Category Archives: Creams & Soaps

Reviews of shaving creams and soaps.

Review: Mystic Water Soap – Orange Vanilla Shaving Soap

Mystic Water Soap - Orange Vanilla Shaving Soap

Mystic Water Soap – Orange Vanilla Shaving Soap

Mystic Water Soap is one of the wonderful artisan soapmakers that get mentioned quite a bit on the shaving forums.  And a while ago I rang them up on the internets and ordered a few samples.  It’s been a while, but I have finally gotten around to this one here, their Orange Vanilla variety.

I love creamsicles.  I think you are a rotten person if you don’t like them.  Well not really, but cmon, there is something about orange and vanilla coming together that is so awesome, in the same way that it’s awesome when peanut butter and chocolate come together.  So when I re-stumbled upon this soap sample a few days ago I got really excited and decided to make it my next review.

First the good.  The good hits your nose right out of the bat.  The scent.  The soap is actually brown from the vanilla in it, so you know you’re dealing with great stuff.  The smell is exactly what you think it would smell like.  It’s sweet, but not a cloying, heavy kind of sweet.  The orange is there with the backup of vanilla, and its not a strong vanilla.  Overall the scent is wonderfully balanced.  And it stays wonderfully balanced while being whipped up into a lather and while on your face.  Awesome smell.

The ingredients in this soap are exactly what you want when you love your face.  Tallow, Glycerin, shea butter, avocado/palm/castor oils, Aloe vera, Bentonite Clay, wheat protein, and something that doesn’t come around too often: silk..

The slickness this soap provides is top notch.  It’s fantastic.  You feel it when lathering it on, and you feel it when rinsing your face after each pass.  Can’t say a bad thing about this aspect of the lather.

Well I pointed out the good, you say.  So then is there a bad?  Unfortunately, yes.  I found, not only with this soap, but also with the last MW soap I tried, that the lather is somewhat lacking in it’s thickness and cushion.  It just doesn’t thicken the way I personally like my lathers to thicken.  It’s a light fluff kind of lather, almost like whipped up egg whites.  There’s not much substance to it.  And by the time I am halfway through a pass, I find that what is left on my face is just vanishing into nothingness, albeit still leaving an incredible slickness behind.

Maybe I am doing it wrong.  Maybe I am spoiled by great latherers I have tried like Art of Shaving, Geo F. Trumper, and Taylor of Old Bond Street.  I like everything about this soap, except the one thing I love the most about traditional shave soaps, the thickness and luxuriousness of the lather.  It’s missing here for me.  Of course, I won’t dismiss the company, as it has many many happy customers.  YMMV (Your mileage may vary) is the key word in shaving soap reviews.  Try a few samples yourself.  You will definitely love the scents, and the slickness.  And if you end up lathering it better than I am, then you’ll absolutely love the whole package.

Edit:  I completely forgot to mention a couple things…

First, I tried this soap for 2 consecutive days.  The first time I mug lathered and got a very weak lather.  The second time I face lathered and got a better result, but it still was quite lacking by the third pass.

Second, While I did have problems with the lather quality, I got great bbs shaves both times.

Review: Art of Shaving – Lavender Shaving Soap (with tallow)

Art of Shaving - Lavender Shaving Soap

Art of Shaving – Lavender Shaving Soap

Yup.  With tallow.  I know, it’s not fair.  I have not tried the new non-tallow formulation, but I can tell you that I’m astounded that Art of Shaving (or more properly, their parent company) would mess with something that is so dead-on awesome.  And I apologize to all of you who will probably not have the chance to try out this amazing shaving soap.  All I can offer is a chance to experience it in my own words… Ok I’ll shut up and get to it 🙂

So yes, I had read that some time recently Proctor & Gamble, the parent company of Art of Shaving, decided to cut corners and remove tallow from the entire line of Art of Shaving products.  This devastated the fans of their soap, whose glowing reviews fill the halls of Amazon and all the shaving forums.  When I read of the demise of Art of Shaving tallow, I decided that I would keep out an eagle eye for any sales of the tallow formula.

About a week ago, it happened.  Someone had stumbled upon a cache of Art of Shaving’s Lavender Shaving Soap with tallow at a local grocery store for a decent discount.  He bought all of them and came back to the forum to share the news and offer some for sale.  I jumped at the occasion, and purchased not only my first Art of Shaving shaving soap, but also my first lavender-scented soap.

