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
Savage Mane has been super busy with promoting their brand lately. They've partnered with Social Stance on a $5,000 giveaway (head over to their IG for details on how to enter that), and even though only one person can win that grand prize, literally everybody can benefit from their newest promotion! For the next two days, with every order you place on their website, they'll throw in your choice of beard oil, absolutely free! Just head over to their site, add the oil you want to your cart, and it will be deducted automatically at checkout! As always, they'll also pick up the shipping on your order no matter how big or small, so get over tosavagemanebeardco.com and get your order in now!
Earlier today, Beardbrand, makers of the conditioner that I currently cannot get enough of, posted the above cryptic message on their IG story...just a plain black background with the words "6 days" printed on it, conjuring up memories of The Ring, or something like that...well a bit later on, they posted these two videos to their social media feeds...
...I'm ummmmm...gonna go out on a limb here (while still reserving the right to backpeddle, in case I'm totally wrong), and say that these three posts are all connected. One could probably deduce that certain scents are being retired, but from some of the comments on these tweets, it almost feels like Beardbrand may be doing away with their tier designations all together...again, this is just me guessing here...maybe we will know more in six days? Either way, it deffinitely appears that there may be a few changes to the Beardbrand catalogue, it's not a stretch to say that those of you who enjoy the Temple Smoke and Spiced Citrus scents might want to consider heading over to beardbrand.com and stocking up, like, now...
There's clearly no shortage of beard-care brands out there to try. In fact, with so much variety out there, sometimes it can be easy to have a brand on your "to try" list, and then for whatever reason, not get to them for quite some time. Say, for example, you run a blog where you review beard-care products, and there is a brand that you've been wanting to try for a while now, you've seen them on social media, they have a loyal following, they have a wide variety of scents spread out over a full suite of products...but for whatever reason, you havent tried their products yet. Now you could go to the old, reliable "I don't know why I haven't gotten around to trying their products yet" excuse, or you could just write a rambling hypothetical scenario for your readers, and still not really explain why you've waited so long to getting around to trying their products, ultimately not offering any satisfaction in the form of an answer...
...So, Ferocious Beard Company...they've been around since 2017. A Veteran owned brand based out of Fort Worth, Texas, they've become well known for their hand-crafted, artisinal beard-care products, available in a wide spectrum of unique scents. This is a brand who really seems to give a shit...not just about making quality beard-care products, but also about their community and causes they believe in; every year they donate a protion of their profits to March of Dimes, as well as offering an every day 25% discount to veterans. The hardest part of reviewing this company was picking out a scent to try, I ended up going with this particular scent because it seems to get a high amount of representation on various social media feeds that I enjoy, so I figured it must be popular for a reason, right? Will this stuff turn me into the newest member of the Ferocious Beards fan club? Only one way to find out...let's check it out!
Billed as a combination of cherry, tobacco, leather, and cedar, Savage is a heady blend that projects so well that it could double as a high quality cologne. A provocative, masculine blend with layers upon layers of powerful, and destinctive allure. A beautiful boozy kirsch blends with an ephemeral almost candy-like cherry blossom that holds the door open for a very straight-forward, dry, shag tobacco. The sophisticated essence of vintage leather wraps around your senses, something like sitting in the seats of a well maintained 1955 Austin Healey 100/4 for the first time. This is rounded out by a brilliantly restrained baptism of just the perfect amount of red cedar, rugged and slightly exotic. This downright delightful scent combines a great natural leather with an almost fruity, boozy accord tied together by a sinewy twine of very plain tobacco to create something that definitely reads as much more than the sum of its parts, the hallmark of a scent blended by a competent nose. For an absolute brilliant combination, I highly recommend following this oil up with the Tom Ford inspired Scent #6 beard balm by BrokeAss Beard Supply. Strength is somewhere right in between medium and medium-plus initially, but this does seem to settle down to a solid medium pretty quickly after application. Staying power is very good, as this scent is still quite detectable a good 6-8 hours after application.
