West Coast Shaving Classic Shave Set Giveaway

by Brett & Kate McKay on December 8, 2008 · 394 comments

in Blog, Featured

The Art of Manliness is a big proponent of the classic wet shave. There’s something almost ritualistic about a traditional shave. Between lathering up with a badger brush and guiding a double-edge safety razor across your face, it’s possible to reach a state of zen. Unfortunately, most men shave with cheapo disposable crap that costs an arm and a leg and gives you a crappy shave. Safety razor shaving, on the other hand, is much cheaper and provides a far superior shave.

So when the fine folks at West Coast Shaving approached us and asked if they could give away a complete classic shaving set to an Art of Manliness reader, we said hell yes.

The Prize

West Coast Shaving is giving away a complete classic shaving set valued at $115. It has everything you need to get started with safety razor shaving:

  • Merkur HD Safety Razor $29
  • eShave Fine Brush $55
  • Taylor of Old Bond Street (winner can choose¬†the fragrance) $14
  • Extended DE Blade Sampler Pack $21.50

How to Enter

So how can you get your hands on this awesomely manly prize? You have 3 ways to enter your name in a random drawing for the shaving set:
  1. Leave a comment under this post sharing your best shaving tip
  2. Sign up for email or RSS updates. A secret code will appear at the bottom of the RSS feed or email update. Email us what the secret code is through our contact form and you’ll be entered.
  3. Share this post with your friends using the “Email this post” to a friend link at the top of the page (You have to use this link or I can’t see if you shared the post). For each friend you email this post to, you’ll receive one entry in the contest. This means the more friends you share it with, the more entries you get. You can only send 10 at a time, but feel free to come back and send some more.

Remember, you can increase your chances of winning by doing all of the above, so get cracking gents. And ladies (we know you’re out there) feel free to enter as well. This is a great chance to score a FREE manly Christmas gift for the man in you’re life.

Deadline to enter is Monday, December 15 at 9PM Central Standard Time. The winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

101 Malachi December 9, 2008 at 8:20 am

Sometimes I use olive oil to shave, you’d be surprised out how much less razor burn you get for using that instead of shaving cream.

102 Chris W December 9, 2008 at 8:21 am

Straight razor and cold rain water collected in a rusty tin can. Nothing more manly.

103 Christian December 9, 2008 at 8:26 am

I shave IN the shower. Love that my beard is soft and I can thoroughly wash off any shaving cream. Plus if you dry your razors on a towel they’ll last longer.

104 Mikey December 9, 2008 at 8:28 am

DO NOT shave the same spot more than three times and rinse your blade often.

DO shave with the grain first, across the grain next, then against the grain.

DO NOT be afraid to use your wife’s nice face lotion afterward (as long as it doesn’t smell like her or Jean Nate.)

DO take your time and go slow, even with safety blades.

105 Larry December 9, 2008 at 8:34 am

Shave with the grain. Going against it can have bad consequences.

106 Paul Morrison December 9, 2008 at 8:38 am

I think the single largest change to my shaving routine was to ditch the drugstore shaving creams in the pressurized cans. I bought my first two pots of Taylor of Old Bond street shaving cream on a trip to London a year ago and it has made all the difference. I don’t get as many cuts, and it doesn’t burn – shaving has become a pleasurable experience rather than a chore.

107 Nelson Pecora December 9, 2008 at 8:40 am

I generally shave in the shower. Before shaving, I run my face under the hot water for a minute. After I shave, I the showerhead from normal to a fine mist, and wash away the excess foam. It feels really good, and it’s cooler than the normal water temperature.

In summation, I heartily recommend rinsing after a shave with some kind of spray, rather than running water. A nice, refreshing lukewarm towel is fine, too.

108 Jones December 9, 2008 at 8:46 am

Personally, every one in a while, maybe every other month, I let the beard grow on its own, only trimming its length but not the edges. I find that I often start to cut into the shape of the beard, and this week long procedure helps even it up and stops it from getting random weird angles

109 Craig December 9, 2008 at 8:49 am

To help reduce razor burn on the neck area, pay particular attention to the direction of the hair growth. I have swirls in the grain on either side of my larynx, and if I don’t watch for the direction of the growth, I get razor burn every time.

