Shave Diary: Week of 8/30/15

Posted: September 7, 2015 in Shaving Articles
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8/30/15:

Good shave today. I used Proraso Green soap and pre shave, then Rite-Aid brand “Renewal” Blue aftershave (which is fake Aqua Velva). Third shave on the Personna Lab Blue blade in my Parker 99R. Performances by all mentioned products was excellent. Please don’t shy away from the store brand Aqua Velva clone. It provides a really nice aftershave, provided that you like a good hit of menthol.

I learned some things that will allow me to finish my review of the Burt’s Bees shaving cream. In short, it is not a product I’ll be using in any capacity. It’s too bad. High hopes and all that.

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9/1/15:

I started my shave test with the Gillette Platinum blade today. I was shaving with the AS-D2 Feather razor. I used Proraso Red preshave and soap, then followed with Captain’s Choice Sandalwood aftershave. I decided that I am going to use pre-shave whenever I deem it to be appropriate. It has more to do with skin prep than testing equipment. You’ll see this reflected on the razor blade test documentation from here on.

Could not wait to shave tonight. I had a spot of neck stubble that was driving me crazy all day.

Shave seems to have come off well so far. I really like the Captain’s Choice. To me, it smells like gin going on, then mellows into a complex, dark scent with sandalwood predominating. Good stuff. I’ll have to branch out a bit more with soaps and aftershaves, but the stuff I’ve been using has been really working nicely.

Going back to the Feather razor is interesting after my adventure with the Gem and my reliable shaves with the Parker. The Feather is a very mellow razor. It wants to cut the hair, not your skin.

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9/2/15:

Maintenance shave today. Three easy passes with the As-D2, second shave with the Gillette Platinum. I tried Dove moisturizer as a preshave today (worked fine, left a nice, hydrated face feel), and Proraso White. Very nice closeness up top, not absolutely smooth on the neck. I took it very easy on the neck, as I’m not enthusiastic to get razor burn, and going at it for perfect smootheness too often in one week will always seem to begin accumulating irritation. Finished off with fake Aqua Velva, because nothing I’d used earlier on had a particular smell going on. Gillette blade performing nicely.

Another moment about using hair conditioner as a pre-shave. I’ve been looking at various pre-shaves over the last few days. The commercially available types are either creams or oils, in the main. I’ve tried the Proraso creams, and they seem to do a nice job. They’re not super inexpensive, however. They run ten or twelve bucks for a 3.6 ounce bottle. That goes a good long way, sure, but if you’ve got economy on your mind, and need a little extra protection…

I plan to whip up a batch of pre-shave oil at some point. It appears pretty easy. My only concern is that the oil will inhibit the lather of the soap. That said, I’m guessing that the amount of soap you put into a shaving brush will be able to lather over the top.

Other than oils and creams, you have improvised solutions, and hair conditioner is one of the most frequently cited. As I rarely have much in the way of hair, and only need to condition my chin beard once or twice a week, I have had a bottle of conditioner forever. I’m going to continue to use it as a preshave and report back. Thus far, it appears to act a lot like a moisterizer that doesn’t fully sink in (leaving slickness behind).

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9/3/15:

This was my last day of testing for the Gillette Platinum razor blade. It did a nice job all through the test. It is sometimes difficult to classify these blades, though. I suppose I would consider getting these blades in larger quantities, but they didn’t wow me. I would put them behind the Wilkinson Swords for this razor, I believe. I’ll see if I have any irritation surprises tomorrow morning. My skin is weird, it seems, and I often don’t know if I’ve given myself irritation until hours later.

The lineup for tonight was: Dove hair conditioner pre-shave, Proraso White, the AS-D2 with a Gillette Platinum on its 3rd shave, and Thayer’s Super Medicated Witch Hazel as a finisher.

I’ve gotten to where I can easily enough get baby smooth on the cheeks. Really, it’s just the weird growth pattern of my neck in combination with the sensitivity of the skin that keeps me from getting the same result in that area. I mean, I get good and close, but you can still feel the hint of the hair follicles there. If I go at that area until it’s right smooth, I’ll have a purple ring across my neck. So, we do what we can.

I’ve loaded a Personna Lab Blue blade into the AS-D2. I figure I may as well test my “go to” blade in this razor as well. I can’t imagine that it would do badly, but we’ll see if it performs similarly to the way it does in the Parker 99R in this Feather. I’ll let my skin rest tomorrow night, then shave on Saturday afternoon. That is the plan, in any case.

I have a few new products on the way, which I’ll be rolling in for testing as time permits.

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