Bowl or face?

When you boil it down, there are two ways to build lather; in a bowl or on your face.

Both have pros and cons, but the main difference is the dreaded YMMV – different strokes for different folks, it comes down to what you prefer.

  • Doing it in a bowl tends to minimize the variables, and lets you get a better grip of what’s going on.. if you need more or less water, more or less soap, more or less vigorous pumping etc, etc, etc.
  • Doing it on your face lets you get the lather right into the follicles and gives you a nice little face massage as well… but can be messy if you’re brush is too wet.

For the most part I’m a bowl latherer through and through – so it’s kinda funny that this week have seen me use nothing but shave stick and face lathering…

Quick review of Derby Shave Stick

I tend to buy more soaps than I technically need – just like I have more razors and brushes than I can get away with – because variation is the spice of life, and I consider shaving to be a hobby and not a chore.

The downside is that it sometimes takes a long time for me to use a soap enough times to make up my mind on what I think about it, so this little review has been long in coming…

The Derby shave stick is, like most shave sticks, easy to use. It makes lots of lather and smells okay – mostly of soap – but it isn’t quite up with the Arko as far as glide and cushion goes, it’s more like the GzD in that respect. It’s hard like the Arko, not soft like the GzD, and comes wrapped in paper.

If you can’t handle the scent of the Arko, the Derby is a good substitute for an inexpensive, efficient shave stick. If you can handle it though, go for the Arko stick.

To soak or not to soak…

…that is the question of traditional lather making.

There is a lot of talk about soaking: Should you do it? What brushes should you do it with? For how long? Hot, warm or cold water?

Personally I soak all my brushes, for about five to ten minutes, since then I have a consistent baseline to do a bit of contrast and compare. YMMV off course so if you are happy with just dunking yours in water before shaving, that is great as well.

First impression of the Omega 50014 travel brush

Sometimes I’m on the Go, with the GoBag, other times I travel more leisurely and can bring more and other shave gear. It is for the later I invested in a Omega 50014 travel brush.

Being a travel brush, the 50014 comes with a tube to protect it while in on the go. The tube can also double as the handle while using the brush, but if you don’t mind a slightly undersized handle you can just put it aside and not worry about it – I don’t use the tube as a handle, since I tend to face lather when not at home (at home I’m a dyed-in-the-wool bowl latherer…)

I broke the brush in soon after getting it as per what seems to the recommended way; whipping up lather in my hand, then rinse and repeat. Letting it dry and then doing again a few times broke it in nicely, leaving me with a brush that is soft with plenty of backbone and just enough scritch for my tastes. Once broken in it behaves as a shaving brush should – ie.: it makes lather out of shaving creams and soaps, and helps you put the result on your face… in a most enjoyable way, off course.

The brush is a little on the small side, but that’s not really an issue when face lathering – it still holds plenty enough for two passes and then some. Overall I’m quite satisfied with the Omega 50014 so far. If you’re looking for a travel brush and don’t mind it drying slower than a synth would, I suggest getting one of these.