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This is Not Your Father’s Shaving Advice Part 4

Everyone’s favorite Uncle is back with some more shaving tips. This still isn’t your father’s shaving advice.

1. Baby Bear’s bed was juuuuust right.
Often times, it can be difficult to get your lather to the right consistency, and thus your shave turns out miserable. The problem may not be your soap/cream, technique, or razor. Check your water. It could be that you have “hard” water. You needn’t run out and buy a water softening system (though Uncle Albert hears they are nice); you can simply add a little baking soda to your sink/tub. About a cup to a tub, or a few tablespoons to the sink. Just don’t slip in the tub!

2. Dick Tracy Villains Inquire Within.
Your face is like rubber. It bends, it stretches, and it snaps more or less back into place. This makes it hard to get a super close shave sometimes. You know that spot under your jawline that just sort of squishes around when you run your razor over it? Pull your skin tight, move that spot up over your jawline if necessary. You might try making an “O” with your mouth to get the skin on your cheeks to pull tight enough. Don’t be afraid of looking like Jim Carey, it’s just you and the mirror.

3. Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog.
Sometimes, you just can’t pull your skin tight enough to get that weird spot on your neck. Try tucking your chin down toward your chest, and puffing out your jowls. This might make you look like a bullfrog, but it might help you get that tricky patch.

4. Let me bend your ear.
Head shaver? Getting that patch behind your ears is a delicate situation sometimes. Try folding the top of your ear down so you can get in nice and close, while protecting the soft fleshy part of the thing you hear with. If you’re shaving with a DE, don’t forget that the razor has a blade edge on both sides! Few things bleed like a sliced ear.

5. “Manscaping”
If you haven’t encountered a discussion on this concept yet, you will. It is, at best, an indelicate topic. Just remember a few key things. Pull your skin tight, be careful, leave some around the outer edges, and don’t follow up with a splash of Pinaud’s Bay Rum.

6. How’s it hangin’?
How do you store your shave brush? Some say bristles down is the only safe way, others say bristles up is a-okay. Uncle albert hasn’t noticed much difference, and the truth is, you likely won’t either. Everyone has their theories on why they store their brush in the manner of their choosing. Nobody’s right. Nobody’s wrong. Store it how you like.

7. Gee, Bert, You need to pluck!
Got a monobrow? Pluck it. I know there’s a temptation to shave that little area, but the irritation from the razor will be up-front and annoying. Man up, grab the tweezers, and yank out those hairs.

8. Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink!
Water is your friend when it comes to wetshaving. You want lots of moisture to help the razor glide over your skin. Water is also great for your skin. It’s the original moisturizer. Water is, however, bad for your blade. Be sure and shake your blade dry when you’ve finished rinsing it off. Rust is a nasty thing to have scraping on your skin.

9. A generation apart.
This is isn’t really shaving advice, but more like parenting advice (from your childless Uncle, no less). Let your kid see you shave (Unless of course, you’re experimenting with #5–Shaving lessons should not induce the need for therapy). He’ll be fascinated, and he’ll be super amused at the way you look like Jim Carey swallowed a bullfrog as you gurn at the mirror.

10. Pardon me, Ma’am.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that women shave too. More and more ladies have learned to love the DE experience. When you’re roaming around on the shaving forums, don’t forget that guys. Ladies, see the above advice. One day, your daughter will thank you for teaching her how to shave her legs.

So there it is folks. The fourth installment in Uncle Albert’s Amazing Shaving advice. Try not to scar your face, try not to scar your children, and enjoy your shave!

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This is Also Not Your Father’s Shaving Advice

A while back, I wrote some tips and advice for beginning wet-shavers. I tried to answer some of the basic questions that might not be so obvious, as well as addressing issues of a lighter note, such as what to expect on a forum full of wet-shaving fanatics. That piece was so well recieved, I thought I might try to hit a few notes I missed the first time around. So, here goes…

This is also not your father’s shaving advice.

