What's new

I tried the smoothest blade on the market (Derby) and it was a bloodbath. Now what?

I'm confused. After 3 months of using several razors and double-edge blades, I really thought I was getting the hang of it. Then I tried the Derby Extra (which my local shaving expert considers a 1 on a sharpness scale of 1 to 10) and my 'shaving experience' turned into a horror movie. Now I have questions. Like 'what?!' and 'HOW' and 'why'? I don't even know where to begin. I thought beginners should only fear the Feather. Am I misinterpreting the qualifications 'smooth' and 'sharp'?

As to what I've been using so far: I took a picture of the stash that I didn't really plan on accumulating.🙃 This experiment started because of money and curiosity, but I'm staying for the fun and the challenge. I didn't think I'd enjoy it, but I do.

DoubleEdgeRazorNewbieCollection.jpeg


Last year I got married and, as everyone will tell you, weddings are expensive. (Worth it, but still.) Our savings account had already taken a hit during the covid-crisis and after the invasion of Ukraine, inflation and sky-high gas prices, I started to be a bit frugal with the Gillette Venus Olay razorblades that I've been using for the last decade. A single packet of 3 cartridges was never budget-friendly to begin with, but the price has roughly doubled in a short amount of time and one package now costs € 19.- in local drug stores (1 Euro currently has the exact same value as 1 US dollar). Gillette claims that a cartridge should last you 2 weeks, but the blade gets pretty dull after 4-5 uses. As a skirt-wearing girl, one does shave pretty much of the body, pretty much daily. But if I really were to change those blades once a week, as I should, it would cost me 329.- euros a year. So I started to postpone changing the blade, to the point where my husband would get this concerned look on his face inspecting the bright red spots of irritation on my legs. Even though Gillette Venus was all I'd ever known shaving-wise, the idea of having to keep paying such a staggering amount of money plus 'Pink Tax' made me angry. Then I saw an ad on Instagram for razor blades I didn't know still existed outside of the set of Peaky Blinders. 'SMOOTHER AND CHEAPER', the ad promised. I had to know. For less than 10 bucks, I ordered a safety razor which came with 15 DE blades and I was so excited when the package arrived that I immediately hopped into the shower, placed the razor on my ankle and on auto-pilot drew it straight up whilst pressing down, just like in the commercials. HOOO BURN. That was pretty dumb, especially since I'd already seen some YouTube videos of a happy man who kept saying: 'remember gentleman, let the razor do all the work'. I just forgot. But I liked the first results enough to keep trying (despite losing a strip of tan).

So with this forum as a Wikipedia of sorts, I've been reading up on technique, razor aggressiveness, blade sharpness and combinations, but most of the information pertains to beards, which is a bit of a confusing point of reference if you don't have one. It seems as though different body parts have wildly different shaving needs anyway. I've found out that I have sensitive shins, tricky ankles, bumpy knees, an impractically deep left armpit and a bikini area that, counter-intuitively, seems to require a more aggressive approach than the rest of me. Now I read on this forum that an adjustable safety razor would 'ruin your technique', but is there any way around it when one is attempting to body shave with a single safety razor? (Surely there are men who shave more than their beards with a safety razor?) I started using razor #1 (the blue one, a standard model in online shops like Amazon) but the gap between the razor and the blade is quite big and it was a little too aggressive for my legs. Razor #2 (Gillette) is actually pretty good, but barely weighs anything because of the plastic handle and I didn't want to learn to press a DE blade into the skin, however slightly. Razor #3 is a really nice adjustable Gillette Fatboy clone, except it's very gentle even on the most aggressive setting and the blade sticks out on both sides of the cap which hurt my armpits. The sides of the blade left scratches much like an angry kitten would, which is all sorts of fun when applying deodorant. Razor #4 is a Merkur Futur clone with a cap that does cover the sides and it's so good. It doesn't provide the best grip in the shower when you need to turn the handle, but I love it anyway. Setting 0.5-1.0 is perfect for ankles and knees, I use 1.5 for shins, 2 for calves and 3-3.5 for armpits etc.

