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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Users of straight-razors, shaving mugs, etc,,,'s LiveJournal:

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Friday, November 3rd, 2006
10:11 am
[mantic]
Crabtree & Evelyn Sweet Almond Oil Shave Cream
I bought a jar of C&E Sweet Almond at TJ Maxx a few weeks ago (OK, three jars. For $8 for a nice big glass jar, they'd make good presents) but hadn't tried it yet. Last weekend I was at my in-laws and gave my father-in-law one of the Jars as a present. He tried it a couple days ago and called me to rave about the shave it game him. So, OK, I'm not a huge fan of almond scents but I'll give it a try. Shave with it this morning (with a Merkur Progress). Very, very, *very* nice shave...actually the best shave I've had in some time (I'm still faceterbating). I was also able to get more aggressive tahn usual with the Progress, bumping it up a half-setting more than I usually do for each pass.
Tuesday, October 31st, 2006
9:21 am
[mantic]
Thursday, October 19th, 2006
8:30 am
[mantic]
Wednesday, October 11th, 2006
8:24 am
[mantic]
Thursday, October 5th, 2006
9:16 am
[mantic]
Thursday, September 28th, 2006
12:22 pm
[mantic]
Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006
10:13 am
[mantic]
The Proraso Boar Brush
I'm finishing up my video on shaving for YouTube and decided to add a comparison of lathering with a boar brush and a badger brush. I had already done a bit using a Surrey boar brush: a poor performer, taking a good solid two minutes to get something approaching an acceptable lather. I also did a shot using a Tweezerman badger, which created a perfectly decent lather in about 30 seconds. Yesterday I was in my local Target and, on an impulse, picked up the Proraso boar brush to play with as well. The bristles are at least 3/4 inch longer than the Surrey. And I must say, I was able to generate a pretty good lather in about the same time as the Tweezerman (I lathered up some Surrey glycerin shave soap directly to my face). The Proraso brush wasn't nearly as soft of course, but from a purely performance-wise perspective I was pleasantly suprised. 'Course, I'm going to have to do something about the funky smell (I need to mention that in the video, too, don't I?).
Thursday, July 27th, 2006
8:27 am
[mantic]
Experiment #4

Showered so no pre-shave
KMF Virgin Forest moisture shave cream
Tweezerman badger brush
M3
JASON Witchvera

Finally.  A decent shave.  Actually, quite a good shave.  And the difference was the brush.  Even the Tweezerman, which isn't exactly top-shelf, lathers circles around the Surrey boar brush.  I continue to be impressed with the JASON Witchvera: it feels like a combination of Proraso Pre/Post and Trumper's Skin Food.  And just a drop on moistened fingertips massaged into the face is all thats needed.

 

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006
8:22 am
[mantic]
Experiment #3

Experiment #3:

Cetaphil
Proraso cream
Surrey boar brush
M3
JASON Witchvera

I've pretty much convinced myself that I need to stress the use of a badger brush in my YouTube video and suggest a boar brush only as a last resort.  I just can't get a decent lather going with the Surrey.  Today's shave was just OK: smooth, no irritation but not particularly comfortable with the M3.  I like the JASON Witchvera--it feels a little like Skin Food, with a pleasant mild cooling effect.

 

Monday, July 24th, 2006
8:28 am
[mantic]
In the nature of an experiment

Cetaphil cleanser
Surrey Glycerin shave soap
Surrey Boar brush
Gillette Sensor Excel
generic witch hazel
Corn Huskers Lotion

I've been working on my YouTube "how to shave" video over the weekend, recording "B-rolls" and getting stock footage.  Part of the video discusses what products can be found most widely, in places like grocery stores and drugstores, for that "immediate gratification" (or low cost experiment) kind of shave.  So I tried the rig above for this morning's shave.  I did a four-pass shave (with grain, across grain, across the opposite direction, and against grain) and while it certainly wasn't sensory delight of what I've been doing for the past two years, the shave was more than acceptable (a couple small rough patches but clean and comfortable over-all).  I feel confident that if I can demonstrate this shave on the video, anyone who tries it will get results far superior to the usual Fusion-and-can-of-goo. 

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006
12:27 pm
[mantic]
A Great Cheap Shave!
KMF Jasmine shave cream
Tweezerman brush
M3
CAR Hydrolast skin Conditioner
Trumper's Skin Food

Just got back from a trip to the in-laws and haven't even had time to unpack yet, so I cracked open my new tube of KMF Jasmine and went to town with my old Tweezerman and an M3. Wow. Great shave. Mild scent but very lubricating. I guess you'd classify this as a "value" shave ($1 KMF tube, $10 Tweezerman brush, $8 M3)!

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
8:19 am
[mantic]
A "Fruity" Shave?

Today was a "fruity" day :

Col. Conk lime shave soap
Savile Row SR23 brush
Merkur Progress/Israeli Personna
Thayer's "Peach" Witch Hazel
Trumper's Limes Skin Food

The Shave Gods smiled upon me this morning with a wonderfully close, comfortable shave.  I picked up a bottle of Thayer's Peach Witch Hazel yesterday, having run out of the Lavender some time back.  Unlike the Lavender version, there is some alcohol in the Peach (10%) but there was only a barely-perceptable sting.  There was definitely a peach note to the scent, but it was mixed with a pleasant citris note as well.  Not sure I'd give up Hydrolast Skin Conditioner for it, but it was a nice change of pace on a hot, muggy Texas morning.


