One of the most popular wet shaving items is shaving cream. Long a standard of lather making material it is good for the face creating a smooth, slick shave. However, it sometimes can be tricky to lather. Here I hope to give you an easy method that will consistently give you thick, creamy lather from shaving cream.
First gather the materials together; I recommend getting a shaving brush, shaving cream, and a sturdy ceramic bowl to whip up the lather in. While showering soak the brush and bowl in warm water. This will help get the bowl hot and prepare the brush for creating lather.
¨ Once ready take about an almond size dollop or an inch long squeeze from a tube and drop it into the empty warm bowl.
¨ Remove the brush from the warm water and gently shake the excess water out of the brush.
¨ Swirl the brush into the cream to start the lather. At this point it will be too thick and cling to the bowl.
¨ Add to the bowl a few drops of water and swirl again. Also use some pumping stokes to help distribute the cream into the core of the brush, where the mixing “magic” happens.
¨ Continue to add a few drops of water every few seconds until lots of lather appears.
¨ When ready, the cream will look like whipped cream or beaten egg whites, creating soft peaks.
There you have it! It may take a couple of times practicing this method to not overshoot the amount of water, making the lather thin and runny. However I am confident by using this method you will be able to generate lots of lather in no time! Until next time, Happy Shaving!
More articles by Aaron Wolfenbarger
Do you have any burning questions you would like ask our wet shaving expert Aaron Wolfenbarger?
Called a modern Renaissance Man by many, Aaron has many interests including music, science, theology, his family, camping, backpacking, style, grooming, and of course wet-shaving. His love of wet shaving began as a teenager when he was gifted a brush, mug, and soap set for his birthday. He can be found on many online wet-shaving and men’s forums and on Twitter as @KiltedShaver.
Aaron is here to answer your questions, which might include:
How do you get rid of shaving rash?
What are the pros and cons of blade shaving?
What should I look for in choosing a razor?
Which is the best shaving direction – with the hair growth or against it?
What are razor bumps?
How many times can I use one blade?
How to not cut yourself while shaving
How to stop bleeding from shaving nicks
Will shaving daily make my hair grow thicker?
Please note that we can’t guarantee that all questions will be answered. Questions that are answered will be published on this blog in the ‘Ask Aaaron Q & A’ section, so please bookmark this page.
American wet shaving legend Mike Sandoval has described The Bluebeards Revenge ‘Corsair’ Super Badger Shaving Brush as having “an outstanding density and lathering capability packed into a comfortable size format that will appeal to a wide range of wet shavers”.
The lathe turned handle was previously marketed under the name “Buccaneer” and filled with a good quality pure badger hair, making it an affordable luxury.
But the Corsair is knotted with super badger grade hair that Vulfix is well known for using in some of their finest shaving brushes. In addition to the upgraded hair type, the brush is also loaded with around 20 per cent more hair to create a knot that has a stiffer feeling and more density for water retention and lathering capability.
Mike, who runs leading shaving blog Shaving101.com, started off his review by saying: “Vulfix brushes are softer than and not as stiff as other brands, such as Simpsons. They are well made and are well known for their quality and durability, and the Corsair is not an exception to these standards.
”The Corsair is not a firm brush but rather a soft and luxurious brush with a full density that gently massages the face and easily releases the lather on to the skin where you need it rather than holding it in the brush’s core like some overly stiff brushes tend to do,” Mike Sandoval, Shaving101.com
“Unlike the standard Vulfix models, the added badger hair gives it denser feel that is immediately noticeable upon first inspection. The loft of the brush is perfectly uniform in colouring with an attractive three-band colour pattern and a nice shape that is symmetrical and not overly bulbous.
”The handle of the brush is made of a quality faux ivory material and is polished to a nice shine and stamped with the Bluebeards Revenge logo in blue.”
Mike, considered a legend in the wonderful world of wet shaving, tested the Corsair on both shaving creams and hard shaving soaps and said he “found it to be useful for almost any product”.
“When submerged in water, the brush absorbs an impressive amount of water and infuses it effortlessly with any quality shaving cream to create a rich and voluminous lather,” he explained.
“Despite the softer characteristics of the fine super badger hair, the Corsair easily loads with shaving soaps and is great at producing quality lather directly on the face. The tips of the badger hair feel soft on the skin and combine well with the added backbone of the brush to create an ideal balance of density and comfort, which is heavily favoured by many experienced wet shavers.
”The Corsair is not a firm brush but rather a soft and luxurious brush with a full density that gently massages the face and easily releases the lather on to the skin where you need it rather than holding it in the brush’s core like some overly stiff brushes tend to do.”
