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Curious about what setup you first used in wet shaving...


My first setup was:
Merkur 34C
Escali Badger
TOBS Sandalwood
TOBS Sandalwood gel a/s

I use zero of these products currently. I still use a DE89 quite a bit. Wish I had skipped the 34C and went right for the DE89 as my first razor.
Parker 76R with Personna Lab Blue blades. Perfecto brush and Proraso Red. Still have and use all. Improvement in technique makes the Parker much more enjoyable. The Perfecto brush is marginal but serviceable. Since starting, I have acquired 26 DE and SE razors, 5 different blades in quantities of 100, six brushes, half a dozen soaps, and a few balms/splashes. My daily shave is a welcome start to the day and no longer a chore. I get entertainment and grooming all on the same dollar.
VDH Deluxe bowl, brush, and soap kit and a gifted Gillette Super Speed loaded with a Gillette Silver Blue. When the VDH puck was gone I went to the Proraso White tub, then to Stirling Margaritas in the Actic and a Whipped Dog Sivlertip. It was all down hill from there.......... :c2:
I started primarily off of amazon reviews and some YouTube.
Merkur 34C
Astra SP
Razorock plissoft brush
Pre de Provence no 63 soap

Still use them all except Merkur 34C
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My first set-up was:

Merkur 34C
Rooney 3/2 Super
Proraso Green Cream (in the tube)

None are still in my rotation. I still have the brush and razor, but haven't used either in years. I still use Proraso cream, but not the green. I learned that I hate the smell of eucalyptus.
I first made the switch from disposables to DE in summer of 2016 with a Van Der Hagen razor, the Van Der Hagen blades it came with, and a can of Barbasol. I quickly replaced the latter two with some Israeli Personnas from CVS and some cheap coconut-scented hair conditioner. I ended up PIFfing the VDH to a friend, have only just recently revisited the drugstore Personnas now that my technique has improved and I have a more aggressive razor to put them in, and the conditioner is still part of my regular rotation along with Arko and red Proraso.
I just started, I'm one shave in as of yesterday. Didn't die! We started in similar places. Here's my setup:

Razor: Merkur 34C
Blade: Sample Pack, started with Personna
Soap: Stirling Soap Co. - Vanilla Sandalwood
Brush: Stirling Soap Co. - Synthetic 22 x 51
Bowl: Face Lather, but I grabbed This Little Guy
Pre-Shave Soap: Stirling Soap Co. - Unscented
Toner: Thayers Witch Hazel - Unscented
Aftershave Splash: Stirling Soap Co. - Vanilla Sandalwood
Damage Control: Styptic Pencil, Alum Block, Extra Towels, 911 on Speed Dial

I strongly suspect that the soap, as long as it continues to be produced, will remain a staple. It's *awesome*!
@Gryffindor I think you made a wise choice starting with the Personna blade rather than the Merkur blades that came with the razor! Ha.... Of course, blades are highly subjective. Looks like a list of SOLID items...I've had most of everything on your list and they are all solid. Happy shaving!
I first started DE shaving back in 2005 at the latest. Started off with a vintage Gillette Slim Adjustable, Williams soap, and a cheap boar brush. Found the soap and brush at Walmart. Not sure what the blades were, probably Personna. I think I still have the brush somewhere as a backup but the Slim is long gone.

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Razor: Parker 90R
Blades: Shark
Brush: Perfecto badger
Cream: TOBS Sandlewood
AS: Nivea balm for sensitive skin

Still in use: Nivea
I was a Cartridge and Gillette foamy shaver for about 35 years. I decided that since I shave every day I should at least try to make it enjoyable, so I switched.

Starter kit,
TOBS Sandlewood
Cheap Omega boar brush (not used anymore, but I still have it)
Aqua Velva :)

I still use all of it in my rotation except that brush.
Merkur 23c
TOBS Sandlewood cream
Dover shave soap
ICE Badger Brush (a rebrand, I would guess)
Merkur blades
* all from the House of Knives in Canada

Frankly, if it not for B&B, I would have quit. The blades and brush were terrible, I tossed the soap because I couldn't figure out how to lather it (I blamed the soap at the time), and I struggled with technique.

I fairly quickly switched to Astra SP blades through tryablade samples and an Omega Pro 49 brush.

Out of the original set-up, I would still use TOBS creams, but I do prefer soaps now, and I still use my 23c once in a while even though I have razors that I prefer. I would not go back to Merkur blades again, and since I think my brush was a pure badger, I would not go there again--ouch, tiny needles poking my face!

Interesting topic!
As for trends here, TOBS Sandlewood seems to be fairly common.

Maybe the shift from a can of "shaving cream" to TOBS which is still called "shaving cream" seemed most natural vs a shaving soap.
Ha, this is a fun thread topic to think about!
My first products were:
- Art of Shaving travel brush (the one from the small starter sets they would do)
- Parker 91R with Derby blades (way too aggressive of a razor for me to be starting with)
- Art of Shaving unscented and Anthony for Men creams
- not sure about aftershave, probably some kind of balm that came along with a cologne
I started shaving with a gillete contour razor and their canned foam. My father had the same razor and we split the packs of blades, making them pretty affordable.

A few years later i went to university, living in student digs. Got a part time job as a waiter and also one in a bar pouring drinks. Both expected you clean shaved. Carts were expensive, so i choose to try a DE razor set-up and bought;

A Wilkinson sword classic i'm sure - It was lost and replaced a few times.

I kept using the foam, switched to soaps & creams etc.. years later.
*Jumping into my way back machine* I started wet shaving in 1979 with a Gillette TracII, Rise shaving foam and Old Spice aftershave. I still have the TracII and use it on rare occasions. I sort of stepped back in time though. I ended up using my grandfathers 1959 Fatboy, his Old Spice mug from God knows when, Williams Soap (though I admit to using Barbasol Original from time to time as well as Palmolive shave cream in the tube), and Clubman Whiskey Woods, Skin Bracer, or Gables Bay Rum depending on the season.
In callow youth (early 1980s), my first "proper" razor was a black-handled Super Speed that I used with Gillette Spoiler blades and Colgate or Barbasol foam.

When I got back into wet shaving about a decade ago, I bought a Merkur 33C (the three-piece with a lighter, short handle) and used it with Cremo Creme and Merkur blades. I didn't take a shine to that setup and fairly quickly settled on other things.
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My first set-up about 6 years ago was:

Omega 10048
Derby (horrible experience)
Proraso Blue balm

I haven't kept any of the above in my den.
Used carts for years, with canned goo.
Tried electrics a couple of times.
First “proper” shaves were about a year ago.

Omega brush and soap combo with a Van Der Hagen TTO.

I still use the soap. The brush only occasionally and the VDH never.
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