Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Feather, Tech and Arko, Oh My!

Today I had a sixth shave with the Feather-brand blade that I last wrote about. Today's shave had the blade in my post-war (c. 1948) Gillette Tech razor. My soap was the much-maligned Arko stick, which I actually think is one of the best values out there, and, frankly, just a really good shaving soap. (The fragrance, which is so controversial, is greatly improved by simply letting a new Arko stick air out unwrapped for a few weeks. The bouquet then becomes much more mild and probably more acceptable to a majority of users.)

The bottom line on today's shave is that this one was finally, overall, a good shave. The combination of the used Feather blade, the Tech, and the Arko soap gave a close, comfortable shave, and finally, finally, minimal insult to my skin.

Though I reneged on my statement long ago that I'd never use Feather blades, I stand by the idea that I certainly wouldn't buy any significant quantity and use them regularly. No, there are too many blades available that are much less expensive and offer me a close, comfortable, bloodless shave right out of the wrapper.

The details on today's shave include the following:

  • Several cool-water splash-and-rubs as an initial beard preparation
  • A warm water wash cloth application for about 30 seconds as pre-lather preparation
  • Arko shave stick rubbed on my damp beard for face lathering
  • My un-rinsed (filled with old, clean, previously-used lather) badger brush was dipped in warm water for face lathering -- and I only lathered once, as usual, for the entire shave (I rely on buffing-type strokes to re-spread lather for subsequent strokes after the first ones in a given region -- and I will add water and sometimes lather from the underside of the razor with my free hand when necessary; by the way, I don't rinse my razor during a shave -- only after)
  • A regional, anti-raking shave starting in most beard regions with long buffing strokes that were vertical and, therefore, largely against grain (the exceptions were my lips and chin, which started with vertical and largely with-grain strokes)
  • After my initial strokes, I made others across grain and often from varying directions -- sometimes all four (and under my chin and on my upper neck, I also use J-hooking strokes, when I want a close shave, which I did this morning)
  • After the shave I wiped my freshly-shaved mug with a cool, damp wash cloth
  • Then I applied some generic witch hazel
  • Then I applied some after-shave balm
Happy shaving!

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