Post Shave : Van Yulay Gaia Aftershave Splash and Balm
Others : Menthol Grinder, Van Yulay Gaia Deodorant and Cologne
Van Yulay Week
Gaia’s scent is very complex, though to boil it down, its Fresh Floral Fougere Petrichor. As yes, Monica outdid herself with the label as it conveys the feeling you get when using the soap. I do have to note that I prefer this with Menthol, which for me, feels fantastic coming off the shave feeling like Mother Gaia just poured moisture laden icy cold mountain wind down into the low lands bringing rain, wet soil and the burst of floral life that comes with it.
Lather Porn included. Note though, Van Yulay croaps do not need too much water, it’s better to go thick on the face, then thin it with a little water added to the brush is the way to go.
14th use of the proline blade and recycled. I did need to do an extra clean up at my trouble spot but it was an easy shave. I think if I wanted to push the blade, I could have gotten another 4 to 6 shaves, possibly more. But I’ll call it quits having used that one blade for a week (2 shaves a day)
Perfect, no cuts, no weepers, no irritation, glass BBS shave.
Post Shave : Van Yulay Dress Bleus Aftershave Splash and Balm
Others : Van Yulay Dress Bleus Deodorant (not pictured) and Cologne Spray
Van Yulay week
Starting the week with Dress Bleus, Van Yulay’s take on Channel Bleu, which is a nice clean sweet blue scent. Meaning this is a fresh, a little ozonic, a little aquatic but instead of salt, has notes of spice, citrus and a hint of mint. Very nice indeed.
13th use of the Proline blade in the Vector and I think its about to dull. Shave was very mellow, though I didn’t need to do much in way of cleanup except for my usual trouble spots, which indicates that the blade is still sharp, if only barely starting to loose it’s edge.
I’ll use it one more time when I get home from work and recycle, but if I feel that it could go for another 5 to 8 more shaves at least, before truly loosing its edge
Budget Soap Week Possibly the cheapest of all my shave soaps, used to be able to buy for around 80 pence, or about $1.50, its now more expansive as they it seems, made only for the Euro Market. That’s a shame really. Smells far better than Arko, Williams or anything in that price range with its very pleasant green fern scent and it is actually a very decent soap by itself.
You do have to to be generous in application and it is thirsty, but the lather it produces is very dense, has decent slickness, though not much in residual slickness, and a post shave that doesn’t leave you feeling tight and dry. This is not a harsh soap. You should however remoisturize during post shave.
11th use and the blade is still easily taking off all stubble, still doesn’t feel like I have to do an extra pick up pass. Clean, glass BBS shave.
Post Shave : Aqua Velva Classic, Thayers Gentlemen Aftershave Balm
Budget Soaps Week And this time it’s Williams Mug shavings soap. Had to open a new one since I used up that first box I opened and haven’t put this back into rotation. This thing is probably as close to Arko I can get and use, without my skin protesting.
I find it easy to face lather with, and that while it is by no means a “luxury shaving soap”, it does the job. Moisturizing post shave is definitely recommended.
9th use of the Proline blade and while the blade has mellowed, it shows little signs of going dull. Still getting that ridiculously easy perfect glass BBS shave.
Post Shave : Col Conk Bay Rum Aftershave Splash, Thayers Gentlemen Aftershave Balm
Budget soaps week. Col Conk’s Bay Rum soap is probably one of the cheapest in my shave stash. $5.90 for a 3.75 oz (106 gm) puck, is definitely very affordable and it doesn’t take much loading on the brush to produce thick good lather.
Lather is actually very slick, very good residual and surprisingly, a post shave that you don’t come to expect from cheap soaps. Arko for example leaves my skin feeling dry and tight, not so for Conk’s Bay Rum. Its not fantastic by any stretch of anyone’s imagination, but its not “bad”. Not bad at all for $6
7th use of the Proline blade and I can tell that the edge has mellowed out from the last shave or the 5th. Blade is still more than useable, I think at least 3 to 5 more shaves at least before it goes into “a few more passes” territory. We’ll see.
Can’t do Proraso without doing Green. I don’t know about the rest, but Proraso green was my gateway drug and the reason why I jumped into the Artisan Soap Rabbit Hole.
It felt so good, so different from the can goop I used to use and had me thinking if this feels great, what about all those Traditional soaps out there? How little I knew it was going to be several thousand dollars and counting before I turned around, looked how deep a hole I was in and went “Ohhhh shit!”
The Proline blades are still holding up well and really loving the Vector. For one thing, it is very, nimble, very easy to handle. The other, it’s shave characteristics makes it easy to use not just on the face but other areas that you might deem more “sensitive”. Technique and YMMV of course but so far it is performing flawlessly. Also doing a longevity test with the Schick blade as I was previously unable to do so properly.
Pre-Shave : Shower, Proraso Wood and Spice Pre-Shave
Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
Brush : PAA Peregrino
Soap : Proraso Wood and Spice
Razor : Blackland Vector w/Schick Proline Blade
Post Shave : Clubman Pinaud Gent’s Gin, Proraso Wood and Spice Beard Balm
Proraso’s Wood and Spice is my personal favorite scent of all the Proraso soaps, inching out even Proraso Red’s Sandalwood. Its a very nice blend of Sandalwood, cedar, cumin and rose, with cumin and cedar being slightly more forward than the other notes.