Fast forward.  It arrived.  I also had just purchased some 1-cup pyrex bowls to mill my soaps and soap samples into.  So I did just that, maybe 1/4 of the soap went through a small grater and into the bowl.

So today was the day.  While showering, I left my mug and best-badger brush in hot water to soak, and also left a thin layer of water on the top of the soap.  Once out of the shower, I softly shook out most of the water from the brush, poured the water off the soap, and loaded the brush for about a minute, until I could tell it was thickened with a great amount of soap.  Into the mug it went, where i spent another minute or two whipping up a super-thick, wonderfully fragranced lather.

I could tell right then and there that I was in for a real treat.  This lather smelled ridiculously good right there in the mug, and was so thick that the brush easily stands on it’s own.  I went to lather my face and felt that if I let go of the brush, it would stick to my face.  The smell was gorgeous, the lather was ultra rich and thick.

While shaving I took note of not only of how well this lather provides a great cushioning, but also is very slick, allowing the blade to slide across my skin, but take the whiskers away with little to no effort.  And as thick as the lather was, it wasn’t gunky, and didn’t stick too badly to my Weber DLC DE razor.  As I rinsed after each pass, I could still feel the slickness.  And right after that the soap rinsed completely clean.

The second pass (my personal test of how good a lather holds) was even better than the first.  The same goes for the third pass.  And there was enough luxurious lather for at least another 3-4 passes when I was done shaving.  I used this to wash my hands, if anything to impart a little more of that delicious lavender scent to them.

My shave was smooth as silk, and left my face wonderfully moisturized.

And now I am pissed.  Because I found a great great soap.  At least I am at the beginning of this puck.  I am going to try the new non-tallow formula, and see how it compares.  But you can bet your ass that I am going to be on the lookout for more pucks of the tallow stuff.  Oh man is it good….

Oh, I should probably be doing this more, but here is my full lineup:

Review: Taylor of Old Bond Street – Grapefruit Shaving Cream

Taylor of Old Bond Street - Grapefruit Shaving Cream

Taylor of Old Bond Street – Grapefruit Shaving Cream

When I was a wee lad, my dear mother would cut a grapefruit for my brother and I, giving each of us half, pre-cut so that we just needed a spoon.  Back then, before we knew that it was really good, we used to say “ew” because grapefruit can be quite bitter, and our sense of taste was begging for Fruit Loops or Lucky Charms, or anything loaded with sugar.  So what did we do? We sprinkled some sugar on top to make it taste better.  Come to think of it, “sprinkled” is probably not the right word.  My poor mom.

These days, as a grown man with a manly man shaving routine, I have rediscovered grapefruit.  I rarely get orange juice, reaching instead for the the slightly bittersweet taste of grapefruit juice.  And when I do eat the actual fruit, there are no sprinklings of sugar needed.

And so the news came with a great deal of delight on my part:  Taylor of Old Bond street, who’s avocado shave cream I have fallen in love with, has just come out with a new scent to add to their line of shave creams… Taylor of Old Bond Street Grapefruit Shaving Cream!

Right out of the gate this stuff smells awesome.  It’s what you might expect, a fresh, tart, and zesty citrus note greets you right away.

Now let me just make a note right here that Taylor of Old Bond Street are pretty smart.  If I had not checked, I would have just assumed grapefruit was the only note in the fragrance.  But I am also a smart cookie myself, and I know that citrus scents are top notes, and as such are usually thin and very short lived.  So I took a look, and found that indeed, there is not only an additional orange citrus note, but also “floral and crisp green” notes.

Now knowing this, I took a re-sniff, and indeed they are there.  I suspect that the orange is there to strengthen and round out the citrus aspect, and that the floral and green notes are there only to extend the scent and give it some backbone.  The resulting blend is unquestionably grapefruit, and to the uneducated nose would be grapefruit alone.  However, purely going grapefruit alone would probably result in an adolescent attempt at a grapefruit scent.  Most likely very weak and one-dimensional.  I raise my mug to the individuals who developed this exquisite and smart fragrance blend.  Bravo.

The lather is also top notch.  I do love Taylor of Old Bond Street creams.  Both that I have tried (avocado and Jermyn Street) have delivered ultra-rich, creamy lathers.  Their grapefruit shaving cream is no different.  A small almond-sized dollop delivered enough lather for 5+ passes, and the lather got better with each pass.  For me, the ultimate test is what the lather is like on the second pass.  Some lathers start breaking down, some are just the same, and some improve.  I really like it when they improve.  Very much like Mitchell’s Wool Fat when lathered correctly, there is something about the lather resting that thickens it up and adds to it’s cushioning aspect.  These are the ones to hold on to.  And Taylor of Old Bond Street’s Grapefruit shaving cream did just that.

