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  1. #1

    Default Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Given there appear to be a few wet-shavers here on BN, I thought maybe we could share our experiences, swap tips, offer our thoughts on various shaving-related products etc.

    I thought to kick things off, I'd post a pic of my typical (well, today's) shaving set-up:



    Prep: I start off by first washing my face with Nivea daily essentials gentle cleansing lotion. It is a very light soap and is very cheap but does a decent job of removing any dirt, oil etc. After massaging this in, I apply some hot towels to my face and neck and leave them for a couple of minutes before rinsing off.

    Lather: I prefer soaps to creams and don't bother adding glycerin or shave oil to my lather. Even living in London with its incredibly hard water, I find I can achieve a good, lubricating lather quite easily. Having made my lather in a cheap, ceramic bowl I picked up from the supermarket, I'll sit the bowl in a small amount of hot water, to heat the lather. My two favourite soaps currently are: D R Harris Arlington shave soap - wonderful scent and excellent lather, and L'Occitane Cade shave soap - again, I find it lathers very well. Both do a good job of not drying my skin too much.

    Brush: I use an Edwin Jagger Super Badger (medium). Many prefer a firmer bristle if using soaps, but I found this suits me very well and doesn't feel too abrasive.

    Razor: If we're talking DE safety razors: My favourite is the Merkur 34c HD. A classic of German engineering. Perfectly weighted, robust, last a lifetime.

    Blades: Derby.

    After-shave balm: This weekend I picked up some Refinery after-shave balm. I've only used it a couple of times, but am quite impressed. Light, non-greasy, hardly scented, and has a very pleasant cooling sensation which lasts a good 10 minutes. Contains aloe vera, witch hazel, rosewood. It was quite pricey though.

    So that's me. I'd love to hear/see what others use or could recommend.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    My routine is not quite as stylish and sophisticated as yours.

    - apply a hot linen towel to the face
    - apply Alt-Innsbruck pre & after shave emulsion
    - Lather: Valobra shaving soap - Brush: a German no-name brush made of badger silver tips mounted in Argentinean buffalo horn
    - Razor: I admit, a very un-classy Mach 3 - my attempts with a Merkur ended up too bloody
    - cleaning with the linen towel
    - apply Farfalla Sandalwood after shave emulsion

  3. #3
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    Niles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Right now this is what I use. It's simple but it works for me:

    Razor: Gillette (late 40s) Super Speed or Merkur HD 34c
    Soap: Mitchell's Wool Fat, Van Der Hagen Deluxe, or Williams
    aftershave: Several different options, but most often it's Old Spice or Pinaud Clubman.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Regular everyday shave:

    Wash with Terressentials Fragrance-Free Organic Facial Cleanser
    Shave with Neutrogena Men Razor Defense Shave Gel (my skin is oily and acne-prone)
    and Gillette Sensor Excel
    Follow up with Terressentials' Fragrance-Free Organic Facial Toner & Lotion

    Special Occasion Shave

    Same wash routine as above
    Shave with Proraso Shaving Cream
    Lather with The Body Shop Men's Sythetic Shave Brush
    Razor: Merkur Double-Edge Safety Razor
    Last edited by Grottola; 18th January 2011 at 06:51 PM. Reason: To elaborate
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Until recently, I was shaving in the shower with a Shick Hydro 5 and King of Shaves Alpha Gel. I switched to the Shick setup from the Gillette Fusion, because the blades are cheaper. But now I've decided to try out a safety-razor setup because I'm sick of paying for these increasingly awkward blades, and I'm sick of the razor burn on my neck.

    So now I have a best badger brush, mug, soap, and safety razor, all by Edwin Jagger.

    With my old routine, I'd simply shower (including washing my face), and shave. I feel that the results were good, and I could get a good shave quickly. But now I'm slowing things down a bit, and doing the brush and blade routine immediately after my shower. I've done this twice over this past three-day weekend, and am liking the ritual, as well as the results.

    My line of work requires that I be clean-shaven, so in the past, I've always shaved in two passes--one with the grain, and one against. Now, I only shave with the grain, and while it's not as close, I have less burn.

