What is the Best Shaving Cream?

shave soapWhat is the best shaving cream? A question that can only really be answered by the shaver. But with an enormous number of choice out there it is always nice to have a starting point. So below is to my top five list of shave creams that I have used that I would consider the best shaving cream that I have come across.

In order for any best of any value there has to be some sort basis of comparison along with a list of elements to compare. If you haven’t used one of the soaps listed below you will have to give one a go in order to find out if we are on the same wavelength when it comes to shave creams. If we are great! You can trust my reviews even more, if not I guess you should be focusing on reviews of creams that I did not enjoy.

To keep things simple my choice are based on a combination of:

Efficacy: The most obvious. The all around performance of the shave cream in provided a irritation free shave, sufficient cushion, and moisturizing ability.

Scent pleasantness: A category that is really based on the user, but if you have used one of the shave creams below you will have a basis to go off of.

Cost: Not so much how cheap you can purchase it, but rather value for you dollar.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado – I haven’t come across a Taylor of Old Bond Street Cream that I didn’t really enjoy in some way, but the Avocado was one of the first I used and has a very distinct smell that it is always my go to recommendation for anyone who asks what cream they should try.

La Toja Shave Cream – A scent that really needs to be experience to be explained properly, not to mention a great shave.

Proraso Blue – Proraso is one of the staples of the male grooming world and I’m not sure that they produce very many items that are not enjoyable. They are probably most famous for the Green scent, but I would have to say that their Blue line is my favorite.

Speick Shave Cream – Like the La Toja a scent that really needs to be experienced to be understood.  I gave my partially used tube away to a friend and I regretted it.

Sapone da Barba Al’s Private Stock – Al’s Private Stock is a great example of what the wet shaving world has to offer.  As far as I know it is only available online but most definitely worth it.

What would your list look like? Add your list in the comment section below.

Rothschild Apothecary Handcrafted Soaps

IMG_20150517_094105A few weeks back I received a couple of handcrafted soaps from Rothschild Apothecary; a Tobacco Flower and a Black Tea & Tobacco. Two scents that I would have never considered using in the past, simply due to the mention of tobacco was present, but I am now glad that I have had the chance.

If you are unfamiliar with Rothschild Apothecary they are worth a look.  They have a good selection of products, competitive prices, and great customer service.

Both soaps provided an great shave experience. They both lathered very easily – an enjoyable experience – producing a full and creamy lather that applied easily. Providing a nice cushion and a decent amount of slickness.

IMG_20150517_094205If you are like me, and the idea of using a tobacco scented soap turns you off, don’t let it. I’m sure that it is down to my ignorance but I didn’t expect the soaps to smell the way they did.  The Tobacco Flower has a sweet, slightly earthy, calming scent to it. Where as the Black Tea and Tobacco soap is less sweet, more earthy, but always with the tobacco flower scent.

The soaps from Rothschild are a great example of shaving can be an enjoyable experience. The soaps are made from 100% natural ingredients and it feels like it when you are using them. If you are looking for something new for your shave cabinet one of these soaps would make a great option.

Tools in images:

Edwin Jagger 89lbl
Edwin Jagger Best Badger



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So I bought my wife a DE razor for her birthday…

IMG_20150505_213215So I bought my wife the Edwin Jagger Heather ladies safety razor for her birthday and I received an earful from some of my co-workers.  Essentially being told that it was a terrible gift and that I was suggesting that she was overly hairy.  Let me start by saying (in case my wife is reading this) that my wife is not overly hairy.  But like many women she does use a razor from time to time. Regardless of my co-workers I stand by my gift and my wife seemed to be happy with it as well.  After all it isn’t like I purchased her a pack of disposable razors, it well designed tool that she will use on a regular basis, that looks and feel way better than any disposable.

IMG_20150505_213313The razor itself is has the same three piece head as the other 8x series line from Edwin Jagger, my go to razor being the 89lbl. It is relatively mild in terms of aggression, in my opinion making it perfect for a ladies needs.

The biggest difference of course comes in the handle itself having a subtle pearlescent coating, giving it a very feminine look. The handle doesn’t have any type of real grip, having a smooth finish, but I wouldn’t say that it is slippery. There is a small nub on the end of the razor that allows you to rest your finger on for more support. After a few weeks of use my wife has not mentioned any issues with the razor handle whatsoever.

Like the other Edwin Jagger razors I have used, the Heather has an overall good feel to it. A good amount of weight, it doesn’t feel like it will fall apart after a few uses, and there really isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t last for years.

It may have been an unconventional gift for my wife’s birthday, but in the end it is an item that she probably wouldn’t have purchased herself. It is also worth mentioning that she had started using my razors so why shouldn’t she have her own? So if you are looking for a gift for your wife or girlfriend  you may want to consider the Edwin Jagger Heather safety razor, but before placing the order I would be sure to assess if your significant other falls under my wife’s category and not that of my co-workers.

Shave Factory Shaving Brush

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The Short:

The Shave Factory Horse Hair shave brush is a low cost brush that gets the job done.

The Long:

I received a this Shave Factory shave brush in my shave select box a while back and I am finally getting around to writing some thoughts down.  It needs to be noted that this is what I would refer to as an introductory or budget type brush in both price and feel and shouldn’t or perhaps can’t be fairly compared to higher end brushes. Having said that I have to say that the brush does the job fairly well, and could probably be argued that you don’t really need much more than this.

IMG_20150420_105312Part of what makes this an affordable brush is the handle. It is a very simple construction made from what seems like pine. It’s round, it holds the brush, and that is the extent of it. In reality I guess one doesn’t really need anything more than this, but there is something to be said about a nice looking handle.

A nice feature is that the brush is made of  horse hair. Many of the brushes I have come across at this price point seem to be boar hair, so if you were looking for something just a bit difference it provides you with that. The brush itself isn’t overly dense, which should be expected I feel for a brush at this price.  It does a decent job at holding water, nothing compared to my badger hair brush, but 15 or 20 seconds was enough to get the brush wet enough to start lathering. The lathering process was straightforward as well no issues or difficulties in producing a decent lather.

I have read some reviews that complained of the brush losing hair.  After a couple of weeks of use I cannot say the same thing.  Some hair loss should be expected with any new brush and I didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary with this Shave Factory Brush.

The Shave Factory Horse Hair brush is a good option for someone starting out or simply looking for a practical brush at a good price. Of course you could spend much much more on a brush and you will receive some added benefits – better feel, or more esthetically appealing handle. But it is a bit like thinking about a BMW vs Hyundai, is the BMW more exciting  and probably feels better while driving, but in the end it gets you to your destination in much the same way the Hyundai does.