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ATTENTION: Listen to the annoying elders here, please.

If you are like me, you are probably pretty stubborn and incredibly handsome. Of those two qualities, guess which one gets you ahead in Life?


(Brad Pitt is soooooo stubborn!!!)

So we've established that you are not handsome. It's cool: neither are most B&Bers (except for the Mods). So that means you're stubborn. Which means you have poo-canned a LOT of advice here. Which means you might have missed this nugget:

"Go back and try the stuff that didn't work for you before, because you might have been too stupid previously."

(I'm paraphrasing.)

One of the things I tried way back when (January) was bowl lathering. It didn't work, it seemed like a waste of time, I learned how to face lather, and badda boom badda bing.

So I bought a boar brush recently and it has been AWESOME but it had a little BO problem so I figured I would whip up some soap in there to alleviate the stank. I had already shaved for the day, so I thought, hey, I'll bowl lather just to load this bad-boy up with some smell-good (VdH Luxury, for the curious).

Hoe. Lee. CRAP.

Just goofing off with a cereal bowl, I whipped up loads and loads of goodness. This photo is from like 30 minutes later because I was drinking beer and could not find an SD card:


Anyway, go back and try some technique or razor or cream or blade you dismissed previously, as it just might have been your (sit down!) technique that was the problem.


Yer pal,

Vickers speaks the truth. Don't let his delivery put you off.

I was once too much of a tyro to appreciate open comb razors, for example.

Boar brushes were garbage, I thought. Oh, how deeply wrong I was.

Time and repetition will improve your shaves, and stuff that made no sense when you started will magically click a few months down the road.
I have to agree with Vickers. The first cream/soap I bought when I started using a DE was C. O. Bigelow (Proraso) and I absolutely hated it. Couldn't get a good lather, hated the scent, etc.

It sat on the furthest corner of my shelf for over a year until I decided to give it another go a few months ago. I absolutely love the stuff now, and it's my go-to daily cream. So glad I didn't just pitch it the first time.

You never know how your technique and tastes will change over time.
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I've got a pet hate of shave sticks... they were the very 1st thing I tried when DE shaving, W/O a shaving brush, directly onto the face. Something tells me, if I try them again, it would be very different.
This is exceedingly true. I followed advice I read on B&B yesterday for this morning's shave. I went with a 5 on the Fatboy for the first WTG then 2 for the rest and really worked hard on angle and (no) pressure. Much better results!!!
I've actually been pondering trying MWF again. The first time I tried it wasn't the best. I had a hard time getting a protective lather from it. I also had really hard water. Now I have nice soft water and I'm also more experienced. I really liked the scent and the ceramic dish it comes in is just plain cool. My next soap order may include some MWF.
Very true for me as well. When I first started, I bought a Whipped Dog straight kit and a Gillette SS. I started finding that the DE was giving me a really nice shave whereas the straight was hit and miss. I soon went exclusively to the DE and left the straight sitting in the razor box. A few months went by and I saw that straight sitting there and I started thinking I'd better either use it or sell it on. So I used it...and at that point, I had far and away the best, closest and smoothest shave I'd ever had. I'd officially been hooked. I still use a DE occasionally, but now I'm mostly a straight razor guy.
I had a history of making strong definitive statements about products and techniques here, that all later come back to embarrass and haunt me with their ignorance and stupidity.
I've done this w/ a few things & for the most part found that the performance did indeed get better for me.

Notable exception: Derby blades. I've gone back a few times w/ different razors, & I just can't stand these things.
Agreed 100% with sentiments expressed that technique changes over time and actually revisited helps point out the improvement!

Since my technique has been going great the last few months, I have been going back to revisit a few of my issues. Like on my off day (shave every other day) I had to "practice" my lathering as it was so inconsistent along with really having to work on the shave angle for trouble areas, problem beard growth spots and the like. Now I just use a brush for 4 to 5 shaves along with that day's soap / cream and voila - NO lathering problems! Sometimes I will use a different brush and go through many soaps.

Almost every blade now shaves very well (enjoying my 15 different blades sampler) as I have come understand those terms of really sharp, mowing down the beard and getting a DFS at the end along with a different blade that is maybe less sharp BUT smooth, comfortable and getting a 3 pass DFS:biggrin1:

So I spend less time searching for the "silver bullet" in hardware and more time just plain enjoying the shave from start to finish!

Of particular note was I kept my razor to a EJde89l 99% of time and a Weishi TTO for the odd plane trip I had to take (carry on) with blades purchased or mailed ahead.

Did I give you permission to use my picture??? :lol:

I agree, go back and try the stuff that didn't work. Second chances are a good thing!
I had a history of making strong definitive statements about products and techniques here, that all later come back to embarrass and haunt me with their ignorance and stupidity.

I thought that's why we qualify everything we say here with "YMMV"

All joking aside, Ive always found your advice to be pretty sound.
I found this to be true with everything associated with shaving. Couldn't use a feather blade without razor bumps and pain. Now that is not an issue. Couldn't bowl lather without it looking like bath soap suds. Much better now. Hated Proraso white and now it is a staple. Thought my technique, prep, and routine were perfect. Now have made changes to improve the perceived perfection. It is a great journey.
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