11-04-2012, 01:39 AM
#1
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I figured today I would give face lathering a shot with a Shea shave brush and C.O. Bigelow cream. Instead of heading to the latrine I decided to do it in the comfort of my room and what is left of a (shattered) mirror to see how I was doing, this being my first time.

As I didn't take a pre-shave shower it is hard to tell the difference of face lathering vs. using a bowl and then applying.

I did like the entire process though. I enjoyed that it was a little more masculine and something new. Though I'm still unable to tell if it helped to saturate my skin and hair for the shave process, being that you are really brushing it into the hair follicles moreso than normal bowl lathering.

What was different is instead of using water that comes out of a faucet here I did use "still drinking water" from a water bottle, which even lists the "mineral content," such as calcium, magnesium, TDS, pH, sulfate, etc. It is also a bit more difficult to tell the differences because yesterday I ran out of time and had to use a cartridge before shift, where as normally I shave after shift. I think I am going to stick with face lathering for a while though, I really appreciated the entire process Cool

How much of a difference would still drinking water make in the shaving process? I can list the mineral content if needed.

How many of you out there face lather? Is there a certain type of brush that is recommended for it? Why do you keep with it?

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 11-04-2012, 05:55 AM
#2
  • DoubleB
  • Active Member
  • Zeeland, The Netherlands
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I would not know what the difference is between the water since I only use tap water with all my shaves here.

I facelather 95% of the time.
For the brushes; I can facelather with any brush really. Although I have my preferences. I like middle size knots and short lofts for facelathering. Somewhere around 20-23mm for the knot and 48-52 for the loft. This is to give the brush some backbone and scrubbiness.

My favorite is a Duke 3 in Best from Simpson. It is densely packed, has a 23.5mm knot and a 49mm loft. Great backbone to work those whiskers Biggrin

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 11-04-2012, 07:20 AM
#3
  • RedRocks
  • Active Member
  • Four-Corners, USA
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I face lather most of the time with Arko, cold tap water, and one of several vintage Ever-Ready boar brushes. I have a couple of Semogues that I may start rotating in now that I know how to work with them.

Thank you for your service Matt!

~Frank

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 11-04-2012, 08:34 AM
#4
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If you keep face lathering, you'll have to use the TSN Bill Bowl I sent you for storage instead of lathering....

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 11-04-2012, 09:06 AM
#5
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Hi Matt, I face lather 100% of the time.

Yes, water makes a difference, but the soaps I sent you will work with no matter what you have for water. The brush is also designed for face lathering and is broken in by hand lathering it, but it will get better with use. I guarantee it'll be better than the Shea brush for face lathering.

The key to face lathering and using it for face prep is to make sure it takes a minimum of 3 minutes, or at least that the lather has 3 minutes of contact time before the razor touches the face. Warm water does help soften the whiskers too.

When you get the package, if you don't know how to use something, either ask the forum, or PM me.

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 11-04-2012, 10:24 AM
#6
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Using bottled or filtered water makes lathering easier, but basically that just means you need less product.

I face lather exclusively. I keep with it because it's less hardware and less wasteful and more fun.

Any brush with a loft under 55mm will work, but I recommend between 48-55 loft depending on knot size.

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 11-04-2012, 10:57 AM
#7
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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I dislike face lathering and much prefer having the lather already on the brush before applying it to my face. This, however, is strictly a personal choice. Keep trying both ways for a little while and I think you'll find that one way will be preferred over the other. What that way will be only you can decide.

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 11-04-2012, 11:33 AM
#8
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(11-04-2012, 08:34 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: If you keep face lathering, you'll have to use the TSN Bill Bowl I sent you for storage instead of lathering....

My apologies, John. I only meant to say that until the TSN Bill Bowl you sent arrives I am going to work on face lathering.

I usually put packages that are en route in the back of my mind as it can take weeks to months for them to arrive and the anxiety will kill me if I think about it every day Biggrin

I am very excited to receive the things some of the members here so generously offered to send.

It's an exhilirating feeling to feel so blessed with not only a great community that offers advice and opinions but also one whose heart is always on their sleeve.

I did enjoy face lathering, especially seeing as it was my first time and I was able to do it in my room instead of making my way to the latrine.

Frank, thank you for the kind words. Why do most people seem to have a love for Semogue brushes?

Do any of you have a preferred brush when face lathering as opposed to bowl?

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 11-04-2012, 11:50 AM
#9
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(11-04-2012, 11:33 AM)HiFromAfghanist Wrote: Why do most people seem to have a love for Semogue brushes?

Do any of you have a preferred brush when face lathering as opposed to bowl?

Semogue brushes are well made and inexpensive. They also make some of the best boar brushes available. I think Omega is the only other boar maker that comes to my mind when I think quality boar brush.

I don't do both so, no. All my brushes are face lathering only. If too floppy I sell it, steam out the knot and remake it, or use a rubber band.

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 11-04-2012, 12:21 PM
#10
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I used to bowl lather but started face lathering 100% of the time a few months ago. I did so because it removed the unnecessary step of having to build the lather twice, once in the bowl then once on your face. With face lathering, you remove the step of creating the lather in the bowl and instead create it on your face while also giving your face, I believe, a better prep before a blade hits your skin.

good luck and keep at it! do what works best for you!