It wasn’t as slick as I was hoping.  Both the avocado and Jermyn street I felt had a slicker feel to them, when shaving and when rinsing.  But this is a review of just one shave.  The lather is also very clean, meaning it didn’t gunk up in my razor, and rinsed very cleanly off my face.

Also, I should mention that I had a 100% nick-free shave.  Not a single spot of red.  I used my Weber DLC razor loaded with a fresh Personna Medical Prep blade.  Also, I sit here writing this irritation-free, bbs (baby butt smooth) and with my skin feeling nicely moisturized, not dry and tight.

I had a great shave today.

Taylor of Old Bond Street’s Grapefruit Shaving Cream is available at Amazon.com!

Review: Kiss My Face – Key Lime Moisture Shave

Kiss My Face - Key Lime Moisture Shave

Kiss My Face – Key Lime Moisture Shave

So yes, I’m pretty easy to please, and you can see I have given many glowing reviews of most of the products I have tried.  I do love key lime.  But I also like a really good thick decent lather.  And that’s why I was somewhat disappointed after today’s shave.

Kiss My Face Key Lime Moisture Shave is quite inexpensive.  And I had seen some good reviews of this stuff.  So when I saw it at my local Whole Foods store, I took a whiff of the key lime tube, and instantly dropped it in my basket.

I shaved with it a few weeks ago.  I was impressed with the scent, but not so much with the lather.  I put the bottle on the side for a little while, while trying and reviewing many other products.  I wanted to give this a fair shake and thought, one bad lathering experience… maybe it’s me.

I’m pretty sure it’s not me.  Of course, as Ill say in almost every review: your mileage may vary (YMMV).

I do love the scent.  Key lime is awesome.  It’s a zippy, clean version of lime, as if lime wasn’t zippy and clean enough.  Key lime is just a less-sweet, smarter, tarter version of lime.  The stuff lathered up pretty good, but I don’t find it cushioning enough.  It seemed more of a light, foamy lather.  Not very substantive.

The first pass was decent enough.  Covered my face, and went on somewhat thicker than I expected out of the mug.  But I could tell that there wasn’t much cushion, or even slickness for that matter.

By the second pass, the lather was starting to fall apart, and wasn’t thick.  The third pass was even worse.  It looked like a lather, in the mug, but went on almost like water.

If you get your shaves done pretty quickly, in one or two passes, this might be worth a look-see.  As I said, the stuff smells great, and the ingredients include a lot of stuff that should be good for your skin.  And the price is certainly right.

But for those that like a super thick lathering experience, and associate the word “zen” with “shave”, I can’t recommend this stuff for you.

YMMV, of course.

Kiss My Face Key Lime Moisture Shave is available at Amazon.com!

Review: The Body Shop – Maca Root Shave Cream

The Body Shop - Maca Root Shave Cream

The Body Shop – Maca Root Shave Cream

The Body Shop – Maca Root Shave Cream.  This one is an enigma.

First of all, I didn’t have to order this stuff online.  As if I was living in a dream, I was actually able to go to my local mall, hit the Body Shop store, take a tube of this off the shelf, and go home with it.  Ahh the wonders of the world pre-internet.

This stuff is also unique in it’s scent.  Well, I should say, unique for me.  Because having hand-picked the items I’m reviewing, I tend to stick to a few categories: bay rum, citrus, floral, etc.

Also unique in this product is something called maca root.  I still have no idea what maca root is, or why it’s good.  But I checked the Body Shop website and read this:

Peruvian maca root (Lepidium meyenii) is renowned in South America for its energy-giving and libido enhancing properties. It helps energize and help boost skin vitality.

Listen, I’ve watched the Discovery Channel.  It seems every culture has that thing they eat/drink/soupify that makes your penis better/stronger/longer, or “enhances the libido” in some way.  Sometimes I just feel sorry for those people.  But sometimes, though not very often, they are right.  I decided to hit up wikipedia on maca root, and found that there have actually been several double-blind studies that it can increase sperm count, boost libido, improve sexual desire, and alleviate sexual disfunction.

Yup.  Alright, so now that we’re all listening, let’s talk about the shave.

