REVIEW: Tatara Masamune/Semogue Collaboration Finest Badger Brush

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Intro:

I came across the recently released Tatara Masamune Finest badger brush. The design really caught my eye and the combination of the beautiful stainless steel handle and the Semogue Finest badger knot basically sealed the deal for me!

I received the brush last week and upon opening the outer packaging, I was impressed to see the brush packaging with paper wrap and a wax seal. Once opened, the brush was seated in a cork stand. It is so unique and absolutely gorgeous!

Just check out these pics:

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Shedding and Smell:

There was no badger funk in the knot. I don't mind either way but I know many people are sensitive to the smell in the badger knots. I personally like that earthy smell.

The brush shed a few hairs in the test lather, perhaps around 5. I suspect these were just loose hairs as they slipped out of the knot during the first few swirls in the palm with no hairs coming out after that.

Pre-bloom:

Surprisingly soft for a two band! It did have a bit of scritch but given it is not a gel-tip brush, it was softer than I expected.

A point to note is how broad the dark waist of the hair is. It's broader than most of my other two bands. It really gives the brush a unique look. I believe the same hair is used for the Semogue SOC finest badger brush.

Pre-bloom:

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Break-in:

After the couple of test lathers, it was soft and ready to go. Being a two band, it will soften up as it breaks in further over time but it is already very comfortable to use.

Post-bloom:

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Softness:


Two bands are a thicker hair so they do have an innate scrub to them. When they are new, they have a light scritch but with this particular brush, the scritch was well reduced after two test lathers and one use for a shave. A soak in some water for a few minutes ensures it is comfortable on the skin for a full 4 pass shave.

(Silvertip and Pure/Best badgers give opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to scritch but a two band finest lies perfectly in-between where there is no scrtichy feeling on the face but it does give the feeling of scrubbiness).

Splay:

The splay is effortless and so natural. The knot is 24mm with a loft of 50mm. This may seem like a fairly low set loft however, the first thing to note is there is no glue bump at all so the “effective loft” is 50mm. I found this 24/50mm knot to loft ratio perfect!

I generally don't push down much on my brushes but I wanted to test the splay and when I pushed down a little bit, it responded well and opened up a bit more, enveloping the face but it doesn't have a tendency to splay flat as it's definitely not a floppy brush!!

Backbone/Density/Scrub:

The knot being 24/50mm, this combination is just perfect! It has a density that is suited to the 24/50mm specs. It's not a super high-density knot and gives a beautiful scrub on the face without hogging the lather. It releases the lather easily (not a lather hog).

The backbone is moderate due to the 50mm loft however, the brush doesn't resist splay nor does it feel stiff against the skin.

I get a beautiful scrub from the Semogue knot as it is not treated to be gel-tipped. It gives a really nice face feel of natural badger hair. I have a real liking for soft and natural badger knots, however it's becoming difficult to find these as most brush makers are opting for bleached/gel-tipped knots.

Knot density:

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Drying time:

The brush takes roughly 10 hours to dry out completely (in my current cold, dry climate). This is consistent with all the other two band and silvertip brushes I've used.

Handle:

The brush handle is based on the well loved Tatara Masamune razor handle.

It is made of 303 stainless steel with a bead blasted, satin finish. This is really one of the nicest brush handles out there!

The lip at the top of the handle helps to prevent any lather coming down on to the handle so during use, the grip is maintained nicely.

The base of the handle has bot the Tatara and Semogue logos, which I thought to be a wonderful touch that really celebrates the coming together of the precision work of Tatara and the master craftsmanship of Semogue.

Base of handle:

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