Midnight Pub

The Styptic Pencil


Coming out of the pandemic, October's been my first big month of travel in years. I always fly carry-on only, but almost had to check a bag when I realized my favorite shaving foam no longer comes in TSA-approved sizes. I tried other brands and various gels and all left me with cuts and burns. On my last trip I ended up buying a full size can of foam and leaving it in the hotel. What a waste!

At home I prefer shave cream with a bowl & brush. It seemed overkill for travel – too much stuff, too much time – but I decided it's the best thing for my face. My home gear is too big and too ceramic to throw in an overhead bin, so I needed some new stuff. For this weekend's trip I'm experimenting with a big blue plastic shaving bowl and travel tube of cream. My neck doesn't look like an altercation with a feral cat, so: success! I don't like the smell of the cream very much: it's very citrusy. But it'll do.

Razors are the other thing that changed over the pandemic. There are whole religions about men's razors (yes, thank you, I _have_ heard the good news about safety blades) but I always return to the Mach3. I still use the same handle I bought when I was a teenager. Mach3 Turbo blades are no longer easy to find in shops, so I'm back to the plain Mach3 (not Turbo, not Sensitive, just Mach3) and finding it a little abrasive for my skin. I may have to try a Schick or something.

Bah. Coarse hair and sensitive skin is a tricky combination to buy for. I could blame my genetics but it's more fun to blame all these beards for not supporting my preferred products. How dare they.

Apple cider old fashioned for me, bartender. I'm stuck with this citrus scent, so I may as well embrace it.


hey, ~alder! I, too, have done the "shaving song and dance" in regards to what works/what doesn't, and I realized that my best bet is the original (orange handle) Bic disposable razors. Here in Missouri, they are about $3.50 a 10-pack, and I buy three 10-packs at a time, and go through them throughout the month.

I realize what an eco/plastic waste nightmare this is, and I tried to go another route with a safety razor (though not a straight razor) and all of those are hit or miss, for me. Either the blades I order are too thick, or not "sized" right for the shaver head, or there is "wiggle room" for the blade (ever so slightly) and it causes pulling/tearing of facial hair when shaving. I did the $19.99 "As Seen On TV" version of the safety razor (some company-less manufacturer), and ironically that one lasted six months. Others from Van Guren(?) and then "lofty" online outlets that manufacture a unit out of solid brass, or copper, or nickel - all of those were always mis-sized/mis-aligned, and didn't last very long at all.

So, back to the Bic disposables which I can always count on, and are cheap as could be. I used to swear by Gillette XYZ model(s) back in 2003 or so, as a new handle color with some "trimming" feature would be released, and I *HAD* to have the "best of the best" (in that regard, anyway), and couple it with AXE foaming shave gel, because I was apparently a stereotypical late-teen, turn of the century d-bag, lmao! After joining the service in 2004, most cadets in training just stuck with plain old (and reliable) Bic disposables, and I think that is what got me into them.

Anyway, hope you're good :)