This stuff lathers extremely well.  It foams up in a very dense lather, with very little water needed.  It’s actually one of the best latherers I have encountered so far.  Definitely on par with Taylor of Old Bond Street creams.  It’s a different lather, maybe more dense.  It provides a heck of a lot of cushion for your razor.

The smell at first was not what I wanted to smell.  My first thought was, “uh oh, cologne counter”.  But very quickly I realized it was in essence a very clean, almost linen type of scent.  It’s a cool scent that for the morning was quite refreshing and not cloying.  It rinsed away clean and doesn’t interfere whatsoever with anything that might go on your face afterwards.

Post shave, my skin is definitely moisturized and conditioned.  And my shave was really smooth.

I can’t say that this is my favorite shaving cream.  I really do find myself to be more a fan of creams that have more of the classic scents, like citrus, bay rums, and even woodier scents like sandalwood.  However, if you like a clean/linen type of scent, then I very highly recommend this stuff.  Not only is it very easy to acquire, but it is an excellent latherer, provides excellent razor cushion, and is relatively inexpensive to boot!  And it just might improve you’re libido (YMMV for sure).

And you don’t have to take my word for it.  As of this writing, there are 84 reviews on the Body Shop website, resulting in a 5/5 star rating.  Oh you think they are biased?  Well go to this product’s page on Amazon and you’ll find another 9 reviews resulting in another 5/5 star rating.

It really is a great product.

Review: Taylor of Old Bond Street – Jermyn Street Shaving Cream

Taylor of Old Bond Street - Jermyn Street Shaving Cream

Taylor of Old Bond Street – Jermyn Street Shaving Cream

So here is a description of the fragrance from Taylor of Old Bond Street’s own website:

A modern fresh fougere fragrance with bergamot, lemon, lime and lavender supported by a heart of geranium, neroli and amber resting on a substantive base of musk, patchouli and vanilla. An allergen free fragrance which contains Patchouli oil.

So, after reading the fragrance list, you might still have to ask what Taylor of Old Bond Street’s Jermyn Street Shaving Cream smells like.  It’s ok.  I did too.  It’s interesting, because its such a simple scent at first, and then once you know that there are many scents going on, you realize how complex it is.

For the simple nose, which I have exactly one of, I would say it starts off citrusy, then gets floral.  For me it sort of ends there.  But if I concentrate and fish for other scents, I definitely can sense the vanilla and patchouli notes.  But, like I said, once you recognize all the scents, they are much easier to notice.

Overall, it’s a fresh clean scent (thanks to the floral notes), with an invigorating zip to it, (thanks to the citrus) that is also well rounded (thanks to the base notes).  Does that help?  Of course it doesn’t!  I know you.  I know you because I know me.  You’re going to have to get some to be satisfied.  Go for it.  You won’t be sorry, unless you hate floral notes.  Then you’ll probably be a little bit sorry.  Until you shave with it.

This stuff is also marketed for folks like me with sensitive skin, which is quite a remarkable feat, considering products marketed for sensitive skin tend to be very lightly scented, if not unscented, because essential oils tend to make the skin very angry.

Alright, you’ve been waiting long enough – how was the shave?  Awesome.

I used a pea-sized dab from my little sample container.  Using my Simpsons Duke II best badger brush, I whipped this stuff up good.  It loves water, so I added a few drops at a time, swishing, flopping, and dabbing the brush in my mug.  After about 2 minutes, I had a super rich, delicious smelling lather.

They call this a luxury shaving cream.  I hate it when people use words and then the words don’t match up to the product they are selling.  Well, no worries here.  This is without a doubt a luxury shaving cream.  From a pea-sized ball, I got enough amazing lather for at least 6 passes.  I’m not even slightly kidding.

So as I lathered the stuff onto my face, the smell was incredible.  I found myself slowing down while lathering, soaking up the enjoyment of how thick this stuff applied to my face, and how wonderful it smelled.

The shave was 100% nick free.  I owe a great deal of it to this stuff and how slick it made my skin.  I had a 3-pass BBS (baby-butt-smooth) shave.  Also I wanted to specifically note how slick and smooth my skin felt as I rinsed my face between each pass.  There’s only a few shaving creams/soaps that I have tried that performed like this.  Mitchell’s Wool Fat is one of them.  That’s a high honor in my book.

I do have sensitive skin.  And my skin feels GREAT right now.  Awesome.

