Shaving "Burlesque" – 38 Brushes and Razors To Tease You With


This is often called “shave porn” but someone mentioned to me that it’s more like “teasing” so it should be called “shave burlesque” instead.  I’ve had a few good conversations going on Reddit about some of the shaving products I own (herehere and here) and I realized it could also start a good discussion on Sharpologist.   So here I present a consolidated view of most of my shaving “hardware” inventory:

Partial Brush Inventory

From left to right: Beauty Strokes H.I.S Shaving Brush, no-name synthetic, Parker Synthetic Bristle Shaving Brush, The Body Shop Men’s Synthetic Shaving Brush, Muhle Synthetic, Van der Hagen Natural Shave Brush, Omega Shaving Pro 48 Boar Bristle Brush, men-u “Pure Bristle” Shaving Brush, Vie-Long Professional Horse Hair Shaving Brush, Metal/Wooden Handle, Vie-Long Badger And Horse Hair Shaving Brush, Van Der Hagen Men’s Luxury Badger Brush, 3-Ounce, Col. Conk Pure Badger Shave Brush, Tweezerman Men’s Shaving Brush, QED/Saville Row super badger (no longer in production), Shaveplace silvertip, New Forest silvertip, Rooney Fine (limited edition, “SMF-III”), Shavemac “Variable Loft Brush” (no longer in production).

You’re more interested in razors? OK:


Top, left to right: Parker 90R, Lord Safety Razor Model LP1822L aka L6 (mild, decent razor for the money), Weber, my other ’90R, NY Shaving Co. “Stout” (I like the handle but the razor is too aggressive for me), Muhle R41, Schick Injector clone.

Bottom, left to right: Goodfella (relatively mild–particularly for an open-comb razor–but gives me a good shave though the handle is a bit short for me), Wilkinson plastic DE, Merkur 37C Slant Bar, Merkur Vision, no-name imported TTO (from Vermont Country Store catalog), Classic Shaving Cobra Classic.

But here are the tools I use most:

The Regular Rotation

This is my usual rotation. On the razor stand (4 o’clock, clockwise): Merkur Progress, Parker 92R, WeishiMerkur Heavy Duty. The Progress gets the most use by far. I’ll use one of the others when I get a wild hair or if I’m testing something specific (though the Parker has been getting more face time than the Weishi or the HD lately). The brushes (left to right): Shaveplace “Havanna,” Simpson’s limited edition Rover, Crabtree & Evelyn Best Badger (actually an Edwin Jagger). Out of the three I probably use the Shaveplace brush most: that $40 brush just seems to have the right combination of handle size and brush performance to work with just about anything I throw at it (for me. YMMV). I also quite like the Rover for creams particularly but it works fine with soaps too. I use the C&E as a “baseline” when I’m testing products.

[Edits/corrections: I originally said the NY Shaving Co. razor was out of production but I was wrong.  I have corrected the text and added a link.  The original Slant ID and link didn’t match–I’ve corrected it in the text.]

Do you have a large shaving “stable?”  What product(s) in your inventory do you like most?

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  1. Martin says

    Look, it’s your blog and I respect that, but maybe stop with the pointless images of scantily clad women? What does that have to do with shaving? I know a lot of classic shavers like the old classic ads with women fawning over well-shaved manly-men, but in 2012, it really just feels wrong. Let shaving be represented by razors, and if you HAVE to have people in the photos, at least have people that are, you know… shaving.

    I love this blog, and I’ve subscribed to it for a while now, but I honestly feel those images are offensive enough for me to stop doing so, if they don’t stop first. I know that’s not going to make a difference to the blog, it’s not a threat, just a concerned reader giving you his opinion on how to make the site better.

    Thank you.

    • says

      Recently, I’ve thought the images were a little odd and suggestive too. The Shave Cream bra girl and today’s Burlesque are NSFW at my conservative day job; I like to check-in on Sharpologist throughout the day… just my 2 cents.

    • Steelles Stain says

      My God it is the internet!
      This is super mild considering what floats around on the digital high way.
      On tv there are far more suggestive adds.
      But hypocrites like you still watch tv.
      Maybe you just don’t like a pretty picture?

    • Ralph says

      I would have to someone second Martin. I don’t personally care for the scantily clad women. I don’t think it would stop me from reading the articles because they aren’t often, but I guess if they were on more maybe I would. I just don’t care for them and don’t think they do anything for the article.

    • Tim says

      Please move on and stop trying to find something to be offended about. The world has too much of this pc garbage already. Don’t bring it here.

  2. mantic59 says

    Martin, its a perfectly reasonable opinion and I respect it. It’s been in the nature of an experiment. I’ll set up a poll and we’ll see where we go from there.

