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!

201 Ricardo Robles December 9, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Use a scrub before you shave.
Lather your face with a gel shaving cream.

202 Brian Wilcox December 9, 2008 at 4:08 pm

I read the original post about a year ago and found myself in an antique store looking at safety razors about a week later. Before then I’d casually seen them in other antique stores but, being a young guy in my early 30s, I hadn’t given them a second thought. Then I sort of forgot about getting one as life got busy again.

Just yesterday I was reading old posts and stumbled upon the article again and followed that up by passing two hours looking for razors & supplies on Ebay.

This blog has become, quite accidentally, my connection to a simpler world.

Thanks!

203 David. L December 9, 2008 at 4:09 pm

Don’t nick yourself. You usually bleed when that happens.
If all else fails, grow a beard. You’ll look like a badass ;)

204 Sam December 9, 2008 at 4:16 pm

I’ve been sporting the cueball look for years, and I hope I can provide a little wisdom/experience from all the extra practice.

1. Shave in the shower. If you need, get a little mirror and wipe it clean so it stays clear, but you may as well get used to relying on feel instead of look.

2. Ivory soap & a brush easily trump canned foams or gels for comfort, ease of use, and cost. I find a thick lather isn’t necessary, just enough to keep everything lubed and smooth. I probably prefer Ivory because it’s what my grandpa used.

3. On the face, I like once with and once against. Head, just once against (up/back). If you are getting ready for a date, use a new one and take an extra pass, you stud.

4. Pat, don’t rub. Seriously.

5. Use some goo that doesn’t smell much or get greasy, and remember that aftershave doesn’t have to burn to work. If you do your whole noggin, SPF aftershave is an excellent idea.

And this may not apply to many, but don’t be afraid to try your entire head if you think you might pull it off. Maintenance is easy, you gain an intimidating aspect, and it’s just plain awesome when on your first date, she asks, tentatively – “Can I touch your head?”

205 Will A December 9, 2008 at 4:17 pm

For years I lived in places with slick porcelain sinks and ceramic tile floors and out of safety concerns I found a plastic mug for the soap. Money being tight I used soap scraps in it. Safety razor blades became hard to find and I switched to cheap disposables and it has worked well enough since my Navy days.

But that shaving set does look nice!

206 John December 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm

I use a safety razor and take 3 passes. The first is with the grain, the second is across it and the third is against it. The final pass make it as smooth as possible, but the first two take off most of the beard so the “against the grain” pass isn’t as much of a shock to my skin.

I use “real” shaving cream (the same stuff that’s shown in the picture of this kit) not the compressed chemical stuff you buy at the drug store. I lather it with a badger brush and keep it warm, which also really helps lubricate my shave.

Takes a little longer, but it’s a relaxing process for me.

207 Jack December 9, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Shave in the shower with hot water running – I find there is no substitute for keeping my face moist for a closer, more comfortable shave.

208 DeaconKC December 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm

First, set aside a couple extra minutes to do the shave right. I make myself get up earlier to have my devotions and then shower and have time for a GOOD shave to start the day fresh mentally and physically. That extra few minutes of quiet time will help you face the day better.

209 Nat MacDonald December 9, 2008 at 4:49 pm

why just safety razors? is AoM against the classic straight razor?

210 Dan December 9, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Every time you shave make sure you have a smoking hot chic in the shower while you are shaving. It will make your shaving routine much more pleasant,

211 Virilitas December 9, 2008 at 4:56 pm

My tip is to wait at least five minutes after shaving before putting on your outer shirt; it can easily save you from getting blood from unnoticed cuts on your collar.

212 Ethan Gunderson December 9, 2008 at 5:02 pm

About 3 weeks ago I started shaving with a strait razor, none of this safety razor nonsense.

The greatest tip I can offer is to try and treat shaving like a hobby, not a chore. You’ll not only enjoy yourself more, but you’ll also get a better shave as well. Take your time and research everything you can about your equipment, take your time and get to know your face and its curves.

Trust me, you’ll begin to love to shave!

213 Eric Gangnath December 9, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Never agree to participate in Novembeard.com — It basically assured zero kissing, or anything else for that matter, from my girlfriend for an entire month. Great choice, eh?

214 MK-ULTRA December 9, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Always make sure you are properly awake before starting…….

