If you've been looking for an excuse to pick up any great products from The Bearded Bastard (like their Tabac Black scent which is currently back in stock, if you missed out on the last drop), now you've got one. Because for a limited time, they're going to throw in a really cool lazer engraved beard brush, absolutely free, with every order! To get your brush, simply head over to thebeardedbastard.com, add the brush to your order, and enter code BASTARDBRUSH at check out! A deal this great wont last for long, so head over there right now and get your order in today!
Duke Cannon, makers of comically large soap bars, a really great hand lotion, and a remarkably okay entry level beard oil, are no strangers to working with beer in their formulations. Their Old Milwaukee sandalwood scented soap is a big time fan-favorite, and the Dechutes IPA version is nothing short of legendary...but to my knowledge, this might be the first time they've included beer in their beard-care products (I know they have a formulation that utilizes Buffalo Trace, one of my favorite whiskies, and back in the day before I had even thought up this site, I tried both the oil and balm...If memory serves, they were alright...but anyway, I'm getting way off topic here). With real Budweiser in the formulation, this latest collaboration includes a soap, beard oil, balm, and even a solid cologne. Now if you;re thinking to youreslf, "who in the hell wants to smell like Budweiser?" Not to worry because I'm told this product sports a pleasant cedar scent. The packaging might be some of the best in the entire Duke Cannon catalogue, and I'd imagine that this stuff is poised to be one of their new best sellers, considering the large fan base that both the Duke as well as The King of Beers have. The entire lineup is available for purchase right now at dukecannon.com, so head on over and check it out!
So if you're a regular visitor to this site, you already know how I do that thing where I qualify every review of a product not from a small-batch producer with something about how my intention when I started this site was to "try all kinds of beard care products, not just small batch, blah blah blah"...in fact, without looking back, I'm pretty sure I did it the other day, when I reviewed the beard serum from Beard Guyz (with a "z"). Well, even though I'm not in any way ashamed to admit that the hand-made indie brands are my favorite, I figure I probably shoudln't apologize for trying products from the big guys...so I'll round out this week with another one of those "consumer grade" products that you could just waltz on down to your local Target and have in your beard by bedtime tonight (and I won't even qualify it with the whole "my goal with this site is to review all kinds of beard-care products" thing...although I just kind of did it twice...but whatever).
You probably know Rebels Refinery from their really cool skull shaped lip balm...or their heart shaped lip balm...or their cactus shaped lip balm...or their pineapple shaped li---yeah, they make a lot of fun shaped lip balm containers, but they also make some decent face washes, lotions, and an exfoliator that I feel is one of the best in its price class. The company itself is based out of Canada, and like most skin care brands for guys, they pat themselves on the back for being some sort of no-frills, not too "fancy" experience, so as not to intimidate guys who consider themselves too "tough" or "cool" or whatever admit that they are serious about skin-care. They even go so far as to state on their website that they'll "never try to sell" us an $80 anti-aging cream, that is "nothing more than a basic moisturizer". I'm not sure if they are trying to say that at some point they may offer an $80 anti-aging cream that is something more than a basic moisturizer, or if they think the entire notion of such a cream at such a cost is ridiculous...either way, most of the products that I've tried from this company perform very well for their price. When you peel back the whole "we're not some French company" chest pounding (which I'm sure lands with some portion of their target audience, but I find reeks of overcompensation, and is somewhat eye-roll inducing), the company ethos seems to revolve around offering a natural product at a reasonable price, which is super commendable, they also seem to be big on charitable donations, so clearly this is a company with something of a conscience, which is always a great thing. Unfortunately in their vast grooming catalogue, they offer only one, single, lonely beard-care product, but it's a product that is readily available in the grooming aisle of your local Target store, as well as the men's section of your local ULTA, so I figured that it's worth trying, because it's always nice to check out products that you don't have to wait on USPS to deliver. Now I'm not wild about multi-taskers when it comes to my grooming products, but if you remember from the last time I reviewed a 2-in-1 beard oil/pre shave oil, I pointed out that the whole concept of such a beast seems to come down to clever marketing, as you could use just about any beard oil you wanted to as a pre-shave oil, so I don't necessarily think that there's anything in the formulation that will take away from the overall experience...but really, there's only one way to find out for sure...so let's give this stuff a try and see what we think...