110 Dan Price December 9, 2008 at 8:52 am

Shave in two steps: First, with the grain and secondly against the grain for the ultimate close shave.

111 Dustin Boston December 9, 2008 at 8:56 am

Oh man I’ve been talking about safety razors since August and I *still* don’t have one. Count me in!

112 Marck December 9, 2008 at 8:57 am

All great tips, and I would like to add the following for final clean-up:

Get an inexpensive set of beard/trip clippers so you can
1) Clean up the line on your sideburns, no matter how long or short they are.
2) Trim that fuzzy, curly growth that grow over the tops of your ears between haircuts.

For the short-haired gentlemen like myself, have a wife or girlfriend or someone you trust trim the growth along the back of your neck to remove the fuzz and create an even line. You can use clippers or a razor here depending on how much you trust the person doing it.

Finally, take the opportunity to treat yourself to a real, barbershop, straight-razor shave once in a while. A good barber will be happy to do it and it is a great way to relax–like a day at the spa for us guys…

113 shayne Weltmer December 9, 2008 at 9:02 am

make sure you always shave in one direction than you hair will grow in evenly.

114 Chris December 9, 2008 at 9:12 am

Shower at night, then shave right when you get out. Your beard will be softer, and easier to shave. You won’t sleep with all the dirt, grime you accumulated during the day. And you will be clean, smell good and have a smooth face, making it much more likely to receive affection from your wife!!

115 Justin December 9, 2008 at 9:15 am

I’ve also switched to the wet shave with a double edge razor the last couple years and agree it is much better on the face. My tip would be to use a pre-shave oil before you put on the shaving cream. This greatly reduced the amount of irritation and gave me a much closer shave. Art of Shaving makes a very good one, though it is expensive, but there are others out there as well.

116 Mike Dodge December 9, 2008 at 9:18 am

A styptic pencil is invaluable. Even the best of us get nicks every now and then and these things will stop the bleeding ASAP. Don’t be that guy who covers his face in tissue.

117 Mark Lambird December 9, 2008 at 9:21 am

I have found that if I apply conditioner to my stubble when I am showering it soften ups the stubble and makes for a smoother shave.

118 Robert T Miller December 9, 2008 at 9:27 am

Do not skimp your brush and buy boar because it’s cheaper! Badger brushes, tho more expensive, will generate a significantly better lather and improve your quality of shave.

Also, make sure to soak the brush in hot water before building lather. I typically fill my later bowl up with hot water and stick the brush in it before I shower, so as soon as I get out of the shower I can hit the shave.

119 Chad Francom December 9, 2008 at 9:30 am

Shave while showering…

Your whiskers will be softer and will cut easier with a good razer.

120 Thomas December 9, 2008 at 9:31 am

My skin is very sensitive and dries up easily. Especially in the winter with the cold and all. So instead of using hot water that would leave my face desert dry half way through my shave I prefer to use water that is slightly above room temperature. No dry skin and a good shave nonetheless.

This works for me and may not work for someone else so i guess my best shaving tip is this: Experiment! No matter how many shave guides you read chances are that you will never find one that is exactly suited for your skin and/or beard type
Trail & error people.

Shaving is an adventure not a science.

121 Rich December 9, 2008 at 9:35 am

Another advantage of shaving soap … it’s not a liquid, so you can pack it in your carry-on luggage without ridiculous restrictions or little plastic bags.

122 Nicholas Kaminsky December 9, 2008 at 9:45 am

I got one of those fog-free mirrors that stick with suction cups to the side of the shower, and it has been worth its weight in gold, at least as far as my face is concerned.

123 K. M. Jones December 9, 2008 at 9:48 am

My best shaving tip is shave when you want to shave, not when you have to shave. Unless you have a big meeting with a client, or are the anchor on the 5 pm news, its usually OK to sport a little growth. But even if you have to shave every day for work, you can do it first thing when you wake up, or after your breakfast. This makes it less of a chore and more of a manly pleasure so you can really enjoy your shave rather than view it as something you have to do each morning.

124 Steve December 9, 2008 at 9:56 am

Wow, there’s nothing I could say that hasn’t already been addressed repeatedly. I’d love to enter using the code from the RSS feed, but alas, I get the feed, and I see no “secret code” at the bottom of this entry :(

125 Gary Fisher December 9, 2008 at 9:57 am

Shaving in the shower has always worked the best for me, environmental concerns be danged.

