I want to beg men everywhere who are involved in DE shaving to please consider the following simple fact: if/when you buy yourself, and use, a fancy, expensive and mysterious looking shaving bowl, or an ancient looking shaving skuttle like the kind Charles Dickens used when nobody had sinks with running water- then this is what will happen. Your wife, girlfriend, female companion, male lover, partner- will then be able to go on wasting money on clothing and shoes and there won’t be a thing you can say to stop them…
If you get that fancy shaving bowl or skuttle- for the love of God a skuttle, the name itself is telling you it’s not something you or anyone should be using today- when you get stuff like that you forever lose the right to say “don’t you have enough shoes already?” or “do you really need another pair of boots, what about that last pair you bought, I’ve never seen you wearing that pair…” You lose your right to say that forever. Don’t even try to say it, if you get yourself that fancy shaving bowl.
Keep things simple and use a regular old mug. You’ve probably already got one in the house. If you don’t, buy a cheap one, preferably a nice thick heavy one- the thicker the mug, the more heat it will retain, helping you to keep your lather luscious and warm. In fact, a nice thick mug will actually retain heat much longer and better than those expensive, metal shaving bowls that are making the rounds. What’s really nice too are those jumbo mugs, which are almost like small soup bowls with a handle on them. You know, a regular jumbo mug. Those are ideal, and inexpensive.
On this subject of shaving bowls, I would like to propose the following shaving sequence, which is the system I’ve been using lately. This routine requires:
- a DE razor
- a brush
- a REGULAR mug (not some crazy bowl or skuttle)
- shaving cream or shaving soap, whichever you prefer
- also, Proraso’s excellent Pre Shave Cream, which I think is fantastic. You need so little of it for each shave, so a tiny jar goes a long way. It’s not overly expensive, it really improves my shave, and I’ve just become a big fan of it lately.
OK, so here’s the routine, which I believe should be followed in this exact order, in this sequence:
- run hot water into your thick heavy tea/coffee mug
- while the hot water is running into your mug and making it warm, apply the Proraso pre-shave cream to your face, and really work it into your beard; use your hand, not the brush; while you’re doing this, the mug is getting hot
- now dump the hot water out of the mug
- now squeeze some Proraso shaving cream into the mug, and with your brush, work up a nice silky lather (or use your hard shaving soap to work up a lather)
- while you’re busy creating the lather, the Proraso pre-shave cream has the opportunity to absorb into your skin and soften your beard, prepping you for the shave; should this really count as an action step in this sequence, since it’s happening all by itself, without your involvement?
- when you’re done mixing up the lather, apply the lather and start your first pass.
I’m getting excited just thinking about it. I know that the above steps seem ridiculously obvious, but I like how stuff is happening while other stuff is happening. The mug is getting warm while you rub the Proraso pre-shave cream in; the Proraso pre-shave cream is absorbing while you’re creating the lather; it makes sense, you know- it’s all logical.