Review: Truefitt & Hill – Sandalwood Shaving Cream

Truefitt & Hill - Sandalwood Shave Cream

Truefitt & Hill – Sandalwood Shave Cream

You bastards.  I wasn’t going to write a review today.  I was just going to check out this sample I’ve had sitting around for at least a couple months now.  I’ve been trying all kinds of shaving creams and soaps, and going back to some favorites in between reviews, and I kept looking at my sampler pack of Truefitt & Hill Shaving Creams going “nah, not today”… Well, finally today was the day.  But let me explain my hesitation.

It’s pretty simple really.  Simply smelling the samples of the Truefitt & Hill line didn’t excite me.  They all smelled somewhat “old man” to me.  I can’t tell you where I got the idea, but maybe it’s an extension of my disdain for the department store cologne/perfume counter.  For those who are not well versed in my tales, I distain them.  I distain them a lot.

Now Truefitt & Hill don’t exactly smell like that.  But, since I started this wetshaving chapter of my life, I for the first time ventured away from the can of goo.  Actually I did that a long time ago, and since then just used a cartridge razor in the shower and the natural oils on my face with no shaving cream.

Then I found bay rums.  Then I found citrusy scents like orange and lime.  Then I found the splendor of proraso, tho Im not terribly fond of the scent.  Then I ordered the Truefitt & Hill samplers, and discovered they had no sweetness to them.  No exciting bay feel.  “Boo” I booed.  And in my drawer of samples they sat, untouched, since then.

Then today came, and I reached in and randomly pulled out the Truefitt & Hill Sandalwood Shaving Cream sample.  I smelled it and thought, “I dunno”.  But then I thought, “you wrote a review yesterday, you don’t need to write one today, so just try this out today and see what you think of the cream itself.”

Am I ever glad I did.  What was I thinking waiting so long to try this stuff?

Truefitt & Hill are renowned for their scents and the quality of their lather.  I was dissuaded by the smell out of the sample tin, but I should know by now that shaving products smell different in the tin/tub/bottle than they do on your face.

This sandalwood scent was just awesome.  As I was lathering, it kicked up into my nose.  When I put it on, it was like a 6th sense, just swimming around in the air.  Not too strong, mind you, but strong enough.  And at the same time, it was light enough to take a bit of a back seat while I focused on the incredible shave.

The lather is as advertised and reviewed.  Super rich.  I used the typical almond-sized dollop of cream, and with 2 minutes of swirling and adding drops of water, found a super-rich lather that honestly was enough for at least 6 passes.  And with each pass (and just a little bit of whipping) the lather was better and better and better.

It contains a glycerin-based moisturizing formula, according to T&H, which provided one of the slickest and cleanest shaves I have had in a long time.

And the whole while, I was admonishing myself for calling this stuff “old man” because the scent and experience made me feel, even if for a moment, like I was in another time, a time before cartridge razors were invented.  It honestly whisked me away for a moment there.  I can’t say there were that many creams that did that for me.

Truefitt & Hill.  Damn you for being so unexpectedly good.  I have a few other scents that I have had sitting there, a little bit afraid of the “old man” scent.  Those will be getting a fair shake (or a fair shave?) for sure.  Awesome.

Check out Truefitt & Hill Sandalwood Shaving Cream on Amazon.com!

Review: Queen Charlotte Soaps – Queen Charlotte Shaving Cream

Queen Charlotte Soaps - Queen Charlotte Shaving Cream

Queen Charlotte Soaps – Queen Charlotte Shaving Cream

As a musician, let me put it this way: this is the “title track” of the Queen Charlotte line of shaving soaps and creams.  I have already done two reviews of Queen Charlotte shaving soaps, and was excited this time to try out one of their shaving creams.

Their cream could effectively be called what we in the shaving community call a croap.

Yes, I agree, it is a bit brash of me to use the word “we” just there, as if I am some spokesman of the shaving community which has been around for hundreds of years. However, you are here reading this blog are you not?  Ok, yeah that was a bit brash as well.  My apologies.  Let’s move on, shall we?

Croap is a portmanteau, a word that is a combination of two words.  In this case, a croap is somewhere between a cream and a soap.  And Queen Charlotte Soaps’ line of shaving creams are just that.  Croaps.  So they hold their form like a solid soap, but are very soft, and very easily give in to any pressure.  Think of butter at room temperature.  It’s not quite that, but very close.