126 Justin Luddington December 9, 2008 at 10:02 am

Well, I shave with a straight razor, but the same rules apply for getting your face baby’s butt smooth:

1) Shave right out of the shower, or at least after warming your face with hot towels to open the pores.

2) Lather up well with your badger-hair brush

3) Shave against the grain, relather, across the grain, and if necessary, relather and against the grain.

4) This is important: with each pass, aim for *beard reduction* not *beard removal*. Too many people hack away at their faces with Mach 3s trying to eliminate the stubble in one pass.

5) Don’t use any pressure: let the weight of the razor do it. Holding the safety razor at the end of the handle helps remind you of this: holding it too close to the blade tempts you to push too hard.

6) Use the proper angle: the blade should be about thirty degrees from your face. The best way to get this is to rest the blade flat on your face first, and then turn it up from the back of the blade to the proper angle. Placing the blade on vertically and rolling down is more likely to cut you.

7) Take your time, and enjoy the experience!

127 Stephen M. December 9, 2008 at 10:02 am

Laser beard removal. I suffer from a pretty bad case of uneven facial hair growth, stemming from a fire-related accident I had when I was a teenager. So growing a beard is out, and I don’t particularly enjoy shaving (especially my neck), so I think it might be worth the investment to never have to worry about it again.

128 Bradley Kester December 9, 2008 at 10:03 am

Use hot water to open the pores of you skin before the shave.
Use cold water to close them back up. (also feels very refreshing)

Doing this will not only help you get a closer shave, but will also clean your skin better.

129 Aaron G. December 9, 2008 at 10:13 am

I’ve found that rinsing with hot water after the first and second time, then ice cold on the third pass is the best for me. The hot water helps bring the stubble out each time, and the cold water tightens up the face, while stopping any bleeding from minor nicks… Then the styptic pencil for any that remain…

130 Kent December 9, 2008 at 10:15 am

Run that blade through a wine cork a few times before you load it into the safety razor. This will help smooth any small burrs and other imperfections from the manufacturing process. Think of it like stropping a straight razor, or using a steel on your kitchen knives.

131 Cody Zimmerman December 9, 2008 at 10:18 am

Its best to shave with the grain of your facial hair. On your cheeks and jaw this is easy but on your neck the hair typically grows in three different directions. Its also best to lather twice. This can help the hair stand up a little more as well open the pores on your face.

132 Bill CLark December 9, 2008 at 10:21 am

For you intrepid travelers: In hot/humid environments (i.e., the tropics), it’s best to shave with cold water rather than hot to prevent razor burn when shaving with a disposable razor.

133 Lee December 9, 2008 at 10:23 am

The only tip I feel I can offer that hasn’t been offered a hundred times already is one that applies to those of us who, for one reason or another, haven’t had the means or opportunity to upgrade to a safety-razor or straight razor wet shaving experience yet.

The best way I’ve found to maintain your cartridges for as long as possible, and maintain their sharpness, is to make sure you dry them off after you are done shaving. Corrosion is the main cause of cartridge degradation, and why they feel like they are tearing your skin off after just a couple shaves (they are…)

When I’m done shaving, I always pat the razor thoroughly dry with a towel, and will occasionally oil them with a few drops of a light household oil (3-in-1 oil works well, though I suppose olive oil or canola oil would work just as well.) If you have a small cup or container you don’t mind parting with, you can also use that as an oil reservoir to store the razor, cartridge down, in between shaves.

134 the cox December 9, 2008 at 10:29 am

Best tip I can give for a good wet shave: Straight Razor.
I switched to a straight(or cutthroat) razor when I started a new job in sales. At my previous jobs I had been able to shave every few days, as I was not in front of customers. Once my position changed, and I was needing to make “first impressions” on an hourly basis, I needed to shave, and also avoid annoying ingrown hairs that made me look like a 14yrd with bad acne.
A straight razor, properly wielded, can shave closer than any disposable, and leaves virtually zero ingrown hairs. Not to mention that nothing boosts your manliness quotient like completing a menial task with a deadly weapon.

Next Step: mow the lawn with a series of Claymore Mines.