1.Add a little salt. Shaving is a lot like cooking. While we all might like vegetable soup, some of us like it a little saltier than others. In a similar manner, we don’t all enjoy the same qualities in a shave. Just because a lot of guys are touting the laser sharp shaves they get from Feathers or Red Pack Isreali Personnas, it doesn’t mean that you are wrong for getting a secret delight when you open a new pack of Danny Boy razors from Dublin.

2.Turn up the heat. There’s a reason that hot towels are so popular in wet-shaving circles. The heat from the towels helps to make your skin a little more elastic by relaxing your pores, and it softens the hair on your mug. Soft hair cuts cleaner than stiff hair and that means a smoother shave.

3.Cool off a little. While it may seem counter intuitive to use a stinging alcohol based aftershave splash, the cooling effects of alcohol and menthol (and sometimes peppermint) can make for a pleasing cap to an otherwise mediocre shave. Menthol and peppermint are especially effective at masking the irritation that a less than stellar shave elicits; that’s why Aqua Velva continues to be a strong seller.

4.It’s there to make you ask questions. Those numbers on your blades? Yeah, the little numbers next to each edge of the blade–those don’t mean anything, at least not as far as you should be concerned. Some speculate that they’re there to facilitate the production process and others think they have some purpose in an other-than-shaving application of the blades. From a shaving perspective, they mean nothing.

5.Look! It’s a zebra! Those stripes on your blade? Yeah, there’s one near one edge and two near the other– You could use those to help you remember which edge you shaved with last if you set your razor down between passes. Many will tell you though, that it doesn’t really make that much difference. As long as you flip the razor around periodically (I try to do it with each stroke) you’ll get pretty even wear on the blade. But hey, if you’re a little obsessive compulsive, those stripes can be a great boon.

6.I’m stuck on you. If you buy the type of blades that come wrapped in little wax paper envelopes inside a cardboard or plastic box, you will no doubt find little “dots” of an oily/waxy substance stuck to the top of your blades. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you. That’s there to keep the envelopes lightly sealed. Think about it, would you want to LICK anything that close to one of those blades? No? So doesn’t that waxy oil make sense now?

7.Just Hangin’ Around. Once RAD sets in, you’ll start looking for a way to keep your razors. A lot of guys go the budget route and use a toothbrush holder. Does it hurt to store your razor lying down? Probably not.

8.We’ve secretly switched his Bay Rum with Folger’s crystals. Wetshaving is alot like coffee. Some guys are totally gear obsessed, investing in premium equipment, buying only the highest end coffee, and grinding/roasting their own beans that they specially imported from Lower Cantpronouncestan. Other’s are thrilled to grab a cup of the black tar that they scrape from the bottom of the company caraffe. Likewise, some shavers swear by $100 an oz. aftershave, $40 luxury creams, $300 brushes, and $200 razors, while others are quite content to lather up a puck of Williams with their Burmashave brush, shave with a Bic disposable and finish it all off with a splash of “Smells Exactly Like Old Spice” from the Family Dollar. It’s okay if you’re either one of those guys.

9.There’s a reason safety razors became so popular. For many shaving with a double-edge safety razor, there comes a time when you start to look longingly at the straight-razor community. There is something undeniably manly about a man who shaves with a straight. Just because you don’t shave with one, however, doesn’t make you less of a man. Men moved away from shaving with straights for more than one reason; It’s really easy to hurt yourself badly with one, they’re a lot of work to maintain, and mastering the use of one is a daunting task when you don’t have a hands on demonstration like your forefathers had from their fathers. Does that mean you shouldn’t try your hand at the strop? Absolutely not! You’re learning, and you want to experience all that fits your personality, so don’t let me or anyone stop you from ordering that pearl handled carbon steel beauty on ebay. Enjoy. And if you cut yourself, I won’t laugh. But I would love to see the pictures, maybe they’ll convince me to put off ordering my razor for another month.