I've mostly been using Gillette Platinum and Wilkinson Sword DE blades. The results are quite similar. The blades are good and durable, but I kept thinking I'd like the shave to be just a little closer, especially the armpits (especially in direct sunlight on the beach, thank you very much). The Yintal blades and the Gillette Bleu ones that came with the razors weren't my favs either, but the Ming Shi blades were surprisingly good. My legs were so smooth, they seemed to reflect light. (Someone here on the forum compared the Ming Shi blades to Gillette 7'O Clock, but I wouldn't know about that). I was curious about other blades and ordered a sample pack of 15 different blades (2 each). I decided to work my way up the sharpness ladder because that's recommended everywhere, which meant starting with the green Derby Extra. I placed the blade in the Merkur Futur clone as per usual (upside-down assembly), applied a thick lather of shaving foam on my legs and... it was by far the worst bloodbath to date. Apparently, I had a couple of mosquito bites on my legs, and the bumps were chopped clean off. I cut both ankles badly, savaged a knee and somehow drew a massive cut across one calf. The blood spread over my wet skin so fast, I couldn't see where or how I'd cut myself and couldn't believe I kept on doing it even though I thought I was being careful. I tasted copper and the water turned pink around me. After a full 3 months of shaving with 4 different safety razors and 6 different DE blades, I didn't expect to make so many mistakes. But the armpits? Perfect. A truly smooth shave. Better than a Venus ever delivered. How is that possible for a blade that is supposedly not very sharp at all?

I dug up an old electrical epilator for temporary use while the assortment of cuts on my legs healed, afraid a DE razor would tear everything up again. (I don't mind a bit of pain, but I'm borderline anemic and I'd rather not have to explain this experiment to my doctor, like: "Have you seen Peaky Blinders?") A week later the skin looked fine and I switched back to a Wilkinson blade in the Futur clone, which gave me the results I'd come to expect: no real nicks, but also not that baby bottom smooth finish. It's not like there's still a 5 o'clock shadow, but it could definitely be considered a 1 o'clock shadow here and there. I thought that meant I needed a sharper blade. Am I wrong? I'm sort of hesitantly looking at the blades from the sampler pack thinking: now what? Do I skip the so-called smooth blades? I have no idea what I'm doing.

Does body shaving in general require different techniques or even different blades/razors for different areas? It shouldn't be that different for women, right? I read that there are some women on the forum and also many wives/girlfriends trying DE blades. Any wisdom is appreciated.

Thank you very much for reading this far. :)
 
Welcome! I shave legs with DE. I have found that dull blades case more irritation and cuts than sharp.
Derby is just a super crappy blade.
Feathers are nice, but only once you get the hang of using DE.
There are all sorts of good blades in the middle. Which is best depends on your skin, skill and type of razor.
A nice rule of thumb is the more mild the razor the sharper the blade that works best.
I shave my legs up to bikini every day.
I used to have so many bumps on my thighs and I grown hairs. Now none.
 
Also, what soap or cream are you using? That makes a difference. If I am being fancy I will use a scented shaving cream.
Most days I will you a shaving cream by pure romance. Dove works well to. Or hair conditioner works well.
However if the razor is aggressive. You may want a proper lather for cushion.
I use after shave on my thighs and find it helps with bumps.
Also it smells.great in my hair.
I lover sterling soap company and they have some great products at great prices.
 
I find stainless steel razors are best. This hobby has become fun, and one day I will save money. I just keep buying fancy steel razors.
If I would suggest any razor. Of course Festher ASD2. Ita 165 on Amazon but probably could find a deal in The buy sell trade section It's mild and maybe the perfect leg shaving razor with super grippy handle. I also like my new fancy razor. Tatara Masamune.
If I were to suggest a razor to try things it would be Rockwell 6s. Well I would have when it was 70. At full price I would just say spend the 165.
However there are plenty of good razors way less.
I hear Henson is good. They make an aluminum razor. It's. Mild.
Imho mild is best
 
Last edited:

Ron R

I survived a lathey foreman
I'm confused. After 3 months of using several razors and double-edge blades, I really thought I was getting the hang of it. Then I tried the Derby Extra (which my local shaving expert considers a 1 on a sharpness scale of 1 to 10) and my 'shaving experience' turned into a horror movie. Now I have questions. Like 'what?!' and 'HOW' and 'why'? I don't even know where to begin. I thought beginners should only fear the Feather. Am I misinterpreting the qualifications 'smooth' and 'sharp'?

