Is it better to build lather in a bowl?
Building a lather can be done in a bowl, in your hand, or on your face. Many users of shaving soaps prefer to lather directly on their faces because it's easier to load a wet brush with soap by buffing it against the puck and then building the lather directly on the face. On the contrary, shaving creams tend to work best in bowls because you can more easily control the amount of water that you are adding to the cream. You don't want to lather inside your shaving cream tub since that will make all of your cream runny and you'll use a lot more cream than you'll actually need for one shave. Or, as an alternative to a bowl, I've found that using the palm of my hand is a great way to lather creams, especially those that are very dense in texture. Dense creams are often difficult to lather in a bowl because it can swirl around the perimeter of the bowl, whereas in my hand it loads nicely into the brush to form a usable lather. See pictures of palm and face lathering in Tutorial: Creating Lather with the Load/Hydrate Technique.