12-09-2018, 10:39 PM
#1
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It’s always fun to look back on the year and reflect on things a bit. Some observations from my 2018 shaves:

1. Last year I sold or traded items that I didn’t love, and this year I concentrated on using the items that I kept. I finished more than I thought I would, and wasn’t wanting in any way. Sure, I missed a few new scents and such - but it was great to see my stocks diminish with the knowledge that every shave would be great.

2. Late in the year after finishing up quite a few things - I finally tried some new soaps that had been on my list for a long time. Shannon’s Soaps - premium formula was one of those, and has been very good. I need to dial it in better, as it takes on less water than most of the thirsty soaps I use - but it’s a great soap base. I picked it up in lakeshore drive, which is a very nice aquatic scent. Also recommended to me was declaration grooming bison tallow trismegistus - a TdH clone that smells bang-on and has been impressive so far.

3. Some new additions to my permanent rotation: First, Wholly Kaw donkey milk. I tried it in king of oud (thanks BST!); the scent grew on me quickly and the performance is simply superb. I picked up a few more tubs in different scents, and am looking forward to trying bare naked. This was an easy addition to the rotation. Second, Baume.be balm. This has received accolades from the forum, and I was able to pick up a bottle via the BST (thanks @Johnny !!). It really is as good as everyone said - and since I live in a very dry area and use balm daily, it’s an easy inclusion into the rotation.

4. I didn’t buy any brushes this year, which pains me greatly as I love them. That said - I spent quality time using the eight I have (7 badgers and 1 synth) and got to know each intimately. I have two chubby-2 manchurians that see a lot of use, which might also explain how I was able to finish so many soaps Smile Still, I have one slot open for a new brush. Looking forward to that.

5. I spent the early part of the year trying new things out each month. I used only veg soaps for a time, sticking to a single soap for a time, etc. One thing that stuck was shaving every-other day. My face does fine with 24 hours in between shaves, so long as I use a protective soap - but skipping a day makes the experience even better.

6. I’ve spent the entire year using SE razors. Although I generally prefer aggressive tools like the Asylum rx, I’ve shaved with a milder razor for half the time - the ATT SE1. I can use both razors without much thought, as they both feel quite intuitive. I use a razor for the 8-12 shaves I get from the feather pro/pro-super, then switch to the other. While I like choices in soaps, aftershaves, and brushes - I’m consistent with razors and blades. Even though there have been new additions to the SE world this year, these two razors are perfect for my needs.

7. I’ve used a number of artisan bath soaps this year, and for the most part I’ve enjoyed each entry. That said, I recently picked up some Grisi donkey-milk bar soap via a suggestion from the forum, and these have worked quite well and seem to last longer than my artisan bars. Grisi feels great on the skin, I think I’ll be happy with this product for quite some time. Speaking of soaps, my pre-shave ritual has stayed consistent throughout the year: a thorough face-wash with a bar of Whole Foods 365 glycerine during my shower (leaving the soap on my face until the end), then straight to the shave. I did switch from humphreys miravilla witch hazel to Thayer's. A nice feeling, scentless, less expensive option.

8. The BST continues to be a great way to try new scents, and buy products.

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 12-10-2018, 05:12 AM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Nice review, Mike.  Compared to your year, my year is pretty boring.

I started the year with what I was told was the beginning stages of Parkinson's.  Since I did not want to slice myself up, I sold all of my razors (except for two) and most of my brushes and bought two electric shavers.  Both wet/dry shavers so I could still use my soaps.  About 3 months ago I went in for a complete physical and this doctor said he thought my problem was something other than Parkinson's.  So after an MRI and a CT Scan it was discovered pinched nerves in my lower back caused from an old injury that happened years ago was causing my problem.  A small incision and some laser work fixed the problem.

