Purchased a Gem 1912 off eBay last week and received it today. While it was on its way i went out and bought some Noxzema sensitive (Red can), Noxzema classic cold cream for a pre shave layer and some Gem blades. I wanted to try this brushless and on a budget. I've never used a pre shave and was never fond of oil. I have read some good things about using Noxzema as a pre shave and I do love the smell so why not? I've never used an SE and was nervous since the Gem is intimidating. This passed once I started shaving. This combo gave me the most comfortable shave I've ever had. I finished up with some aqua velva musk and had zero sting from it. I've never experienced that before. The Noxzema cleansing cream felt great on my skin, especially on my second pass. The jury is still out on the shave cream but the combo worked good. Just not sure if it was more the pre shave than the shave cream. My next step is trying a Maggards MR1 with a V3 head to see the comparisons between an SE and a DE. The biggest thing I noticed with the GEM was how solid the razor and blade felt while cutting. After I compare razors I'll throw in a brush and a better cream. For now, this was just an experiment on tool vs pre shave routine.