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Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son
I started writing up my “shave of the day” yesterday. I hope you start there then come back to this.
I need a bit more practice with photo heavy blog posts. Anyway I will continue and finsh tonight.
he whole idea behind wet shaving is to gradually reduce the amount of stubble each “pass” until a sufficiently smooth finish is obtained. This may vary from “a bit of growth” to “socially acceptable shave” (SAS) to the ideal, “Baby bum smooth” (BBS). My usual effort is, three passes to end up with a Socially Acceptable Shave: this is in no small part to my quite dark growth, which can be visible against my fair skin no matter how much I shave. So it tends to be a rare event for me to go looking for a Baby Bum Smooth result – most likely before heading out for a night with my wife!
So. I am lathered up.
Holding a DE Razor is quite different to holding a pivot head cartridge razor. Most importantly, if any pressure is used – you cut yourself.
Not you “might” cut yourself. You DO cut yourself. You DO get razor burn.
So you shave with NO PRESSURE.
With the blade angled in such a way “just so” and the skin carefully held taught. The first pass, goes “with the grain” (WTG).
At the end of the first pass. I end up a bit rough, but with all that work done there is no reason to stop there.
So that brush I lathered up earlier has been sitting in it’s “shave mug” – yeah, right, it’s a horrible tupperware mug.
It’s not quite my own scuttle from home, but you know what? It actually does the job.
You just can’t shave an unlathered face.
So I lather up again, and have another shave pass.
Which is just like the first pass, really: Lather. Shave, WTG.
By this stage, if I really need to, I could declare that I have a socially acceptable shave, rinse, and call myself “acceptably shaven.” I am moderately well shaved, but if I rub my hand on my face it does feel rough. I never stop at this stage.
The third pass is the most important for me.
Again, I re-lather being probably more careful than either of the previous times.
This time when I shave, I shave against the grain (ATG). This results in quite a close shave, but with my skin, I usually still look like I haven’t shaved. At home, in a very hot bath, with my Bull Mastif razor – I would probably have a better shave by now with the same number of passes.
The finished result is myself with something approaching a baby bum smooth finish. At this stage, I’m ready to rinse and apply some aftershave.
My post-shave product while I’m travelling are both Nivea: Nivea after-shave balm, and Nivea For Men Moisturiser.
Some time ago I decided to ditch “cartridge” razors. I tried to go to electric razors but found they tended to just cause an unnacceptable amount of friction burn.
My travelling kit is pretty basic: a Gillette DE razor, Astra blade, Palmolive shave stick. I also use the handbasin, a facewasher, and a plastic measuring cup that happened to be in the bathroom already.
I will follow up this post in the coming weeks with a detailed post about each item of my kit – well the items that are worth discussing in detail.
The first step to a good shave, happens in the shower so there are no photos of that 😉 – in a good hot shower that fills the room with steam, I wash my face with a “good moisturising soap” – well, I use the Dove that happened to be in the bathroom already but of course I didn’t buy it!
After getting out of the shower, I dry my hair and body but I skip my face. I get my shave kit ready – fill the basin, soak the facewasher and shave brush, soak my shave stick in about 2cm of water in the plastic measuring cup.
While the shave stick and brush are soaking, I wash my face with very hot water on the facewasher.
Lathering – also known as “building a lather” – with a shave stick is a very different to lathering with “goop in a can,” or indeed, with a puck.
With the face very wet, the action is akin to scribbling on your own face with a great big thick crayon. When done, there should be an even layer of soap left behind all over your stubble.
This still tends to not leave enough soap behind for me. These days my approach to this is to apply the shave stick directly to the shave brush as well. Another concept is to lather as best you can, leave the lather on the brush, then wash your face. Apply the shave stick to your face again, and with the pre-lathered brush – lather up again. This will load the brush with an ample quantity of lather.
Once I have applied the shave stick to both my face and the brush, I use the brush on my face to “develop” the lather on the brush and my face.
By the time I’m finished, I have a great lather on my face and an ample supply of lather on the brush, too.