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Sharpologist's First Give-Away!

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Free Stuff Courtesy of Niven & Joshua!

Free stuff.  Everyone wants some.  Here’s your chance to get yourself set up with prime goodies.  You’re going to have to work for it though (just a little bit).

Sharpologist, thanks to the good people at Niven & Joshua, will be giving one lucky reader a full-tilt, massively cool wet shaving set from eShave, including:
eShave Orange Sandalwood Pre-Shave Oil
eShave Orange Sandalwood Shave Cream
eShave Orange Sandalwood Aftershave Soother
eShave Fine Badger Hair Brush
eShave Luxury 5 Blade razor
eShave T Razor Stand
For your chance at the set, here is what to do:

  • Register as a user of Sharpologist (if you already haven’t done so).
  • Leave a comment to this post with the most important wet shaving tip that you have learned. One comment please–leaving more than one comment will not increase your chance of winning.

That’s it!  The winner will be selected at random on November 29!
But wait!  There’s more!  On that same day a random subscriber to the Sharpologist email newsletter will be selected to receive a tub of Taylor’s Of Old Bond Street shaving cream!  So if you respond to the give-away post and you subscribe to the newsletter you have 2 chances of winning something!


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

195 thoughts on “Sharpologist's First Give-Away!”

  1. The most essential shaving tip I adhere to is to ease up the pressure on the blade. No matter how good my angle is, the subtlety in pressure dictates whether that DFS/BBS will be razor-burn free or a scorcher.
    ps: posted this comment earlier but forgot to register. Hope I’m not too late.

  2. I would say, letting the razor do the work, was the hardest thing for me to learn at first. Going from a multi-blade razor to a DE razor, I still had the tendency to push down on the DE razor and my neck definitely felt it. Once I stopped putting extra pressure on the DE razor, the quality of my shaves greatly improved and the overall shaving experience became much more enjoyable.

  3. Map your beard growth. If you don’t know which direction it grows in then how can you know if you’re going WTG or ATG on your 1st pass.

  4. The most essential shaving tip I adhere to is to ease up the pressure on the blade. No matter how good my angle is, the subtlety in pressure dictates whether that DFS/BBS will be razor-burn free or a scorcher.

  5. I have just started traditional shaving. In what mantic59 shared has been a real big help especially just taking your time. There is no need to rush. Just like how you like the barber to take his time so that he doesn’t mess up and zeke you, you to should take your time and shave to what is comfortable for you.

  6. I have been wet shaving since the early 1960’s, about a year ago I dug out my 1971 Gillette Super Adjustable, watched Mantic59′s videos and others. My technique has improved and now enjoy shaving. Also read the ingredients in the shaving products, some of the popular soaps have dangerous additives – Proraso contains sodium lauryl sulfate.

  7. The “cold towel trick”. I haven’t had a bit of irritation post-shave since I started thoroughly cooling my face after the shaving’s over. I’m actually looking forward to our snowy winter here in MN so I can use snow instead of water. The colder the better!

  8. I’d have to say either using a hot towel over lather initially to soften the hair completely, or GRADUAL hair removal are some of the most important tips I can think of

  9. If using shaving soap, make sure you put a small layer of hot water on it. Let it soak in while your brush is also soaking. Make sure you really swirl the brush on the puck. Push down to get some good soap into the brush.

  10. Take your time and enjoy each pass. Treat yourself to an aftershave balm to cap off the experience. Nothing beats a hot lather.

  11. Shaving is all about beard reduction, not beard elimination. By attacking less aggressively you can end up with a much smoother shave and have less irritation.

  12. That it’s better to use a good quality brush and soap to make you own lather than it is to use spray can type foam.

  13. Take time and pleasure in your shave, my friends don’t like shaving because it ‘hurts’, but I enjoy it and have no pain because I enjoy it and take my time. All the little details will follow when you enjoy it.

