"Through the darkness of future's past, The magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds...'Fire Walk With Me'..."
Okay you'll forgive me for letting my inner Twin Peaks nerd off the leash...but, this one has me pretty excited! If you've spent the better part of your adult life quoting Agent Cooper whenever you have good cup of coffee, and your dream house (should you ever fall ass-backwards into a ton of dough) involves at least one room decorated in red drapes with a black and white herringbone pattern floor, then Last Looks Grooming has you so covered right now...their latest scent drop, described as "a woodsy coffee with hints of cherry pie" is appropriately named The Black Lodge, and is available on their site right now. so if you believe that "every day, once a day, you should give yourself a present", then head over to lastlooksgrooming.com and grab yourself an oil, balm, or butter in this scent right now!
As we continue to sift through the deluge of deals that have floodedall of our inboxes theis weekend, it can be difficult to pick out the best ones. Artius Man, makers of perhaps the best smelling Bay Rum oil in the history of beard care are offering one of the best I've seen this weekend. Head over to artiusman.com enter code CYBER33 at checkout and enjoy 33% off of your entire order! There has never been a better time to stock up on their thick, luxurious oils, and their amazing smelling washes, so if you're shopping for yourself, or buying gifts for that special bearded someone, this is a deal that is too good to pass up!
As a special holiday surprise to the bearded community, The Bearded Bastard (makers of V&T seasonal go-to Ho, Ho, Ho! oil) is releasing their fan favorite Rum Runner oil for an extremely limited engagement today. This stuff never hangs around long after release, so make sure you head over to thebeardedbastard.com right now and pick yours up! Because there's a good chance that it'll be quite a while before you can get your hands on this stuff again...
I trust that everybody is spending today moving a bit more slowly than usual...the combination of turkey, wine, ham, stuffing (soooo much stuffing), and all the other goodies did a number on you yesterday...and now, here we all are the day after, sprawled out on the couch, in our finest sweatpants and tee-shirts, zero motivation to do anything but watch TV (if you haven't seen The Irishman yet, it's awesome, and well worth the nearly four hour runtime), alternate between drinking plenty of water and plenty of coffee to fight back the hangover, and of course stuff our faces with leftovers. The only thing better than turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce and cold mashed potatoes, is eating that last little bit of pie straight from the pan. Perhaps the most essential part of any holiday feast, is pie, I mean, it's great any time of year, but there's such an indelible link between this time of year and the dessert...a delicious, apple, pumpkin, pecan, or berry pie is just as much a part of the holiday season as boozy breathed mall santas creeping out children and grownups alike, or hiding presents in that one coat closet in your front room that never gets used for anything else, or ducking into in the garage to watch basketball on your phone and get away from the cacophony of a noisy holiday party. With the bevy of holiday themed beard-care products available right now, it does make you wonder why there isn't a pie scented product for us to add a little holiday cheer to our beards. Enter Barn Brand Beards with this product, appropriately named Baked; a pie scented balm that does us one better than the typical holiday scented offerings as it is readily available year round. Will this product be just what I needed for my holiday rotation? Let's give it a try and find out!
While not intended to be strictly a holiday scent, it may be tough to find a product offering a more "festive" bouquet, on the market today. The complexity of this scent slowly emerges over the course of a day, as initial tightly wound notes of berry yield to a dense, warm baked apple and cinammon aroma, tempered by a hint of heady perfume reminiscent of violet. A brilliantly balanced chord of pumpkin spice rides a hard line of sweet pipe smoke in an effortless manner, settling wonderfully into a savory nuttiness that seems to heighten the warmth of this scent. As the day wears on, ethereal tones of black currant, sweet leather, butterscotch, and bright, tart cranberry weave in and out of focus. A lively, festive scent that exhudes a gourmand appeal which works brilliantly as a holiday scent, but could just as easily be worn to a summer cookout. Strength is a hint above medium, and staying power is excellent, remaining brilliantly noticable and creating an awesome silliage that is guaranteed to turn heads all day long. For an extremely appealing combination, layer this stuff over The Fantastic Bastard oil by Luxurious Bastard, and be prepared to be told how amazing you smell, over and over again!
