So I've managed to get an irritation-free shave going on (yay!) in 2-3 passes with and across the grain. However, the final result is roughly a Five O'Clock shadow. Against the grain tends to catch a lot, and doesn't really cut much hair as much as it irritates my skin.
How does one go that last step and shave down to the skin without irritation?
Progress set at 3, Merkur Platinum Razor, Taylor Almond Shave Cream, Men-u synthetic brush. Shaving in steam shower, N-S first pass, then wash and reapply lather, N-S or across second pass, wash+reapply, usually try very light against the grain 3rd pass, failure, try again, failure, then try blade buffing my face until I give up.