For the past couple of weeks I have been kicking around ideas to celebrate my 100th shave. Favorite razor, soap, brush, blade, and AS. Maybe buy a new soap to celebrate. Maybe do a shave along thread with a certain equipment combo. Maybe make it a Mardi Gras theme of some sort.  
Lots of ideas swimming around; but, I was thinking I don't really have the skill to decide what gear would guarantee me a perfect celebratory shave...and that's when it hit me.
I decided to look through my journal and select the razor and blade that performed the WORST.  In my previous 90 something shaves I had one combination that had never delivered a great shave.
A RedTip w/ Feather blades gave me rough shaves that were not close. A face fell G like it was on fire for the entire day was the norm. In fact, I had five entries that said, "RedTip has to go. Terrible shave! Felt smooth; but, not close and lots of irritation".  Guess I'm stubborn, a slow learner, or both!
So the stage was set. My 100th shave would be an exam. Has my technique advanced enough to overcome my kryptonite combo?
I used Stirling Barbershop soap and a Shave Revolution 24mm brush to ensure my lather was consistent and perfect. First pass, XTG, hmm, no irritation and an unbelievable amount of whiskers in the bowl. Second pass, XTG/ATG,  still no irritation and I'm at DFS maybe DFS+.  Wow!  I could stop here, call it good and consider this little experiment a success; but, If this is gonna be an exam, I need to go for BBS...right. Still have at least three more passes of lather in the brush so let's go!  Third pass, another XTG/ATG, now BBS on everything except a small spot under my chin and jaw line. Still no irritation!  A little buffing and ended with a perfect BBS!  Alum went on with minimal sting as did the Bay Rum. I spent the rest of the day feeling my face with a strong sense of pride. My skill is certainly progressing. I've not yet mastered the skill; but, I've got a pretty good start on my journey to get there.
Thanks for reading.

primotenore, hrfdez, MaineYooper and 9 others like this post
Congrats! It sounds like you have it figured out, and great choice for the soap.

Central Maine
It sounds to me as though you've mastered it! Congrats!
Brian. Lover of SE razors.

Veni, vidi, vici
Vault 111
Technique, technique, technique. Happy2
Shaving since 1971; enjoying my shaves since 2014
A che bel vivere, che bel piacere, per un barbiere di qualità! Happy2

Atlanta, GA
Congrats. It certainly pays to revisit items as your technique improves.

Nice! I've gone back on a couple "bad performers" myself lately, and like you, I was shocked about how much different (better) the shave was.
Thanks folks! I Knew my technique was improving based on the quality of my daily shaves; but, this exercise really drove home the point that technique overcomes equipment in many cases.
I no longer have equipment in my den that gives poor shaves. I can now rotate at will and expect a superb result. That's a nice feeling.


BadDad likes this post

Austin, TX
Well done Brent- cool when you revisit something and find that it isn't the same thing you used last Smile

bgremill likes this post

Posting Freak
That sounds great, I have to wonder, however, if improved technique has made your previously poor performing combinations better, one can only imagine what its done for those combinations that were great when you had novice technique? We need a follow up where you consult your journal and use the combination that worked best for you when you were a novice.

Its interesting that we're advised to try many different blades when starting out so we can find what works best for us - YMMV and all that. Some were good and some were not so we dropped the bad and stuck with the good. If you look at the thread on whats your worst blade I'm sure you'll see that some people hate blades you like and like blades you hate. Its possible that as novices our technique was so inconsistent that it was more likely a particularly poor technique day that led us to conclude that the blade we used that day was a bad blade for us. Even if we tried them again later our technique hadn't improved that much by then and we'd be biased based on the previous shave. Your experiment supports this hypothesis - your worst blade/razor combo as a novice just gave you a perfectly good BBS shave. I guess we should all test this hypothesis by performing the experiment you performed with all of our "bad" blades or combinations.

bgremill, BadDad, beamon and 1 others like this post

Greenville, SC USA
There you go, Marko, getting all scientific on us! I was perfectly happy living back in the alchemy days and changing 3 or 4 variables at a time to keep it interesting.
Does Mean I Must Buy High End Shaving Gear?

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