215 Kennith Holbrook December 9, 2008 at 5:08 pm

I’m only 19 and haven’t been shaving as much as some of these men. However, I have ridiculous facial hair genes in my family, so getting rid of all that stubble is a constant problem for me. Many of these tips I think I’ll now use.

Here’s my best advice

1. shave often- nothing hurts more than trying to shave once the hair has gotten too long. If you do wait a long time before that next shave, use some clippers to trim it down first.

2. Take at least two passes. First pass strictly with the grain. Then lather up again and hit everything a second time.

216 Steve Sanders December 9, 2008 at 5:09 pm

I just started using a DE razor about a week ago. This is so much fun and is making shaving enjoyable. I’ve always dispised shaving until I found DE razor and wet shaving.

Steve

217 Mark Adkins December 9, 2008 at 5:25 pm

While I usually shave in the shower, my favorite tip is the ‘sink shave’.

Fill the sink with very warm water. I like to add a splash of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Oil Soap for a refreshing fragrance. (If you are using canned shaving creme, use hot water and let the can sit in the water until it cools a bit.)

Soak a wash cloth in the water and hold it to your face for a while to warm your face and soften your beard. I especially like this on chilly mornings or when I am tired or stressed.

Whisk up some lather using warm water, and apply liberally to the face, massaging it into the hairs and skin.

Shave with short strokes, moving with the grain, rinsing well between strokes.

If your skin tolerates it and it is a ‘close shave’ kind of day, re-lather and shave again against the grain, but I generally only do it when there is a good reason.

Use the wet washcloth to wipe most of the residue from your face, drain the sink, and rinse with cold water. Rinse the razor in the cold water and put away in a way that lets it quickly dry.

Splash some cold water on your face for a final cleaning, and pat dry. Treat any wounds. Apply a splash of after-shave or lotion.

218 Matthew Johnston December 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Take a shower before the shave. It softens up the hair and makes it easier to shave.

219 Eric Sherwood December 9, 2008 at 5:31 pm

Nothing new, but I can vouch for several previously mentioned tips:

1. Shave in the shower. The steam really softens the beard.

2. A little conditioner applied to the beard a few minutes before shaving can really soften it, too.

3. Don’t dry your face after shaving, just apply a little aftershave and let it airdry. Skin needs all the moisture it can get.

220 Adam Tucker December 9, 2008 at 5:36 pm

As someone who loves keeping themselves clean and trim, I like to take a good long time when I shave. Of course, whenever I’m craving a good shave, my time is usually pretty limited, but there are ways around that.

The razor: whatever kind you use, I’ve found there are some benefits to both keeping the blade cool as well as hot. A cold razor does make it less likely to cut yourself, but the feeling of a hot blade across your face and through that stubble is soothing and usually makes for a closer shave. I prefer the latter, since with enough practice you can keep the cuts to a minimum. I don’t remember the last time I cut myself shaving. I think it was high school.

Get to know your face. What I mean by this is shave at least a few times with no time limit in place, and really see how hard you can comfortably press the razor against your skin, since this is different for every person. In my opinion you should always leave a lot of time to shave, it’ll definitely come out better this way.

It’s been mentioned before, but try not to make long strokes. Smaller strokes help you avoid cuts and get a closer shave. I would also recommend shaving against the grain (up or to the side) for those hard to reach spots, or, once you “get to know your face”, for all of your face. Shaving upwards will give you a significantly closer shave, although there is a slightly greater chance of cutting yourself. Whenever I shave against the grain it gives me up to a day before I have to shave again, which allows me to take my time shaving more often.

Other than that, get yourself some good Charlie “Bird” Parker playing in the background, or (although I prefer the Bird) Dizzy Gillespie. It’s the perfect way to change shaving from a chore to a fun activity. Just don’t get too into the music or you might cut your lip off. If you don’t know who either of those musicians are, you need to spend quite a lot of time on this website.

Happy shaving!

221 Paul December 9, 2008 at 5:45 pm

My father always said the reason Dick Clark looked so young, was because he never put a razor to his face. My father also explained that a guy that has to get up n go to work everyday, may not have the time or resources to get Dick Clarks magic beans for hair removal and long lasting youth, but that’s no reason he can’t accommodate himself with some basic pleasures. Like, If you’ve got a good barber, treat yourself every now & then to a professional shave, but for the everyday a sharp blade, hot water, badger brush and a mug of shaving soap was all that was required.

So, the only thing I care to add to Pop’s standard tools, is a dime size dot of good olive oil, and finish with cold water.

