Alright, I was really excited today to try my first shave stick! So glad that Mike’s Natural Soaps is my first shave stick candidate, and with a really delicious scent as well.
So I did my normal routine, which was to warm up my shave brush in warm water while I showered. Today I was using what has become my go-to setup, which is the Weber DLC with a Personna Medical Prep blade. Today’s shave was my fourth shave with this blade. I’m new to the Medical Prep blades. I typically get 3-4 shaves from a Feather, but with these PMP blades, I’m getting 7 per blade before I feel them losing their effectiveness. I’m also using a Simpson pure badger brush. (My Duke 2 best badger is on the way!)
Anyway, yes, I toweled off and rinsed my face with hot water. I grabbed the white tube with the silver label and dipped the soap part into the water as well to help lube it up. I started applying it to my face. It did feel a little dry and sticky. So I kept dipping the soap in water. Also I felt my scruff was pulling a good amount of soap from the stick, and that also was a part of why it was sticky. Like rubbing it over sandpaper.
Anyway, I grabbed my brush, which was still soaking, and left a good amount of water on it. I feel this was a little bit of a mistake, because the lather exploded as I brushed, but it was a little too wet. Next time I use this shave stick, I will definitely start with a less-wet brush. I should have known, I mean you can always add water. Doh!
The smell of this soap is absolutely fantastic. It tickled the nose of this bay rum lover. As advertised, it’s dominated by orange. But it’s a dark, spicy orange. You could even say it’s closer to an orange zest. Like that smell in the air when you peel an orange, that really crisp scent. The cedarwood and black pepper also come into play, adding to the darker notes of the scent.
When applying lather for the second pass, I felt that the lather was a little dry, and needing some water. I dipped the tip of my brush in water and face lathered again, but found the lather a little thin.
For the third pass, I felt I had to re-use the stick on my face, which is one definite benefit of using a shave stick. If you ever fall short on lather, you can always re-apply. I don’t want to give Mike an unfair shake here. This is my first time with a stick and I’m sure with more practice I can lather this stuff better, just like I did with the same soap but in the tin.
As for moisturizing, this stuff has tons of stuff in it that does just that. It is a tallow soap, boosted with vegetable glycerin and a whole host of butters and oils to go on smooth and help that razor glide along. I did three passes (with the grain, across the grain, against the grain) and didn’t have a single nick. The perfect shave.