I had my first ever straight shave this morning.
Firstly, I have to say that those of you who have struggled with not-quite-shave-ready razors, before eventually sending them to be honed, must have faces of steel if you didn't cut yourselves to ribbons.
The shave took about 45 minutes, wasn't great, and wasn't especially comfortable, but at least I didn't cause myself any damage (not even a nick; beginner's luck). And that was with a razor I know to be shave-ready (another nod of thanks and recommendation to Steve at The Invisible Edge, to add to those already posted here).
My most obvious areas for improvement are lathering technique, skin stretching and control of blade angle around contours (chin in particular).
To save you helpful folk the trouble of posting, "Stick with it, it gets better," replies, I'm certainly not planning to give up.
Instead, I have what might sound like an odd sort of question: what sort of mirrors do you guys use?
The reason for asking is that I have a small (6" diameter), stand-mounted mirror sitting on a windowsill above the sink*. The mirror sits at about mid-chest height, which makes it hard to get a good skin-stretch on my neck and see what I'm doing. I never had this problem when using a cartridge razor, but I guess that's no surprise, since one barely needs one's eyes open to use those.
I have no doubt that things would be easier if my mirror were higher, but I'm wondering whether a larger mirror would help too, since it wouldn't require me to move about or crane my neck every time I turn my head. What d'you reckon?
* Does "sink" mean anything over the pond? If not, insert "wash basin".