Overview of things to consider for getting a close, smooth shave...
There are a few concepts in traditional wet shaving that apply with using almost any product.
First, water is crucial - after all it is called wet shaving. Water is essential to opening the skin's pores, softening the beard and providing a foundation for shaving lather. (Warm water softens whiskers).
Knowing the directions your beard grows is also important. The direction of growth is also known as the beards grain. It's very unlikely your beard grows in just one direction, straight up and down, so take the time to understand how your beard grows. It's often useful to make a diagram of your facial hair growth.
Another useful concepts is to use as light a pressure on the razor as possible when shaving. (Feather light touch). While this may seem totally counter intuitive, the fact is, using too much pressure on the razor will ripple the skin in such a way as to not only skip over hair stubble but also irritate the skin as well.
An important aspect is blade angle. Good blade angle is considered to be about 30 degrees to the cutting surface, however this is not an exact science, so don't get hung up on that thought. But rather use it as a guide. You want the blade edge to cleanly cut whiskers without scraping or slicing the surface of the skin.
Consider the concept of beard reduction. That is, rather than trying to eliminate facial hair all at once, methodically reduce the beard to a point where you've gotten a close, comfortable shave. Use a little reduction for a causal, carefree look... or more reduction for that smooth as glass look and feel.
Working hand and hand with reduction is the idea of shaving daily. Rather than wait for the beard stubble to get too long, shaving while the stubble is still short can significantly reduce irritation.
Once you get confident with you new skills, you may astonished just how good your shaves can become.