135 C. Welte December 9, 2008 at 10:29 am

I have a slow growth beard so to second K.M. Jones, I have found that every-other-day shaving results in a better shave. Also, I have less irritation than when I shave every day.

136 Timothy Sternberg December 9, 2008 at 10:33 am

My tip is for getting rid of that month old beard.use electric razor.

137 Steve December 9, 2008 at 10:34 am

By the way, I would like to mention that I’m glad somebody finally explained what “with the grain” meant – I’ve been hearing that all my life and had no idea what people were talking about, not being aware that my chain had a grain.

138 kramertron December 9, 2008 at 10:35 am

I personally think shaving before you shower is the way to go.

139 Glenn Dubois December 9, 2008 at 10:39 am

I do a lot of traveling; sometimes you will hit issues in which you did not expect to have happen. For me, one of those times was when I was in need of a shave and you did not have time to buy a new supply of your favorite shaving cream. In this event, I grabbed my travel bottle of conditioner and lathered up my face with it. Not only does this soften the hair, the minerals and vitamins will also do wonders for the skin as you shave.

140 Big Jake December 9, 2008 at 10:49 am

Shaving tip one:

Get a blow put about a cup of water (enough to soak a small towel) into it then ad few drops of lemon juice into the water then ad a small soft towel. Place in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Go sit in your lazy boy chair and kick back and relax when 45 seconds is up have someone come wring out the towel and place on your face till the towel is between lukewarm temp and hot.

141 John of Indiana December 9, 2008 at 11:01 am

Back when I used to shave with Naked Steel ( I have lost The Touch, and my last attempt reminded me of a movie:”There will be Blood”) what I found to work best was the following:

Wrap a HOT towel around your face.Get all that hair nice and soft.
Take thee thy badger-hair brush and whippeth (whip it good) a thick cuppa suds using William’s MUG soap.
Work it in. you want to try and imobilize that stubble.
Take your razor-now, I really didn’t have a lot of preference, with maybe the exception of the injector blade straight razor i used for a while-anyway, take your razor and use short strokes. Not long strokes, short. This lets the whiskers get out of the way of the edge.
Be Mindful. one second’s inattention and you’re cut. If you really space out, you’re gonna find all the styptic in the world’s not gonna stop the flow.
If it’s a special occassion (no whisker burn on her) Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

But in all honesty, I gave it all up over 10 years ago for the triple-headed buzzer.

142 Rishi Vasandani December 9, 2008 at 11:05 am

The manly way to shave:

1. was face with warm water
2. put some shaving cream on your face and lather well using shaving brush
3. Shave gently, avoiding cuts, on one direction (the direction of your hair growth) to prevent ingrown hairs. Make sure you have a good, clean, shaving blade.
4. after shaving, wash up with luke warm water..and dab your face with a towel..
5. do not forget to use after shave or any moisturizer..this will keep your face fresh and healthy..
and oh yeah, girls will start falling for you soon after this :)

143 Rob Ingraham December 9, 2008 at 11:21 am

My best tip for shaving is to have a war face. Figure out how to contort your skin, either by facial expressions or by using your free hand to move the skin into position, in such a way that the hair stands as close to 90 degrees to the skin as possible. Puffing out each cheek works great for cheek shaving, a must for guys who need to start shaving just under their eyes. War face, gentlemen. Find yours.

144 Pat December 9, 2008 at 11:37 am

Hot towel just like the ole days

145 Christopher Canova December 9, 2008 at 11:38 am

TIP #1: CHOOSE YOUR RAZOR – No matter what you do, you will always want a good clean shave and a smooth face when you’re finished shaving. Why not do a little shopping around and see which razor is right for you? Once you choose a razor, stick to it! If it has disposable heads, buy a whole bunch at one time. Don’t get tempted by new commercials. If you choose electric because it’s faster, you can still use a good cream with some “wet” models. A man’s razor is the first kit item in any toiletry kit. If cords are necessary, always keep them with the razor. Don’t mess around with too many shaving heads. My suggestion: the more blades the better. The less used, the better.

146 Ed December 9, 2008 at 11:49 am

Several others have mentioned the hot towel and for times when you shave without a hot shower first, it really helps. I keep a nice washcloth out such occasions.

