Five O'clock Shadow
Getting a close, perfect shave is very important for a crossdresser. Unless you are the bearded lady at the circus, you do not want nicks or stubble to ruin your day. Ridding yourself of the five o’clock shadow is indeed possible with a little extra care at the beginning of the day.
Unless you have a light, blonde complexion, have slow beard growth, or are fortunate enough to have had laser hair removal, many CDs I know need to shave every 12 hours or so when spending the day en femme. The following are some helpful hints to help your face have a smooth, feminine texture all day long.
Wash your face—Before you even think about shaving, lather up with a gentle cleanser or face wash to remove any dirt and debris, replenish lost moisture, and fight skin dryness. Be sure to use warm water, which softens facial hair and opens pores for an easier shave.
Dab on a pre-shaving oil—Pre-shave oil is often overlooked, but it prepares the skin and beard before a shave, helping the razor to glide across the face.
Fewer razor blades are better than more—Despite the current trend of four, five, or six blades in a razor, use a razor with fewer blades. Three blades are enough for a great shave, and razors with two blades are ideal for those with sensitive skin or those prone to ingrown hairs.
Warm up your shaving gel—Leave your shave cream or gel in a sink of warm water so that it heats before using. Then massage the warm product into your beard and let set for one to two minutes before you start. Apply in a circular motion to lift facial hairs and lessen irritation. If possible, use a badger hairbrush to pull up the hairs before shaving and to generate a thick lather for your shave.
Shave in the shower—You're already in there, so why not save time and avoid having to clean up a dirty sink? Your beard will be soft from the hot water and steam. That’s why barbers for years have used hot steam towels before a straight razor shave. Shaving in the shower should be the last thing you do to give the beard time to soften.
Shave and swipe—Shave with one stroke and rinse your blade between every swipe. If you need to go over a spot, be sure to apply more shave gel or cream for lubrication. Remember that a sharp blade cuts without pulling hairs, so be sure to change your blade often to avoid a dull razor. And always shave with the grain of the hair and not against it, to avoid skin irritation or ingrown hairs.
Keep it nice and steady—A lot of men are shaving too close to their skin and too aggressively for their own good. Have you seen men with shaving bumps around their neck area? This is caused by shaving too close to the follicle. The skin on the neck is thinner and more sensitive. Most likely the hair has an upward grain or a cowlick on the portion where the irritation occurs. The key is to go with the grain on those sensitive areas to prevent ingrown hair.
Toss that old and raggedy razor—Another major mistake is not changing your razor frequently. A good sign it's time to let go is if the blades tug at your hairs. A dull blade can lead to nicks, which means the razor isn’t going through the beard. Therefore, your skin is susceptible to being cut and razor burn can often result from forcing the dull razor aggressively across the face. Lastly, ingrown hair can be caused by a dull razor pushing the hair and agitating the hair follicle.
Save face with a good after-shave balm or moisturizer—To relieve any irritation and moisturize skin after shaving, it's important to finish your shave with a post-shave balm that will soothe your skin. Stick with alcohol-free products to avoid dryness. Do this and you will see significant changes in the overall condition and health of your skin.
For those long days in makeup—Keep a rechargeable electric razor in your purse. The electric razor can be used right over your makeup for a touch-up. This way you don't have to remove all your makeup to retain a smooth complexion.