Like most men, you learned the art of shaving as an adolescent -- or so you thought. Shaving facial hair is delicate process that requires more than a little practice. Facial shadows are caused by very short, bristling facial hairs that feel like sandpaper and can create a sloppy appearance. Having a visible shadow immediately after a shave could be sign that you never learned proper techniques or that you've been skipping steps in the shaving process. Use age-old methods to ensure that you get an extra-smooth shave.

Step 1

Shower or bathe with hot water and wash your face with a moisturizing soap. Alternately, wash your face in the sink if you don't have time for a shower. In addition to cleansing the skin, the warm water will open your pores and soften the facial hairs.

Step 2

Softly pat your face with a clean dry towel until your skin is still damp, but not dripping wet.

Step 3

Dip a saving brush into hot water and then dip the brush into the shaving cream and massage it with upwardly circular motions into the facial hair.

Step 4

Pull back the skin at the temple to ensure that the shaving area is firm and taut. This will ensure that the hairs stand on end enabling you to get a smooth shave.

Step 5

Use short, even strokes to glide the razor over the facial-hair area in the direction of facial-hair growth. Use gentle pressure when shaving to avoid nicks or razor bumps and rinse the blade between every stroke to avoid clogging the blade with hair and shaving cream.

Step 6

Very gently graze your fingers along the newly shaved portions of your face to determine the direction of hair growth since short hairs must be shaved precisely to completely remove the shadow. Make a mental note of the directions for each section of your cheeks, jawline, chin and neck.

Step 7

Apply a second, thin layer of shaving cream to your face and gently pull your skin taut.

Step 8

Shave against the direction of hair growth using very light and short strokes. Do not shave against the grain without shaving cream or if the blade is dull. The skin must be lubricated and the blade must be sharp to avoid razor drag, which can lead to razor burn and bumps.

Step 9

Rinse your face with warm water to remove the shaving products and loose hairs. Adjust the water temperature to cool or cold and re-rinse to close your pores.

Step 10

Lightly pat your face dry with a soft, clean towel. Avoid wiping your face or rubbing it roughly -- the skin will be sensitive and will require a gentle touch immediately after shaving.

Step 11

Squeeze a dime- to nickle-sized portion of aftershave balm into your palms. Rub your palms together to ensure even application, then massage the product over the shaved portions of your face.