Another tips is to enjoy some of your shaves. I bought a Rolls Safety Razor years ago and will occasionally set aside extra time to go through the “trouble” of using it. This is a relaxing ritual and it shaves much closer than any multi-blade razors I normally use.


147 Roman December 9, 2008 at 11:52 am

I like to alternate between an electric shaver and a blade. On the electric front, make sure you get a self cleaning one. Every shaver I ever bought worked great for a bout a week, until it got gummed up with oils and such. My Braun shaver works great every time because the cleaning fluid gets all the gunk out every time.

I swap out the fluid every couple of months and replace the blade about once a year. Great gift for yourself or someone you love.

148 George R December 9, 2008 at 12:05 pm

It’s never a good idea to try to shave under your nose.
I once did this, and blood literally dripped out from that microscopic cut for about 3 days.

149 Ron Blaisdell December 9, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Hot towel, or preferably a hot shower. Sharp clean blades, and always rinse the blades in cold water.

Sounds like a lesson a number of us have learned over the years.

150 Sabah Khalaf December 9, 2008 at 12:18 pm

First you should exfoliate. This gets rid of all the dirt, grime and dead skin. Next, apply lather and shave with the grain. This help to reduce irritation. For those of you looking for a closer shave, you can go against the grain on the second run.

If you have long facial hair, you should trim it down with a beard trimmer before using a blade.

Also, I like to use a razor with multiple blades. This reduces the amount of strokes which reduces irritation.

151 Lee Brett December 9, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Only shave when your face and neck is warm and wet. Use a steady pull on the razor and do 3 passes. One against the grain, one with the grain, and one across the grain.
Keep a styptic pensil handy.

152 Mark December 9, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Heat is the key!

153 Gavin Wright December 9, 2008 at 12:36 pm

I shave in the shower. I picked up a cheap shower mirror; just be sure to clean behind it. The mildew can build up quick.

154 Mike December 9, 2008 at 12:49 pm

I only shave once a week but when I do I always use lotion after. It keeps my face from drying out too much and keeps me looking like I’m in my 20s still.

155 Jeremy December 9, 2008 at 1:00 pm

I’ve always shaved with the grain, whereas I’ve read that some people suggest shaving against when incorporating multiple passes for the cleanest possible shave.

While the multiple blade design appears to work decently, however when it comes to creating sharp lines along your sideburns or other manly features the result is often crooked lines. Safety razors are certainly the way to go.

156 Bryan December 9, 2008 at 1:09 pm

To prevent ingrown hairs, about once a week, I’ll use an electric… just gives my skin and whiskers a break. But never when i want the closest shave for a night out with my wife.

157 Dick December 9, 2008 at 1:11 pm

I’m getting set to switch to a DE from those insanely expensive cartridge razors. My dad used a safety razor, and I figured it’s time for me to step up to the mic. All these tips and comments have been great.

158 Captain Will December 9, 2008 at 1:21 pm

My tip is pretty simple, but it’s given me the best results so far:

Get yourself a fog-proof mirror and shave in the shower after you wash your face. My shave has been closer and smoother since trying this, plus it saves me a little time if I have to get ready in a hurry.

159 Forrest December 9, 2008 at 1:24 pm

I always shock my face with cold water right after applying aftershave. It closes your pores a bit tighter and it leaves your skin extra soft. Also, use a face scrub before you shave to clean off any oil or dirt that could reduce the quality of your shave. Put these two methods together and I can guarantee a closer, smoother shave.

160 Matt Youmans December 9, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Shaving after a hot shower helps alot more then just splashing some water on your face and helps get a closer shave.

161 Jason December 9, 2008 at 1:36 pm

If you are using a shaving cream, work up a nice later in a preheated thick ceramic bowl. That way the bowl keeps the lather warm

162 Demian December 9, 2008 at 1:50 pm

I still use an electric shaver (hence my reason for really wanting this shave set) and have found that it helps to splash cold water on your face afterwards. Really basic knowledge probably but all I know. An aftershave also probably works but I’ve yet to find one that I really enjoy.

163 Rob December 9, 2008 at 2:20 pm

If you do not yet use a brush to shave, start. You get the closest and cleanest shave that way, and the bristles are good for the skin. Immediately afterwards, I put a piping hot washcloth on my face, followed by an ice cold one, to open and close the pores.