How does it work?
A wonderfully smooth balm that melts quickly, and works into my beard with ease. Absorption is fantastic, leaving absolutely no greasiness or residue. Conditioning properties are other-worldly, imparting a natural softness that you just don't normally get from a balm. The combination of nutrient rich pomegranite oil and emu oil, dense in omegas and other beneficial fatty acids, provide the perfect one-two punch in keeping my beard and face feeling absolutely amazing. The lightweight in-beard feel belies the tremendous hold this product offers (I would place the level of hold squarely in the medium-plus category), and its incredible staying power (lasting all day long with zero itch or dryness). A wonderfully functional balm that does everything it's supposed to!
The bottom line
Every now and then you find a product that you didnt even know you needed. This is one of those products, a balm that serves as a better holiday scent than most holiday scents out there. Big Tex and Barn Brand Beards have hit another homerun, creating a scent that is not only the perfect addition to any winter rotation, but a fantastic gourmand balm that can lend an air of festivity to any time of year. The scent alone is reason enough to add this product to your collection, but on top of that, the performance is exceptional, living up to the incredibly high bar set by this company, further solidifying Barn Brand's reputation for offering a nearly impossible level of quality and value!
Ingredients: Ivory Shea butter, Alabama Beeswax, Mango butter, Kokum butter, Mct oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Liquid Lanolin, Anhydrous Lanolin, Watermelon Seed Oil, BTMS-50 Conditioning Wax, Emu Oil, Vitamin E, Shea Nut Oil, and Castor Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Essential/fragrance oils.
$8 at barnbrandbeards.com
Black Friday deals are coming at us fast and furious today...If your inbox is anything like mine, then today you've been inundated by great discount emails every single company that you've ever purchased anything from. So it's kind of easy to miss a good one here or there. One deal that definitely shouldnt be overlooked is this amazing offer from The Beard Baron; they are currently offering 25% off of EVERYTHING on their site, not just beard care but their awesome colognes and lifestyle items as well, and if that werent enough, they're covering the cost of shipping on every single order. So if you're shopping for that special beardsman in your life (or maybe just treating yourself to some good stuff to help ease the stress of the holiday season), head on over to thebeardbaron.com, use code BFCM2019 and enjoy the great savings!
Happy Thanksgiving form the V&T family to yours! I hope your day is an awesome one, and you and yours experience a bountiful holiday season!
We are sure to be seeing some great deals rolling out over the next couple of days, but Premium Beards by W&B, may have already rolled out the deal of the season! Offering 51% off of every single product on their site starting tomorrow! This deal runs through December 2nd, and no code is required, so make sure you head over to premiumbeards.com first thing tomorrow and stock up!
Ruddy Man Grooming's Moscow Morning Oil, which I first tried a few weeks ago, has quickly become one of my favorite scents this season, so it only stands to reason that I need to check out some other offerings from this company. After peruisng their website, one thing becomes incredibly obvious about this company...they don't do basic scents...they really seem to take pride in pushing the olfactory envelope, which is, of course, awesome, but can also make it difficult to settle on just one product at a time to try. After reading the descriptions for scent after scent, each more enticing than the last, I finally settled on the next Ruddy Man creation that I needed to try. Created as an omage to old school billiard-halls from a bygone era, their Corner Pocket scent immediately caught my attention, not only as a fun product to review, but also something that I may want to add to my regular rotation. So will it be another instant hit like Moscow Morning? Or will I need to go back to the Ruddy Man catalogue to try and find something else? Let's give it a try and find out?
