hey Achilles, there are a million creams and soaps out there to try, but I'll save you the headache of going through the learning curve that is badgerandblade. Proraso green (tube) is cheap (under $10) and works great. If you want to upgrade ($20-30) then try any of the "three T's" (Taylors, Trumpers, Truefit and Hill). Personally I found Trumper's Coconut, and Tailor's Rose, or I happen to like Eton College, and Almond gets good reviews too. Truefitt and Trumpers are pricier, and Taylors uses the same cream/consistency for all scents so I prefer them. And then there's also Art of Shaving, which are a bit overpriced but do work quite well and aren't hard to use. As for soaps, I'm not a big fan but Tabac is quite cheap, works great, and will last you forever. short - buy Proraso green tube, Trumper's Coconut or AOS Sandlewood cream, and Tabacs soap. Take 3-4 months of practice and see if you want to get into it more.