Soaps Under $10.00

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Shave Gear

So what shaving gear would you grab if you were treading a couple of inches of rising water in your house? It will surprise you what you will think of.

I have lived in my home for twenty years and never saw water standing on our road. And never in the forty years our neighbourhood has been around has there been water on the roads.Hurricane Harvey changed all of that. It brought 60 inches of rain over three days and the Army Core of Engineers opened three dams above us and we saw the Neches river swell 8 miles out of it's banks and flood my home with 5 -1/2 feet of water. Not a pretty sight. Not at all. And it came up fast.

Anyway back to the evacuation shave gear.

Evacuation Shave Gear
As I was running through the house putting the last few things we missed as high as we could, my wife was quickly packing a few clothes into a duffle bag. I ran into the bathroom, grabbed my "Lord Maggard" razor, a Van der Hagen shave stick, My Maggard 22mm synthetic brush, and a small bottle of  Clubman Pinaud original aftershave,  and a small bag of blades that were in the drawer. I then made a quick last past through the house and noticed my box of shaving items on the floor. I thought if that gets wet I could have hundreds of blades all over the house. Not good during clean up. I grabbed the box and put it on the top shelf, and then hitch hiked out on a passing boat.

Well the rest is history. The house is dried out, the rebuilding is in progress and we wound up with a couple of new cars. Ironically, I did save most of my shave gear. I did loose all the creams, oils, most of the soaps and my Edwin Jagger DE89, but all my other razors, blades, aftershaves and a couple of soaps survived.

Life is good. I'll be retiring in a year or so, and we will be doing that with a new house, and two new cars. The clutter is all cleaned out, and we are making a few modifications to the house. And the evacuations shaves were pretty good even though I didn't have the pre shave oil, witch hazel, or balm. And did I mention It was with a Lord stainless blade?

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Lord Maggard"

When I started DE shaving a couple of years ago, It was fun researching razors and finally making a purchase. The anticipation of the arrival and then putting it through the motions to evaluate my purchase. Over the course of time, I made a few good purchases and also wasted money on something no better than a fishing line sinker.

It wasn't until I used the Lord L6 razor that I find one that was almost perfect for me. The head on this razor just seemed to work great with several blades, and had a nack of cutting my beard growth perfectly. What wasn't so great about the razor was the handle. It is a long aluminum handle that caused the razor to seem light and unresponsive on certain areas of my face.

It wasn't until I put the handle from my Maggard MR1 razor on the L6 head did I realize what a gem I had! The MR1 handle is shorter, but being made of stainless added just the right amount of weight to the razor as a whole. This has quickly become my favorite razor and one that I will continue to use while all my others gather dust in the closet.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Shark Super Chrome



Over the next few weeks I am going to keep a daily running experience of different blades. Mainly so that I can remember what they were like. Hopefully, you will find this interesting or helpful as you try different blades. Each blade will be used for 7 days unless they are a really bad blade.
 

Blade Name

Shark Super Chrome








Shaving conditions

Beard Type

Light beard growth, thicker on and under the chin, very sensitive on the neck. Susceptible to razor bumps on and under the chin area.

Preshave Prep:

  • Shower
  • Shave Secret - three drops (First day only.)
  • VDH Pre Shave Oil (Second day only)
  • The Well Groomed Guy Pre Shave Oil (Third day through fifth day)
  • Proraso Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin.( First day only)
  • VDH Luxury Shave Soap (Second through fifth day only)
  • Lord L6 Razor head mounted on a Maggard M1 handle
  • Soft water
  • Maggard 22mm knot synthetic brush

Post Shave:

  • Dickenson's Witch Hazel (Blue Bottle)
  • Pinaud Clubman Original
  • Nivea Balm for Sensitive Skin

The Shave Week

Day 1 Shave

  • Smoothness: The blade felt kind of sharp and on some sensitive areas such as my neck I was afraid that I was going to get a few weepers, but I did not. By the end of the shave it seemed to be a little smoother than when I started. It was not as smooth as I like, but I think it will wear in on the next shave.
  • Tugging: Slight tugging as I went against the grain on my neck area.
  • Razor Burn: There was some burning as I applied the aftershave that seemed to slightly linger for an hour or so after the shave.
  • Nicks: No nicks or weepers.
  • Closeness: Very close shave. I think that is due to the Proraso branded shave cream. I have had several good close shaves with this product. But it does slightly irritate my skin, however the aftershave feel was very smooth and satisfying.