There's a scent here, but it's not a big one, it just sort of hovers close to the surface, not offering much projection, but oddly enough, showing a good initial strength (that unfortunately plummets to near undetectable levels within minutes). There's a faint leather presence, like the scent left behind in the box that a new wallet came in. This mingles with a clean, vegetal freshness that hints at fresh cut grass wrapped around a juicy meyer lemon, dripping with tangy yellow juice and studded with sprigs of fresh rosemary. A faint, unlit incense accord snakes its way in between the other notes of this fragrance, never really stopping to be fully detectable, but adding a certain something extra to what is already there. This scent flirts with being brilliantly evocative, but then just stops before you have a chance to even get a proper introduction. It's just not quite challenging enough, like it's trying to be all things to all people. I'm not sure if the weird lack of projection, and rapidly fading strength level (seriously, good luck even smelling this stuff on yourself 30 minutes after application), were done on purpose, almost as if they were trying to make something that smells good but could still be used by people with sensitivities to scented products...but I can't help but think how much more I'd enjoy this product if the intensity of this scent were cranked up a little. I'm sure that there are other subtleties to be pulled from this fragrance, but good luck finding them without the assistance of that smell-o-scope thing that Professor Farnsworth was always using in Futurama.
How does it work?
Just like with any multi-tasker, I'm just going to grade the performance of this oil on how it works as a beard-care product...that being said, I must admit that it makes for one hell of a good pre shave oil. Thick and heavyweight, it lubricates the stubble that tends to develop at the edges of my beard and on my neck, and helps stand them up for a super close shave (Through the assistance of various YouTube videos, I've been teaching myself how to use a straight razor lately, and this stuff does a tremendous job of making that bad-boy glide across the edges of my beard, helping me achieve a razor straight, super clean line). This is all well-and-good, of course, but the question is, how does it work as a beard oil? To be honest, it's not bad, the same thickness that makes it such a good pre shave oil also ensures that it will do an outstanding job of getting deep down into my beard, coating each and every individual hair and reaching my skin, offering huge amounts of vitamin packed hydtarion. Readers of this site already know that castor is one of my all-around favorite carrier oils, and this stuff seems to include a good quality one which absorbs quickly, leaving my beard feeling strong and keeping shedding at a minimum. Conditioning properties are very good, imparting more softness than most mass-produced beard oils, and even helping to maintain a healthy feel...although I suspect if your beard is feeling like it could use some extra love, this isn't going to be the product to perk it up, but if you're starting with a beard that is already feeling pretty healthy, this stuff will help keep it feeling that way. Finishing properties are okay, imparting some shine, but more importantly than that, leaving no greasy feel whatsoever. Staying power is pretty good as well, requiring no reapplications on any of the days that I had it in-beard, although I suspect that if you're engaging in any sort of high-impact activities, your mileage may vary in this regard.
The Bottom Line
You know how if you ask anybody who makes a good craft beer what they think of the big guys like Coors, Budwiser and the like, they'll say something about how even if they don't dig the product they still respect what these big guys do...This stuff sort of reminds me of the beard-care equivalent of that, although I find the experience of using this stuff is infinitely more pleasant than drinking a Bud (no offense if that's your brand, I'm sure there are a lot of guys out there who feel the same way about the collection of IPAs and sours currently sitting in the bottom shelf of my fridge, so to each his own...it's all still better than no beer), it definitely has that "mass produced" feel about it. Of course, just because it's mass produced doesnt disqualify it from being good, will this stuff replace some of the more high-end small-batch oils in your rotation? Absolutely not...but does it represent a great option for guys who just want to run down to the store and pick up a decent product that will have their beard feeling pretty good? Most definitely! I'd hesitate to call this stuff a good value based on its MSRP, but luckily it (along with some other awesome Rebels Refinery products for skin and hair) is almost always on sale at my local Target, so I'd suspect the case to be the same at yours.
