Friday, February 10, 2017

A Variant Adventure

Today's Kit

I continue to enjoy the use of my Parker Variant razor. Today's shave used my unpretentious Palmolive shave stick with four drops of glycerin added for richer lather, my equally-unpretentious and never-rinsed Tweezermans/Escali badger brush, a seventh-use Lord Platinum-Class blade, and the Variant.
My easy-to-love Parker Variant adjustable razor.
I did my typical patch shave (a.k.a. regional shave), which uses one main face lathering and on-skin, reciprocating, anti-raking strokes to re-spread lather and moisture over just-shaved areas for additional strokes. I took full advantage of the adjustable capabilities of the Variant, and changed up my usual routine a bit.

Regional Order

Today I started with the upper lip and a Variant setting of 3, shaving with grain, then a setting of 1 shaving against grain. I moved to my lower neck with a Variant setting of 3, using downward strokes (almost against grain), then horizontal strokes (also almost against grain), then diagonal-downward strokes (precisely against grain).

I kept the Variant set on 3 and did cross-grain strokes on my lower lip and chin, followed by careful against-grain strokes. Still using a setting of 3, I shaved under chin and upper neck under chin with against-grain strokes.

Then setting the Variant to 6 (5+1), I shaved the planes of my cheeks with against-grain strokes, then cross-grain strokes, then finally against-grain once again.
I keep my lather clean
and never rinse my brush
after shaves.

Discretion is the Better Part of Valor

All was going well by this time, and emboldened by my success to this point, I impetuously chose to keep the Variant set at 6 to do my sub-jaw line and remaining upper-neck areas. Using upward strokes (nearly against grain) followed by precisely-against-grain strokes I completed the main phase of the shave. On the right side this went well. On the left side I opened up about five small weepers (rats!). Adding some extra lather from under the razor (I don't rinse my razor during the shave -- there's no need to do so) and some moisture, I used J-hooking strokes on my upper neck and sub-jaw areas to go for about as smooth a shave as is possible.

Lesson learned here: a setting of 6 under my jaw line is too aggressive. Perhaps after the weepers are healed up a bit I will try a setting of 3 in this area, and maybe afterward dial up to 4 or 4.5 for clean up strokes.

In all, a good albeit imperfect shave. Maybe next time.... ;-)

Happy shaving!

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