I had my third shave today; now that I'm past the first few shaves I'm going to turn this thread into a kind of shaving journal and will complete future entries in the following format for ease of use:
Pre Shave Stropping: 35 laps on leather
Face Prep: Rinse face in sink with warm water and apply Pacific Shaving Company Pre-shave Exfoliating Wash. Take hot shower. Work hot lather into beard with Heinrich L. Thater fine badger brush for 3 minutes.
Cream Used: TOBS Jermyn Street.
Shaving Passes: 2 WTG + Touch Ups.
Post shave: Rinse excess lather off face with water and then cleanse. Rinse with cool water and apply alum block. Rinse alum off with cold water, dry, and apply Thayers unscented witch hazel toner. Allow witch hazel to dry/absorb and apply moisturizer.
Irritation: Almost none. There was a small tingling sensation when applying the alum but otherwise my skin felt great; better even that a typical DE shave.
Cuts: 2 small knicks on left side of face due to too steep an angle when placing the blade on face. I believe this is because my left hand is my bad side.
Closeness of shave: Presentable. There was stubble which could be felt when feeling ATG but that is to be expected without an XTG pass. The stubble was short, however, and it all appeared to be even in length with no areas missed.
Post Shave stropping: 10 laps on linen followed by 25 on leather.
Observations: This was a surprisingly succesful shave, it was presentably close with little to no irritation and only two small knicks that hardly bled at all. I believe that one of the major contributing factors to this success was the lather; I made it unusually wet and slick and this seemed to help the blade glide without catching or scraping. I also learned how to use the heel of the edge. Previously I had only used the toe and middle of the blade but I discovered that the heel is incredibly useful for maneuvering around the center of the face and neck.