This review will have some good news and some bad news.  But even the bad news just might be my fault.  As with any review, your mileage may vary (YMMV).  Regardless, let’s start with a big heap of good news.

This stuff smells wonderful.  Now when you first read the maker’s description of this scent, it may be hard to imagine:

A heavenly scent made from only the most rare absolutes and essential oils, Queen Charlotte starts with sweet top notes. As the scent grows, delicate floral notes come through. We have added just the right amount of earthy and woody notes to complete this exquisite scent.

Once you shave with it, you will come to realize that that is exactly what you just experienced.  In the shaving mug, as you lather, you will smell that wonderful citrus scent. It was hard to pinpoint exactly, but quite citrusy.  On your face, your nose will swim with a light floral scent.  As I discovered on my own while reviewing Geo F Trumper’s Rose Shaving Cream, floral shaving cream scents are absolutely nothing to be afraid of.  In fact, they are surprisingly refreshing and will up your stud ranking by at least 5 points.

The entire time you will also be experiencing the woody and earthy bass notes.  This isn’t a cologne, so it may be harder to detect as you wash each pass of cream off your face, but by the end of your shave you will notice it more and more.

Good News #2: I had a 100% nick-free and irritation free shave.  This stuff is fantastic, and being made by a guy who loves his trade, is loaded with moisturizers and other ingredients that your face will absolutely love.  Oils and vitamins and glycerins and on and on and on.  And to top it all off this is a tallow soap too!

The bad news on this soap, at least for this shave, was that the lather was lacking a little.  I have had great lathering experiences with their hard soaps (cayman and key lime), and was excited to try the croap out, but wasn’t as thrilled.  But it was still better than other stuff I have tried.

I’d be thrilled to hear from you if you have had better lathering experiences from Queen Charlotte’s creams.  Leave a comment below and let me know!

Review: Mitchell’s Wool Fat – Shaving Soap

Mitchells Wool Fat - Shaving Soap

Mitchells Wool Fat – Shaving Soap

Epic.  That is what this stuff is.  This is one of the classic tallow-based shaving soaps that piqued my interest when I first started wetshaving.  I mean, yeah I had heard of Barbasol, Schick, and Edge shaving creams and gels, but Wool Fat?!?  This stuff had earned my curiosity and I quickly ordered some.

I ordered a refill puck, shredded it with a cheese grater, and packed about half of the shreds into a 3″ plastic tub. I have used this tub to shave maybe 20-30 times, and I still have more than half of that tub left (with the other half of the original puck still waiting in a plastic ziplock!), so you know this stuff will last a long time.

Ok, first things first, if you know the back story of Mitchell’s Wool Fat, you can skip down a little.  Mitchell’s Wool Fat was first discovered in the 1930’s by a British chemist named Fred Mitchell, who noticed that sheep shearers always had super soft hands after shearing their sheep.  It was lanolin, a protective wax exuded by the sheep’s skin, that kept the sheep’s wool, and the shearers’ hands, very soft and supple.  Using that noggin of his, he put two and two together and formulated a soap with lanolin in it.  Soon after, he used that noggin again and thought “this would make a fantastic shave soap too!”.  And thanks to that wonderful noggin of his, we have the gift of one of the best shave soaps in existence.  One with a very understandable cult following.

The lather.  Mitchell’s Wool Fat has this little bit of baggage attached to it that it is hard to lather.  I will admit that I found this true the first couple of times I tried lathering with it.  The lather seemed a bit thin and didn’t last for three full passes.  But I think I have mastered the art of lathering Mitchell’s Wool Fat.

Note #1: I will soon post a video or two showing how I lather up the fat.

Note #2: There is a lot of talk about what type of water works for lathering the fat.  I personally think that the water in my area (NewYorkCity area) is not very hard, for what it’s worth.

