January/Feb Subscription Box: A Luxurious And Fun Shave Experience
We’re incredibly excited to have discovered, and to be featuring, Razor Master, an artisan shaving soap maker from Finland. Born out of a love for traditional wet shaving and a lack of Finnish products in their home country, they’ve grown into a brand known by enthusiasts all over the world. Each of their shaving soaps is handmade in small batches and they have a varied and interesting range of scents, such as whiskey or coffee, that make them stand out from many of the more well known shaving brands. We decided to feature the Toivo shaving soap because, not only is it fantastic but, it’s a particularly Finnish style of soap you are unlikely to have come across before. Made using Pine Tar as an ingredient, it has a beautiful smokey, unique scent and quickly works into a rich, creamy lather that protects the skin and leaves it feeling smooth. Exactly what we want from a shaving soap. Pine Tar was chosen because it’s a little bit of Finnish history, pine tar was the first export product of the country, made by burning pine in pits. The name ‘Toivo’ means ‘hope’ and is named after Razor Master’s grandfather, who worked in one of these pits when he was younger.
To use: Load a slightly damp shaving brush on the top of the soap until the brush is fully loaded and then work into a rich lather directly on the face, in the hand, or in a bowl. Add a drop of water at a time until a bountiful foam has been achieved.
To ensure the soap lasts a long time, make sure to store it in the open air so it has a chance to properly dry between uses.
Merry Band are a small independent producer from Yorkshire that we featured in one of our first ever subscription boxes and we’re very pleased to show off their goods once again. The Pine Forest scent goes perfectly with this month’s shaving soap. The rosewood gives it a sweet, floral & woodsy aroma while the Black Pepper adds a sharp spice & Wild Marjoram brings a herbaceous medicinal note which sits on a fresh resinous backdrop of Scots Pine. Using a pre-shave oil such as this is perfect for those with sensitive skin wanting that extra bit of protection or for those wanting an extra close shave. Rubbing it into your skin just before applying your lather creates an additional barrier that helps prevent nicks and irritation as well as softening the hairs to make them easier to cut through. Made by hand in small batches, each bottle is packed with beneficial oils that are good for the skin and made without any parabens, it leaves your face feeling nourished and soft.
To use: Apply a couple of drops into the palm of your hand and rub into the stubble prior to applying lather. Only enough oil is needed to create a thin layer, too much can clog up the blade. Leave to soak into the hairs for at least a full minute, using this time to start building your shaving lather. No need to rinse off, just apply your lather directly on top.
For those days when you really want to add a touch of luxury and sophistication to your morning routine, there’s nothing more satisfying than starting your shave with a relaxing, steaming hot towel. Can be used in place of a pre-shave shower, the towel is left to sit on the face which softens the hairs and leaves the skin ready for a great shave. Not just any towel, this is designed to withstand hot temperatures specifically required before a shave. It can also be used as just a regular shaving towel to dry your face after shaving, or can be kept in the fridge to act as a cold towel at the end of a shave to close pores.
To use: Soak in very hot water for 15 seconds, wring out the excess and then apply to the area to be shaved until it has cooled down. It takes a minimum of 3 minutes for your beard hairs to fully absorb water so you may need to repeat this process 2 or 3 times to reap the full benefit of a softened beard. If your tap isn’t hot enough you can use water from a kettle. Let it cool until it is safe to touch. Obviously, common sense must apply when using hot water. Please DO NOT apply a scalding hot towel to the skin, always double check it is safe to touch first.
As always we want you to experience the full gamut of blades that are available as every DE razor is made to different specifications. Everyone can get a great shave from just about any of the major brands out there but some will be better than others. There’s no one perfect blade that works for everyone because skin types, razor handle used, water type etc all have a factor to play.
Lord SS Double-Edge Blades
Made in Egypt, Lord are a very well known brand that make a range of quality double-edge blades. They tend to sit in the middle in terms of sharpness making them a solid all-rounder for most beard types. Last 3-7 shaves
Sputnik Double-Edge Blades
Sputnik are a popular brand made in Russia. Coated in PTFE to increase razor glide, they’re a relatively sharp blade but forgiving enough that most will get a great shave from them first time without any adjustments. Last 3-7 shaves.