I have had some pretty poor holiday shaves in my time. Poor lathers and poor razor/blade combos preferring mild nick free shaves over efficient two pass shaves I usually like have led to irritation and soreness. This holiday I seem to have got it spot on. The combo of Speick shave stick, Yaqi Synth and Charcoal/ Gillette Yellow have left me smooth and irritation free with no nicks or weepers. Lather is simply awesome, if I was being hyper critical the soap is slightly drying but nothing to write home about. To simply wipe a stick over ones face, dip a brush into water and produce such a volumous hydrating lather has been fabulous. Is it the soap or the brush though? Is a Synth better at building lather than a 2 band Badger? Is the soap so good it beats the majority of my so called Artisan tubs that I own? I normally never use either except when away but I should use both more.