The only two razors I kept were my Schick Injector and an old Gillette.  I did add one boar and two badger brushes to the 1 synthetic I had and have found no need to add anymore.  Like you, I am pretty set on the blades I use so nothing new there.  MWF and Czech & Speake Oxford & Cambridge are still my two favorite soaps but a couple of Phil's LE soaps have made it into my rotation.  Plus I still enjoy my Mystic Waters unscented soap.  The mainstay in the aftershave department is still Floid Blue.

I do take the electric shavers with me when I go visit the grandkids.  That way they don't play with my brush and soaps or cut themselves on a blade.

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 12-10-2018, 05:34 AM
#3
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(12-10-2018, 05:12 AM)Johnny Wrote: Nice review, Mike.  Compared to your year, my year is pretty boring.

I started the year with what I was told was the beginning stages of Parkinson's.  Since I did not want to slice myself up, I sold all of my razors (except for two) and most of my brushes and bought two electric shavers.  Both wet/dry shavers so I could still use my soaps.  About 3 months ago I went in for a complete physical and this doctor said he thought my problem was something other than Parkinson's.  So after an MRI and a CT Scan it was discovered pinched nerves in my lower back caused from an old injury that happened years ago was causing my problem.  A small incision and some laser work fixed the problem.

The only two razors I kept were my Schick Injector and an old Gillette.  I did add one boar and two badger brushes to the 1 synthetic I had and have found no need to add anymore.  Like you, I am pretty set on the blades I use so nothing new there.  MWF and Czech & Speake Oxford & Cambridge are still my two favorite soaps but a couple of Phil's LE soaps have made it into my rotation.  Plus I still enjoy my Mystic Waters unscented soap.  The mainstay in the aftershave department is still Floid Blue.

I do take the electric shavers with me when I go visit the grandkids.  That way they don't play with my brush and soaps or cut themselves on a blade.

That's great news Johnny!

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 12-10-2018, 06:54 AM
#4
  • TN4
  • Member
  • Ohio
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Great idea for a thread, Mike. 

For me, it is really surprising to see how much I've tried in the wet shaving world in 2018. 

1. I got samples of around 20 different soaps from shavedash. This was really neat because it allowed me to try soaps that I never would have tried otherwise. This was especially valuable because I live in an area with very hard water, and a lot of soaps that others rave about simply do not work as well for me. After all of my sampling, there were a few soaps/creams that really stood out: MDC, Castle Forbes, SV, Czech & Speake, Klar Seifan, Boellis Panama, & Baum.be. These soaps/creams really opened my eyes to what a great soap/cream should do. Unfortunately, once I discovered these, I had to sell most of my soaps and have started replacing them with some of these fine soaps/creams.

2. Like Mike, I really focused on using up some soaps/creams that I had. I finished up tubs of B&M Seville & Bay Rum, CRSW Glide Morning Ghost & Olfactory Hue, Mystic Waters Poggio de Pini, & St. James of London Cedarwood & Clarysage. From using these up, I noticed that the performance of a soap/cream really improves the more consistently you use it. Because of this, instead of switching soaps every day, I have started the habit of picking one soap for the week and shaving exclusively with that every day of the week. I plan to continue this habit in 2019.

3. By far, the biggest improvement in my shaving this year (which has also lead to the most enjoyment), was getting into straight razor shaving. I bought my first SR in February, and have since added 2 more to my collection. It only took me about 3 or 4 shaves before I was getting good shaves with my razor, but I also find myself continually getting better at using them. I absolutely love the fact that SR shaving is a craft that I continue to improve on as time goes by. I have also found SR shaving to be very beneficial for my skin. I bought some stones, and taught myself how to hone on an old Red Imp 4/8 Wedge that someone gave to me for free. Learning to hone was a really fun process, because it was challenging and frustrating, but when I finally was able to shave (somewhat comfortably) with that razor, it was a very rewarding feeling. Since then, my honing has gotten better (still nowhere near perfect), and it has been one of the most enjoyable parts of the straight razor experience. I really think that straight razor shaving will give me much enjoyment for the rest of my life, and since I'm only 25, that will be a lot of enjoyment.

