Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Art of Shaving

While visiting my first born Ed up in Walnut Creek this last week, somehow we started talking about shaving. I mentioned how I only use a Bic disposable razor for sensitive skin with the orange handle and how I used to stock up on Yardley Lavender Lather shaving soap while in Hong Kong because you couldn't get it stateside. Ed told me how his wife Cassy bought him a very nice upscale shaving ensemble consisting of soap, razor, pre-shave conditioner and badger hair brush and how he really liked it. Cassy had bought the set at The Art of Shaving which was a short stroll from their apartment and asked if I would like to check it out. Of course I said yes as I'm always up for new and varied experiences. We went in and I was approached by a pleasant but somewhat pushy young man who started extolling the virtues of the proper shave IE with a real lather using a brush etc. etc. As I explained to him that I had been using a brush that I inherited from my Grandfather the Barber since before he was born, I was no stranger to the "art of shaving". Pure bullshit of course. My Grandfather Alfred Koch was a barber but I acquired my mug and brush in Hong Kong twenty years after his death. But I have been using the genuine mug and brush technique for over forty five years. Cest La Vie. The soap that he was trying to convince me that was indispensable to the shaving "art" was a mere $45. Forty five bucks for a cake of soap? Gee, maybe I really do look that stupid. Wink, wink, but I'm not.
Occasionally, when I stay at a upscale hotel/motel, they provide complementary soaps that are round and that fit nicely into my shaving mug. The whole stinking room is about the same price as the soap that the nice young man was trying to foist off on me. When I'm on the road, I usually just shave in the shower and rub some soap on my face and have at it.
But when I'm "spoiling myself" and want to artfully shave I do the below.
So here's the drill.
Wash your face to get the accumulated oil(s) knocked down. I actually use dishwashing liquid for this task. I know Joy or Ajax won't ex-foliate quite like the $22 60 ml. pre-shave oil, but man up and do it. Wet the brush with a lot of very hot water. Nothing moisturizes like water in my estimation. Work up a nice lather in the mug and brush it on your puss. Squeeze of the residual in the brush and smear it above your pie-hole. Let it soak in for twenty or thirty seconds and start shaving. First with the grain (down) and then if you think that you're gonna get lucky later on back up against the grain. It's like going to a girly spa for men and probably a hell of a lot cheaper.
Top off with a little after shave, I still Canoe, and your good to go.
Screw change, this is the way to get the growth off of your face.

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