As to what I've been using so far: I took a picture of the stash that I didn't really plan on accumulating.🙃 This experiment started because of money and curiosity, but I'm staying for the fun and the challenge. I didn't think I'd enjoy it, but I do.

View attachment 1514705

Last year I got married and, as everyone will tell you, weddings are expensive. (Worth it, but still.) Our savings account had already taken a hit during the covid-crisis and after the invasion of Ukraine, inflation and sky-high gas prices, I started to be a bit frugal with the Gillette Venus Olay razorblades that I've been using for the last decade. A single packet of 3 cartridges was never budget-friendly to begin with, but the price has roughly doubled in a short amount of time and one package now costs € 19.- in local drug stores (1 Euro currently has the exact same value as 1 US dollar). Gillette claims that a cartridge should last you 2 weeks, but the blade gets pretty dull after 4-5 uses. As a skirt-wearing girl, one does shave pretty much of the body, pretty much daily. But if I really were to change those blades once a week, as I should, it would cost me 329.- euros a year. So I started to postpone changing the blade, to the point where my husband would get this concerned look on his face inspecting the bright red spots of irritation on my legs. Even though Gillette Venus was all I'd ever known shaving-wise, the idea of having to keep paying such a staggering amount of money plus 'Pink Tax' made me angry. Then I saw an ad on Instagram for razor blades I didn't know still existed outside of the set of Peaky Blinders. 'SMOOTHER AND CHEAPER', the ad promised. I had to know. For less than 10 bucks, I ordered a safety razor which came with 15 DE blades and I was so excited when the package arrived that I immediately hopped into the shower, placed the razor on my ankle and on auto-pilot drew it straight up whilst pressing down, just like in the commercials. HOOO BURN. That was pretty dumb, especially since I'd already seen some YouTube videos of a happy man who kept saying: 'remember gentleman, let the razor do all the work'. I just forgot. But I liked the first results enough to keep trying (despite losing a strip of tan).

So with this forum as a Wikipedia of sorts, I've been reading up on technique, razor aggressiveness, blade sharpness and combinations, but most of the information pertains to beards, which is a bit of a confusing point of reference if you don't have one. It seems as though different body parts have wildly different shaving needs anyway. I've found out that I have sensitive shins, tricky ankles, bumpy knees, an impractically deep left armpit and a bikini area that, counter-intuitively, seems to require a more aggressive approach than the rest of me. Now I read on this forum that an adjustable safety razor would 'ruin your technique', but is there any way around it when one is attempting to body shave with a single safety razor? (Surely there are men who shave more than their beards with a safety razor?) I started using razor #1 (the blue one, a standard model in online shops like Amazon) but the gap between the razor and the blade is quite big and it was a little too aggressive for my legs. Razor #2 (Gillette) is actually pretty good, but barely weighs anything because of the plastic handle and I didn't want to learn to press a DE blade into the skin, however slightly. Razor #3 is a really nice adjustable Gillette Fatboy clone, except it's very gentle even on the most aggressive setting and the blade sticks out on both sides of the cap which hurt my armpits. The sides of the blade left scratches much like an angry kitten would, which is all sorts of fun when applying deodorant. Razor #4 is a Merkur Futur clone with a cap that does cover the sides and it's so good. It doesn't provide the best grip in the shower when you need to turn the handle, but I love it anyway. Setting 0.5-1.0 is perfect for ankles and knees, I use 1.5 for shins, 2 for calves and 3-3.5 for armpits etc.

