Recently, a particular xkcd comic got me thinking about shaving equipment. I, shortly thereafter, purchased a Burma Shave soap/mug/brush set from amazon at a very reasonable price. Very quickly, I came to realize that the soap and brush approach is vastly superior to the shaving cream or gel approach. The soap and brush lather gives me a closer shave with less razor burn; so much so, in fact, that I am now able to go over my face twice every morning without razor burn.
My Burma-Shave soap puck was running out last week, so I turned to the wonderful ClassicShaving.com, purveyors of old fashioned shaving supplies, to get more soap. Choosing to go with Jasmine and Lavender, I ordered two pucks of soap and then moved on to looking at the available razors. Though I think it would be awesome to use a straight razor, the cost of straight razors and the necessary implements to keep them sharp are simply too much for me to justify right now, so I focused on the double edge safety razors. Choosing a rather nice double edged razor and a pack of high quality blades, I completed my order.
Shaving for the first time, this morning, with my new soap and new razor, I find two things: 1) a brush and soap puck is absolutely the correct way to lather for shaving, and 2) I need a lot more patience and practice with using a traditional razor. It's pretty awesome to shave with a double edged razor and where I did it right, I got a great shave but there are a lot of places on my face today that got nicked or poorly shaved this morning.
Another detail worth noting is that really good blades for a double-edged razor cost about 60¢ a piece and are good for about 7 days, which is much better than the ~$5 a piece for modern multi-blade razor cartridges.