I tried something different today and shaved without first showering or without using Noxzema. I have razor burn on my neck that I think resulted from going against the grain on the third pass. I also had to change my blade before shaving, so I took the Feather out and decided to use my last Merkur to get rid of it. It felt as if it has a lot of drag compared to the Feather, so it could also be the blade.
I will use the same blade tomorrow, but use Noxzema on my face first to see if I can get the same irritation free shave as I did before with Noxzema and Feathers. This will tell me if it is the blade since the Feather worked fine in this scenario.
I find Feather to work much better than Merkur blades. I can't wait until my sample pack gets here from SouthWest Shaving. I will use the Feathers from the sample pack first to finalize the technique I will use with all the blades.
Any other advice?