164 Liam December 9, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Best tips?

Don’t use dull blades. Replace them more often than you think you need to. You’ll regret it the first time you cut yourself.

Also – shaving after a shower is really nice – your beard is very moist.

I also prefer moisturizing lotion (something as chemical free as I can find) rather than an alcohol based “aftershave” – keeps my skin smooth and not irritated.

165 Cliff December 9, 2008 at 2:24 pm

I find that if I put on the shaving cream as I’m getting out of the shower and let it sit on my face while I’m toweling off, I get a cleaner shave and I’m much less likely to cut myself.

166 Mike Austin - The Radio Dad December 9, 2008 at 2:24 pm

My day starts at 3am, so I am looking to squeeze every minute of morning prep time I can so I can sleep as much as possible. I find that shaving in the shower is helpful. The hot steam makes shaving that much better. I have often thought about going with the classic shave with the old brush and suds on the face. I actually have my Dad’s old double sided razor that he carried in WW2! One thing though, if you try shaving in the shower, it’s important to find a good mirror with strong suction cups or hangers to have on the shower wall.

167 Rhodric December 9, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Don’t use an electric razor, they are just lazy, if you can get away with it you should just get in one good wet shave once a week.

168 Josh December 9, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Styptic pencils are great and all, but there’s a much easier (and cleaner-looking) solution to minor cuts.

If you’ve just finished shaving, look up in the mirror, and realize that you look like a victim in a Freddy Krueger flick, simply get a washcloth, run the hottest water you can get out of the tap over it, and press firmly on the cut(s) for about 5 seconds. Repeat until the bleeding stops, and you’ll find that, not only is there no longer a bloody cut, but you aren’t even MARKED.

This trick has saved me for countless dates, business meetings, parties, etc.

169 Ryan Beaver December 9, 2008 at 2:27 pm

If you have a very important event at the end of the week, and you need your face looking clean and smooth, wet shaving is the way to go. Many men, however, worry about getting razor burn, cutting themselves, or marring their skin the day of. For great recommendations, read any of the above comments as they’re bound to be full of good commentary. However, here are my best two tips for an EASY and CLEAN shave.

1. Don’t shave for a few days prior – If your job can afford to let you grow a 3-day beard, go for it. Hairs that are a little bit longer are easier to cut cleanly the first time. Think about having to cut down a tree vs. a stump.

2. While in the shower, use your wife’s conditioner on your beard — massage it into your skin and let it sit for about 2 minutes before rinsing it off. The better the conditioner, the softer the beard. Keratin, the stuff your hair is made of, is about as hard as copper, so keep that in mind. Conditioner helps the razor cut through the first time, allowing for a smoother, cleaner shave. Best shaving comes right after your shower.

For other tips, be sure to read the other posts. If you’re worried about bleeding or cutting yourself, just do the downstroke (with the grain). If you followed my tips, you’ll be impressed how nicely your safety razor can perform in just one direction. Also, if you haven’t purchased one by now, safety razors are the way to go. It makes it much easier to start with a fresh blade, and the shave is nicer all around.

170 Dana Baith December 9, 2008 at 2:29 pm

I agree with the cold water on the blade suggestion.

I have acne prone skin and found out a long time ago that a cold blade reduced the skin irritation allowing for pimples to develop.

I have also found that showering after I shower allows me to cleanse the skin and remove unneeded oils from the shave gel/lotion/soap.

Also, be aware that although some of the new, high-tech, multi-blade, super, fantastic disposable blades with “slick” strips may appear to effectively shave your beard for a few weeks they do build up bacteria and can cause severe infections when they do cut your skin.

171 Dan December 9, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Hide your razor! I lived with 3 women, beleive me, they have NO scruples when it comes to using YOUR razor and dragging it over God knows where.

172 Kevin Hollingsworth December 9, 2008 at 2:35 pm

If you can, wait. The longer the hair is the softer it is so it’s easier for the blade to cut through. Also, I tend to puff out my cheeks like a blowfish so more hair is above the surface of the skin. I do the chin last since it’s the coarsest and the shaving cream has had time to soak in.