  3. Attila says

    Honestly, I don’t see why anyone would be offended by any of the pictures you posted for your articles. As a gentleman, pictures of tastefully seductive women does not offend me, on the contrary. I appreciate them for what they are, like artwork and then move onto the article. Now, on to more important things…

    I only started wet shaving about 2 months ago so my collection isn’t as big as others’ I am sure. But I do own 2 Proraso soaps (white and green) as well as a tube of the red cream. I also own MWF soap Bluebeards Revenge cream, Razorock XXX cream (how appropriate for this article…) and Cremo Creme cream. Of all these, I prefer my White Proraso soap followed by my red Proraso creme. They just lather so well are really slick and protect my skin really well not to mention they smell very nice!

    I own 5 razors. From least used to most; Merkur 38c barberpole, Feather Stainless steel AS D1, EJ 89 DE 89 with an iKon Bulldog handle (a wonderful razor really), a 1948 Gillette Superspeed and a 1962 Gillette Slim.

      • Josh says

        The Feather SS is an outstanding razor. Feahther nailed the blade angle. Although it feels mild, and almost too comfortable, the shave is suprisingly aggresive. Used with one of the feather blades, the shave is remarkably efficient. The only downside is the finish. After a couple of uses, the residue on the head becomes a distracting eyesore. Moreover, the well bezzled and easy to hold handle, seems to soak up the soap/cream, resulting in a razor that needs cleaning after EVERY shave to keep its unique appearance. Is it worth the money? Maybe not;it was awfully expensive when adjustable razors can be had at half the price. However, it is one of my go to pieces when I don’t use my Merkur Futur.

  4. Attila says

    In all the excitement I forgot about my brushes!
    :-) Short list though. From least to most used; Vulfix super, Muhle 23 mm and my 25 mm Muhle synthetic. I recently gave a Vie Long horsehair to a friend of mine to use and keep. Love the new synthetics. I’m waiting for a Frank Shaving 30/54 brush to arrive.

  5. Charlie says

    Much like Attila, I haven’t been wetshaving/de shaving that long (just shy of six months). In other words my collection is quite small. Here is what I have:


    Muhle Black Fibre synthetic (only one I use)
    Van der Hagen Badger Brush
    eShave starter badger brush.


    Edwin Jagger DE86 (ebony handle)
    1961 Gillette Super Speed Flair Tip
    Feather Popular.

    I try to rotate between the three as regular as possible.

  6. bsmyn0708 says

    Mark, do you remember what I asked you several weeks ago regarding your vacation and some other announcement you had? You said you were going to post it within 2 weeks. I can’t find the post though.

    • mantic59 says

      Sure do, I had to re-schedule because I’m going on another trip in October and it will give me an opportunity to make a better video!

      • bsmyn0708 says

        Is the trip shaving related? I forgot all about the straight razor video you were working on.

        Why has it taken so long to make?

        • mantic59 says

          I actually have 2 trips in October; the 2nd one is very much shaving-related! I had to re-do some of the video for my straight razor video–I’ll present it around Sharpologist’s 1st anniversary next month!

          • Larry says

            The presence of a Weishi and a Parker in your regular rotation speaks volumes about the shaves they deliver. Neither manufacturer could buy better advertising than that!

  7. says

    (I don’t understand what is the issue with the teasing picture chosen by Mantic. It made me thinking about a famous Belgian Artist Félicien Rops, whose most famous painting is : Maybe some US puritanism? My spouse did not have any issue with the picture too…)

    Whatever. Mantic, I just would like to say how much I admire your expertise and the way you share it and convey it. I am currently writing a book on shaving (180 pages already), and, when I read you, I always come back to Socrates’ s words: “I know one thing: it is that I know nothing”. To me, your blog is really THE reference.

    Now, one suggestion for you. A lot of customers that we succeeded to bring back to traditional shaving, are busy executives, traveling a lot. Hence, they were dozens who, after having thrown away their canned foams and gels told me “Nice, but, how do I take my shaving set in travel”? To answer to their requests, we launched a SilverTip Travel Badger. Now, my suggestion to you: I think, in our common quest to promote wetshaving, that it might be interesting to make a “survey”, and then write a post, on travel (badger and non badger) shaving brushes. What do you think?


    • mantic59 says

      Hello Pierre– That is a very good idea. We have discussed badger vs. non badger before, mentioning travel as an aspect, but nothing in-depth. As bsmyn notes above I had been working on a travel video, which actually included a small synthetic brush I use for travel. I will follow up with you by email later for a little more detail.

  8. Attila says

    Hi Mark. My favorite Muhle is the 25 mm synthetic. I find the 23 mm a bit small (keeping in mind that synthetics perform like a smaller Badger equivalent). The Feather razor while a beautifully made piece of art, did not shave as efficiently as I would have liked. A very safe shaver but I had to go over areas so often it wasn’t worth the time. I have recently negotiated a trade for an iKon OSS so that would give you an idea as to whether I thought it was worth keeping. :-) Some people swear by the Feather Stainless. Though for me, even though my beard is fairly light, it just wasn’t efficient enough.

