We just got in a reorder of our Truefitt & Hill shaving products. If you're not familar, Truefitt & Hill is England's oldest and best barber. We offer from their preshave oil, $30 (to soothe the skin and allow the razor to glide more easily over the skin), their shave creams (from $21 - $30) in scented and unscented varieties, aftershave balm (from $32 - $42) and their hardware, namely brushes and razors. Truefitt & Hill is not just for guys. Women who use it - love it.
Cindy Crawford is a huge fan of Truefitt & Hill
Using a brush is a key first step to a great shave. Not only do you get a better lather, you need less shave cream than if you just use your hands (so it's more economical) and the brush exfoliates the skin, softens the whiskers and thus prevents razor burn. Plus, it's very relaxing and more enjoyable to lather up with a nice brush than spraying the cold foam from the can in your hand. Our badger brushes start at $40. They are Chinese badger and thus are harvested for their meat not just their fur.
(You'll notice I skipped the preshave oil part. Some clients swear by it. I find that the shave cream has enough natural oils in it and offers enough lubrication. Plus I find the oil a little on the messy side. But don't let me discourage you from trying it as you may love it.)
I have been using a brush to shave and a good quality shave cream for nearly 15 years now and I would never go back to the can. I started with the soap in the bowl from Floris (another English apothecary) but much prefer the shave cream as it is more moisturizing). We have samples of the unscented shave cream here for you to try. But to give it justice - I strongly recommend using a brush. You won't regret it.