So, I just finished with my first ever DE razor wetshave, and came out with some unexpected results. I was hoping to get some feedback and see if anyone has any tips about what I've been doing so far.
Here are the tools I used:
Safety Razor - Merkur "Classic" 33C
Razor - Merkur (It came with the safety razor)
Shaving Brush - Colonel Conk Chrome Handled Badger Hair Brush
Shaving Soap - Colonel Conk's Glycerin-based Lime Shaving Soap
Aftershave - Nivea Sensitive Skin ASB
I also used Cetaphil sensitive skin face wash and Cetaphil SPF 15 moisturizer before and after shaving, respectively.
The Shaving Process
The first thing I did was prepare my razor and blade. The first thing that I noticed was that the blade seemed awfully snug with the body of the razor. Is this normal? Should the blade and razor "housing" be flush when the handled is tightened? Or should there be some space between the razor and the blade?
Anyway, I hopped in the shower and washed my face using hot water and the Cetaphil face wash. I then filled up the sink with hot water while I dried my hair and body, and stuck my brush in a mug with warm water sitting inside of the sink to warm the mug up. After letting the brush soak for about a minute, I dumped the water out and began lathering up the soap. The first thing that I noticed about this step was that the soap didn't seem to lather up all that much, so I needed more than I expected on the brush to get what appeared to be the proper lather (of course, I'm a newbie, so I may be miscalculating what the proper lather is).
I brushed the lather onto my face and neck using a circular motion and let it sit for about 30 seconds before I began shaving. The first thing that I noticed was that the shave seemed much smoother than I have come to expect, so I wasn't even sure it was taking anything off! I did hear the razor moving across my whiskers, but didn't see much coming off with the first pass. This made me suspect even more that maybe the blade and razor should have some space between them, but I could be wrong. I finished doing the first pass, and it didn't seem like the razor took much off at all. So, I washed my face off, lathered up again, and took another pass at it. This time, I separated the blade and razor a bit and found that more hair was coming off. However, the handle felt shaky and the razor head was close to spinning, so I retightened the razor so that it wasn't going wild. After finishing the second pass, I lathered up one more time to clean up some areas I felt hadn't been taken down enough. I didn't cut myself at all (fortunately), but I'm not sure if this is because I used proper technique or just used a blade that wasn't sharp enough or what. I tried to keep the blade at around 30 degrees during the shave, but did experiment with the angle a bit.
After I finished shaving, I rinsed my face off with cool water and then applied the Nivea ASB. That stuff is amazing. It made my face feel nice and cool and didn't burn like the other aftershave that I have does. My face also didn't feel greasy at all, but instead nice and clean.
After the whole process, my face didn't burn like crazy like it usually does after shaving with my electric razor, so even though my shave wasn't as close as I had hoped it was far more comfortable than I'm used to.
Overall, I felt like the shave wasn't nearly as close as I had hoped. I'm not sure if it's because the blade that came with the razor wasn't very good or sharp, or if I didn't have the razor setup, or what. Any input any of you could provide into my technique/steps would be most excellent. I ordered a blade sampler pack which should be here in a couple of days, so I will definitely use those and see if I get different results with different blades. I look forward to experimenting with different blades and improving my technique so that I can get a close, comfortable shave in the future.
Edit: I think I just realized the problem with my shave due to another thread: I had the razor assembled upside down. The grooves on the guard were underneath where the blade was, so no wonder the blade and razor were so close. Stupid me for not looking it up beforehand! I could still use some tips on getting a proper lather, though..