Preparing your Skin:
The best way to ensure your skin is ready for an optimal shave is to start
with a shower. This fully moisturizes the skin and makes your hair softer and easier to shave.
Using an exfoliating wash is also a great way to get your skin ready. If you can’t shower first,
try a simple hot towel treatment – soak a barber towel with hot water and place it on your
face/skin for a few minutes. At the very least, splash your skin several times with warm water
and rub it into your pores. Skin should be damp when you apply lather.
Lathering Soap & Prepping your Brush:
If you are using a shave puck (a hard bar-type soap),
put the puck in your lathering bowl/mug and fill it with warm water for a few minutes. Soak
the bristles (always pointing down) with warm water either in the stream from the tap or in
another bowl/mug (this will fill the bristles with water and help lather the soap). The brush
only needs to be soaked for 30 seconds or so. Before lathering, shake most of the water off
of the brush and empty the water from the bowl containing the puck. Next, swirl the brush
around the puck of soap quickly until lather appears (if you are using a cream from a tub or
tube, put a quarter-sized amount into your bowl to lather). A good lather should take about 1
minute to build. If it seems like not much is happening after a few seconds, add a few drops of
water. If the lather is very bubbly, there is too much water in the mixture and you should
shake the brush out a bit more. The optimal lather will look just like whipped cream – fluffy,
thick and white, but few bubbles.
Lathering your Face:
Make sure your skin is damp, then swirl lather onto your skin moving your
brush in a circular motion. Once you have distributed a thick, even layer over your skin (you
may choose to go over the same spot with your brush more than once), pull your brush over
your skin against the grain of your hair growth (this lifts the hair so that it is easier to cut).
Remember, your vintage razor is probably a lot heavier than the one you bought at
the drug store. Because of its weight, your razor will easily do the work for you – be sure not
to push your razor down onto your skin or hold it too tightly. The best way to hold a
double/singled edged or injector razor is to grasp it at the very end of the handle with your
thumb and a few fingers. For men, it is best to start by shaving the entire face with the grain.
Usually one pass will achieve optimal smoothness, but if another pass is needed, we
recommend re-lathering the entire face and shaving once more across the grain. For many
women, however, shaving against the grain on the first (and usually only) pass works just fine.
Once you have rinsed your skin thoroughly with luke-warm water, splash it
once or twice with cold water to close the pores. Some people can go without any after-shave
moisturizer, but we recommend using something. There are many options available, but any
cream/lotion/balm that cools your skin and leaves it moisturized is perfectly fine.