Shave Of The Week - 28th Nov '10

November 28, 2010

Ouch, ouch, ouch! This week's shave was full of itchiness and irritation!
Here's the set-up:
- Penworks Badger Brush
- 2-piece Gem razor with a lather catcher
- Gem Blades (grrrrr...)
- Prairie Creations Honeysuckle Tallow Shave Soap

The brush, as always was great. I find it performs equally well with soaps as with creams while the B&B LE I used last week is probably more suited to creams given the fact that the bristles are so floppy. This soap is lovely too. A nice mild honeysuckle scent that I love, but that is unfortunately not strong enough for my liking. I can smell it just fine in the tub but when whipping up a lather it's hard to get a hint of it at all. In fact the smell of my conditioner seemed to completely overpower it. Still, it creates a great lather. I find I need to load up quite a bit of it but at the rate I use soaps this should still last me ages even with quite a bit of product being used each time. It's not an overly hard soap either though so it's easy to load up and to add a little bit more to the brush halfway through. It's slick and provides good cushion which I was very grateful for considering the shave I was in for this week!

So onto the razor and the blades. Now this week something went very wrong here. I have it narrowed down to three possible causes, with my strongest suspicion being that the blades are old and aren't sharp enough. I've never used a razor with a lather catcher like this before and indeed it's only the second SE (single edge) razor I've ever used. Having been blown away by my Gem G-Bar I thought this would be amazing but I couldn't have been more wrong.
I think the lather catcher and the set of the blade in the razor could make this quite an aggressive razor to use but I'm not sure. Here's a picture of the blade in the razor so you can see:
The handle screws onto the top of the razor and it's a really lovely piece to hold. It's got a good weight to it but I must have put too much pressure on it for the very first stroke I did because while it felt fine, the minute I lifted the razor and went for the second stroke the red dots of doom began to appear and I had 9 nicks on my first pass (yes I counted just so I could tell you all here!). I took the rest of the shave with much more care and zero pressure and to be honest it was an ok-ish shave but not great.
The second shave I did a few days later I loaded up another blade and off to work I went again. At the start of the second leg (not the same leg as last time) I must have pressed down again because while it glided over the skin, I started to get many red dots appearing again. The blade felt mostly okay but it was hard to tell as I was a little cold (more about that in my next post) and possibly goosebumpy.

So I finish the second shave and put on some lotion this time to try and calm the irritation I could feel flaring up. It was fine for the day but when I got into bed that night - GAH! My legs have never been so irritated and uncomfortable. Every brush of the covers or touch of any fabric off my skin was like sandpaper on sunburn. I eventually had to get out of bed and put on some knee-high socks so that they would form a barrier between my skin and the covers.

Now I put this down to either:
1. the razor is simply too aggressive for me, 
however I've used aggressive razor before and I can normally feel it.
2. the bathroom was too cold and I was shaving over goosebumps
and while this is likely I have shaved in much colder conditions and its never been this bad.
3. the blades (which were gifted to me) were old and had blunted
in my opinion this is at least part of, if not all of the cause I think.

So some day when it's warm again and my legs are feeling brave I'll take out this razor again and pop in a brand new blade and see how it goes. But right now it's -2 degrees outside and my legs are still recovering from the shock. Time to get them a nice cup of tea I think.

- BE


Brian said...

Becareful with those gems, that blade will cut through anything, any goosebumps and it will cut them off !!!! Also a duller blade will do that as well.

Barber Eile's Blog said...

Thanks Brian. I think it might have had to do with the open-comb-ness of the razor too.

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