Well, I've finally admitted I'm hooked -- this stuff is wonderful. I find myself actually looking forward to getting up in the morning. What a great way to start each day.
It's been about 2 weeks now since I started the whole wetshaving experience. I had to take a few days off after the first few days, to let my neck heal after an initial couple days of bad irritation, and there's still a couple small spots that have to adjust, but overall here's what I've learned so far:
1. No pressure means "NO PRESSURE." It's almost like merely guiding (or gliding) the razor across my face, and not putting forth any effort to actually "cut" the beard; the weight of the razor will do that. I've yet to try the Feather blade (saving that for when I get my angle/pressure solidified) but I must say I'm proud of myself for making good progress on both proper angle and proper pressure.
2. It's harder than I thought to make proper lather. I'm experimenting with lots of various cream samples and shave soaps, and soaps are more difficult to get the right soap:water ration than a cream. And someone on here once commented that the difference between a properly mixed result and too much water is literally a couple drops at times -- that's been my experience as well. It's way too easy to use too much water, and I think the biggest lesson I still need to learn is how to make a nice thick, lubricated lather, regardless of whether I use a soap or a cream to start out. Much more than not, my lather is consistently on the "wet" side I think, and I can still see skin through the lather when it's applied and worked into my face -- I can't seem to get a level of lather on my face that you can't see through. I'm not looking to get all Santa Claus looking, with foam down to my chest, but shouldn't you only be able to see lather on the areas to be shaved, and no sign of skin underneath? I gotta work on my technique for lathering -- the Mantic/youtube videos definitely helped me realize my lather is probably too wet. I'm going to try the alternate method for making lather with a cream, found here:
tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.
3. I have a few brushes now (C&E Best Badger, Vulfix #2198 Pure, and just got a Savile Row 3124 Silvertip, used it for the first time this morning), and the SR is definitely the softest of the lot. I like all 3, and have tried all 3 with various results, on both soaps and creams. I'm finding that you really can use any brush (traditionally "soft" vs. "stiff") with any cream or soap and yield great results -- I can tell I'm close with any soap I've tried (Classicshaving.com Sandalwood, Proraso, Tabac, QED Bay Rum) or cream (Taylor's Almond, Lavender, Avacado, T&H Ultimate Comfort, lots of different samples) -- so I know it's not the brush. Speaking of the SR 3124, after I was done shaving this morning, I was cleaning out the brush, and did the standard "gentle squeeze to get as much lather out as possible" and I was amazed that even after shaving, there was still almost pure water (hadn't been mixed with the Tabac soap) in the way-down-deep depths of the brush! Here I am making my lather too wet, and I didn't even use all the water that little 3124 trooper is capable of holding! I was amazed.
Anyway, just wanted to give you guys a stream-of-consciousness post from a newbie, and my own personal results so far in this journey. You gents are all great -- I've honestly never met a more welcoming and cordial group of people. You should all be proud of the little corner you've created for those of us interested in learning about wetshaving.
Thanks to all, and any comments/criticsm is greatly appreciated!!