  9. says


    thanks for showing us your collection.

    Could you please tell us your impressions/experience with the shavemac variable loft,shaving brush?

    Thanks a lot!

    • mantic59 says

      The VLB is pure luxury. It has the highest quality of badger hair that I’ve ever seen (might be the vaunted “high mountain white” or similar–I don’t have anything like that to compare it too). Loosened up it excels at creams while tightened down it excels at soaps. You can set it as a compromise between lather coverage and control. Really the only downside was the adjustment mechanism itself: it had to go through three revisions before it was “right.” My “v2″ just broke off it’s little internal adjust guide. Not a big deal though, it still adjusts fine with a bit of hand-holding :) . The handle is a bit heavy but it works really really well. I need to use it more. :)

  10. Ian says

    Thanks for giving us a bit of a glimpse into the mind of Mantic59. I’ve been shaving this way for about a year, and this is what I’ve tried and what I prefer at this point:

    Shark Chrome
    Shark Stainless
    7 AM
    Astra Platinum

    Art of Shaving Lemon
    Taylor of Old Bond Street Lemon Lime
    Proraso Green New Formula
    Rise non-lathering in a tube

    Van Der Hagen Glycerin

    Edwin Jagger DE 89

    Pre-shave oil:
    Art of Shaving Lemon
    Art of Shaving Unscented

    Nivea for men sensitive
    Art of Shaving Lemon
    Osma Block Alum

    Edwin Jagger Best Badger

    My best/favorite setup is a bit of Proraso followed by the alum and then Nivea, with an Astra in my Edwin Jagger. I don’t use pre-shave oil much anymore, and I prefer to make lather in a bowl most of the time. I use cold water throughout my shave, and the alum and Proraso makes me feel like I just stuck my face in ice water! My last two shaves (since I started using Proraso) have been the best I’ve ever had as far as closeness and comfort go.

  11. Tim_McD says

    Thanks again for a peek at the den. I have been wet shaving for a little over a year and the den/rotations are pretty well established. The razors rotate on a monthly basis and the rest are in the order of day-to-day use.

    1 Edwin Jagger DE89 Barley Chrome Handle
    2 Muhle R89 Rosegold Handle
    3 Feather AS-D1
    All loaded with Feather Blades

    Cream Geo F Trumpers Coconut
    Soap Czech & Speake No 88
    Soap DRH Windsor
    Cream Geo F Trumpers Violet
    Soap La Toja
    Soap Martin de Candre
    Cream Truefitt & Hill Rose
    Soap Cella
    Soap DRH Arlington
    Cream Nancy Boy Signature
    Soap DRH Lavender
    Soap Speick
    Cream Nancy Boy Blossomwood
    Soap DRH Marlborough
    Soap Geo F Trumpers Rose

    1 Simpson Colonel, Best Badger
    2 Vie-Long Beehive, Horsehair
    3 Thater 4292/3
    4 shavemac D01 2 band
    5 QED Select Horn

    Also, keep up the cheesecake photos – it is the only kind without calories

      • Tim_McD says

        The razor is easy: Muhle R89. I just love the rosegold, layered over the same handle as the Barley Chrome EJ. I go for this razor the most and force a rotation of the Feather AS-D1 on weekend days. I like the Feather, it is the only razor I feel comfortable with going ATG under my nose, but the R89 is a 2-pass (WTG + ATG) shave. – perfect for the work week.

        I rotate the brushes daily, so they all are used equally against the software – but my favorite two are the QED Select and the Vie-long. They are totally different in softness, density, loft etc., yet equally enjoyable to use. Anyone of the brushes I have could be my only and make me happy – but if some is good more is better. I rationalize the 5 are necessary to allow proper air drying. It is that same logic I am going to use to stretch it to a 7 day set.

  12. Bit2 says

    I appreciate the you showing us your stash. I use a test tube holder myself for my razor storage.
    As for the burlesque, I approve. Nothing racy or wrong with what you used.

    If you work for a company or government agency, then I think it is their own fault for using company/government property for personal use.
    I bring my iPhone to work and use that if I need to connect to the outside world.
    My 2 cents,

  13. Fous says

    Gd Evening,

    Been wet shaving for a long time (with a Mach 3), and DE for about 2 months. Only now perfecting my technique

    – Merkur 23 c Long handle

    – Muhle Basic 3 pure Badger


    Feather, Merkur, Astra, Derby.
    – still learning what i like. I so far like the Derbys and the feathers. Find the Merkurs were rubbish but i might have had a bad blade.


