I recently received a package from Chicago. As I started to open it, I was overwhelmed by the fragrance of lavandar. It was a tin of Smear hair and skin balm. A tin of natural goodness for your skin.
One of the things I liked most about this balm was how light and smooth it felt when melted which makes for really easy application to the skin and hair. A little goes a long way, leaving the skin beautifully soft and a nice shine to the hair.
Full of natural goodness, the balm has had a wonderful affect on my skin leaving it smooth soft to the touch. Being a keen runner, my face takes quite a pounding from the elements and perspiration leaving me with some dry patches. The aromatherapy in Smear has helped sooth and clear up the dry patches beautifully, a natural healing promoting cell regeneratibn and containing an anti inflamitary. I loved using this in the evening, applying before bedtime. The lavender scent really helped relax me and i felt more rested in the morning. Its certainly a product I would use again. Let’s all Smear Chicago.
I came across Risu on Instagram. I was instantly drawn to the early product photo that Linus posted, clean, clear photo in an attractive bottle. Risu hails from Helsinki, Finland and is the brainchild of Linus and his sister. The brand officially launched at the beginning of April and I’m delighted to be reviewing their product.
I received the oils a couple of weeks ago and I have to be honest when. I say this, I have been blown away by how good they are. They are one of my most favourite amongst the products that I have been lucky enough to review. Outstanding quality and something beautifully different to anything else that I had tried previously.
Risu – Viridian Green is a simply stunning blend. Beautifully natural tones of basil and Rosemary help make this oil something really special and deliciously different from anything I have tried to date, helping to strengthen the beard. The oil is light and with basil, leaves a wonderful sheen to the beard, leaving it soft and smelling wonderfully fresh and natural. The Basil also helps fight skin infection. It really is unbelievably good and already one of my favourite products.
Risu -Bistre Brown has a wonderfully simple frangrance. With anti inflanitary and anti aging properties it really is a work of art. Its luxurious and warm tones really stand out and put this product right up there with the very best available. And the anti aging properties will keep you looking youthful, always a bonus.
I really can’t praise Risu high enough. The standard and quality is so high I have no doubt that the brand will be hugely successful in the future. Stamping its mark on the Scandinavian region and beyond, shiipping is free in Europe. Quality, natural oils blended together perfectly to help you Finnish your style.
Men like stuff, and if you’re anything like me, its not just grooming stuff.
I received some samples recently from a local brand Manlystuff.ie Now these guys have the ability to look after all your manly needs, well almost all of them. Need a watch? These guys have it, wallet? Yup got that too. In fact, everything from that essential pocket square to shaving kits, these guys can deck you out in style.
The guys were good enough to send me some grooming oil and moustache wax to try. The grooming oil, with classic citrus tones, infused with the freshness of eucalyptus and leaves a lasting freshness on the beard. Coupled with a nice shine and a beautiful soft finish, I really enjoyed using it. In a world full of citrus blended oils, this was one of the better ones I had tried, and the five star review rating on the website is well deserved. A nice size bottle at 50ml, it proves to be excellent value and certainly one I will use regularly.
I’ve not used moustache wax much in the past. I generally keep mine quite short but I have recently let it grow longer than usual so was interested to see how good the wax was. It came in a nice little metal box with an intetesting slide top lid which when opened, revealed a beautifully fresh citrusy scent. The wax itself was quite stiff and needed a wee while in the jeans pocket to soften, but it was great, fresh and did the job superbly.
These guys aren’t just trying to look after your beard. They’re looking after your every need, with the exception course of beer. I think they need to stock some beer, in the meantime though, I suggest you have a gander at their goodies, if you’re lucky you may pick up a bar again in their sale.
When you’ve created a product you believe in, something you are confident and passionate about, then why not sit back, put your feet up and become a gentleman of leisure?
Gentleman of Leisure the beard oil brand from British Columbia, Western Canada. No bells or whistles, fancy fragrances or gimmicks. Just beard oil for the mans man. Unscented, silky smooth and pure quality.
I knew when Nate contacted me that he was confident in his brand, and he has every right to be, its awesome. 30ml of unscented goodness in a pump spray means no greasy lids, as I have said in previous reviews, I’m a big fan of that.
I’m a firm believer that every bearded man should have at least one unscented oil in their collection. Something that can perhaps be paired with a favourite aftershave for those special occasions. Or for everyday use like when you’re doing manly things and want to smell like errr…..a man.