Performance though, is on par with Proraso’s soaps. Decent slickness, some residual slickness and not much in the way of post shave. You definitely want to use a balm / balm-like post shave with any Proraso soaps for skin food.
The Vector with the Schick Proline is very, very smooth. YMMV, though I do think it is just a tad smoother than Feather Pro blades. (I don’t have Kai’s Captain’s blades but I’ll need to look for some)
I have the P-20 (20 pieces) and if these blades follow suit with the Feathers and give me 8-12 shaves (18 to 24 if I use the blade till it goes dull) minimum, that’s at least 200 shaves from that one box. Getting 5x P-30s would be 150 blades and that’s going to last you 3 to 5 years give or take. Makes you think.
The fresh blade is of course sharp and easily took all stubble off. The Vector making it effortless.
Pre-Shave : Shower, Proraso Cypress and Vetyver Pre-Shave
Bowl : Van Yulay Resin
Brush : PAA Peregrino
Soap : Proraso Single Blade Line Cypress and Vetyver
Razor : Blackland Vector w/Feather Professional Super Blade (24)
Post Shave : Clubman Pinaud Brandy Spice, Proraso Cypress and Vetyver Beard Balm
Still using the Vector, and probably will for the next few days, trying out different blades. Today’s is the Pro Super on its 24th use. I’ll be recycling it after this even though the blade still feels like it can go for another 6 shaves.
One thing I have to say for these Professional blades they hold their edge for a long, long time. YMMV of course but I am sure you will have at least 6 -8 shaves minimum with a “perfect” blade and much more before the blade goes dull.
Soap for today is Proraso’s Pro or Single Blade line. If you are used to really good artisan soaps, these might not do it for you, but they are cheap and are pretty good. Fair slickness, decent residual but doesn’t have much in way of post shave. Given, it doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry, and is more in line with Proraso’s Regular line, but you will want to use post shaves if you want to have that “Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…” feel after the shave. Scent though, is quite good.
The Vector with the Pro Super surprised me. I was expecting a much more aggressive or at the very least a shave with a lot more blade feel but it wasn’t so. Yes, I was very aware of the blade but it didn’t in any way felt harsh or like you have to be extremely careful when shaving with a Kamisori.
Instead it was a very smooth and easy shave. And no, no blood given to the Blood God. Perfect, glass BBS shave.
Razor : Blackland Vector w/Feather Pro Guard blade
Post Shave : Ginger’s Garden Enigma Aftershave Lotion and Balm
Others : Ginger’s Garden Enigma Cologne
ENIGMA Enigma is still at the moment, my number one favorite soap from Ginger’s Garden. Notes are : Pine, Cedar, Amber, Sandalwood, Patchouli and Vanilla, Marshmallow, Musk, Brown Sugar and Coconut And this is beautifully done as a gourmand woods scent.
It is also extremely strong in scent strength. 6-7/10 for the soap alone. (You’d be able to detect the scent on your skin for about an hour +/- after the shave with soap alone) So for those who like their soap strength strong and very aromatic, this is the one you need to get.
If you layer on the aftershave and balm, that jumps to 8-9/10 and your bathroom will be filled with the scent. It is also very likely the person in main room and maybe the next room over probably can smell what you used as you come out of the bathroom. (cologne last for 10-12hours)
As for the soap performance, Irena outdid herself with this one. You can’t tell the difference between this vegan soap and her tallow for all intents and purposes. Thirsty, wonderfully dense, with incredible slickness, residual and post shave that you do not actually “need” to use aftershaves. You just want to.
Yups! This beauty finally arrived after one and a half month of waiting due to the Covid-19 logistics craziness.
I chose to use the Feather Pro Guards as, even though I do have the regular Professional Blades as well as the Pro Supers and the Schick Prolines, I rather use a guarded blade on the first use, at least to gauge how the razor performs before going more aggressive. And yeah, I do use a M5 nylon washer in all my razors to prevent scratches / damage to the plate from the handle to base contact.
Make no mistake, this razor has a substantial gap, is slightly blade forward but its design “softened” the exposure and it is a very, very smooth shaver. Unlike the Occam’s Razor Oren Nano, you do feel the blade, very much so.
Also, where the Nano’s blade exposure characteristics is very soft, with its floating blade design that allows for flex and give, there is no such thing with the Vector.
Which is better? YMMV.
The Nano’s flex is more forgiving but at the same time can be annoying especially if the blade holding nubs doesn’t hold the blade as secure due to manufacturing variations and that is something no one wants while handling really sharp pieces of metal on his (or her) face.
As is, with a very light touch, this razor is very easy to use, find the right angle and maneuver around the nose and lips. As I mentioned above, you do feel quite a bit of blade presence, but the engineering behind the razor is fantastic and merges that straight razor feel when using a Kamisori with the added safety of a safety razor.
True glass, no cuts, no weepers, perfect BBS shave.