Not all soaps are created equal. However given enough time and use I think you can make the most of your soaps and really take advantage of each soaps certain qualities.
Razor : Gillette NEW head / iKon Bulldog handle
Blade: Gillette Platinum
Soap : Haslinger Schafmilch
Brush : Zenshave/HTGAM LE
Witch Hazel : Thayer’s Rose Witch Hazel
Aftershave Balm : Barberry Coast HAVANA
Aftershave : Barberry Coast Bay Rum no.28
After yesterdays shave with this soap I had left quite a bit to be desired when it comes to slickness. I had mountains of thick cushiony lather, but the lather lacked much slickness. Well this morning I made sure to add a bit more water and low and behold we had slickness! Not only that but the actual lather didn’t lose much, if any, cushion. As I said yesterday the scent of the soap is nothing to write home about, but it is fresh and soapy. I cannot see anyone disliking the scent…it simply smells clean. The extra bit of water I added also aided in loading the brush. I had plenty of nice lather after 20-30 seconds of loading. Probably enough in fact for 4 or even 5 passes. Yesterday I struggled to get three passes in and actually had to reload the brush after the second pass. That is the thing about soaps. So many get better with use once you dial them in. Others wow you on your first use then slowly become less impressive. For myself I used to get taken in by the scent and it affected how I thought about different soaps. Now I realize that the scent is just about the least important part of the soap. Unless the scent is appalling or really bothers you the scent really has minimal effect on the shave. Plus most people will put on an aftershave or cologne after shaving anyways which nullifies any scent from the soap.
Today was my first use of the Barberry Coast Havana Aftershave Balm! I was very excited to try this stuff after using the Bay rum for the past few weeks and loving it. The scent is very pleasing to my nose. Light tobacco, a hint of vanilla and even some cocoa and clove. The tobacco is the most prominent scent with the vanilla and cocoa next. this stuff was so easy to apply and I think I actually used to much. A VERY LITTLE goes a long way. I literally could have used half the amount I did. Luckily the balm absorbed nicely into the skin and left my face very soft and not greasy at all. I would put this stuff up with my Queen Charlotte Soaps balms for quality and performance….and I love my QCS balms. The 4 oz bottle looks awesome as well. Frosted glass and classy labeling makes this a top notch product. I’m already looking forward to using it again tomorrow.
As for the razor I used I went with a Gillette New head on an iKon bulldog stainless steel handle. I love the weight of this handle and the Gillette New is one of the best shaving heads of all time in my opinion. Anyone who follows my Instagram account (@Froogle_Jimmy) has seen me use this combo quite often. It simply leaves me with a super close shave with minimal effort. however I do have to be a bit more careful then when using my EJ DE89 head. I will say that I was scared of Open Comb razors when I started wet shaving. They look scary and like they will bite. however once I used a couple I have really fallen in love with them. They are no more aggressive than solid bars for the most part and are great when you need to shave off a couple of days stubble. I recommend everyone try at least one OC….a Gillette New would be my first choice.
There is not too much to say about this brush besides the fact that it has the best KNOT I have ever used. So silky soft when wet and a nice amount of backbone for face lathering. It is one of only 7 of these brushes made. Rob at Zenshave hit it out of the park with these brushes. Is it the ode to Canada on the bottom of the brush that makes me love it? Yes, that probably adds to my love for it. What I really love is the handle shape and detail. The red band really sets it off and the knurling not only looks great but is functional as well for better grip.
I cannot forget to mention that I used a splash of Thayer’s Rose witch hazel prior to applying the balm. There is something magical in the rose that just works wonders on my skin.
An amazing BBS shave was my final result and I’m smelling like a million bucks as well. The Havana and Bay Rum combo will be used many many times I am sure.
“Shave it ain’t so” – Weezer