November 18, 2008

This Just In - Proraso

prorasoshavingfoam.jpgprorasoshavinsoap.jpgGot another shipment in recently from our friends at Details for Men. This time Santa sent us two containers of Proraso shaving products - Proraso Eucalyptus and Menthol Shaving Soap (pictured right - $9) and Proraso Eucalyptus and Menthol Shaving Foam (pictured left - $9). Proraso shaving soap is designed to be lathered up with a shaving brush, so make sure you've got your badger hair (or high-quality synthetic) on hand before ordering. Praraso shaving foam is like the more common shaving creams you find in your drugstore or supermarket. No old-school shaving accoutrement needed.

We'll be shaving with this classic Italian brand after we finish our testing of REN, so check back for our review soon.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 17, 2008

Proraso Products at Bath and Body Works Under the C.O. Bigelow Name

cobigelowshave.jpgProraso is an old-school Italian shaving brand which wasn't seen much in the States until Target started carrying it. Then one day their shelves went empty, never to be refilled. Perhaps Proraso didn't have the same mass market appeal as a 250 count box of Hefty Cinch Sacks. Whatever.

Eagle-eye Shaving Stuff reader Scott recently wrote in with this tip:

Bath and Body Works is selling Proraso shave cream under the name "C.O. Bigelow". If you look closely under the Bigelow banner on the box it says "made by Proraso for C.O. Bigelow"

I haven't made it to my local Bath and Body Works shop to verify this, but aside from the item being listed as "Domestic" on their website, I have no reason to doubt this information. If someone out there in shaving land can corroborate, we'd all appreciate.

In the meantime, if you're desperate to get your Proraso on, head on over to Details for Men for a little taste of the Italian import.

Thanks for the tip Scott!

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

February 7, 2008

DIY Razor and Brush Stand

diyBrush.jpgHere's a cute idea from instructables.com on how to make your own razor and shaving brush stand. Required materials: a wire hanger. Required tools: pliers. Required skills: patience. And the ability to follow directions.

Actually the directions are pretty easy, and there are plenty of pictures to guide you through each step. And while you may not end up with a nickel/chrome-plated stand worthy of Trump, you will have the satisfaction of having done it yourself.

Crafternoon at my place!

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 7, 2007

Review of Musgo Real Pre Shave Oil

musgoPreShaveOil.gifWe're doing things a little backwards here. Yesterday we wrote about Musgo Real Glycerine Lime Oil Soap and today we're going to talk about Musgo Real Pre Shave Oil. When you shave you'll use the oil first and then the soap. Mixing things up! Making sure everyone is still awake.

Musgo Real Pre Shave Oil comes in a glass bottle with a design reminiscent of the early part of the last century. Kind of reminds me of a flask you might stash in your overcoat for a cold night. The oil comes out easily (perhaps a little too easily). A small amount is all that is needed to cover your entire shaving area. I must say, after using products from Gentlemen's Refinery I've become a fan of the layer of pre-shave oil followed by a layer of cream.

Once you're lubed up it's time for the Glycerine Lime Oil Soap which we talked about yesterday. One thing I didn't mention yesterday was that when I was spreading a lathered up Glycerine Lime Oil Soap with my shaving brush, I'd invariably get some in my ears. The lather, made up of tiny soap bubbles, would start popping, and for the next 60 seconds I'd listen to a loud snap-crackle-pop of Rice Krispies. Funny the first time. Kind of annoying after that.

The overall shave was decent. Not the best I'd had, but not the worst. Very little irritation or cuts, but just not the closest. I imagine old-school jedi-shave masters might do the second pass against the grain, but in the morning I often need to shave and then move on. I'm curious to know what other people's experience with these shaving products is. I think I may be a little too amateur to appreciate them, and I wouldn't be surprised that some straight-razor shavers swear by this stuff. For me, I'll probably stick with something a little more modern.

Musgo Real Pre Shave Oil is $22 for a 3.33oz bottle.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

September 6, 2007

Review of Musgo Real Glycerine Lime Oil Soap

musgoRealSoap.gifBeen shaving with products from Musgo Real courtesy of our friends at Details for Men. A quick refresher - these are Portuguese shaving products based on a 1920s cologne. These are also a more old-school shaving style than I've been used to - bar of shaving soap to be applied with a brush.

The large rustic bar is made especially for cleaning the face before shaving. Glyce contains lime oil to refresh the face, castor oil to soak and soften whiskers before shaving, and a trace of alcohol to remove the dirt which restricts razor glide.

Now I know some of you readers are masters of the blade and brush, but the rest of us are happy for the modern day convenience of cream and cartridge. Here's my first question - what do I do with this bar of soap? I could put it in a mug. I could put it in a bowl. In fact I've done both of these. But from my research, you want to put your soap in a container with a lot of drainage.

Next question - what if the bar of soap doesn't fit? More research suggests you can melt the soap by applying gentle heat (like on a stove) and then pour it into your container of choice. Really? Look, my time is valuable. I barely have time to heat up a bowl of soup at night. Last thing I want to do is prep my shaving cream.

Whatever method you go with, the next step is to wet your brush and swirl it around to work a little soap into it. This may take longer than expected, especially if it's the first few times you've used the soap. I will say this - in the end you use a surprisingly small amount of soap to cover your face. This bar is going to last a long, long time.

Tomorrow we'll talk about Musgo Real's shaving oil in conjunction with the soap, and the shave itself.

Musgo Real Glycerine Lime Oil Soap is $6 for a 5.8oz bar.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

August 27, 2007

Badger Hair - A Primer

For those of you who aren't master shavers (myself included) you may be interested in the different types of badger hair used in high-end shaving brushes. In fact, you might be interested in knowing why badger hair is the preferred medium of choice.

