Razor: Rockwell 6s on 3
Blade: Rapira Super Stainless
Brush: Yaqi Synthetic
Soap: Ariana & Evans Facespackle (Barbershop)
Aftershave: Crown Shaving Aftershave Tonic
Other: Thirsty Badger lather bowl, Crown Shaving Signature Blend Cologne

Today felt like a simple Barbershop kind of day.  I figured it was a good day to highlight this unique base from Ariana & Evans, Facespackle.  This offering from A&E is marketed as a budget conscious cream to hit a larger market, to catch new wet shavers or wet shavers that are shopping in more traditional spaces like Amazon.  It is meant to compete on price while still offering the performance of a high end product like the the high quality artisan products do.  As such, the packaging is much more basic than a typical A&E/Club product and artwork is more on the basic side.  Scent strength is a bit less than Peter typically offers, but still quite strong for a product in this space.

First off, to me, this is no shaving cream.  When I think shaving cream, I’m thinking the white stuff you can squeeze out of a tube or easily spoon out of a tub, something the texture and consistancy of tooth paste.  When I think cream I think tubes of Proraso, Nivea, TOBS tubs, Elvado, etc.  This is definitely not that.  This base if a very soft soap base, but it has some density and weight to it.  It feels much more substantial than a cream.  There is a bit of translucency to go with the dark vanilla tinted colour of the base.  If I was to compare it to another soap base, Moon Soaps Amaretto Speciale comes to mind (also marketed as a cream, but isn’t in my mind).  That doesn’t make it a bad product.  Quite the contrary.  I’m very impressed with this soap base.  After scooping a bit in the bowl I was able to quickly build a nice hydrated lather with the ease of a typical cream.  It doesn’t take much water to dial in, certainly not in comparison to A&E’s regular soap bases.  The resulting lather had a bit more structure to it than their typical base.  Cushion is very good, slickness (lathered and residual) are excellent, and the post shave was very good as well.   Scent on this is fantastic.  Bergamot, lavender, vanilla, oakmoss, labdanum, sandalwood and a touch of powdery goodness.   To my nose it comes out as a bit fruity with a creamy vanilla/sandalwood sweetness.  So while it might be a bit of a surprise to a person picking this up expecting more of a typical cream, they won’t be disappointed when they use it.

Not having a matching aftershave (which I would buy in a heartbeat) I opted for another barbershop favourite of mine, the aftershave tonic from Crown Shaving.  This particular scent was actually a no for me when I first got it, but now I’ve come full circle and love it….. so much so I grabbed the matching roll on cologne.    Notes of tobacco, leather, bay rum, anise and barbers talc give a bold, in your face barbershop scent.  Performance on this was also quite nice and left my skin feeling nice and hydrated.  The strength on this carries well for me, holding on to the scent for several hours post shave.

A winning shave to start the day.  All for now – J



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