How does it work?
I was pretty sure I was going to like this oil before I even recieved it in the mail, and the reason being is that Ferocious Beard Company gives you the option to have castor added to your beard oil to thicken it. I mean, come on, how cool is that? (Although, this did make me wonder, who is going to pass up on castor when it's offered? Of course, that is a topic for a different conversation.) So obviously with the addition of a good quality castor, this is a very viscous oil, not rediculously thick, but definitely good enough to get deep down in my beard, coating each and every individual hair as well as the skin underneath. The rest carrier blend is pretty straightforward, but this is not a bad thing in-and-of itself, as everything serves its purpose, my beard and skin both especially appreciate the quality grape seed oil, which is full of beneficial vitamins as well as beta-carotene. In-beard feel is very lightweight, without even the slightest trace of greasiness. My one minor quibble is that, even though this oil does seem to assist in conditioning, leaving my beard feeling soft and my face calm and itch free, I just can't help but think that the addition of something like an avocado or hemp seed oil might really help make this oil become a bit more "next level" in terms of the levels of healthy feel it imparts. That being said, this is still a very good oil, and it is clearly blended from high quality ingredients. Staying power is exceptional, lasting all day long on a single application.
The bottom line
This is a very good oil, but more than that, there is something really cool about this company. They support good causes, they aren't afraid to expiriment with their scents, they let you pick components of your carrier blend, even the Dymo heat transfer labels on their bottles help set them apart from the competition. After trying just one of their oils, it's become abundantly clear why Ferocious Beard Company has such a ferocious following (I almost didn't say it, but I've been picking my spots with the lame wordplay lately, so indulge me). From a value standpoint, these oils seem to be perpetually marked down from their original MSRP, and as such, sport a price tag commensurate with others in their category...to that end, I have no reservations about recommending this product, as the scent alone makes it worth owning. An introductory experience this good only serves to pique my interest in this company's other offerings, and with that being the case, even though I did wait a long time to finally give this company a try, It's a pretty safe bet that I won't be letting nearly as much time go by before I review another offering from Ferocious Beard Company!
Ingredients: Sweet almond, apricot, grape seed, jojoba, castor, essential and/or fragrance oils.
$20 at ferociousbeard.com
Well, maybe not the deal of the day for today...but this is one you'll want to set a reminder in your phone for, because a deal this good only rolls around once every four years! Sircar Grooming, purveyors of some of the most high quality scents in the beard-care game, are celebrating the leap-year by offering 29 percent off of everything on their website, including their 100 pointOud beard oil. This sale is good for one day only, so make sure to head on over to sircargrooming.com, this saturday, February 29, and enter code LEAPYEAR2020 at checkout to enjoy this amazing deal!
If you've tried to order any Beard Booze products lately, you may have noticed that their entire inventory was "sold out" on their website. Well acording to their IG feed, they have been busy with their other business, but they havent forgotten their bearded clientele. As of now, they will be releasing one scent from their catalogue as a limited release, this month it's their much lauded peppermint and vanilla, Black Frost. When this scent sells out, it'll be a while before you can get your hands on it again, so head on over to beardbooze.com and get your orrder in today!
Another fan favorite from the Luxurious Bastard lineup (although, let's be real, there isn't a single scent in their lineup that's not a fan favorite) was just poured and is set to drop this weekend! Sporting a ton of big-time citrus notes, the Sweet Bastard will be releasing this comming sunday at noon, Pacific, and will be available as both an oil and balm. So make sure to set a reminder to head on over to luxuriousbastardco.com and get your order in, because this drop is pretty much guaranteed to sell out!
