After reading several months of newbie threads I have noticed that some people have chronicled most of their first shaves here and received very useful feedback. I have decided to do the same but consolidate it into one thread so that I'm not cluttering up the forum. So without further ado...
Today I had time running against me. My pt session took longer than usual. My supervisor and soon to be shop NCOIC just returned from a 3 month TDY/leave. In addition to the shop drama that occurred while he was gone I wanted to update him on my standing as we haven't spoke in months, my EPR is due soon, and I'm PCSing in a month. We went running and talked during our run and didn't notice that we ran further away from our vehicles than we intended. By the time I got home I had only 40 minutes to get ready for work instead of my usual hour. My AoS lavender arrived today and I really wanted to get my second shave in. However, I still needed to get my blues ready for work and shower/shave. I decided to go ahead with my HD shave.
Although I felt time closing on me I don't feel like I rushed the shave. I used a porcelain bowl instead of a mug to lather in today. The AoS was amazing. It lathered up so much easier and fuller than the Nivea I was using previously. The smell was amazing. I ordered lavender because I figured my SWMBO would like the floral scent. The scent was not the floral scent I expected. It had the lavender, but additionally there was a peppery, musky undertone that was very masculine and pleasing. I am never shaving with unscented cream again. As many of you stated, the AoS was a superior lather and I felt the additional lubrication.
I had a much easier time controlling the blade this time. I just let the blade do its thing and don't think I pressed down once. I went for three WTG passes. The lather up between each pass was much better than yesterday because I floated the bowl in hot water as was suggested. The warm foam was such a pleasing experience. No razor burn or irritation today. Very close on my cheeks with no tangible stubble if I rubbed it WTG, just a bit ATG. My neck I am still having some issues properly applying the blade to, especially the upwards passes for my lower neck. Consequently, the shave was not as close and I still had visible stubble. SWMBO observed the last pass, and I stupidly was looking at her and explaining the process during one stroke and actually nicked myself. The cold water rinse stopped the blood flow temporarily, but it took the styptic pencil to stop it for good. Other than than the one small nick, very comfortable shave today. I was very proud of myself.
Question: I am still having an issue with the head of my HD touching the skin along with the blade. The blade never drags, but the head does drag sometimes on my skin. Should I tilt the handle further down? I am putting the head to my skin perpendicular, and the rolling the handle down just until the blade engages currently.
Thank you all again for the advice. Tonight's shave was remarkable other than my one moment of stupidity. I feel confident that next week I can incorporate one XTG pass unless you all advise differently. Oh, I started looking through pictures of Gillette razors. Some of them are very aesthetically pleasing...especially the flair tips. I think I may have to pick one up after I master my technique with this razor.
Merkur 34C - Feathers - Tweezerman Pure Badger - Art of Shaving Lavender Cream - Nivea Sensitive Balm - Acqua Di Gio Cologne