Should I go aggressive or mild

Clean the hamster/gerbil drool out first of course.


Coming soon to A&E's new base, which will provide even more slickness than their last base, which will be sold with some kind of abstract art you can't quite tell what it is in a limited edition that sold out before it was announced and YT shaving enthusiasts will say it's the greatest ever shaving soap base but their faces go bright red like a beetroot at the end of the shave/video.
North London
After your against the grain first pass, what did you do? Another ATG or something different?

I basically shave north to south, then XTG, followed by south to north. I don't do a complete pass on the final one. just the neck, chin, and side burn areas. Like others mentioned, I also never aim for the BBS smooth shave, just comfortable. The moment I went with that approach, my shaves improved.I can do just as well with a mild razor. The standard Merkur 34 or MÜHLE/Edwin Jagger R89 are good starting points for a reason. I also have the Executive Shaving Co Outlaw Mild (and Standard), the mild is a good option if your wanting to spend more, you know your cutting your beard with that, it's so noisy.
Amber Valley. East Midlands
Don't chase BBS, as said by @Scotshave

It's all too easy to try to achieve all over smoothness every shave
WTG/XTG will get you looking presentable

Could be that you're applying too much pressure? (having used a cartridge razor which allow you to apply pressure without mishap)

One tip that has stuck with me - only shave when you need to shave - for me it's every two days
This gives your skin chance to recover from your previous shave

Get your shave done in as little time as possible - the longer the razor is in your hand, the longer the blade is in contact with your skin.

I would say it's best to stick with just one razor, one blade and one soap/cream which will help you achieve consistent results.
Too many variables will inevitably provide varied results


Before you start shaving with the grain I would suggest you first learn which way your hairs actually grow. Run a small ball of cotton wool over your face and you will soon find out. You might be amazed how little you know your face, or assume you know.

Then at least you know which way really is with the grain. Shaving against can be uncomfortable and cause irritation.

Then learn how to appreciate Japanese female rock bands and your life will always look up

See, life looks better already
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I may have missed it but what blade (s) are you using) I found that I got into trouble with Derbys, was fine with Sharks, and Astras, Ladas are good (for me). I switch between a Muhle R108 and a Edwin Jagger, The biggest swing I have is around blades. As other's have said you don't need to buy everything (!) what I tend to do is try a couple of things and then measure the results. Good luck! let us know what works for you.
Since I posted originally, about 25 shaves ago, I've definitely improved my technique. I am applying less pressure, and I know my face much better.

A new lightweight razor is helping too, I definitely feel I've found the one!

To answer your question though, I tend to use blades that are known to be aggressive - Feather, Gillette Nacet and Vokshod. I've been mixing these up of late and I am not sure which is my favourite, I am just enjoying all three and seem to be getting good results, better than I was before I posted.

I have started using a pre-shave oil too, for some of these shaves. I am not sure if it's making a big difference. I *think* the times I use it I get a better shave, but it's not conclusive. I often find it a bit tricky to get out the bottle, so sometimes (when in a rush) I just leave it. I was considering trying some Geo F Trumper Skin Food, but I've bought enough gear for now!

I have yet to try blades that are known to be milder, but soon I will just to see the difference.
My personal favourite blade was the one that made me feel like I really turned a corner in my shaving and has always been a pleasure to use.
It reads like you might have just found your favourite blades and if they are the ones that make you happy and feel like a 100 bucks then Kudos to you, enjoy.
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