  14. The best piece of advice I can give is to use an alum block post shave for feedback on your technique. The alum block acts as an astringent to help seal small nicks and cuts, and creates a minor burning sensation on your skin in areas where poor technique was utilized. Once you feel that sensation, you can work on your technique to improve shave prep, lather, blade angle, stroke, and lack or pressure. The funny thing is DE shaving is a product of the “totality of the circumstances,” wherein all of the advice given is extremely important. whether it is hydration, good lather, no pressure, blade angle, no over stretching, proper face prep, short strokes, flattening of curved areas, beard reduction, knowing direction of grain, and/or finding an agreeable blade, they must all come together to achieve an enjoyable, irritation free shave. But when they do come together, “WOW!” Enjoy your shaves and have a happy Thanksgiving!

  15. I found that your DE blade life depends on how strong/thick your beard is. If you have a weak/thin beard like I do, you can get a month out of a single DE blade. Stropping helps too.

  16. Until recently I can’t believe just how “uneducated” I was in all things to do with shaving. I would have to say that the most important thing I have learned this week, which many have already mentioned, is that the tool (razor) is not the single most important element in shaving. Taking the time to prep your face before shaving can make a world of difference. A well hydrated and clean face not only makes shaving easier and efficient, but can also make it something to look forward to every day.

  17. Wet shaving is personal routine, based on proven techniques, however not all shaving techniques and/or products are equal, and what works for some may not work for you.
    In general, to get a good shave:
    1) Prepare your face before you shave! The best time to shave is after a hot shower. A pre-shave oil or cream may improve your results.
    2) Shave with light pressure, using multiple passes. And take your time!
    3) Follow your shave with a light moisturizer (non-alcoholic) and perhaps an antiseptic.

  18. Take your time!! Three passes are mentioned over and over again for a reason. Enjoy your shave slow down and do it right. It’s all about growth reduction to achieve consistent baby but smooth.

  19. Until reading this site, I had no idea how much using lots of warm water before a shave and cold water after would change my mornings. Also, I learned that I like splashes much more than moisturizers, thanks to my oily skin.

  20. NO PRESSURE!!!!! I really wished I’d listened to this advice on my first shave. If I had it wouldn’t of taken a few days to grow my face back! Luckily I did learn and I’m now getting consistent close shaves and look forward to my morning pampering.

  21. HOT! You need hot water for shaving. Hot water opens your pores and softens the hair so that shaving is easier for you to shave and so that the shave is closer than it would be if you just used warm or cold water. HOT!

  22. Don’t just assume the sharpest, most expensive blade is the best. There’s no good reason why one should use blades that are sharper than necessary. Not only are sharper blades generally more expensive, they’re less forgiving. Also, I prefer getting the best shaves right out of the package, not 2-3 shaves in. Ordering a sample pack is a quick way to try a variety of blades at minimal cost.

  23. avoid cans of “pressurized goo” at ALL costs!
    shave with hot water rinse with cold. use lots of water! 😉

  24. Ted Pettinicchi (TAP119 on B & B)

    Wet shaving isn’t wet shaving until it’s warm and wet shaving. One gets a better wet shave when the lather (from cream or soap) is warm. This softens whiskers more and enables a closer shave. It also feels great and is more comfortable.
    To this end, I heat my brush, mug and cream (when I use it instead of a cake soap) by soaking in hot tap water in the sink as taught by our sainted Mantic59. This is a mainstay procedure for me and very, very effective!

  25. Best advice I ever had was from one of the introductory videos by mantic to not use pressure like i had with a cartridge, and let the weight of the razor do the work. As soon as I actually did that, irritation issues I had mostly went away.

  26. Not all razors are same. Some are aggressive and some are not. A beginner should always go with a less aggressive razor. Please do some research before buying your razor. Experienced shavers will post videos using aggressive razors and make it look like a piece of cake… trust me its not. I learnt it the hard way when I bought me a Merkur slant bar. Some excellent first time razors are Merkur Progress keeping the setting 1, Edwin Jagger DE 89 and Parker 22R. Peace!

  27. give a cold water shave a chance, it really helps when determining the proper angle of the razor. you will be able to feel the cold head of the razor against your skin when the razor is at the proper angle which is when the razor just barely touches the skin.
    don’t try to get BBS shaves as a DE beginner, it will only result in irritation.

