09-01-2014, 04:53 AM
#1
  • WriteNoob
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  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
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Hi, everyone. Some of you may recall, from the introduction section, that I've been on TSN (and using a DE razor, in fact) for only a bit under two weeks. In that time, however, I have made some observations, mistakes, and consequently, changes. Thought I'd lay them out here, and see if there's anything that I could be doing differently, to help things along, as it were.

It looks like I won't be using Feather blades in in my EJ DE89, at least in the near future. Day before yesterday, I started with a fresh Feather, for the third time since beginning this endeavor. And, like both other times, this thing did a fine and thorough job of pealing my face like an orange. Now, obviously, this may be down to technique, or lack thereof, but last night I used one of the Derby Extras that came with my DE89, and had a pretty nice shave, even considering that I had some good sized nicks and just plain torn up areas left, under my chin, from the Feather on the previous day. I do get a better shave from the Feather, but only on the second and third shave. Then, starting with number four, it seems to start back down hill. Guess that for me, in the Edwin Jagger at least, the feather is just not it.

Also, from what I can see, the aneurism-worthy expense of The Art of Shaving products doesn't seem to offer me any advantages, other than their seriously awesome aroma. Wandered into one at the Mall of America, this last weekend, and got smoodged into buying their Sandalwood full kit, sans brush. For $85.00, I got the pre-shave oil, the tub of shaving cream, and the facial balm. Other than the fact that I smell truly awesome for about eight hours after, I didn't really see any great advantage to this stuff, over my Cremo and Old Spice. In fact, the balm left my (admittedly overly sensitive, after the rough shave) face feeling uncomfortably waxy. Perhaps the three (minuscule) squirts i used were just too much. Not sure about amounts, with this product, and will have to go with less, next time. I will be trying the whole process, again, now that I've stopped using the Feather blades, and see if I have a different opinion, or if things like oils and balms are just not for me. It would be a shame to have to sell or trade this stuff, though, as I love the smell of the sandalwood.

So, two weeks in, and my daily shave is definitely still changing, using a DE razor. Right now, it looks like the DE89/Derby blade combo is what I'll be going with, at least until I find a blade that is noticeably worth whatever extra cost it requires, over the incredibly inexpensive Derby blades. I did win an auction, on Ebay, for a Gillette Slim. Perhaps I can try the Feathers in that, on some of the lower settings, to see if that makes a difference.

Anyway, just thought I'd make a post, and see if anyone thinks I'm way off base on any of this stuff. Kinda fumbling my way along, at the moment. I am in the process of reading "Leisure Guys Guide to Gourmet Shaving", so at least I'm slowly coming upon some answers, as I go along, that way. Also, working my way through the archives of Brush n Soap n Blade, and Moustache and Blade. Guess I might be just a bit too into this stuff. Anyhow, I guess I aught to end this thing, so until nest time, thanks for taking the time to read this.

Cheers,
Mike (WriteNoob)

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 09-01-2014, 05:15 AM
#2
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Hi Mike,

Keep trying, keep asking, and keep learning. The shaves will keep getting better.

First I would suggest taking a couple days off of you can to allow your face to fully heal. Of you can't stop completely for a couple days, then try only going WTG for 2-passes and then being done. Speaking of WTG, have you mapped your beard yet? What order and which pass directions are you currently performing?

Regarding AoS products, they are great quality but I do personally think they are overpriced. I have quite oily skin so preshave oils don't work well for me but they can be great for those with dry skin. While Cremo is supposedly very slick it offers no cushion/protection. It wasn't even that slick in my experience.

So keep up the enthusiasm but take your time with your shave as you dial in your technique.

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 09-01-2014, 05:38 AM
#3
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There are a ton of variables, but if you're getting better shaves with blades that aren't as sharp, I want to say watch your pressure. The temptation to press too hard can be based in habit (you may have shaved with a cart previously), or it can be due to some other issue with your technique (you're not getting a close shave for some other reason, so you press harder to compensate). Either way, pressure should be nearly non-existent.

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 09-01-2014, 05:38 AM
#4
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Something closer to the Derby but sharper, more consistent, and smoother would be the Iridium (or whatever they call them these days). Same price as the Feathers but not as sharp and much more durable.

Low and mid range ASB's abound but if you want one that is leaps and bounds above the rest than Penhaligons is the one. It has no competitors.

The Feathers aren't the best while you're still learning your face/routine. They also have the worst durability due to the super sharp edge, they deform easier than most. This is something to consider if you have a super tough beard unlike peach fuzz Freddy.