Mike concluded his review by describing the Corsair as a “well made piece”, adding it is “filled with quality super badger hair”.
You can read the full review by clicking here.
Three of our luxurious shaving creams have been named as some of the very best on the market.
Dave Alexander, editor of the men’s grooming section on About.com, recently published an article, titled ‘My Picks for the Best Shaving Creams’.
The Bluebeards Revenge, which can reduce beard growth by up to 40%, topped this coveted list.
“Could there be anything better than the classics like Truefitt & Hill and Geo. F. Trumpers? When it comes to shaving cream, the British really know their stuff – I use the traditional shave lathers almost exclusively in my morning ritual and The Bluebeards Revenge is now one of my ‘must-haves’,” said Dave.
“This product takes the traditional shaving cream and throws in a little science for an outstanding shave.”
”Since 1854, Taylor of Old Bond Street has been churning out some of the best men’s shaving products in the world and this product is no exception,” said Dave.
”The rich lather and excellent lubrication will give you one of the best shaves you’ve had. The fragrance of this one is amazing, too, with notes of lavender, bergamont, and geranium – it’s rich and leathery. Good stuff!”
The American men’s grooming expert was also full of praise for the Truefitt and Hill 1805 shaving cream.
He said: “Truefitt & Hill has been in the barbering business for over 200 years, so you can imagine they know a thing or two about shaving. In fact, they’ve been operating a barbershop on St. James Street in London since 1805.
”Their 1805 Shaving Cream creates a rich, luxurious lather and has plenty of great lubrication for a close, smooth shave. While their most popular 1805 Shaving Cream has a very clean, fresh fragrance, their Lavender Shaving Cream is one of my personal favourites with it’s rich, earthy fragrance. This product works well with or without a shaving brush.”
You can read his full article by clicking here.
The Shaving Shack is delighted to announce that we are stocking the luxurious Ikon Bulldog ‘Deluxe’ Stainless Steel Safety Razor.
These razors were born out of one man’s desire to have a solid stainless steel safety razor made to his own exacting standards.
This has turned into a company producing what many consider the best quality artisan razors money can buy.
Each piece is handcrafted with attention to detail given to every aspect of production. This razor, the ‘deluxe’ version of the Ikon Bulldog three-piece safety razor, is no exception.
The Ikon Bulldog Deluxe, priced at £99.99 on The Shaving Shack, is a precisely engineered and CNC machined version offering much finer detail achieved by machining each and every finger of the open comb into the stainless steel.
The knurling on the handle is flawless, an indicator of a quality production process. It provides a secure grip and with the weightiness of the razor it feels like a proper manly cutting tool.
Most safety razors are metal with a nickel or chrome plate finish, whereas this razor is made entirely of stainless steel – it will not flake, peel, wear down, or rust like other metals. The fantastic finish, which had us fooled into believing it was chrome, is achieved by lengthy hand polishing.
US wet shaving expert Mike Sandoval, from Shaving101.com, recently reviewed the standard version of this razor.
He said: ”Like the popular Feather All Stainless and PILS Safety Razor, the Ikon Bulldog is a precisely engineered and machined double-edge razor. All three razors are made with quality stainless steel and they all implement strict tolerances that allow the blade to seat securely in the razor with precise blade exposure on both sides of the cutting head.
”However, while the other razors boast modern designs, the Ikon maintains a traditional style that has resonated with wetshavers since the early Gillette models of the 1900s. Ikon has successfully combined modern engineering with traditional design.”
Mike then went on to describe how his first shave with the razor went. “For my first shave I used a BIC blade, which I find to provide a great balance between sharpness and comfort on my skin. Throughout the shave, I could not even feel the blade on my face at all and was surprised to find no stubble. The razor cut smoothly and efficiently.
”For subsequent shaves, I moved up to a Feather blade with the same results – very comfortable shave with no harshness or irritation at all. To further test the razor, my teenage son also shaved with it. Despite his areas of acne, the mild cutting action worked well for him and he did not get any cuts or nicks during his shave. This razor proved itself to be outstanding for his sensitive skin and light hair, as well as my normal skin and coarser beard.”
He concluded his review by saying: “The Ikon Bulldog Safety Razor represents the excellence of the new class of stainless steel safety razors. The heft and precision construction of these razors have forever changed the shaving industry and raised the bar on materials, design, and price.”
You can read Mike’s full review of this stunning razor by clicking here.
As Gillette launches its much-hyped Fusion ProGlide Power razor in the UK – I take a quick look at why a double edge razor is still technically superior to a ProGlide or any other cartridge based razor system out there.
