You've decided to shave the Badass way. Great!
Thankfully, the "safety" in "safety razor" isn't a joke. Used properly, a safety razor such as the Badass Shaver is just as easy to use, without nicks or cuts, as any cartridge razor. Sure, the blades can be a little intimidating at first — even the Smooth Operator is extremely sharp! — but once you've dropped one into your Badass Shaver and are ready to go, after very little practice you'll wonder why you ever hesitated to try.
Proper beard preparation is key. Fortunately, if your habit is to take a shower or to wash your face with hot water before your shave… congratulations! You already have the most important step knocked. Getting the beard hair nice and soft is easily the best way to ensure a comfortable shave. Some men like to use additional oils or other pre-shave balms or creams to prepare for a shave, and that's fine. Whatever you normally do to prepare your beard will work with the Badass Shaver just as it does for other types of razors.
Whether that means shaving cream, shaving gel, shaving soap, shave butter, whatever. Gels, old-fashioned soaps, and shaving creams and butters sold in tubes are generally regarded as good for the task. It should be noted that spray foams are among the least-slick options available, but to each his own. Whether you use a shaving brush is up to you as well. Our only direct recommendation on this point is to let the cream/soap/etc. set on your beard for at least 15 seconds before shaving, to give one last round of beard softening.
While you're waiting those 15+ seconds, fill your sink with the hottest water your faucet will provide. When it's full, dunk your Badass Shaver head and blade into the water for a few seconds to heat them up. Most men find a warm blade to be far more comfortable than a cold one.
Put the Badass Shaver against your face at an angle. About 30 degrees from parallel to the skin works for most men, but find what's right for you. Then… just shave. Minimal pressure from your hand. The weight of the Badass Shaver itself should do most of the work for you, unlike a cartridge razor. Use short to medium strokes, and we suggest using one edge for each side of your face, to keep blade wear even. (We etched our name on just one side to help you keep track!) If you're prone to razor burn or razor bumps, be sure to shave only in the direction of beard growth. Every few strokes, dunk your razor back into the hot water to rinse it and reheat the blade. You'll notice that the Badass Shaver doesn't clog, and rinses cleanly!
After you've finished your entire pass, give your face a once-over with a wet hand. You'll feel any spots you've missed. Some men reapply a little bit of shave cream/soap here, if they feel they need to. It's not a bad idea, but not all men find it necessary — the residue from the main shave plus the water is enough for many to do the touch-up work. Find out what works for you.
Once you're satisfied with your shave, simply twist open the top of the Badass Shaver, carefully take the blade out, and rinse them separately in the sink. Then, place the blade back onto its slot and leave the razor head open to air dry. Don't close it back up before it's dry or the blade could rust! We also recommend immediately rinsing your face with cold water. This closes the pores and soothes any little bit of irritation that might occur. It also washes the whiskers down the sink, which your significant other generally appreciates. Pat your face dry with a clean towel. If you want to use after-shave at this point, have a ball.
Notice how many of these steps are basically the same thing you've been doing up till now? Apart from the razor angle and the light pressure used, there shouldn't be anything here that's wildly different from using a cartridge razor. But… your face still feels nice and smooth, doesn't it? And think of how much money you'll save from now on!
If you do happen to nick yourself while shaving, an old-fashioned styptic pencil does the trick. They're available in the shaving aisle of your local drugstore or big-box store, and cost approximately pocket change for a pencil that should last you for years. Simply wet the pencil, touch it to the nick, feel a little sting, rinse the pencil, and you're done. Much easier (and less embarrassing) than walking around with toilet paper on your face.