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Thread: Swirl or paint lather on face?

  1. #1

    Default Swirl or paint lather on face?

    During my straight razor shave at Truefitt & Hill in Vegas this weekend, the barber said that when I use a brush, I should swril it in circles to apply the lather to my face. When I was at Cambridge Chemists in NY the other day, I was told never to do that as the hair would then all be going in different directions. They said that I should paint it on in up and down strokes and side to side strokes, but not circles.

    I am not sure now how to proceed. Any help guys?

  2. #2
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    Try both. I'm a painter, but that's just my preference. For me, it is easier to get even distribution this way. This technique also fits best with my current brush of choice.
    -Kyle
    ...the police often question him, just because they find him interesting...his blood smells like cologne...

  3. #3
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    I tend to swirl early in the shave when my whiskers are longer and easily cut, and paint later, in the opposite direction from the one I'm preparing to cut. For me, at least, the painting action helps to stand the now-shorter whiskers up for better cutting.

    -Rich

  4. #4

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    I do both as well. I use the swirl to start, and then paint on the lather to get an even layer of thick lather.

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    I too use a combination of both. Simpson's brush instructions says to use a painting motion. The short loft of the Duke 2 and Polo 8 tend to work better for me in a painting motion. I typically use a circular motion with the longer hair of the Vulfix, SR, and Shavemacs.
    Jerry

    Tact is the art of making a point without making any enemy. Howard W. Newton

  6. #6

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    I use a painting motion on everything except the arko soap stick and my small/cheap pure badger brush. with this combo ive developed the most incredible hard soap lather ive ever made by *gasp* using every which motion AND an up and down pumping motion, i swear the pumping motion (which makes the brush look like you're beating on it) pushes out lather and water that is stuck in the brush creating a much more 'cream like' lather. if you have a cheap/small brush and the arko id recommend trying the pumping action (ps i also seem to get far better results with arko by using it as a stick and not like a soap cake). that said ive found the pumping to do nothing with my nicer/slightly larger brush or with creams, but i guess that's becuase i build creams in a bowl and soaps on my face.
    Last edited by With The Grain; 04-11-2006 at 11:02 AM.
    -James-

    Jerry: Why are you buttering your face?
    Kramer: I'm shaving with it.
    Jerry: Oh Moses smell the roses.
    Kramer: Jerry, it's vastly superior to any commercial shaving cream. Now feel my face.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    I never realized that I start off in vigorous circles followed by a criss-cross crosshatch. If I had the time, I would probably exercise another half-dozen or so patterns.. In the case you haven't determined it as yet, I enjoy lathering a great deal.
    Best regards,
    Ron
    vita non est vivere sed valere vita est

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mscott
    When I was at Cambridge Chemists in NY the other day, I was told never to do that as the hair would then all be going in different directions. They said that I should paint it on in up and down strokes and side to side strokes, but not circles.

    I am not sure now how to proceed. Any help guys?
    Truth be told, unless the stubble is grown out into free flowing, curly locks, I can't imagine a badger hair brush exerting so much torque on stubble that it changes their direction of growth.

    A wise man (OK it was Ron) told me that the real goal in applying lather with a brush was to infuse the lather and water onto the hair and skin in order to have a smooth medium for the blade to glide over (contrary to the exfoliating effect, the "get the hairs standing up" effect, and other urban shaving myths I've heard.)

    I suspect that circular motions, paint-brush motions, and James' "pump-the-brush" action all work successfully toward that end
    Cheers,

    Mustafa "[B]KUJO[/B]"
    "...and today I said, "[I][B]let there be lather[/B][/I]", created lather, and there was lather; I saw the lather, and it was good" :a2:

  9. #9

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    I swirl it all around then finish up with a few paint brush strokes for good measure. Though if I get too into the latering I can end up with a snoot full of lather.

    Cheers,
    Indy

  10. #10
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    Question How Many Ways Can One Lather?