I've mostly been using Gillette Platinum and Wilkinson Sword DE blades. The results are quite similar. The blades are good and durable, but I kept thinking I'd like the shave to be just a little closer, especially the armpits (especially in direct sunlight on the beach, thank you very much). The Yintal blades and the Gillette Bleu ones that came with the razors weren't my favs either, but the Ming Shi blades were surprisingly good. My legs were so smooth, they seemed to reflect light. (Someone here on the forum compared the Ming Shi blades to Gillette 7'O Clock, but I wouldn't know about that). I was curious about other blades and ordered a sample pack of 15 different blades (2 each). I decided to work my way up the sharpness ladder because that's recommended everywhere, which meant starting with the green Derby Extra. I placed the blade in the Merkur Futur clone as per usual (upside-down assembly), applied a thick lather of shaving foam on my legs and... it was by far the worst bloodbath to date. Apparently, I had a couple of mosquito bites on my legs, and the bumps were chopped clean off. I cut both ankles badly, savaged a knee and somehow drew a massive cut across one calf. The blood spread over my wet skin so fast, I couldn't see where or how I'd cut myself and couldn't believe I kept on doing it even though I thought I was being careful. I tasted copper and the water turned pink around me. After a full 3 months of shaving with 4 different safety razors and 6 different DE blades, I didn't expect to make so many mistakes. But the armpits? Perfect. A truly smooth shave. Better than a Venus ever delivered. How is that possible for a blade that is supposedly not very sharp at all?

I dug up an old electrical epilator for temporary use while the assortment of cuts on my legs healed, afraid a DE razor would tear everything up again. (I don't mind a bit of pain, but I'm borderline anemic and I'd rather not have to explain this experiment to my doctor, like: "Have you seen Peaky Blinders?") A week later the skin looked fine and I switched back to a Wilkinson blade in the Futur clone, which gave me the results I'd come to expect: no real nicks, but also not that baby bottom smooth finish. It's not like there's still a 5 o'clock shadow, but it could definitely be considered a 1 o'clock shadow here and there. I thought that meant I needed a sharper blade. Am I wrong? I'm sort of hesitantly looking at the blades from the sampler pack thinking: now what? Do I skip the so-called smooth blades? I have no idea what I'm doing.

Does body shaving in general require different techniques or even different blades/razors for different areas? It shouldn't be that different for women, right? I read that there are some women on the forum and also many wives/girlfriends trying DE blades. Any wisdom is appreciated.

Thank you very much for reading this far. :)
I never enjoyed Derby Extra blades, Derby Premium blades are far superior to the Derby Extra. These retailers who send a tuck off Derby Extra's when you buy a razor from them is the biggest mistake to send to a Newbie or a seasoned shaver IMO.
 
I am just going to throw some things out there as I think of them... I am re-reading and it's not helping.

-Razors, I know in EU Landia you don't have the same one's available. I won't make the mistake of recommending a razor, but there are some key things to think about before you decide to solve your problems with more razors. Number one is covered blade tabs, you shouldn't even consider razors without this feature except for legs. You already have some. Numero dos, blade reveal. Not blade exposure, how much the blade is sticking out of the top cap. This is going to further narrow your selection, maybe too much. The above mention Tatara razors have negative blade exposure which is great for sensitive areas, but have a bit much blade reveal. Not too much though, take a look and consider that the upper limit. Blade support is number three and a lot of adjustables lack this. Looking from the side, if the blade is clamped in the middle of the razor and hanging out the side this is not a good start. If it has low blade reveal, it may be OK, but it may not. All of these things will all but prevent user error accidents. Or lessen them to the point that you actually feel like you dodged a bullet. Aggression levels for different areas are a further discussion, but I consider these the baseline for razor candidates.

-Blades, there is a lot that can be said and there is some actual testing that has been done. I choose blades based on what my skin can handle and then choose the razor based on how close I want to shave. Blades that are too sharp for your skin will cause what are called weepers and the obvious, and not so obvious, irritation. There are micro cuts that take time to discover. The Voskhod blades that are upside down and what we would call a medium sharpness blade and are some of the smoothest available regardless of sharpness. They are pretty sharp though, too much for some people. I would suggest you find blades that you can call a baseline when asking for advice, like those nice Gillette Platinums. Which are technically sharper than the Voskhods, but may or may not seem like it to you at this point.