For those who use double edge safety razors for shaving on a regular basis, the answer to the question “Why is a double edge razor technically better than a cartridge based razor system?” may seem quite obvious: ‘because you get better results’. However, for the rest of the men out there who use multi-bladed cartridges instead – and let’s face it that includes the vast majority of men in the Western world – they may wonder why they should ever consider changing their shaving method?
Well, the real answer to the question above lies within the technology of the types of razor on offer. From a scientific standpoint double edge safety razors certainly have the edge over cartridge based razor systems like the Fusion ProGlide Power razor, Wilkinson Sword Hydro and the King of Shaves Azor.
I recently spoke to American wet shaving expert Mike Sandoval, who runs the Shaving101 website, about why the cartridge razor system was so popular.
“The cartridge razor system is appealing to many men because it is advertised to be modern and high performing with innovative designs and multi-blade cutting action,” he said. “High-dollar marketing campaigns feature celebrity athletes that promote modern cartridges as the only masculine option.”
So why do double edge razors produce a closer and more rewarding shave?
The cartridge system razor generally works by using its hinge or pivot point to maintain a constant angle on the face while shaving. And while there may be many other features or gimmicks they offer, this pivoting mechanism is the most important aspect of the razor at making the shave quick and easy to use – which is the key advantage of these razors.
“The problem is that the blades of a cartridge are close together with extremely small spacing between each cutting edge,” explains Mike. “The razor is unable to cleanly cutting hair without requiring multiple passes along your skin, catching and pulling long stubble, as well as constantly clogging during the shave.”
On the other hand, while double edge razors may take longer to get used too – with a short learning curve to overcome – you have far more control over the razor and the closeness of the shave itself. Therefore, with DE shavers the process may take longer, with shorter strokes, but you will notice an improvement in the (even more crucial) performance aspect of the shave.
Mike adds: ”The double edge safety razor uses a single cutting edge that tracks along the skin at a much more comfortable angle and cuts the hair cleanly without grabbing or pulling excessively (provided you choose the right blade for your beard and skin type).
”Although you won’t find many celebrity athletes promoting the double edge razor, there has been a strong resurgence in traditional shaving. Many men are returning to old-school shaving because it is more comfortable and more economical.”
If time really is the most important factor when shaving, a Hydro, Azor or ProGlide may be the answer, but if you are a man who likes to work with engineering excellence that has stood the test of time and has the patience to learn, then maybe it is time to think about leaving those expensive cartridges behind and opt for a results-proven double edged razor.
Gillette launched the new Fusion ProGlide Power razor in the UK this month. It is the latest addition to its growing family of Fusion razors with Gillette’s thinnest-ever blades. The firm says the ProGlide outperforms its existing Fusion razor.
There are two versions of the Gillette ProGlide, a battery-powered model and a manual version. The battery-powered Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power comes with one blade cartridge and is available priced £12.99. The manual version comes with two blade cartridges and costs £9.99.
Over the last few years, I have used many different brands of cartridge based razor system, including the Azor, Gillette Fusion Power Stealth and Gillette Mach 3 Turbo, Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium Energy and Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 and Boots’ Hydro and Titanium Triple Razor, but personally still prefer the excitement and closeness of a DE razor.
The Merkur 33C Classic will always be my all-time favourite, but I would also highly recommend the Merkur Futur 760, Goodfella, Muhle R89 and the relatively new Bluebeards Revenge “Scimitar” Double Edge Razor.
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More articles by Nick Gibbens
It’s now 2011, the Holidays are gone and you’re gazing at that beautiful new shaving brush someone gave to you as a gift. It’s a pretty wonderful gift too and it has helped you shave better than you have before. That brush is taking care of you, so how about taking care of it? Here we’ll provide some tips for giving your shaving brush the best care so you can use it for years to come.
Your brush is most likely made of boar bristle or badger hair. These are both hair products so treat it as your own! Wash your brush with a good shampoo and conditioner to keep the hair soft and residue free. If your brush has developed a soap residue, soak it in a 10:1 vinegar solution for a few minutes and then wash as above.
When loading your brush with soap or building your lather with cream go easy. The core of the brush is where the magic happens and mashing down with your brush can twist and break the core hairs and over time cause hair loss and a dimpled effect in the center of the brush.
High and Dry:
When you are done using your brush shake it hard a few times to remove all the water and hang upside down in a stand to dry. If you don’t have a stand dry the brush thoroughly on a towel.
Using these tips should extend the life of your shaving brush and give you many comfortable and close shaves for years to come! Happy Shaving!