Frack Me Gently

Frack me slowly...take it easy, don't you know
That I have never been shaved like this before

My apologies, Andy Kim: I always thought you were Neil Diamond. But that pun is AM gold! Better than "On the blog again... shaving places that I've never been..." I almost went with that, because I am shaving out of the box again. "Curiosity shaved the--"?

No, I've just been curious whether bentonite could be applied to make a shave like with the charcoal mask, where the hair seems to withdraw and give the shave a clear conclusion. I found that it can, but doing so carries the usual risk for my stratum corneum. That charcoal mask was in a cold cream base, and with an extra layer of oil on top, that was more like a variation on the perfect shave with Noxzema.

What I tried was to dust the beard with bentonite, apply oil sparingly, then my special serum, and finally lather. Yesterday I additionally wet the clay down with a spray bottle and backed it off with a cloth. Using (low-glycerin) Williams soap and the Merkur OC, I got a good, 10-hour shave. It wasn't too special-looking, but it was easy and comfortable. Today I went neo-traditional, with no spray bottle, Stirling for lather, and back to the Rimei razor. With the oil directly on mineral, I was thinking of Hydrolast shaving paste, though I don't have any idea what's in that; probably not bentonite, as the color is different.

Today's sensations were certainly more interesting. Man, was I feeling the burn -- not after the shave, but during! The clay seemed to hold the glycerin right on my nerve endings. Rinsing soothed it dramatically, as the corneocytes locked rank to suck hard at the moisture on the other side of the paste barrier. Dollar General's version of Brut made a great pairing with coconut, highlighting a sweet note. It's a splash I fear for irritation, but after the concentrated glycerin, it couldn't touch me.

Sans the pain, this must be what it's like for people with dry skin. I can see my NMF is shredded, despite moisturizing immediately. I dread the long term consequences of that, but for now, it only contributes to an ashen look that totally camoflages the stubble. Wait a minute... what stubble? I could feel a uniform coat of hairs that ATG missed, but now they have largely submerged into my skin texture, making for an unequivocal (but very shallow) BBS feel.

You know, thinking back to my grandparents' shaving lesson recently, I remember that they actually had tried to explain "comfortable" further, by comparing the beard to a velvet fabric... they had a hobnail chair with velvet upholstery, and Gram fetched me a small pillow to stroke. The term "velvety" comes up alot in the old advertising, too.

I think that in today's high-glycerin world, explaining "BBS," you'd have to fetch a four-year-old some distressed leather.

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