-Technique, it is everything. Not having shaved one's face, I think it easy to learn bad habits or no clear idea to start with. You aren't working with or against gravity, unless you are shaving standing up. The thing is, you need a long flat area of skin and you need to really focus on your angle and stroke so you have it in muscle memory. Carelessly placing the razor and shaving is just waiting for the next nick. Do you know whether you are placing the razor steep or shallow, that is a rhetorical question? If you don't then you need to spend some time, it's worth it in the end. Curved surfaces and angle of attack are why you are getting slice cuts. Placing the razor right on the apex of a curve is almost guaranteed to cause this, you need to change the direction you start from or you need need to find a strategy to flatten that area before placing the razor there. I have to be careful what I say on here, but you should be able to pull skin slightly to one side an curved areas in order to shave them. But it might require changing your body position to accomplish. And you need to plot these out for every area that has different concerns. It can all go relatively fast once you have it worked out, but you can't randomly hack and swipe like every body area is the same without trouble. Eventually, you can improve closeness, but you need consistent technique first.

I admit that a cartridge allows you to just treat body shaving like cutting up vegetables for dinner, mindlessly get the job done without much thought. Safety razors both require and reward improving your technique.
 
Last edited:

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
Some of my girlfriends like me to shave their legs. They say it makes them feel pampered.

When shaving my girlfriends' legs I have always used a traditional straight razor, the same as I use on my face. I do their leg shaving in four parts; lower half left leg, lower half right leg, upper half left leg and upper half right leg. I don't move from one part to another until after the first part is completed.

For me, shaving legs is very similar to me face shaving. Preparation is very important. The part is first thoroughly washed with an appropriate bar soap (my preference now is Pears Transparent (India)) followed by a good rinsing to remove all soap residue. While doing all this, I am mentally nothing the grain direction of the hairs to be shaved.

I then apply a shave-soap stick (like tallow Tabac) and lather with a synthetic shaving brush.

The first pass with a straight razor is done with the grain (WTG). The part is then re-lathered and a second pass performed against the grain (ATG).

My girls seem pleased with the results as they often come back for more when they visit.

They never asked me to shave their legs while I was previously shaving my face with a cartridge. Me shaving their legs only started after I was shaving with straight razors. They enjoy watching me straight razor shave. My face.
 

JCarr

More Deep Thoughts than Jack Handy
The Derby Extra is notorious for being "not sharp enough". From what I understand from reading a few threads on B&B, there is an old version and a new version. The newer version is somewhat sharper than the old. But, Derby aside, if a blade doesn't work for you, avoid it and move on.

Taking a quick look at your collection in the picture, I would try the Gillette Platinum or Wilkinson Sword next. Although razor blades are very personal, those two generally tend to have a positive rating in the B&B threads.
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
Welcome to B&B!

Derby blades are so dull you probably cut yourself using way too much pressure in an attempt to get them to cut.

So many changing angles. Pressure is not your friend, but correct razor angle is exceedingly important. It will improve with practice.

At the risk of getting thrown off the forum, I'm going to suggest Bic Metal disposable razors as a possibility.
 
Whoever told you Derby are top of the line was more interested in making a sale than helping you out.
There are many, myself included, who dislike Derby in any version.

+3! Derby blades are are ‘bottom-tier’ for me also!

My preference is a ‘mild/moderate’ razor paired with a sharp blade! That‘s what works best for me. However, you need to try a variety of options to see what works best for you.

I suggest you try GSB, Nacet or Personna lab to see if your results improve.
 
Welcome! I shave legs with DE. I have found that dull blades case more irritation and cuts than sharp.
Derby is just a super crappy blade.
Feathers are nice, but only once you get the hang of using DE.
There are all sorts of good blades in the middle. Which is best depends on your skin, skill and type of razor.
A nice rule of thumb is the more mild the razor the sharper the blade that works best.
I shave my legs up to bikini every day.
I used to have so many bumps on my thighs and I grown hairs. Now none.

Thank you! :D Laughed out loud at the 'super crappy blade' comment. So it's not just me, phew! 😂 So sharper = less cuts. Got it. Seriously, I didn't see that one coming but it seems to be the case for me too. Yeah, good point. I'd want a little extra practice and a bit more of a steady hand before I try the Feather, that seems sensible.
Also, what soap or cream are you using? That makes a difference. If I am being fancy I will use a scented shaving cream.
Most days I will you a shaving cream by pure romance. Dove works well to. Or hair conditioner works well.
However if the razor is aggressive. You may want a proper lather for cushion.
I use after shave on my thighs and find it helps with bumps.
Also it smells.great in my hair.
I lover sterling soap company and they have some great products at great prices.