Shower, or splash on some hot water, pat dry, and massage a tiny bit of oil on your beard before you apply the lather. Shave (Properly, taking your time, feeling with your fingers for spots you missed) then rinse your face again with hot hot water. Then a last few rinses with cold cold water. Pat your face dry- never rub. Apply some after shave, and I guarantee- your face will be as smooth as glass.

222 Rodger December 9, 2008 at 5:51 pm

The best way I’ve found to get a smooth, clean shave is by following the old adage, “hot on the face, cold on the blade.” Lather up and shave with the grain. Then lather up a second time and shave against it. Smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Another tip I’ve found works is, if you’re short on shaving cream, use smooth peanut butter. But I’d advise against it if your wife or girlfriend is allergic to peanuts. Doesn’t actually smell too great either… but it makes for a clean shave!

223 Kennith Holbrook December 9, 2008 at 5:53 pm

@Nick – a week or two depends on the individual. Myself, 3 days is it 4 and i need to use the electric clippers.

224 Aaron December 9, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Cold water. Shave with cold water. Contacts the metal, sharper blade.

225 Dan December 9, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Don’t shave too often or it will irritate.

226 Matt Frye December 9, 2008 at 6:12 pm

I apply Old Spice After Shave when I get up.

In the 30 or so minutes that I spend making breakfast for my kids, getting the paper, etc, before I shower and shave, the Old Spice softens my beard, makes my face less oily, and keeps me smelling good for when the lady of the house gets up.

227 Matt Frye December 9, 2008 at 6:14 pm

I apply Old Spice After Shave when I get out of bed.

In the 30 or so minutes that I spend making breakfast for my kids, getting the paper, etc, before I shower and shave, the Old Spice softens my beard, makes my face less oily, and keeps me smelling good for when the lady of the house gets up.

228 Wayne Wisner December 9, 2008 at 6:18 pm

First brush your teeth, shave, and then get a shower is the best order in the morning.

Brushing your teeth first versus shaving first prevents you from getting any shaving cream in your mouth that you may have missed wiping off. Letting the hot water run slowly while you brush will get it warm enough for when you are ready to shave. The warm water you use while shaving will soften the hair and make for a better shave. And lastly, most homes have a common hot water pipe that connects the bathroom to the hot water heater. So when your ready to jump in the shower you’ve have nearly instant hot water which will save you time. Showering last has the added benefit of washing away any last trace of toothpaste or shaving cream.

229 Phil Cucchiarelli December 9, 2008 at 6:27 pm

When trimming sideburns, I prefer to wet the hair, comb it forward and trim with scissors down the front, repeat wetting, comb back and repreat trimming. This gives a cleaner, more dialed look.

230 Ryan McRae December 9, 2008 at 6:35 pm

I don’t have anything unique, but I shave in the shower, as hot as I can take it. . . . love it.

231 James Lee Van December 9, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Many find it surprising that I don’t use any kind of shaveing soap, shaving cream, paste, or anything. Just hot water and a razor. Works for me!

232 Dan Betor December 9, 2008 at 6:57 pm

I always put a hot wash cloth on my face for a few minutes before the shave. I apply a nice thick lather of shaving cream. My Grandfather always told me that you MUST lather the face up good. I always use the double edge safety razor….there is nothing like it. Stretch the sking with one hand and pull the razor down your face, nice and smooth. Always use downward strokes. Take it slow and easy and enjoy the shave!!!

233 Shaun December 9, 2008 at 7:00 pm

The best tip I can share is water temperature. It’s unique for everyone – don’t listen to what works for others, pay attention to what your face responds to. Some use cold, other hot, the secret is finding the right middle ground for your face. I wasn’t quite happy with my shave until I figured it out.

234 Mick December 9, 2008 at 7:02 pm

I’m a young DE Shaver who still gets pimples. I find that if you have a pimple here or there, don’t shave over it! It will irritate it and cause it to get redder and more pronounced. I try to shave around it, and being young, sometimes I can go a day or two without shaving.

Also, learn the direction the grain of your beard goes as it’s not all in one uniform direction, make a map, and NEVER shave against the grain unless you know the map by heart. I read this tip from a book, LeisureGuy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving (I posted the amazon link in the website option).

235 Roscoe December 9, 2008 at 7:04 pm

the hotter, the better (water, lather, you name it)

236 Will Grannan December 9, 2008 at 7:19 pm

I always shave after a shower, or at least a vigorous face scrub. Your beard must be wet.

