So you have a safety razor and soap but no shaving brush, eh? 

I found myself in this exact predicament when I first ordered my shaving supplies.  I got everything in the mail on the same day, except for the shaving brush.  I was anxious to get started, but I didn’t have any idea how I was going to proceed without a brush.

The first thing I tried was using regular, out-of-the-can, shaving cream.  That didn’t go so well.  I mean, it worked, but after three passes, I was still left with a less than satisfactory shave. So I headed out to so some research on what my other options were.

Option 1:  Buy an inexpensive brush from a local store.  If you don’t want to wait for your expensive badger hair brush to arrive before get started, you might consider buying a less expensive boar hair or synthetic brush from a local store. Walmart carries a brand called Van Der Hagen that is actually pretty well respected around the shaving world. It runs about $8, and if the reviewers are accurate, it will serve you well as a decent backup brush.  Target also carries brushes, though when I checked the least expensive was around $16.

Option 2: Use your stubble as a brush.  You can use your face stubble as a natural brush to produce lather in a pinch.  Wet your face well, and wet the soap.  Rub the puck of soap over your face, then use your hands to create a lather right on your face.  It won’t be as rich as a lather created with a brush, but it’ll work in a pinch.  In fact, this is exactly how those “shave sticks” work – they use your face as a natural brush to produce lather.

Option 3:  Use a wash cloth.  Wet your face, wet the soap, wet a wash cloth.  Give the wash cloth a few swirls in the soap & then set to swirling it around on your face.  This will work up a light lather. Again, nothing like a shaving brush, but it’ll work.

Option 4:  Don’t use the soap; instead, use a can of shaving cream or shaving gel. This seems to be the least popular option out there. Like I said, I tried using canned shaving cream with my safety razor, and while it did work, it didn’t work all that well.  If you’re going to give it a go, the key is to make sure your face is plenty wet then spend a lot of time working the cream into your whiskers. The conventional wisdom seems to be that shaving gel is much, much, much, (and did I say much?) better than shaving cream.  I’ve only tried shaving cream, and I can attest to the fact that it ain’t grand. I do have some shaving gel on hand, so maybe I’ll give a go sometime & let you know how it all worked out.