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  • Santa Maria Novella Crema da Barba
    September 26, 2010 Mike Sandoval

    Santa Maria Novella Crema da Barba

    Those who enjoy wet shaving are used to seeing historic products. Kent brushes were established in 1777, La Toja began in 1837, and Trumper and Coate's began in 1875. There is one brand, however, that predates them all: Around 1221, the Dominican monks at Santa Maria Novella began creating elixirs from rose water and vinegar. If you travel to Florence today, you can visit the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, which is part museum, part boutique. The historic wooden doors open to dimly lit hallways and display cases, where you can find traditional products ranging from potpourri and candles, to herbal teas and ceramics, to bath and body products. Among them is Santa Maria Novella Crema da Barba, one of the oldest and finest shaving creams in the world.

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  • The Bluebeards Revenge Luxury Shaving Cream
    September 1, 2010 Mike Sandoval

    The Bluebeards Revenge Luxury Shaving Cream

    My friends at The Shaving Shack have sent a few products for me to review over the past months. I knew they were asking people to try The Bluebeards Revenge Shaving Cream, and honestly I was dodging Nick's requests to try it. I prefer more traditional products and I was hesitant to try a cream that contains an ingredient that affects hair growth. One day a box arrived at my house with a tub of the new shaving cream, so I tried to pawn it off on Isaac to write this review, but he didn't want to use it either. I didn't want to look like a "bum fluff brigade member" to Nick, so I gave it a try. I was damn glad I did!

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  • Coate's Tea Tree Limited Edition Shaving Cream
    August 23, 2010 Mike Sandoval

    Coate's Tea Tree Limited Edition Shaving Cream

    The reintroduction of this legendary shaving cream created a lot of buzz and I was excited to give it a try. When Coate's was first taken off the market, many guys stockpiled tubs out of fear that they'd never see it again. It was widely considered one of the best shaving creams available. I was eager to see if it still reigned supreme.

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  • Cyril R. Salter Indian Sandalwood
    August 2, 2010 Mike Sandoval

    Cyril R. Salter Indian Sandalwood

    One of the "younger" shaving companies in England, Cyril R. Salter has been produced a range of shaving products since the 1940s. Their shaving creams are available in a wide range of traditional fragrances and offer a good value for the budget-conscious wet shaver. Since sandalwood is one of my favorite scents, I was happy to give theirs a try.

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  • Feather Nanka Shaving Gel
    May 4, 2010 Mike Sandoval

    Feather Nanka Shaving Gel

    Feather is most known for their sharper-than-anything-else DE blades, and a close second is their "I can't believe they got even sharper" Artist Club Straight system. If you do some looking around, however, you can also find Feather produces shaving gel and aftershave products. Lather-less creams/gels get a bad rap and normally are outright shunned by most wet shavers. Most of the time they are right since they provide little protection, have funky smells and are just not that much fun to use. The Nanka gel from Feather is one of those times when the general rule does not apply. I am quite a fan of Nanka Shaving Gel and I'll tell you why.

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  • Best-Kept Secret: Tabula Rasa
    March 29, 2009 Mike Sandoval

    Best-Kept Secret: Tabula Rasa

    One of the best-kept secrets in wet shaving is Tabula Rasa, a very unique shaving product that creates an incredible lather and great shave for all skin types. Its all-natural ingredients include mango and Shea butter, as well as a proprietary Swiss-made cosmetic agent called "Stimu-Tex" for treating dry and sensitive skin.

    Although it's technically a shaving soap, the consistency of Tabula Rasa is more like a dense shaving cream. It comes packaged in a large, double-walled, plastic tub and has a very dense texture, something between a traditional cream and a soft putty-like soap. The unique texture of this product makes creating lather a greater challenge than traditional soft creams, which can be easily whipped into lather in a lathering bowl with a wet brush. I worked with this product for awhile before I finally found the best approach for creating a rich and thick lather.

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  • Geo F. Trumper GFT Shaving Cream
    June 7, 2008 Mike Sandoval

    Geo F. Trumper GFT Shaving Cream

    Geo. F. Trumper shaving creams are among the most well-known available on the market today. The newest addition to their lineup of traditional scented creams is GFT.  This cream is part of Trumper’s GFT category of products and very closely matches the scent of the cologne by the same name.  The scent is light and citrus with a very nice lemon note to it.  As far as the fragrance quality of the cream goes, this one is done very well.

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  • Derby Lavender Shaving Cream
    May 27, 2008 Mike Sandoval

    Derby Lavender Shaving Cream

    Derby shaving creams are a low cost cream fairly new to the market.  These are marketed by Derby, the producer of high quality double edge razor blades.  Recently I was browsing Lee's Razors website and I saw some tubes of this cream at a mere $3.50. I decided to be adventurous, especially given the price, and give these a try.

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