The Omega Synthetic Shaving Brush was one of five items I received in a shipment of shaving goodies yesterday. I was excited to use all of the items, which in addition to the brush included three razors and a tub of shaving cream. The only problem being that I shaved that morning, and wasn’t brave enough to re-shave only 10 hours after my previous shave. Unable to control myself I broke out the brush, some shave soap and cream, and started testing out my new brush unable to wait for the next morning (this morning) to see how well it performed with a shave.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the Omega brush when I first broke it out of its packaging. The handle was interesting, with the two tone colour and transparent plastic, but nothing really to write home about. The weight was what I expected from a plastic handled brush. It is difficult to describe the feeling of the bristles, one could definitely feel that they were not a natural material, but at the same time it isn’t far off. The biggest thing giving it away is that it has a springiness to it that doesn’t feel natural. I also felt as thought the brush could stand a bit more density, seemed a bit thin if I’m honest.
I decided to test the Omega Synthetic Brush with both a shave cream and shave soap. Starting with my, nearly finished, tub of Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado shave cream because it requires much less water than any of my hard soaps do, and if I was going to have excess water on the brush it should be with the hard soap. I was pleasantly surprised straight away. The brush held much more water than I had expected it to, only noticing when I started to build my lather, having to drain water out of the tub in order to create an expectable lather. I ran the brush under the tap for no more than 10 seconds, way less time than I would need with my boar brush. Once I removed the unneeded water I set out to build some lather and it built up fairly well and quickly, but I wasn’t able to build as rich a lather as with my badger brush. That is not to say that the lather was unusable, just not what I usually achieve.
One oddity to point out, that I noticed only after taking a look at the photos I shot, is the nearly perfectly round empty space created in the centre of the brush (reminiscent of the early stages of a black hole) when I lathered it up. Take a look at the photo on the left to see what I mean. No big deal really, I don’t think it had and effect on the lathering process, but it was so perfect hard to believe it isn’t on purpose. Freaked me out a bit.
Using the Omega shaving brush with the hard soap (Edwin Jagger Sandelwood) was a different experience altogether. The speed at which the brush built up lather was more than impressive – much quicker than my boar brush (I tend to not use my badger brush for hard soaps) – and the lather was great. I could easily see this brush as a suitable replacement for my boar brush, at least for lathering.
If the Omega Synthetic Shaving Brush has a flaw it is in the application of the lather. Not that it didn’t apply well, it did, I just wasn’t a impressed with the way it felt. Something was missing. Perhaps I am just used to the ex-foliating feeling of my boar and badger brushes, or the feeling of a natural product vs. a synthetic one, in the end it comes down to, like almost everything, personal preference.
For the price, the Omega Synthetic Shaving Brush is remarkable. It is a comfortable brush that is easy to maneuver, produces great lather (at least with hard soap), at looks decent enough on your counter. If you are not comfortable with using animal hair, or looking for an alternative to a boar brush, do not hesitate with this brush. In addition to the black handle the brush is available in red, blue and green.
Price – 5
Density – 3
Latherability – 4
Ergonomic – 4
Overall – 4