  28. More passes with less pressure. I taught myself to shave, and wasn’t aware of how important this is. Thanks for all the tips, Mantic.

  29. Take your time at the sink. There is no reason to rush the best way to start the day. Clear your mind of everything but “the shave”. Enjoy the smells of the soaps/creams, the textures of the badger hair and the feel of the blade. Wrap it up with the post-shave potions and scents that do it for you. Life is GOOD.

  30. I have a well trimmed beard and shaved daily for years with and electric and once a week with a multi-blade. HATED the daily yank of whiskers getting caught in the whirling blades and the ingrown hairs and pimples left after using a blade. Made the switch to a SE and enjoyed the lathering experience but was not good with the blade. Best thing for someone new to old time wet shaving is to start with a DE and get used to the lathering and blade angle required, not to mention learning the lay of your beard. After that, gradually add in the SE as you get comfortable.

  31. Shaving can be a pleasure, rather than a chore. When the correct instruments are used, a razor that suits your face, a nice silver tip badger brush , and a luxurious shaving cream, your daily routine becomes something to look forward to.

  32. The most important thing I have learned is not to just apply the lather to your face. For years I have just slapped it on and shaved, but now I know to massage it in then paint it for evenness, then shave.More helpful and enjoyable than I thought.

  33. Use your fingers to rub in a small amout of shaving cream BEFORE the putting the hot cloth on your face. Helps the softening of hairs and also feels really fresh as your face warms up.

  34. For me I have been watching your videos for about two years now and am ready to take wet shaving seriously. The major idea that I learned was that its all about beard reduction. This one tip has made my shave amazingly more enjoyable and a lot less painful. I have very sensitive skin so this has helped a bunch.
    – Thank you so much MANTIC59

  35. To enjoy the pleasure of wet shaving, practice patience, proper preparation (plenty of water), and petite pressure on the razor.

  36. You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but the odds of ever picking just one razor are pretty darn slim.

  37. I’m going to reiterate advice about practice. You’re probably not going to get a super-close shave the first time, I certainly didn’t. Practice, practice, practice.

  38. If you are new to DE or an ex-pat returning home, think of the first 6 months as pre-conditioning, training, exploring etc. Attempt to observe rather than judge too soon. After 6 months begin to hold yourself gently accountable and build a skill set over the next 100 years.

  39. I was suffering from irritation of the neck. I tried not applying pressure, which helped somewhat but not completely. Then, I saw a blog entry where someone noted that you must clean and care for your neck exactly the same as you do your face. Soap, toner, moisterizer, whatever you use, do the same for all of your neck where you will be shaving. Since doing this, I haven’t had any more irritation.

  40. Sorry to trot out the same advice as, oh . . . the rest of the world!
    But beard/face prep is the most important thing you can do — all of the other variables can’t overcome an unprepped face. Heat and water. While I don’t have time for multiple hot towels, I always shower first, and then re-treat with a hot-water-soaked washcloth.
    As a second matter — I always hated the idea of putting oil on my face (my complexion doesn’t need it; trust me), but shaving oil makes for a fun, good shave — sometimes markedly closer for me. And it never leaves a greasy mess; my face really digs it!

  41. Biggest thing I’ve learned is that, much like everyday life, patience is a virtue. Take your time and shave carefully and it’ll be a very enjoyable experience.

  42. Map the growth of your beard! You can’t even start doing proper passes until you figure that out. Once you do, you’ll get closer, more comfortable shaves.

  43. I would have to say beard reduction/patience. As instructed by Mantic many times don’t try to lop it off all at once, shoot for shaving par. The importance of reducing the amount of stubble on your face cannot be stressed enough and if you neglect it your going to end up with nicks/cuts, razor burns, ingrown hairs, or just a bad shaving experience.

  44. Wet shaving is far superior to “shaving in a can!” I ran out of shave soap and had to go to my backup-not good!!!

  45. stretch your skin with your fingers prior to running the razor over it…especially in those hard to reach places.

