So about a month ago I inherited my great grandfathers straight razor. It is in unusable, non-restorable condition, but it got me thinking. I searched and read and thought and read and eventually ended up here. I went to Wal-Mart and purchased a VDH Premium Shave Set with the green handled boar brush, green bowl, and puck of soap. I used that for a couple of weeks with my Mach 3 while trying to decide on what I wanted in a razor. In the interim I purchased three more pucks of soap from Pirates Cove. I just wanted to give something else a try, and they got decent reviews and were cheap enough. I ordered the lime, sandalwood, and lavender scents. I used them all with my Mach 3 over the next week, and they seemed to be decent to me. I was getting a decent lather in the bowl, but nothing great. It was also fairly inconsistent, sometimes it was really good, and others a little lackluster. It was always good enough that when I applied my Aqua Velva Ice Blue, I never got a burn. I'd usually then apply some Nivea balm because my skin tends to dry out. Things were going really well, and I was enjoying wet shaving. The bowl that came with the shave set slipped out of my hands a couple times, so I replaced it with a thrift store stoneware coffee mug so I had a handle to hold onto. Three days ago I tried face lathering and like it a lot better. I get a more consistent lather, and it just seems easier to me. After reading reviews on here, and seeing results, I ordered a Whipped Dog sight unseen and poor mans strop. It arrived today. Being the excitable individual that I am, I couldn't wait to try it. I ran a sink full of hot water, put a little water on top of the lime soap, and put my brush in the sink. I then took a nice hot shower. I got out, drained the water off the soap, squeezed the excess out of my brush, and began to load up. I spent a minute or so working a good lather onto my face, picked up the straight, and it was time to get to it. I'm terrible with my left hand, so I do all my shaving with my right, and that works fine for me. That worked fine for me with the straight too. I made a full WTG pass and rinsed my face. I noticed a couple of places that needed a little attention, so I lathered up and went ahead and made another full WTG pass. I noticed as I was shaving that I was getting a burning sensation from the lather. I think the lime might be out for me. Problem areas were the usual, around my jawline, adams apple, and upper lip. Up until 2 days ago I had a rather large mustache, so I knew the upper lip was going to be a problem anyways. Splashed on the AS, and my cheeks had a little burn, but my lip was on FIRE. It also had a couple of weepers that I rubbed a styptic over. I usually shave every 2 days, so we'll see how things go on Wednesday.
VDH Boar Brush
Pirates Cove Lime Soap
Whipped Dog Straight
Aqua Velva Ice Blue AS
Things learned so far:
I prefer face lathering to bowl lathering.
The lime soap is out for my face...oh the burn.
Longer strokes worked better for me than shorter strokes.
My upper lip is on fire! Hopefully it will adjust soon.