Return to Simplicity

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
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jww
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Return to Simplicity

Post by jww » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:19 pm

I have been part of this enjoyable practice of wet shaving with vintage tools for quite some time now, and was recently musing on how my routine has become simplified over the years. When I first started with SMF, I picked up any soap and cream I could get ahold of. I used multiple razors with many different types of blades. My pre and post shave rituals included such things as pre-applying Trumper's Skin Food, 3 passes every morning (with, across and against the grain), alum block, witch hazel, another application of Skin Food, etc., etc.

I realized this morning how much more simple and basic my routine has become. I have not replaced any cream or soap which I have run out of with the exception of MWF (surprised anyone?), Palmolive Classic cream and soap stick (I still grab a few from Tesco on our annual trips to North Yorkshire), and The Body Shop cream. I have been using the same Gillette 1960 slim for at least 5 years, and have only used Polsilvers and Gillette Silver Blue blades for longer. I haven't used an alum block in I can't recall how long, and a few months ago, in an attempt at preserving my stock of Skin Food, I stopped applying "gobs" of it pre-shave.

I do still use most of my brushes - but have landed basically on a rotation between my Semogue 1305 that has an incredibly beat-up handle with more than 1/3 of the painted finish chipped off and a Kent BK4 (always loved the black handle). I also continue to keep a supply of My Nik is Sealed for the odd time that I have a bleeder around the corners of my mouth (my traditional "trouble area" since I started shaving as a lad).

I will be refreshing my supply of Thayer's witch hazel soon as well, although I use so little of it as I have a couple of dollar store small spray bottles that really controls excessive consumption of that liquid gold.

I have gotten myself down to a very small shaving bag when I travel that is relatively light and takes no room.

And the funny thing is --- I am quite happy in and of myself about my evolving towards a very minimal approach at the basin.

A single shave every morning has become my de rigueur and the funny thing is -- I don't miss one single thing about my earlier product-heavy shave days.

Just thought I'd share.
Wendell

Resident Wool Fat Evangelist & anglophile. Have you hugged a sheep today?

EL Alamein
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by EL Alamein » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:19 pm

Wendell, excellent post!

I'm getting there too. I still have a plethora of stuff to use up but mostly use my mainstay things. The only thing I seem to replenish these days is my beloved Bay Rum.

In these days of plenty I think many men go through this, it's what we do. We find the best of the best for us and settle down with it.

The journey is wonderful and very satisfying when you find what you're looking for. Go down the road, you'll eventually get home.

Chris

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libertine
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by libertine » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:00 pm

I have always thought the bell shaped curve accurately describes many of life's events including hobbies, favorite pastimes, special interests, etc.

Enjoying yourself on the downward slope is important and not always easy. Keep up the good feelings.

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ShadowsDad
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by ShadowsDad » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:16 pm

That sounds about right. From searching to done searching and just enjoying what you've found.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

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churchilllafemme
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by churchilllafemme » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:00 pm

I've simplified my inventories over the past few years, but not quite so radically. At one time I had over 40 NOS Gillette razors on display, "just because," and I had a collection of over 80 Somerset Simpson brushes, as well as multiple backups of all my vintage Penhaligon's and Floris soaps and creams. Now I just have enough brushes for a 28-day rotation, three razors heads and a dozen or so handles on which to use them, and only enough soaps and creams to last me for the final 10 years or so of wet shaving that my wife will allow me. I'm certainly not by any stretch of the imagination a minimalist, and I do still enjoy having a different combination of hardware and software each day, but I no longer feel like a hoarder.
_______
John

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fallingwickets
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by fallingwickets » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:16 am

and I had a collection of over 80 Somerset Simpson brushes,
competing with DrP??? :D :D

As an aside, you guys are on the road to fidelity (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8061) but obviously not quite there yet!!

clive

p.s. where's squire hiding??
de gustibus non est disputandum

brothers
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by brothers » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:17 am

This is where I'm at, and loving it. I realize I must not go completely and prematurely into my blissful coma however. If I did that just a couple of years ago I'd have missed out on just about all of the elements of my best of the best: i.e. General razor by Colonial; Salter's Solid tallow soap; SilkSmoke synthetic brush; and Kai Original blades. All of which only quite recently came into existence. In fact, I was already in the nirvana of blissful ignorance a decade ago when my "best of the best" was a Schick Krona and whatever blades and canned shaving cream were on sale at the grocery store. When we say Stop the world I want to get off it can be good or it can be bad. Timing is critical.
Gary

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drmoss_ca
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by drmoss_ca » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:50 am

churchilllafemme wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:00 pm
....and only enough soaps and creams to last me for the final 10 years or so of wet shaving that my wife will allow me.
Wife or life? If the former, what will she do to you or your razors one day ten years hence? :shock:
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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churchilllafemme
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by churchilllafemme » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:19 am

drmoss_ca wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:50 am
churchilllafemme wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:00 pm
....and only enough soaps and creams to last me for the final 10 years or so of wet shaving that my wife will allow me.
Wife or life? If the former, what will she do to you or your razors one day ten years hence? :shock:
Ah, well, she's the boss regarding some subjects, including my health. I have slowly progressive hand and arm tremor and weakness from post-polio syndrome, which she fears will lead to me cutting myself while shaving. So I have pledged to stop wet shaving at age 80.
_______
John

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drmoss_ca
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by drmoss_ca » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:34 am

churchilllafemme wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:19 am
drmoss_ca wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:50 am
churchilllafemme wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:00 pm
....and only enough soaps and creams to last me for the final 10 years or so of wet shaving that my wife will allow me.
Wife or life? If the former, what will she do to you or your razors one day ten years hence? :shock:
Ah, well, she's the boss regarding some subjects, including my health. I have slowly progressive hand and arm tremor and weakness from post-polio syndrome, which she fears will lead to me cutting myself while shaving. So I have pledged to stop wet shaving at age 80.
When the day comes, and if I'm still here*, I can send you a bunch of marvellous and harmless vitamin pills that will "cure" the tremor to the extent that shaving is still possible - you and your better half may believe it as it will be written on the label. 80 year old beards tend to be a bit thin and disreputable.

