What's the secret to your BBS shave?

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by Tescot, May 6, 2012.

What kind of shave are you going for/expect every day?

  1. BBS - Baby Butt Smooth

  2. DFS - Damn Fine Shave

  3. CCS - Close, comfortable shave.

  4. SAS - Socially Acceptable Shave

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. After working on my technique, routine, and lotions and potions I have finally come up with a consistent BBS shave with a DE razor . :thumb up: (And now I'm beginning to play with SRs - :straight:- go figure.)

    So I thought I would share my formula in a place that others might be able to also contribute so that we all might master it someday!

    Razor & Blade - Either JE DE89L with Dorko blade, or Gillette Gold Fat-Handle Tech with Derby or Merkur blades. (Mild shaves - use what you like.)
    Shave Cream/Soap - I use a different one every day so I do not think this is the secret.

    Shower and soak badger
    Apply Proraso Pre/Post shave cream - rub it in. :velva2: (I think this is what made the BBS consistent)
    Fill sink with hot water and place DE in water - Mix lather
    Lather face with good scrubbing brush strokes.
    Shave WTG. (I generally use shorter strokes - I go over an area until the scraping stops, then move on to the next small stroke. Cannot do this without drying out if you use larger strokes.)
    Rinse, Warm wash cloth on the face, lather
    Shave XTG (both ways - usually not much for me in either direction, so this is usually quick)
    Rinse, Warm wash cloth on the face, lather
    Shave ATG (Yes there will be some still left, but there is also touch up)
    Rinse, Warm wash cloth on the face
    Apply Origins pre-shave Oil (this is a very light PS oil)
    Touch up
    COLD wash cloth/rinse on the face
    Touch up
    Then I clean up, apply splash, etc.
    Final - Nivea Sensitive AS Balm (This is one of the most important items if you ask me. This nourishes the skin to plump back up after the cold water to bring the hair below skin surface level. I could be wrong, but that is what it seems like.)

    15 minutes later my skin is SMOOOOTH!:austin1:

    What do I think are the key elements?
    1. Pre-shave oil for touch ups
    2. Cold touch ups
    3. Nivea AS Balm

    Please share your BBS routine. :a21:
  2. Happy with a DFS, but I normally do not stop until I'm not feeling any resistance from any angle.
    If I happen to notice a spot that I "missed" later on, it doesn't bother me, I know it won't be apparent at work.

    My "secret"?

    No secret at all. It's all right on this forum and I've learned from some of the best.

    Soften the beard with a shower. I also headshave in the shower so I get some extra time in the "steambath"
    Hop out, dry my body (leave my face alone), whip up a nice bowl of the soap/cream of choice for that evening out of my rotation.

    Lather up.

    Select my straight from the rotation, cheekbone to chest.
    Nose to lip
    Lip to chin to chest.
    Swap hands, repeat on other side.

    Light rinse (more rehydration than a true rinse)

    Chest to chinstrap
    Chinstrap to cheekbone
    Chin to lip.
    Work the 45 degree angles from Adam's apple to ears, then 45 upwards toward center of the chin.
    east/west, and west/east on cheekbones and under nose.
    Depending on how sharp the blade is feeling, I'll do an upper lip to nose pass.

    Rinse, relather, feel for "missed" spots and touch up ATG as needed.
    Rinse in cold water
    Alum block

    Allow alum to dry while drying and stropping my blade.
    Cold water or witch hazel rinse.
    Aftershave of choice from the rotation.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  3. My keys to a BBS:
    High quality blades (I use SIs, Polsilver, and Feathers) -- used no more than 3 shaves
    Soak brush and warm scuttle while in hot shower
    Build lather
    wet face w/hot water followed by pre-shave (usu. glycerin based)
    work in lather
    short stroke WTG, XTG, ATG with face rinse and re-lather between each pass
    j-curls and blade buffing in problem areas (neck, chin, back of jaw)
    cold water rinse
    alum block
    cold water rinse
    after shave balm
    aftershave splash
    dry down (usually fanning face w/towel)
    apply talc with long hair brush

    I usually match shaving cream, ASB, and AS. My current rotation is AdP, BB, SMN, and GFT (Limes + Eucris). This works for me, and will give me a 24-36 hour BBS
  4. DFS for me for the most part.
    That can be achieved with my Merkur Futur set on 1.5 and using an Astra blade on a two pass shave.
    First pass is WTG and the second XTG.

    For BBS it is a three pass shave with the third being ATG.
    Plus I'll use Alum block before my AS is applied.
    I only go for BBS for special occasions be they social or business related.
  5. The secret (honest!) to my BBS: patiently reduce the beard using different angles.
  6. I strive for BBS and usually get 90% there most days. I guess you'd call this a DFS+.