Because the connoisseurs on the internet insisted that your results will suffer UNLESS you use a brush with natural hair -preferably badger- I bought an affordable natural hair brush in the local drugstore. I wasn't looking forward to covering myself in an Old Spice sort of smell, but I found a handmade French shaving soap that smelled neutral and clean, put it in a bowl, whipped it up with the help of YouTube and it worked pretty well. Very cool. Unfortunately, the stuff didn't perform better than an old rusted can of girly shaving gel (purple stuff with shea butter and whatnot). I compared the two several times, switching legs, and had my husband choose the smoother, better-shaved leg afterwards. He picked the shaving gel side every time. Seeing as how pressing a button on a can is also considerably less time-consuming, I retired the brush and the block of French shaving soap.

My husband used both today, with a Gillette Platinum DE blade and the blue safety razor. (Probably because I kept staring at his 2-day beard, I think he was afraid I might unleash my lack of fine motor skills and my shiny assortment of blades on his jugular.) He got all nostalgic. Turns out his father had a brush like it when he was a teen and he used to sneak into the bathroom to try it. The brush is terrible quality though, 4 bucks clearly doesn't buy you a durable brush (so, no surprise there 😆). But the husband might be a safety razor convert after all.

I've also tried both conditioner and Dove shower cream (I mean, you're in the shower using those products anyway, so why not). Dove is actually doable! But yeah, only with a razor on a mild setting and I really need to pay attention because one stroke too many and it's razor burn central. Conditioner worked against me somehow, like the blade missed more hairs because of it? I seem to get the best results with just showering as usual, washing with a washcloth and soap, and then applying shaving gel to squeaky clean skin. I haven't tried a tube of shaving cream yet, that's still on the wish list. Thank you for the suggestions, I'll check it out.😊


I find stainless steel razors are best. This hobby has become fun, and one day I will save money. I just keep buying fancy steel razors.
If I would suggest any razor. Of course Festher ASD2. Ita 165 on Amazon but probably could find a deal in The buy sell trade section It's mild and maybe the perfect leg shaving razor with super grippy handle. I also like my new fancy razor. Tatara Masamune.
If I were to suggest a razor to try things it would be Rockwell 6s. Well I would have when it was 70. At full price I would just say spend the 165.
However there are plenty of good razors way less.
I hear Henson is good. They make an aluminum razor. It's. Mild.
Imho mild is best

So mild razor, plus sharp blade. That makes sense. Oooh, a grippy handle would be nice, but the Feather AS-D2 retails for 195.- here, which is a bit of a gamble. I had been looking at the Rockwell 6s already, because of the adjustability and because it has such great reviews from both men and women, but as you pointed out, the Rockwell is also more of an investment these days (currently 135 bucks in the Netherlands). The Masamune looks like a work of art! 😍

But those razors are top-of-the-line perfection, and I feel like maybe one doesn't give a Stradivarius to a toddler? I'm very aware that I'm just a beginner. My technique probably sucks and the results might be more dependend on my wrist than on the quality of the razor at this point. 3 months in, it's starting to dawn on me that the skill of shaving with a safety razor isn't something you learn overnight. Probably in the same way that it took me years to learn the proper application of eyeliner and mascara. While product-quality is important to me right now, it wouldn't have mattered much in the beginning because I didn't know what I needed the materials to do, exactly. It took me 10 years to achieve the ideal full-face that couldn't be replicated by professional make-up artists, and a couple of years more to know and trust that I could do it consistently. This spring, my little sister got married, I was proud that she asked me to do her make-up for the day and even though I was nervous as hell, she looked perfect. That's what 10.000 hours gets you. Many men here probably hit the 10.000 hour mark for shaving in their early 20's. I can only guess at the skill guys have after a couple of decades with a safety razor.

