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Category: Shave and Groom

Shave and Groom: Barberry Coast Ascent Shaving Soap

I don’t usually review a product I know nothing about.  Usually I’ve heard something or seen comments on some shaving forum or seen a YouTube review or something.  However, the Barberry Coast Shave Co. was entirely new to me until a few months ago when we started following each other on Instagram.  After following for a while, I kept seeing recurring themes in their products: completely natural, zero toxins, cedar, tobacco, bay rum.  I just knew I had to try something from Barberry Coast, but which product?  Well, I had recently gone on a bay rum buying bonanza purchasing four different bay rums in the past month, so that was out.  Barberry Coast seems to be better known for their aftershaves, so I went counter-trend and bought the Ascent shaving soap.  I’m such a big fan of tallow and lanolin in my shaving soaps, so I also wanted to see how the coconut oil and glycerin base would perform. My first impression upon receiving the Ascent shaving soap was that it was big, bigger than most shaving soaps.  At 3.8 ounces, this was larger than most of…

Merkur 34C Safety Razor Review

An in-depth, detailed product review of the Merkur 34C safety razor…

Product Review: D. R. Harris Marlborough Shaving Soap

I’ve definitely used the Windsor more! Of the great British apothecaries, D. R. Harris & Co. Ltd. seems to get much less attention than the 3 Ts, and of the D. R. Harris lines, the Marlborough line seem to get less attention than the Arlington or Windsor lines.  I have always been a fan of the underdog, and that is specifically why I chose the Marlborough Shaving Soap for my next review.  I’ve owned this soap for a while, but my puck of the Windsor soap is significantly smaller (even though I bought them at the same time).  Recently I broke out the Marlborough and was pleasantly surprised. What I was most surprised by was the fact that I liked the Marlborough more than then Windsor…and i like the Windsor a lot!  Before this week, I had three “go to” shave soaps in my cabinet, and the Windsor was one of them.  Now I have to add the Marlborough.  The lather was fantastic.  I loaded my Semogue 1305 boar brush for about 30 seconds and had more than enough lather for three passes.  Additionally, I used my Edwin Jagger DE89 with a…

Five Real Reasons Why You Should Switch to a DE Safety Razor

1961 Gillette Sure, you could shave with a DE (double edge) safety razor because that’s “how a man shaves”. Or you could switch because you want to shave the way your grand-pappy did.  You might even switch because you think someday someone will walk into your bathroom, see your shaving setup and be impressed.  Those are all reasons, but they certainly aren’t good reasons for YOU to make the change.  The reasons I just gave above are more about someone else’s perception of you.  That is never a reason to change anything about yourself.  Below you will find a list of real reasons to switch to a DE safety razor that directly affect you. 1. You will get a better shave Without a doubt the most important reason to switch to a DE safety razor is the quality of the shave.  To me a quality shave is marked by the closeness of the shave and the lack of irritation of the skin.  I’m sure your first comment is “well, don’t five blades shave closer than one?”  Absolutely not.  Shaving is not about cutting all the…

Product Review: Barrister and Mann Roam Shaving Soap

I ordered a pack of samples from Barrister & Mann several weeks ago, and had been really looking forward to trying some of their soaps.  I had begun to wonder if the only high quality shaving soaps came from Europe when I started hearing some good things about this Cooperstown, NY, USA based company, but I had to try for myself.  Because the Barrister & Mann soaps are made in small batches, the samples available are dependent on their current production schedule.  Once I received my samples, which were individually packaged and easy to sort, I had to decide which one to try first.  So I went back to Barrister & Mann to read some descriptions.  Here is the description posted for the “Roam” scent: A real cowboy “Inspired by the rugged individualism of American cattle ranchers, we blended the aromas of real pipe tobacco absolute, smoke, leather, herbs, damp earth, and grass into a bright, robust scent reminiscent of life on the open range. Timeless and virile, Roam hearkens back to the days of the Old West.” Giddy-up! Below the descriptions of their soaps, Barrister & Mann advises in bold that their soaps are…

In Defense of the Manicure for Men

1940s manicure kit for men I used to manage an upscale restaurant, and the corporate management had a policy that all managers were required to get weekly manicures, both men and women.  This policy extended from the CEO down to the newest assistant manager, and everyone in between.  Do I think every manager in the company followed the policy?  No. I don’t.  However, I did, and I loved it.  To this day I still get manicures (maybe not every week), and you should too. In my opinion, manicures provide health benefits, style benefits and social benefits.  First, the health benefits.  Your hands are dirty.  You may not even realize it, but your hands come in contact with more dirt than any other part of your body.  That dirt then gets stuck under your nails, and can lead to numerous health issues.  Sure, you wash your hands and take showers.  Maybe you even use a nail scrubber.  But you need to get that dirt out of there before it causes real problems.  The last thing you want is an infection or a cracked nail or just gross hands.  A simple hand massage, which usually comes with a manicure, can…

Product Review: Cella Shave Soap Cream

Cella Shave Soap Cream It seems like everyone is trying to get into the wet shaving game today.  From P&G buying The Art of Shaving to the artisans on Etsy, there are so many new products out there.  My guess is that it’s only a matter of time before these folks move on from just wet shaving and into actual DE safety razor shaving and straight razor shaving.  Without commenting on the quality of these other vendors, it’s nice to know there are some companies out there with real experience in the world of wet shaving.  Cella is one.  These guys have been around for over a hundred years.  And in all that time the Cella Shave Soap Cream has not really changed.  I had been reading great things about this soap, but I had to see for myself.  Can something from the 19th century be as good or better as some of the new shaving products out there?  Here’s what I found out. There were two things I noticed the first time I opened my tub of Cella.  First was the texture.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from…