Ingredients: Almond oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, castor oil, frankincense, tea tree oil, rosemary, lemon, eucalyptus, orange sweet essential oils, vitamin E, natural fragrance
$18 at rebelsrefinery.com, although I picked up the oil sampled for this review at my local Target for $11
If you're a fan of Anointed AK's unique scent lineup, then this is a deal you can't miss. Their latest throwback thursday release is the agave and musk scented Cosmic, a fragrance that has become something of a legend in the time since its release last spring. For the rest of the day today, they're offering a full-sized beard oil in this fan favorite scent for the low, low price of just $10. This deal is only good until midnight, so head over to anointedak.com right now, enter code THROWBACK at check out and stock up on this great oil at an amazing price!
Having recently exploded onto the scene with a solid lineup of outstanding products (including a beard butter that isnt to be missed), The Bearded Mack is, without a doubt, a company on the rise. With the latest addition to their scent catalogue, they're looking to keep that upward trajectory going strong. Dubbed The Highlander Mack, this scent boasts complex notes of pink pepper, saffron, vetiver, and tonka. If that description sounds amazing to you (and why wouldn't it?) then head on over to thebeardedmackgroomingco.com today so that you can be among the first to give this new, exciting scent a try!
Whipped butters really seem to have taken the beard-care game by storm lately. While no well-rounded beard-care arsenal is complete without a good, dense poured butter, there's no denying that whipped butters are the current hottest trend in beard-care. It seems like darn-near every beard company out there is rolling out their own whipped butters, but one particular brand's whipped butter offering seems to consistantly garner high praise from in-the-know beardsmen; Ruddy Man Grooming...and with good reason. I recently had the flat-out pleasure of trying the Ringside scented Ruddy Whip from Ruddy Man Grooming, and let me tell you, it turned me into an even bigger fan of both this company, and whipped butters in general, than I already was. With a light, airy texture that offered dream-like in-beard feel, and a knockout scent that has become quite possibly my favorite from this company, it quickly became the product I reach for when I'm in the mood for a whipped butter. After trying this stuff, I couldn't wait to try more, for whatever reason this scent, dubbed Panther really seemed to jump out at me, if I'm being honest, when first reading about the components that make up this scent, they seemed to be haphazardly chosen, and I wasnt sure how they would work together...but this is precisely why I wanted to try it, you see, Ruddy Man has never let me down when it comes to their scents, and I figured that if anybody could make this combination work, it would be Jimmy AKA King Tingle, himself. There's no denying that the dude is a wizard when it comes to blending scents, and from my experience so far, a master at creating whipped butters. Let's give this product a try and see if he's done it again...
As I just touched on a moment ago, on paper, this seems like a fairly random combination of scents...but in execution, this stuff reads like a fresh, youthful cologne...absolutely brilliant. A natural woodsy presence expands in all directions from the center of this fragrance, not so much the smell of lumber or logs or little cardboard pinetrees hanging from your rear-view mirror, or whatever usually comes to mind when I say "woodsy", but rather the actual smell of being in the woods; earthy and green, piney and camphoraceous, with an implacable melange of leafy, vegetal notes swirling all around. This is freshened by bright, uplifting notes of lemon that only serve to crank up the "natural" mood of this scent. A fresh, floral lavender breeze gently blows over the top of the entire accord, adding a luxurious relaxing feel, so downright soothing, that if you close your eyes and concentrate hard enough, you might find yourself walking through a field of waist-high lavender plants under a clear blue sky on a mild spring afternoon. A nuanced base of tastefully executed patchouli brings an enchanting level of complexity, without ever being too heavy, or overpowering the many other delicate and balanced notes of this fragrance. Strength is somewhat difficult to pin down, reading as medium sometimes, and closer to medium plus at others. Staying power is phenominal lasting a solid eight hours or more every time I've worn it.
How does it work?