  46. The best tip I have followed is to tap into the huge DE educational system which of course meant viewing the Mantic59 YouTube and Geofatboy videos, but also reading the Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving. Em’s Shaving Place has an outstanding Reference Desk and Reference link on their internet. Tapping into these DE educational sources has allowed me to conquer my fear of DE shaving and develop a DE shaving technique that is constantly improving.

  47. The most important thing I’ve learned is not to fight the ADs. It’s part of the charm of it. But about shaving per se, the J-hook stroke to get those tough spots along the jaw line.

  48. Just because a certain product is like by the “masses” does not mean it will work for you. Take the time to search out the products that work best for your situation.

  49. There are too many important ones to isolate it to just one, but I’m going to have to say face prep! If you don’t take the time to properly prep your face you won’t get the most out of the shave. Many thanks to Manic59’s youtube videos!

  50. Take your time and use short strokes. Trying to go fast or take off too much will result in cuts and the dreaded razor burn. Use light pressure, and let the blade do the work. I use 3 passes for a smooth finish. I start with the grain then across the grain and finish against the grain. Now, a cold water rinse to close the pores and some after shave and you’re home free.

  51. To concentrate on beard reduction, not beard elimination. One of the best advice I got, which I had to un-learn when abandoning plastic, multi-bladed shavers. Hmm, and using Witch Hazel as an aftershave 🙂

  52. Let gravity and the weight of the razor do all of the work. You don’t need to push because you won’t get a closer shave that way.

  53. Using an Alum Block would be my biggest tip! After a shave, you can really get to know how to improve your next one by feeling the sting of the block as it rubs your face. I also like how it makes some of the bumps that might appear from an aggressive shave disappear.

  54. “Say!
    I like all brushes and creamy lather!
    I do!! I like them all, Jon-I-am!
    And I would lather soap on my face!
    And I would lather cream in a bowl…
    And I will lather with a 31mm knot.
    And with a 24mm. And an 14mm.
    And tall loft. And short loft.
    They are all so good so good you see!
    So I will shave with all types of brush.
    And I will shave with a thick dense knot.
    And I will shave with a floppy mop.
    And I will shave with a super soft tips.
    And I will shave with brushes here and there.
    Say! I will shave with brushes ANYWHERE!
    I do so like
    my brushes and lather
    Thank you!
    Thank you,

  55. Lather directly to face, not in a cup. This makes the shave much smoother and, with some creams and soaps, much smoother.

  56. Best tip? Easy, one of Mantic’s tips I saw in one of the videos:
    Squeeze the brush to get all the “lathery goodness” out of the brush in the final pass.

  57. The biggest difference I’ve found in my shave is from using alum. Alum after a shave does more to stop razor rash and ingrown hairs (which I am prone to) than anything else I’ve found.

  58. The angle of the blade should be around 30 degrees from your face. Get it wrong and you’ll either cut nothing or slice up your face. (This one has made all the difference to my DE shaving)

  59. Paint your face in the direction you will shaving. Makes a difference.
    Mantic, I am unable to register to your site. I never get an email with my password.

    1. Man did I botch that post up…..That’s what happens with fat fingers on an iPhone…..
      Paint your face in the direction you will BE shaving…..especially when shaving against the grain, makes a difference for me….give it a try
      I never received a password after registering…..

  60. The weight of the razor is all the pressure needed. Holding the razor by the end is a good way to learn the feel of it.

  61. Use more product. Double the recommended ‘almond’ blob of cream and double the recommended time for loading your brush with soap. So many problems will be solved when you start if you have enough lather, you can always scale back later.

  62. Best shaving tip? Watch Mantic59’s videos! How’s that for sucking up?! Also, don’t shave in the shower, and don’t over do it.

  63. Hot steam – can’t have too much. I shave in the shower near the end so my beard is as soft as possible.

  64. Let you shaving mug soap soak in a little bit of hot water in order to soften it up and get a nice, rich lather.

  65. Concentration. If you are daydreaming you will cut yourself or have a poor shave. Try out different blades/razors too until you find one that suits (Feather All Stainless for me).

