Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Body Shop Synthetic Shave Brush

On vacation I realized while en route that I had my shave soap, razor, blades, headblade, alum block, and aftershave.  However, absent from the list was a shave brush.   Fortunately, The Body Shop Store at the Philadelphia International Airport happened to have a nice, wood handled, synthetic shave brush at a decent price.  While I use a synthetic brush on occasion, I do tend to prefer a badger brush.  I was on the verge of putting this back on the shelf thinking the local Target would have Van der Hagen Badger Brush.   Because it was reasonably priced (I think I paid about $12.00), my girlfriend (now fiancée) insisted I get it just in case I couldn’t find a badger brush when we reached our destination.  Wouldn’t you know it … Target didn’t have it in stock.
The Body Shop Synthetic Shave Brush
One of the positives with a synthetic brush is that it didn’t stink when using it the first few times.  I was just able to wet it, load it, and off I went.  The bristles on this brush are rather soft and the wood handle, even though light, feels pretty solid.  It measures roughly 4.25 inches (approximately 108 mm) in height with the knot measuring about 20 mm.  The Body Shop Synthetic shave brush weighed about 1.5 oz according to our scale.   Dimension and weight-wise it was in the ballpark of my Vulfix 2006 brush; which measures about 97 mm in height with a knot of about 19mm and a total weight of about 1.6 oz.  
The Body Shop Brush is roughly the size and weight of my Vulfix 2006 Shave Brush
I tend to soak it or rinse a synthetic brush in hot water for about ten seconds or so to wet it.  It holds water differently than my badger or boar brushes; so I only gently shake out excess water.  For me, shaking a synthetic brush a little too rigorously doesn’t leave it with an adequate amount of water to build a workable lather.   The Body Shop’s Shave Brush doesn’t splay as easily as, for example, my Fine Accoutrements Badger Brush. So, I have to use a little more effort when loading the brush or face lathering.  And perhaps it’s my technique, but with this brush I find it easier to load and build a lather with a cream rather than a soap.   
Takes me a little more effort with a synthetic shave brush, but still able to build a nice lather 
For me, synthetics don’t seem to hold soap as well as other brushes.  It’s not a terrible thing, given the price.  But as with other synthetic brushes that I’ve used, I will tend to reload The Body Shop Shave Brush for my second pass on my head and face.
The only downside is that water seemed to get under the finish; leaving a ring at the base of the knot.
While I like the synthetic brushes that I’ve tried thus far, I don’t typically reach for them first.  If I’m pressed for time in the morning (which is often the case with me), I just reach for a badger brush due to ease and familiarity.
The Body Shop Shave Brush: an impulse buy since I forgot my shave brush while on vacation 
For the price, and considering the circumstances, I thought The Body Shop Synthetic Shave Brush was a good buy.  It was lightweight and kind of compact so it didn’t take up too much space in the dopp kit; it performed ok; and it was reasonably priced.  The only downside that I encountered is that it looks like water can seep into the finish near the base of the knot.  It doesn’t seem to be progressing further than what’s pictured, but this could change of the course of more uses.

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