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An epiphany - Attention to the Basics works!

I've been using my new DE, a Muhle R89, for about three weeks now. I was pretty pleased with making the transition and getting some DFS. In my free time, over that same time, I've been spending time reviewing the posts here trying to learn how to make my shaves better.

This morning, I took a nice shower, put some conditioner on my face, and made sure I had a good pre-shave prep working. As I was showering, my brush was soaking in hot water along with my lather bowl.

After the shower, I loaded up the Muhle with a new Derby (first try with one), and worked some decent EJ Sea Buckthorn lather up. As I lathered my face, I started thinking "slow and light." As I started my first pass, I stopped worrying about how much hair I was removing and tried to focus instead on making sure that I used no pressure at all and moved the razor in slow short strokes WTG. I felt like that first pass was not doing much hair reduction, but everytime I'd get anxious or impatient, I forced myself to set the razor down and focus back on going slow and light.

In the end, I did four passes. One WTG, one XTG, one ATG and a final/touch-up going XTG the other direction. I had zero blood and got my best shave to date. I even found that I was able to shave my worst problem area, a mole on my neck right at the corner of my jaw, without any issues!

I'm drinking the Kool-Aid now, and loving it. :thumbup: I can't wait to shave tomorrow and see if I can possibly recreate the experience!
Definitely something to keep in mind. With increasing pressure at school lately I've been rushing my routine. Maybe tomorrow I'll get up extra early and really take the time to re-focus myself, and enjoy a great shave. Thanks for the reminder, and good shaving!
As good as one's hardware and software may be, you just cannot get a close and comfortable de shave with the use of proper technique. Good luck as you continue your shaving journey.
The basics work quite well in life. Look at golf. Or footbal. Or.....

You get the idea. There are a few fundamental rules that are not worth breaking in anything in life. Even look at life itself. Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, you get the picture.

Go out and have some close, slow shaves. Don't rush them. And there is no pressure for a BBS. Just try for a good one.

Congratulations! Some pleasures in life defy explanation. Putting yourself "in the zone" while shaving allows you to to almost target individual hairs and feel them being sliced cleanly. I find that I really look forward to the second pass, but not so much that I am in a great rush to finish the first pass. By the time I get to the third pass I am practically hypnotizd by how good the shave is and the alum block just skates across my smooth skin. The best thing is, I get to do it all over again.
I am hopeful that my technique is coming around. I had another great "focus on the basics" shave today. When I used my alum, it was nothing but cool--not even a tingle!

I didn't think I was a fan of the Derby blade when I started out as it feels like it tugs a bit, but I can't argue with the results!
Congrats on the progress! Time and attention to detail is certainly important. I'm still able to fine-tune my shave even after spending 3 or so years with it. There are always little things you will pick up on that can make your shave better as you progress.
Excellent post! I have to admit that I've been guilty at times of switching equipment in an effort to improve my shaving results. Instead, I need to follow your example. It's not the razor that's important, it's the shave.
Couldn't agree more on the basics. Two weeks ago, I decided to focus on prep. and technique, and use the same stuff for 2 weeks to make sure there were no variables. What a difference. Now that I have a much better feel for the basics of shaving, I can focus on the products that will work best for me.
That's good advice.

I was kind of afraid of the blade at first, so I was going slowly and paying total attention to what I was doing. After a while I started getting comfortable with the concept, got sloppy with the tools, and gave myself a few savage shaves. I think I'll go back to the basics tomorrow morning.
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