Here is how I get an amazing lather:

  1. While I shower I soak the brush and mug in hot water, which ends up being warm by the time I am out of the shower.  Sometimes I wet the soap too, but I get a great lather whether or not I wet the puck, so I don’t really do that anymore.
  2. Shake most of the water out of the brush.  You want the bristles to be soaked through, but you do not want too much extraneous water in the brush as a whole.  Don’t shake the brush too hard.  It’s hard to describe in words, but you want to shake maybe 80%-90% of the water out of the brush, without being too aggressive.
  3. Load the brush on the puck.  I hold the puck sideways while loading the brush.  Some soap may bubble out the sides of your container, and I just let that fall into the sink.  You don’t want it in the mix because the key at this stage is very little water.  Load the brush for about a minute or so until you feel that your brush is thickening up with soap pretty good.  You will hit a point where you will feel like its enough.  You’ll get it with practice.
  4. Empty all water from your mug and start swirling the brush in the mug.  After about 15 seconds it will feel a bit dry.  Use your fingertips to add a few drops (5-8) of water into the mug.  Continue to swirl for another 20 or so seconds.  There are three ways to lather that you should alternate between: Swirl, back and forth, and pressing.  Pressing means to push the brush into the lather to get it deep into the bristles.  But please, for the sake of your brush, do not push down too hard.  Just a little dipping motion.
  5. Keep repeating adding a few drops of water and lathering until you get a meringue-type foam that sticks to your brush even when you shake the brush lightly in the air.   It should be between 1-2 minutes of lathering, probably closer to 2 minutes.
  6. Rinse your face with hot water, dry your hands, load your brush with lather, and start face lathering.  Start by swirling the brush until your entire shaving surface is covered.  The swirling motion will lift all the hairs and insert lather underneath them and also exfoliate and excite the skin underneath.  This will increase blood flow to the skin, expanding it, and causing the hairs to stand up slightly more.
  7. Once your face is lathered up, start a fast-paced back-and-forth motion with the brush.  Like you’re lightly slapping yourself with the brush fairly quickly.  Then start slowing down.  The slower you go with the slap motion, the thicker the lather will be on your face.  Within seconds you will have the most amazing thick cushioning layer of Mitchell’s Wool Fat on your face.

One thing you will notice when you are rinsing the fat off your face is how amazingly slick your face feels.  This stuff provides an amazingly slick cushion for your razor, and really softens your whiskers.  Your razor will glide over your skin like an ice skater but remove your whiskers like a hot knife through butter.

The smell is absolutely wonderful.  It’s a clean scent, with very little fragrance, so it’s an excellent soap for sensitive skin like mine.  Any time one of these products starts irritating my skin, the next few days I reach for the Mitchell’s Wool Fat tin to shave with.

Also, one amazing thing about this stuff is that the lather gets thicker and better with each pass.  So you lather up and shave the first pass.  Then you rinse your face.  Then you grab the mug and whip up the lather again for a few seconds and re-apply the lather.  It’s going to feel even better, thicker, and more protective than the first pass, which is exactly what you want.  The third pass (if you go that far) will be even better.

This stuff is of legend, and I am a Mitchell’s Wool Fat cultist.  Your shave den is incomplete without it.

Mitchell’s Wool Fat is available at Amazon.com!

Review: Geo F Trumper – Limes Shaving Cream

Geo F Trumper - Limes Shaving Cream

Geo F Trumper – Limes Shaving Cream

Oh Geo F Trumper, you devil you.  You have to go make me fall in love with you again.  And again… So next in my review line was Geo F Trumper’s Limes Shaving Cream.  It’s part of a sample pack I ordered from them a month or so ago.

Let me just say right off the bat that these creams from Geo F Trumper lather up spectacularly.  People say to use an almond-sized dollop for a cream, but I used a pea-sized dollop and had enough thick, rich lather for at least 6 passes.  I’m really not kidding.  YMMV (your mileage may vary) of course, and it depends on how good you lather, but it didn’t take much effort (or water!) to turn that pea sized dollop into a mountain of awesome.

The scent is interesting.  You see, I also use GFT’s Extract of Limes skin food, which to me has more of a sweet lime scent.  So I was expecting this sweet aroma from the lather, but that’s not what I got.  I got more of a spicier lime, kind of that London-esque scent, more like the old man barbershop old spice kind of note to it.  Those of you who have used Truefitt & Hill products will know what I am talking about.  It was not unpleasant by any means, actually it was quite nice.  Clean and refreshing.  But the lime is dominant, just with that spicy background to it.

The lather provided an amazing cushion for my razor, and rinsed off easily off of both the razor and my face.  I love a thick rich lather that also washes off easily.  No gunking on the blade, and no sticking to my face.  And it doesn’t feel like it’s caking up in my razor while im shaving.  It’s just a great lather.

Overall, I am just as happy with Geo F Trumper’s Limes shaving cream as I am with their rose shaving cream.  And I have four more samples of their creams to go through, so do come back!

You can order Geo F Trumper’s Limes Shaving Cream on Amazon.com!