Synthetic Shaving Brush - Feedback Thread

Are you still using your SS15062?

  • Yes I use it in rotation with my other brushes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No it did not work for me

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No & I sold it/PIF to another shaver

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
It has been a while since the initial feedback & I am interested in how many brushes are still in use.
Please cast your vote.

Best regards, Paul

Brush Specs:
Lathe turned black acrylic handle - 54 mm x 38 mm diameter.
Hand tied synthetic fibre knot - 24 mm x 48 mm loft.
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<Full Disclosure> I did not pay for this brush, but Paul graciously sent it to me for in-depth long-term 'stress-testing'.
I've been using this brush for about a week since I received it and I must say I'm pleasantly surprised at the performance.
Before I started testing, my two favorite synthetic brushes were a 24mm Pur-Tech (Gen-4) and 26mm 'UberSoft' Nathan Clark (Gen-3).
This Vie Long brush is serious competition for top-dog in my collection.
I don't like the handle. If they had drilled the knot hole on the other end it would be great. Below is a shot comparing the brush to my favorite Vie Long handle design (the butterscotch 'Amphora' style).
The hair fibre tips are extremely soft and pliable. When wet, the tips clump together in a unique hexagonal honeycomb pattern I haven't seen in any of my other synthetics. The knot has an overall hexagonal shape when viewed from the top-down. This hexagonal orientation may indicate the fibre composition.
It's a medium-density knot, with good backbone should you desire to face-lather. The fibres have a bit of springiness to them, so when I've face-lathered I find the lather gets flung about more often than with any other brushes.
Here's some detailed photos I took earlier.

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Again as with Mr_Smartepants this brush was sent to me to use, test and feedback on.

It is indeed a great brush, the tips are softer than anything else I have tried. The back bone is stiffer than anything else too, and as previously stated you do get lather flung about on a face lather. I have also tried using a bowl with a soft soap which produced a great amount of lather. By far for me it has been best on a hard soap, where the back bone seemed to work at its best for me.

I like the handle shape myself and it sits very well in my hand. The only criticism would be I'd like the bottom edge slightly smoothed as its a 90 degree cut.

It hasn't lost a single hair as of yet, and cleaning seems easier too. I always rinse out any lather in the basin, I then wash out any remaining lather with fresh cold water, squeeze dry and towel flick. I would say though usually with a badger there is still a hint of soap scent, not with this brush.

It will be interesting as time goes on to see if the backbone stays the same or if it will break in at all.
Another tester here.

I've used this for three shaves so far while I've been away where the water may be a little harder than in Essex.

I did think on first look the loft would be too short at 48mm but it's surprised me. My Purtech is approx a 53mm loft but this seems to perform similarly.

My favourite two synthetic brushes are the Plisson and my new arrival the Stirling synthetic which both have the softer Plisson type fibres.

I've used this with a soft soap, the harder OSP soap and a vie long soap stick. No trouble with any of these three.

Overall a very nice brush on par with the Muhle STF type brushes and acts in a similar manner in use.

I'll post further feedback once I've used it more.
Here's another photo to show the differences in hair fibre type. On the left is a 20mm Muhle travel brush, on the right is a 24mm Pur-Tech knot in olivewood handle. Both are Gen-4 hair fibres. I played with the contrast/sharpness settings to increase the visibility of the color differences between the two Gen-4 knots and the 22mm Vie Long knot.
I don't know what 'Gen-type' the fibres are but they are not Gen-4, nor are they Gen-3 because they don't mimic the Plisson/Stirling synthetic fibres. Also curious is the hexagonal shape of the knot as well as the hexagonal orientation of the fibres when wet (which I've never seen before). I've never owned an Omega-S, so I can't comment on that.
Here's a link to a detailed analysis of the different 'Generations' (a term coined by GDCarrington, NOT the fibre manufacturers.)
Good afternoon gents, I was also given the privilege of testing the Vie Long synthetic shaving brush. I currently only have a Plisson synthetic and admit to preferring badger over synthetic brushes. Here are my observations:

IMG_1641_zpsjxlivhx2.jpg IMG_1641%201_zpsvsgy9qcg.jpg

Totally agree with Eric that the entire brush would look better reversed. As it stands the handle doesn't look bad, the base is a little uncomfortable to hold because of the edges on the very flat bottom. Otherwise very smart with the white lettering against the solid black handle. The handle has a good weight to it which I prefer, somehow makes it feel more robust.