Shaving with a safety razor seems to demand a lot of knowledge and muscle memory, so I sort of wish I'd started younger. A year from now, if I have gained a bit of skill and have saved a nice sum by leaving the Venus product line behind, I think it would be fun to walk into a speciality shop and browse the real safety razors with perfect balance. Maybe by then, I'll have a sense of what I'm looking for. But my cheapest safety razor, the Gillette 7 O'Clock Sterling (which is also sold under names like Gillette Bleu or Gillette Tech and plenty of people got it for $1.- at the Dollar Tree) performed quite well on the legs on the first try. Granted, that safety razor is unusable for the armpits, because the DE blade sticks out on the sides, but I liked the comb, the mildness and the simplicity. I didn't hurt myself with it. The best safety razor on the market probably wouldn't give me significantly better results as long as my technique doesn't improve, or that's my impression anyway. Just like a teenage girl probably won't be able to create noticably better results with a $70.- Sisley mascara, compared to a reasonably well-reviewed $5.- drugstore mascara. So the plan is to stick to the cheap toys for now (they don't seem very durable, so I'll have to replace them at some point anyway) and combine them with decent DE blades to practise, practise, practise. Everything else goes on the wish list for Christmas 2023.

I could be wrong though, seeing as how I don't know what I'm talking about. So if a better safety razor would indeed impove my results dramatically at this point, it might be worth it anyway.
 
Thank you! :D Laughed out loud at the 'super crappy blade' comment. So it's not just me, phew! 😂 So sharper = less cuts. Got it. Seriously, I didn't see that one coming but it seems to be the case for me too. Yeah, good point. I'd want a little extra practice and a bit more of a steady hand before I try the Feather, that seems sensible.


Because the connoisseurs on the internet insisted that your results will suffer UNLESS you use a brush with natural hair -preferably badger- I bought an affordable natural hair brush in the local drugstore. I wasn't looking forward to covering myself in an Old Spice sort of smell, but I found a handmade French shaving soap that smelled neutral and clean, put it in a bowl, whipped it up with the help of YouTube and it worked pretty well. Very cool. Unfortunately, the stuff didn't perform better than an old rusted can of girly shaving gel (purple stuff with shea butter and whatnot). I compared the two several times, switching legs, and had my husband choose the smoother, better-shaved leg afterwards. He picked the shaving gel side every time. Seeing as how pressing a button on a can is also considerably less time-consuming, I retired the brush and the block of French shaving soap.

My husband used both today, with a Gillette Platinum DE blade and the blue safety razor. (Probably because I kept staring at his 2-day beard, I think he was afraid I might unleash my lack of fine motor skills and my shiny assortment of blades on his jugular.) He got all nostalgic. Turns out his father had a brush like it when he was a teen and he used to sneak into the bathroom to try it. The brush is terrible quality though, 4 bucks clearly doesn't buy you a durable brush (so, no surprise there 😆). But the husband might be a safety razor convert after all.

I've also tried both conditioner and Dove shower cream (I mean, you're in the shower using those products anyway, so why not). Dove is actually doable! But yeah, only with a razor on a mild setting and I really need to pay attention because one stroke too many and it's razor burn central. Conditioner worked against me somehow, like the blade missed more hairs because of it? I seem to get the best results with just showering as usual, washing with a washcloth and soap, and then applying shaving gel to squeaky clean skin. I haven't tried a tube of shaving cream yet, that's still on the wish list. Thank you for the suggestions, I'll check it out.😊




So mild razor, plus sharp blade. That makes sense. Oooh, a grippy handle would be nice, but the Feather AS-D2 retails for 195.- here, which is a bit of a gamble. I had been looking at the Rockwell 6s already, because of the adjustability and because it has such great reviews from both men and women, but as you pointed out, the Rockwell is also more of an investment these days (currently 135 bucks in the Netherlands). The Masamune looks like a work of art! 😍

But those razors are top-of-the-line perfection, and I feel like maybe one doesn't give a Stradivarius to a toddler? I'm very aware that I'm just a beginner. My technique probably sucks and the results might be more dependend on my wrist than on the quality of the razor at this point. 3 months in, it's starting to dawn on me that the skill of shaving with a safety razor isn't something you learn overnight. Probably in the same way that it took me years to learn the proper application of eyeliner and mascara. While product-quality is important to me right now, it wouldn't have mattered much in the beginning because I didn't know what I needed the materials to do, exactly. It took me 10 years to achieve the ideal full-face that couldn't be replicated by professional make-up artists, and a couple of years more to know and trust that I could do it consistently. This spring, my little sister got married, I was proud that she asked me to do her make-up for the day and even though I was nervous as hell, she looked perfect. That's what 10.000 hours gets you. Many men here probably hit the 10.000 hour mark for shaving in their early 20's. I can only guess at the skill guys have after a couple of decades with a safety razor.

