OK, first shave with the feared Feather
Well gents, the big day finally arrived! I have to say I almost didn't do it because my shave from yesterday (incidentally with a new Feather blade in my Futur) produced such a close shave I wasn't sure my stubble was really long enough this morning.
Pah! I jumped in and tried anyway!
First impressions of the Feather Artist Straight Razor:
1. It's a well crafted bit of kit. Very modern looking (and therefore probably boring in the eyes of real straight fans), but still aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
2. It's not as heavy as I was expecting as I mentioned in my other post, but that's just my perception given I've never held a real straight razor either.
3. The blades are a piece of cake to load and unload, very straightforward and simple, also SAFE. There's actually never a time when you really need to even touch the blade thanks to the injector system and the fact the blade just drops out when you unload it. Good idea and keeps soft fleshy fingers away from scary sharp metal!
So, I decided to just go for it this morning. I went through my usual facial prep routine and my soap of choice was Taylors Lemon & Lime.
Here's how I got on:
1. I really wish I'd gone with a more lubricious soap, Proraso, Taylors Avocado or C&E Sweet Almond Oil probably would have been a better choice for my first straight shave. The Lemon & Lime is a great cream but I have noticed it is not nearly as slippery as the aforementioned. Not sure why I didn't consider this until after my shave but, well, you live & learn.
2. I opted for a 'guarded' blade for my first shave as I was basically too scared to go straight or a Super-Pro blade. I was already going to have the added difficulty of navigating those two bumps that had appeared behind my ears!
3. I am probably luckier than many first time Feather users in that I have a goatee, so undoubtedly the most tricky aspects of most mens shave are a no-issue for me. (Did I mention already I'm a big wimp! )
4. That left my cheeks and neck. I went for a light N-S pass to start with. The first thing I noticed was that these blades are definitely sharp! They certainly live up to their fearsome reputation. However, this shouldn't be a deal breaker for people, they are sharp but NOT out of control. It is, after all, you who are in control of this blade. If you don't think you're technique or cajones are up to it - stay away! And above all.....NO PRESSURE, this razor requires none at all or it will shred your face to ribbons.
5. This razor will slice through anything in it's path. If you have the tiniest of razor bumps, expect it to have the top nicked off and get a weeper. Be very careful around moles, scars, bumps or any other non-smooth surface. I had a few tiny red bumps (from my almost too close shave yesterday) and yup, you got it, those were the spots I got my weepers.
6. I stress, WEEPERS!! I was not ex-sanguinating on the bathroom floor and they were the kind that I knew would stop with just a splash of cold water.
7. My technique sucks! But hey, this was my first time. I can tell you right now though, I'm almost certainly going to be in the one handed straight shaver brigade. I tried holding the straight in my left hand but didn't even dare put it to my face for fear of serious injury. Nope, I'm just gonna have to bastardize my technique to allow me to do my whole face with my right hand. (Just curious, anyone else like this or am I once again proving to be a colossal wuss )
8. The first pass I took real slow and having just got a couple of weepers I lathered up again and went for a very gentle across the grain pass.
9. Through a combination of my sucky technique, the wickedly sharp blades & the very close shave from yesterday, I could feel a couple of patches on my face that felt a bit raw so I called it quits after the second pass. I also didn't want to push my luck.
10. After cleaning up, stopping the weepers (alright, I admit, I had to use a styptic on one as it wouldn't stop after the cold water) and applying my post shave repair treatment of witch hazel and aloe vera (in the form of JASON Witch Vera) I let it all dry off. It really didn't look too bad at all. There was a couple of spots it was a little redder than what my DE would cause but not the bloodbath I was expecting at all.
11. End result? Here I am, a couple of hours later and running my hand across my face I can tell it's not as close as I can get with my Futur and a decent blade..........YET!
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This razor undoubtedly commands respect and excellent technique. The first I have in bucket loads, this thing truly could do some horrendous damage to your face if you weren't extremely careful. The second is something I'll be working on in the coming weeks and months.
For my first straight shave, it wasn't too bad. There's a couple of places my face feels a bit raw but like I said, I think this is more a combination of yesterdays close shave and then using a straight for the the first time today. I am confident that given time, I may be able to achieve some really good shaves with this thing.
That said, I will more then likely give tomorrows shave a miss to let my face recover a bit before assaulting it with my Futur loaded with a Feather blade.
Ta-da! Long winded I know but I wanted to give as much information as I could to my fellow gentleman here at B&B. I've learned everything I know from this fantastic forum and wish to give back in any way I can.
Peace and thanks to you all.
[URL="http://www.badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2169&highlight=Woodbane"]Andy[/URL] ~ Vermont
"Thaaart's bittar naaaw, Oi've gort mah soonglasses awwn!"
If you teach a poor young man to shave himself, and keep his razor in order, you may contribute more to the happiness of his life than in giving him a thousand guineas - Benjamin Franklin, 1706 - 1790