  66. Just to make sure.
    When mixing your lather, make sure to check the brush regularly to make sure your lather is properly hydrated.

  67. Learn to build a great lather, get that technique down before you start DE shaving. When the lather is not good you are not going to enjoy the shave.

  68. Take a few passes without a razor blade in so you understand the feeling of the angle. Helped me alot in the beginning. That and lots and lots of water.
    Hotty Toddy from Mississippi

  69. To build a good lather, add water little by little until you get a nice thick lather. Thanks Mantic59 for your videos and advice!

  70. The most important thing that I have learned applies to most everything in life, and that is simpley to share. Mantic59 is a perfect example of this.

  71. You have to be patient. Technique and so good results will come with practice. Thankfully, you have a lifetime to practice . 😉

  72. technique is everything. the second you get overconfident about your technique, bring out the styptic because you will end up bleeding.

  73. I’ve been shaving either by safety or straight razors since I was 18, so for about 12 years now. And I can tell you that you will test a lot of different DE blades, and techniques. But nothing I have gained through experience, equals what you can learn from your father or your grandfather, if you are fortunate to have one, pick their brain learn from the older ones, instead of taking forever like me to learn that this is one awesome hobby to have taken up and to learn to shave the best way you can. so enjoy, I know I do

  74. It’ll be said over and over, but NO PRESSURE. Seriously, this is the one thing that separated me from comfortable shaves. Learning to lather, how to prepare…all of these things seem to come in time. But shaving with no pressure is something that I still, after several years, have to remind myself each shave.

  75. Build a good lather. Dont skimp with the soap/cream and take the time to get it right. Shaving with a weak stretched lather is a good way to ensure you will cut yourself (eh-hem, last week’s lesson)

  76. Build the lather; Dont be afraid to use plenty of product to get the right lather, as a thin stretched lather will guarantee a nice cut (ah-hem, last week’s lesson)

  77. I think the most important tip for the beginner wet shaver is different strokes/different folks. Just because something works for someone doesnt mean it will work for you. You have to try a little bit of everything in order to find your personal “zone”. If you take your time, and accept that learning what works for you isnt an overnight thing, you’ll eventually stumble upon the perfect shave for you. When it comes to shaving, different strokes for different folks…

  78. A shower before shaving is very helpful in softening your hair. Shampooing and conditioning the hair helps further.

  79. Don’t get caught up in the expensive, adjustable razors or the gargantuan shaving brushes. Find the simplest and easiest to handle gear and master that. Once you have that under your belt, then you can move onto the luxury items.

  80. I have two tips, Prep is the most important technique, and watching Mantic59 videos on YouTube explains what your father never told you about shaving. Watching videos is prepping your brain on the techniques and tips to help you shave.

  81. Get a woman who won’t mind all the extra time you’ll be spending prepping, shaving and moisturizing… ’cause you’re going to enjoy it!

  82. Keeping your shaving cream/soap warm is critical. Buy and use a scuttle to keep your cream/soap and brush warm. A warm cream yields a better and more comfortable, close shave. And nothing beats the feel of a warm cream on your face softening the whiskers for a closer shave.

  83. I used to shave with the multi blade shaving system until I watched one of mantics videos and I was hooked. Mantic has given me so many great tips, He basically taught me how to shave DE Style, but the best tip I got from him is how to shave in steps IE 1st pass with the grain, then cross grain ect, ect. Thanks Mantic for the lessons and the extra money I saved on blades.

  84. Face prep, face prep, face prep… what’s easier to cut; spaghetti noodles straight out of the package, or ones that have been soaking in hot water for a bit?
    I don’t mention watching all of Mantic’s videos as the BEST wet shaving tip EVER, because I assume that’s just a given!

  85. My tip for wetshaving:
    I’ve been wet shaving with a DE for over a year now and I’ve noticed that I get a better shave when I use an exfoliant on my face in the shower prior to shaving.

