I can't seem to get close enough in the mustache, chin, goatee area. No matter what I do, or how many passes I do over those areas in as many different directions I can think of, the dark shadows still remain. I've prepped gratuitously in those areas to try to soften the whiskers, used a few different blades, different blade angles, stretching the skin, puffing out my cheeks, blade buffing (although I admit I'm almost positive I'm not doing that with near enough skill), and J-hooking. I can hear the whiskers being cut, but nothing ever really seems to be shaved off. It's weird. I've had this issue since day one, when I started using cartridges. Now, with DE shaving, the solution still eludes me.
Prep is as follows:
-Nivea Moisturizing Glycerin face wash
Either TOBS Sandalwood Cream, Mama Bear's Fresh Cut Grass Soap, or Mystic Water Lily of the Valley Soap
Merkur 34C HD with either Shark SS, Derby Extra, Astra SP, Personna Lab Blue, Gillette 7 O'Clock Blue*
1) Work cream/soap into whiskers with a Parker Silvertip Badger Brush for about a minute
2) Leave that sit on face to further soften beard for 4 minutes.
3) Wipe off most of lather with warm wet towel.
4) Reapply Lather
WTG, XTG, XTG, and gentle touch ups here and there. I slightly rinse my face after each pass. I use WARM water--not hot--as I shave.
I squeeze the brush to get the really slick lather sitting in the breach, and apply with my hand to my chin/mustache area for my touch up in those spots.
Any advice or help would be appreciated. Thanks.
*I've stopped using Shark SS and Astra SP. They tore me up. So far I really like the 7 O'Clock Blues. Derby Extras aren't bad. Just illustrating all the blades I have been using thus far.