The oils Nate has blended are all high quality, natural oils. The beard is left smooth, soft and shiny. A picture of health. And let’s face it , we all want our beards to look beautiful don’t we?
There’s nothing worse than a dry, flaky set of whiskers. And with the help of the Gentleman of Leisure that’s something you’ll never have to worry about.
Don’t just take my word for it, give it a try for yourself, use the code BeardOilBlog for a 25% discount and use the savings to go buy a beer.
Most people associate Limerick with being a funny little five lined poem, but it is also the place in Southwest Ireland where the late Sir Terry Wogan was born and is also home to the Shannon Estuary where Ireland’s longest river, The Shannon, meets the Atlantic Ocean.
I recently came across the Keltic Krew on Instagram and they were on a mission to help maintain beards across our nation. To rid the country of whiffy, wirey beards by producing quality beard oils and balms from natural products in Limerick. Of course I had to get in touch with them to see if I could review their product and feature it on the blog. They kindly agreed and sent me one of their balms and an oil which arrived last week, snazzy red on black logo and the fetching blue oil bottle. I’m delighted to say that this is the first Irish brand that I’ve reviewed, and they didn’t disappoint.
Voyager was a wonderful blend of peppermint and eucalyptus with undertones of citrus in the form of grapefruit and lime. This oil was fresh, soothing and was a cracking blend, light, not at all greasy with a big hit on the nasal passages. Its super cool, fresh scent left me feeling like I was sailing down the Shannon with a cool breeze in my beard. Just awesome! I love minty fresh oils, I especially like using them when I’ve showered after a run. I found this one really refreshing, like washing your face in a crystal clear natural spring.
Chieftain is a warm spicy balm like nothing I’ve come across before. Its the most interesting balm that I have used, so much going on and all Is revealed as it melts between the palms of your hands. Cinnamon and clove bring spicy warmth to the party while eucalyptus, lime and tea tree oil bring the soothing tones which leave the beard soft, shiny and smelling just splendid. It really is a great blend and leaves a lovely subtle fragrance to your beard.
Both of these products were top notch and its always great to discover new brands from Ireland. They guys have worked hard on their brand and their product and it shows. I have no doubt that this brand will go from strength to strength and complete their mission in ridding this country of whiffy, wirey beards. They’ve won me over.
Canada is well known for is Maple Syrup, forests and cold weather, it also had its fair share of beard care brands and last week I received some samples from Thompson’s Beard Co. all the way from Nova Scotia.
James kindly sent two samples for me to review and I’m delighted to say that these are the first products from North America that I have had the pleasure of trying. Thompson’s Beard Co. Currently offer a selection of beard oils, balms and pomades, all hand made in Nova Scotia using high quality ingredients.
The Boss is a spicy blend of cinnamon and clove with a blast of tea tree oil. Its wonderfully warm and rich and the combination of spices bring a hint of Christmas to your whiskers. This is the perfect blend for those bitterly cold winter mornings keeping your beard soft, shiny and full of life.
The term Snowbird refers to people who like to travel to warmer climes during cold weather, an ideal name for this blend. Snowbird is the perfect companion for The Boss, the summer to its winter. Fresh and fragrant, with perfectly light tones of summer sun provided by sweet orange and grapefruit, combined with a soft summer breeze provided by a hint of pepermint. Its a refreshing blend perfect for those warm summer evenings sipping a cold beer by the sea.
Both oils are wonderful, value for money and very well presented. Its amazing to think how far James was willing to send his products for them to be reviewed by me, I must extend my warm thanks to him for allowing me the opportunity to review these great oils. I have no doubt that James and Thompson’s Beard Co. will be very successful in the future, standing tall amongst all the beard care brands in the North America region.
Facebook: Thompson’s Beard Co
Well with the Easter and 1916 commemorations out of the way, I think it’s time to get the head down and kick the blog back into action.
So, last week I received a package with some goodies from the wonderful people at Heavy Metal Gentleman. Based in the North East of England and owned and run by husband and wife Thom and Laura, HMG is proving to be quite a hit and has been growing steadily from it’s humble beginnings as a Kickstarter page. They began trading in October 2015, they have already become a well known brand in their region and their products are reaching far and wide. They’ve done a whole heap of newspaper and radio interviews and their Polish Ambassador Adam Bojar is spreading the world throughout Europe.