10.People hide from Jehova’s Witnesses. Once you’ve reached wetshaving nervana, you’ll want to share with everyone you know. At least try to limit it to the people who actually shave. Most people are perfectly happy to have a miserable shave and they don’t want to hear you wax on ad-infinitum about how wonderful your shave routine is. Mention that you’ve taken up wetshaving with “grandpa’s razor” and then let them ask you more questions. If they don’t ask, don’t press the issue. You serve the community better by not revealing that we’re really a cult in a clean shaven disguise.

So that’s it. A few more friendly tips from your Uncle Albert– He never gives you fatherly advice.

 

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Happy 4th!

Here’s a real American classic that I picked up for a fiver.  Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday!

Click the pictures to enbiggen.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2008 in b and b, blades, quality, shaving

 

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Choosing the Right Wine with Dinner.

It’s all in the blade! Several weeks ago, I acquired a Schick Krona from a friend. I couldn’t wait to drop a blade in it and feel that thing glide across my jaw. I took it home and gave it the requisite cleaning and loaded it up with a blade from the limited stock I had on hand, a Wal-mart personna. Now, I know this blade is much maligned, but it is usually a very servicable blade, often finding a home in one of my gillette shavers.

So, for a week, I struggled with this razor. I simply couldn’t get a great shave. In fact, I labored to get a decent shave, finding the razor to be rough, too light, and just otherwise sub-par. It wasn’t that it was an awful shave, it was just “not quite good enough.” It was somewhat dissapointing to say the least.

Bare with me, I’m getting to the point. Really, I am.

I recently purchased a box of Derby blades, a definite upgrade from the walmart blades. This week I decided to give the Schick another chance, so I loaded up a Derby in it and touched razor to face again, fearful of having a mediocre shave, and semi-ruining an otherwise decent day.

Wow, it shaved almost on par with my Gillettes. It wasn’t quite as smooth as I’m used to with my other razors but it was a definitely an acceptable shave. I would say that with this blade the razor becomes a completely different shaver. The difference was very surprising. It just goes to show that sometimes we can forget how important it is to combine the right blade with the right razor. It’s like pairing the right wine with the right meal, the wrong combo, while not totally ruining a dinner, can certainly keep it from reaching full potential.

 

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“Doc, do they make a cream for this?”

If you run in certain circles long enough, you are likely to contract a dangerous malady known as the Acquisition Disorder (AD). There are several varieties of AD that one might develop. Ranging from RAD (Razor Acquisition Disorder) to SBAD (Shaving Brush Acquisition Disorder), there are certain warning signs to watch out for. If you experience any of the following, seek professional help immediately:

  1. Excitement upon seeing shaving related implements on television or in movies.
  2. An irresistable desire to own a pet badger.
  3. An urge to collect your spouse’s hair clippings for “DIY brush purposes”
  4. An inability to avoid turning into antique stores/ junk shops/ flea markets because, “You never know, they might have a tan-tipped Super Speed.”
  5. The list of chemists/pharmacies that have banned you for opening and sniffing the after shave selection has moved into the double digits.
  6. You watch movies because you heard there was a scene with a straight razor in it.
  7. When you hear the name Simpson’s you don’t think of that little yellow brat and his balding father.
  8. You know what year and quarter a G2 SS is, without looking it up.
  9. You have a definite opinion on hanging strops vs. paddle strops.
  10. You know what hanging strops and paddles strops are.
  11. You’ve ever searched in vain at your local hardware store for a 4k whetstone.
  12. You can tell the difference between an “Isreali Red Pack” and “Swede” by smell alone.
  13. Your pillow talk is peppered with references to Derbies, American Personnas, and Dorcos.
  14. You’ve entered into hour long debates on whether or not Old Spice changed the formula.
  15. You know who used to produce Old Spice.
  16. You know the connection between Duracell batteries and razor blades.
  17. You’ve seen a picture of a monkey shaving it’s legs.
  18. You know the difference between Best, Pure, and Silvertip.
  19. You’ve bought multiple Burmashave brushes just because Walmart had them on clearance for a buck apiece.
  20. You miss the glass bottle with dimples.
  21. You’ve sought to buy a puck of Uncle Albert’s Amazing Solid Cream Shaving Cake