Just like the Ringside version of this product, a tiny bit goes a very long way. The lightness of this stuff is somewhat deceptive, as just the tiniest bit is more than enough to have my beard feeling wonderfully conditioned and soft as a cloud of pure spun silk. Absorption is incredible, leaving no trace of greasiness, just a super healthy in-beard feel. It does a tremendous job of sealing in whatever oil I applied underneath it, but I find that this stuff really excells as a night time butter (I'm sure any of the other scents would too, but there's something about the lavender in this stuff that just makes me think of night-time), keeping my face and beard feeling moisturized and protected all through the night. When I wake up in the morning my beard is still so soft and healthy feeling that I can confidently run a comb through it without fear of snags or breakage. Finishing properties are incredible, imparting a temendous shimmer that would make this an ideal butter for nights out (provided you werent looking for too much hold, because this stuff doesnt really offer any to speak of...but that's okay, since this product was clearly designed with a focus on health and in-beard feel, more than styling). Staying power is outstanding, keeping my beard feeling wonderfully strong and my face moisturized and itch free all day long on a single application.
The bottom line
In my last review of a Ruddy Man product, I said that everything I try from this company turns me into a bigger fan of what they do, and this whip is no exception. Offering an outstanding level of performance and a scent that could go toe to toe with some of the best colognes in my collection, this product definitely serves to make me even more excited about this company than I already was. This is a product that I cannot recommend highly enough. You may have tried whipped butters before, but until you try this particular one, you're missing out on the full whipped butter experience, flat out luxury in a jar!
Ingredients: Ingredients: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Essential Oils and Fragrant Oils
$25 at ruddymangrooming.com
Is it just me, or does this week feel like it's just chugging along at a snail's pace? I was just thinking to myself how I can't believe it's only Wednesday...and then I saw this great offer from Chesapeake Beard Co which instantly made me happy that it was still humpday! From now until midnight, enjoy 20% off of your entire Chesapeake Beard Co order using code HUMPDAY at checkout. So if you're looking to break up that mid-week monotany, head on over to cheasapeakebeard.com and treat yourself to some great beard-care products right now!
CBD infused beard care products are nothing new...in fact, the CBD infused leave-in from Scotch Porter is quite possibly one of my favorite beard care products ever...but when Fable Beard Co decided to roll out their own CBD infused offering, they wanted it to be a wholly unique experience, dubbed The Grower, this product boasts a scent profile of jasmine, apple, pear, amber, and oud, and a full 50MGs of full spectrum CBD in each product. With a full suite of products available, this is sure to become another instant classic from a label that has turned out more than a few up to this point. The entire Grower line is available for purchase now, so head on over to fablebeardcompany.com and pick some up for yourself!
If you're anything like me, one of your favorite parts of going to the grocery store is a quick walk down the clearance ailse. There's no telling what you'll find, sometimes you can score some big time come-ups; I once came a cross a bunch of bottles of Selvarey rum marked down to $10 each, I bought all but three (so as not to be a total dick, and let somebody else enjoy the deal too). The other day, I saw a whole boatload of Beard Guyz (you know, the company that makes the remarkably meh beard butter that I reviewed months ago, and spells their name wrong on purpose, because "speling wurdz rong om purpoz iz kool", or something) beard serum. Now I wasn't about to buy out their whole stock because I couldn't hardly see myself enjoying this product that much that I'd need a dozen bottles or so, especially considering the fact that I have more beard-care products than I could possibly use in multiple years sitting on a shelf in my master bathroom linen closet...but I figured that this would be a good opportunity to review something that I might not normally feel compelled to (the goal of this page is, after all, to review all types of beard care, not just small-batch indie brands). My last experience with this brand obviously wasn't the best, but this is a brand that does seem to have a bit of a following, so let's keep an open mind, and see if we aren't pleasantly surprised by this stuff...
Not much of a scent to speak of...which is good, considering the fact that their butter had this weird linseed oil funk to it. If I really focus, I get a sort of chemical-tinged-citrus, hairspray smell, but it's so faint that I'm not going to count it either way. If you're sensitive to strong scents, you should totally be in the clear with this stuff.
How does it work?
