When I started this blog, the idea was to learn how to shave with a safety razor in the least amount of time and get great shaves every time. One of the biggest time consumers was loading a brush off a puck and then building a lather in a bowl. Not that this is wrong, it's just time consuming. However it really can be very therapeutic and gives a great sense of satisfaction if you have the time.
The time spent soaking a brush and puck, whipping a lather in a bowl and then the cleanup is more time than I have to spend on a shave. Not only this, but I just didn't like the open shave puck in a bowl in my drawer. It took up a lot of room and for some reason it just bothered me.
If I wanted to try different soaps, the time spent cleaning them and storing them back into their original packages was very time consuming and time I just didn't have. When my wife asked me one night if I knew how much time I was spending on a shave I knew then that there had to be a faster way for a great shave. What I soon discovered was shaving creams in a tube and a good shaving stick was the two fastest methods I found to start a shave.
Depending on whether you are using a cream or a shave stick, preparing the brush to accept the soap is the same. If you use a shaving cream, brush prep comes first. If you are using a shave stick then the brush prep comes after the soap is applied.
Face lathering - preparing the brush
Face lathering is the fastest way to build a lather and for me, the best way to control the creaminess of the lather. Using both creams or shave sticks you can build a great three pass lather in just a few seconds with very little mess or cleanup.
Any good brush can be used to face lather. I have comets love and appreciate my synthetic brush that I got from Maggard razors. It is cheap, the 22mm knot is just the right size for face lathering and the feel of the brush is soft yet firm and after three months use has not lost its shape. Besides all of this, it holds the lather very well between passes.
I always make it a point to shave right after a shower. My beard is well hydrated and my shaves are at their best during this time. Before I get started I wet my face at the sink and then I pick up my brush and flood the bristles with hot water. When saturated I hold the brush straight up and down and knock out the water four or five times. I then hold the brush parallel to the sink and gently sling it once then roll it ninety degrees ang gently sling it again. I do this twice more. The brush will be warm and damp but not sopping wet. I like to start out this way and then add water as you go.
Applying the shaving cream
When using shaving cream, I usually run a ribbon about three quarters to one inch along the top of the brush like you would a tooth brush. Most of the time it will fall just below the top edge of the brush. This is fine and works well as you build the lather.
I generally apply it starting and right side of my neck and start swirling it around then move to the left side of the neck then up to my left cheek the across my chin to the right cheek swirling gone brush. I then add a little water to the brush from the faucet and repeat the process. After about three to four times. I usually have a nice creamy layer of soap and finish by painting it smooth over my face and neck.
After the first layer is applied, I just stand the brush upright on its handle until needed for the next pass. I always have enough for a three pass shave with pickups.
Applying shaving stick soap
The only difference in using shaving sticks is that after you wet your face you start rubbing the stick on your face before you prep the brush. It doesn't take much, usually just a noticeable layer on the face. Then after you prep the brush, just swirl the brush onto your face as it mixes with the soap to build the cream on your Face. Again do this three or four times or until you are satisfied with the texture of the cream.
One of the benefits to face lathering Is that it produces less mess and the cleanup is easy and you get great results. If you are also limited to space you can devote to shaving products, you will quickly find that creams and sticks take up very little space. This makes for great storage and easy traveling.
How you may want to build lather is really up you. So if you are looking to keep you shave times down, face lathering is the way to go!