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.