Thom and Laura are offering some seriously delicious products, with balms like Citrus Mint and Chocolate Orange, along with oils which are completely natural and containing high quality carrier oils, all in a bid to keep your whiskers shiny and soft and your skin beneath healthy.
The guys sent me The Woodsman Oil, opening the box I was pleasantly surprised to see the spray type dispenser. This is the first time I’ve come across this while reviewing oils so it was great to see a brand doing something a little different. No more trying to put caps on bottles with oily fingers, a great idea and a concept that I love. The oil itself was a beautiful golden colour and quite thick in consistency without being heavy. The blend of Cedarwood, Rosemary, Clove and Patchouli was beautifully pleasant and reminded me greatly of freshly cut wood. The Rosemary and Patchouli offer freshness while Clove brings the warm inviting feel to the fragrance which compliments the Cedarwood perfectly. The oil applies really well with little residue and the fragrance lasts without being imposing. A great product at a cracking price, I have to admit I’m a big fan of this one.
Morning Glory is something that every guy knows about right? But do you know it is also the name of a HMG beard balm? Yep, straight up. I’ll be honest, this one is simply delicious. I mean it smells really awesome, almost good enough to eat. Are you old enough to remember Chocolate Limes? Well That! That’s what I was reminded of when I first took a whiff of this wonderful balm. Lime and Grapefruit combined with Cedarwood and Bergamont, just beautiful. The balm itself contains a number of fantastic ingredients (all 100% natural) formulated to keep your whiskers in good shape while offering a light hold to your beard, helping to keep it in tip top shape. This is one that I’ll be going back to again.
It’s clear to see that Thom and Laura have worked really hard to get their brand up and running, and although new, they are already establishing themselves as a provider of high quality grooming products. The branding is clean and simple and the products are fantastic with a sense of the great outdoors about them and I have no doubt that they will be very successful as the brand grows. If you haven’t tried out HMG and their good yet, give them a go, you wont be disappointed. The promo code BIGBEARD will get you 25% off and please tell them that Beard Oil Blog sent you.
When I started this project a few weeks ago, First Olympian was one of the brands that I dearly wanted to feature. Since my visit to the Acropolis in 2008, I have had a fascination with ancient Greece. This, combined with the clean, uncomplicated branding, attracted me to First Olympian.
I was honoured when Alice agreed to feature on the blog, she couldn’t have been any more helpful and it was clear from our communication that while First Olympian was a small, family run business, their reputation was extremely important and customer service was a priority to them.
Alice arranged for me to receive The Collection, a box set containing First Olympian’s signature oils. Four oils, each named after a Greek God, neatly packaged together. Offering 40ml of seriously fragrant oil for less than £25, which is fantastic value when compared with other offerings this would make the perfect gift for the bearded man in your life.
While each oil has its own characteristics, at the heart of each one is a strong sense of confidence. Let’s face it, if you’re going to name your products after Gods then you have to be confident in that product. First Olympian have every reason to be confident, each of their oils is stunning, leaving the beard smooth, shiny and incredibly soft. Another thing I loved about these oils was that the fragrance lasts. It doesn’t vanish after a few hours, it stays with you. I can imagine that when I put on my favourite winter coat later this year, there’ll be a hint of First Olympian on the collar.
Ares– The God of war. Manly and courageous. This is the most masculine of oils, smokey and fresh. This fragrance has Canadian Black Spruce and Birch at the heart of it, blended with other ingredients this oil signifies strength, courage and determination. Its fresh smokey tones reminiscent of the great outdoors.
Eros – The mischievous God of love. This is a beautiful scent, sensual and warm. Sicilian Bergamont and Lemon offer a bright scent. Subtle yet strong with an air of confidence. This is a beautiful scent for those warm, romantic summer evenings.
Hermes – the God of roads, travel and diplomacy. A leader of men. This scent, with exotic Sandlewood is sweet and lively. A beautiful fragrance with a warmth which emerges over time. This is the perfect oil for the creative man.
Zeus – King of all Gods. God of sky, weather, law and order. A regal man, mature and sturdy with a dark beard. This is my personal favourite of the four oils. Italian Lemon and African Orchid with Pettigrain from Southern France with a host of other rare herbs and spices. With floral, citrus undertones it has a truly wonderful scent. Like the others it has that air of confidence about it, with a chunk of strength and determination thrown in for good measure.
These aren’t the only oils currently on offer, First Olympian also offer Baldr and Loki as well as a very special blend made available in limited quantities at Christmas time, Jöl. Also available are beautifully assembled beard care kits, a stunning leather pouch with beard scissors, hand made wooden comb and oil. A simply stunning and very sexy product.
