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Thread: MWF - A Newb's Review

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    Default MWF - A Newb's Review

    Well,

    I recently got my puck of MWF from a fellow B&B member. Thanks BullGoose!

    I thought I would post a quick "newb's" review of the stuff...I've read the hype, I've read the naysayers...I know there are some newb's looking for their next acquisition and contemplating this stuff.

    I just finished my first shave with it...I figure I'll post this "one shave in" review and again after I've completed a full week of shaves with it.

    Up til now, I've shaved with:
    TOBS Almond Cream
    Proraso Green Tub Soap
    Col Conk's Amber Glycerine
    TGQ - Desert Ironwood, Cavendish Black, Provenance Lavender, Highlander Cream, Oak Moss Cream

    After a month of DE shaves (2 months of brush/quality cream and soap though) I felt prepared for my MWF experience.

    First off, if you are contemplating a "first soap" MWF is not for you. It is a bit tricky to get the right lather. I practiced last night and again this morning. You have to have a pretty dry brush compared to other soaps and the soap puck itself should be lightly sprinkled with water. I brushed pretty vigorously on the puck and then lathered my face...gobs of lather. By the time the second pass came around though, the stuff needed a little tweak (which is fine...my month of other soaps taught me this). It took a little more work and a little more tweaking to get through pass 3 & 4.

    That said, it offered a decent shave. If you are a scent guy, this stuff is NOT for you. Its a very mild, nice clean scent but nowhere near as robust as say TGQ Desert Ironwood. If you want to be "woken up" in the morning by the scent of your soap, look elsewhere.

    After the shave, I finished with Proraso ASB and a Cold Towel. I can honestly say that my face feels different, and softer...which is really what this lanolin filled stuff is all about.

    That said...after only one day of MWF shaving...IMHO if you're a brand new newb with no soap experience, give yourself a month with something more forgiving before buying MWF. If you're a more experienced newb...by all means try it out! I'm guessing as time goes on, I'm really going to love this stuff.
    Chris

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    good luck with the future shaves!
    Adam

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    Nice review. I think you're right in that the face feel is a key component of MWF once mastered. I own and use MWF, but it doesn't come up in the rotation as often because of its' relative lack of scent (there is a scent, of course, but it's not something that one would come to specifically crave, IMHO). Still, I'll have to give it another go in the next couple of days in honor of your fine review.
    Chad

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ru4scuba? View Post
    First off, if you are contemplating a "first soap" MWF is not for you. It is a bit tricky to get the right lather.
    I still don't get this - it was my first soap and right out of the blocks I got huge quantities of good cushioning lather. As I'm not one for creating washing up, I'm a face latherer - maybe that's where I'm "going wrong with going wrong" with MWF (or perhaps I'm not trying hard enough to make it go wrong)

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    I use this under the 'Kent' brand... Love it! Not much of a scent but the lather is extraordinary!
    ~Mark~

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    Quote Originally Posted by SepticTank View Post
    I still don't get this - it was my first soap and right out of the blocks I got huge quantities of good cushioning lather. As I'm not one for creating washing up, I'm a face latherer - maybe that's where I'm "going wrong with going wrong" with MWF (or perhaps I'm not trying hard enough to make it go wrong)
    I agree. I have never had a problem lathering MWF. Now, If I used a "pretty dry brush" as stated in the OP, I would have all sorts of problems. No water, no lather. I am also a face latherer, I load the wet brush with soap by swirling on the soap a few times then I go to my face and there I create enough thick and moisturizing lather to last for several passes. I still don't get it with the lathering problem. But maybe the lack of water in the brush and soaking the soap prior to use have something to do with your soap performance. Or the "hard water" issue.

    Raf
    [I]"A well lathered face is half a good shave"[/I]

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    Thanks to your great review,...... Im using MWF tomorrow morning.... I love the stuff!
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ru4scuba? View Post
    I'm guessing as time goes on, I'm really going to love this stuff.
    The wonders of Mitchell's Wool Fat SS really begin to show themselves after continued use...

    I used my MWF this morning, and it was an extraordinary shave
    - Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ru4scuba? View Post

    I can honestly say that my face feels different, and softer...which is really what this lanolin filled stuff is all about. I'm guessing as time goes on, I'm really going to love this stuff.
    I hope you end up loving the MWF. After your comprehensive review, I know what I'm using for tomorrow's shave.
    Bullgoose Shaving: Pitralon Aftershaves, XPEC, ABC, D.R. Harris, Le Pere Lucien, iKon, Geo F. Trumper, Vie-Long & More

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    I've read the hard water effects on MWF. I have hard water here in our townhome and I'm thinking that it probably affects it some. Like I said, I got gobs of lather out of a bowl (not the face)...but it did dry in the bowl after pass 1 and then again (and more so) after pass 2 and 3. That was the reason behind my suggestion of it being a slightly difficult lather.

    Again, keep in mind...I prefaced my review by saying that it was my first shave with the stuff...give me a week and I'll finish my post with more data.
    Chris

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    A pump of Kiss My Face (peach in my case) will fix MWS's frangrance issue. I've switched from creams to soaps, so I just use my creams to "flavor" MWF now.

    -Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpio View Post
    I have never had a problem lathering MWF. Now, If I used a "pretty dry brush" as stated in the OP, I would have all sorts of problems. No water, no lather.
    I agree with the wet brush technique.