I use an SS Shavette to mow down about 10 days growth in the easy to reach spots and then a DE Feather to finish up. If not the DE blade is shot before I'm finished since I don't shave everyday.

As for stripping your skin, its technique. You are pressing way too hard. Learning where you can use some added pressure and where you can't will come with time. Thats why I call it "learning YOUR face". Others will not be able to provide you with a routine. But they can tell you how they shave THIER face.

If you have hair growing in or patches that take a beating than don't go for super smooth in these areas, leave a tiny amount of stubble and they won't cause you so many issues.

Brooke

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 09-01-2014, 06:58 AM
#5
  • WriteNoob
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  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
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(09-01-2014, 05:38 AM)Shannons Soaps Wrote: There are a ton of variables, but if you're getting better shaves with blades that aren't as sharp, I want to say watch your pressure. The temptation to press too hard can be based in habit (you may have shaved with a cart previously), or it can be due to some other issue with your technique (you're not getting a close shave for some other reason, so you press harder to compensate). Either way, pressure should be nearly non-existent.

Pressure ...

Agreed. Came from a fusion, so I'm used to really bearing down to get the job don. I'm usually really good at keeping the pressure down to near zero, on the first (WTG) pass. It's the others I need to learn to watch. Especially on my neck, where I have some pretty squirrelly grain. Made the decision, this morning to go once WTG on the neck, for now. Honestly, that's all I usually did with the cartridge, on most days, since I couldn't really get that close a result, anyway, unless I had a new cartridge.

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 09-01-2014, 09:54 AM
#6
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My neck is a nightmare as well. In addition to careful technique, make sure your prep is good. I've never tried an oil, so I can't comment there, but if I absentmindedly forget to wash my beard or wet it before applying lather (for each pass), I will pay for it - especially on my neck.

I have had good results with a shave soap with lanolin. I think it can cause ingrowns for some, but my skin seems to love it - way less irritation, for me anyway.

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 09-01-2014, 07:06 PM
#7
  • eengler
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  • South Dakota, USA
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Stick with it Mike. It sounds like your on the right track and with some time all the components of a great shave will come together.

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 09-01-2014, 07:38 PM
#8
  • WriteNoob
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  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
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Prep is not, I think, the problem. Every shave, since starting with the DE, has been preceded by shower and full prep. The whole lathering thing, however, is another thing. When I used a cartridge, I would often not even use shave cream, or soften my beard. Takes a bit of practice to not, for instance, automatically cover the same area twice, in the same stroke. Especially on the tougher spots. I'm gaining on it, though. I think that first pass would be fine with the feather, on that first pass, but by the second, it's starting to burn. By the third, I'm distracted by it, and wanting to get done. That's when the worst of it happens. I'm thinking of going back to the Feather, settling for one pass, on the neck, and concentrating more, while doing the rest. Been a little too hung up on the perfect shave, me-thinks.

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 09-01-2014, 08:20 PM
#9
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Mike, first off, I would never recommend a Feather blade to a new shaver. Heck, I've been wet shaving for over 50 years and I don't use them.

There are two different blades I would recommend you try, the Polesilver Iridium or the Astra SP. Both sharp and very smooth, and they both work well in the DE89 series razors.

If you would like to try some of the Astra SP blades, PM me your mailing address and I will send you some.

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 09-01-2014, 08:26 PM
#10
  • WriteNoob
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  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
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Always did jump in the deep end. Learnin' the hard way, but perhaps an order of a few different brands would be wise.

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 09-01-2014, 09:02 PM
#11
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Hang in there!! I am new and using a Fatboy at #2 setting with derby blades. Those feather blades scare the jeebus out of me. Like the more experienced guys said try a more tame blade. Less passes could help too. I use 2 passes and then feel for spots that need a touch up. I don't get nicks, weepers or burn. Just a suggestion from my noob self.LOL

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 09-01-2014, 11:29 PM
#12
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(09-01-2014, 07:38 PM)WriteNoob Wrote: I'm thinking of going back to the Feather, settling for one pass, on the neck, and concentrating more, while doing the rest. Been a little too hung up on the perfect shave, me-thinks.

Happens to all of us. Reading the forums can give you a false sense of what to expect. Let your face tell you when to quit each day. Your solution makes perfect sense.

One thing I learned is when you make the curve between your neck and jaw,,... Lead in with the top of the razor and not the blade. Its easier to control how close your shaving without the blade digging in.



