Well I have been continuing on my discovery of wet shaving and shaving nirvana.
Last week my local big box store put all their VDH deluxe shaving soap (the same on I have been using) on clearance for only $1. Due to limited cash that I had on me I only got 1 puck. When I got home I took care of a few things, rounded up a few dollars and returned to grab a few more, only to discover that someone else had already done the same thing and cleared out the all of them. I then drive to another store in the chain and got the last puck that they had. Sadly I have yet to find any other local stores that sell shaving soap, which means that I will probably have to order them online next time I need to resupply (next year or so.)
My technique seems to be improving. I still have yet to get the hang of bowl lathering, but I have been getting decent with face lathering and will probably continue to face lather for the foreseeable future.
My blade technique is also improving. I still cut myself here and there, but am getting better with less irritation.
I am still working on the pack of Dorco 301;s that my shaver came with. but as soon as I get low on them I will pick up a different brand. I am deciding between Voskhod Double Edge Razor Blades or 50 Silver Blue Double Edge Razor Blades. I am still open to suggestions, so feel free to comment with blade suggestions for a n00b.
My currently routine is:
-Soak brush in hot water
-Add a little hot water to the top of my soap for a minute or so, just to let the soap rehydrate.
-Prep my beard, wither by taking a hot shower or applying hot water to my face to wet and soften the hair.
-Load the brush with soap and face lather.
-Shave. I usually do 2 passes, one with the grain and one across the grain. relathering between each pass.
-Splash face with cold water and use styptic pencil as needed on bleeders and irritation.
-Aftershave. I usually use Old Spice classic for this.
i recently picked up a bottle of pre-shave lotion for $2. I have yet to see if it helps at all, but when I do I will mention in in my next shave update.