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 11-04-2012, 01:04 PM
#11
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Andrew,

Thanks for an excellent point. I had not thought about the extra step there. As I mentioned to John I will continue to face lather until the TSN Bill Bowl he generously sent arrives (hopefully in one piece!).

Stay safe in the states guys!!

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 11-04-2012, 01:11 PM
#12
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I certainly won't be offended if you end up deciding to face lather all the time. The Bill Bowl will still be useful to you for keeping little items together in one place, and it will be a reminder of the forum.

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 11-04-2012, 01:14 PM
#13
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Matt, there are so many great brushes to use. Over time, you may find the higher grades of badger brushes easier on the face than boars or horse. It is really a subjective perspective as you may have sensitive skin or you may not.
As Lee mentioned, depending on the size of the knot, most good face-lathering brushes should be between 48-55mm, again, dependent on your preference.
i assume the water where you are is quite soft which will aid in building lather and make face-lathering easier. Good luck.

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 11-04-2012, 01:30 PM
#14
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For me face lathering is something I do when using shave sticks; creams and soaps go in the bowl for the most part. Just like building the lather in a bowl I guess... but then I like fiddling with things with my hands - it might be related.

When I'm on the go - ie; not at my home base - I always face lather. One less thing to bring in my GoBag, one less item to keep track off. Also means my GoBag can have a solid stick of soap in it and not a tube of cream that can/will explode all over my kit...

I use the same brushes for bowl and face lathering; reasonable stiff, slightly scratchy ones with a 50±5mm loft. The one in my GoBag is a cheap Body Shop synthetic - going to replace that with a better synthetic one at some point.

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 11-05-2012, 12:14 AM
#15
  • savagejoerude
  • If you ain't a LOSER, you ain't livin'!!
  • New Orleans USA
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Hey Matt, Sav is on the face lather train. I like the feeling on my face. Kind of like a massage. It's soothing and relaxing to me plus I think it has to help soften your beard more than just lathering in a bowl and applying it to your face. I find my brush soaked in water for a while before I shake it out to lather helps. I soak mine in hot water because it feels really nice. If hot water is available to you try it.... It's just another variable in this crazy wet shave thing. It's a lot like cooking in that you do what YOU like. What gets the best results for YOU. Here in Louisiana there are as many gumbo recipes as there are cooks...Be careful in that crazy place and by the time you get back stateside you will be well on your way to have it all sorted out.... Happy Shaves.... Sav

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 11-05-2012, 03:13 PM
#16
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Face lathering eliminates a bit of time but I still use a mug/bowl for about half of my shaves. When I bowl lather I wash my face, then apply pre-shave oil or soap while I build the lather. When I face lather I just wash up then build the lather on my face for a few minutes to let the lather really go to work softening my whiskers and conditioning the skin. Both methods are very enjoyable to me and I find that any brush that isn't too scratchy (in other words no pure badger need apply) works great for face lathering.

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 11-06-2012, 01:12 PM
#17
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I agree with Brian (ShadowsDad) that it is important to let the face-created lather sit on your face for a bit. I face lather and then go do something else while the lather soaks in -- comb my hair, get toothbrush ready, hang up shower towel, whatever it may be. In addition to the exfoliation, you have the soaking and softening effect which you would not get with a bowl-generated product. Plus, less mess overall, one less thing to carry around. Time? I doubt it is a significant saving, but that really isn't the point -- in my book it's all about shave quality.

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 11-07-2012, 01:44 AM
#18
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I am glad to see so many responses that show it is all subjective to a person's viewpoint and what they prefer.

I think for me it will take a while to find out what I really like and enjoy. Within enjoying though I also take into account what is efficient, if I have time to enjoy it but also what produces the best results. There are so many brushes, creams, soaps and pre-shave things to try it's an adventure and that's what I'm here for.

Today I learned that it seems I still have a lot to learn in regards to technique. I took a very long, ample amount of time to shave going WTG, XTG and ATG and it seems that no matter how hard I tried to do a good job of ATG I couldn't get all the hair. That tells me technique needs to be worked on. It could not only be technique though, correct? It could be the blade and/or razor, maybe even the cream?? Or is it my face?

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 11-07-2012, 10:10 AM
#19
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The best blade and the best razor can't save you if your technique is bad, but a good technique will let you get away with a less optimum blade and razor...

I find that when I don't take enough care with the preshave - wash, soak and pamper - I can't get a completely clean shaven neck. When I do have the time for a good preshave, I get a clean neck with two passes (WTG and XTG).

If your time is limited - and after close to twenty years I know it often is when you're in fatigues - face lathering might help you get more mileage out of your preshave; yet another reason why I use a shave stick in my GoBag. On the other hand Your Mileage May (or more likely will) Vary and the important thing is to find out what works for you.

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 11-07-2012, 02:40 PM
#20
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Hans, you are great at giving some solid advice, as well as the others that have responded. Thanks a ton! Maybe what I'm missing is a little more pre-shave such as a glycerine soap and cream. My face got pretty irritated with the shave I did yesterday so I'm not going to do that again any time soon, I will stick with slowly going WTG and XTG I suppose.

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