Step 1: Get some shaving soap -- either a hard puck or a tube/jar of shaving cream, a brush, and a mug or bowl. If you are interested in being both thrifty and ecologically responsible, I recommend the following products:
|Above left: a repurposed Greek-yogurt container beside my|
favorite razor, the Merkur 37C slant (risky for beginners, but
an excellent second razor after one becomes more skilled).
- Williams Shaving Soap - available at many drug stores for $1. It's inexpensive, a pretty good product (not the best, but good enough to get you started -- for an upgrade in the future, see about my custom rich, slick and creamy soap for sensitive skin), and packaging can be recycled.
- Van Der Hagen (VDH) boar-bristled shaving brush - Often available at some local drug stores for about $6. The bristles soften over time with use, and is a very cost-effective choice. Though I have another brush, I still appreciate and regularly use my VDH.
- Use a repurposed coffee mug big enough to hold the soap puck. (For other inexpensive alternatives, check out this blog article.) Use the mug to load your wet brush with soap, then build your lather in your hand, directly on your face, or in a lathering bowl. The cheapest lathering bowl is a repurposed, used, Greek-yogurt cup shown at right.
After step four, it's about tuning your ritual. There are other blade options; pre-shave oils and prep variations such as cold-water shaving; different shave soaps, creams, and butters; and a variety of post-shave options including alum blocks, witch hazel, and myriad gels and lotions.