I havent set foot in a pool-hall in probably a decade, and maybe my pool-hall experience was different than others, but I remember three very different places that I would frequent depending upon which circle of friends I happened to be hanging around with that day...one was this weird sort of neon and stainless steel monstrosity where upwardly mobile young professionals would congregate to show off how impressed they were with themselves while, without the slightest hint of irony, sipping on dollar beers...another was this dark cavernous, thunderdome, where droning punk rock filled the air almost as thickly as stale cigarette smoke and the omninous feeling that a fight could break out at any second (that place was the most fun)...the last was this kind of modern spot completely devoid of personality (like if you could imagine a chain restaurant concept applied to pool-halls), just rows and rows of coin-op tables, a bar that never had an interesting beer on tap and exactly three whiskey choices (Jack, Crown, and some plastic bottle rotgut which pretty much guaranteed that at one point or another, you'd need to babysit that one friend who liked to order "whatever's cheap"), and a very random playlist of music that ranged from hip-hop to country, with no rhyme or reason to any of it...these places were all as different as can be, but one thing is for certain, when you walked into any of them and took a deep breath, you didn't think to yourself "hmmmm...I'd like to smell like this". With that being said, there is definitely something familiar and almost nostalgic about this scent, it doenst draw up mental images of leaning over a Brunswick table in a dimly lit bar or anything, but at the same time, it is a scent that makes me think of the days when I spent a little more time in such places.
A floral, sort of incensy accord provides instant appeal. A toasty, almost charred whiskey barrel note breaks sharply from the initial chord and provides a hint of power, but quickly calms down to something much more charming as is eases back into that sweet heady incense, which seems to solidify into a core of something pleasantly astringent with an edge of fruitiness like a dried currant black tea (again, I'm finding tea notes in a Ruddy Man product...go figure), before making the softest landing on a bed of relaxing, creamy vanilla and something that I kind of want to say reminds me of charcoal (but I wouldnt swear to it). There is a brilliant old-school feel that I get from this scent, almost reminiscent of one of the many magical potions a barber has parked along the mirror ledge in his station, but with a sophisticated edge that borders on dark and dramatic, in the most wonderful way. Strength is juuuuust shy of medium-plus, but stilly plenty strong. Staying power is fantastic as this scent not only lasts all day, but continues to open up and evolve as the day goes on, like a fine wine.
How does it work?
I kind of feel like my review of Moscow Morning read as a bit negative when it came to performance, and I certainly don't want people to think that I didn't like it, because it performs really well...but...The same issue (if you can really even all it that) I had with that product is what I have with this one; this is a very good oil, but I just feel like it's missing that little bit of "somehting" to take it to an entirely different level of performance...maybe a bit of hemp oil? maybe avocado? I'm not quite sure, and I damn sure am not going to complain about the way this stuff works, because it conditions like a dream, leaving my beard and face feeling incredibly healthy and nourished. Occlusive properties are off the charts (I used this stuff after conditioning with my all time favorite conditioner by Detroit Grooming, and let me tell you, those two provided a one-two punch that had my beard feeling smooth as silk all day long), and it does a great job of keeping my face hydrated. Maybe I'm just being selfish, but I keep going back to thinking that an oil which smells this amazing could easily go from being very good, to being legendary with just the slightest little boost from an ultra high performing component in the carrier blend. Either way, this stuff still works incredibly well, imparting a wonderful finished look in the form of a great shine, without even the slightest trace of greasiness, and lasts all day long on a single application, able to stand up to the chilly winter weather with ease. Definitely a qulity oil from a performance standpoint.
The bottom line
After trying only two of their oils, I can say without a doubt that I am a fan of Ruddy Man Grooming. With an absolutely amazing scent that is versatile enough to be worn out shooting pool at the local bucket-of-blood where your buddy's band is performing, or playing nine-ball like a true gentleman, at a classy function hosted by your rich friend with the palatial home, this stuff is never out of place. Performance is on par with many quality oils out there. From a value standpoint, this product treads into the pricier end of the pool, but it appears to currently be on sale (plus Ruddy Man has been hinting at offering some Black Friday deals), so now is the perfect time to add this product to your collection, trust me, after you use it just once, you'll be glad you picked it up!