Tuesday, July 11th, 2006
8:53 am
[mantic]
"J-Hooking"
Today's shave:

Arko Normal shave cream
Shavemac SMF1 brush
Merkur Progress/Israeli blade
CAR Hydrolast a/s Skin Conditioner
Trumper Skin Food

One of my more comfortable, irritation-free shaves recently. I finally tried a technique mentioned to me by CAR for dealing with my difficult neck area, "J-Hooking." I was skeptical but it actually worked quite well.

Thursday, July 6th, 2006
3:02 pm
[mantic]
Kiss My Face Moisture Shave

This was just too freakin' good to pass up.  I went to KMF's "Body and Soul" promo and got a free Peaches and Cream moisture shave tube--hey, if I don't care for it, SWMBO will like it--(and 20% off your order excluding Dollar Store stuff), then head over to the Dollar Store for $1 Virgin Forest and $1 Jasmine Moisture Shave Cream tubes.  Yeah, $6 for shipping, but I get three, four ounce tubes of shave creams for under $9.  That's a steal.  KMF's shaving cream is just fair to middlin' when used by itself, but hydrate it with a shaving brush and the performance can be astonishing, almost as good as the high-end British stuff.

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006
5:39 pm
[mantic]
Tribute to Ray Dupont: an eBay link  to an auction with the proceeds going to charity.
Tuesday, March 14th, 2006
8:21 am
[mantic]
What A Shave
Trumper's Skin Food (pre-post)
Truefitt & Hill Trafalgar
Savile Row SR23
Merkur Progress/Israeli Personna
Thayers Witch Hazel
Trumper's Skye EDT

Since I shaved Sunday evening, I didn't shave yesterday morning, so I had a slightly longer than normal beard to mow off this morning. I decided to really change-up the routine this morning and broke out the Trafalgar and my small brush. Now, usually T&H lathers just a bit thinner than other creams, but this morning the Shaving Gods smiled and rewarded me with a wonderful gob on the little brush. I felt so confident that I pipped the Progress up a bit: I usually dial 2.5/3/3.5 for my 1st/2nd/3rd passes but this time I went 3/3.5/4. Man, what a clean, close, "faceterbatable" shave!!

Sometimes things just come together 8) .

--Mark
Thursday, March 2nd, 2006
8:30 am
[mantic]
Speick
Neutrogena Razor Defense Daily Scrub
Speick shave cream
Merkur Progress/Israeli Personna
Thayers Witch Hazel
CAR Hydrolast Skin Conditioner
Trumper's Skin Food

I always have to work a little harder to lather up the Speick compared to most of the other creams I use, but I'm also always rewarded with an outstanding mix (plus I love the scent). I got a great, smooth shave this morning.
Tuesday, February 21st, 2006
8:32 am
[mantic]
Truefitt & Hill Trafalgar
Truefitt & Hill Trafalgar
Shavemac Silvertip brush
Merkur Progress/Israeli Personna
Thayer's Witch Hazel
Hydrolast Skin Conditioner
Trumper's Skin Food

I've been rationing what's left of my tube of Trafalgar; almost forgot what a wonderful scent it is. It lathers a bit thinner than Trumper's creams, but I still get an excellent shave with it. Tried something a bit different for my 3rd (against grain) pass; twisted my brush gently to bring up that wonderfully "cooked" lather and gently applied it by hand. It worked out very well and wasn't as messy as I thought I'd be...dialed the Progress up to 3.5 and got a very close last pass that didn't require any T&C.
Friday, February 17th, 2006
8:39 am
[mantic]
The Bees Knees
Arran Aromatics Vetiver
Shavemac SMF1 brush
Merkur Progress/Israeli Personna blade
Thayer's Witch Hazel
CAR Hydrolast aftershave Skin Conditioner
Trumper's Skin Food

Went back to the Israeli Personna blades today, after flirting with Derby's. The Derby blade was OK, close to a Merkur, but performance dropped off very quickly: I can get a week of shaves off a Merkur, but only three days off the Derby. For my face the Israeli Personna's are the only blades I can consistantly combo with the Progress and dial UP with each successive pass without getting those little "blood freckles" or razor burn.

The combos of the Progress/Personna and the Hydrolast/Skin Food are really turning out to be the bee's knees for me!

--Mark
Monday, February 13th, 2006
10:50 am
[mantic]
Derby Blades
Today's Shave:

C&E Sienna shave soap
Savile Row SR23 brush
Merkur Progress/Derby blade
Thayer's Witch Hazel
CAR's aftershave Conditioner
Trumper's Skin Food

I tried a Derby blade for the first time this morning. Very nice--the "sharpness" of a Merkur and the "comfort" of an Israeli Personna. The combination of the CAR conditioner on a very wet face, followed by Skin Food after its dried, made for a really soft and smooth skin.
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