02-23-2017, 09:03 PM
#1
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Hello,
      I'm new to artisan shaving. Where is a good place for a beginner to start; a shaving soap or a shaving cream? And which kind, as I know there are many different kinds?
    Also; I know it can also depend on whether you have hard or soft water as to how well the product works. But being a beginner, at this point, I don't know what my water hardness is. Is there an accurate way to test for water hardness?
Thank you

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 02-23-2017, 09:18 PM
#2
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In my book, the 3 essential shaving soaps are Mike's Natural Soap, Cold River Soap Works (select or premium line), and Barrister and Mann (latha or glissant line). These soaps seem pricey, but well worth the investment.

On a budget soap, Stirling is great for the price.

I don't use creams anymore, but when I did, Speick was my favorite.

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 02-23-2017, 09:21 PM
#3
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I guess the best answer for the first question is a resounding Yes... a soap can be more fun and easier to load right, a cream in a tube can make less mess and gives you control on the exact amount of product used. It can also depend on whether you plan to bowl of face lather... creams are in my opinion more suited to bowl lathering than they are to face lathering. As for what kind, that is an even more loaded question, if you excuse the pun... I started out with a known and well recommended big name, but others have started with artisan soaps with good results.

You could try to contact your local waterworks to ask about how hard your water is - they need to know when they run it through their treatment plant. However - if you are from where I think you are - your water should be moderately hard (107  ppm (mg equivalent CaCO3/L, as CaCO3)) if you get your water from the KC Water Services. If you're on well water it's likely harder.

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 02-23-2017, 09:26 PM
#4
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Start with a budget friendly cream, like Speick or Proraso
Then later on try a soap or two or three......

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 02-24-2017, 01:47 AM
#5
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(02-23-2017, 09:26 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: Start with a budget friendly cream, like Speick or Proraso
Then later on try a soap or two or three......

I agree with Claus...start with a reasonable cream and work your way from that.they are cheap but it is nothing wrong with the performance..

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 02-24-2017, 02:32 AM
#6
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I would start with a moderately priced cream, of which there are several. 

You can go online and find water hardness maps of the United States.  You can also search online to see if  your city has soft or hard water.

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 02-24-2017, 05:10 AM
#7
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In my case, I started with Proraso Soap :
Very easy to lather and very cheap as well.

And the ratio quality/price is really good : they are not the best soaps I tried, for sure, but they do the job really nicely. Then, when you'll be more confident, you can start with high quality products a bit more expensive like LPL, Varesino, and many more.

It depends where you live, but Razorock can be also a good start product if you live in North America. In Europe, because of the shipping, the price is too high to consider it as a cheap product.

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 02-24-2017, 05:33 AM
#8
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Proraso is a good suggestion, now that I'm thinking about it; you can get the same scent as both a soap and a cream, allowing you to do a direct comparison.

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 02-24-2017, 05:50 AM
#9
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Taylor of Old Bond Street creams are a good starting point. They are easy to lather and work well.

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 02-24-2017, 07:28 AM
#10
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I'm going to suggest that although creams are much easier to work with, you skip them at first. Start with a tallow based, easy to lather soap like Stirling - and work with that for a few months as you learn your craft.

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 02-24-2017, 07:29 AM
#11
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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If you want to take things linear from easiest to hardest, creams are easiest to use, face or bowl lathering, and face lathering is easier than bowl. So I would suggest start with face lathering a cream and practice on properly loading a soap to your brush. Once you're comfortable with that try face lathering a soap and practice bowl lathering creams and when you dial that in add it to your routine if you like. Then when you're feeling at ease and confident practice bowl lathering a soap.

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 02-24-2017, 07:32 AM
#12
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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A good cream or a soft soap like Cella would be the ideal.

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 02-24-2017, 07:53 AM
#13
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I started with Proraso Green cream myself. Was zapped by the scent, performance as a beginner. I have since then introduced few of my friends to proraso and they all like the stuff.

Next could be a B&M Latha, Savon des volcans etc etc. There is no looking back then.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 02-24-2017, 08:55 AM
#14
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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(02-23-2017, 09:26 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: Start with a budget friendly cream, like Speick or Proraso
Then later on try a soap or two or three......

(02-24-2017, 05:33 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Proraso is a good suggestion, now that I'm thinking about it; you can get the same scent as both a soap and a cream, allowing you to do a direct comparison.

My thoughts exactly. This is good advice.

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 02-24-2017, 09:01 AM
#15
  • ARGH
  • Senior Member
  • Boston, MA
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my vote goes to Tabac

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 02-24-2017, 09:24 AM
#16
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There's no right answer.  

Creams are easier to lather, and I feel that bowl lathering is easier than face lathering, but obviously some people feel otherwise.  I much prefer soaps now, to the point that I don't have any creams at all, but I started with a cream and found my way to soaps.  

Lathering a soap properly isn't rocket science, but it does take some practice.

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 02-24-2017, 09:30 AM
#17
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(02-24-2017, 08:55 AM)chazt Wrote:
(02-23-2017, 09:26 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: Start with a budget friendly cream, like Speick or Proraso
Then later on try a soap or two or three......

(02-24-2017, 05:33 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Proraso is a good suggestion, now that I'm thinking about it; you can get the same scent as both a soap and a cream, allowing you to do a direct comparison.

My thoughts exactly. This is good advice.

+1

Kiss My Face Lavender & Shea is widely available, and inexpensive (and you can carry a tube of it through TSA to an airplane cabin).  Start by using it as a brushless cream, smearing a thin layer on your beard directly before shaving.  Soon after (the next day, even), try lathering it on your face (after applying as you did before) with a wet (but not dripping wet) brush, then soon after that, try lathering it in a bowl before applying.

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 02-24-2017, 10:22 AM
#18
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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I'd start with a cream, like Taylor of Old Bond Street (TOBS) Coconut.  Very easy to get right, and will start your journey with a pleasurable experience.  

Eric

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 02-24-2017, 10:29 AM
#19
  • Nero
  • Ban Groupthink from Earth
  • le montagne
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I would cut to the chase and use AdP right out of the gates, knowing it's not going to get better than that. IMO, using a "beginner" product "to learn with" doesn't make a lot of sense.

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 02-24-2017, 11:03 AM
#20
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My suggestion? Go with the CRSW Original. IMO it outperforms anything mentioned already and at its price point of $11.95 you are getting a high quality excellent performing soap with a very, very nice scent. Super easy to load and lather it punches well above it's weight and betters MdC, SMN, AdP, Pannacrema and others in this space at a fraction of the cost. Super thick and creamy, very slick and an excellent post shave.  Plus CRSW is a respected vendor here on The Nook and their quality cannot be beat.

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