Monday, February 11, 2008

Coming to the rescue.

Our pal Mattis hath posted on the matter of a gentleman's shave. Setting aside the fact that his latest public purchase is essentially a half-scale model of the most lethal vibrator yet devised, it seems the lad -- I freely call him "lad" on the strength of my being a few months older -- ought be schooled in the fine art of getting stubble the Hell off your face. He'll be pleased to know that I won't be running off on a tangent related to my usage of the straight razor, since he is in California and someone residing where "the Richter scale" is everyday terminology shouldn't consider such a thing unless the risk of winding up with your head on your lap adds a certain frisson to your life.

If you cruise the more gentlemanly blogs, you are bound to find one or two that offer good suggestions for proper gentleman's shavery, including a suggested shavekit. Aye, 'tis a good kit, too. So, in the interest of variety and all that, here's my everyday rig, although you new kids would do better to stick to bigger name's suggestion, since he is a Professional. Anyway, here's mine:

Gillette Adjustable DE safety razor. Contrary to popular opinion, I far prefer the slim handle, with the year codes I through N. The loss of heft is more than compensated by the added maneuverability. You should also find what setting works with your choice of blades and quit futzing with it. With the blades listed below, I am at #6. Special bonus? You can pick up new-in-box examples at eBay for chump change.

Israeli Personna “Super+” (aka “no-name”) DE razor blades. These truly kick arse, at a ridiculous price. You can also score them on eBay for a (yes!) slightly better price.

Vulfix #2234 badger shaving brush I even got it to match my scuttle. I can get my geek on just as impressively as anyone else, sue me.

Proraso shaving cream The fact it's insanely cheap and readily available at Target stores (although this may be slowly disappearing) is merely a fringe benefit. This cream shaves as good as anything else out there AND the mentholated cooling thing when you rinse is so-o-o-o-o-o go-o-o-o-o-o-od. All this goodness for $6. S-I-X. It also gets my Italophile side squirming with pleasure. Almost as good are Musgo Real and Bigelow's #168.

The Moss Scuttle While not strictly necessary--you can get a lather going on the palm of your hand if you had to--I sure as Hell wouldn't wanna shave without it ever again

Alum block Because you will start out by nicking yourself. Just live with it and use the alum. Pinaud's styptic pencil is also pretty good.

Now, I'm pretty metro-neutral on the moisturizing aftershave. My skin manages to issue so much in the way of lipids that it's never been an issue so far. Those who opine on these things are probably right in liking Trumper, so go with that, or Truefitt & Hill's Ultimate Comfort, if you want something unscented.

Okay. Now go knock that 5 o'clock shadow off.

-J.

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