    For aftershave, I'm using some moisturizing stuff from L'Oreal, esp. now that the weather is cold and dry. In the warmer weather, I'll use the designer balms, or good old Clubman.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    I use plain old Noxema in the blue tub with either a Panasonic Vortex wet/dry shaver or Mach 3 razor. I use the Kiehls mens alcohol-free toner and a Clarins Men moisturizer.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Great responses, gents!
    I'm definately going to check out some of the products you mentioned.
    Thanks

  8. #8

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    The ground water here is unjustifiably hard. I have a reverse osmosis water filter that converts it to soft water (and UV filters it so it can actually be consumed). I take some of this water, and boil it.

    I then pour this hot water into a ceramic scuttle (shaving mug), in which a badger shaving brush (tweezerman - cheapie, but does the job for me) will be soaked for about 20 seconds or so.

    While the brush is being prepared, I wash my face out with warm water and soap.

    I take the hot water out of the scuttle, leaving only a little in it, and then work up lather. I use a Tabac shaving soap. I've tried some "high quality" (read as "expensive") soaps, and just had to come back to Tabac, because it's just really as good as few other expensive ones.

    I use a very classic razor which my father had been using and he gave it to me after he switched to something else. I could adjust the blade tension (the blade would be pressed from top and bottom ends) by screwing a knob on the razor. The settings are from 1 to 9, and I keep it at 1 if the blade is new, or extremely sharp. I also use this setting to shave on my neck. As the blade starts to wear away, I can go up to 3 (something higher than 3 and my skin would be a bloody mess).

    I use Derby blades.

    I use Zirh International's Erase post shave oil, which I think works well.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Before shaving: just cleansing with some generic face wash or liquid soap, by Dove or similar, no preshave oil, preshave lotion or so

    Shaving: shaving foam for strong beard by Nivea for Men, Fusion razor (the non-electric version)

    After shaving: Nivea for Men Sensitive after shave balm, also- even if not directly connected to shaving- daily use of some moisturizer or moisturizing lotion by Nivea as part of my regular face-care routine

  10. #10

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    I start off in the shower.

    Wash my face and head (I'm bald) with L'Oreal Men's Expert Hydra Energetic Skin Energizing Gel Cleanser.

    After that, I apply Jack Black Beard Lube (this stuff is amazing).

    Shave it off with a Gillette Fusion Proglide razor.

    On days when I need it, I then scrub with a Magic Peeling exfoliating glove.

    Upon exiting the shower, I apply L'Oreal Men's Expert Comfort Max Anti-Irritation After Shave Balm to my face and head.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    I use a 7 series Braun electric shaver, and then a bay rum, Witch Hazel or a sandalwood after shave. The witch hazel is the best, because it leaves the skin really soft. I prefer the braun shaver because it never irritates the skin. The only bad thing about it is that it is a bit difficult to shave the neck, since the hairs on that region tend to be flat and hard to "get".

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    More safety razor users than I would imagine.

    For me, it's fill bowl and mug with hottest tap water. I mainly use no-name Turkish horsehair brushes, but I have about a dozen different brushes. Select one and put it in the mug.

    Shower. Musgo Real or olive oil soap. Creed SMW gel if I am going to be wearing SMW.

    Apply pre-shave oil. I've recently added this to the line-up, so I'm rotating through a few now. Dump the bowl and whip up a lather with Speick shaving cream. You know the drill...

    I have a few razors, but the ones that get the most use are an ancient bakelite German open-comb slant, Merkur bakelite, Merkur 15C & Muehle R89. Blades are Feather or Kai. Two passes normally. Rinse with coldest water possible and apply witch hazel. Then apply a splash (Speick, Lucido, Gatsby). When dry I use Nivea sensitive balm.

    With the exception of recently adding a pre-shave oil, this has been the drill (with some modifications here and there) for many years now. I occasionally use different blades, but nowt but Feather or Kai can usually do much to the wire-like stubble that grows out of my face!

    A friend gifted me with a nice Gillette Executive and I think I'm going to really like that.
    "You just keep me hangin' on." -- Farewell, Lou.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6of1 View Post
    Apply pre-shave oil. I've recently added this to the line-up, so I'm rotating through a few now.
    Interesting stuff, 6of1. Thanks for sharing. I've never actually tried pre-shave oils, but your post has piqued my interest. You obviously find it makes a significant difference for the better and I'd be interested to hear more. Have you found a favourite brand/combination yet? How long before applying lather do you apply the shave oil? Aside from lubricating, does your skin feel better for using a pre-shave oil?

    I'd be very keen to hear any and all experiences
    Last edited by gandhajala; 29th January 2011 at 06:32 AM. Reason: urgh, typos.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Grab Remington dry/wet shaver, shave.