Give your beard enough time to grow… for me a day and a half, so that your razor has something to grab.

A trick I picked up from my wife: conditioner, rather than soap, makes for a terrific shave. It’s one drawback is that it isn’t sudsy; the visual in the mirror is less impressive.

Finally, get your son a toy shaving set. Spend some time together on the finer details. Gus, age 3, always enjoys shaving with me, and I never regret the extra few minutes. When you get older you can do this in the locker room.

237 Alden December 9, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Teach your partner how to give the perfect double brushed, hot cloth wrap, face massage shave… Sit back, relax, enjoy.

238 Scott December 9, 2008 at 7:31 pm

There isn’t a lot I can add, other than a good mug and brush shave is tons better than the stuff you can get in a can. You choose the consistency, level of warmth, and lather away!

239 Mark Inman December 9, 2008 at 7:40 pm

The best finish to a good wet shave is the following:

1. Rinse face with warm water.
2. Apply good quality shave balm to entire area shaved.
3. Apply wringed out towel that has been sitting in an ice water bath to face- Similar to hot towel at start.
4. Apply second coat of balm.

It leaves you with the softest skin without irritation.

240 Tyler December 9, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Lots of good comments/tips… I always shave after I get out of the shower. A double-edge razor will give the closest shave, bar none. Hard to find blades, but the ‘feather’ brand are great.

241 derrick December 9, 2008 at 7:56 pm

take a good hot shower first, and use a conditioner on that scrub to get it good and softend first before you start to mow it down. it makes it easier if you got the thick steel brush type of hair

242 kyle December 9, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Hot shower, wash face..
Shave after getting out
Badger brush, lather it up.
Shave with the grain, then against.
Repeat daily..

243 Joe Frost December 9, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Shaving with a safety razor has always been a tip of mine to friends. Personally I use an original 1920s Gem Safety Razor. I found it at an antique shop for $20. The Gem Company still makes the blades too! So the trick to a good shave! If you have time, most men don’t. Run a wash cloth under hot water, steaming hot, the hotter the better. Then place this hot wash coth on your face, the heat will draw out the hairs a bit. Then shave with a single blade. Multiple blades foul too easy, causing cuts. Perferable a safety razor! When rinsing your blade use cold water. If you rinse with hot water it make the metal expand, causing cuts. Simple as that….oh, one other thing. What if you cut yourself? Thats why you always shave before a shower. The heat from the shower will stop the bleeding and it makes for easy clean up. Good luck gentlemen!

Cheers!

244 Jacob Payne December 9, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Hot water is the most important thing. It gives you a much closer shave.

245 Islam Sharabash December 9, 2008 at 8:49 pm

My tip for shaving…

I have found that the longer time spent with the lather, the more enjoyable the shave is. If you don’t spend anytime whipping up the lather, it will dry soon after you put it on your face. Which brings me to another point, slap the lather on your face one area at a time, so if you want to go slow, it does not dry.

246 Jeremy December 9, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Shaving right after a nice hot shower seems to relax the face and soften the hair a little bit. One mistake is to shave, then take a hot shower, and then apply aftershave following the hot shower. For some reason it stings like crazy, and I can only assume it’s the steam opening the pores and letting the alcohol in.

247 Gil December 9, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Take a shower first, let the skin soak in the moisture and THEN shave. If you shave before you shower, you will have to ‘wake up’ your hair follicles with a wet towel or water.

248 Kyle December 9, 2008 at 9:36 pm

I always use my beard trimmer to cut the hair down to the bare minimum and then lather up and shave that baby clean, i do this before a shower so i can rinse all the crap off my face, I’ve shaved before and after a shower and I still cant see the difference, its just a lot easier to do it before hand.

249 Myers December 9, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Personally, I find that I get a closer shave with less irritation if I shave before I wash my face or get into the shower, rather than after. I think that it reduces irritation because my skin is not puffy and my pores are tighter, allowing less debris to interfere with my pores and causing fewer nicks because any bumps on the skin are not as pronounced. I wet my beard and neck with cold water prior to the lather to entice follicles to stand up, but the basic rule of thumb is: No exposure to heat or hot water prior to the shave.