    I give my brush a gentle shake after soaking then move to the puck and really work it for at least thirty seconds. I then move to my face and lather for a good couple of minutes, adding drops of water as needed to the brush. I never fail to produce mountains of lathery goodness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Seeker View Post
    I never fail to produce mountains of lathery goodness.
    I did just that this morning with MWF. WOW! What a great lather...and I personally like the unique scent!
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antique Hoosier View Post
    and I personally like the unique scent!
    Same here.. Pleasant but non-intrusive.
    ~Mark~

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    Quote Originally Posted by markb View Post
    Same here.. Pleasant but non-intrusive.
    Same here as well. I love the clean smell.

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    MWF is a pretty soft soap and can dry out, especially in the winter time. Throw a shot glass or two of warm water on it tonight and see what you have in the morning.

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    Can anyone compare MWF to Tabac for me? MWF is on my short list of next to try, and I just tried tabac for the first time this morning. It's my first tallow based soap. For soaps I've tried trumper's, HBS, mama bear, TOBS, SCS, and col conk, but none left my face feeling like tabac did. Very interestingly soft. Like, it was nice and slick to shave with, but dried out very fast. By the time I did both cheeks and was moving to the neck, my cheeks were literally dry, and soft, so I could grab them to stretch for the neck. I've never been able to do this with any other soap as they are always still wet and slick. The lather that was not in areas I shave, like under my ears and the very bottom of my neck dried out so fast too, you could see it was dried and cracking in between passes. Very interesting stuff. I really did like the feel of my face when I was done though. The only bad thing, and it's not that bad, is that it dries so fast that it's interesting for doing touchup. Normally I can touchup most areas without relathering, but with the tabac I HAD to touch up because otherwise I was shaving dry. Is MWF a lot like this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pj_rage View Post
    Can anyone compare MWF to Tabac for me?
    Partly.

    I had my first MWF shave a couple of days ago but that was with a two-day blade on its third day. So, I will need to try again. But first, I need to recalibrate my expectations by going back to my standby Tabac with a new blade then re-do the MWF.

    I can say that despite rumors of difficulty lathering that was not the case with me. Lathered up just fine, and quickly too.
    I have a strong moral sense - by my standards. -- Rex Stout

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    Havent tried Tabac...so unfortunately, I can't compare.

    I'm on my third day of MWF...going to wait til Friday this week to finish this thread out. As the days have gone on though, my lathering technique is markedly improved with this soap.

    I've also switched to face lathering this week...which may have helped!
    Chris

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    I have been using both Tabac and Kent branded MWF. I can summarize the experience thusly: Tabac gives it up easily (lather that is), MWF makes you work for it.

    My first experience with Kent soap was unerwhelming. I used a Kent BK4 brush, and tried to bowl lather. I did get lather, but it seemed a bit dry. Adding obviously (in hindsight) too much water, and the lather disintegrated into nothingness. OK, start again... Less water this time I note. Lather appeared, though lubricating enough to get the job done, it felt thin and not very creamy.

    Second day... Time for my old standy brush: EJ BBB. Approached the puck with a soaked then shaken out brush (as the tutorial instructs), swirled on the puck for 30 seconds or so, then worked it in my bowl for a good 5 minutes, and again got a usable but underwhelming lather. I found it dried out very quickly - I had to add water to my brush after each pass, and sometimes even relather during a pass. Again I found there was sufficient lubrication, but no cushion or creaminess that I expect from a good tallow soap. I must be doing something wrong.

    Third day... I'm gonna get it today, I simply must. Lots of water this time, along with my trusty EJ BBB. Face lathering instead of my bowl. Well, I might as well have shaved with just hot water (which does actually work by the way). Drops of thin (almost soupy) soap and water went flying all over the bathroom as I furiously and ineffectually scrubbed away with the brush. I'm so glad I didn't spend silly amounts of money on this stuff... Maybe it's just not for me.

    Fourth day... I feel as though I'm flogging a dead horse, but I'm too stubborn to let it go now. I break out my Omega boar bristle brush. Throw some hot water on the pick and let it soak for a few minutes. Hit that puck with the boar bristle good and hard, adding water drop by drop as I went. Lathering directly on the puck for at least a minute, I think I somehow broke through the pucks outer defense layer! More lather appeared than ever had before, and even better yet it was thick and creamy just like Tabac.

    I think I found the secret; I just needed MORE SOAP! While Kent/MWF will give you some sypmathy lather early on, to get the good stuff you have to work the puck thoroughly. Once I was actually able release a respectable amount of the tallowy goodness into my brush, it was a top performer. Incredibly slick, lots of creaminess and cushion, stayed wet between passes, and not an overpowering scent. After using the Palmolive shave sticks, I should have known better, as they too can be slow to release soap when they are new... If you fail to release enough product, you are doomed to thin lather. Do it properly, and you are immediately and bountifully rewarded!

    As I tend to use ASB and/or moisturizers after shaving anyway, I haven't yet noticed the fabled MWF moisturizing subtleties. Admittedly I've only got one good day under my belt, so I'll keep on for another week and perhaps my opinion will change.

    While Kent/MWF can create a lather on par with Tabac, in my mind it does not surpass, so I guess in the end I'm a "cheap and easy" kind of guy after all. The Tabac just gives me what I want, and doesn't demand a whole lot in return.
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." Albert Einstein

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