I have used a variety of soaps and creams and different methods of making and applying lather. More and more now, I use creams and make my lather in a bowl using just the tips of the brush. I then most often just gently paint on the lather using the tips of the brush in sweeping movements from side to side across my face from my ears to the centre on both sides. It feels very luxurious compared with a vigorous session of face lathering with circular scrubby motions. I still do that sometimes, but no so often as I used to.
And I don't overdo the amount of lather like I often did when I went back to DE shaving. Not too little but not too much.
But on the other hand, whichever method I use, I still get a pretty good shave. As always - to each his own!
I took this photo from an article about lathering on Shaving 101. Here's an interesting post about the use of shaving bowls: