Years ago, I started using brush and soap from a mug instead of the modern aerosol shaving cream I'd been using. Truthfully, I did this because it was cool and old fashioned, but the benefits to my skin quickly became evident and I soon preferred it because it was simply better.
A few years on, I switched from a disposable cartridge razor to an old fashioned safety razor. I cut myself a bunch in the beginning, but once I developed a "hand" for this, I preferred it because it was simple better. Besides being, contrary to popular belief, easier on the skin and yielding a smoother, closer shave, the act of shaving itself became a cathartic ten minute ritual, a moment of time each morning to slow down and focus on oneself, before a day of tending to the needs of others.
This past week, I started using a straight razor. The good folks at Heritage Shaving sent me one of their starter kits to try, which included a German made blade, stainless steel mug, badger brush, leather strop and a tube of Dr. Bronner's shave soap. It's a trip, and more than a little scary first time out. But if you can make it out of the bathroom alive that first time, it's a thing worth learning. And you will have to learn, because it requires a set of skills you don't have yet. I did a fair amount of research online before putting blade to skin for the first time, and I suggest you do the same. My best advice is don't be too scared. It's actually not as bad as you think, and confidence will make a big difference in whether and how badly you cut yourself. I made it to my fourth shave without a nick, but when I did draw blood, it was a bit of a doozy. Still, I can dig it.
As for the Dr. Bronner's soap, it's not so much my Jam. I still prefer the old fashioned cake of soap in the mug. Mrs.G likes it, though, so consider giving this to the lady if you don't prefer it.
As for straight blade shaving in general, I'm a fan, and if you've got the stuff, I suggest you give it a try. I won't say that this will be the only way I'll ever shave again. It's time consuming, and with two small kids in the house, I don't always have that time. But a combo of safety razor quickies, and straight razor "me time" is just the ticket.
With that, AAW welcomes Heritage Shaving as it's first sponsor. A small company run by a guy in the Midwest trying to defray the cost of grad school, the kind of company I'm happy to give my money to (even if they did send me stuff for free, but still...you get the idea). If you've ever thought it would be wise to put a surgically sharp blade to your throat first thing in the morning, I suggest you buy your supplies from them.
*a note on sponsorship: An Affordable Wardrobe is now accepting advertising. However, this does not mean I am now in the habit of "shilling" or running "advertorial" content. If you have a quality product to sell that is in keeping with the spirit of this blog, I am happy to run your ad for a nominal fee. In a real sense, buying an ad here buys an endorsement, because I won't sell you the ad if your product is junk. There's no time for that. If I do write about a product, as I have done just now, it is because I wanted to and will continue to give my honest opinion. That ought to get the p.r. firms to beat down my door.