  86. The best piece of advice I received when I was starting out with DE wetshaving: don’t give up after the first week.

  87. Water, water everywhere…
    Hot water to shave with.
    Cold water to rinse with.
    Followup with a decent aftershave or balm (not using too much) and your skin will thank you (the ladies too 🙂

  88. It takes a lot of soap to build up a good lather. Especially if you have hard water, shake the brush out a couple times and then get to scrubbing on soap for about a minute. Scrub upside down to let the soap soak into the brush.

  89. Face prep made a huge difference for me. Wash your face, apply lather, cover with a hot rag for a couple of minutes, wipe off lather, use preshave oil, reapply lather and really work it in, and you are set to go.

  90. The most important wet shaving tip I have learned is to use little to no pressure on the razor. No easy feat to accomplish after 25 years of shaving with other crapy razors.

  91. If you mix your later in the palm of your hand or in a bowl, make sure to thoroughly wet your face, then spend a good minute or so massaging the lather into your face with your brush.

  92. After a year from making the switch, I’ve learned to do what works best for you. Personally, the best thing I’ve learned is preparation and using the tools and techniques that work best for your specific needs.

  93. I’m not able to subscribe to Sharpologist for some reason. The subscribe button won’t work for me.
    If there’s one thing I’ve learned from wetshaving and Mantic59, it’s that shampoo and conditioner work REALLY well to soften and loosen hairs for a good shave.

  94. The most important tip? To TRY wetshaving in the first place!
    Once in the process though, the best tip was to let the handle do the work (ie, ease up on the pressure) and to be sure to experiment with the handle angle to figure out what works best.

  95. I learned (from Mantic’s video) the proper technique for angling a DE razor. That is, place it perpendicular to your face and angle until the blade just touches your skin, and shave. Previously, I had been just placing it against my skin, with too sharp (aggressive) of an angle.

  96. The most important thing for a nice wet shave is a good and thorough PREPARATION!
    Best wishes from Germany!

  97. Rinse the head of your razor in 90% isopropyl alcohol and shake dry (I keep a resealable container next to the sink). It drives off the water and seems to deter corrosion.

  98. In case you think you’re doing everything correctly yet getting ingrowns, try some preshave oil. Wash your face first with a soap of your choice, then pat dry with a towel. Apply some oil – a greenpea-size amount, maybe even less. Spread it gently, be kind to your skin. Use your shaving cream or soap directly on it.
    Cheaper oils are good, expensives are said to be better. For me the cheapest drugstore massage oils work perfectly, but reports say that the most basic cooking olive oil is almost just as effective. Try it and see for yourself.

  99. Best tip I received when starting out: learning how to do it right takes time. Just because you don’t get a BBS the first five times you try it doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. I’ve been wetshaving for 3 years now and am just starting to get consistently great shaves!

  100. Build good lather, don’t use lather from a can. Immediately my shaves improved. My neck stopped getting razor burn. (I continued to use the same razor for a few more months, before I switched to DE razor. Those cartridges were expensive, I didn’t want to throw them away.)

  101. Brebeanu Alex Catalin

    Experiment, learn and enjoy wet shaving every day like a hobby and you will reward yourself with a sharp look and a fun experience!

  102. Water is your best friend. This goes beyond the obvious soaking of the beard and preparation of the lather, though. Even if I had a perfect shave, if I didn’t rinse well, I’d have an awful looking face the next morning.

  103. Slow down and take your time. It isn’t a race. Taking your time will help silly things like razor burn and nicks, especially when using a DE or straight razor.

  104. I avoided the Feather blades in my sampler pack for nearly a year based on the scary sharp reputation they have on the boards. I finally tried one a few weeks ago and got a surprisingly smooth shave, no transfusion required. Once you have your technique down don’t be afraid to expirament.

  105. Water Water Water!!!
    You can be off in your shaving cream prep, you can have a variety of blades, but you will be guaranteed to have an awful shave if your face is not prepped. Spend the time to get your face soft (there’s a reason the pro’s use 3 hot towels before starting).

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