Instead of obsessing about the ideal of the perfect shave, I've made peace with my shaving obsession by focusing on the concept of my ideal shave.
My ideal shave is nearly smooth in all directions, when I don't press too firmly -- especially against the grain of the beard. Also my ideal shave is wound free and with minimal irritation that quickly fades after the shave.
I had a nearly ideal shave this morning, marred by a single pin-point weeper, but which disappeared quickly with rinsing. I then applied my favorite after-shave lotion -- a citrusy-smelling tea-tree potion -- and some inexpensive (dollar store) fragrance-free moisturizer for men.
The way I achieve my ideal shave has been documented, but I'll run through it quickly one more time:
In a mild but not mildest razor, I put a blade compatible with my skin and beard. My favorite blade is the Personna Platinum Chrome (the Israeli-made red-label blade). However, this morning, I used a Bluebird blade with 18 shaves already on it (18!!!). This morning's razor was my c.1948 Gillette Tech, but other razors work as well. The list includes the Rimei RM2003 and the Merkur 15C open-comb razor.