173 IamTyler December 9, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Get a fogless mirror and do everything in the shower. after washing your hair and body. save the shave for last. i guess the only other way to get a top quality shave is to find a good barber with steady hands. just make sure he uses real lather and not barbasol out of a machine.

174 Brian December 9, 2008 at 2:41 pm

If you’re converting from an electric shaver back to a blade, you have some bad habits to break. Most important, you’re probably used to shaving against the grain of your beard for a close cut. You’ll want to do just the opposite with a razor, or you’ll quickly find out what the styptic pencil is used for.

175 Hollis December 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I do it all in the shower. The mirror I use still gets fogged up, but just hold it under the shower stream and it’s completely cleared. So much easier for cleanup. I usually clean everything first, then put some conditioner in my hair so that it can sit while I shave, then rinse and go.

176 Randall December 9, 2008 at 2:44 pm

There are a lot of variations, but the basic elements are: really hot water; really sharp blade; a good lubrication; and attention to detail. Skip any one of these four at your peril.

You have to take your time — let your beard soak under a hot towel for long enough to absorb the moisture. Rub in the gel or cream thoroughly — use a bruch if you like. Don’t rush the strokes so you don’t get nicked. Take time to check the reults with your wet fingertips and re-shave as needed. It’s not rocket science but there is an art to it.

177 Ross Fletcher December 9, 2008 at 2:48 pm

My tip is to shave in the warmest temperature of water you can stand in the shower. Before shaving use a Buff Puff to remove old skin, which seems to soften your skin and facial hair. That is one thing that seems to do me well.

178 Logan December 9, 2008 at 2:49 pm

So. You all want a piece of the action huh?

I can understand.

Here’s my simple tip. You’l wonder what the hell you were doing without it.

Sorbelene cream under the lather (soap, foam or whatever you prefer) works a charm every time. It gives a little moisture to make it run over your skin, while cutting the beard free.

Have a great one!


179 Gregor December 9, 2008 at 2:50 pm

The key to a great shave is water as warm as you face can take it, a sharp razor, and pulling your skin tight as your glide the razor across the whiskers. Use the hot water to soften your beard, a wash cloth or the end of a hand towel works well. Get a good lather, I like shaving soap. Go over the skin in one direction, and only one time.
Good luck son, you’ll need it.

180 Lawrence December 9, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Once you start, you won’t ever want to go back.

181 Devin December 9, 2008 at 2:57 pm

My only question is this: Is a safety razor ok for manscaping? Haha

182 Glen Kanzer December 9, 2008 at 3:00 pm

my tip is actually the best thing to do with your shaving cream.


once you wipe it off, it will keep the mirror from getting fogged up from the hot water while you shave.

short, sweet, and simple.

183 Joe Pytleski December 9, 2008 at 3:01 pm

For goodness’ sake, do not shave against the grain!

184 Paul December 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm

I switched to a razor after years of using an electric shaver. I instantly loved it except for the extra time it takes. To save time and get a much more enjoyable shave, I bought a fog-free mirror that hangs in the shower and I shave as part of my shower. It is impossible to get a softer beard and smoother shave than with all the normal steam and heat of a nice hot shower!

185 Val December 9, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Make sure to moisturize after shaving!

186 Gus December 9, 2008 at 3:15 pm

I’ve been shaving with razor blades for almost a year now. Making shaving a ritual turned a chore into a pleasure.

187 Alex Rapley December 9, 2008 at 3:16 pm

If you have access, shaving in a sauna after you’ve sat for a few minutes primes your skin for a close shave.

188 Kris December 9, 2008 at 3:18 pm

I think the best shaving-related thing I have discovered lately is just how much I was spending on those darn cartridges! So now it is time to finally start using that straight razor I bought a few years ago. There may be a little hacking over the next few days, but I will never, *ever* buy over-priced, disposable, battery-powered (what was I thinking?!?!) shaving-related garbage again.

189 Ted Slampyak December 9, 2008 at 3:22 pm

My best wet-shaving tip, other than taking your time and not pushing too hard, is this:

After you’ve got your beard good and soft with hot water, and you’ve wet the brush with the hottest water you can and lathered it up really well with the shaving soap — let a few drops of that very-hot water onto the tip of the brush before applying the soap to your face. It’ll feel warmer, even to a face that’s been treated with a hot washcloth just moments ago, and you’ll be surprised how much difference it makes to the brush, even though it’d been in that hot water just moments ago before the lather.