Once you’ve tried The Collection and discovered your inner God, you can pick up your oil in a 50ml glass bottle, beautifully corked and delivered to you on a bed of wood shavings. First Olympian, for men and immortals.
The psychology of colour is often used to manipulate the senses. The colour black communicates glamour, sophistication, exclusivity. Black is a colour you take seriously. Add a touch of gold and this brings a sense of wealth and high value to the equation.
Gerrard Brome, London is a brand I became familiar with after I saw an image posted on Instagram. The black and gold branding immediately caught my attention and I was interested in finding out a little more. I made contact with Ola, a very confident lady, who along with her husband Gerrard created the brand. She explained how she wanted the brand to be known and recognised as a producer of high quality grooming products for men. A lifestyle brand that inspires, motivates, and gives men the confidence to be the best they can be.
She pointed out, that while the beard oils were the flagship product of the brand, there were plans to expand, plans which included products for those who prefer a clean shave as well as those of us with whiskers.
The blend Ola chose to send me was Latent Heat from their Aurom Collection. I didn’t know what blend I would receive until it arrived. I wanted to form my own opinion without having an opportunity to research it. The product was well packaged, signature packaging in black and gold. Inside was another box with the oil. The oil was cradled in packaging which contoured the bottle, keeping it safe from movement and damage. The gold lid was sealed with a thin black label, indicating it had not been tampered with and with a push button pipette rather than the more familiar rubber squeeze type, more commonly seen with beard oil. All of these little touches demonstrated a high end product, quality and luxury.
With interest peaked, it was time, time to open the bottle and experience all that had been promised. The packaging, the branding, the sexy bottle, all led to that moment. But how good is this product?
With the bottle open and the rather trendy pipette removed, I gently waved the bottle under my nose. A warm, clean fragrance, familiar yet unplacable. Placing a couple of drops in the palm of my hand, rubbing them together released the fragrance, heat, yet invigorating and clean, almost like cold steel. I rubbed the oil into my beard and within seconds my beard began to tingle a little, soothing and warm yet clean and crisp, almost minty. Heat with a cool, crisp finish, a fascinating combination which really wake the senses. Perfect for those icy cold winter mornings when leaving the house seems like such a chore. The oil itself was light and didn’t leave the beard feeling greasy, and once absorbed left a light fresh fragrance.
Ola and Gerrard have created a beautiful brand. The product, Latent Heat, is their most popular blend and I truly enjoyed trying it and reviewing it. Gerrard Brome London, currently have a sale on their webstore. If your curiousity has been spiked by my review, why not pop along and treat yourself to something nice.
With St Patrick’s Day fast approaching, I wanted to feature an Irish brand. A well established brand with a reputation for producing high quality goods that are globally recognised. I’ve chosen shoemakers Padmore and Barnes.
Padmore and Barnes have been producing high quality shoes at the Co Kilkenny plant since 1934. At the height of their popularity, they were producing up to 25,000 pairs of shoes a week for the global market and there were up to 500 people employed in the Kilkenny plant with hundreds of others employed part time, hand stitching shoes in their own homes.
If you thought there was a familiar look about Padmore and Barnes shoes, you’d be right. The world famous Clarks Walabee shoe, worn by everyone from your geography teacher to Walter White, was designed and produced at the Kilkenny site from 1964 until 1987 when production was moved to Asia. They continued to make shoes on the remaining lasts and are now an internationally recognized shoe producer.
They also continue to colaborate with independent labels to produce shoes to spec. One of the more recent collaborations, with Rossi Bianco Nero, an independent brand who produce casual wear with a passion for Manchester United. There are two styles currently available with a third due soon, produced in limited numbers which are proving hugely popular with fans of the independent clothing brand.
The most popular styles currently available form the Kilkenny based company are:
All three are really stylish high quality shoes, and are produced in both leather and suede, and available for sale all over the world. The suede shoes can be bought in some really amazing colours. Gone are the days were suede shoes came in brown and tan and Hannon Shop based in Aberdeen, Scotland have recently been tweeting some pictures of their latest line.
These shoes are being worn all over the world and when worn with some nice socks and decent denim, make for a really nice casual look. A glance at #PadmorrBarnes on the social networks will give you an idea of just how popular these shoes are amongst the well dressed men of the world, long may it continue.