Hi. I found this forum the day after ordering my first "real" shaving accoutrements, so I've not been able to make use of all of your apparently vast knowledge. Regardless, hi there. Allow myself to introduce...myself.
I've before last week, I have owned but two razors in my 17 years of shaving: a Gillette Sensor that the good folks at Gillette sent me for my 16th birthday (what a fantastic example of loss-leader...), and the Mach3 I upgraded to when Costco had an amazing deal on it + a buncha cartidges. I'd been using standard gels up until 6 months ago, when my brother-in-law introduced me to The Body Shop's shave cream. Holy crap! Angels came down from on high, seraphim sang, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria. Hooray Close Shave!
So, while perusing Amazon looking for a refill on my tub o' shaving cream, I stumbled upon the foreign-to-me concept of DE shaving. Looked exciting. Read more. Looked more exciting. Decided to give it a shot. Decided to stop using pronouns.
I looked around a bunch (pronouns came back), and decided on a Merkur Progress with Merkur blades, which I purchased from BestGroomingTools.com for no particular reason, other than price, I guess...and the fact that they had a cheap styptic pen. Within 2 hours of my placing the order, I got an email saying that the order had shipped. More angels, seraphim, etc.
So today, the day finally came when I broke out the new gear. Set the Progress to 3 (the lowest I could get was 1 1/4), set my phasers to Stun, and got crackin'. Interesting, and a bit scary at first. I ended up doing three passes -- with, across, and against the grain (the last being real light), re-lathering each time. Oh, incidentally, I'm using a Body Shop brush. Not sure what kind of hair it has, but it sure was cheap ($8), and I wanted to make sure I really wanted to go this route before investing in a good brush. I ended up with a pretty damn nice shave -- almost as good as what I've been getting with the Mach3 -- with no bloodletting. So, yay. My face was a bit more raw-feeling than normal, but it went away after a bit...and after applying some Nivea ASB.
And that's my ridiculously-long story. Congratulations for getting this far. You deserve a prize. But I don't have any to give you.
Now I have some questions:
1. One thing that was less-than-great about the shave was that after one pass (after the cream was off), the Progress didn't go so smoothly...it seemed to want to stick on my face. Think this a technique issue, or do I need some other pre-shave whatever?
2. I know about the blade sampler pack, which I will certainly purchase after a few weeks of this, but are there soap/cream sampler packs anywhere? I'd like to try different ones, but would hate to buy a puck/tub/bar and hate any of them. Same question with after-shave stuff.
3. Anyone know what the Body Shop brush is made of?
Thanks...looking forward to participating here...