'Murican Shave! Puck Yeah!

That barber-style finish held up amazingly well. Still smooth to the touch 12 hours later, by which I mean, stroking in the direction of growth. No irritation, no chapping.

Yesterday, I took a break from the trials, though, because I had to shower and shave for a ride on the "Polar Express." I did incorporate the skin-side strategy, applying hair conditioner to my beard in the shower, and then oiling up as soon as I got out. It was just a good shave. I didn't have to cash in my NMF reserve, but it didn't hydrate the hair enough. Too much traction meant fewer passes were feasible for the skin, and the cutting angles on the hair were imperfect. But it got me out the door with my herd of spoiled brats. Plain splash followed by moisturizer was sufficient and un-tacky.

Mission Accomplished

"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers, and sacrifices of his friends." Not this time -- party on, dudes! The perfect shave was achieved on December 13, 2015, a date that will live in infamy, when I selected the other oil-cleansing alternative, generic Noxzema, and put together an All-American shave (well, except the Semogue Boar brush -- D'oh! Should have gotten out the Ever-Ready). The tackiness with which I successfully dealt two days ago, I realized, was one of the main things that put me off Noxzema. Not that I was ever particularly conscious of the value of NMF, but no thin-skinned individual wants to lose entire layers of their face to chemical maceration. Today, I was confident of retaining it, with even less shaving oil than usual -- a mere three drops.

To avoid all possibility of collapsing lather, Williams took the understated soap role, and showed similar, but less dramatic enrichment than Arko, layered atop dried pumpkin juice and baking soda. I thought I might have smelled some, uh, contaminant, if you know what I mean. But no "water pass" today, boys -- rich crema brought me to blade silence in three passes.

And I straightened out the postshave, too, with Florida Water first, which went on very lotion-like because of the Noxzema. I could have stopped there, but I was rather looking forward to more powder, and wanted some Shave Secret spiciness in this scent profile. So one drop of oil, followed by Bentonite clay again. I found out it's a legitimate talc alternative. I'm -- ahem -- sticking with it.

I can rub backwards and find some stubble on my neck and below the jawline, but I'm attributing that to blade wear. This shave is even, it's perfectly comfortable, there is no damage, and I'm guessing it will hold up closer to 10 hours than the usual five to eight.

This concludes our regularly scheduled programming... thank you, and good night.

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