If you tuned in to the live "challenge" between Barbu Beard Co and Luxurious Bastard last night, then surely you already know that there was no challenge at all...no, instead, these two giants of the industry took this opportunity to announce a new collaboration, over one year in the making! Dubbed The Barlux, and sporting a secret list of carriers and essential oils (only described, as "hard to describe"), only 50 bottles of this oil will be released, complete with a handsome presentation box and challenge coin featuring the logos of both companies. It is pretty much a guarantee that this stuff will sell out quickly, so make sure you head over to luxuriousbastardco.com or barbubeardco.com promptly at noon Pacific or 3:00 PM Eastern tomorrow and make sure that you get your order in!
For the next two days, the good folks at Burton's Beard Oil are offering 50% off of any individual item on their site. To take advantage of their early black friday savings, head over to burtonsbeardoil.com, use code EARLYBF50 at check out, and enjoy the savings!
If you read last week's review of the downright legendary Arnie Palmer beard butter, you're already well aware of how Barn Brand Beards instantly became one of my favorite brands. I was absolutely bowled over by the box of goodies that Big Tex sent me a few weeks back, and to be honest, a little overwhelmed, so my plan of attack has been to tackle a new one of his awesome creations every week. This week I'm going with the matching Arnie Palmer oil to accompany the butter that I've already given a permanent spot in my rotation to. Boasting an ingredients list that could go toe to toe with even the most expensive oils on the market, this is another testament to the commitment of this brand to produce top-shelf men's grooming products with few-to-no equals. Will this oil have me as over-the-moon as the matching butter did? Only one way to find out...let's give it a try!
Very similar in profile to the butter, with some noteworthy exceptions. When I sit the two side by side and smell them next to each other, it's pretty clear that the mouth-watering lemon notes in the butter are a bit less prominent here...don't get me wrong, they are present in the oil, but they dont jump out and smack you across the face with the same tart citrus blast...it's more of a pleasant mellow lemon chord singing backup to that heady, delicious rum note, with the same charred oak and molasses as the butter, which draws up mental images of relaxing in a rum bar on the beach in some tropical paradise, sipping on some expertly crafted concoction, looking out at the ocean, as day gracefully melts into night, and not having the weight of a single worry in the world on your shoulders, just pure relaxation. I also find that the leather note is bigger, and bolder, but no less well worn and inviting, like sitting in the seat of a well maintained, but still loved and driven 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL...or perhaps, since Tex told me his grandfather used to buy a Cadillac from The King of Golf himself once every couple of years, we'll say it's more like sitting in the seats of a 1962 Eldorado Biarritz convertable...either way, it's that scent of a very special type of leather that has been worn to absolute perfection. One note that I pick up here, which is somewhat different than the butter is a herbaceous, almost vegetal chord that reminds me a bit of nightshade leaves, I cant quite nail it down, and I may need to wear this oil a few more times before I really can put my finger squarely on it, but it's definitley a presence I dont pick up in the butter (I doubt the blend of essential oils is any different, and I hav3ent verified this either way...I'm just assuming that this the result of a reaction with a different carrier blend). Strength is a solid medium-plus, pairing extremely well with the matching butter (of course, you all know how much I like to layer, so I recommend a bit of this under some The Grower balm by Barbu). Staying power is phenominal, with some of the best longevity I've ever experienced in an oil.
How does it work?
With a viscosity that could give Artius Man oils a run for their money, this stuff is luxuriously thick, coating every single hair of my beard, and penetrating deeply down to the skin, imparting a brilliant level of conditioning. Armed to the gills with some of my favorite beneficial carrier oils, this stuff brings heavy duty amounts of nourishment to my skin and face, perfect for these chillier months when itch seems to crop up no matter how well you maintain your beard. The anti-inflammatory properties of castor and pomegranite seed oils, as well as the occlusive properties of jojoba and sweet almond oils have my beard feeling as healthy and strong at 10:00 PM as it did at 10:00 AM when I first applied this stuff. Absorption is fantastic leaving absolutely no greasy feel behind. There is a fantastic amount of shine imparted by this product, lending a beautifully finished look to my beard all day long. Truly, an oil this nutrient rich, and this thick was clearly engineered to stand up to anything that even the harshest days can throw at it, and as such requires no touchups at any point. Clearly a product worthy of the Barn Brand name, and further proof that this company is THE best kept secret in the indie beard care game.
The bottom line
One of the things that I've learned from reviewing beard-care products is how to easily spot those companies who really give a shit about what they're doing. I don't mean to say that other companies out there don't care, but rather, that when a company cares just a little bit more, it's evident in their finished product. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Barn Brand Beards is one of those companies. Their butter is the stuff of legends, and their oil isn't too far behind. Just like in my last review, I can't help but be astonished by how reasonable the price tag on this product is, easily outperforming oils that cost twice as much, this is an absolutely tremendous value. Without question, a product that every beardsman needs to have in his collection!
Ingredients: Organic MCT Oil, Castor Oil, Sweet Almond, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Pumpkin Seed, Hemp Seed Oils, Golden Jojoba, Argan Oils, Hazelnut, Macadamia Nut Oils, Grapeseed, Watermelon Seed Oils, Vitamin E Oil, and Essential/Fragrance Oils
$10 at barnbrandbeards.com
We are only a few hours away from a true clash of the titans, and Barbu Beard Co and Luxurious Bastard go head to head in the first ever battle to determine the most creative owner. Make sure you're following both on IG and tune in to IG TV tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern time, for a ring-side seat for the beard-care battle of the year!
