Friday, January 28, 2011

Cyril R Salter Indian Sandalwood Shave Cream Review

I've got lots of pictures on this post!

A lot of the higher quality shaving products come from England or somewhere in the UK. Cyril R Salter is one of those brands. For as best as I can tell, London is the headquarters to some of the most popular and well established barber shops and shaving companies. Most of your better products will probably originate from London. We Americans have sold out to those big shaving companies... Look where that's got us... pitiful shaves.

Anywho, this shaving cream was a GREAT purchase. This fantastic cream lathers, hydrates, and performs just as well as the mighty "3T's" products and at half the price! The first thing you notice is the LARGE sturdy blue tub it comes in.

The cream itself is a velvety and rich cream. When you open the lid, you are immediately met by the wonderful aroma. The smell has a clean warm woodsy smell but with a little bit of a sweet note to it. Almost like a spicy cinnamon smell. Very masculine. There's no fru-fru girly scent about this one!

The tub looks nice beside my cup and brush huh?

To prepare for the lather, you need to soak your badger brush in some warm water for a minute or two to soften the bristles.

Simpson brush soaking...

Once thoroughly hydrated, shake out the excess water, but not all of it.

Give the brush a few good swirls in the cream. The cream is soft, so you wont have any problems loading the brush with the cream. I just gave it a good 2 or 3 swirls with light pressure.

Once you have the brush loaded with lots of hydrated cream, you can start to make your later.

For this demonstration I will use my hand so you can see the lather building stages. As you begin, you can see that the cream is very runny. This is only about 5 seconds of brushing. The lather is very "watery" and has lots of bubbles. Continue building lather...

After about 30 seconds, you will start to see the lather coming together. Below, is what I'm talking about, but it still looks a little weak. It's definitely not ready yet. It's still got that soft peak look. Continue building lather...

Now we're getting somewhere. See how the lather has started to whip up to a nice peak?

This wonderful stuff has a wonderful aroma and a very soft, slick, and thick feeling. The shaving cream is well hydrated and protected my skin from the razor with ease. No nicks or cuts with this stuff!

Cyril R Salter shaving cream is a wonderful product. It was a pretty good price too! I got mine for around $15 at To those who haven't use a quality shaving cream, that might sound pretty steep. However, compared to those mass marketed shaving gels in a can, this shave cream will last me about 5-6 months of shaving. Does you shaving goop in a can last that long? Didn't think so...

Happy Shaving.

Stay tuned for more reviews!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm no expert

I give you fair warning...

I'm no expert!

Please don't think I'm an expert in traditional wet shaving. I'm not, by any means. This is simply my personal blog where i can put my thoughts out there and write to say what's in my head these days. Sometimes I'm into fishing, and other times I might obsess about Arkansas Football (OK OK, I'm always obsessing about that!). Right now, my new hobby is this new way of shaving.

I am, however, new to this new hobby. Whether you call me a "noob" or "newb", I am new to this. Which means I don't have much experience. So if you're reading this and think I'm all wrong with my information. Please, feel free to correct me and let me know so we can both learn :)

So, those haters out there who think I'm an amateur or don't know what I'm talking about...well,'re probably right. ha ha!

Anyways, this is just something I find interesting, appealing, fun, and makes me feel good about myself.

I'll probably have a new blog coming in the next week or two. Stay tuned!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Shaving Brush (Simpson Special Pure Badger)

One of the most highly recognizable things about Traditional Wet Shaving is the Shaving Brush. The Shaving brush is one of the best tools for shaving. However most men don't use one. It is a very nostalgic thing that you might have only seen your grandfather use or in those old-time movies. However, the brush does have some great value to your shave.

There are many benefits to using a shaving brush. First, it is used to make and whip up a lather to use for your face. You can do this by using a bowl, mug, scuttle, or even hand lathering (making a lather on the palm of your hand with the brush). It's also a great tool for exfoliating your skin. It lifts the hairs on your face and massages the lather so that it get all around your hair for a clean shave. And the best part about using the brush? It's fun!

The Shaving Brush is often made with a handle and some sort of natural or synthetic hair. The handles are often very decorative, sometimes made from porcelain, wood, ivory, and even gold. Today, however, most are made with either a wooden, plastic, or porcelain handle. This Simpson brush is made from plastic.

The bristles of the brush are often made from synthetic or natural hair. The cheaper brushes you may find in the mega-marts and corner drug stores are usually the brushes made from synthetic hair. These brushes usually are in the $5 price range. The bristles of these brushes are usually made from Nylon. However, some may be made from "natural" hair, i.e - Boar hair.

By far, the most popular and most useful brushes are made from Badger hair. Badger hair holds more water than any other natural or synthetic hair. This means that your creams and soaps will be more hydrated and create a more creamy, fluffy, and slick lather. Which transitions into less razor skipping and dragging.

