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Shaving Brushes????

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houseofwool

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I have made some shaving soaps that I am planning on giving out as gifts this holiday season and would like to include brushes with them but am overwhelmed by the options.

Can some of our shaving guys (Fat Faced Charlie and Mark the Box, et.al.) weigh in on this? I do need to keep pricing reasonable. Can you give some recommendations at various price points?

One of these is likely to be a teacher gift, so it needs to be pretty inexpensive to keep under the gift limits...
 

grayceworks

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Cool! I needed to know also! Made hubby the badger-n-blade recipe that songwind posted and he loves it, but I made a big batch so I could give xmas gifts. So we happened to be cleaning out another cupboard in the kitchen to get rid of stuff we don't use (and make more room for soaping stuff lol) and came across a bunch of nice collector type mugs and I said, those are shaving soap mugs! And some nice large-size ceramic ramekins became shaving soap bowls. I found nice razor and brush holders on amazon, but am overwhelmed with the brushes! Very timely post, thank you!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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When you say "inexpensive", what are we talking?

I recently bought an OK (quality, not brand!) brush for £30 GBP, and it's far from expensive as far as brushes go but great for me. I had one that was part of a 14€ starter set and it was little more than a round paint brush! I knew from reviews that the brush was poor, so I didn't let it put me off in general.

In all honesty, if it's for people who may or may not be in to using soaps and brushes, then it's not so vital to have an amazing brush, which I think is out of the question anyway. Think of it this way - people looking to try a sport don't always get the best equipment to begin with. Basic stuff for a taste and, if they like it, they can invest in the more expensive stuff.

If they like the soaps but not the brush, they can then choose their own brush later on (which is actually a rather personal thing) but still buy your soaps.
 
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houseofwool

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I am looking exactly for a starter brush, particularly for those who may not be familiar with shaving soaps in general. So, as long as it does the job and doesn't feel like sandpaper on the skin, it will be a winner. Bonus points if the pricing is $10USD or less. For the record, I am fine with synthetics in this case, particularly is these are not shaving aficionados who will be meticulous about storing the brush.
 

houseofwool

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Digging further into the reddit threads I found this one for "frugal brushes". Looks like there are some decent options listed in there.

shoeboxshaveshop.com/omega-40033.html looks like a good option, as does

shoeboxshaveshop.com/om5hupr.html

shoeboxshaveshop.com/om5hupr.html

Thank you for the reddit information. I never use it...
 

grayceworks

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My hubby stole my eco-tools 'finishing' powder brush. He loves it. It makes a good lather, and is still soft on the face. They come in a 2-pack on amazon for like 12.99 -- they're nicely made, and synthetic, bristles do not shed, and the handle can stand on end or fit in most shaving brush stands. But although hubby likes it, I think most people would expect it to be firmer bristles? So i'm not sure about putting them with these gift sets. Thanks again for the suggestions!
 

alaskazimm

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For shaving brushes if cost is a factor then you are looking at boar hair brushes. Boar hair does take some break-in time, say 2 - 4 weeks for full break-in, for them to reach their full potential. They are quite usable while they are breaking in though.
Silvertip badger hair brushes are considered more luxurious and therefore more expensive but they feel so soft on the face yet still has enough backbone to get the job done. Many find the extra expense worth it.
Pure or black badger is more scritchy or scrubby feeling and are cheaper but still (usually) cost more than boar. I personally don't like pure badger because of the scrubby feel. There are badger hair brushes for under $20 out there but they are of dubious quality. IMO stay away from these.

This brush is boar hair and is one of my main workhorses in the shaving den. Highly regarded around the wet shaving community.
http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Semogue-1305-Pure-Bristle-Shaving-Brush_p_1504.html

This one is very similar to the 1305 above but without the painted handle which can be prone to chipping.
http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Semogue-1800-Pure-Bristle-Shaving-Brush_p_1509.html

These Omega brushes are under $15. Omega is a highly regarded maker, but I haven't used these so can not vet them.
http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Omega-11047-Banded-Boar-Shaving-Brush_p_797.html
http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Omega-13522-Banded-Boar-Shaving-Brush_p_1079.html

The folks at West Coast Shaving are a great crew. Might be worth it to give them a call and see what they recommend. Hope this helps and good luck.
 

grayceworks

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More great info! Thank you! The info about the feel of different bristles is especially helpful!

More info on the eco-tools brushes that hubby stole and won't give back -- the bristles are synthetic but very high quality and don't shed. Nice solid bamboo handles with a good feel to them. He had taken my regular powder brush, but it has a straight handle, and although the bristles are all one length, it makes a good lather and applies well to the face. But then he discovered my 'finishing' brush, which is much fatter, has a handle like most shaving brushes, and the bristles, which feel very feather-soft and light while dry, and are multi-length with longer feathery bristles, and medium denser bristles. When wet, the bristles have a firmer feel and make a great lather, but are nice and soft on the skin. Anyhow, he likes it and kept it and gave me the regular powder brush back. :)

So it could be a good brush for easily irritated skin, or for someone who prefers the softer bristles.

The bristles are not two-toned-- the white tips are the longer feathery bristles and are all white and scattered lightly throughout the shorter bristles. The brown bristles are all-brown and denser and stop at that height.



I like hearing about all the different types and comparisons -- good stuff to know when choosing gifts!
 
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grayceworks

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Ooohhh that one looks like it would be perfect for the little bowls of shaving cream I made. But they're too short-handled to work with the soap in the pretty mugs. I'll get a few of those maybe, and then keep looking for ones for the 4 mugs I have. :) thanks!!!
 

houseofwool

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That was my dilemma too. I ended up finding some glass ramekins/finger bowls at the dollar store that I am using for the shaving soap.
 

twinkie

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I found the perfect shaving mugs at the dollar tree. They have an old fashioned look to them and they're clear n u guessed it only a buck!
I gave my shaving soaps out to family on thanksgiving without brushes cuz the only ones I could find were very expensive. They can get their own
 

lsg

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Check out the Good Will Stores and Thrift Shops. I found some great mugs there.
 

goteeguy

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This might be a bit late, but Shopper's Drug Mart, Walmart, Target, etc. usually carry a basic boar bristle brush for about $5. I believe it's a Wilkinson Sword brush, but don't quote me on that.

Another idea is to check out online auction sites; I managed to purchase a lot of 3 badger hair brushes for less than $12 shipped, and they're of excellent quality.
 
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