    Lather, Lather…How do I love thee!!! Let me count the ways!!!

    I love to…

    Brush it, Build it, Rub it … Dab it, Daub it … Flick it, Flip it, Slick it … Glaze it, Skim it, Coat it … Lather it, Slather it … Mop it, Flop it, Blot it …Mound it, Pound it, Round it … Paint it, Plaster it, Pile it … Pump it, Push it, Pull it … Spread it, Smooth it … Smudge it, Smear it … Smush it, Mush it … Spin it, Sweep it … Swipe it, Wipe it … Smish it, Swish it … Swoosh it, Whoosh it … Swirl it,Twirl it and Whirl it!

    But…..I never, never, never…..SQUIRT it on!!!
    Happy Shaving, Ron the Potty Doctor

  11. #11

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    ^^^^now that's a post!
    -James-

    Jerry: Why are you buttering your face?
    Kramer: I'm shaving with it.
    Jerry: Oh Moses smell the roses.
    Kramer: Jerry, it's vastly superior to any commercial shaving cream. Now feel my face.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PottyDoctor
    Lather, Lather…How do I love thee!!! Let me count the ways!!!

    I love to…

    Brush it, Build it, Rub it … Dab it, Daub it … Flick it, Flip it, Slick it … Glaze it, Skim it, Coat it … Lather it, Slather it … Mop it, Flop it, Blot it …Mound it, Pound it, Round it … Paint it, Plaster it, Pile it … Pump it, Push it, Pull it … Spread it, Smooth it … Smudge it, Smear it … Smush it, Mush it … Spin it, Sweep it … Swipe it, Wipe it … Smish it, Swish it … Swoosh it, Whoosh it … Swirl it,Twirl it and Whirl it!

    But…..I never, never, never…..SQUIRT it on!!!
    Are you sure that you were never employed by Dr Seuss?
    -Kyle
    ...the police often question him, just because they find him interesting...his blood smells like cologne...

  13. #13

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    after rereading this and wondering why the pumping and going every which way to build up a soap cake lather didnt work with my larger brush or every soap i had to hit the bathroom and revisit it.... i can say i was completely wrong, the pumping and going in every direction works great with my better brush and every soap i have, up until today i will admit that i had been settling for medicore lather out of my soaps by painting it on. Guess i just thought they werent supposed to build lather as voluminous and meringue like as the creams i was whipping up in my bowl, but no more, the lather is truly on par with any of my creams.

    if your soap lather seems a bit thin (not runny, i had thick and heavy lather but it was thin and kept close to my face) i really suggest trying a pumping action with your brush against your face to unlock the water and lather in it.
    Last edited by With The Grain; 04-11-2006 at 06:06 PM.
    -James-

    Jerry: Why are you buttering your face?
    Kramer: I'm shaving with it.
    Jerry: Oh Moses smell the roses.
    Kramer: Jerry, it's vastly superior to any commercial shaving cream. Now feel my face.

  14. Default

    I must say I never really thought about it in terms of hair direction, rather just building a good lather on my face. Of course I've only been doing this for just over 2 weeks, so what do I know.

    My technique is to use a bowl for lathering, and then put it on my face primarily using an up & down motion while simultaneously making tiny little swirls as I move it up & down. Then I have found that if I just lightly take the tips and move the brush off more on to its side rather than straight on I can then get better lather by circling it real fast with the brush in that position. If that makes any sense, as it is harder to explain than do.
    -Steve

  15. #15
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    I prefer a logarithmic spiral.

  16. #16
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    I started out doing everything in the bowl, then applying to my face, but now I enjoy building the lather directly on my face as much as possible, only using the mug or bowl to get it started. First I do the circular motions to build the lather up, then paint it on, then wipe the sides of the brush on the edge of the bowl, and scooping that glob of lather it made in the bowl, to the tip of the brush, then slapping it on my face, ensures a great thick lather. I take probably way too long lathering my face, but hey good prep is time well spent right?
    John

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