Shaving with a safety razor seems to demand a lot of knowledge and muscle memory, so I sort of wish I'd started younger. A year from now, if I have gained a bit of skill and have saved a nice sum by leaving the Venus product line behind, I think it would be fun to walk into a speciality shop and browse the real safety razors with perfect balance. Maybe by then, I'll have a sense of what I'm looking for. But my cheapest safety razor, the Gillette 7 O'Clock Sterling (which is also sold under names like Gillette Bleu or Gillette Tech and plenty of people got it for $1.- at the Dollar Tree) performed quite well on the legs on the first try. Granted, that safety razor is unusable for the armpits, because the DE blade sticks out on the sides, but I liked the comb, the mildness and the simplicity. I didn't hurt myself with it. The best safety razor on the market probably wouldn't give me significantly better results as long as my technique doesn't improve, or that's my impression anyway. Just like a teenage girl probably won't be able to create noticably better results with a $70.- Sisley mascara, compared to a reasonably well-reviewed $5.- drugstore mascara. So the plan is to stick to the cheap toys for now (they don't seem very durable, so I'll have to replace them at some point anyway) and combine them with decent DE blades to practise, practise, practise. Everything else goes on the wish list for Christmas 2023.

I could be wrong though, seeing as how I don't know what I'm talking about. So if a better safety razor would indeed impove my results dramatically at this point, it might be worth it anyway.
I Got my Feather ASD2 early in shaving and I am glad I did. My skin improved so much and it's a great razor. I can probably sell it for nearly what I paid. Idk if the Masamune is quite as mild or if I would have gotten such great results if I hadn't used the Feather first. Tbh maybe?. The reason I like the Masamune more is cause new. Smaller handle and adjustable. I don't think picking either one is a gamble really.
Yes you would get better results with either than a lessor razor.
 
Oh here are mine. They do each look gorgeous in person. I love the Masamune but most people still say the Feather is prettier. The handle is grippier. The Masamune has a sufficient grip, but feather has uncanny amazing grip, and that helped me a lot.
Otoh. Once you get good you will want to experiment and the Masamune can use different plates and heads. Definitely the open comb isn't for a beginner. I hear the regular solid comb masamune is slightly more aggressive than Feather. Which I think is doable for a new person to learn on for sure.
 

Attachments

  • 20220826_142138.jpg
    20220826_142138.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 24
As far as saving money. Yes I have. I am only halfway through the Feather blades I got a year and a half ago. So way less than mach 3 and way way less than Venus.
I got three full soaps and a sampler of Stirling soaps when I started. I figure I still have like 3 years of soap left. So that saves money.
More than save money my skin feels better and I dont have bumps anymore. That rigjt there makes it worth it to me.
 

Tirvine

ancient grey sweatophile
I am in the camp that dislikes Derby blades. There are a number of smooth and efficient, highly regarded blades from which to choose, for example Gillette Silver Blues and Nacets and Israeli Personnas and Personna Lab Blues. I'd say any of those would be a pretty safe bet. I am also in the camp that likes a mild stainless steel razor. I like to let the weight of the razor do much of the work. I like the carefree nature of a mild blade. It is easy for me to get BBS with three comfortable passes using an Edwin Jagger DE89 (mild but ZAMAK, not stainless steel), a Feather AS-D2, or an Above the Tie Windsor with a mild plate, my current and all time favorite, razor. Using the Windsor and a Lab Blue, every shave is BBS, smooth and comfortable, and irritation, nick, and weeper free. Just take your time going with, across, and against the grain with minimal pressure. Also find the lather that feels best. It may or may not look like a white cloud. I prefer a thickish soap layer on the wet end of the spectrum but dry enough not to drip. It takes about five seconds to load enough for three passes using Martin de Candre or Pre de Provence.
 
Top Bottom