An Uncompromisingly Natural Shave

Instead of pushing the closeness envelope, I pushed my botanicals collection to the max today, for the health of my skin. I wasn't thrilled with soaking off the first lather of Kiss My Face as preshave, so I went back to pumpkin juice and oil -- this time, Shave Secret -- and left it in place in a fairly traditional manner, soaking IT off with cold water.

That effectively negated the weird feeling of KMF, and only knocked the lather down to a rich yogurt, though the boar brush may also have taken some cushion away. I mixed the liquid in a bowl to not-quite hydrated state, and so never saw the full volume until I took it to my wet face.

The hair was cut with relative ease, and the skin felt very safe. I'd call it half-way toward those rare miracles after lawn mowing, when sweat seems to inflate both skin and hair shaft. Two passes plus long strokes didn't get everything, but raised a red bump on my neck, so I shaved to finish on my face, but left well enough alone under the jawline.

By the time I was done touching up, the razor had done what I normally expect the cloth to do, which is rinse off all the soap. It was a perfectly natural progression from cushion to slickness, the closer I shaved, which is part of what makes Stirling so endearing, too.

So I felt like I could have just walked away, but then I remembered the seldom-used vinegar I keep in an old English Leather bottle, the most natural way I know to remove or neutralize soap residue. I sprinkled that in a cloth and applied as a dilute soak. Finally, after my skin dried and calmed down, it occurred to me that I should also have some moisturizer, and went back for a drop of Shave Secret.

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