Fresh Beards, makers of the oh-so-awesome 1920 Butter, have just announced the rollout of two all new beard wash scents. Both "cologne type" scents, Voodoo and Black Light (yup the same Black Light scent as their legendary balm), promise to get your beard squaky clean, while also making it amell amazing! Head on over to freshbeards.com right now to grab yours, and if you're a first time buyer, make sure to use code HOMEGROWN for 15% off!
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
A common theme among many beard care companies, is that they were started out of necessity; their founders just couldn't find products for their beards that worked the way they wanted them to. The Hubris Company is definitely born of this necessity as their founder, Jay Thornton states on the company website...but what makes this particular company different is their dedication to letting their clientelle dictate their own specific needs and tailoring the end result to meet those. Can you name another beard care company out there who lets you pick how strong you'd like the fragrance of your beard oil to be? How about one that lets you choose the amount of hold your balm offers? Yes, The Hubris Company is downright restructuring the process of shopping for beard-care products, letting each and every man feel like a company founder, and order a product designed to meet their individual standards. As I'm still feeling motivated to stock up on balms for the chillier months we find ourselves in (I mean, I'm in Arizona, and I had to break out the long sleeves today with it being a brisk 80-something outside...but I digress), I figured this balm would be a great way for me to become truly acquainted with this company and what they have to offer...let's give it a try and see what we really have here...
I went with their Amber Oud offering, because, as readers of this site know all too well, I'm a bit of an oud junkie. Initially, right out of the tin, I thought I might find this scent a bit too sweet, as big concentrated, almost perfumey notes jumped forward...but in-beard, this stuff really calms down, brilliantly. Heady, resinous amber chords roll gracefully to the forefront, laying a structured groundwork driping with syrupy sweetness that borders on floral, while maintaining a decidedly masculine, almost animalistic edge of musk tinged with violin rosin and black pepper. A hint of calming vanilla wraps around something vegetal that almost reminds me of tobacco flower, but stops just short of being identifiable as such, and holds the door open for a dark staircase of warm, smoky minerality (think incense burning on wet river rocks...if that makes any sense), and up that staircase, a rich deep oud presence plays out with all the brilliance of a Charlie Parker saxophone solo. Bursting at the seams with life force and as deep as the Marianas Trench, this is the very embodiment of oud; the dark and light dichotomy; brooding and suicidal while also convivial and full of joie de vivre...sweet, smoky, indescribable, truly a magical note, and so brilliantly used in this particular fragrance blend. Strength is medium-plus...perhaps even a tick above. Staying power is wonderful, lasting all day, and well into the evening.
How does it work?
I seriously can't stress enough how brilliant this company is for letting you pick the amount of hold you'd like in your balm. I went with a medium hold for the purposes of this review, I figure that's the amount of hold that you'll find in most products on the market, so it would make for an easier apples-to-apples comparrison to stuff I am already familiar with. True to its name, this balm offers a perfectly medium amount of hold, probably not quite enough for the days when your beard is acting wild, but more than enough for average use. The texture of this balm is soft and smooth, feeling closer to a dense butter than a true balm, especially with its relatively low melting point. In-beard feel is amazing, so incredibly light, with a great absorbtion rate, leaving behind no greasiness at all. Conditioning properties are also tremendous, again performing more like a butter than a balm in the way that it leaves my beard so wonderfully, touchably soft, with a lustrous shine, and has the skin underneath feeling extra happy and hydrated. What I find most impressive about this product is the staying power, leaving my beard feeling just as good as when I first used this stuff, well into the later part of the day, and even into the evening on just a single application.
The bottom line
The only thing better than an innovative company is one that makes a product that just plain works, and The Hubris Company is both. Without question this balm checks all the boxes from it's amazing scent to it's brilliant performance...factor in the ability to customize hold options, and you have a truly magnificent product. There is no shortage of great balms on the market, but when one is able to set itself so completely apart from the pack, it goes without saying that it belongs in the rotation of every discerning beardsman out there. I can not recommend this product highly enough!
Ingredients: Beeswax, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Argan Oil
$17 at thehubrisco.com
The gauntlet has been thrown! According to some great back and forth on social media today, beardsmen everywhere are in for a treat, as two absolute powerhouses have aggreed to participate in a challenge to create something new and exciting. Luxurious Bastard (makers of the oh so awesome Bilberry Bastard balm) threw down the challenge this morning, and Barbu (makers of the game-changing The Shaman oil) quickly returned fire. Looks like these two will be pulling out all the stops trying to outdo each other, and no matter who wins this challenge, there is absolutely no doubt that the real winners will be the bearded community...something tells me that this will be awesome!
To round out no-shave november, the good folks over at Grave Before Shave (makers of V&T favorite, Cigar Blend Balm, which is a great scent to have in rotation this time of year.) are offering 15% off of any order, with absolutely no minimums...and as always, they'll cover the shipping. A deal like this is too good to pass up, so make sure you head over to gravebeforeshave.com and stock up using code NOSHAVE.
A couple of weeks ago, Detroit Grooming was dropping some pretty big hints about a new product drop, which ended up being the much anticipated return of their Woodward butter. Well now they're already back to their mysterious ways, promising a new butter to be released on black friday. But here's the catch, if you want to get your hands on whatever it is, you need to be on their mailing list...so if you havent done so already, make sure you head over to detroitgrooming.com and get yourself all signed up!