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Unexpected amazing shave!

Ain't nothin' better than a serendipitous shave that raises the bar of perfection. Congratulations; wishing you many more!
 
Great way to start the day :)

Sometimes you can just have one of those amazing shaves out of the blue. I enjoy all my shaves, but this one was just special. As if all things came together and fell into place it seemed and, in my case, even made me doubt my products...


I finally had a good night sleep, but I had a little less time than normal as I woke up later than planned. So I kind of rushes ironing my shirt and a shower. Back on schedule I had enough time for a proper shave, so I started to relax a bit.

I loaded a PermaSharp (standard), a blade I had never tried before, into my Mühle R41, which is a very aggressive razor for those unfamiliar.
I'd had one shave with Martin de Candre Fougère soap and it was okay. I didn't have the lather wet enough though, so I thought I'd improve that on this shave. I had let it bloom with a tiny layer of water during the shower, since the jar is filled to the brim and no more would fit.

I added the bloom water to my face. I then removed as much of the water from my Simpson Chubby3 Manchurian and started loading the soap. I like to load quite a lot until the brush has a nice pasty look. I put the still warm brush against my face, a wonderful moment each morning, and started to work the soap into a dry lather. As it got going, I added more and more warm water until it was wet, creamy, but with enough consistency for some cushioning. MdC soap just looks beautiful lathered up, with a shimmering sheen over it in the morning sunlight. I was ready for the shave!

I started with the grain (WTG). I got confident with the PermaSharp blade very quickly and the razor just flew over my skin, filling the room with that lovely, crisp sound of all the whiskers it effortlessly cut in its path. Great 1st experience with this blade!

2nd pass: Across the grain on the WTG side of it. I wet my face and added a bit more hot water to the brush; I like my lather thinner each pass to get less cushioning and more slickness... I tend to get the closest results with the least irritation that way. The blade seemed to perform even better and this pass was done in no time as well.

3rd pass: Across the grain on opposite direction, so more against the grain. Added more water to the lather. Amazing pass. The blade just felt better and better. There was no hint of burn, irritation or any area feeling hot.

4th pass: Agains the grain (ATG). The PermaSharp blade was just amazing here! It felt smooth, didn't dig-in or pull my skin. Just perfect... This may be my new go-to blade.
With a new technique of tensioning the muscles in my neck I saw on NickShaves videos (makes the entire neck bigger and wider), I get better skin stretching in my neck for the ATG direction, where I can normally never get really close. To my excitement I got it right this time and my neck was a tiny hint short of BBS: I never shaved it this close before.
I also shaved against the grain under my nose. Before this week, I was always afraid I'd cut my nose. When I shave sideways this can happen sometimes and I hate this as it is really sensitive and irritates the entire day. But I recently realised that the safety-bar would stop it at this razor angle, so I went for it. Glorious! My first ever BBS under my nose.

Clean-up pass: I squeezed the remaining lather out of the brush with my off-hand and applied it to my face, feeling for spots to clean up. With my main hand I touched up some minor spots with the razor, though hardly any was needed. I felt around and was ecstatic... I had never gotten this close of a shave. My first BBS on everything above the jaw-line, with as-near-as-makes-no-difference in my neck. I had given up on getting BBS in my neck, but now, I think I can get there actually.

I wanted to finish with Floris London Balm and Cologne. I love an after-shave splash first though. I had bought D.R. Harris Pink AfterShave for this occasion as it has very little scent and one that should not interfere much with others. I hand't tried it yet though, but took a good splash in my hands. With such a close shave, I braced for the burn but was disappointed. "Damn, this is not alcohol-based" I though as I felt nothing. I like alcohol in my after-shaves, so I would not be using this much then I thought. I checked the bottle, but it didn't have an ingredient list on it.

I applied the balm and Cologne and felt great about the shave. Still a bit disappointed about the after-shave, I checked the D.R. Harris site for the ingredients and there it was: Alcohol as the 2nd ingredient. Nah, they must have changed the recipe. I then remembered I did not throw the box away yet, so I checked that: THIS STUFF HAS ALCOHOL!!! I couldn't stop snickering. Apparently the shave was so good I just had not damaged my skin... THAT's why I felt no burn.

I left for work in the bests of moods!


Does anyone else have such an experience, where you are just blown-away by a shave?
 
Great job!. A Permasharp blade in an R41 razor is a pretty aggressive/efficient combination. I am somewhat surprised that you need four passes plus a clean-up pass to achieve BBS. I suspect as you gain some experience using this combination you will no longer need the 4th pass. With practice you will come to expect the unexpected.
Hi @RayClem , after shaving a few days with only 3 passes, I did notice I got more irritation and even a few small nicks, which I would open up again the next day. Against the grain, my razor would dig in a little more than before, so my technique definitively has room for improvement. I do my passes with very little repeated strokes over already shaved areas at very light pressure and higher speeds. Without the 4th pass I may not get that close in all areas before my ATG pass and that makes the blade dig into my skin more. I think if I get more control over blade contact and angle I may not need it, but I'm not there yet.

In any case, I skipped a day to let my skin heal and went back to the 4 pass shave + clean up and did not have any issues since... Actually had an amazing shave with Razorock's The Stallion today: Damn, that is a pretty good soap that I gave too little credit before. Tallow and Lanolin just works for me:) I originally got it as a gift from my shop and had it just sit there for months after one shave. Funny how, as your technique improves, you start to notice how great some products are where you could not see that before.
 
Still, the mk1 is more aggressive than the mk2 according to the review I saw.



Talking about potato peelers: My first DE razor was a Merkur Futur... it scared the bejezus out of me with that size and weight. Got a vintage Gillette Slim as quickly as possible and never looked back. What a difference:)
Interesting. After my first year of DE, I have (more or less) mastered my Futur. However I’ve a revamped Gillette Slim on order & am hoping it will give me a slightly easier time but still an excellent adjustable shave. 🤞
 
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