Day 2 Shave

  • Smoothness: Thinking it may smooth out after the second shave. This blade continues to be slightly on the aggressive side. I was constantly on my guard not to get to careless.
  • Tugging: There continued to be some tugging on my sensitive neck areas
  • Razor Burn: There was razor burn again after this shave, but it seemed to last a little longer. I thing that this may be from skin damage from the previous nights shave. Burn lasted for a couple of hours.
  • Nicks: I experienced three or four weepers that appeared sometime after the shave and post prep. Not really bad but noticeable.
  • Closeness: The shave was close, but not as close as the night before. I think that this may be due to using Proraso cream on day one, and then VDH luxury on day two.

Day 3 Shave

  • Smoothness: Still a little harsh on the skin. I did have a good smooth shave afterwards, but the skin did not feel comfortable.
  • Tugging: Some tugging on my sensitive neck area.
  • Razor Burn: Had enough razor burn to last me a good hour after the shave.
  • Nicks: had three or four little weepers. Nothing major.
  • Closeness: Had a close shave but the sides of my chin and the underside began to show signs of razor bumps.

Day 4 Shave

  • Smoothness: Finally got the smoothness that I was looking for. It took four shaves to get the harsh edge off the blade.
  • Tugging: Thee was a little tug on the neck area but nothing serious.
  • Razor Burn: There was razor burn after the shave that lasted for about an hour. This could be left over from the previous shaves where the skin has not had time to recover.
  • Nicks: No nicks or weepers.
  • Closeness: Very close!

Day 5 Shave

  • Smoothness: The blade took a quick downturn on the fifth shave. It was dull feeling and the blade seemed to produce more shave bumps under and around the chin area. The shave was not near as comfortable as the day before.
  • Tugging: There was a noticeable amount of tugging that caused me to be extra careful to prevent weepers.
  • Razor Burn: There was quite a bit of razor burn after this shave. I think that the additional amount of cleanup strokes that I had to do was the contributing factor. The burn lasted longer than an hour.
  • Nicks: There was no nicks or weepers.
  • Closeness: Shave was not as close as the day before.

 Concluding Thoughts and Score

This particular blade is sharp and not smooth. For me and the tender skin that I am plagued with, the blade was more harsh than I would like to shave with. It produced weepers, razor burn and a few razor bumps. The shaves were not actually very comfortable. I think it might have done better in the Edwin Jagger DE89 but I will not be making that test. I just didn't like the blade. Overall I do not think that the Chrome coating has helped this blade. I think that the Shark Stainless to be smoother and gave a more comfortable shave. After five days, I gave up on the blade.


If I were to score this blade form 1 to 10 I would rate it an overall 6.2.
  • Sharpness: 7
  • Smoothness: 4
  • Tugging: 7
  • Razor Burn: 6
  • Closeness: 7
  • Overall: 6.2

Monday, June 19, 2017

Rethinking Lather

Just when you think that you have found the perfect combination something comes along that upsets your perfect world. I had pretty much settled on VDH Luxury soap with their shave oil as a great combination that gave me close shaves and a great feel during the shave and afterwards. I will admit that this was with a Gillette Silver Blue blade in a Lord razor.

Ladas Super Stainless
However this past week, I switched over to a Ladas super stainless blade in the Lord razor and the soap and oil combination bombed! After a three pass shave I could feel stubble and a lot of places that just didn't clean up right. Frustrated, I originally thought that the Ladas blades were junk and about to toss it out in favour of another blade. As I was showering before my shave I started thinking about the cushion that the VDH soap gives me. Just what if I were to try something different? Something with a little less cushion?

My first impression of the Ladas stainless blade was that it was not very sharp. More like a Derby but without the Teflon coating. What if I gave the blade a little less cushion, and more of on opportunity to "grab the pavement" a little? Well, it was the end of a nice hot day, and I decided to throw caution to the wind and pull out the C.O. Bigelow shave cream and my bottle of Shave Secret.  I'm not really a big fan of Menthol products, but the thought of using them that night sounded pretty good.

