Straightforward question, right? But ask 10 different people and you may get 10 different answers. Here's ours:
First off...Shave in the shower. "Why?" you ask...well, the steam form a hot shower makes shaving much, much easier as it softens your skin and beard.
Next...have a goodrazor and shave gel ready. In regards to the razor, here is what we mean by good: one that has at least 3 blades, a lubricating strip (every little bit helps), feels substantial while in your hand, and preferably vibrates (no, we're not big fans of disposables and yes, the vibrating thing actually makes a difference). I prefer the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Razor as they make great razors but no so great skin care products.
To get a great shave, the right razor is only half of the equation...the other piece of the puzzle is using the right shave cream or gel. We prefer a shave gel as they tend to be more concentrated and moisturizing. When you buy a traditional shave cream, you are paying for mostly air and its hard to see exactly the area you are shaving since all of that white foam gets in your way. We may be a bit biased, but Matte For Men Antioxidant Shave Gel fits the bill, as its unique antioxidant formula while provide the closest shave possible and end shaving irritation (if you don't believe us, just read the reviews)... not to mention, it smells great!
OK...we're in the shower...we have the right razor and our Antioxidant Shave Gel... now what? We recommend shaving afteryou take a shower. This will allow the steam to do its thing and it is always best to shave after you wash your face. Rub the shave gel between your fingers and them smooth it over the area you are going to shave. I like to wait a few seconds so that the shave gel has some time to penetrate your stubble. At that point, turn on the razor and go to work, Remember to try and use downward strokes with the the razor so as to not go against the "grain" of the way your beard grows.Once you have gotten all the general areas taken care of, I recommend doing the "fine" shaving (like around facial hair and sideburns) after you get out of the shower and get in front of a bathroom mirror over the sink. Here you can more closely control those areas that require precision shaving.
Shaving in the shower does take a bit of practice but the effort is definitely worth it. You can certainly use a shaving mirror to help, but we've found that after a few tries, you can get a great shave just by "feeling" your face to detect areas that may require a bit more attention and then fine tuning the shave in front of the mirror over your sink. At this point, you should apply a good facial moisturizer to help keep you skin protected and looking good (Matte For Men Complete Face Care Lotion is a good choice if you want antioxidant moisturization, sun protection, and a reduction in skin shine all in one non-sticky formula, while Fixx Advanced Repair Moisturizer is great for moisturizing your skin and reducing fine lines and wrinkles).
Finally...before we get all kinds of emails from people that prefer using multiple step 'procedures" (like a pre-shave oil), I've found that if you use the rightshave gel and razor, you don't need these extra steps so why waste your time?. For those of you that prefer straight-edge or electric razors...more power to you! This is what Ivefound to be the fastest way to get a close, comfortable shave and reduce shaving irritation.
(Oh, before I forget...i recommend you change your razor cartridge every 5 to 7 shaves, depending on usage and keep the blade clean between shavings to extend its life)