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 09-02-2014, 06:30 AM
#13
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Pressure and angle, pressure and angle.

For pressure: try holding the razor handle near the end.

For angle: try holding the angle at a more extreme angle than you think is possible -- angle just enough to where it starts to cut. (i.e. hold the razor perpendicular to your face, with the top of the head on your skin, and rotate it down JUST enough to where the blade cuts). Try it -- it should be very comfortable once you get the hang.

Using a blade like a Feather might not be your preference one day, but it doesn't make such a huge difference that your face feels "peeled." It's a minor difference here and there.

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 09-03-2014, 01:02 PM
#14
  • WriteNoob
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  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
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This solution of rolling onto the blade from the cap never occurred to me. Read it here, then I'm Leisure Guy's book, on the same evening. Once I'd read that, it was like,"Well, duh-uh!" I'd actually been concentrating on the safety bar, all this time, when I should have been watching the edge of the cap.

I let my beard go for a couple days, so will try it, tonight.

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 09-03-2014, 02:10 PM
#15
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(09-03-2014, 01:02 PM)WriteNoob Wrote: This solution of rolling onto the blade from the cap never occurred to me. Read it here, then I'm Leisure Guy's book, on the same evening. Once I'd read that, it was like,"Well, duh-uh!" I'd actually been concentrating on the safety bar, all this time, when I should have been watching the edge of the cap.

I let my beard go for a couple days, so will try it, tonight.

You will realize its an easy way to control how steep the cut is.

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 09-03-2014, 03:18 PM
#16
  • WriteNoob
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  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
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Oo! Oo! As an added plus, my Semogue 1305 brush just showed up, 3-5 days before estimated delivery date. New, better, technique. Plus, a shiny new brush. Lookin' up, for tonight's shave!

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 09-03-2014, 06:33 PM
#17
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Sounds like you're making progress. It was great advice (and looks like you took it) about giving your face a few days off after a rough shave. As many times as I've tried, I can't ever shave my way back from a bad shave.

AOS products are pretty good, but be sure you're using enough water. So wet face, then pre shave oil. The cream is pretty easy to lather, but err on the side of too wet. Your face will thank you. And afterward don't dry your face all the way off before you apply the balm. A little goes a long way especially if your face is damp.

I also prefer a less sharp blade, and Derbys (in my experience) are pretty good for a couple shaves and dirt cheap. Enjoy your new razor for a few days, but then pick one to really dial in for a few weeks to get your technique spot on. Enjoy your shaves!

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 09-03-2014, 08:23 PM
#18
  • WriteNoob
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  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
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First, let me offer my sincerest thanks to all who took the time to offer me advice, in this thread. The insights offered have literally changed my shave. To use the vernacular, you guys rock!

The suggestion of rocking from the cap forward caused me no small amount of embarrassment, as I was, quite honestly, doing it completely backward. I would start on the bar, and rock the razor toward the cap, until blade contact, using that angle to control the blade. I wondered what people were alluding to when they spoke of the sound of the blade 'snicking' through the beard. What I was doing was causing a rasping sound, more akin to a badly honed cabinet scraper. I'd always thought my face was tough, until I started using a DE razor the wrong way. I'll bet my angle was off by a good 15-20 degrees! Facepalm

Tonight, I used the proper technique, and if I hadn't been able to hear my razor 'snicking' through my beard, I'd have never known I was actually shaving with a blade! Unfortunately, I got so enthusiastic that I did a full on BBS. I actually may have hit some areas as many as 6-7 times, including my neck. Other than the lightest of tingling, no razor burn anywhere. I did get one minuscule nick, in the crease between my chin and lower lip. And, I could tell it would be a nick as soon as it happened. Stopped bleeding before I washed off the alum block. Pretty sure I've not had a face and neck that was this smooth since I started noticing girls. Cool

Anyway, thanks again, everyone.

P.S. Not really liking the Art of Shaving stuff. Just too 'goopy' for me. Not really into the whole oils and balms thing. Leaves me constantly rubbing my face, trying to lose the feeling of being waxed, or something. Maybe once I've gained the privilege, I'll put them up for trade for some good soap, or aftershave, or something. Haven't got the whole trading area thing Sussed out yet, being a newbie, and all.

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 09-03-2014, 08:58 PM
#19
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Congratulations on the shave and the revelation! Smile

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 09-03-2014, 09:39 PM
#20
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Congrats!!!

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