    – TOBS Jermyn St Soap
    – Spieck Shaving stick
    – TOBS Eton College cream
    – Proraso Green tube
    – Proraso Pre/post cream
    – TOBS Jermyn St after shave cream
    – Osma Alum Block

    Cheers from Canada!

  14. Cenzo says

    Mantic, there’s neither a problem nor offense taken by the images used. Please do not give it a second thought as (mentioned above) even my wife didn’t take offense to them. While I can understand your heeding his complaint and not wanting to alienate any readers, there’s simply no reason to take offense to the picture in the first place.

    • mantic59 says

      The poll seems to be running positive/neutral so I’m not overly concerned but I did realize I need to keep in mind what might be considered NSFW. :)

  15. says

    That is quite a collection you have there! Sadly, I have just one razor and one brush. It gets the job done, though. Again, well done on your collection.

  16. Monsieur Blaireau says

    I am with Martin on this one. Your blog is terrific, and your contribution to the knowledge base of wet shaving’s reinvigoration unsurpassed. But the imagery you’ve been associating with your posts lately is detracting from the greater good of the larger enterprise.

    Don’t get me wrong: I like the lace in that latest image. A lot! But what’s it got to do with shaving?

    Objectifying women in advertising is nothing new, particularly when it comes to shaving. Those old 70s Noxema ads (search YouTube in the unlikely event you don’t know what I’m talking about) seem kind of quaint from today’s perspective, as, indeed, do most of the images you’ve deployed here.

    The problem isn’t that those images are sexy. It’s that they’re sexist. When you objectify women in the way those images do, you render them “other”; somehow unknowable. That degrades women. It also impoverishes the men who do it. And you think it’s no big deal, it’s just shaving, after all, but you’re on a slippery slope.

    Go all the way down that path and you’ll end up alongside Todd Akin and Dominique Strauss Kahn. Or worse, the Taliban. And they don’t even shave!!

    And most women, of course, do shave. Wouldn’t the conversation be enhanced by including their voices? What’s the best blade in a Lady Gillette?

    There’s an easy fix: when you stop deploying those images, you eradicate exactly that much sexism from the world. Without that image – which, again, in another context I might enjoy, but that’s irrelevant here – your site, and the greater world of which it’s a part, has exactly that much less sexism in it. Hey presto, a world made better through shaving!!

    Now, if you want some shave porn, take it from a hard up old timer. I’ve been wet shaving for thirty years and what I’ve got in mind is by no means safe for the workplace, or anyplace else. That peek you offered at the breadth and depth of your stash has freed me from the shackles of shame and allowed me finally to express what I really want.

    I’ve always been pretty well a one brush, one razor kind of guy. I think my brush is French, maybe a Plisson, but it sure wasn’t priced like they are now back when I bought it. Which isn’t to say that it was, or that I am, cheap. Just that I’ve ridden that baby hard, and all too often put it away wet, and it’s showing its age. I need something new. I keep eyeing this Vulfix. (Is that a family name? Are they kidding us?!?) I lie awake nights dreaming of the day when I bury my face deep in its bushy loft, until, enveloped by warm creamy lather, my stout whiskers stand ready to give up in sweet, total surrender to its ineluctable charms.

    Call me fickle, but I’m also eyeing a couple cheap Italian pigs. The handles on some of the Omega boar brushes just look like fun, pure and simple. I hear they get the job done, no questions asked.

    My razor? I use the same Hoffritz open comb my Grandfather left me. There, too, it’s time for some fresh blood, as it were. The Hoffritz has been a trusted tool, but is starting to lose its chrome. Literally.

    Of late, I’ve also put the blade of my grandfather’s straight to my cheeks, but it will take more practice before I am able to fill those shoes. Opa was a big man.

    I am waiting on delivery of a new Muhle R41. I want to see if I’ve got the stuff to tame that beast.

  17. mantic59 says

    The “upper” razor holder photo is a test tube holder. The smaller razor holder in the “bottom” photo is a tooth brush holder.

  18. waltz says

    Hi all !
    Maybe with some delay wrt original post I add my horses in appearing order:
    – Merkur Progress; Merkur Futur;Gillette Super Adjustable; Gillette Fatboy; Gillette Slim; Merkur 34 C HD; EJ89BL; Merkur 37 C “slant”
    After playing around with the adjustables I realized that what counts is the “handle”, i.e. the technique so I went back to fixed razors to finally land on 37C on which I’m focusing these days, trying to transform it in my daily razor.
    Regarding brushes, nothing special: a couple of Omega, low cost brush that can be found in the store here in Milan and Proraso soap

  19. waltz says

    P.S. regarding images…
    My opinion is that I often find more offensive people bad bahaviors than sexy images, but I also respect other point of view..
    Sensitivity to such things has to do with the religious and cultural background, with the way one was raised …

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