    Have to agree with Antinous of Bithnynia, about 'lectric razors, under the chin and around the neck is the hardest bit, because they lie flatter, and two days growth sometimes leaves them too long for me to get them easily.
    Call me George, my Mum does!
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  15. #15

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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    I have two white shave bowls I picked up at Wal-Mart for mixing lather, a silver hair badger brush (Rooney for Truefitt and Hill) - white handle. I use Feather blades in an all-stainless Merkur 38-C (DE/safety razor).

    First I apply Truefitt & Hill Pre-Shave Oil on my face, after a hot shower. I rub it in and then wash my hands, thoroughly. I then prepare my lather by adding a glob of the shave cream into the bowl. I have numerous shave creams contained in tubs and tubes - I don't enjoy the "puck/soap".

    Lately D.R. Harris has been my brand of choice - Lavender, Almond and Arlington.

    I then shave, wash my face with hot and then cold water and a washcloth, then splash on my tea tree/soothing aftershave by Anthony Logistics. It works very, very nicely... During the winter I'm also using a gentle/sensitive fragrance-free moisturizer around my nose and areas that tend to get dry or shiny. But after all of that... picking my SOTD is the treat before I'm out the door!

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Oh and to add: I also enjoy Derby blades (not as much as I love the fragrance by Guerlain!) and used them extensively before switching to Feather. I think Feather blades are the sharpest on the market, allowing an amazingly close shave.

  17. #17
    6of1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    Interesting stuff, 6of1. Thanks for sharing. I've never actually tried pre-shave oils, but your post has piqued my interest. You obviously find it makes a significant difference for the better and I'd be interested to hear more. Have you found a favourite brand/combination yet? How long before applying lather do you apply the shave oil? Aside from lubricating, does your skin feel better for using a pre-shave oil?

    I'd be very keen to hear any and all experiences
    Right now the jury is still out. I am trying King of Shaves Alpha Oil, Art of Shaving oil & plain old avacado oil. I find the shave-specific oils better than avacado oil -- this didn't surprise me. I can't really tell a difference betwixt the two pre-shave oils.

    Basically, once I'm out of the shower, I put the oil on. Then, however long it takes to tidy up a bit and whip up a lather is how long. On average, I would say about 3 minutes.

    I can tell a difference if I shave without the oil, and my skin does feel a bit better. I think, all in all, that it is a worthy addition to the routine.
    "You just keep me hangin' on." -- Farewell, Lou.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    I too occasionally use King of Shaves oil before lathering up, esp. when it's so cold and dry. It adds some slickness, and helps condition my face.

    I'm also trying out Feather blades, and like them so far. You just have to be really careful with them! I'm going to give some Derbys a shot, as they seem to have a lot of fans around here.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Mine currently goes like this:
    Soak AOS badger brush in porcelin shaving mug
    Shower, wash face with AOS Peppermint Scrub
    treat face with AOS Sandalwood oil
    Mix brush with AOS Sandalwood cream
    Shave with nickel plated AOS razor/Fusion blade
    *I have sensitive skin and would carve my face off with a straight edge
    Apply AOS Sandalwood balm
    **If I shave on a sunday I will take the time and apply a Zihr clay mask, post shave.

    -I also use Proraso cream, AOS Lemon cream/Oil/balm in spring and summer.
    Currently wearing: Sartorial by Penhaligon's

  20. #20

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyDG View Post
    I have two white shave bowls I picked up at Wal-Mart for mixing lather, a silver hair badger brush (Rooney for Truefitt and Hill) - white handle. I use Feather blades in an all-stainless Merkur 38-C (DE/safety razor).

    First I apply Truefitt & Hill Pre-Shave Oil on my face, after a hot shower. I rub it in and then wash my hands, thoroughly. I then prepare my lather by adding a glob of the shave cream into the bowl. I have numerous shave creams contained in tubs and tubes - I don't enjoy the "puck/soap".

    Lately D.R. Harris has been my brand of choice - Lavender, Almond and Arlington.

    I then shave, wash my face with hot and then cold water and a washcloth, then splash on my tea tree/soothing aftershave by Anthony Logistics. It works very, very nicely... During the winter I'm also using a gentle/sensitive fragrance-free moisturizer around my nose and areas that tend to get dry or shiny. But after all of that... picking my SOTD is the treat before I'm out the door!
    I just started with a DE Safety razor: an Edwin Jagger DE89L. And I started with Feathers, which really are sharp! But they dull on my so quickly. I just ordered a sample set from West Coast Shaving that should keep me busy figuring out what blades I like.

