Aesthetic vs. Substance

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
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never2close
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Aesthetic vs. Substance

Post by never2close » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:47 am

I have come to an epiphany of sorts. This happened after several perfect shaves with a Gillette thick handle Tech that I found in the back of my shaving supply cabinet. There are 2 basic categories of shaving accoutrements. Those that effect the enjoyment of the shave, and those that effect the quality of the shave. The "Enjoyment" category are those items that you like, but don't really effect the outcome of the shave; whereas, "Quality" category are essential to obtaining a good shave. With this in mind I have developed the aforementioned 2 lists.

They are:

Enjoyment
any good shave cream or shave soap
any good shave brush, without regard to whether it is a "soap" or "cream" brush

Quality
Pre-shave application (such as Trumpers Skin food for me)
Razor
Blade
Post shave treatment (such as Thayers Witch Hazel for me)

Curious what others think of my analysis. Bottom line from my observation, one should limit the variables of the "Quality" components, but you can have as many as you like in the "Enjoyment" category because they don't have a real impact on your shave results.

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Persius
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Post by Persius » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:02 pm

I'd have to concur with your list.

I'm still looking for "my" quality AS treatment ...

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jww
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Post by jww » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:13 pm

I would add that if it doesn't add to the shave, it doesn't get used again. ymmv.
Wendell

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notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:36 pm

I would align the categories a little differently, and for clarity I'd name them differently too:

Success
  • - Clean hot water
    - A razor in good condition (i.e. not worn out or broken) that you know how to handle
    - (if the above uses disposable blades) A decent blade that isn't dull
    - Any good shave cream or shave soap (carefully chosen if you have to use water that's high in minerals; otherwise anything decent will do, even including the better brands of bath soap if you have no choice)
    - Any half-way good shave brush (even mediocre brushes usually get the job done properly, while for example mediocre blades often don't) - in a pinch, I would use any shaving-brush-like object that I knew was clean and safe.
Extras
All the other stuff you can think of - a nicer brush, a shiny handle on the razor, better and/or nicer-smelling soap, various skin potions, aftershaves etc etc.

Few people even want all of the possible extra things - for example, I have a good-sized box of very fine soap in that cupboard in the basement, I have several of the best brushes, and three or four really good razors - but I have zero preshaves, zero aftershaves or colognes, I stick to one brand of blades that works fine (and which I also have a large stash of)... and I'm quite happy. If you sent me a top-quality cologne, I'd immediately pass it on to someone who would really use it - because I never would.

Once you have filled the slots in the "success" category, you're fine. Everything else is optional.

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Squire
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Post by Squire » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:31 pm

The only two categories I have are good shave and great shave.
Regards,
Squire

merkri
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Post by merkri » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:45 pm

Yeah, I'd agree with your list, although for me the only pre-shave and post-shave would be water.

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LookingGlass
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Post by LookingGlass » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:16 pm

Squire wrote:The only two categories I have are good shave and great shave.
+1. I keep it simple - hot water, brush, soap, razor, and a blade, topped off with some Clubman. Nice. :D :D

Ed

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never2close
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Post by never2close » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:59 pm

To further explain why I started this thread. I've come to realize that since I've joined this forum that I am continually tempted to try new items because of posts of how spectacular said item is, and how it can change your life. I've willingly participated, but what I am now realizing is that in order to keep my shaves consistently great I need to leave several aspects of my routine alone. Hence the "quality" category that I developed. I will continue to respond when items are mentioned that fit into the "enjoyment" category. Case in point, my recent E2 Manchurian acquisition. It is fun to try new stuff, but I must remember that at the end of the day, it's about getting consistently great shaves, not accumulating more stuff.

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fallingwickets
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Post by fallingwickets » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:28 am

my recent E2 Manchurian acquisition.
As an aside I think a brush fits the quality category better than the enjoyment one.

I used a pj2 once......worst shave of the century ergo a quality problem :D

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

Jonnieboy61
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Post by Jonnieboy61 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:08 am

merkri wrote:Yeah, I'd agree with your list, although for me the only pre-shave and post-shave would be water.
+1

Whatever the kit I use I am happy with, but 2 constants that I always want are plenty of hot water at the begining and plenty of cold water at the end.
John

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Post by brothers » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:29 pm

N2C, I identify with your observation. I've wondered why I enjoy the very rare times when I happen to use my blue coconut Stephan's brushless shaving cream so much. I think it's both simple and quite enjoyable. That shave meets all 4 of your listed criteria for "Quality". It gets the job done with a bare minimum, yet provides a lot of enjoyment too!
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic/boar/badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444

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never2close
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Post by never2close » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:03 am

I start a thread about "my discovery" then I don't adhere to it. Case in point, my post shave is always Thayers After Shave Witch Hazel. It works great and every time I deviate, I regret it. So I drop Thayers to use DR Harris Pink. While pleasant, not nearly as good as Thayers for me. When will I learn?

brothers
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Post by brothers » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:05 am

N2C, that's why rules are made to be broken. :lol:

We had an overnight guest (6 year old granddaughter) at our house this AM, and I didn't want to shave according to my previously planned routine, but I did want to shave, so after thinking about it for about 6 seconds, I spotted my lovely huge jar of Stephan's coconut brushless, rubbed it on, grabbed the Mulcuto razor, and within about a minute and a half I had achieved a wonderful feeling and smelling full shave. Rubbed some more Stephan's on my whole face (per instructions, of course) and off we went to the donut shop! Thanks Stephan's!
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic/boar/badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444

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Squire
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Post by Squire » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:51 am

Live and learn, die and forget it all.
Regards,
Squire

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Ouchmychin
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Post by Ouchmychin » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:56 pm

I wouls add a third category:
Need for a safe shave!
When I get up in the mornig and can't face he regular routine and want a way to get rid of whiskers without much danger of a scrape or nick, I swith to my brusshless Neutrogena cream and grab the Fusion Profile with a fresh blade. I can get a close but not bbs shave with no danger.
My post shave preference for safty and comfort is also Thayers.. When I want to smell nice I sometimes spry a few shots of one or another favorite cologns into a puddle in my palm first.
Ouchmychin (Pete)

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celestino
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Re: Aesthetic vs. Substance

Post by celestino » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:30 pm

Very nice, simple list. Enjoyment is the key!!

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