Ingredients: Fractionated Coconut Oil, Golden Jojoba Oil, Moroccan Argan Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Essential and Fragrance Oils
$24 at ruddymangrooming.com
It seems that everybody is dropping something special for this holiday season, and luxury beard-care titan Beardbrand, is getting in on the fun too! The above post popped up on their facebook page earlier today, hinting at "something new", and judging by the symbols on the boxes (are those boxes? who can say for sure...), it looks like this something new is part of their fan favorite silver line. We wont have to wait long to find out what this somehting new is, as they are planning to release it next week. Whatever it is, you already know it'll probably sell out upon initial release, so make sure that you sign up for the mailing list at beardbrand.com so that you can be pone of the first to know when you can get your hands on whatever it is!
With a sterling reputation as one of the best beard butters on the market today, the Fresh Beards offering has been reviewed multiple times on this site, and never fallen short of top marks. The 1920 butter still gets heavy rotation in my lineup, probably more than any butter I've ever owned...the Dark Roast is also legendary, but perhaps a bit more limiting in its scent profile (but seriously, if you dig coffee scents, you need to own that one). So I was already excited to try this awesome butter in a new scent, and when they were featuring their Recon scent earlier this month...that was all the motivation I needed to do another Fresh Beards review. Now the thing that's super cool about this offering is that if you purchase their Recon Package deal, Fresh Beards will make a donation to the PTSD Foundation of America, an organization dedicated to helping our brave military men and women, to work their way through some of the psychological trauma that they may have sustained defending our way of life. As a friend of several veterans who have been very candid with me about their struggles with PTSD, I cannot stress enough the importance of organizations like this, not only for these wounded warriors, but also their families. So we already know that this product supports a great cause, but now, let's give it a try and see how it works...
Described as fresh cut pine, this product is an accurate, albeit somewhat basic, approximation of a newly split pine log. You wont find any car air-freshner interpretations of "pine" nor will you find any overly dramatic, perfumey, Christmas tree scents here...no, what you're going to get in this product is an honest-to-goodness, clean, fresh, camphoraceous note, so dead-on accurate, that you'll swear your hands are sticky with sap, your lungh are chilled with clean, mountain air, and there are a few dried needles stuck in your beard by the time you're done applying this product. Being so faithful to a singular profile, does mean sacrificing a bit of depth, this scent is all pine, all the time, no accents peeking out to add a hint of dimension here or there, it's a very straightforward which lends a ton of versatility when it comes to scent layering (for a great holiday combination, try layering this over the oh, so awesome Ho, Ho, Ho! oil by The Bearded Bastard...or for an insanely rugged combination that'll have you feel like you just built a log cabin with your bare hands, follow up the Italian Leather oil by Nicholas Beard Works with a bit of this stuff). Strength is in the medium-minus-to-medium range, and staying power is good, but could be a bit better (you'll get a few good hours out of this, but you won't be smelling it by the evening if you put this on in the morning).
How does it work?
We already know that Fresh Beards makes some of the best butters around so there's no need to go over how silky smooth the texture of this shea based product is, or how it beautifully melts between the palms of your hands...definitely no need to talk about how easily it works into your beard or its wonderful absorption. We've already discussed it's awesome conditioning abilities and the ridiculously wonderful in-beard feel that this product imparts, so there's really no need to cover it again. Of course it would be absolutely redundant to talk yet again about how smoothly this product combs through my beard, or how nourished it leaves my face and beard, without the slightest trace of greasiness. No, instead, I'll just say that this butter works just as well as the others I've tried. Hold is as good as one can expect form a butter, and staying power is fantastic, requiring no touchups all day long.
The bottom line
Now, you already know that any butter with the Fresh Beards name on the package is going to be a great one, but this one is special in that by purchasing it, you can help support a very important cause. From a scent standpoint, this stuff is good, but perhaps not my favorite in the Fresh Beards portfolio...and the performance, as always can't be beat...all in all, a product that is definitely worth purchasing!
Ingredients: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Fragrance Oils
$19.99 at freshbeards.com