So you know how I do that thing, where on days that I condition my beard, I have to use an unscented wash first? Even if you don't, I'll just say that it's a quirk of mine...no real explaination why, I just don't like to follow up a scented wash with conditioner...it just seems like I can't appreciate the scent of the conditioner as much when I combine it with a scented wash, conversely, I cant appreciate the scent left behind by a wash when I immediately slap a conditioner into my beard afterwords...so I find it's best to just go uscented with my wash on days that I plan to condition. To that effect, I always keep at least one unscented wash on hand. The last one that I was using...wellllll...I used it up, and we'll leave it at that. So when the last little bit of that stuff was finally gone, you can imagine how excited I was to see that Anointed AK, makers of some very good oils, and an awesome revitalizing beard cream that I still use regularly, were dropping their very own line of beard washes. It seemed like a no-brainer that I pick up their unscented offering and see how it stacks up...so without too much preamble (because, honestly, I'm still sick and between the cold medicine and lack of quality sleep, my brain isn't on its A-game), let's get down to business and give this stuff a try...
It's unscented...I mean, there is a slighty "soapy" scent, like the stuff that children blow bubbles with, but beyond that this is as close to unscented as a beard wash is going to get. So good job there...
How does it work?
I was a bit worried at first, because this stuff comes out just a little bit thick, and it has been my experience that washes on the thicker side don't rinse out as cleanly...but we'll circle back to that in a minute. This stuff creates a big, rich lather the texture of soft meringue. Thousands upon thousands of fine, tiny bubbles work their way deep down into my beard. It is this deep penetration that makes this product so effective at cleaning both my beard and face, removing any residual buildup that may have been left behind by the odious combination of dead skin cells, perspiration, the previous day's products, and whatever sauces, crumbs, or cream cheese I may have dripped into my beard. While still a gentle wash, I don't know that I would recommend using it on a daily basis as it does a darn good job of stripping, as such I'd say that this wash is ideal for those who skip a a couple of days between beard washings. The ingredients list is just as impressive for what it has as what it doesn't...namely soy protein, which seems to be a very popular ingredient in many washes out there, but always leaves a sticky, slimy funk in my beard, so I definitely appreciate its omission here. As far as rinsing, this stuff is something of an odd duck in that I've never experienced a wash that foams up as well as this product, that also rinses as easily as this stuff does (which completely dashed whatever worries I had in the back of my mind over the inital thickness of this product). After stepping out of the shower, the feeling that this stuff imparts is excellent, even if you don't follow up with a conditioner, you'll find that after nothing more than a towel drying, there will be no knots or tangles for your comb to contend with. Definitely one of the better washes I've tried recently.
The bottom line
I've always said that washes were the products that I have the least practical knowledge of, but since starting this blog, I've certainly used enough of them to know a quality one when I try it, and this is most definitely a quality wash. Anointed AK has done a great job recently of integrating new and exciting products into their catalogue, and this wash is no exception. From a value standpoint, the price is definitely north of the industry average for washes, with a four ounce bottle sporting a price tag that is more customary for eight ounce offerings, but that being said, the performance is good enough that you just may be able to justify it in your own mind. If unscented washes aren't your thing, Anointed AK has also released five scented offerings, all with matching conditioners available too, so without a doubt, the next time youre in the market for a wash, you'll want to keep Anointed AK in mind!
Ingredients: Deionized water, organic sage leaf extract, shea nut oil, vitamin e, organic horsetail extract, organic marigold extract, chamomile flower extract, ginseng root extract, oat extract, disodium 2 sulfolaurate, cocomidopropyl betaine, lauramide mea, certimonium chloride, ped 15 distearate, lemon peel extract, aloe vera leaf extract, pro-vitamin b5, polyquaternium 7, citric acid, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, hexelyne glycol, sodium methyl 2 sulfolaurate.
$20 at anointedak.com
Royal Beardsmen is no stranger to great scents with a nautical twist. Their Tortuga Bay butter left me so impressed that it still gets use in my beard care rotation from time to time...but their latest offering might just up the ante when it comes to epic nautical scents. Just released last week, Exile is a blend of spiced citrus, cedar, amber, and a hint of water lily. This all new scent is available in their full suite of high quality products, so head on over to royalbeardsmen.com and pick some up in their oil, balm, and butter so you can experience this brand-new awesomeness for yourself!