The Badger hair can come from many parts of the badger. The closer to the belly and neck of the badger, the softer and more luxurious the hair can get (in other words, the more expensive it can get.) My Simpson Special Badger brush is made from pure badger hair. This is a less expensive brush than most badger hair brushes. Most pure badger hair brushes, like mine, will run you in the $20-$40 range. A step up would be best badger hair. These brushes will be more soft and fuller than the pure hair. These usually will be in the $40-$80 range. Then you start getting into the Super and Silvertip Badger hair. However, I don't see paying upwards to $150-$300 for a shaving brush...Yikes!

These pictures are when I first got my brush in the mail. As you can see, it looks pretty new. No bristles are out of array (except for just a couple), there isn't any discoloring, and the head of the hair hasn't really "bloomed" yet from use (It usually takes about 2 weeks worth of use for the bristles to fully bloom and get softer, wider, and hold more water).

When I first started out, I used one of those cheapo Wal-Mart specials. the $5 boar hair brush. After about 3 weeks of use, the bristles didn't bloom, they were very stiff and not soft, and the brush started loosing the hairs when it was used and put away. I loved using it, but was frustrated with the fact that it wasn't doing a good job. Just Ok. Then I got my Simpson brush and I was AMAZED at how different the brush felt and performed! It produced and much better lather, it was softer, and it look a whole lot better!

If you're interested in owning a shaving brush, you can read reviews about different brands at the Badger and Blade forum (, check out Mantic59's Youtube videos (He's got a special review of brushes in this video, or you can browse around on one my favorite sites to purchase shaving items - West Coast Shaving (

If you'd like more information, or have any questions, just leave a comment.

Stay tuned for more reviews...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Merkur 34C Heavy Duty

One of the most obvious tools of traditional Wet Shaving is the Double Edge razor or "DE" for short. Also called a safety razor. These photos are of my personal razor, the Merkur 34C Heavy Duty. While researching my first razor, this model came up over and over again in all forums and website I could find for beginner razors. However, the thing is, not only beginners use this razor! It's such a well constructed razor that beginners and experienced shavers use this razor all the time. Those that start off with this razor and tend to purchase others seem to always come back to this one. Good ole' faithful.

The initial investment into a DE razor can be significant with the up front cost. Some Razors can cost from $30 to several hundred. The Merkur 34C Heavy duty ran me about $39. This might be an expensive up front cost, but when you consider that the replacement blades are dirt cheap, it pays for itself pretty quickly. (I'll be reviewing blades later on the blog.)

Granted, I haven't been shaving for more than 15 years or so, but during my time, I've probably tried dozens of disposable razors. And let me tell ya, there is nothing that compares to the traditional safety razor. The shaves are much better, much closer, and give you far less irritation than the disposable cartridge razors.

The Merkur is made of stainless steel. And as the name indicates, it's "Heavy Duty". The weight of the razor is significantly heavier than you would think. Although the razor is perfectly balanced so that when you use it, you let the weight of the razor do the cutting for you.

As you can see, the razor is constructed so that you have a base handle with a top head that unscrews from the base. The twist knob at the base of the handle will unscrew the top. Once unscrewed, you are able to align your choice of razor blade with the head.

Then simply screw back together. Very simple to operate. Simply hold the razor on the handle as you would a throwing dart with your first two fingers and thumb. Then, simply let the razor slide down your face with short slow strokes, never going over the same spot twice. You should never put too much pressure on the blade when shaving. That's asking for trouble! There's not a degree required to use it. I mean, come's not rocket science here!

As you can see, it's a beautiful razor with a great look and feel to it. How it shaves you ask? WONDERFUL!!! Granted this is the only DE razor I've tried, but I'd say it's the best! haha I love this razor!

If you are interested in learning how to use a DE razor, I would suggest visiting a few of my personal favorite websites. *NOTE*-These are in no way endorsements to these people or their products. These are simply some of my personal favorite websites I choose to visit on a regular basis.

...stay tuned for more reviews!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wet Shaving

What is Traditional Wet Shaving? It's a lost art. It's something that the men in our culture don't know how to do, or have lost the desire to do. It's something yourgrandpadid. It's how John Wayne would do it!

Traditional Wet Shaving is not really something you can define or pin down. It's almost a "Zen-like" feeling. And yes, it is a skill (some may laugh). It usually involves applying a warm, fragrant lather with a brush, and using a single blade razor. Usually, the lather is made with the brush from soaps and creams of much higher quality than you would find in the super discount stores. Most have natural ingredients, oils, and moisturizing effects.

If you're around my age, then you probably grew up using disposable or cartridge razors to shave, and using that blue or green goop that comes in a pressurized can! The problem with this is that every year, there is a new razor or new product that is better, helps reduce irritation, or has more blades, and usually has some type of vibrating mechanism in it!

Wow... This is useless. These companies makes it sound like ingrown hairs, shave bumps, and irritation are a normal everyday common thing. Well, it didn't used to be, back in the good 'ole days (or so I've heard). I've noticed that within the last 10-15 years, I've seen at least one commercial a day about having better and more improved products on the shelves. Let me tell ya, men are still irritated (pun intended) with their razors! And that shaving goop in a can? Yeah, it's worthless. You still get cut, they dry out your skin, don't last long, and take up space in landfills.


I'm very new at this. But from what I've read, and have now personally experienced, I see no turning back to the old ways of using those over-priced plastic razors and chemical enhanced goop to shave with.

