Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Premium Shave Experience for Pennies!

I recently had a rare experience in which I was super-pleasantly surprised by trying a shave product that I had largely dismissed before really giving it a fair trial. Here's my brief story:

For a few days I was trying a shave soap sample with a pleasant vanilla scent. The lather I was able to produce was adequate, but just a bit flat. Then I remembered that I had some lather-booster soap from Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements (PAA)*.

This is the version of lather booster that I've been using -- containing menthol.

So for my next shave I swirled my warm, wet shave brush on the puck of lather booster, then into the vanilla shave soap and gave it a go.

The result was a luxurious lather unlike any I've experienced with brush and soap! It reminded me very much of all the good things about lather from a can -- its body and richness -- but, of course, without the propellants and without the need to spread the lather with my hands. (Also without the wasteful, non recyclable, ecologically irresponsible can!)

So after a couple of days of lather-boosted vanilla soap, I pulled out the Toyota Yaris of shave soaps (economical but hardly the lap of luxury), Williams.

Same story (yeah!!!): a rich lather, super premium!

I, personally, also like my particular version of lather booster because it's mentholated; I love the cool anesthetizing effect of menthol. However, PAA also offers other varieties for your shaving delight, which are pictured below:

A mentholated prickly-pear version of PAA's lather booster.

This is the same lather booster that I use, but in a soap stick instead of a puck.

A scent-free lather booster.
These soaps are very affordable and turn any run-of-the-mill, economy shave soap into a Rolls-Royce experience. My suggestion is to skip paying top dollar for expensive shave soaps and instead choose any "value" soap and add a little lather booster. The outcome will likely surpass the lather from any so-called premium (and very expensive) shave soap.

And frankly, adding lather booster to even your top-dollar soaps is likely to improve the experience.

To easily peruse these lather boosters on the PAA web site, choose any of the links in this article and search on "lather booster."

Happy shaving!

*Shave Like Grandad is an affiliate partner with PAA.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

From the Mailbag: Weishi-adjustable Settings?

A reader asked a question regarding my use of the Weishi Adjustable DE:

Doug, I finally moved up from a setting of 4 to 5. What settings do you find yourself using the most?

These days, I generally do a variation on a three-pass shave using different razor settings for each pass.

The first pass is generally done with downward strokes irrespective of beard grain. Depending on the brand of blade and its point in its overall life cycle, I generally set the razor somewhere in the 2 to 3 range.

In the second pass, I pay more attention to beard grain, and generally shave against it. For this pass I typically increment the razor up a notch, so it would be set in the 3 to 4 range. I will usually employ simple as well as more complex razor strokes including J-hooking and skewed (where the blade edge is not perpendicular to the stroke direction) techniques.

For my final full pass, I again increment the razor one unit more aggressive, and again shave against the grain. Like the second pass, I will use varied stroking technique combined with the slightly more aggressive razor setting to try to "sneak up" on a very close shave, without crossing the line, getting too aggressive, and thereby injuring my delicate dermis.

I will also usually add some water to my face after the third pass and take some clean-up strokes -- usually without further changing the razor setting, but this may vary depending on the factors and quality of the shave to this point.

Thanks for asking, and happy shaving!