First time with two new shaving items – Rooney 1/1 shaving brush and RazoRock Shave Gel. I also revisited the first ever double edge razor blade I used – Crystal+ from Personna. The RazoRock Shave Gel laid down a nice hydrating layer of olive oil and shaving cream. I followed it with Maca Root Shaving Cream. The new Rooney brush was also great. From what I’ve read, the Rooney brush will get even better as the tips break-in over time.
I’ve worked with Bob a few a times in the past – including being the first to suggest and commission that Bob refit a Gillette Knack with one of his trademark Bull Mastiff handles. Bob has always made amazing heavyweight handles – ones I prefer on my razors. So when I discovered the XL handle he made for me last year is only tapped in “imperial” and won’t fit my new Muhle R41 head, Bob offered to re-tap it for me. But instead I chose get an XXL handle, which about 1/3 of an inch longer than my previous XL handle. This time he tapped it to work on both imperial Gillette heads and metric European ones like Muhle and Edwin Jagger.
There are some things that are worth mentioning twice. Though I did a write-up about Speick Lotion last year, I just want to throw the Speick Lotion name out there once more – to remind myself too. Of all the after shave lotions I’ve tried, Speick is by far, very far, the best. From the ingredients (listed below), it appears Walter Rau Speickwerk engineered this aftershave with the shaver in mind. The ingredients like Witch Hazle, Alum, and Lactic Acid are top shelf items in shaving and skin care. Alum helps to cauterize nicks and cuts, witch hazel helps with healing, while lactic acid helps with skin texture and hydration.
The Good: Unique black soap out of Nigeria with no artificial colors or preservatives, and is listed as bio-degradable. The ingredients written on the box are pure honey, shea butter, osun (camwood), palmkernal oil, cocoa pod [sic, probably means pot) ash, palm bunch ash, aloe vera, lime juice, and water & fragrance. The soap lathers really well, and leaves my skin feeling clean and as if I've taken a good shower.
When tallow is only of the first ingredients in any soap, you know you’re in for copious amounts of great lather and incredible amount of slickness. And that’s exactly what Art of Shaving’s soaps provide. They’re still made with, what is now ultra-rare among manufacturers, sodium tallowate.
The Gillette Atra… ahh… as Brett Hart used to say “the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be” of multi-blade cartridge razors. The Atra is also very special to me; and that’s why I chose to feature it as the first item in the Gear section. I first learned how to shave my head with a Gillette Atra.