Depending upon who you ask, Fisticuffs is either the sister or parent company of the wildly popular Grave Before Shave, offering a full suite of beard care products like the ridiculously well-performing Cigar Blend Balm, Grave Before Shave has become an industry-leading name in the beard-care game...Fisticuffs, on the other hand, makes two products, and they focus on making them very well. Their mustache wax routinely takes home accolades from men's fashion magazines, beard-care blogs, and everybody inbetween. I was looking for a new wax the other day, and after having been impressed with the previous wax offering I tried by Grave Before Shave, I figured that it should only stand to reason that I'd enjoy the hell out of an offering by fisticuffs too. Let's give this stuff a spin and see if I was right.
I have to be honest, I don't get a ton of lavender here, just a typical sort-of-sweet, sort-of-fatty white beeswax smell. Not much going on at all, I mean it's definitely a nice, scent, but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't hoping for a bit more lavender, any quantifiable amount , really...I mean there's the faintest whisper of lavender, but that's about it. I mean, come on, give me something. Even as I sit here and type this review, I'm struggling to find a way to articulate how I find this scent to be extremely boring, without actually saying it...but I mean I guess I just did...soooo...yeah...
I guess if you're sensitive to strong scents, but don't want to go with a completely unscented option, then I guess this would be a good product for you...
How does it work?
This wax is surprisingly soft and pliable. It scoops out extremely easily compared to other waxes, and it melts with wonderful ease. I find that it works into my stache cleanly and evenly, leaving behing no off-color residue that needs to be combed out, like many others do. Hold is very good, but not great, I notice that the ingredients list for this product is nearly identical to that of the Grave Before Shave wax, with one notable omission; pine sap. It seems like that may be the missing secret ingredient that would have boosted the hold of this product to legendary levels. I find that after applying this product, it's best to stand under an A/C vent or open the freezer door and stick my face in for a second (don't laugh) to make it set quickly, otherwise, it can remain a bit soft throughout the day. Staying power is fantastic, keeping my 'stache neat and tidy all day long on a single application. I especially like how cleanly it washes out the next day, leaving absolutely no residue, or "crunchy" feel to my mustache.
The bottom line
From a strictly functional standpoint, this is a great wax, while not offering the strongest hold I've ever experienced, it still does its job beautifully. The level of scent is a bit disappoining, but I suppose that isn't the biggest deal in the world. Sporting a price tag considerably lower than many other quality waxes, this suff represents a temendous value, all in all, definitely a product worth picking up.
Ingredients: Beeswax, Tee Tree Oil, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Petroleum Jelly, Essential Oils
$8.50 at gravebeforeshave.com
I've discussed at some length already my affinity for using barbershop scented products once a week when I take a safety razor to my neck and edges. Something about those scents just makes the whole "cleaning up" process feel more "complete" (for lack of a better term). It was a few weeks ago that I was going through my weekly ritual when a realization came to me, my barbershop scented beardcare collection isn't complete...until I add a good quality mustache wax. The Bearded Bastard is a company that started out manufacturing mustache wax back in 2011, and has been churning out all sorts of quality beard products ever since. Known for their full suite of amazing and innovative scents, use of top shelf sustainable ingredients, and their distinctive packaging with lazer engraved wooden labels, The Bearded Bastard has planted themselves squarely at the forefront of the high end men's grooming game. Will this wax be the final piece I needed to round out my barbershop scented collection? Let's give it a try and find out...
Obviously the definition of a "barbershop" scent encompasses a wide range...but holy smokes, I don't know if any other scent nails the essence of the entire barbershop experience quite as well as this one! A medicinal, green, eucalyptus, extremely reminiscent of Osage Rub jumps out immediately, this is tempered by a resinous calendula and lavender blend that perfectly mimics the aroma of a badger bristle brush loaded with warm, relaxing shave soap lather. A soft undercurrent of worn leather and tobacco ramp up to an ethereal high note of spicy, sweet bay rum that really bolsters the air of old-school masculinity that this product projects. Close your eyes, and just take a deep inhale, you will be transported to a luxurious parlor, complete with comfy antique barber chairs, bottles of sweet-smelling potions, and meticulously sharpened tools laid out perfectly on a pristine while towel draped across a polished oak counter...while a cut crystal rocks glass with a dram of whiskey, rests perfectly in your hand, and chatter regarding the issues of the day, surrounds you like a sweet symphony...nothing short of a tribute to masculinity. Strength is on the medium- plus side, and staying power is phenominal, lasting all day long.
