-13-2017, 05:13 PM
#10
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(02-13-2017, 05:58 AM)apogee. Wrote: [Image: 7910465ed99102fdf79cdc719a655c8f.jpg]


Luxury....
Many luxurious shave items are not worth the money.
Will a Wolfman perform that much better than a reasonable priced decent razor?
I doubt it.
Will my Wiborg brushes give much better lather?
Ummm. I doubt it.
Expensive software?
There are cheap Speick and Klar/Dusy and I Coloniali (puck for 7EU in Italy) which will be hard to beat.
At least the expensive toys will offer a lot more fun, at least to me.

Claus: seriously, there are some great wines at affordable prices, but when your preferences go for Barolo, Tuscany, Amarone and Riesling, the very best have rather steep prices.
What are your affordable favorites?

Cars? I don't think it is just luxury here, but how pleasant or exhausting a longer trip can be, and safety.
Performance on the road and some high tech brakes are not luxury but sometimes a life insurance.


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I enjoy Barolo, but won't say that I'm a huge Barolo fan. Luckily for my wallet, because good Barolo starts at $75 a bottle and great Barolo starts at $100 a bottle and up in Denmark.

I love Brunello, and can often find very good Brunellos for as low as $50-$60 a bottle. Compared to the $100+ Brunellos, I rarely find the costlier to be better.

Also a Bourgogne fan. My favourite is Gevrey-Chambertin. I have managed to find very nice bottles of GC recently for as low as $50-60 a bottle. Very hard pressed now to admit the $100-150 GC, that I have tried so many of in the past, are NOT really worth it to me and my wallet to be honest. So I now stick with the cheaper GC priced at $50-60 a bottle these days.

I also find red wine from Argentina, that I often prefer over many European wines, and they often can be found for a very reasonable price.

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 02-13-2017, 05:22 PM
#11
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I used to use high end equipment until I asked myself what is all this really about? Is it giving me better results or elevating my experience? For me the answer is no. I now use a synthetic brush , R41 , astra blades and I can honestly say my shaves are as good as ever and the equipment I use is just as enjoyable. Shaving is a little different in terms of luxury than say an automobile. I sure wish I could find a car from the factory that had 700HP for $20,000 (My R41 compared to the $175 SS razors we all enjoy).

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 02-13-2017, 05:40 PM
#12
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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A great shave isn't dependent on dollars spent.
Luxury IMO is indulging more if one can do so.

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 02-14-2017, 07:08 AM
#13
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(02-13-2017, 05:13 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: I enjoy Barolo, but won't say that I'm a huge Barolo fan. Luckily for my wallet, because good Barolo starts at $75 a bottle and great Barolo starts at $100 a bottle and up in Denmark.

I love Brunello, and can often find very good Brunellos for as low as $50-$60 a bottle. Compared to the $100+ Brunellos, I rarely find the costlier to be better.

Also a Bourgogne fan. My favourite is Gevrey-Chambertin. I have managed to find very nice bottles of GC recently for as low as $50-60 a bottle. Very hard pressed now to admit the $100-150 GC, that I have tried so many of in the past, are NOT really worth it to me and my wallet to be honest. So I now stick with the cheaper GC priced at $50-60 a bottle these days.

I also find red wine from Argentina, that I often prefer over many European wines, and they often can be found for a very reasonable price.

One thinks that the subtext of your comments — which which I generally agree, I should add — is that popularity, which directly influences supply and demand, and thus pricing, ought not be confused with taste.   If a concert hall has an open date and the owner wants to maximize revenue, the owner is more likely to contact the agent for Adele (an historically popular singer) than the agent for Yo Yo Ma (an accomplished cellist, who loves to play Bach).  Tickets to listen to Ma will not be priced as high, or sell out as quickly, as tickets to listen to Adele.  Does that make a ticket to a concert by Adele more of a “luxury” indulgence than a ticket to a concert by Ma?   I would argue no.  

And when next you have a conversation with your wine merchant ask him or her to get you some Barbera (traditionally, a “working man’s” red that some estates have begun to cultivate as a serious “luxury” wine in recent years, with great success) from the unnoticed Oltrepo Pavese region (traditionally, the region Barbera has been most associated with is Piemonte, so the offerings from Oltrepo Pavese are regarded as an upstarts):   Oltrepo Pavese Barbera is a sturdy daily drinker wine that you may surprise yourself presenting to your house guests on very special occasions, and yet is easy on the wallet.   (And, yes, I agree that the Malbecs from Mendoza in Argentina occasionally can knock one’s socks off.)

Inching back to the topic line as it applies to shaving gear, I think of my most expensive piece of gear, a Feather AS-D2, as much as a bargain as I do as  a luxury.  The AS-D2 demands the same attention to technique as Yo Yo Ma’s cello demands of him, but once one gets the technique down pat, the razor and I can make beautiful music together.

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 02-14-2017, 08:43 AM
#14
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I have spent a lot of money on shaving gear during the last 50 years or so.  Some of it was wasted on "luxury" items that were no better than what I already had. I did recently splurge and bought a Timeless OC razor.  Beyond a doubt I consider it the best money I have ever spent on shaving.  It's that good.