These are just a few of the symptoms that accompany the many Acquisition Disorders. Treatments are available, but as of yet, there is no cure. The best advice that I can offer is to familiarize yourself with the condition and learn to embrace living as an outcast from society. This disease might cause you to encourage every living soul you meet to try “wet-shaving.” This may cause problems in personal relationships, especially with hirsute friends. Should you encounter people who are not understanding of your affliction, politely avail yourself of the earliest opportunity to part ways with them, they are not truly wise, nor are they likely to see why you would need three different scuttles, twelve brushes, 27 glycerin soaps, 14 fatboys, 28 superspeeds, 3 Kronas, 1 Stahly, a towel warmer…

 

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Anticipation

My question is, what’s so wrong with Cipation that Anticipation would even need to exist? And how exactly does one cipate?

We ordered a 100 pack of Derby Extra razor blades yesterday and I can’t wait until they come in. This blade ranks right up there next to Wilkinson Sword blades. After trying one on a friend’s recommendation, I found that it is an excellent “budget” blade. While not quite as smooth and resilient as a Wilk, the blade provided a very pleasurable shave, slicing a two day old growth with ease. After using it for a week, it was still holding it’s own, performing much better than the cheap American Personnas that one finds at Walmart for $1.68. Don’t get me wrong, the Personna is an excellent standby blade, but when I want a little luxury, I reach for the Wilkinsons. Now, I can have close to that same luxury every day! At $17 for 100 blades, the Derbys are only .17 apiece, only 1/5 of a cent more than the Walmart blades. Even with TWGW using the blades too, we should be set for awhile on shaving bliss.

Speaking of anticipation, I got some moulds in the mail this week (Thanks Mamma Bear) and I just used them last night to make a couple of pucks of shaving soap. I’m probably going to start selling my soaps soon! Look out for Uncle Albert’s Amazing Solid Cream Shaving Cakes in a B&B post near you! I worked out another scent last night to add to my short list of fragrant soaps that I can make. This one smells strongly of licorice, and I’m still trying to find a creative name for it. The names of my other soaps are Atreides (Smells kind of like Old Spice) and Captain’s Galley (Orange and clove). Any suggestions on the new scent?

 

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Two conversations about the same thing.

“Remind me to pick up some new blades when we go to town.”
“For the triple-headed beastrazor?”
“That’s the one.”
“What do those things cost? Four bucks for three cartridges?”
“$5 for 4 if I get them at Walmart.”
“You know, these blades cost about 15 cents apiece.”
“Yeah, but that razor scares me.”
“Why don’t you try it? This one has about 6 shaves on it, so it won’t be scary sharp.”
“Is that your british razor?”
“Yeah, it’s got a short handle, but it’s smooth.”
“Okay, how do I do this?”
“Well, you start by finding the grain— like so…”
“Hmmm… with my other razor, I just went up and down like this—”
“Yeah, but with this one, you use really light pressure— here, hold it like this and let the weight of the razor do all the work. See? Now, if you’ll notice, the grain goes this way here, so just follow that.”
“Oh wow, that’s smooth, but do they make a razor with a longer handle?”
“Yeah, Gillette made a lady shaver that has a long handle… in fact, Jim has an extra one. He picked up a blue one for a song, and then got the more sought-after pink handle a few days later.”
“Would he sell it?”
“I dunno— hang on…”
boop-beep-boop-beep-beep-bip-boop
“Hey Jim, wanna sell a razor? The blue handle. Sure, I’ll be in town later. How much? Deal! I’ll throw in a puck of Uncle Albert’s Amazing, too.”
“We’ll have you set up on the morrow, m’lady.”
Fast forward to the next day.
“I can’t believe it, I’m actually looking forward to shaving!”
“You don’t say?”
“You’re going to write about this on the Badger and Blade and your blog aren’t you?”

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2008 in b and b, blades, cheap, personal, quality, razors, shaving

 
 
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