How does it work?
By far the thickest, "waxiest", mustache wax I've ever tried. This stuff takes a bit more work to really warm up (I take a small chunk out and hit it with a shot of warm air from the hair dryer for a few seconds to get it started). This can be both a good and bad thing, if you're pressed for time, you probably want to steer clear because this product will add a couple of minutes to your routine, since it doesn't work into the mustache very easily at all (and if you try to cut corners when warming this product, you'll find all sorts of awkward little clumps of yellow wax in your mustache)...that being said, if you have the time, it's well worth it, because once it combs through your stache evenly, it offers incredible hold, and makes sculpting a breeze. I have this one curl on the end of the left side of my mustache that just refuses to lay down properly, but this product is able to tame it. If you give this stuff a moiment to set up properly, you will be rewarded with all-day hold that is tough enough to stand up to insanely hot desert summers that my mustache gets subjected to. I haven't tried any in my beard yet, but I can only imagine that if you have an unruly fly-away that your every day balm wont tame, this stuff would definitley do the trick in getting it to behave.
The bottom line
To put it simply, this is a great wax. The fact that it does take a bit more time to work with may make it less than ideal for every-day use, but if youre going out, or have one of those days where your mustache looks like an angry caterpillar on drugs, you'll definitely be glad that you've got this stuff in your arsenal. I cant think of another product that smells more perfectly like a barbershop than this one. Nothing short of a touchdown from The Bearded Bastard!
Ingredients: Beeswax, Lanolin, Fragrance, Cocoa Butter, & Jojoba Oil
$16 at thebeardedbastard.com
Ever since I started growing my mustache a little longer, I've been on a quest to find the best mustache wax for me. It's been trial and error for the most part...everything I've sampled has been good, but I can't help but think that there is something out there that's just going to make me say "this is it!" ...that one wax which becomes the standard by which I judge all others. I was super impressed with the Cigar Blend beard balm by Grave Before Shave Co, so it occured to me that I should try their strong wax as well (after all they are very well known for their Fisticuffs Mustache Wax offerings). Will this product finally be the one that sets the bar at an all new high (I was going to make a lame dad joke about setting the handle-bar...but decided that it would be too corny, even for me)? Or will the quest continue? Lets give it a try and find out...
GBS has done a great job in maintaining a consistant scent profile between this and the beard balm. That awesome sweet tobacco blends with a strong vanilla bean aroma (when I compared this side by side with the balm, I may have noticed a hint more vanilla in the wax, but I wouldn't bet a bunch of $$$ on it)...theres also a slight spice on the finish that will definitley help this wax find its way into my daily rotation during the upcomming fall and winter months. Strength is awesome, very present (especially when used in concert with the balm)...and staying power is phenominal, remaining noticable well into the afternoon.
How does it work?
This is a very pliable wax, it borders on gummy as you warm it inbetween your fingers. It doesn't work into my mustache quite as well asothers I've tried, remaining more on the surface until combing it through. This isnt necessarily a bad thing though, as my 'stache is currently going through an awkward growth stage, not long enough to be called "long" but still long enough to develop its own natural curl on either end that likes to get all wild and messy throughout the course of the day, so making special effort to really load this stuff up on the ends helps me to avoid that crazy mad-scientist look. Hold is outstanding, I'm assuming that the presence of pine sap in this formula is what helps it to maintain that really sculpted look, and it lasts a good long while with zero reapplication...perfect for those busy days when you dont have the time to step away for mid day grooming touch-ups. Another huge plus for this product is that it washes out cleanly, leaving no residue after a quick rinsing. This stuff also performs amazingly as a beard wax, maintaing a sharp styled look all day long, taming rogue fly-aways and keeping strays at bay.
The bottom line
This is a serious wax, offering the best hold I've experienced yet. GBS is definitely a name that you can trust if youre looking for all around quality, but this wax seems to take it to the next level, the blend is nothing short of teriffic, and the large 1 oz tin is priced comparably to waxes a fraction of the size, making this product one of the best overall values in the mustache wax category. There is a wide range of different scents offered, and believe me, if they all perform as well as the Cigar Blend, I'll be adding a bunch more to my collection.
Ingredients: Beeswax, Teetree Oil, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Petroleum Jelly, Pine Sap, Some Essential Oils.
