Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday Summary: Bittersweet Bluebird of Happiness, and Unrinsed Shaving Brushes

I finished the week of shaves this morning with what I believe to be my last Bluebird blade: a happy week of shaving, but bittersweet due to their elimination from the shaving rotation for the foreseeable future. These blades are no longer available in quantity (though small packages may be still had). Though untried by many, these blades had a small devoted following. This week's blade performed well, as usual.

Next week is back to the Astra Superior Platinum blade, which is an excellent value, and one that I find to be a sharp, smooth, consistent performer.

Last week I was reading some vintage DE-shaving instructions that, as I recall, accompanied the Gillette New razor (c. 1920). In those, there was a suggestion I had not heard before, and this morning I gave it a try.

The suggestion had to do with lathering; it was to let the soap dry in the brush over night, rather than rinsing the brush clean after the shave. This is interesting to me because one of my objections to face lathering was that all that good lather left in the brush is simply wasted, rinsed down the drain. What is surprising to me about this Gillette suggestion is that when saving used lather in my lathering bowl, I had fine results with Williams, Van Der Hagen, or my own Grandad's soap, but when I tried to save tallow-based soaps such as Palmolive or Arko, interesting pinkish colors appeared in my bowl, which I attributed to microbial growth. Yet most old-time soaps were tallow based, and I'm surprised that Gillette would make this recommendation. Thus, I will test it.

So I have begun face lathering again. I have rolled my soft Grandad's shave soap into a cylinder, and use that, primarily. If I want some scent, I have a few left-over samples of various creams, or I will rub on just a bit of Palmolive or Arko stick -- any one of those in combination with my mainstay, Grandad's.

I have also this week been using my synthetic-bristled Omega Syntex brush. This brush has a good bit of backbone, and is one of the few brushes that I've used where I would say it might actually exfoliate the skin a bit. (I continue to think it is nonsense that the average boar or badger brush exfoliates.) After this morning's shave, I simply hung the Syntex to dry still full of lather. I'll report out next week on how that has worked out.

Happy shaving!

1 comment:

  1. Am very interested to hear your results of leaving the brush full of soap between shaves. I've always thought you had to clean/rinse it etc.