This seems to go against the conventional thoughts above me, like the hot towel approach, but it works for me. From my perspective, it is in line with the “pat, don’t wipe dry,” and the “splash face with cold water after a shave” concepts, which are basically aimed at reducing irritation and blemishes by keeping pores tight and closed, and not rubbing debris into them.

Additionally, I used to just shave in the direction that was most comfortable for my hands and arm to draw the blade. Huge mistake. If you still do this, go with the advice of everyone who has tried it: follow the grain for crying out loud.

250 Robb Corbett December 9, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Tip #1 Go Slow! Rushing just leads to a sloppy and bloody shave… no good.

Tip #2 Go with a good cream with some oils into it and really work it into your beard before you start… it make both your task and the razor’s task go easier. Avoid the canned foams. As it has been said before a good mug/brush/lather combo with some oils works best.

251 J.M.J. West December 9, 2008 at 10:16 pm

I feel embarrassed to share this because this post is all about ye olde shave, but I get miles of shaving out of a disposable four-bladed razor. It is pretty pricey, but proper care of the blades can keep one disposable head shaving for a month or more, depending on how often one shaves themselves. Olive oil will help keep the blades sharp and cleaned. Rinse well, dab on some EVOO and the the cost of shaving will drop quickly.

That said, if one wanted to send me such a magnificent set of shaving equipment as that pictured above, I’d consider changing my ways…

252 James Bruce December 9, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Best tip: do it in the shower or sauna! Living in Japan, it’s fairly common to see Japanese guys at the gym to take their shaving kit into the sauna and do it there! I’m not sure how this would be received in an American or English sauna though. Never shave with cold water!

Also, I have recently taken to using my partners strange little plastic brush thing to lather up better – it’s a little difficult to describe and I have no idea what’s it’s supposed to actually be used, but it’s got lots of little soft rubber tips. Using that also means I end up using less foam – I used to just spray the stuff liberally everywhere, now I actually take the time to work it around my face.

253 M. Roach December 9, 2008 at 10:48 pm

Many of you have mentioned that shaving in or after a shower works best and I agree with that partly because of what you’ve all said about softening the beard. I read something many years ago that adds a second reason for shaving after a shower, and that’s TIME. I’m not a “follicle engineer” or anything, but I believe that your facial hair has a growth spurt within the first 30 minutes or so after you wake up. Your body is getting going in the morning and so’s your beard. If you have been in the practice of shaving shortly after you wake up, you’ll find that your “five O’Clock shadow” will appear earlier in the day for your particular beard-growth-speed than if you wait approximately 30 minutes to shave. It’s different for everyone, of course, but I did notice a difference when I first started this practice many years ago.

254 Nick December 9, 2008 at 11:00 pm

@M. Roach – Try and put some talc on after your initial aftershave lotion is absorbed into your skin if you want a more refreshing feel. Works for me! (use your favorite aftershave…you gotta watch because some aftershaves leave residue on the skin when mixed with talc)

255 DMG December 9, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Got an important date or job interview, shave the night before to avoid unsightly cuts and razor rash.

256 Eric Swan December 9, 2008 at 11:37 pm

These contests are always a great way to increase the number of comments an article receives! LOL! Ok, so might I suggest that the best way to get the perfect shave is to go to a professional barber and have him shave you properly?! After all would you try to cut your own hair?

257 Stephen M. December 10, 2008 at 12:45 am

I suppose I’ll add a hint for anyone who does shave with an electric (gasp!) razor, I have for quite some time. I tried switching a year back or so to one of the new-fangled, fancy disposables, but it just ended up giving me ingrown hairs and bumps. Perhaps I should have jumped to the DE safety razor?

Anyway, here goes:

* DO NOT shave AFTER a shower with an electric razor; I’ve found that causes the screens to not want to glide across the skin, causing serious irritation.

* If you do use the pre-electric shave, it will seriously dry out your skin. Counter with a good, moisturizing aftershave, followed by a lotion after the aftershave has dried.

* If I want a particularly close shave, I will shave once the night before, and once the day of.

* A hand check is a must with an electric shave, as the razor will leave stubble behind that can confuse the process of a visual check for strays.

* Spend the $20 or so a few times a year to replace the heads/screens and cutters, your face will thank you.

