zondag 6 juli 2014

Wickham Soap Company Super Smooth Shaving Soap Bay Rum

Introduction

On Wednesday, February 19th, I received a PM from TSR member Fox with the question of if he could send a sample of his Super Smooth Shaving Soap line. I then accepted his offer and selected the Bay Rum variant.

And most likely I was one of the first Dutch people to tryout this new British artisan shaving soap, and it feels quite frankly as an honor and I am very happy with it.

The Wickham Soap Company was set up after owner Darron discovered that amongst members of shaving forums there is much interest for new shaving soaps. And then he decided to perfect the shaving soap that he initially made for his own use and bring to the market.

If you are interested in even more information about the start of Wickham Soap Company then it is perhaps interesting to read this topic on TSR.

Packaging

Darron has made ​​an interesting choice for the packaging, and opted for a very wide narrow tub. The reason for this choice is so that there is enough room to use even the biggest shaving brushes.

Wickham Soap Company Super Smooth Shaving Soap

For comparison I took a Monsavon shaving soap tub and put it besides the Super Smooth. And the tub of the Super Smooth is 4.5cm wider and 3cm narrower than the Monsavon shaving soap tub.

Width compared with a Monsavon shaving soap tub

Due to lack of funds Darron has selected a cheaper plastic packaging. But it is his ambition to eventually start using a better more luxurious packaging, although I personally find nothing wrong with this plastic packaging.

Performance and scent

I have whipped up this shaving soap using the method for soft shaving soaps, and have thereby generously used product. And eventually that resulted in a nice thick lather and a shaving brush full with lather, as in the picture shown below.


Also, the quality of the lather is very good and protects the skin also very good and it doesn't dry on the skin. Furthermore, the lather also ensures that the safety razor glides smoothly over the skin.

A scent is always difficult to describe and that is also the case here, but it is a lovely fresh scent which I clearly smell a hint of lime in. I find the scent also a little bit resembling the Crabtree & Evelyn West Indian Lime.

Price and availability

The Wickham Soap Company Shaving Soap is sold by Gallant and Klein for € 18,30 and is available in the scents Bay Rum, Garden Mint, Club Cola, English Lavender, Southsea Spray.

The shaving soap can also be bought straight from the own website from Wickham Soap Company, but only samples are available on the moment of writing.

Conclusion

The performance and quality of this new shaving soaps are very good, and it also smells very delicious. However, this shaving soap is very pricey for a shaving soap, but there is a good explanation for that. And that explanation is that it is a handmade shaving soap and not mass produced and it offers more exclusive scents.

So basically this shaving soap offers a low value for money performance wise although it belongs to the top, but in comparison with other luxurious British shaving brands like Geo F Trumpers and DR Harris its not so expensive at all.

woensdag 25 juni 2014

Whippeddog 24MM Silvertip Badger Shaving Brush

Introduction

I actually wasn't really looking for a new shaving brush, but I was already for more then one year interested in the silvertip badger shaving brushes from Whippeddog. And that's why I finally decided to buy one anyway.

The Whippeddog shaving brushes are on the internet best known for its outstanding value for your money. Because you get a silvertip shaving brush for a very sharp price compared to other brands like Muhle and Edwin Jagger for example.

I personally have chosen to put the knot 10mm deeper for $ 5 extra, because that results in a knot length of total 45mm. Setting the knot on 45mm would ensure that the shaving brush has more backbone, which is especially useful when you face lather.

First impression

Whippeddog sends the shaving brushes in a small envelope and therefore the hair is flattened and the knot seems much smaller than it really is. I also noticed how big the handle is in proportion to the knot, and especially in the beginning it was something to get used to.

Whippeddog 24MM Silvertip Badger Shaving Brush

I personally think the knot doesn't look big, but rather chubby, and that is because the knot is set 10mm deeper into the handle. I honestly expected that the tips of the hair would be white, but that is with this shaving brush more beige/white.

User experience

It took about 3 to 4 shaves to break-in the shaving brush. Already during the break-in period I noticed how soft the shaving brush feels to the face during face lathering, and actually this is just another wow feeling.

I also notice that this silvertip shaving brush has more than enough backbone and it definitely doesn't feel floppy, and I suspect that I own that by letting the knot to be set deeper in the handle.

If I compare the softness of the hairs with the Virginiasheng Finest Badger Shaving Brush, then the hair from the Whippeddog 24MM Silvertip clearly feel even softer to the face, and this results in an even more luxurious feeling.