Badger hair is different to many types of fur - like human hair it absorbs water and it is this characteristic that makes badger hair perfect for shaving brushes. [...] Water is the key element in a good shave and the more a brush can hold, the better the lather and shave will be.

Don't even think about using human hair for shaving, unless of course it's your own. OK, now on to the three gradations of badger hair:

Silver Tip - this is the highest quality of all. The finely graded and sorted pure badger hair is the softest, rarest and most expensive badger hair; with natural untrimmed silver tips, it is the highest quality available in shaving brushes worldwide.

Super Badger - this is the finer hair from the back of the badger, it is longer and softer than 'best' badger and, because it is finer, requires more hairs to fill a brush.

Best Badger - this is an excellent quality of pure badger hair. [...] The hair is harvested from the majority of the pelt, including the belly. It is generally darker in colour although the colours of individual hairs vary from grey and brown to black.

Isn't it silly that the "best badger" is considered the lowest quality in this ranking system? FYI - "best badger" is still great. "Best badger" badger-hair brushes may run you $60, but they'll last forever if you treat them right. Of course you could pay hundreds for Silver Tip, and if you've got the money, go for it.

Special thanks to RazorSharpMale for the quotes.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 18, 2007

Herban Cowboy Old Fashioned Shave Kit

herbanCowboy.jpg

Here's a great introductory kit for those interested in old-school shaving. The ironically named Herban Cowboy Old Fashioned Shave Kit. "Ironically," because "punily" isn't a word. The kit contains

  • Shave Brush - Natural wood handle, Natural (unbleached) boar bristle
  • Ceramic Shave Mug - Cadmium & lead free, non-toxic glaze
  • Shave Soap - A rich, long lasting lather in an organic base. Skin conditioning carrot root and clean essential oil fragrance notes.

Boar bristle isn't the same as badger, but for $23.99, it won't break the bank. Plus, the kit is "70% Organic - 100% Vegan." What's with this 100% vegan designation? Back in April we posted a reader review about the Personna Matrix3 Razor which also lists itself as 100% vegan. Does that mean no animal parts were used in making these products? Seems like an odd thing to emphasize when a products might contain ceramics or metal. Kind of like saying a product is 100% earthen because it was made on Earth.

The Herban Cowboy Old Fashioned Shave Kit is $23.99.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 17, 2007

ShavingSupplies.com - Shave Center of the Internet

shavingSupplies.jpg
Came across this site recently in our world wide web travels - ShavingSupplies.com - which should be interesting to all you old-school straight-razor shavers.
We hope you enjoy the extensive selection of shaving products all of which are top quality and reasonably priced. We are the exclusive retailer of "Eagle Brand" straight razors from Thiers Issard in France and also feature many razors from DOVO and MERKUR of Solingen, Germany.

Not only do they bill themselves as the "Shave Center of the Internet", but they also claim to be "The KnifeCenter of the InterNet". And if you're in need of a little extra defense, click on over to their SecurityCenter section and stock up on Tactical Flashlights, Hand Cuffs, and Pepper Spray.

Shave and a hand cuff? Two bits.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 21, 2007

1967 Noxzema Commercial

ShavingStuff reader Daniil sent in a link to this vintage 1967 commercial for Noxzema medicated shave. Does it stand the test of time? Er... well... it's still around, so I guess yes.

As for the man shaving, it's painfully clear that he's clean-shaven under all that Noxzema. Otherwise he'd be in serious pain given the way he shaves.

And in case you're wondering, Noxzema Medicated Shave is still around today. $3.75 for a 11oz bottle. Guess it really does stand the test of time.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 22, 2007

Accessorize at the Nashville Knife Shop

nashvilleknifeshop.jpgA couple month ago I received the Dad's Old Time Razor Set from the Nashville Knife Shop. At first I was psyched to try this set, which includes a badger brush, brush and razor stand, Muehle-Pinsel Shaving Soap with Aloe, and a safety razor and razor blade. As time went by I realized this set was going to expose me as a fraud. I have no experience shaving with a real razor. My life has been confined to cartridges and electronics. And any straight razor which has touched my face has been in the able hands of a trained professional.

Alas, I have not used the safety razor. But I have used everything else.

badgerBrush.gifFirst off - badgers rule. Do yourself a favor and get a badger-hair brush. The one included in the set is awesome. The Nashville Knife Shop has several individual shaving brushes for you to choose from, ranging in price from $29.99 to $395.00. The low-end badger hair ones will work just fine for you.

brushAndRazorStand.gifSecond, you're going to need a stand. Don't skimp out here and ignore this. You want your brush to dry upside down so that the water can fall out. The Nashville Knife Shop has brush stands from $3.95 to $24.95. Personal preference as to what you want. The $3.95 one looks, well, like it costs $3.95. I like the simplicity of this $19.95 one or this (pictured) $24.95 one which also has a slot for your razor.

Now, if you're a Gillette/Schick razor man, you can stop right here. But if you're old-school straight or "safety" razor, click on over the Nashville Knife Shop's razor selection and feast you eyes on these beauties. My advice if you're looking for a recommendation on a straight-razor or shaving soap is to head on over to LeisureGuy's guide to the gourmet shaving experience and see what he has to say. The man is a review machine. He puts me to shame.

On top of all of this, the Nashville Knife Shop also has knives. Who knew? Cutlery, sporting, hunting, even Swiss Army knives. If it needs cutting, you're sure to find a blade for the job.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

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