I’ll have to try the DE Safety razor the next time I visit my folks’ place, I know they have a few oldies sitting around there. I will pick up fresh shaving soap and blades though…

258 Brian December 10, 2008 at 1:11 am

My tip: don’t shave with a cheap/old/not fully charged electric razor.

as obvious as it is i find myself doing it far too often cause i need to shave and am in a hurry (or dont feel like waiting). I’ve been looking to move on to bigger and better shaving techniques and this is the kit i need to do just that! I really hope i get it.

btw: amazing site, i get the RSS feed and read all the posts.

259 Tristan December 10, 2008 at 2:18 am

The best tips are the simplest, and there’s some great ones above.

And now for my tip: no matter what, only ever use a downwards motion – never shave upwards. It’ll shave just as close and helps prevent razer burn.

That, and use a eucalyptus oil on your skin afterwards (not after shave), it’ll feel loads better.

260 Tristan December 10, 2008 at 2:21 am

Oh and shave first thing in the morning, your skin swells ever so slightly as the day goes on so if you shave at night you’ll have stubble by the morning

261 Mark Wilson December 10, 2008 at 2:24 am

I had a professional wet shave in Harrods and one of the barbers there told me that the best shave has four stages;
1. Shower or steam up your bathroom so that your hair is damp, soft and hot
2. Wash your face with soap and apply a pre-shave oil (if you don’t have any oils, don’t be tempted to moisturise)
3. Make sure the razor (wet shave) is sharp – a lot of safety razors come with colourful indicators now but the barber used a cut-throat razor and it’s always sharp! Use the blade like your sketching a drawing with a pencil and always go with the grain – you can feel this by rubbing your fingers over the hair first. This also helps it to stand up for the cut.
4. Wash with alcohol-free face wash – not scrub – and apply a small dab of post-shave balm. It’s a fallacy to think that this shouldn’t have alcohol in it – it does dry the skin a little but the moisturiser in it will compensate and you shouldn’t feel in pain – just a fresh, tingling sensation.

Pretty straight-forward, I think, and something I’ve stuck to for over 10 years.

262 Skitch December 10, 2008 at 4:01 am

Free safety razor set?! That would be a very merry christmas! Although I’ve always wanted to try a straight razor… My tip: Shave in the shower. Saves time, water and your face is all softened up already. Easier cleanup too. I even have a small heated mirror in the shower that won’t fog up. found it online. Happy scraping!

263 Michael December 10, 2008 at 4:48 am

Be sure not to skimp on the time you spend applying lather. Working the lather into your beard/stubble will help lift and moisturize it which will make shaving easier, smoother and less irritating

264 Stephen December 10, 2008 at 5:30 am

Throw away the electric razor and the cheap disposables. Take the time and effort to learn to wet shave with a quality blade. You’ll feel like a different man.

265 Rene Lalonde December 10, 2008 at 5:59 am

This would make a really great Xmas gift for my Father.

266 Brandon December 10, 2008 at 6:18 am

I recommend getting a good shave oil and putting it on your face a minute or two before applying the shaving creme. This seems to help keep the skin and stubble moisturized and makes for a much cleaner shave with less irritation.

267 Charlie December 10, 2008 at 6:18 am

I’m in! Awesome giveaway.

268 Mark J. Quintanilla December 10, 2008 at 6:22 am

This simple method works for me whether I’m in a hurry or not.

1. Hot shower or hold some hot water in your hands and dip your face in it.
2. You can use shaving cream or just keep wetting your face with warm water.
3. Shave two times with the grain gently so to not aggravate the skin.
4. Now shave against the grain with small strokes, rub/pull your skin a bit to get the stubs up and pass the blade about 2 to 3 times, only as much to ensure you get a smooth surface.
5. Wash your face with some soap, important to not leave dirt behind from your hands or the blade while your pores are open.
6. Moisturize with lotion.

Enjoy the smooth and clean skin for the next few days!

269 Aikiced December 10, 2008 at 6:23 am

I discovered a french line called Proraso, it made miracles for me. Their products contain eucalyptus oil so when you apply it you feel the freshness and then there is the aloe that smoothens the skin. The pre-shaving cream when applied prevents pimples and shave burns. And they even have an old-school shaving cream for use with a badger.

Sorry for the english.

Cheers and happy holidays.

270 Jason December 10, 2008 at 6:25 am

Wow, such good advice. I think its time for me to ditch my electric razor.

271 John December 10, 2008 at 6:54 am

I liked that tip about a professional shave. From early years in a barber shop I’ve been fond of the Tabac scent. I have found a Greek olive soap that has the Tabac scent. It has that manly aroma without being perfume-y.