However, I have to use more product with this shaving brush then with my Virginiasheng Finest Badger Shaving brush. And that is because of the larger knot of this shaving brush, because usually it is so that a larger shaving brush also uses more product.

Shaving Brush full with Imgram lather

I'm able to whip up plenty of lather with this shaving brush for more than two or three shave passes. However, the difference in the amount of whipped up lather in comparison with the Virginiasheng Finest Shaving Brush is negligible.

Build quality

I honestly can not say anything bad about the build quality, and the build quality is totally fine. The quality of the imitation ivory handle I find pretty good, and does not look cheap.

Also, the knot of this shaving brush is well filled with badger hair, and that shows the high density of the badger knot.

But most important, I personally find the knot itself, because if it would lose a lot of hair then that is disadvantageous for the life of the shaving brush. Luckily this shaving brush loses a minimum of hair, and that was even the case with first shave.

Price and availability

You can buy the Whippeddog 24MM Silvertip Shaving Brush via the website from Whippeddog for $ 30 or $ 34 when you are living outside the USA.

By the way, you don't need to be afraid charged by the customs, because Larry puts $ 10 on the customs form.

Conclusion

The Whippeddog 24MM Silvertip Shaving Brush is a luxurious badger shaving brush with the highest grade of badger hair, for a fraction of the price of similar Edwin Jagger shaving brushes for example.

However, this shaving brush is a less dramatic improvement in comparison to the Virginiasheng Finest badger Shaving Brush. But personally I find this shaving brush is worth every penny because silvertip badger is more expensive because it is scarce.





zondag 22 juni 2014

De Vergulde Hand Shaving Soap

Introduction

De Vergulde Hand is the most famous and oldest Dutch shaving brand that still has the classic shaving soap for sale. De Vergulde Hand is next to the oldest Dutch shaving brand also probably the oldest registered shaving brand in the world, namely 460 years old.

De Vergulde Hand Nostalgia

De Vergulde Hand seems to be quite popular among foreigners and people are apparently willing to pay three times so much for it. I must confess that I have difficulty to understand why this shaving soap is so popular among foreigners.

By the way De Vergulde Hand is translated in English to The Gilded Hand.

Packaging

De Vergulde Hand Shaving Soap comes in a small cheap plastic tub containing the shaving soap puck.

De Vergulde Hand Shaving Soap

I personally think the packaging of De Vergulde Hand is very practical to use, and it is also very easy to load the shaving brush full with shaving soap. I also find that the packaging has quite a retro look, and I personally find that nice.


The most beautiful thing about the shaving soap I think is actually the fancy-looking logo, and in a wooden shaving soap bowl that also looks very luxury.

Performance and scent

I personally find the performance of this shaving soap average and shaving soap is easy to whip into a thick rich lather, and a shaving brush fully filled with lather enough for three passes.


The quality of the lather is basically good and also doesn't dry on the skin, and also makes sure that the safety razor can glide smoothly over the skin. However during the shaves I noticed that the lather doesn't protect the skin good, and I think this is a very important feature a lather should have.

The scent is best described as a classic fresh soap scent with a hint of citrus, and personally I find the scent doesn't smell old fashioned and perhaps it is precisely the scent why De Vergulde Hand is so popular among foreigners.

Price and availability

Remark group the company behind De Vergulde Hand does basically not export De Vergulde Hand outside the Netherlands. However some vendors like West Coast Shaving sell it for $ 7,99 and you can always ask a Dutch guy like me.

In the Netherlands De Vergulde Hand is sold for € 1,79 in drugstores and supermarkets, and sometimes there is a promotion for De Vergulde Hand.

Conclusion

I personally consider De Vergulde Hand Shaving Soap as an average shaving soap, and that is mainly because this shaving soap doesn't protect the skin good during the shaving.

Despite the inferior performance of this shaving soap, I still think De Vergulde Hand Shaving Soap offers a good value mainly because its a long lasting shaving soap.

vrijdag 20 juni 2014

Ingram Shaving Cream

Introduction

I have already written about this menthol shaving cream from Great Britain once before on my Dutch shaving blog, however I was planning for quite a while to write a new article about this shaving cream.

The Ingram Shaving Cream is produced in the United Kingdom by Lornamead which is owned by the Li and Fung group. By the way this is one of the oldest brands in the United Kingdom where you can still buy the shaving cream from.

Packaging

The Ingram Shaving Cream comes just like most shaving creams in a cardboard box containing the tube of shaving cream. The tube of the Ingram Shaving Cream does however resembles a tube of toothpaste, thanks to the white colour of the tube.