Makes a difference! Really!


190 clo December 9, 2008 at 3:26 pm

If you are prone to ingrown hairs/ razor bumps use an exfoliator with glycolic acid to get rid of the dead skin that can clog the pores.

191 Tony December 9, 2008 at 3:28 pm

1. Always draw the razor in the same direction as your stubble is growing.
2. Shave the heaviest growth areas last – it gives the shaving foam more time to warm and soften the bristles.
3. Finish with a splash of cold water to close the pores and wake you up for work.

192 David December 9, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Shave in the shower, it saves time and water, and the warm/hot water helps open the pores to give a closer shave with less irritation.

193 Mike December 9, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Best shaving tip – Do it in the shower. I have a very thick beard and nothing works better at softening the hair than pre-shave lotion in a steamy shower. A little shave oil and some lather and you’re all set.

194 baduchief December 9, 2008 at 3:40 pm

If a shower cannot be taken beforehand, then using a hot wet towel to loosen up the beard really works wonders…..especially if you’re someone like me who tends to go a few days in between shaving.

I also try not to shave too high on the cheeks so that I don’t have stubble creeping into my eyes like my junior high math teacher. In all seriousness, those hairs are better left to be plucked or trimmed with scissors.

195 Jerad December 9, 2008 at 3:43 pm

I shave with an old fashioned straight edge razor, which will leave you much cleaner than any cheap store bought disposable. If you decide to use one of these razors, keep in mind there are no safety devices, and any slight movment may cut deep. So first things first, make sure you are fully awake, puting a sharp razor on your face while still groggy is not well advised. The hand angles are a bit awekward at first, but take your time at first, and you will figure out how to put the blade properly on your face. Finally it is also a good idea, with any type of shaving, to take a warm shower before hand, it softens the whiskers, and also servers to wake you up.

196 KevinA. December 9, 2008 at 3:44 pm

I use one of them razors that vibrate along with a good, warm lather. Nothing like a good after shave lotion with some eucalyptus in the mix to round off a great shave in the morning.

197 Rooster December 9, 2008 at 3:45 pm

It is said that a craftsman is only is as good as his tools, so do obtain the best quality shaving implements and accessories you can afford and learn how to use them properly. Skill will improve dramatically in time, so be patient with yourself. But that’s only a third of the plan. The other two-thirds consist of correct preparation. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Regardless of your choice of tools, make absolutely sure that you have softened the skin and whiskers, either with a hot shower or the application of hot towels, followed by plenty of hot water, before even thinking of applying cream or soap. Then, take your time as you begin your shave. I reiterate, take your time! Nothing worthy has ever been achieved in a harried or haphazard manner. At first this may seem quite a foreign concept; however, in due time, with many successful shaves to your credit, you will find that you have somehow rearranged your busy schedule to accommodate this beautiful, peaceful and immensely rewarding ritual into your daily life. And without a doubt, you will be a better man for it. Websites abound with more instructive detail than you can possibly imagine. I mention a few for your convenience: straightrazorplace.com, badgerandblade.com, and shavemyface.com. Investigate them, study and digest their prolific content, and begin today. Trust me, you’ll never look back.

198 Adam December 9, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I can’t believe how many people are on this site nowadays haha.

I love old-school shaving though, I hate when I’m in a situation where I have to use a Mach3 or something. My only advice to some people that haven’t wet shaved yet is to make sure you use short quick strokes, don’t push hard, and make the first pass with the grain.

199 Gregory Franklin December 9, 2008 at 3:58 pm

My favorite tip it to use Vitalis. I don’t shave everyday because it irritates my skin so I use Vitalis to soften my beard.

200 Shaun December 9, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Gotta love the wet shave!

Here’s a tip for anyone who’s run out of shaving cream, but still wants a really close DE shave. In a pinch, you can use Hair conditioner. That’s right! The same stuff that makes your wife’s hair so lovely and soft can also be used to soften your whiskers. Just apply to a wet face and let sit for a minute or so. Trust me, you’ll never get a closer, nick-free shave (this technique works especially well in the shower or bath).

Happy shaving!


Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Site Meter