Upon opening this product, I was shocked by the apperance, it didn't look like anything else in my collection, it was this pale, thin, cloudy liquid that I honestly wasnt sure about putting in my beard, but I decided for the sake of this review I'd soldier on (In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit that I only used this stuff twice, but I feel like it told me everything about itself that it needed to know after just two applications). This jarring apperance, made me think...what exactly is a beard "serum" and how does it differentiate itself from a beard oil? I remember not being very wowed by the serum from Scotch Porter, but it still looked and acted like an oil. So I decided to do a little homework, on the Beard Guyz (with a "z") website, they didnt offer any answers, just they typical "blah blah blah you'll look so cool blah blah blah" that they seem to have as the description on every product page, and an allusion to the fact that their serum has a higher concentratin of *ugh* "grotein" (In case you missed my review of their butter, "grotein" is the incredibly cringey name that they have given to their proprietary carrier blend). After a bit more digging, I came to the conclusion that there is really no solid definition as to what a beard "Serum" really is, some companies use the name for oils with heavier weight designed for finishing and taming fly-aways, others assign it to whatever snake-oil bullshit they're hucking, that promises to give you the beard of Zeus and add an inch to your ding-dong (just kidding about that last part, but that's how ridiculoulous some of these "put this junk on your beard and watch it grow overnight" claims are...obviously you are all smart enough to know that most beard growth products are bullshit, just take care of your beard, take a good suppliment, drink plenty of water, and your beard will grow just fine...anyway, I'm getting way off track here).
So we can surmise that this particular serum is just beard oil with enough "grotein" in it to turn it cloudy...but what does that translate to when it comes to performance? Well, I'd stop short of saying that performance is anywhing to scream about, but at the same time, this stuff isn't terrible. Tactile slip is actually outstanding (in fact I had to scan through the comically long list of ingredients just to make sure that there was no silicone in this stuff), and absorption is very good. Viscosity is pretty low, and as such it doesnt really feel like a normal dose is enough to get deep down into my beard. It seems to offer a bit of protection, but doesn't do much in terms of making my skin feel hydrated or nourished. Conditioning is okay, imparting some softness to my beard, but again, nothing to get too excited about...it's just "okay". One ingredient in particular had me curious as to whether or not the person who formulated this stuff has a beard; alcohol...So, every now an then you'll see something with "alcohol" in the name on the back of a beard care product, and it usually refers to an alcohol in the scientific sense (any organic compound with a carbon molecule bonded to a hydroxyl group), you'll find these in certain fragrances, and they are generally harmless...but this is something else, this is straight up alcohol, like the rubbing variety, which only serves to dry skin and hair and doesnt offer any beneficial properties for your beard, so it doesn't make sense as to why it's even there...but whatever, maybe it's the secret ingredient in "grotein" or something. Staying power is so-so, definitely the kind of product that will have you reaching for a reapplication or two throughout the course of a day.
The bottom line
The more products I review, the less respect I have for products that treat the customer like they're stupid. The whole "grotein" thing irritates me a bit more than it probably should, but still, I prefer when a company doesn't assume that their customers are idiots (especially those who may not know any better). That being said, this isnt the worst product I've ever tried (far from the best though, that's for sure). Would I recommend this to...well...anybody? Probably not...but I suppose if you happen to see it in the clearance section of your local grocery store marked down to the price of a Snickers bar, and curiosity gets the better of you, you definintely won't feel like you didn't get your money's worth.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Pisum Sativum Sprout Extract, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Arginine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Triethyl Citrate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzoic Acid, D-Limonene, Linalool.
$9.99 at beardguyz.com
Savage Mane has been putting in extra hours working to get their new repackaged, reformulated products into the hands of as many bearded dudes as possible. This latest promotion of theirs will surely help spread the word. For every item you order on savagemanebeardco.com, they're going to give you one for free! Simply add any two items to your cart (you can mix and match), enter code COALITION at check out to enjoy this great BOGO deal! You can use this code as amy times as you'd like, and as always, they'll pick up the tab for shipping to the lower 48, so head on over and stock up on some great Savage Mane products right now!