Lastly, thanks to everyone on this forum who has been helpful/instructive. You all are part of what makes this hobby so much fun.

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 12-10-2018, 07:15 AM
#5
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Excellent thread Mike.

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 12-10-2018, 09:34 AM
#6
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I enjoyed your review, Mike. Now I have to sit down and think about my past year in shaving.  Huh

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 12-10-2018, 04:31 PM
#7
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(12-10-2018, 05:12 AM)Johnny Wrote: Nice review, Mike.  Compared to your year, my year is pretty boring.

I started the year with what I was told was the beginning stages of Parkinson's.  ... About 3 months ago I went in for a complete physical and this doctor said he thought my problem was something other than Parkinson’s. ...  A small incision and some laser work fixed the problem.

Reading this warms my heart Johnny!

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 12-10-2018, 05:51 PM
#8
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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Johnny, it’s wonderful news. So glad for you Biggrin

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 12-10-2018, 07:20 PM
#9
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(12-10-2018, 05:12 AM)Johnny Wrote: Nice review, Mike.  Compared to your year, my year is pretty boring.

I started the year with what I was told was the beginning stages of Parkinson's.  Since I did not want to slice myself up, I sold all of my razors (except for two) and most of my brushes and bought two electric shavers.  Both wet/dry shavers so I could still use my soaps.  About 3 months ago I went in for a complete physical and this doctor said he thought my problem was something other than Parkinson's.  So after an MRI and a CT Scan it was discovered pinched nerves in my lower back caused from an old injury that happened years ago was causing my problem.  A small incision and some laser work fixed the problem.

The only two razors I kept were my Schick Injector and an old Gillette.  I did add one boar and two badger brushes to the 1 synthetic I had and have found no need to add anymore.  Like you, I am pretty set on the blades I use so nothing new there.  MWF and Czech & Speake Oxford & Cambridge are still my two favorite soaps but a couple of Phil's LE soaps have made it into my rotation.  Plus I still enjoy my Mystic Waters unscented soap.  The mainstay in the aftershave department is still Floid Blue.

I do take the electric shavers with me when I go visit the grandkids.  That way they don't play with my brush and soaps or cut themselves on a blade.

That is excellent news Johnny!!

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 12-10-2018, 08:22 PM
#10
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Very glad to read that Johnny!

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 12-11-2018, 05:06 AM
#11
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I appreciate the well wishes, but let's get back on track with the theme of this thread.  2018 in review.

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 12-11-2018, 08:44 AM
#12
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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Good idea for a thread, Mike.

2018 was a year of excellent shaves. My technique is solid. After almost five years of traditional shaving I’ve learned what works best for my face and whiskers. Shaving is even more enjoyable now than it was when I discovered the wonders of a great shave. 2018 was also a year of B/RAD. I bought quite a few of each. Sold and traded a bunch too. Frankly, at this point I’m ready to settle down with what I have and really enjoy the fruits of my acquisition disorders. 2019 looks like it will be another year of high quality shaving fun!

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 01-09-2019, 06:57 AM
#13
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In 2018 I accumulated too many brushes and soaps.  Hopefully I can slow down this year and actually go through some of this inventory.

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 01-09-2019, 01:34 PM
#14
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Nice post Mike! 2018 was a whirlwind of buying for me but the biggest development was learning to use a straight razor. Best three plus weeks I've spent in a bathroom.

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 01-15-2019, 06:30 PM
#15
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In early 2018 I completed transition back to carts (used up blades). A progressing issue with shaky right hand (essential tremor) was making DE shaving a little messy. Fortunately, using the same technique, I get just as good results with carts; and so far, no blood.

Throughout the year I worked through my once excessive inventory of creams and soaps. I expect to finish sometime this year and actually need to buy more.

BTW, great news Johnny!


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