I am primarily a straight razor shaver, but I also dabble in DE shaving. While about 99% of my brushes are badger, I also have a lovely boar. I have over thirty different aftershaves, but find myself using only a handful. This article will share why I use what I use.
Straight Razor: Tim Zowada Damascus
The straight razor I prefer using is a 6/8" Tim Zowada Damascus with Rose Burl Scales. This lovely blade was a limited edition blade with a production run of only twenty. I always seem to come back to this blade. While the scales have warped somewhat, it doesn't really matter to me. The grain of Damascus is stunning, and the blade itself holds a superb edge. I prefer to strop all my razors on a Tony Miller 2 ½" Latigo Strop. Unfortunately Mr. Miller isn't making strops at the moment, but when he starts, buy one or two.
Shaving Brushes: Semogue Limited Edition Boar and Simpsons Polo 10
Choosing my favorite brush is a real conundrum. I have to throw in my Semogue Limited Edition boar brush in the mix, but it is no longer available. I also really like my Simpson Polo 10 in two-band super badger. It's a big brush. The handle is quite impressive as well as the actual working surface of the badger, but it's not overpowering. It is soft at the tips, but retains enough backbone to provide the scrubbing action that I enjoy. It isn't for the faint of heart when it comes to price, but I wouldn't be without it.
Shaving Soaps: P.160 Mobido and Tabac
Soaps and Creams are a bit tricky. I find myself using the P.160 Morbido daily, but this soap can be difficult to find. I would have to give my vote towards Tabac. This is the soap that I go to when testing out brushes and new razors. It provides a very nice lather that never gives me issues. Some state that the smell can be off, and I thought that at first, too, but I would highly recommend a true week worth of use before writing this soap off.
Aftershaves: Floid Italian, Pinaud Clubman, D.R. Harris Pink, and Proraso
Aftershaves, aftershaves, and more aftershaves. I have over thirty aftershaves, and they are all great in one way or another. I rate Floid Italian, Pinaud Clubman, DR Harris Pink, and Proraso as some of the ones that I always reach for. With that being said, if I had to pick one, it would be the DR Harris Pink. It doesn't contain any alcohol, and for me is very tender on the skin. It helps to smooth any irritation that I might have. It does contain a faint rose scent that diminishes after a few minutes so it won't impede on your colognes. I would also follow that up with the Harris Aftershave Milk. This is a very moisturizing balm/lotion. It is a great compliment to the aftershave for increased protection after a shave.
These are all my favorites at this time, but I have heard about other creams, such as Acca Kappa, that are suppose to be great. There are always new custom straight razor makers, such as Charlie Lewis or Alex Jacques, coming out with new innovations, and strop makers like Ambrose are doing incredible work. There is a plethora of choices one is able to make. Most importantly, use what works for you.