$9.99 at fisticuffswax.com
A fairly straightforward product from a company that we've come to expect innovative twists from. I was interested in giving this a try after reading reviews stating that it offers a bit more hold than many of the other waxes on the market. I'm still just starting to wade in the waters of mustache waxes, and as such, I can't say that I've found my "go-to" yet. Will this be the one? or will I need to keep digging? let's give it a spin and find out...
It's unscented...I mean obviously all unscented products will have the faint smell of their ingredients...but I'm not picking up too much of anything from this stuff, so no need to really get in to it...let's move on to performance...
How does it work?
The first thing you'll notice when you start to warm this wax up, is that it isn't as "chunky" as some of the other waxes you may have tried. It's soft, and pliable, almost like a clay (I'm assuming this is due to a higher lanolin content). It works easily into the 'stache, starting from the middle and moving towards the ends, you'll find that each hair feels evenly coated. I find it holds a bit better when shaped by hand, as opposed to with a comb (although this may have more to do with the length of my mustache than anything else). It does seem to require a bit of combing/reworking throughout the day, but never requires reaplication. My favorite thing about this product is that, it does its job without really making its presence felt...no greasy/waxy feel...in fact, it actually feels quite a bit lighter than other waxes I've tried (this is an added plus when it comes time to clean your face/beard as it washes out with ease, as opposed to some other examples I've tried). As I've mentioned before, I dont really "shape" my mustache, so I cant speak to how well this will hold a really cool looking handlebar or anything like that, but if you're looking for something that will tame those two or three random hairs in your mustache that seem to always want to stand up straight, or curl into your mouth, this is definitely worth picking up. I'd also venture to say that it can be used in your beard to tame those pesky flyaways on the days that they just dont want to behave.
The bottom line
This wax seems to be on another level than previous examples that I've tried. The fact that it comes in a pretty generous .75 oz size, makes it a tremendous value...couple that with the great hold and easy application this product offers, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better option for your every day rotation.
Ingredients: Lanolin, Beeswax, Carnuba Wax, Caramel, Coconut Oil, Tribehenin, Sorbitol, Ceteareth-25, Caprylic Triglyceride, Polysorbate 80, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol
$12.95 at bossmanbrand.com
I've only recently started wearing my mustache longer. I just could never get past that annoying "stiff mustache hairs itching my upper lip and curling into my mouth" stage of growth, so even when rocking a 5 or 6 inch beard, I'd keep my 'stache trimmed at a tight #1 1/2 or 2...But a few months ago, I decided to tough it out and let my mustache grow out. It wasnt long until I learned that you cant get a ton of control by just mashing some beard balm into your mustache and calling it a day. You need to go with a good quality mustache wax to get that nice finished look. Does Beardbrand make a wax that works as well as their other products, or will they be out of their element here? Only one way to find out...
Beardbrand calls Tree Ranger their most popular scent. It's a eucalyptus based scent that according to the Beardbrand website "will have you smelling like you just hiked through a Pacific northwest forest." Now, I've never hiked through a Pacific northwest forest...but...I will say that I am a big fan of eucalyptus, and I get a good amount from this wax. There is, however, another component that I dont like nearly as well, kind of an earthy, mossy, almost decayed note (which I guess would be an authentic note that you'd pick up on that Pacific northwest hike. It seems to hang around for a while (you'll notice yourself getting whiffs of it throughout the day), but since you're literally smearing it under your nose, you should lose perspective of it pretty quickly.
How does it work?
Now, I dont sculpt my mustache into any sort of handlebars or anything, so I cant speak to how well this works for those purposes, but if youre looking for something that's going to help you keep the hair on your upper lip swept away from your mouth, this is definitely for you. The tube instructs you to scrape off a piece of wax the size of a grain of rice, I would recommend a little bit more than that (but my mustache is very coarse). It doesn't warm so easily (but it's a wax, so nothing particularly unique there), but once you get it warmed up, it applies smoothly. Hold is good, but not extreme (you will find yourself needing to reapply once or twice a day, but that has been my experience with most waxes I've tried).
The bottom line
I havent tried a ton of different mustache waxes, so I dont a whole lot of examples to compare this to, but this definitely does what it is intended to do. The fact that this scent is part of Beardbrand's silver line also means it's an exceptional value. Definitely worth picking up if you're looking for a no-nonsense wax that will get your mustache to behave the way you want it to.
Ingredients: Cera Flava (Beeswax), Lanolin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, and Fragrance
$7 at beardbrand.com