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The perfect two-day shadow looks good for the weekend, but a close shave puts your best face forward during the work week. Not only does it look sharp, but in some cases it can actually help your chances at snagging that coveted job. But getting rid of facial hair shadow isn't always smooth sailing. Redness, cuts and razor bumps often follow if you're not careful. You can combat these issues by using the proper products and many of the same shaving techniques that men have been using for years.

Take a shower, and allow the steam to penetrate your skin and soften your whiskers. Wash your face with an oil-free cleanser to rid the area of dirt, oil and sebum; men with dry skin should use a hydrating cleanser with an exfoliant so dead skin won't get trapped in facial pores while you shave. Rinse with warm water and pat your face dry with a clean towel.

Dip a badger brush into a tub of shaving cream. Smooth along your jawline, cheeks and upper lip in an up-and-down motion to lift up the hair and gently exfoliate any dead skin. Make sure the area you want to shave is completely covered, and then let it set for one to two minutes.

Pull your skin taut and place the razor at one side of your face. Glide the razor in the direction of hair growth. Rinse your blade well. Pull the next section taut and swipe the skin again. It's important not to go over a spot more than once unless you reapply shaving cream in that area. Otherwise, your skin is likely to get irritated, and you risk cutting your face.

Continue shaving around your entire face until all your whiskers are gone. Rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.

Tip

Change your razor cartridge after five to seven uses.

Men with dry skin can apply a thin layer of preshave oil after the shower. This prepares skin for the razor.

Get a smooth, soft face after shaving by using a moisturizer made especially for your skin type. Those with acne-prone skin should use an oil-free version, while men with dryer skin should stick with a hydrating, alcohol-free cream.

Shave against the grain on the second swipe in the same area only after you've applied more cream.

Warning

Men with acne need to take special care when shaving so they don't inflame pimples even more. An electric razor might be best.

A razor with more than two blades may nick sensitive skin and lead to ingrown hairs and razor bumps.

Neck skin is thinner and more sensitive than skin on the face. Always shave slower in this area.

About the Author

Lisa Finn

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.