Here are my thoughts on soap and brush shaving. Depending on my mood I use either a Straight razor, an Ever Ready Safety razor or a Gillette Mach III (For speed, not pleasure). The best shaving soap I have found so far, is made by a French company called L'Occitane. Since it doesn't fit any of my shaving mugs I just balance it on top, after a few shaves the soap seems to stick itself to the rim.
If you are looking for a soap with an old fashioned masculine smell then Newey & Eyre sandalwood soap is a good soap (but not as good as L'Occitane). I have found however that a really good (read expensive) Badger bristle shaving brush, properly used is almost as important as the soap. I spend at least five minutes lathering, going against the grain of the beard and going in small circular movements from cheek to chin then collar bone to chin. Badger bristle is quite scaly so it seems to lift and set up the hairs ready for the blade.
A modern alternative to soap and brush is King of Shaves shaving oil, it contains tea tree oil among other oils, to sooth any razor burn you may get and moisturize the skin. It takes some getting used to and seems quite expensive until you accept that you really do only need two drops. You really must trust the makers and follow the instructions closely. If you do you will get a very close, comfortable shave and your skin will feel kissably soft.
If you are unfortunate enough to nick yourself using any shaving method the best thing to staunch the blood flow is very cold water. Adrian Horne
Getting Started with the Mug and Brush -- Joe in IllinoisI served in the U S Navy for a long time. When young I used the aerosol shaving cream and safety razor. When my ship operated in the Indian Ocean and temperatures went very high, often the can of shaving cream would blow up inside my "[shaving] kit". A shipmate who was a "mug and brush" man showed me the fine art. One cake of shaving soap would last out a deployment easily, I got a much better shave out of the deal, and no more messy explosions. Take care. Joe in Illinois.
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