You know that one restaurant in your town, it's been there for as long as you have, but you've never bothered to eat there...there's usually cars out front, so you know somebody must like it...you think to yourself "hmmm, I should really try that place" when you drive by...but you just never seem to go. Maestro's Classic is the beard-care equivalent of that restaurant for me, I've been aware of their offerings for a while, but I've never tried anything they make. They are definitely a bigger name in men's grooming, with products in a number of stores, A well-known barbershop in Philadelphia, and even an official partnership with the 76'ers of the NBA...these guys have definitely established themselves as a brand to know. The other day while out shopping at Target with my wife, I decided to finally "go to that restaurant", and picked up a jar of their beard butter...if nothing else, I thought it might be a good product to review. So will this stuff make me feel like I've found that hidden gem that was right in front of me the whole time? Only one way to find out...let's give it a go...
The package says grapefruit, black pepper, and bergamot...my nose says aerosol drugstore hairspray. Theres a bit of fresh citrus, there's also a leathery component that is actually nice and rugged...but the most prominent note that jumps out of the jar is a weird chemical/artifical smell that isn't something you'd expect from a top-shelf beard-care product. It's not really offensive or whatever, but it certainly isn't pleasant. The scent is medium to medium-plus, which is a bit much for something with this scent profile. Thankfully staying power is minimal, so your beard won't be smelling like you sprayed it with aquanet all day long.
How does it work?
I'll just come out and say it...not well. This product is something like a beard butter designed by people who dont have beards; it's like they took the concept of a beard butter, and executed it in a way they think people with beards might like, without actually consulting anybody with a beard. First off, the consistancy is super soft/runny, it reminds me of a lightweight hand lotion or somehting. I find it spreads evenly in my beard and combs through easily, it feels nourishing enough and conditions a little bit (nothing like some of the more high quality butters on the market), but the part that I really can't get behind as far as this product is concerned is how stiff it makes my beard as the day goes by. I enjoy a good bit of hold as much as anybody but this imparts a "crunchiness" reminiscent of that thick, snot-yellow hair gel we all wore in highschool. The ingredients list boasts some good natural oils and butters, but also some cheap chemical fillers (Ceteareth-20 is definitely one you don't want to use if you are prone to irritation). I used this product a few times and every time I did, I couldnt help but think that this was definitely not designed by a knowledgable beardsman who really gives a shit about the product he is putting out there, but rather by a committee looking to create a product that might help an already established brand cash on what they see as a trendy beard-care product.
The bottom line
If this product werent priced comparable to other butters which perform expontially better, I might be a bit more kind in my assessment of it, but even then, I could not recommend this stuff. I'm not entirely sure what exactly it's trying to do, but it doesnt do it well. and I'm not entirely sure who it's for, but if you are already using some of the better, natural butters out there, I wouldn't imagine you'd want to find a place for this stuff in your daily rotation.
Ingredients: Water, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, PEG-8 Dilaurate, Ceteareth-20, Glyceryl Stearate, Acetylated Lanolin, PEG-100 Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Phenyl Trimethicone, Panthenol, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Piper Nigrum (Pepper) Fruit Oil, Morus Alba (Mulberry) Bark Extract, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance, Caramel, Yellow 5.
$13 at maestrosclassic.com