I traveled out of town on a four day trip, this past weekend. As I didn't want to check any baggage, I left my Derby razor blades, Tabac, C&EBBB, Proraso Pre/Post cream, and AS at home. All I took was my razor (sans blades) and my alum block. When I got to my destination, I planned on buying some cheap supplies.
For blades I went to Wal-Mart and got the personnas (I've had good experiences with them before). At Sally's I picked up some cheap Master Bay Rum (a new favorite). As I was just on a quick trip, I didn't want to bother with getting a cheap brush. So, consequently, I actually picked up a can () of Barbasol. I just resigned myself to some razor burn and sub-par shaves.
What a shocking surprise... Perhaps my technique has improved tremendously in the last four months. I was able to get Damn Fine Shaves every day of my trip by just shaving in the shower with Barbasol and the Wal-Mart blades. No elaborate prep was needed. No brush or fancy soaps. And I got no razor burn at all. NONE.
This was a little disturbing to me. It has shaken the pillars of my new found beliefs in the cult of wetshaving. A can of Barbasol produced a wonderfully close shave, with no razor burn, in about half the time I would ordinarily take to shave. I didn't know what to think.
When I got home to my first shave, yesterday, although I had all of my fancy gear on the counter waiting for me, I couldn't shake the quickness and convenience of my Barbasol in the shower, so I snubbed the C&E BBB and Tabac for the can of goo....and got a fabulous shave. My confusion was exacerbated.
This morning I was intrigued with another thought... Perhaps I really don't need that super-elaborate prep? (Pre-shave had previously included shower, Proraso pre/post, hot towel for 3 min, pre-shave oil.) I decided to skip the shower completely, just put hot water on my face for about 30-45 seconds, and then lather up with Barbasol and shave at the sink. Incredibly, I got a pretty damn good shave with only very, very mild razor burn (none on my neck).
What is going on here!? I feel like a traitor; A heretic to my new found religion. The sad thing is that, now that I know that I can get by with much, much less prep, and that I don't even really need the fancy brush or soaps, I'll find it hard to go back.