    I'm not using a pre-shave oil but I'm thinking I ought to. I just switched from a puck (Burt's Bees) to Acca Kappa's shaving cream, which was a tremendous difference! I just don't want to go back to the puck. I'd really like to try SMN's shaving cream but can't justify the $55 price.

    After I shower, I immediately later up. Post shave, I rinse with cold water and spray with witch hazel, let it soak in for a minute while I put on deodorant and clean up the sink. I'm still using Burt's Bees aftershave, which stings very little (almost none) and has been the prevention for razor rash so far (compared to Knize Ten and Tom Ford) - but I'm still experimenting with aftershaves. I'm thinking of getting some Trumper's Skin Food to try and I need to upgrade my brush, which is badger, but I think there are better brushes than Col. Conk.

    All in all, it's been a gradual transition. I've been wet shaving (first with an Atra II and Gilette in a can then with Burt's Bees and a Mach 3) for years and years but I'm really enjoying the DE.
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  21. #21

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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Some say that Feather blades are only good for 2-3 shaves, max. I get 3, 4 at most. These blades are available in packages on eBay for a song - I don't think I can ever go back to Derby blades, though I have a lifetime supply of those as well.

    On the SMN creams, I have used several of their products only through samples and they are quite superb. DR Harris creams truly make wonderful lather. The Acqua di Parma shave cream is also of fantastic quality but even more costly (retails @ $100 + for a jar I think!) I also use witch hazel in a toner solution that I apply all over my face - in the summer to deal with perspiration from humidity which can deal with small outbreaks and redness/irritation as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by cbstarker View Post
    I just started with a DE Safety razor: an Edwin Jagger DE89L. And I started with Feathers, which really are sharp! But they dull on my so quickly. I just ordered a sample set from West Coast Shaving that should keep me busy figuring out what blades I like.

    I'm not using a pre-shave oil but I'm thinking I ought to. I just switched from a puck (Burt's Bees) to Acca Kappa's shaving cream, which was a tremendous difference! I just don't want to go back to the puck. I'd really like to try SMN's shaving cream but can't justify the $55 price.

    After I shower, I immediately later up. Post shave, I rinse with cold water and spray with witch hazel, let it soak in for a minute while I put on deodorant and clean up the sink. I'm still using Burt's Bees aftershave, which stings very little (almost none) and has been the prevention for razor rash so far (compared to Knize Ten and Tom Ford) - but I'm still experimenting with aftershaves. I'm thinking of getting some Trumper's Skin Food to try and I need to upgrade my brush, which is badger, but I think there are better brushes than Col. Conk.

    All in all, it's been a gradual transition. I've been wet shaving (first with an Atra II and Gilette in a can then with Burt's Bees and a Mach 3) for years and years but I'm really enjoying the DE.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyDG View Post
    I also use witch hazel in a toner solution that I apply all over my face .
    +1. I forgot to mention this in my post above. Currently I use a withch hazel and tea tree oil toner but once the bottle is finished, I think I'll go back to plain witch hazel. I liked the idea of the added tea tree, but I'm finding the product dries out my (already dry) skin too much.

    On a semi-related note, I picked up a puck of Geo F Trumper's Rose Shave soap a couple of days ago. I love the scent (actually a very nice rendition of rose), but my first attempt at lathering it wasn't hugely successful. It looked fantastic in the bowl, but went on too thin. I will have to experiment some more to find the right water/soap ratio.

    Maybe that's why I love wet-shaving so much; it is a constant learning experience.
    When the stars align just so, and you get that magical, perfect whipped egg -white lather, well, all seems right with the world

  23. #23

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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    We all live for it, brother! I have some Taylor of Old Bond Street (Avocado and Sandalwood) - the Avocado is nice and lathers beautifully. The Sandalwood is garbage, quite honestly. I'm planning to order some Geo F Trumper's but I was thinking about the violet.. I was also thinking of giving the Lavender from Taylor of Old Bond St a try.

    For the perfect lather I think you need the right "recipe" as you mention (proportions) and a great brush and bowl that allows you to add a bit of water at a time and whip it up to cloudy perfection!