C.O.Bigelow
After the shower, I got everything out and proceeded to wet my face. I then rubbed the palms of my hands together to get them both slightly wet. I then added three drops of Shave Secret to the palm of one hand and then lightly rubbed them together. I then rubbed it in the stubble. Three drops was more than enough to get a nice menthol feel going. I wet my Maggard synthetic brush and put about 3/8" ribbon of C.O. Bigelow onto the end of the brush. Since I am a face lather guy, I took this and gently pressed the end of my brush all over my face and neck several times to get the cream applied to my skin. Then I started the face lather and added water as needed to get the lather built up.

I went for my traditional three pass shave trying not to do anything different in the way I shave. I could feel the menthol kick in. It felt pretty good after a hot day, and my skin was feeling refreshed. After I was finished and was washing off with hot then cold water I noticed that my skin felt slick and smooth. Much different than with the VDH soap. I then applied the Pinaud Clubman original aftershave and then the Nivea balm for sensitive skin and headed off to the living room. Within a half hour when the shave started to settle down, I was feeling a perfectly smooth shave that was as good as any I could have asked for. No irritation, no razor burn, just smooth, soft skin with a menthol coolness about it.

As I was sitting there, I was thinking that for my skin and beard conditions, I need to always match the blade with the soap that I use, For those blades that are sharp and not as smooth I need a lot of thick cushion to protect my skin from the sharpness. When I use blades that are not as sharp or have a lot of smoothness to them, then I need a soap (or cream) that does not have as much cushion so that the blade has better contact with the skin and doesn't "ride" over it because it can't cut through the cushion. Pre-shave oils are the same. If your oil is thick it just adds to the barrier that the blade must cut through whereas a thinner oil like Shave Secret adds the slickness needed, but without the licker barrier.

It's all about the blade! Having various soaps, creams and oils on hand is a good thing. Match them accordingly. A blade that doesn't shave good with one soap may be the perfect blade with another! And that's the beauty and fun of DE shaving!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Comfortable and Pleasant Shave!

Shaving should always be a pleasant experience. Not only during, but one that last for hours afterward. This past weekend I put together a shave that could very well be my everyday shave!

I had opened a new puck of VDH Luxury soap and melted it into a new container that I had bought Maggard Razors.  Later that night when it had hardened back up, I added a little hot water to the top for about minute. As this was soaking I added about 6 drops of VDH shave oil to my face and let it set for a couple of minutes.
 

As the oil was penetrating my stubble, I poured the water off the puck and added about a pea size dab of Palmolive shave cream to the top of it. I then saturated my synthetic brush and squeezing out the excess water, I loaded the brush with the two. Afterwards I went straight to a face lather, adding water as needed until I had a pile of cream. The fragrance of the combination was nice and not overbearing.

A three pass shave was smooth and the razor refused to tug. It just glided through over the skin. The soap and cream combination gave me really good protection and the VDH shave oil seemed to add the lubrication into the skin that added that extra barrier of protection. It was a nice, very comfortable shave!

Finished up with Pinaud Clubman original aftershave and  Nivea balm for sensitive skin and I walked out of the bathroom feeling like a new man! A half hour later I was palming baby soft skin and not feeling a single stray whisker. It was a good close shave. As I write this ten hours later, the stubble is barely beginning to make it's presence known, but my skin is still as soft as ever. For me, this is a combination made in heaven! It was economical, did not add any additional time to the shave, and was a pleasure to be repeated!

If you have never tried shave oils and a mixture of soap and creams, give it a try. You never know. You may find a shave that beats the best that's out there!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Astra Superior Stainless



Over the next few weeks I am going to keep a daily running experience of different blades. Mainly so that I can remember what they were like. Hopefully, you will find this interesting or helpful as you try different blades. Each blade will be used for 7 days unless they are a really bad blade.
 

Blade Name


Astra Superior Stainless
Astra Superior Stainless








Shaving conditions

Beard Type

Light beard growth, thicker on and under the chin, very sensitive on the neck. Susceptible to razor bumps on and under the chin area.

