Shaving Favorites

Posted: November 10, 2016 in Shaving Articles

I have never had an easy time with favorites. I always overthink things. I always try too hard to consider every angle. When I decided to write an article about favorites in my wet shaving stable, I did not take on the issue lightly. I knew there would be a lot of factors. I knew that it would be an emotional decision, and that I would have cause to doubt myself. I almost didn’t do it, because I thought it might be more trouble than it was worth. But, here we are. Sigh.

My Favorite Razor: This is the sort of thing that is not and cannot be constant. It is like asking what your favorite piece of music is. It depends on moods. It depends upon to many outside factors. I suppose I will have to simply say “for today”. I will say, with a great deal of trepidation, that it is probably the ’58 “TV Special” Gillette Superspeed. I know, I know. Not one of the adjustables? Not the Aristocrat? Let me explain.

The Superspeed razors are the ones that give me, day in and day out, a good shave with minimal irritation. They are mild enough to be kind to my epidermis, but with a good sharp blade, they get the stubble off and give me a good shave. Why do I sorta like them better than, say, the Seki Edge Feather AS-D2? Well, I suppose there are a few reasons. One, they are old, and that makes them cool. Two, they just feel right in the hand, every time. I don’t know what it is about that particular length of handle, and heft of overall weight, but I just feel comfortable, confident, and at home with the Superspeed razor. As to the pick, I’ll say that the ’58 just has that something. It’s in perfect shape, it operates beautifully, and it is so easy to keep shiny. It is not the exact same nickel finish as the other razors I have from Gillette. I don’t know… It is my pick. For today, for a daily driver.

Favorite Brush: Italian Flag Plissoft from RazorRock. All the Plissoft brushes are great. I just have a certain partial feeling for the Italian Flag, barber pole handle example that was my first. It showed me how much better a brush could perform than I was aware of at that time. It’s first among equals, though.

Favorite Soap: This is a tough one. I have some good soaps. I would have to say, if pressed, though, it would be the XXX soap from RazoRock. It has a great smell, a great feel on the face, and is not very expensive. I could use it a whole lot without getting tired of it. When they add tallow to the already great RazoRock formula, it is a killer. In this one, it’s a very close thing, and perhaps anything I recently used and liked has the advantage. I like most of the soaps in my stable, but I like this one a lot.

Favorite Blade: I am going to squint and say Astra Superior Platinum. Perhaps not the best blade, but it’s so good and so consistent. I’d probably say the Polsilver Super Iridium, but seeing as how they cost three times what the Astra does, and only out-duel it in a fairly small way, I have to give the nod to the Astras.

Favorite Pre-Shave: I’m going to go way outside the box on this one. It’s my coconut oil moisturizer cream, bought from a big box store. Nothing changes the shave as much as putting that stuff on a few hours before the shave. It’s kind of amazing how much of a base layer of happy skin and slick oil it leaves.

Favorite Aftershave: I’ll have to list two things, for different reasons. The first, and an unqualified hall of fame candidate, is the Thayer’s Super Medicated Witch Hazel. All of the Thayer’s stuff is great, but the Super Medicated is just incredible. The second product would be the Captain’s Choice Sandlewood aftershave. Yes, everyone thought it would be Aqua Velva, because I love that stuff. It’s my daily go-to. Still, the Captain’s Choice aftershave is amazing. Wonderful smell, feel, and ingredient list. I don’t want to wear it every day, but every time I do, I am amazed at how good it is.

Favorite Balm: I have a deep fondness for, of all things, Arko Extra Sensitive balm. Yes, the cheap stuff. Still, when my face is feeling tight and unhappy, it calms things right down. The nice hint of lavender is calming. I am all about it. Is it a perfect product? No. But it really works.

And that’s the news. Tomorrow, something on this list may well have been supersceded by another product. That’s okay. Favorites lists are always flawed, always temporary. They’re just a moment in time.



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