and by deep end I mean I ditched my old razor for a merkur razor and blades, a brush and some shave soap. I've been looking at mantic's shave videos off and on as well and that is some VERY informative stuff! My shave brush is boar bristle which I think is hindering my lather capabilities, and I'm not sure on the soap (the brush and soap came from a walgreens close to my home... cant remember the brand). I figured they would be a good cheap way of starting out and I was right. so far its not bad but I am rapidly wishing I had a badger hair brush. I've also not heard great things about merkur's razor blades, one question I have is how long do you generally use the same blade before you dump it and replace? thanks for the help!