Greetings everyone! I've been toying with the idea of a "real" shave for a few years now, and finally took the plunge. Purchased a starter kit with a Merkur 178 razor, a badger brush, some Col. Conk Almond soap, bowl and stand. Just finished my first shave (2 passes WTG). Been lurking for a week or so and read all about mixing up a creamy lather, pre-shaving, and "carving" technique. Made it through without any blood, but in all honesty I was rather tentative. I used the included Merkur blade, and am reading some reviews about other blades to try. I think I'm going to stick with this brand for a couple months to get my technique down and not throw too many variables into the mix. (Although I am eying up some Tabac soap and some Proraso cream).
Enough about my face for now. I'm a college professor and freelance musician in the Southeast. I enjoy good music, good cigars, good spirits, and now a good shave! Hope to learn even more and get even more ensconced in the good life. Cheers!