I've recently learned that proper hydration of the face, using quality products, applying with a brush, and using a single blade razor can turn shaving from a chore into an enjoyable hobby. Let me explain a typical wet shaving session and you can read for yourself.

First, a hot shower to cleanse the body and soften the facial hair. Next, soak your badger brush in hot water or a mug to temper the hairs in the brush and to soften them a bit. Next, use a face soap or scrub, and thoroughly wash the face. This helps exfoliate the skin and help rid the face of dirt, debris, and dead skin cells. Once the face is clean, some men prefer to use a shave oil or other product to soften the whiskers and massage into the beard. Next, using a high quality shave cream or soap, one would then start making a lather with their badger brush in a mug or bowl.

Shaving cream - If using a shave cream, most would place about an almond size dollop into a bowl. The shave cream usually resembles toothpaste or thick suntan lotion. Then start swirling and mixing the cream with the soaked badger brush. This will take a few minutes. Once thoroughly mixed, the mixture will be warm, fragrant, and thick. Shaving cream shouldn't smell like deodorant. It should smell fragrant and natural. Like spices, woods, herbs, and floral. Find something you would enjoy! There are many choices out there.

Shave soap - Most shave soaps are made into "pucks" that you drop into a mug, or are made to fit into bowls. While soaking your badger brush, some men like to soak their soap in warm water for a minute or two to soften the soap, then drain off the excess water. Then, taking your badger brush, give it a few good swirls on the soap, then brush the soap onto your beard to create the lather on your face instead of in the bowl or mug like the shave cream. You can make the lather on top of the soap in the mug, but i find it a waste and a little overkill.

Once you have made your lather, use your brush to massage it into the beard for a good minute or so. This seems like a long time, but the brush is lifting the hairs, any remaining dirt, and exfoliating the skin as well. This also helps hydrate your skin and hair properly. Once you have lathered up, you should have a soft, thick cream on your beard. You are ready to start shaving!

The razor usually is either a straight razor for those who like danger, skill, or like to be a bad A, or a double edge single razor. The double edge razor is usually is much safer to handle, and is easier to use than a straight razor. For blog purposes, and my informational knowledge, I'll go with the double edge razor here. The double edge razor uses a stout metal body housing, usually made of stainless steel or chrome. Some razors are more fancy than others, plated with titanium and even gold. Usually, the top of the razor head either unscrews from the body, or has a twist to open top. Then you are able to place your safety razors in.

Because you have thoroughly prepped your beard and have moisturized your face using the traditional method, you won't have the need for a moisture strip from your razor's head, or little rubber fins to help pull and straighten your hair as you cut. No. Your goal here is hair REDUCTION, not hair removal. Instead of smearing goop on your face and hacking with the disposable razor and removing hair in 60 seconds flat, you'll take your time. You'll enjoy shaving. You want to let the weight of the razor do the cutting for you. You'll go WITH the grain of the hair and not go over the same spot more than once because you have already removed the lather from that spot on your face. Because you have properly prepped your face, you'll have no problems lathering up again for the second pass, which will go ACROSS, not against the grain. If you're new to the process, you may want to stop here and let your face handle this new way of shaving. After a while, once you get the hang of it, you'll be comfortable going 3 passes. With the grain, across the grain, and against the grain for that "smooth as a baby's butt" feel.

Once completed, you'll need to rinse VERY thoroughly with warm water to remove any leftover soap or cream residue, and then splash and rinse with COLD water to close the pores of your face. You'll want to make sure and take care of your investment by rinsing your razor and brush very well, and storing it in a well ventilated area. To help your face recover, you'll want to use a high quality shaving balm, lotion, or splash to help your skin heal and retain the moisture. I usually tend to use balms in the winter because the cold weather dries my skin, and splashes during the summer or hot months.
Too extreme of a procedure for you? Well, if you are tired of spending an average of less than 5 minutes shaving to get a poor result, then you may want to try the Traditional method of Wet Shaving. Me personally, I had lots of ingrown hairs, I had never been able to get the hair in those hard to get areas on my neck, and was never really satisfied with my shave. Now that I've made the switch, I've had better and more close shaves, and haven't had any problems!

Stay tuned for some reviews of some products that I use personally!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's been a while

Woah... My last post was in May?! Outrageous! Eh, who cares. ha ha! Anyways, I'm not really sure how long or how often I'll be blogging, but I do have some ideas and some things I'd like to "jot" down. Don't really think anyone reads this other than my wife anyways.


The Arkansas Razorbacks went 10-2 this year in the regular season! The only losses were to then #1 Alabama and the current National Champion Auburn. We made it to the Sugar Bowl and almost had one of those miracle comeback victories, but ended up loosing in the final seconds of the game. (not really sure why I didn't blog any during football season. hm)

I took a big weekend fishing trip with "The Pfiefers". It was a bust, and I ended up not catching any fish. But we still had fun anyways! I don't have any pictures from the trip. :(

I've got a new hobby! Like I said earlier, I'll be blogging about it pretty soon. I've got lots of things to talk about and review! Here's a sneak peak!