272 James Wood December 10, 2008 at 7:00 am

Don’t, don’t, don’t use an electric. All they give is irritation and a horrible shave.

There has been so much good stuff said I don’t have much to add, my tip is to keep the sideburns even. Line up with a feature on your face (a part of your ear works well) and line up your razor with that feature to set the bottom of the sideburn, repeat on the opposite side. The ‘burns will be even on your face and look right.

I would LOVE to win that shaving kit, just so you know.

273 Andy December 10, 2008 at 7:01 am

My tip is to use glycerin soap on your face in the shower. It really softens up the beard!

274 Bob December 10, 2008 at 7:28 am

Best Shaving tip? Two biggies for me:

1. Go slow. Short strokes prevent irritation and nicks for me.
2. Brush/Lather. Switching to shaving soap with a badger brush was a revelation.

275 Daniel Skon December 10, 2008 at 8:21 am

If new to DE shaving, don’t give into the habit of changing your gear daily. Choose one set-up and stick with it. This will allow you to work on your technique. When you have it down then the acquisition orders do their thing.

276 Chris December 10, 2008 at 8:22 am

For people that don’t have to time to shower before a shave, put a little olive oil (if you’re cheap) or Proraso pre-shave on your face to soften the whiskers after washing your face with hot water for about a minute. Then face-lather for 2 minutes with your brush and proceed to shave. I haven’t needed to use the hot towel method or anything else to compensate for the lack of showering before the shave!

277 Marcus Threadgill December 10, 2008 at 8:31 am

I shave in the shower to save time. The warm water and soap soften up the beard. A mirror is not always necessary. I can shave without one if I am traveling. I usually use one of those multi-blade shavers.

278 Kyle Maxwell December 10, 2008 at 8:56 am

In addition to the basic wet shaving tips in the post (in fact, I have almost exactly the same gear):

1. Once you apply the brush into the cream, give it one rapid pass under the hot water to make sure the lather is warm. Tap it once or twice to rid the bristles of excess water (not too much or you’ll lose the lather) and go for it.

2. Don’t be afraid to look silly. My moustache area grows right up to the lower edge of my nose, and I have a decently-sized nose, so in order to have a smooth appearance for my entire upper lip, I have to literally hold my nose out of the way. It’s worth it to make sure I’ve gotten everything.

279 Nicholas December 10, 2008 at 9:14 am

Make sure your face is well ready so after a shower or applying hot water through a towels a good idea.

Not to much shaving cream, be sure to take your time and pas over and area and sometimes Up and Down works quite well for the neck area

Have fun choose your style but no Hitlers their not funny

and Most of all relax and enjoy take time to apreciated a job well done

280 D. Hepner December 10, 2008 at 9:15 am

When I craft my facial hair I use my ears, eyes and nose to ensure even beard lines. Drawing imaginary lines from fixed positions works much better then simply eyeballing the process.

281 Brian DeCarlo December 10, 2008 at 9:20 am

Put some hot water on top of your bowl of soap and let it sit while you shower. When you are ready reserve the soapy liquid in another conatiner, I use the small silver bowl at the base of my brush stand. Then as needed while you charge the brush dip it into the reserved soapy goodness while you build your lather.

Waste not want not.

282 Paxtez December 10, 2008 at 9:22 am

It may seem like it takes more time to shave right, but if you setup a schedule it makes it easy. For me I use.
1) Shower
2) Mix and Apply shaving soap
[I keep ending up with either too much, too little or a bad ratio until I started to measure. For me 1.5 tablespoons of hot water, plus about 2mm longer than the height of the proraso cap of proraso. Works everytime.]
3) Brush teeth
4) Shave with grain
5) Shave across grain
6) Shave across (other) grain
[True it doesn't get as smooth without the against grain, but it pretty good and with zero irritation]
7) Rinse with cold water
8) Aftershave gel

One nice bonus with this is that I don’t need to towel off after the shower. By the time I finish shaving I’ve been air-dried. Really cuts down on my laundry.

283 Nick Richards December 10, 2008 at 9:26 am

The most important shaving advice I ever received (from the kindly folks over at the badger and blade) was to never stop trying. I learned to use a straight in the course of a few weeks, and it was all owed to the fact that I never stopped trying. It’s going to be hard, but it’s also totally worth it.

284 Monica Edris December 10, 2008 at 9:31 am

Replace your blade regularly. Nothing is worse than a dull blade!!