Ingram Shaving Cream

On the packaging you can actually find instructions for using this shaving cream, and in my opinion these instructions are quite good and I personally also follow these instructions when using this shaving cream.

Performance and scent

The Ingram Shaving Cream contains besides menthol also woolfat and this ensures that the skin feels soft after shaving and doesn't dry out. I find the performance of this shaving cream personally very good, and the shaving cream ensures that the safety razor glides smoothly over my skin and also protects the skin good.

However I have to use quite a lot of product so that I can whip up enough lather for a two or three passes shave, but I personally don't mind that really.


Thanks to the menthol in the shaving cream feels this shaving cream really cold and that gives a slightly feeling like your face becomes numbed. Personally I find that this shaving cream feels colder to the face then the Proraso Green Shaving Cream.

The scent I find hard to describe, but it smells clearly minty and fairly classic and in the beginning I had to get used to the scent, but I find the scent really relaxing.

Price and availability

The Ingram Shaving Cream is sold in the United Kingdom at Superdrug for £ 1,79 and if you are located in the USA then you can buy the Ingram Shaving Cream online from West Coast Shaving for $ 5,00.

Conclusion

The Ingram Shaving Cream is the coldest menthol shaving cream which I've tried so far. Personally the Ingram Shaving Cream is one of my favourite shaving creams, and especially during the hot weather I like to use the Ingram Shaving Cream.

Furthermore, I am very satisfied with the performance and scent of this shaving cream, and I find that this shaving cream offers a very good value for money.



dinsdag 17 juni 2014

Wilkinson Sword Shaving Stick

Introduction

Last year in the summer I decided to go with my bike to Aachen Germany, to look if I could still find something that I hadn't bought yet. In the end I only came back with a Wilkinson Sword Shaving Stick, where I had read great things about.

This shaving stick is also often nicknamed the Mitchell's Wool Fat in stick form, that is because it contains Woolfat.

Packaging

The Wilkinson Sword Shaving Stick comes in a small carton box, and on the sides you can find shaving soap translated in seven languages, like German, Spanish, Dutch and French.

Wilkinson Sword Shaving Stick

For the rest there is nothing special about the packaging, and it just contains the shaving stick packed in tinfoil with an useful holder to hold the shaving stick.


Performance and scent

I have used the Wilkinson Sword Shaving Stick quite often, and almost already finished the first one. To use the shaving stick you simply make it wet and apply it straight to your face, and then you just start face lathering.

The color of the shaving soap is blue

The performance of the Wilkinson Sword Shaving Stick is really outstanding, and creates an rich thick lather enough for two or three passes. The quality of the lather is really superb, and it provides a very good glide and protects the skin very good and also doesn't dry the skin out.

Describing the is quite hard, but it would be best to describe it as an mild soap scent, which I personally think smells very pleasant.

Price and availability

In Germany you can buy the Wilkinson Sword Shaving Stick for € 1,45 from the Rossmann drugstore, I don't know if you can buy the Wilkinson Sword Shaving Stick locally outside Germany.

But I do know you can buy two of them for £ 5,00 from Connaught Shaving or £ 2,99 for one from Maguires Barbershop, and for people who life in the USA, West Coast Shaving sells the Wilkinson Sword Shaving Stick for $ 6,00.

Conclusion

Wilkinson Sword offers with this shaving stick a outstanding shaving soap which is from high quality, and offers a great value for your money.

When comparing this shaving stick to the Palmolive Classic Shaving Stick its definitely worth paying the extra money for this shaving stick, because it performs better than the Palmolive Classic Shaving Stick.

By the way, this isn't the same shaving soap as the normal Wilkinson Sword shaving soap in blue bowl, which I heard isn't great shaving soap.

zaterdag 14 juni 2014

Virginiasheng Finest Badger Shaving Brush

Introduction

In January this year I bought on eBay a Finest Badger Shaving brush with a imitation ivory handle from seller Virginiasheng.

Virginiasheng is for most people a unknown seller, but nevertheless I was able to find positive experiences about this seller on B&B, and that was enough for me to take the risk.

First impression

The first thing that I noticed about this shaving brush is that the handle got quite a firm feel, and weights about 50gram total.

I also noticed that this shaving brush has quite a small handle, and the shaving brush total length is about 15mm smaller then my Edwin Jagger Best Black Badger which got a total length of 115mm.

Virginiasheng Finest Badger Shaving Brush

The handle measures about 4cm, and the length from the loft is about 55mm, and the knot size is 20mm. Personally I really think this shaving brush looks very nice, and I especially like the imitation ivory handle which gives this brush quite a luxury feeling.

