Blade: Astra Green
Brush: Yaqi Silvertip Badger
Soap: RazoRock Emperor
Aftershave: RazoRock Emperor Splash, Like Grandpa Sandalwood Balm
Other: Thirsty Badger lather bowl
Time for the last shave of 2017. It has been a busy and fun year. It was the middle of the year when I first started my wet shave journey (thanks Shave Valet) and I can’t believe how far I’ve come since then. I launched this website and our online store with our custom lather bowls (as well as a few other goodies). I have met many fantastic people in the wet shave community. And lastly, I now have a well stocked den of fantastic products. I figured with my last shave of the day 2017, I would use my favourite products of this year. This doesn’t imply they were released in 2017, just that I would say these are the top choice of each line in my den at the moment. It was a tough decision as I have so many great products from many artisans. So here we go….
For the Razor, it was a close call, as my Gillette Tech also gets a lot of use and has the nostalgia factor, but in the end, my trusty Rockwell wins out. It is versatile with the multiple plates and has a really nice hefty weight to it. It gives a great shave.
Blade, the trusty Astra Green. It isn’t the sharpest blade in the den, but always get a smooth shave every time with whichever razor I use. Honorable mentions would be to my Rapira Platinum Lux and Feather blades.
For the brush, this was a late addition to the den and was an impulse buy with a few other brushes from Yaqi. I’m so glad I grabbed it. This silvertip badger is dense, soft and has just the right amount of backbone. The weight it really nice and I prefer the smaller profile handle. It makes short work of almost any soap.
Soap was a really tough choice. There were at least 5 others I could have pulled for this one. Soapy Bathman Bonsai, Henri et Victoria Cognac & Cuban Cigars, Stirling Sharp Dressed Man are all honorable mentions for great scents and performance. But for me, Emperor came out on top. RazoRock makes a great value product. Price point wise they are on the lower end and being softer soaps they lather really easily. The scent on this is Aventus inspired and while it may not be the closest match, it always stands out to me as an amazing scent. If I have a special occasion to attend, this is what I grab every time.
After shave was also a bit of a challenge but in the end I opted for the Emperor matching splash. So far, I’ve tended to gravitate to the matching splash/balm combos when I have them. I’m guessing in the near year I will get a bit more adventurous with the combos. The one exception has been the Like Grandpa balm. This stuff is amazing and I use it a lot. It has a subtle sandalwood scent that pretty much pairs with anything and it is very hydrating for the cold prairie winter. I don’t go too many shaves without using this at least once in the rotation. Honorable mentions would be the paired aftershaves with soaps above, as well as my Stirling Iced Pineapple for its versatility.
Last but certainly not the least is out Thirsty Badger lather bowl. My lovely wife has given me many prototypes and options to try but this one has found a permanent home in the den. It is the perfect size to fit in the hand and the side handle makes it super comfortable. The bottom texture makes lathering a breeze.
How about you, what was your top products for 2017? I hope you had a fantastic 2017 and have many great shaves in 2018. Have a fantastic and safe night tonight celebrating the turning of the year. Happy New Years from your friends at the Thirsty Badger! – Jared