Compared to the Plisson the bristles seem thicker and thus providing much greater backbone. They also have a good degree of spring and softness, which gives a very pleasant face feel. I don't think it exhibits softness identical to that of a good silvertip but its not far off the softness the Plisson exhibits with its cloud like nature. This could purely be down to heat and water retention being a synthetic. Saying that, I think and could be wrong but this brush retains more water than my Plisson, when wet you do get 'clumping' and a hexagonal structure to the drying fibres.


So positives are a great backbone, aesthetically pleasing, lovely soft tips and IMO decent water retention.
Improvements are obviously very personal but I would prefer less thick bristles yet somehow very little change to backbone (perhaps with density), the handle reversed and finally some control over the flow through as it does fly around a bit. Perhaps less thick bristles but more of them, not being an expert this is a pure assumption. Still a very nice brush and produces brilliant lather in minutes. Below is Proraso green loaded for one minute.


Thank you again Paul for this opportunity!
My brush finally made it to sunny California so I'm a bit late to the party :)

Opening up the box and looking/feeling the brush I have some initial reactions (note these are before having actually used the brush yet):

The positive
Visually I like how it looks. Solid black handle with a nice understated logo.
The handle also has a rather nice heft to it. It doesn't have a cheap/budget feel to it at all.
The knot seems to me to be a medium-high density knot.
The other synthetic I own - and have used a lot - is the L'Occitane Plisson and this compares very well to it - at least just from feeling the knot.
There is a fair bit of backbone here which I really like and the tips are almost, not quite, as soft as the Plisson knot.

The negative
The handle is rather uncomfortable. The edge at the bottom feels very sharp (maybe rounding it off would solve the problem...) and I had to try to re-position my grip a few times until I got a somewhat comfortable hold on it.

That's it for 'impressions out of the box'.

I'll be putting this brush to use starting tomorrow and will be posting my findings here :)
Used this again today and was really impressed by it. I think I used less of a mashing action than previously and it worked really well. I just lathered a bit of soap that was stuck to the lid of the tin which I didn't think was enough to shave with but had enough lather for three passes and some left over.

I think Nishy was right this does seem to hold the water well compared to other synthetics. Thinking about it the only difference today was I left the brush soaking in hot water while I showered which I don't usually do. Not sure if that had a bearing on the performance today but I did enjoy using it more today.

I'd have to say I don't find the handle uncomfortable to use.
Ok then - had my first shave using the brush this morning.

Soaps used:
a) Started with the Vie-Long shaving stick and then face lathered. Got such a poor lather that I actually had to go get another soap.
This might be due to the soap and not the brush though - so next shave I will use another stick.
b) I switched to a Provence Sante soap and did some bowl lathering. Much easier to build a nice lather and the brush performed well in the bowl.

The positive
I actually 'forgot' that I didn't really care for the brush handle once I started using it. I think by adjusting the grip slightly in order to hold a bit higher up on the handle helped.
I can't say that the handle felt especially uncomfortable at all during my two-pass shave.
I also appreciated the extra backbone in the brush - there was no feelings of it being floppy at all.
Water-retention/hydration - no issues at all. Kept a good amount of water actually.

The Negative
1) I didn't find the tips to be as soft/luxurious as the Plisson one once I actually had it against my face. There was even a slight scritch from time to time. Now, if that is because of the somewhat stronger backbone I'm not sure.

2) I could not for the sake of me get the knot to splay properly. It made the brush feel rather inflexible and less comfortable doing circular motions with the brush.
I found myself doing much more left-right strokes than I am used to.

I will continue to use the brush and see if there is anything of a break-in period and/or how my perception changes as far as the points outlined above goes.
Ironically, just yesterday I sent an e-mail to regarding their new...

When queried as to what Gen. it was he replied, and I quote, "5". o_O Hmmmm. Perhaps there is a correlation here. One thing is for sure people, the new improved synthetic brushes are surely selling like cold lemonade in Hell as it seems everyone is getting on the gravy train and prices are dropping.

I see Gifts & Care has the new Vie-Long listed:
I have the razorock one. It's very good. The knot has been set perfectly. Splay is bang on.