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 02-14-2017, 09:00 AM
#15
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
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Luxury is all about how much money one has. If you have little, then your luxuries are small and infrequent. If you have great wealth luxury has a totally different meaning. It is all about disposable income and how one wants to spend that money. As pointed out early in the thread, shaving doesn't have to be expensive but many in the hobby do make expensive purchases. Is there a difference between an Omega brush for $50 and a Simpson for $350? Yes, there is a big difference in price but both are perfectly capable of creating great lather. Why does someone pick the expensive Simpson over the Omega, usually because they can more easily afford the higher price. The individual who saves for 4-months to buy a $350 Simpson is the one individual who is really buying luxury. I guess what I'm trying to say is luxury means different things to different people and that luxury runs the gamete in terms of what it costs.

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 02-14-2017, 10:54 AM
#16
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(02-12-2017, 01:53 PM)waveflow Wrote: Yes and no for me.  My favorite razor, the One Blade, was not cheap.  I spent well over $500 on a cart handle and it performs about the same as a stock Fusion, however it looks and feels really good (art).  I have a $9 synthetic brush I love and have paid $200+ for a synthetic (Plisson solid brass) I don't like it bc it's too heavy.

My shaves are consistently better since investing so much time and money in this hobby.  I think a large part of that is due to understanding my face better (face mapping), how to properly prep for a shave, understanding pressure / technique and knowing what works for my face.

I feel like I am in a post modern shaving phase.  Almost anything works.  I'm trying to enjoy the process more, and not focus on the tools.  

That said, I go through major acquisition phases.  I got much more excited about new things early on.  Now I could almost care less about the nicest of things.   I also tend to get more frustrated due to the high expectations I have with luxury gear with the occasional bad shave.  

I have seen similar patterns in different hobbies.  I like luxe, tend to max out and then eventually move on
+1

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 02-14-2017, 04:27 PM
#17
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(02-12-2017, 03:56 AM)david1201 Wrote: A quality SE razor that uses the Feather Artist Club blades is where I think the value lies in razors.  These blades give a superior shave imho to any razor that's going to use modern DE blades.  I like a heavy razor so my preference runs towards Stainless razors.  

Currently have an ATT SE1 and a v2 Mongoose that both give me fantastic shaves.  Expect a quality straight razors would fit the bill as well, but I have not had the urge to delve into straights.
This ↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑. Feather AC blades drive all my shaves these days. ATT SE2 v1 and Kai Captain Excelia kamisori straight are my go-to handles.

I'm very happy with my $10 boar brushes and $5 aftershaves. There is a lot of great value out there in soaps under $20. But I splurge on my razors for the pleasure of wielding a well-made, quality instrument. Zamak razors can be pretty, but they lack the intrinsic and aesthetic value -- not to mention the durability -- of razors finely wrought in stainless steel, brass, copper, bronze, or aircraft aluminum. I expect that most of my razors will be happily used by as-yet-unborn guys (and gals) well into the 22nd Century. Cheers to them!

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 02-14-2017, 09:29 PM
#18
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(02-12-2017, 02:14 AM)jhawlz Wrote: I see people get caught up everyday in "luxury" items wether it be cars, clothes, wallets, and even shave gear. The issue is many times we justify the price with the "luxury" label just to tell ourselves that it's worth it. What soap, brush, razor in your shave den that is considered "luxury" do you think is well worth the price? I've heard many YouTubers consider $25 and up luxury for a soap and $100 and up for a razor as well as a brush be considered luxury in the shave game.

I always ask myself "Is the juice worth the squeeze "?

The juice is worth the squeeze, as you put it so eloquently!

If by ¨luxury¨ you mean throwing money away, then it is not worth it, of course.  But, if what you mean can be construed as an investment, then it is definitely worth it.

I used to hate shaving.  For 30 plus years i neglected away.  I did not do it frequently enough. I would use the same cart forever.  Six months, would you believe?.  I would shave with no soap!!! I never shaved atg... Never in my life...

What caught my attention?  I like vintage stuff, but most of all, i love beautiful handcrafted things that you can use.  Then i saw a damascus straight, slight smile, great scales, and i was hooked.  I begin my day with a 45 minute meditation in front of the mirror.  I even make my own aftershave and soap.  Being in love with your gear makes you a better shaver... At the same time i keep my very first DE in my rotation.  A Van der Hagen i bought in Walgreens for $19.95.  It is not a bad shaver at all.  It keeps everything in perspective.  You know, ¨you are not the car you drive, you are not the house you live in. You are not your GD khakis¨.  So i don't think that an expensive razor defines you.  And it is only good if you enjoy it.  What i have in mind is not too different than falling in love with this girl and not the other...

So, for me, wet shaving is an investment that i do on me, but on the others as well.  My significant other enjoys it.  My kids love it.  In fact, it makes me a better, more patient, relaxed, controlled person.  It is beneficial in every way.  Well worth it.

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 02-15-2017, 11:38 AM
#19
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Sometimes is not worthy to sped a lot of money... learned hard way when start buying like crazy old Gillette adjustable razors.
Shaving soaps from AOS to Haslinger.
Now I think I found what I like and is still pleasure to do it.

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 02-15-2017, 11:45 AM
#20
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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A few thoughts.

1, I've developed a taste for luxurious brushes (by my definition, more, rather than less expensive). Yes, less expensive brushes will get the job done, but the luxury brushes feel, work and look so darn sweet! I'm fortunate to be able to afford them. Otoh, I also love using inexpensive, vintage razors. These also feel, work and look so darn sweet! I've simply no need to consider luxury razors.

2, Luxurious guitars definitely help one to play "better." That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

3, California wines!

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