So my first DE arrived today - what I thought was going to be a Gillette Tech Ball End turned out to be a Tech travel, but there you go. With it came a Gillette Blue Blade. Got it out of the envelope, gave it a quick wash, hopped in a hot shower and came back to face lather with some TOBS sandalwood cream (to which I added a squirt of Men-U Tea Tree) and a Simpson Beaufort B2 pure badger. First pass was very smooth, although slightly ineffective - not much beard came off. After the irritation-free first pass I thought I'd go for an ATG. Bit of tug here, but no real irritation. So I did an XTG - and here there was plenty of tug, and not much beard removal. It was like the blade just couldn't cut the stubble. Frustrated I did the XTG again and again. I know, that was a mistake. I now have some moderate to bad razor burn and some dark black and very sharp stubble! I look slightly threatening with this mixture of black spikes and indignant red blotches. Decided to forego the Nivea Post shave balm (replenishing edition) as that burns like agent orange when I have irritated skin. I have a sample pack coming in the post at some point - it might arrive tomorrow. I have a feeling a sharp blade would help, as it was the stubble vs metal battle (which my stubble won) that led to the irritation. Might try a Feather - your thoughts? Apart from the masochistic repetition of the XTG I think my technique was pretty good - no weepers (well, one utterly tiny cut on my moustache - where my stubble put up its fiercest fight) and absolutely no face pressing. I eagerly await your sage advice.