Most Helpful Guy
The hairs on your face tend to grow in a particular direction, but that direction varies depending on whereabouts they are on your face. For example, on my face, the moustache area grows down. The cheeks grow outwards. The jaw bone hairs grow sideways towards to the chin. That sort of thing.
You need to get a sense of the map of your face.
If you really want a smooth shave, you need to prep the skin somewhat. Use really hot water, to open up the pores and help the skin stretch. Use a shaving foam, because it holds the hairs up straight and away from the skin.
A straight razor is best, and disposible ones are the worst. If you have a multiblade razor like most everyone in the western world, the fewer the blades will actually give you the better shave. (There have been studies on this, but more blades sell better. Go figure.) I tend to stick with a mach 3 as it's still common and easy to buy for.
When shaving, choose an area of the face where all the hairs are growing in the same direction. For example, the left side of the throat under the jaw bone. I find that the hairs there grow in the direction of the ear. In other words, if I stroke my finger from the direction of the ear to the adams apple, I can feel the hairs more easily. This is commonly known as "going against the grain".
Now, some schools of thought say if you shave with the grain, you'll get a better shave. Some say the reverse. In my experience, if you shave in the direction of growth, you'll run a higher risk of getting hairs growing under the skin, and getting pimples as a result. So I always shave against the direction of growth. I've never had a problem with this.
If you do choose to shave against the hair growth, be sure you've taken the time to soak and are using shaving cream or gel. Otherwise you risk ingrown hairs and razor burn.
I use short strokes of about an inch long, and I rinse after every two or three strokes. You don't want shaved hairs clogging up the blades. Before you shave, use one hand to pull the skin as taut as you can. Stretch your neck, face, whatever, and use your hand, to get the skin as taut as you possibly can. Then do the shave on that area.
Shave all the areas of your face twice, then rinse off with cold water to close the pores and tighten the skin. An aftershave generally has alcohol in it, which will cool and tighten the skin even more. Most skin care specialists will tell you that any scented products like that will irritate the skin. Use a neutral face balm if that sort of thing bothers you.