Preshave Prep:

  • Shower
  • The Well Groomed Guy Pre Shave Oil (One drop)
  • Van der Hagen Premium soap (Shave Stick)
  • Lord L6 razor
  • Soft water
  • Maggard 22mm knot synthetic brush

Post Shave:

  • Dickenson's Witch Hazel (Blue Bottle)
  • Pinaud Clubman Original
  • Nivea Balm for Sensitive Skin

The Shave Week

Day 1 Shave

  • Smoothness: The blade seemed sharp but it seemed to scratch a little. Did not seem as smooth as other blades I have used, but is not uncomfortable and may smooth out on the next shave.
  • Tugging: Didn't notice any tugging, but razor feedback was much louder than I have experienced in the past. On the tougher areas of the beard, it seemed to drag as it cut. Not a sharp feeling.
  • Razor Burn: I experienced razorburn for a couple of minutes, but it was hard to tell if it was the result of the blade or not. A couple of days ago I tried a new razor and it shaved me very aggressive. I could have been recovering from that experience. However razor burn was minimal and did not last long.
  • Nicks: One weeper and one self inflicted nick because I was not watching what I was doing. Nothing serious though.
  • Closeness: Fairly close shave. Cheeks and neck were BBS but the chin area resulted in missed spots. Multiple touch ups did not help much. However, when completed, I was happy with the shave.

Day 2 Shave

  • Smoothness: The blade was a little smoother on the second shave, but it seems to drag a little. After the shave my skin felt scratchy as if the blade had little ridges in it. Not uncomfortable, but not satisfying.
  • Tugging: Slight tugging on the more dense areas of the beard growth, but none on the sensitive neck areas. This may indicate that it is sharp but not sharp enough to tackle the whole beard.
  • Razor Burn: Razor burn again over the whole face area. Lasted for about a minute.
  • Nicks: No nicks or weepers.
  • Closeness: Very close shave but not quite BBS. The shave felt smooth, but the chin area was slightly rough right after the shave. An hour later, my skin had settled down and felt smooth. 10 hours later, the shave still feels pretty good with just a little roughness under the chin.

Day 3 Shave

  • Smoothness: The blade is not providing a good smooth shave. It seems that the longer I use it the faster it breaks down. The shave was not sharp and smooth, but tugged and was scratchy.
  • Tugging: Most of the tugging was from the more dense areas of the beard growth. The sensitive neck area did not suffer from tugging.
  • Razor Burn: Razor burn was present mainly on the chin area. This is most likely due to my having to buff more to get a closer shave.
  • Nicks: No nicks or weepers.
  • Closeness: Shave was not really all that close. It did feel blotchy in spots. Overall it was passable, but not one of my best.

 Concluding Thoughts and Score


I stopped after three shaves because I really didn't think that it was going to improve on it's performance and I was getting painful shaves. I really don't think that this blade is best suited for a light razor. It may perform better in a heavier razor. I may try again in the future. With that said, I would not buy these in bulk and I will not be using them in my everyday shaves. Main reason is the lack of smoothness and sharpness, the amount of razor burn, more noticeable razor bumps  and overall quality of the shave.


If I were to score this blade form 1 to 10 I would rate it an overall 5.
  • Sharpness: 5
  • Smoothness: 5
  • Tugging: 7
  • Razor Burn: 4
  • Closeness: 4
  • Overall: 5

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Derby Extra

 
 
Over the next few weeks I am going to keep a daily running experience of different blades. Mainly so that I can remember what they were like. Hopefully, you will find this interesting or helpful as you try different blades. Each blade will be used for 7 days unless they are a really bad blade.
 

Blade Name

Derby Extra
Derby Extra
 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Shaving conditions

Beard Type

Light beard growth, thicker on and under the chin, very sensitive on the neck. Susceptible to razor bumps on and under the chin area.

