Eeky Ekey

I'm coining a funny phrase to describe the opposite of "scary close," which is the over-exfoliating result of over-exposed or overly, picky-sharp blades. "Eek" as in heebie-jeebies, a purely anticipatory, non gore-based form of horror, and "Eke" as in barely successful, from the same neurolinguistic field as "meek" and "meager," I guess. You could also file this shave under "can shave with anything," because none of my prep, lather, nor blade worked well, yet I am unscathed.

I was making tea after some morning yard work, trying to beat the rain. I figured my skin was halfway well-prepared by sweat, but threw a wet washcloth in the microwave for 30 seconds to complete my prep, and reserved a few ounces of boiling water to see if I could make hot lather from Barbasol (aloe variety). It was warm, but the water in my brush melted the lather to a thin, aerated lotion. I added more dry foam to the top to even it out.

Noticing some skin distress late in the day yesterday, I recycled the Merkur blade, about a week old. But I wanted to keep exploring the tuggy side of things, so I dug deep and found some "Tian Fu" blades that came with some failed order of Rimei razors, where they sent Junjie instead. I don't know why I kept them, because I absolutely could not shave with them the first time I tried. Just not sharp, sticking only enough to stop the blade from moving forward. This one had a little paint on the edge, too (trying to resemble the old Gillette Blue blades, I guess, but more of a midnight eggplant).

In the Merkur 1904 OC, this edge got nowhere near my skin, but was free to hack and tug from all directions, and with the necessary oblique attack, was able to remove some hair. There was no possibility of loosening the blade; one stroke probably would have disassembled the razor. But I went through the cycle anyway. By the time I got to ATG, I was shaving on water and residue, and really was concerned for my skin. My technical solution was to stroke WTG with my fingers to find places that just weren't adequately shaven at all, with the razor head close behind; then press the same fingers down to hold the skin taut as the razor stroked backward to remove said spots. NONE of my face would pass a touch test ATG.

"Velvety," for sure. I'll be very interested to see if the morning "sandpaper" trend, of surprisingly short stubble following a non-aggressive shave, is broken by this. Then again, it could be that the skin is simply growing back to its natural, full thickness, keeping pace with the stubble. In that case, the stubble will seem to have a growth spurt when the skin reaches its limit.

Since I hadn't squandered any astringent on preshave, I cleaned up with pumpkin juice and witch hazel, followed by dilute Aqua Velva Musk and a little jojoba oil. Yesterday's Skin Bracer didn't sit well with me, and I think it may be that I'm just not able to process menthol. It's like, the alcohol that doesn't go away. Besides, I was surprised to find the dry shaving brush very floral with Barbasol. I don't know all my flowers, but I think Day Lily was the shocker, with some aromatic wood barely keeping it from smelling like Glade. (Definitely not Patchouli; I know what hippies smell like.) It must be the propellants holding it down, in use. Not so "barber shop," after all.

1 comment:

  1. FOOL ME ONCE... I got up early to do something at the kids' school, so it wasn't a fair test, but the stubble was still short and tolerable in the morning.

    Unfortunately, I pushed my luck and tried to shave on that awful blade again, which was a total failure. Gave me a nice burn, plus I had to get out my other old-man razor, with the anchor-style head, and shave again just to get SAS. I think that's the first brand, I can truly, surely say, that I can only get one shave out of it.

    But, they say Chinese barbers are sometimes stymied by thicker Western beards, too -- so it's not necessarily a quality issue.