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    Maybe that's why I love wet-shaving so much; it is a constant learning experience.
    When the stars align just so, and you get that magical, perfect whipped egg -white lather, well, all seems right with the world

  24. #24

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    Maybe that's why I love wet-shaving so much; it is a constant learning experience. When the stars align just so, and you get that magical, perfect whipped egg -white lather, well, all seems right with the world
    Yeah, then the razor tugs at your face. D'oh! Gotta hate that. No, but I hear you, sometimes I shave and it's like I used a cheese grater - I don't quite understand what happened.

    Other times when I'm done I feel like I just nailed it like my favorite karaoke song. Those days are the best!
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyDG View Post
    For the perfect lather I think you need the right "recipe" as you mention (proportions) and a great brush and bowl that allows you to add a bit of water at a time and whip it up to cloudy perfection!
    And don't forget about water quality. Unless you're on a well, the water coming out of your pipe can be different one hour from the next. I work in water quality so I know these things. Water supply company's that UV instead of Cl- to treat water still have to use Cl- to treat the infrastructure. So, you just never know. One day it's a good egg, the next day it's rotten.
    Currently looking for Ava Luxe Midnight Violet

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  26. #26

    Default

    I have been experimenting the last few months with blades. I don't like any of the five blade systems, they are too wide and awkward to use. I also read somewhere that the three blades are better for sensitive skin, and I don't appear to have as big of an ingrown hair issue with three blade systems.

    I have tried the Schick Hydro system and I liked the guards on the blade and it did give me a close shave, but the hydro part feels like snot on my skin, way way too thick the first several times you used the blade and it was not what I would consider a good lotion. I got to the point where I would wet the blade for a while to get the hydro activated and then scrape the goo off.

    Right now I am using a Mach 3 blade on a chrome handle, similar to the Art of Shaving ones but not as pricey. I am going to have to pick up a safety blade soon, maybe even a straight blade. I wanted to pick up a straight blade on a trip to London recently but I knew it would not make it home as I was only using carry on luggage.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyDG View Post
    I have some Taylor of Old Bond Street ...The Sandalwood is garbage, quite honestly.
    I agree!
    I love their Sandalwood (bath) soap, so I really wanted to like their sandalwood shaving soap too. But like you say, it's pretty rubbish. To be honest, I don't find any of their shave soaps that great. For the same price, I'd much rather a Trumpers or, better still, a D R Harris. My favourite of their line-up is Arlington, but I've been enjoying Marlborough too of late. (*Off- topic confession time: There's a very cute girl who works at D R Harris on weekends. I think there's some connection between that, and the fact I have a silly number of their soaps. Lame, I know.*).

  28. #28

    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirWill View Post
    . I am going to have to pick up a safety blade soon, maybe even a straight blade.
    Once you do, you'll never look back. Promise!
    I hope you'll let us know what you settle on and your thoughts, SirWill.

  29. #29

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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    Indeed - even when I travel east I stay with relatives and their water isn't as soft as the water I use. This throws off the balance of everything as I'm sure you'd agree, C?

    Quote Originally Posted by cbstarker View Post
    And don't forget about water quality. Unless you're on a well, the water coming out of your pipe can be different one hour from the next. I work in water quality so I know these things. Water supply company's that UV instead of Cl- to treat water still have to use Cl- to treat the infrastructure. So, you just never know. One day it's a good egg, the next day it's rotten.

  30. #30

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    Default Re: Your Shaving Routine/ Set-Up.

    I need some bars of soap but shipping is so expensive because of their weight! LOL I do see some eBay vendors have rather decent deals though, but it still has to get shipped to Canada. I'd love to try the English bars of soap - I've used either Roger & Gallet, Crabtree & Evelyn or Acca Kappa for my go-to luxury soaps.. and the massive bars of Hermes Eau d'Orange Verte soap.

    Perhaps I've spoken with the girl you have a crush on I've ordered from the London boutique many times. How much for a large bar of bath soap at D R Harris, do they make them? My orders have always been for the shave cream in a tube (not tub) there.

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    I agree!
    I love their Sandalwood (bath) soap, so I really wanted to like their sandalwood shaving soap too. But like you say, it's pretty rubbish. To be honest, I don't find any of their shave soaps that great. For the same price, I'd much rather a Trumpers or, better still, a D R Harris. My favourite of their line-up is Arlington, but I've been enjoying Marlborough too of late. (*Off- topic confession time: There's a very cute girl who works at D R Harris on weekends. I think there's some connection between that, and the fact I have a silly number of their soaps. Lame, I know.*).

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