So, one of the huge things I figured out this week is that it doesn't necessarily take 4 passes every time you shave to be very presentable (DFS) or even in some cases BBS. I think from here on in, my weekday shaves will be 2 passes: first one ears to nose, second one straight South /North. I probably wouldn't recommend this, or even do this myself if I shaved 2-3 times a week. Certainly longer stubble will require more systematic reduction, but since, like most of you freaks, the day does not pass that one of my Gems doesn't get some play time, it seems to work just fine. There's absolutely no irritation and even Pinaud Clubman Bay Rum doesn't burn as bad as it did after four passes. I've figured out that the rare irritation that I get (mostly on the neck) and redness, is more than likely the result of simply overshaving and possibly trying to get every possible shave out of a ten cent blade. The latter being a ridiculous obsession that I really must learn to control. I think four is probably a good number of shaves to get from a blade, but I still occassionally find myself hand stropping and telling myself, "Nah, I can get one more out of that." Today's CVS SE blade was on it's sixth shave. Which brings me to my next point.
Not to go all Andy Rooney on you or anything, but did you ever notice that when you're using old school razors (i.e. classic wetshaving), even those shaves that aren't so good are still pretty darned good. This morning was just kind of a lazy Saturday shave, I face lathered some Williams (great soap but definitely not the thickest, slickest most luxurious lather ever), hand stropped the CVS SE blade described in the previous paragraph, loaded it in a Gem Micromatic and away I went. I could tell right away that this was not going to be one of my best ever shaves, but all in all, the blade wasn't tearing up my face or irritating my skin so I just said what the hell and finished up. Being a Saturday shave, I gave it three passes (adding a nose to ears pass to the mix.) At the end of the shave, it was not a great shave, maybe not even a very good shave but the results were still very good. I'm convinced that even with the equipment limitations I had, I still got a far better shave than I ever did with a Mach 3. So, yeah, even a not so good wetshave is still pretty damn good.