For some time I have been discussing and promoting what I have called THE 30 DAY RULE which goes as follows: A critical item is to remember what the three Ts stand for: "Technique Trumps Tools." Now I mention defective products, no amount of technique can overcome a defective product. The products must be ones that can work correctly. No out of alignment razors, or poorly manufactured blades that have bad edges, can be overcome by technique. Here is the advice I received when I started with a DE and so I freely give it to new users. The most important things in shaving are, your skin and technique. All other things fall in line behind those two things and to support them. Since the skin is a given fixed item, the next major item is technique. THE 30 DAY RULE is the advice I give to you. THE 30 DAY RULE is as follows: Find a razor, then a blade that will not cause issues with your skin. That may take a few different blades in a sampler pack to find a suitable choice or it maybe the first out of the gate. Select a soap or cream that is easy to generate good lather. Once you find that combination, and it may take a couple of weeks to find it, order a quantity of that blade enough for 30 days. Spend 30 days using nothing else until you build up your technique. (Note that only one brand blade is used for 30 days after each blade in the sampler pack is tested to make the decision on the blade brand to use for 30 days.) The 30 day clock starts when you have the right blade for you. After 30 days, change one and only one variable and work for another week then change another after another week. At that point you should be able to make better decisions because your technique is now in place. This will help you to avoid buying too much gear and stuff too soon without having the technique available to enjoy all the gear. After completing THE 30 DAY RULE many users have asked, can this be varied to apply to a single product or single step in the process? I also realize that many long term users are not intrigued by the concept of THE 30 DAY RULE, but don't want to totally commit to a lock-down of all products. With this in mind, I feel it is time to come up with a codification for a second method which has similarities to THE 30 DAY RULE. So 30 DAY RULE meet, THE 30 DAY FOCUS. THE 30 DAY FOCUS, still falls in line with the three Ts: "Technique Trumps Tools." THE 30 DAY FOCUS allows the user to focus in on a particular aspect of Traditional Shaving for 30 days just like the THE 30 DAY RULE, but with variability based on product or process. This is more along the lines of skills development versus basic training. One user may choose a 30 DAY FOCUS on a specific single product, or process, in order to develop technique with that specific area of focus without requiring a total lock-down as a true 30 DAY RULE would entail. Examples of this would be: Using a specific razor for 30 days while using different blades. Using a specific brush for 30 days while using different soaps and creams. Using a several brushes from a specific brush class for 30 days (boars only, synthetics only, etc.). Using a specific process such as face lathering for 30 days. Using a specific blade for 30 days while using different razors. Using two or more specific fixed products or processes, while allowing freedom in one or more other products or process. The idea is to allow the membership to be able to have a flexible method of communicating that they are on a FOCUS pattern rather than the RULE pattern. It is my hope that THE 30 DAY FOCUS will become as popular for members who have long term traditional shaving experience and also to serve as an avenue for those who have mastered THE 30 DAY RULE and wish to continue with a more flexible path forward in the learning process. THE 30 DAY RULE : Complete lock-down for technique development. THE 30 DAY FOCUS: Skills development and growth. It is my intent that both these methods serve as avenues for growth and are not considered to be "restrictions" since the issue in these areas are to develop the user to their fullest abilities. May both methods serve the user well.