    I shave in the shower.
    Prep is thorough washing of my face and a nice, warm rinse (plus the humidity of the shower, naturally).

    I wet the brush in hot water and shake out excess.
    Face lather.
    3 pass shave, (XTG, multi-directional pass, ATG)
    Cool rinse

    After shave routine varies, but may include Nivea Senstive balm or an alcohol-based AS with a drop of glycerine.

    This results in a shave that keeps me presentable until the next morning.
  7. rockviper

    rockviper Moderator Contributor

    I don't think I've ever gotten a BBS in about 30 years of shaving. Sure, I've gotten parts of my face to be BBS, but never everywhere. I'm quite happy with my DFSs, thank you :adoration:
  8. professorchaos

    professorchaos Moderator Emeritus

    Gear: English silver-tip badger brush, soap/cream with tallow or lanolin, warm scuttle and very sharp straight razor.

    - Face lather until a thick, shiny lather arrives.
    - Strop razor 20/60. Re-lather.
    - 1st pass 'Down,' mostly with the grain.
    - Warm water splash - face quite wet. Re-lather, thick and shiny.
    - 2nd pass 'Across', mostly across the grain.
    - Warm water splash - face quite wet. Re-lather, thick and shiny.
    - 3rd pass Against the grain.
    - Warm water splash - face quite wet.
    - Water only touch up pass. ATG. This is where the magic happens. Lightly hit any substandard areas until there's not a whisker to be found.
    - Cold water rinse.
    - Alum.
    - Cold water rinse.
    - Aftershave.
    - Balm.

    20 minutes.
  9. I blade buff with my straights..helps get a bit closer than not
  10. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    A Japanese hone with a nagura progression on a Kamisori=BBS. Everything else being equal, ie. Semogue 830 brush, MWF/Proraso superlather, 3 pass shave, etc. my best shaves come off those Kamisori. YMMV
  11. I usually get BBS everywhere but under my chin. It is too sensitive there and sometimes it isn't worth the irritation to get a full BBS. My secret, cold water and my trifecta triple pass shave.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  12. When i started with DE razors, the goal was comfort and eventually my technique got better and I was able to get BBS with no irritation. Once I mastered that it was obviously time to throw that out the window and switch to straight razors. :death:

    Now for the last two months I have working to get the same results, but it has eluded me so far. Usually I can get a DFS from two passes which is about all my face can take with my mediocre technique. But I'm ok with it plus I get to shave more often!
  13. Close Comfortable Shave is fine. A Damn Fine Shave can be had with 2 passes. I strive for excellence, not perfection. :thumbup1:
  14. Secret to BBS? I don't try to go for BBS.

    DFS is close enough. The only bugger who knows the diffo is me.

    Even with a DFS I'm still the best shaved bloke in my office.
  15. BBS, most days. No "secrets" per se.

    I prep with Noxzema . . . butter up with hot uberlather to which I've added a dollop of olive oil . . . let that lather dry and then re-wet my face with a sprayer and butter up again right over the old stuff . . . shave with an R41 loaded with an Astra SP . . . then shave with, against and across the grain to deal with chin swirlies. I cold rinse, then finish off with a shot of Thayer's Rose WH, followed by a blast of AS.

    Runs counter to some established "rules," but it works for me.

    In a pinch, I use canned Noxzema with Aloe and Lanolin, and follow the same lather-over-lather protocol. I find it to be a good, protective product.

    In the realm of electricity, I use a Wahl Black Man's "anti-bump" shaver with a "Close" foil and block set. It is the hungriest, most efficient and best shaver I have ever used since my old Ronson back in the 1960s. I also have a couple of inexpensive Wahl trimmer sets that I use to trim my moustache.


    PS: Another blasphemy: I do not shower before I shave, but do so after to more thoroughly rinse off.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  16. DFS works for all but the most special occasions
  17. I'd like to answer but I have no idea what the difference is between all of those choices, and I really don't care either!

    YMMV 4 Lyfe
  18. BBS 99+% of the time, single NaturalPass(tm).
  19. I always get a BBS with this routine. I don't use it everytime because I have so much stuff to try and I don't want to neglect a soap or cream for too long.

    Hot Shower
    Badger, blade and scuttle soak in warm water while in shower
    Merkur 38c, Feather blade
    Pre/Post Proraso green
    Green Proraso soap
    First pass WTG
    Light rinse
    Cold Alum block
    Cold rinse
    Apply Pre/Post proraso
    Witch hazel
    Proraso Splash to top it off

    With that routine, I will be BBS for atleast 24 hrs. This is the only set-up that has kept me smooth for that look. Long live Proraso!
  20. I can get a BBS, but my neck will get serious burn.

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