285 Monica Edris December 10, 2008 at 9:32 am

change your blade regularly. nothing is worse than a dull blade!!

286 Andrew December 10, 2008 at 9:40 am

Take your TIME, don’t rush things. Take it slow for the first few weeks.
Get good shaving soap or cream. I suggest Taylor of bond street or Truefitt & Hill.

287 Jon Reiswig December 10, 2008 at 9:44 am

Besides using good products to insure a close shave I’ve noticed the best thing to do is shave after I shower. This softens up my beard and makes for a much more comfortable shave.

288 Kuhan Sivathasan December 10, 2008 at 10:06 am

The single best best thing I have found is to put shaving cream or soap on your face BEFORE you shave and leave it there for a while.

I put cream on my face and then brush my teeth. After the 2 minutes of brushing, I prepare and shave as normal with the lather goes right on top of the stuff you put first – your shave will be super smooth, easy and you shouldn’t get any cuts or nicks.

289 Sare December 10, 2008 at 10:14 am

Well, I like to use lush conditioner bars in place of shaving soap. But I’m not shaving my face, so take that with a grain of salt.

290 Chris December 10, 2008 at 10:15 am

I have got to say that I only shave with the grain, 3 times a week with the blade and the rest of the time with an electirc, Warm on the face at first and rinse with cool water afterwards. And keep the styptic pencil handy.

291 Avi December 10, 2008 at 10:23 am

I highly recommend the double razor in the prize pack. This razor is great for shaving around the edges. An old straight razor is good for sculpting once you get the hang of it, but it is difficult to keep sharp.

292 Richard Osenga Jr December 10, 2008 at 10:26 am

My shaving tip is The Method Pre-Shave Oil. Before wetting or lathering I place this smooth Sunflower Oil based shaving oil on my chin and get a closer shave and much more comfortable.

293 gordon December 10, 2008 at 10:36 am

Before I shave, I wash my face in hot water…and scrub with a loofah and soap.

It sounds silly, I know, but my shave – even if I use a bargain basement disposable (which I did once…and ran away) – is very close and smooth; so much so, that I could shave every other day, if needed.

294 Jim Schmidt December 10, 2008 at 10:41 am

A simple twin-blade disposable razor and a steamy shower is the best solution I’ve found. No soap, no foam, just the water and whatever lubricating strip is on the razor.

I tend to nick myself more when standing in front of a mirror and using shaving cream / gel. I think it’s because I use my fingers as a guide when in the shower, and take more time so as not to lop off a digit.

295 John D December 10, 2008 at 10:59 am

Some good tips here.

My best tip is for on the road. When you’ve forgotten your shaving cream and don’t want to use the hotel soap, use the Conditioner from the hotel. It works better for shaving than the shampoo, and lets the blade glide smoothly across your face while lifting and er… conditioning your beard (couldn’t help that one).

Also, I dry my razor by wiping it away from the blade on a dry towel.

296 K H December 10, 2008 at 11:04 am

Scalp shaving takes more time and seems to work best after showering.

297 Geoff R. Casavant December 10, 2008 at 11:52 am

The best tip I can think of that hasn’t already been posted is to pay careful attention around the “crevice” areas of your face — for me, this is the 1/8 of an inch right under the base of my nose, and the corners of my mouth. Miss one of these and you’ll be able to feel the stubble all day, and it will drive you mad.

The best way to get the corners of your mouth is to scrunch up your mouth like the “Church Lady” from SNL. Another way to illustrate this is to watch any Three Stooges short where they disguise themselves as barbers — inevitably one will say to a customer, “Here, make like this” and do the scrunch perfectly.

298 A.K. December 10, 2008 at 11:57 am

For pre-shave prep., I use an unwanted shaving cream. Use the shaving cream like a face wash (just leave it on a little longer).

I have a L’Occitane Cade shaving cream which sucks for shaving but works pretty well as a pre shave.

299 Jordan December 10, 2008 at 12:03 pm

If you’re interested in the smoothest, closest shave ever, then the best shave tip can be expressed in one word: Proraso.

300 ShaveDave December 10, 2008 at 12:28 pm

I have found that a little bit of corn huskers lotion afterwards is extremely helpful. It is gentle on the skin and contains no alcohol to burn your face at a time when alcohol is the last thing you need on it!

… says to self, “I want to win I want to win there IS a Santa Claus!)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Dave

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