Nothing Better Than That Wicked Edge!
About 2 years ago I started shaving with a double edge safety razor and I’ve just finished my first tub of Old Taylor of Bond Street shaving cream. As far as obsessions go, this is probably the cheapest I’ve had. All up, I have probably spent less than $100 and have enough gear to keep shaving for the next 5-10 years without running out. When you break it down, it’s costing me about $10 a year. When I was using cartridge razors I was spending $25 a month.
And as if the shavings, I mean savings, weren’t reason enough, my four year old daughter has latched on to my obsession too.
At least twice a week she will join me for a “shave”. She has her own plastic DE safety razor, with no blade of course, and she lathers up the soap or cream for me (I’ve learned a lot from her about patience, both in doing things slower, and waiting for her to do things for me).
Together we both apply the Dove facial cleanser, massaging it in, then washing the excess off before using the Boar + Synthetic bristle brush to apply the wonderfully scented (sandalwood or sandalwood and cedar) lather.
While she uses her plastic, bladeless razor to scrape the lather off her face, I shave with my super-budget Rimei razor. After the with-the-grain pass we both lather up for a cross-the-grain-pass, and after I lather up a third time to clean up any areas I missed, my little angel cleans out the bowl and brush and puts them aside to dry nicely.
Next, if I’ve got any minor nicks or cuts (it’s a hazard of shaving with an elbow height four year old right next to you) I apply a styptic pencil to the cuts, while the Geekling has a chuckle as I gasp (with deliberate exaggeration) at the pain. Sometimes she will tell me she managed to nick her cheek too, and want the pencil, but she insists it doesn’t hurt at all when she uses it.
She’ll grab the post-shave balm from the counter, squeezing out the tiniest drop for herself and a proportional amount for me. We then massage that in to our faces, wiping off any excess with a towel. While I am wiping down the basin and counter top, she gets the after-shave lotion – currently Imperial Leather – and wets each of her index fingers in turn by putting them over the opening of the bottle and turning it upside down. She’ll hand me the bottle and I dab a little out in to the palm of my hand and we both apply it to our faces together, with her giggling as I gasp (again with deliberate exaggeration – I don’t know if I should be encouraging her laughing at me when I suffer, but her giggle’s are just so happy) when the alcohol burns my raw skin.
We then pack everything away together – my razor going back on the suction cap hook at the top of the mirror, well out of reach of everyone but me – and then the Geekling will run off to show Mummy how FUZZ FREE her face is. I’ll follow after to show off how smooth I’ve managed to get my shave, or to query what my wife thinks of the smell of the after-shave. This is usually met with an eye-roll or a “I could smell it before you walked in, you’ve just put it on.” I’m sure she is interested, and jealous of how awesome I smell. Or not …
There will come a day when my daughter realises she doesn’t actually need to shave her face, and it’s going to be a hard thing for me to face – a future of shaving alone – but for now, I enjoy the 10-15 minutes every other day that we get share, going through a ritual that I have self-taught (no one ever bothered to teach me to shave), and passing it down to my offspring.