Preshave Prep:

  • Shower
  • Shave Secret (four drops)
  • Mason's Boutique Lillian Shave Soap (Days1-3)
  • Van der Hagen Premium soap Shave Stick (Days 4-7)
  • Lord LP1822L DE Razor
  • Soft water
  • Maggard 22mm knot synthetic brush

Post Shave:

  • Dickenson's Witch Hazel (Blue Bottle)
  • Pinaud Clubman Original
  • Nivea Balm for Sensitive Skin

The Shave Week

Day 1 Shave

  • Smoothness: Smooth, sharp shave 1st pass was fairly close, but not as close as other blades.
  • Tugging: No tugging on the neck area
  • Razor Burn: Slight razor burn that lasted on a couple of minutes.
  • Nicks: No nicks or weepers.
  • Closeness: Nice, and close shave that was comfortable.

Day 2 Shave

  • Smoothness: Not quite as smooth as yesterday. the shave cream was not a thick and creamy as yesterday and that may have played a part.
  • Tugging: Slight tugging on the chin area but the neck area where I am most sensitive, was problem free.
  • Razor Burn: A little more razor burn than the day before. Seems like I had to buff more to get a closer shave and that irritated the skin.
  • Nicks: No Nicks or weepers.
  • Closeness: Close in some areas but obvious misses that had to be touched up.

Day 3 Shave

  • Smoothness: Slightly less smooth. I could feel some tugging on the cheeks which is unusual.
  • Tugging: A little tugging on the chin area, but non on the neck area.
  • Razor Burn: More razor burn than the day before. Had to do more buffing to get a closer shave. Buffing seems to irritate and damage the skin more.
  • Nicks: One nick between the lower lip and chin.
  • Closeness: Closeness seems to be diminishing with this blade. Tomorrow I am going to change back to the VDH Luxury soap and see if that improves the chave. 

Day 4 Shave

  • Smoothness: Blade was still pretty smooth, but It did struggle in some places where the growth was a little thicker.
  • Tugging: There was a little tugging on the neck area when I shaved against the grain.
  • Razor Burn: More razor burn was detected than last night. Besides the chin area, there was some under the jaw line.
  • Nicks: Two weepers and one nick that was due to my own carelessness.
  • Closeness: it was a close shave but I had to work at it. Where some blades would get it this blade seemed to pass over it. It was a good shave but not as comfortable as when the blade was new.

Day 5 Shave

  • Smoothness: Smoothness has dropped off significantly. This shave has felt rough and my skin has felt some soreness after the shave.
  • Tugging: Tugging has increased especially on the neck area.
  • Razor Burn: More razor burn has been felt after this shave. I has also noticed the skin to feel bumpy and slightly swollen along with some skin damage.
  • Nicks: There were no nicks with this shave.
  • Closeness: The shave felt close in some places and in others it felt like it missed the stubble all together.

Day 6 Shave

  • Smoothness: The smoothness really dropped off with this shave. I could feel noticeable tugging all over and lots of stubble still visible and could be felt. The shave was patchy all over and there was a very low comfort level. After the shave, It felt like my skin was "grooved" and ragged feeling along with a dry tight feeling.
  • Tugging: The tugging has increased some more and was very unpleasant on the sensitive areas.
  • Razor Burn: Really bad razor burn all over my face. This lasted more than an hour and was uncomfortable. I had to go back and reapply a skin cream trying to get it to feel comfortable.
  • Nicks: There were no nicks or weepers.
  • Closeness: Not close at all. The shave felt rough and patchy, and the skin felt bumpy and swollen.

 Concluding Thoughts and Score

This was an interesting blade. Loaded in the Lord L6 razor, it began with a nice shave, but quickly deteriorated over the next few days. It felt like the smooth coating pealed off and I was shaving on the stainless blade. What I disliked about the blade was the amount of razor burn and the bumpy feeling it left my face with. I really should have stopped after the fourth  shave, but I didn't and feel like I made a bad decision with that.

A very cheap blade that I would probably not use for more than two or three shaves. Considering this, I would opt out for a more expensive blade that wears down in a more smoother fashion that doesn't leave my skin feeling sore, burnt and patchy feeling. After this shave I am going to have to take a few days off with a good smooth blade and a sensitive cream to let my skin recover.
   
If I were to score this blade form 1 to 10 I would rate it an overall 4.4.
  • Sharpness: 6
  • Smoothness: 4
  • Tugging: 5
  • Razor Burn:3
  • Closeness: 4
  • Overall: 4.4