In the past I didn't have good luck with creams but here's what I did with Bigelow. Used a little with a porcelain swirled-bottom mug. Went both clockwise and CCW with the brush. Added more cream and went in the 90 and 180 directing across the swirls until the cream was thick and slick. Great cream. One Amazon reviewer preferred it to the Proraso. FYI the water here is hard too. $10 a tube on Amazon.