*possibly I should print some labels now for you to attach to whatever vitamin pill bottle you like. Ten years is a lot to ask at the moment as I am four years into a two to five year survival prognosis. Entirely happy to be a miraculous outlier, though.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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churchilllafemme
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by churchilllafemme » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:03 pm

drmoss_ca wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:34 am
churchilllafemme wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:19 am
drmoss_ca wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:50 am


Wife or life? If the former, what will she do to you or your razors one day ten years hence? :shock:
Ah, well, she's the boss regarding some subjects, including my health. I have slowly progressive hand and arm tremor and weakness from post-polio syndrome, which she fears will lead to me cutting myself while shaving. So I have pledged to stop wet shaving at age 80.
When the day comes, and if I'm still here*, I can send you a bunch of marvellous and harmless vitamin pills that will "cure" the tremor to the extent that shaving is still possible - you and your better half may believe it as it will be written on the label. 80 year old beards tend to be a bit thin and disreputable.

*possibly I should print some labels now for you to attach to whatever vitamin pill bottle you like. Ten years is a lot to ask at the moment as I am four years into a two to five year survival prognosis. Entirely happy to be a miraculous outlier, though.
Thanks. What is in these marvelous pills?
And I'm glad you're beating the odds...
_______
John

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drmoss_ca
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by drmoss_ca » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:25 am

churchilllafemme wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:03 pm
Thanks. What is in these marvelous pills?
Nothing at all - placebos can be used to treat wives as well as shavers!
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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fallingwickets
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by fallingwickets » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:13 am

And I'm glad you're beating the odds...
ditto and a million+ thumbs up on the sentiment

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

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churchilllafemme
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by churchilllafemme » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:36 am

drmoss_ca wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:25 am
churchilllafemme wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:03 pm
Thanks. What is in these marvelous pills?
Nothing at all - placebos can be used to treat wives as well as shavers!
I guess it might be worth a try, although she watches like a hawk. I've tried a lot of other approaches, ranging from B vitamins to TENS to acupuncture, without any change. But at least my form of the syndrome is quite slow in its progression and involves no pain at all. And two-handed shaving, with one supporting the other at the elbow, is not really very awkward.
_______
John

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jww
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by jww » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:04 pm

My father suffered seriously from tremors his last couple of years and had to resort to an electric shaver which my mother wielded for him. Not looking forward to that day -- not sure what it was he had, but my mother keeps telling me it's hereditary ..... :(
Wendell

Resident Wool Fat Evangelist & anglophile. Have you hugged a sheep today?

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fallingwickets
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by fallingwickets » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:25 am

thats when i head to oregon ](*,)
de gustibus non est disputandum

Julius_Rodman
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by Julius_Rodman » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:42 am

Thanks JWW!

When the ratrace is grinding me down it's good to reach out without looking and put together the old tried and true shaving tools.

When I have more time to think about it I like to mix and match again and try something new.

and there is an electric razor out there that will be perfect for you, you'll have to spend a little $$ though, the Braun Super 7 series is mine, I can jump to it with a perfect shave every time I have to.

slackskin
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by slackskin » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:39 pm

@ churchilllafemme -

Here is an idea for your 80th birthday. Because DEs are forbidden as carry-ons, I recently became curious about the newly-launched "Gilette3" (not Mach3) cartridge shaver. When used with a fresh cartridge, they give as good a shave as a DE (for me, anyway). I was also surprised about how little they cost, pricey but much less so than the Fusion. And I had the feeling I could not cut myself even if I tried. This strategy may allow you to keep wet shaving after your birthday. :D

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churchilllafemme
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by churchilllafemme » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:00 pm

slackskin wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:39 pm
@ churchilllafemme -

Here is an idea for your 80th birthday. Because DEs are forbidden as carry-ons, I recently became curious about the newly-launched "Gilette3" (not Mach3) cartridge shaver. When used with a fresh cartridge, they give as good a shave as a DE (for me, anyway). I was also surprised about how little they cost, pricey but much less so than the Fusion. And I had the feeling I could not cut myself even if I tried. This strategy may allow you to keep wet shaving after your birthday. :D
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll put that on my list. Now if I could just remember where I put my list...
_______
John

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jww
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Re: Return to Simplicity

Post by jww » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:25 am

When I had a travelling job a few years ago, everything was TSA/CBSA approved for in-cabin, which meant DR Harris, Palmolive or Tabac soap sticks and a fresh Bic sensitive disposable, which still is my go-to DE substitute.

This is probably what contributed mostly to my return to simplicity - as I can pretty much pin point my turn around to 2013 when my work required much more travel.

I still keep an air carry-on friendly kit ready to go -- and only travel on planes for personal reasons -- like maybe a couple of times a year instead of 3 trips a month. I miss the frequent flyer benefits but don't miss being away from home. Using the lounge for a couple of trips a year ain't worth it in my books.
Wendell

Resident Wool Fat Evangelist & anglophile. Have you hugged a sheep today?

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