Last week, I mentioned that I was fighting some sort of cold or flu or something...well, unfortunately whatever I've been fighting has been kicking my butt all weekend and well into today. So much so, that I kicked around the idea of postponing todays review to a time when I could put my usual level of focus into it, but this is a product that I've been taking notes on for a little while now, and I'm really excited to tell you all about it, so I decided to tough it out in order to get this review posted!
So remember about a month ago we learned that Barbu was planning on rolling out a quickstrike release, the proceeds of which would benefit the Salvation Army of Australia as they help the victims of the devastating wildfires that have ravaged the entire continent. Dubbed The Dundee, this release was limited to just 20 units worldwide, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on one. So excuse me for just another minute as I refill my orange juice, throw back a shot of DayQuil, and rip open another bag of Ricolas...and let's take this very special oil for a spin...
Without question an "outdoorsy" scent, but don't be fooled into dismissing this as your typical "rugged" green woodsy affair. Barbu has proven time and again that they aren't interested in making scents that don't bear that signature artistic elegance and flair that has come to be a calling card of all their offerings. Opening with a big, in-your-face blast of sweet, creamy, relaxing sandalwood, and sophisticated, contemplative cypress, intertwining with one another to create an exotic, woody core that lends a masculine, vintage feeling imbued deeply with eastern charm. This is bisected by a dynamic, focused dash of fresh citrus oil so brilliantly vibrant and full of energetic beauty, that you'd swear it was wrung from the peels of oranges grown in a mythical orchard that may only exist in story books. A deep medicinal eucalyptus note lifts the citrus accord high into the sun, warming it as they combine to make something that mimicks an anise seed note. There is something so alive, and borderline spiritual about the synergy acchieved with this scent, every component moves in concert with all of the others, nothing ever really takes center stage...rather, the focus is on the blends, the harmony, and the way this scent evolves throughout the course of the day. Strength is a solid medium, and staying power is outstanding, easily lasting between 6-10 hours every time I've worn it. For a real treat, I highly recommend following this oil up with the incredible Bushman butter by Barbu, as these two scents, when combines really seem to bring out the absolute best in each other.
How does it work?
It seems like the carrier blend is the same as the previous oils I have tried from Barbu, but for whatever reason, I seem to like this one a bit better. Viscosity is on the medium-plus side, which helps it get deep down into my beard, I find that it does an exceptionally great job of delivering deep down moisture and conditioning on days that I skip the blow-dryer and rock a natural curl in my beard. As always, the addition of castor is something that I just love, leaving my beard feeling extra strong and healthy. In-beard feel is very lightweight, and there is no residual greasiness whatsoever. Having worn this oil a few times now, I find it to be an incredibly reliable product suitable for every day use. Finishing properties are outstanding, imparting a brilliant shine that still has me doing a double take when I walk past the mirror (even with the whole "shiny pale corpse complexion, and raccoon eyes" look that comes along with an ass-kicking of a cold, like the one I'm dealing with right now). Staying power is phenominal, delivering that great healthy in-beard feel all day long on a single application.
The bottom line
This is a really good oil, with an awesome, unique scent, and incredible performance. The great cause the sales of this product supports make it an even more epic offering! Unfortunately, as this was an extremely limited oil I dont know when (or if) the opportunity to ever pick this stuff up again will present itself, so if you weren't able to get your order in when it released, you probably won't get your hands on some any time soon (Unless, of course at some point a secondary market for limited beard care products, like hard-to-find booze or wine, becomes a thing at some point...I sometimes wonder why such a thing doesn't exist...but I suppose that's a topic for a different conversation). That being said, this is still one hell of a beard oil, and I consider myself pretty darn lucky to have it in my beard-care arsenal!
Ingredients: Organic Jojoba, Organic Argan, Organic Cold pressed pure Grape seed, Organic Sweet Almond, Organic Castor, and Vitamin E.
$20 at barbubeardco.com