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Wet Shaving Newbie

Hi everyone, checking in from Singapore. I am planning to pick up wet shaving but would like some advice on my proposed starter kit. I have done my a fair bit of research and have decided to get the following items. Would like some feedback or advice from any experienced wet shavers. I am of the belief that I would only want to get 1 or max 2 razors in my lifetime and do not mind shelling out a bit more cash to get something good that will last rather than "upgrading" my starter kit. I have super sensitive skin that is really prone to eczema and flaking. I'd also appreciate any website recommendations that I can get good deals on these items.

Here are the items:
Edwin Jagger Porcelain Shave Soap Bowl (If I'm using cream is this necessary?)
Omega 636 Silvertip Badger Shaving Brush or Parker Silvertip (Comments and suggestions)
Castle Forbes Lavender Oil Aftershave Balm
Castle Forbes Lavender Oil Shaving Cream

Astra SP or Derby (Seen that these 2 are the most recommended for sensitive skin)
Gilette Black Beauty in Gold (1969) or Mergress Long Handle (This is what I can't decide on)

I am however really undecided on the DE razor that I want to get (Ideally it would be both) but that would burn a considerable hole in my pocket. Essentially one is a used vintage razor and the other is brand new but apparently, these are both excellent adjustable razors.

Prof. Moriarty

Welcome to B&B.

Looks like a nice setup. I'd do away with the shave soap bowl, and the barbicide.
Brush wise personally I'd go for a nice boar brush like a Semogue or Omega.
I'd get a blade sampler pack to see what blades work for you.
Razor wise I haven't tried either of those, I really like the Edwin Jagger DE87.

At the end of the day whatever you go for it is all down to technique.
Hello and welcome. Great to have you here on B&B. Wander on over to the Hall of Fame and introduce yourself.
I can't talk to the Mergress, but any Gillette adjustable (in good mechanical condition) would be a great razor for a beginner thru experienced wet shaver. As far as 1 or max 2 razors in your lifetime goes, good luck with that. :001_rolle

Get yourself a blade sampler pack. Just because a blade works great for me, doesn't mean it will work the same for you, even if we both have sensitive skin. tryablade.com has a great sampler I highly recommend.
The shave bowl is t necessary. You can lather in the palm of your hand, or directly on your face, but I prefer a bowl so I don't have to rinse my hand, plus I keep the brush in it for my 2nd pass since it stays loaded with cream or soap
I would go with the Astra SP blades. I have both razors and I get a better smoother shave with the Merkur.
Welcome to B&B!

The Mergress is a wonderful razor, and the fact that it's adjustable should be a big plus at the start.
Any bowl can work, but the size is the big question. I always suggest you raid the kitchen and try out a few different sizes. If your cereal bowl is the winner you can just use that, or find a bowl that approximates the size. I use a scuttle as I prefer warm lather. Lots of people use their face as a bowl:001_huh:, so there are lots of good possibilities.

I'd also skip the barbicide.

Castle Forbes is absolutely top shelf stuff - great choice: easy to lather, good face feel and very little product required for a bowl of lather.

Derby blades - very dull, Astra SP - pretty sharp. That does almost cover the extremes, but I think you'd be better served with a blade sampler. You might like a dull blade, or you might like a very sharp blade.

I have a big Parker silvertip and it's a lather hog. I would not recommend a Parker. I prefer an SOC boar, but that doesn't mean you will. Your Omega choice is a good one.

You might want to consider adding a bottle of WH and/or an alum block - both cheap.
Welcome to B&B.
I wouldn't bother with the shave bowl or Barbicide. Any small pudding bowl will do to create lather in, if you don't face lather, and all it takes to keep a razor clean is warm water and dish soap. For blades, I would get a sampler pack and work methodically through them to find which suits you; some people with sensitive skin find very sharp blades like Feather or Kai work best. Both razors are good, at least by repute, although the Merkur is made from plated zamac, and this material has been known to fail. A stainless steel razor might be the way to go, in that these will really last a lifetime; something like the Rockwell 6S, which is "adjustable" in its own way, or the Muhle Rocca, which isn't outrageously expensive.


Moderator Emeritus
Welcome to B&B.

I own two Megress razors, a long handled and short handled one. Both are excellent razors.

Personal opinion, the Castle Forbes shaving cream is great, but skip their aftershave balm. Get some Lucky Tiger Face Wash to clean your face before the shave (works well, keeps the skin hydrated, and I've seen a number of reviews from people who have skin problems saying that it works wonders). Get some Thayer's Alcohol-free Witch Hazel for a post shave, use it everyday whether you shave or not, it'll help with flaking skin.
Welcome to B&B, Good Luck with the search.
Razors , Blades, and such are all personnel items .
Gillette Black Beauty's are wonderful Razors
Welcome aboard amigo.... Plenty of good advice above. The Mergress is a top of the line adjustable. Many here swear by it. Either way, enjoy the journey...:thumbup1:
Here are the items:
Edwin Jagger Porcelain Shave Soap Bowl (If I'm using cream is this necessary?)
As near as I can tell from the vendor descriptions, it does not have any textures on inside the bowl. I prefer bowl lathering, whether it's with cream or soap, but save yourself big bucks by getting a bowl from a second-hand thrift shop, or a dollar store. Get a couple of them, until you find one that works for you. My current favourite is a stainless steel bowl from a Superstore, for less than 3-4 dollars.
Brush wise personally I'd go for a nice boar brush like a Semogue or Omega.
From what I've read, boar brushes smell worse than badger brushes right? And it seems that boar brushes don't fully lose the smell.. Do correct me if I'm wrong.
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