Comparison with Edwin Jagger Best Black Badger

User experience

It took me about 2 a 3 shaves to break-in the shaving brush, and already during the first shave I noticed how soft the hair feel to the face, but definitely not floppy.

When I compare the softness of the tips to my pure badger then its really a big difference, and it gave me really a wow feeling.



Furthermore I'm able to whip up plenty of lather with this shaving brush for a two or three pass shave. I also noticed that this shaving brush doesn't lose a lot of hairs, and even with the first shave it almost lost none.  I also noticed that this Finest Badger Shaving Brush absorbs more water then my pure badger brushes.

Build quality

There is really nothing wrong with the build quality of this shaving brush, so I can not say anything bad about it and also the quality of the imitation ivory handle is good.

But the most important part is not the handle, but the the knot and I would say Virginiasheng or her workers really seem to know very good how to place a knot inside a handle. And often people in online communities have prejudices about Chinese shaving brushes, but in this case they are not true at all.

Price and availability

You can buy the Virginiasheng Finest Badger for about $ 16 from eBay with a choice out of different handles and knot sizes.

Conclusion

The Virginiasheng Finest Badger Shaving Brush offers really a good value for your money, and in most countries it impossible to find a ( finest ) badger brush for the same money.

Personally I really think this a excellent shaving brush for both beginners and more experienced wetshavers.



dinsdag 10 juni 2014

Chinese Gillette Tech

Introduction

Gillette is most likely for everyone a well known brand worldwide. But what not everyone knows is that Gillette made very good safety razors in the past. One of these safety razors was called the Gillette Tech, and they made many different kinds of this safety razor.

But somewhere at the end of the 80s Gillette stopped producing safety razors, and today you can only buy Gillette cartridge razors in the western part of the world. And of course for these cartridges you have to pay a fortune, as one cartridge would cost more than € 4.

However, when I was in China I saw a very cheap Gillette Safety Razor in the PARKnSHOP supermarket. At first I didn't buy it because it honestly looked very cheap with the plastic handle. But later when I was again in China I bought it anyway because I changed my mind.

Packaging and design

The Chinese Gillette Tech comes in a paper card packaging, which contains the safety razor and one Super Gillette Blue blade. They guy who is being shown on the packaging and the blade is King Gillette.

Chinese Gillette Tech

In the first impression the design may look cheap and simple, but I think the design is actually quite good. Because the handle from the safety razor is about 11cm, and that is much longer than the average safety razor which mostly have a smaller handle.

Handle from the Chinese Gillette Tech

The plastic handle may look very cheap, but its a very practical handle because of the ridge lines that offer a very good grip. The coolest thing about this safety razor is actually the razor head with the old school Gillette logo.

Gillette Tech razor head

User experience

I own this safety razor for more then one year, and its one of the safety razors I have used the most, and I consider it to be my second safety razor in use.

This safety razor is in comparisment with my Edwin Jagger DE89L much milder, but not to mild like an Weishi 9306. Because this is a mild razor that also means you won't nick or cut yourself with it fast, and this a benefit for beginners.

Despite that this is a mild safety razor I have no trouble at all shaving away a two or three days beard grow, in two passes, and I still get a smooth shave.

This safety razor is very light when compared to a heavier safety razor like the Edwin Jagger DE89L, and you won't be punished directly when exercise a little pressure on the safety razor. The light weight of this safety razor makes it actually a good safety razor for beginners who used to use a cartridge razor.

Build quality

I can give quite a good judgement of the build quality, because I have this safety razor for more then one year and I used it quite often. The build quality is in general quite good, and I can't really say anything bad about it.

But I found a little bit of wear on handle over time, but its on the part where you would screw the handle on the razor head. But for the rest the safety razor is in a good condition.

Furthermore it seems that this safety razor is also drop resistant, because I have dropped this safety razor more then once on the floor and it didn't even get one scratch. Of course you can't compare the build quality to an Edwin Jagger DE89L for example because its 10 times more expensive.

Price and availability

You can buy the Chinese Gillette Tech in China for about $ 1,50, but the easiest way is just ordering one from Tinydeal for $ 3,30 including shipping.

Conclusion

The Chinese Gillette Tech offers a outstanding value for your money, and its hard to find a better safety razor in this price class.

So if you are looking for a cheap safety razor for beginners and you don't want to spend much money, then this could be a good choice. But of course this is also a good safety razor for experienced wetshavers, and its perfect for carrying with you during travel.