A while ago, I received a package in the mail from the good folks over at Bearden Beard Co, soon after, I reviewed their Vanilla balm, and their Distinguished Gentlemen beard oil...and then, like a jerk, I just sort of moved on to other things without scheduling a review for this balm. I have no good excuse for it, I just plain forgot. You see, I keep all of my beard products spread out between a shelf in the master bathroom closet, a cabinet under the sink, the medicine chest, and the bathroom counter, so sometimes it's easy for something to get lost in the shuffle...but the good news is, I happened upon this balm the other day, and after feeling like a dick for not giving it a try, I figured it was important that I move it to the top of my "top be reviewed" list...so without any further preamble or self deprication, let's get down to it and give this stuff a whirl.
Not dissimilar to the matching oil, unfortunately the scent in this product just isn't very intense. I get a sort of London dry gin, juniper note leading the charge like a brigade of toy soldiers. This is followed by equal measures of cool lavender and earthy redwood bark which just sort of tiredly stretch out on top of the juniper note, like an oil slick on a puddle, never fully blending. A vespertine jasmine heart beats just below this disjointed accord, while a subtle cedary base provides the same rugged outdoorsy appeal it did in the matching oil. More than any of this, however, there is a sweet, grainy, cereal note, indicitave of quality shea butter...it's incredibly prominent (albiet not entirely unpleasant), and completely shouts down the actual scent blend. Strength is well below medium, and at times seems to hover closer to low...staying power is nearly non existant.
How does it work?
A heavyweight balm with a slight grit to it (although this could be due to temprature fluctuations in shipping), it has an average melting point making it incredibly easy to apply with just my hands. I find that after a quick brush-through it does a fantastic job of holding a style. My beard seems to be growing at a very fast pace since my last trimming, and as such, I'm currently dealing with a lot of weird, unruly fly-aways that don't want to behave (I should probably just trim them, but then what would I have to complain about, right?), and this product does an incredible job of keeping them in line all day long on a single application. In-beard feel is good, nice and lightweight, with great absorption. I would, however be remiss not to mention the slight "crunch" that this stuff imparts, something that I don't really remember the vanilla scented version doing. The hemp seed oil and shea butter in this product do a tremendous job of keeping my face feeling moisturized and itch free, and my beard really seems to enjoy them too, along with the rest of the carrier blend. Staying power is wonderful, offering great levels of hold and protection all day long on a single application.
The bottom line
I've been sitting here for a couple of minutes trying to think of a polite way of saying this (I perefer to be a flatterer whenever possible, and as such, I find it important to turn a negative into a positive)...but sometimes it's important to provide straightforward info, so I'm just going to come out and say it, I greatly prefer the vanilla version of this balm. That's not a knock on the company, it just goes that way sometimes when you're dealing with hand crafted products, there can be slight variations from batch to batch that make what is essentially the same thing perform differently. I do feel bad about not getting aroudn to trying this product sooner, but that being said, it's probably going to find its way back to the same spot on the same shelf where I "rediscovered" it for a while. If the scent were a bit stronger, and it performed as well as its vanilla scented cousin, I wouldn't really have trouble recommending it...I mean, don't get me wrong, it's still a perfectly decent balm, but given the price point, you'd need to be a pretty big fan of Bearden products to justify picking this stuff up.
88 ...see where this ranks on The Big List
Ingredients: Beeswax, Shea Butter, Apricot Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Mango Butter, Cocoa Butter, Lanolin, Hibiscus Powder (Infusion) and Fragrance (essential oil blend).
$30 at beardenbeardco.com
~The balm sampled for this review was provided by Bearden Beard Co.