If you read my review of Beardbrand's amazing Stone Mason beard softener a few weeks back, then you already know that I am absolutely hooked on this scent. Easily Beardbrand's greatest effort to date, it goes without saying that this stuff smells amazing! With that in mind, I had to pick up some other products in this scent, so I guess that means you're getting another Stone Mason review...I mean, didn't Maye West say something about too much of a good thing being wonderful...or something like that? At least that's how I remember it from the placemats at the Spaghetti Factory when I was a kid. Aside from the obvious good-thing-ness of another Stone Mason review, this also serves another purpose, as I've actually never tried Beardbrand's utility balms, I've used their styling balm before, but somehow missed using its far more popular cousin. We already know I'm going to dig the scent, but will this become a product that I'm constantly reaching for, like the matching conditioner? Of course, you know that there's only one way to find out...let's give it a try!
Obviously very similar to the conditioner, but the leather in this reads a bit different. It feels as if the masculine appeal has been cranked up just a bit in this particular permutation. Where the last product I tried in this profile had a massive redolence of soft, luxurious suede, the balm emerges as more of a well aged leather, like that perfectly broken in jacket that I'm no longer young and handsome enough, and not yet old and ugly enough to wear. There is less of a straightforward sandalwood in this particular scent too, instead this scent is supported by a mineralic, almost industrial aura that when combined with the upfront well-worn leather, conjures up mental images of that cabinet in your favorite vintage bookstore where all the old, valuable leatherbound copies are held. Just above this, flinting around gracefully is an evanescent suggestion of never-too-heavy sawdust, just a hint, like the smell that greets you when you first step into an old toolshed. A brilliant compliment to the conditioner, that is at once, very similar, and still its own destinct scent that blends beautifully with a wide variety of oils (today I have it paired with Bibliophile by Anointed AK, just to play up that whole "old book" feel, and let me tell you, it's a legendary combination). Strength is a whisper below medium, but no so light that you don't pick up hints of it throughout the day. Staying power is good, still quite detectable a full 6-8 hours after application.
How does it work?
So it's been a while since I've broken out the Beardbrand styling balm, but I remember it being pretty different in texture from a traditonal beard balm, this on the onther hand, is more along the lines of what one might expect from a beard balm in texture. Soft enough that it can be scooped out without the assistance of a pick, this stuff melts with a brilliant ease. Formulated with generous amounts of shea and mango seed butters, this product delivers a really solid level of conditioning for a balm, leaving my beard feeling moisturized and soft...but where this stuff really seems to excel is in-beard feel, as it is extremely lightweight for a balm, leaving behind absolutely zero greasy or sticky feel, and not even a hint of "crunchiness", it honestly almost feels like I'm not wearing a balm at all. Hold is decent, although this product might not be enough to tame your beard on days when it really insists on misbehaving. Staying power is very good, delivering that great, healthy feeling all day long with zero need for reapplication.
Also worth noting (although it has no impact on this product's overall final score), even though my beard just loves this stuff, another great use for it is as a hand balm. Since it has a bit less wax than most beard balms, it doesn't leave my hands feeling sticky...and with the cold, chappy February days playing hell with my hands (especially in the form of dry, cracked cuticles), rubbing a little dab of this stuff into my hands in the morning and at bed time has been like intensive therapy.
The bottom line
This is obviously a great product, that smells amazing, but perhaps bigger than all of that is what a tremendous value this stuff represents. With a 3.4 ounce jar sporting a price tag lower than most two ounce (and even some one ounce) tins of balm, this is quite possibly one of the best deals out there in terms of not just beard balms, but beard-care products in general. After seeing some interesting posts from Beardbrand on social media yesterday, it seems like there may be some sort of shakeup coming to their catalogue, but with how much it feels they've stepped their game up with their Stone Mason offerings, I am quite sure that their position as one of the industry leaders is just as safe as ever! If you haven't made it to your local Target store to try these offerings yet, you have no clue how much you are missing out. Do yourself a favor and don't wait any longer, pick up some of this awesome balm today!
Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Lanolin, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Beeswax, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Fragrance
$14.99 at Target stores and target.com