Trying out Forestbare

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

So, yet again, one of my favorite men’s style websites, Well Spent, clued me in to a company selling exactly what I’ve been looking for. It might seem banal to you, but, as part of my quest to buy more American-made stuff & focus more on natural foods, cleaning supplies & grooming supplies, I was really excited to learn about this all-natural, American-made men’s grooming shop: Forestbare.

So far I’ve been really impressed with the quality and price of the things I got from them. And I especially like that the ingredients and manufacturing location is listed on every page. I guess I’m kind of becoming that guy.

So here’s a quick run-down:

Abraham’s Face & Beard Wash

This was reasonably priced enough that I basically bought it because Abraham is my son. I’ve been using it for a week now, and due to the salicylic acid/jojoba oil combo, I have had no beard/shaving related pimples. It barely has a scent, but matches up nicely with the awesome Duke Cannon hair wash I’ve been using. (I found that via Lodge Goods, another one of my new favorite online retailers of American-made stuff.)

Craftsman Soap Company Activated Charcoal Soap

I’d stopped using soap because that shit dried out my skin and moved on to body wash. It’s actually nice to be using soap again, and this stuff doesn’t dry out my skin or leave a noticeable residue. I’m down.

Puur Beard Face Beard Balm

Despite all my beard oil tomfoolery, I hadn’t bought anything, uh, gooier to put on it, but this stuff looked promising. As it says, it’s not a moustache wax, but I’ve been using it as such. My beard is so wiry, that I’ve been taming the bits around my face with this. I like it, and might upgrade to a moustache wax eventually.

Puur Fireman Fresh Scent Beard Oil

So of course I bought the beard oil. I was stoked to see that, where most beard oils start out at $10/oz, this one was $7 for 2oz. That’s because the oils used are pretty common, but the scent is just the right blend of smoke & citrus, and it’s working just as well to keep my beard shiny & happy. I’m definitely using this as my daily beard oil, unless I’m feeling fancy.

KOTFW Hair & Beard Pomade

I’m not real sure about this one. It’s basically an odorless wax. I have to use the edge of my comb to get any of it out, and then rub my hands together Mr. Miyagi-style to melt it enough to get in my hair. Once in there though, it does a great job holding my hairstyle without a wet look. I wish it came with a little scraper tool to get it out & smelled a bit more like the Iron Society pomade I won from Cloak & Dapper.

Live Beautifully Fresh Mountain Timber Deodorant

This is the stuff I was most eager to try. I’ve been stuck using a salt block as a deodorant because my armpit flesh is extra-sensitive due to all the chemical burns other deodorants have given me. Even Tom’s of Maine irritated me. And the salt block killed the stink (unless it is really hot out) but did nothing to stop me from pitting out. I’m happy to say that this stuff is amazing. Smells a bit like an all-natural Old Spice, no burning, no full-on pit sweat, and it only needs to be applied very very sparingly to get the job done. Definitely buying this again and again.

So if you’re a dude who’s into any of the stuff I just wrote about, give this shop a try. They also have great customer service and ship quickly.

A Further Examination of Beard Oil & Its Ramifications

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Way back in September of 2013, I wrote a post about what it was like to lose my beard oil virginity. I’ve come a fair distance since Beard Oil & Its Ramifications, and I thought this might be a good time to revisit the issue. My beard is not as friggin’ huge as it was back in September. My beard is like a bramble patch, and I’m still in the process of figuring out if there’s a low-hassle way to mitigate that. I don’t really mind having a face that looks like there’s a pubic bush growing out of it, as long as I can keep my chin-hedge properly clipped.

Beard oil doesn’t help with that. I have discovered that I like how it changes the feel of the beard, and I am very intrigued by the scent possibilities. It should be clear that in general, I’m cheap, and I’m picky. Know that before reading on. I’ve done a bit of research, and here’s what I’ve tried out so far:

Queen Bee Trading Company All Natural Beard Oil

My friend Jerika recommended this one to me, at $10 (plus shipping) it’s about as inexpensive as you can find beard oil, and it has a pleasant but unassuming woodsy scent. I’ve been using it as my daily beard oil, and it’s done the job very well. You can also place a custom order request and get pretty much any scent you’d care for. The order came with a sample of the coffee-scented oil, and I was a big fan.

Odin Spiced Mead Beard Oil by Bath Sabbath

By far the brand closest to my black heart. Everything Bath Sabbath makes is metal-themed, and they’ve got bitchin’ graphic design. I couldn’t pass up trying their Odin beard oil ($10 plus shipping). If you like sweeter & more floral scents for your beard, a stronger scent, or a beard oil that’s a bit thicker than standard, make a run for this. Spiced Mead is right on for the description. Think wildflower honey, drinking from mead horns while outside, in the dark, something slavers. I was contacted by the proprietor after leaving my Etsy review, and she said she’d send me a sample of her upcoming Cernunnos scent.

Tree Ranger Beard Oil by Beardbrand

I just recently received this beard oil, and though it’s normally out of my price range ($25 plus shipping) I got a good deal on it from Huckberry. I like its woodsy scent, the cedarwood & pinewood essential oils are a good combo, but it’s definitely less viscous (it arrived frozen) than any other oil I’ve tried, and doesn’t come with a dropper. This means it is getting used up really fast. Unless you’re super picky about the types of oil used and its sourcing, you can get a similar product for significantly less in a variety of places.

The Carpenter by Dream Beard

This was one of the samples that I got in my first attempt at beard oiling. It was my favorite, so I bought a proper bottle ($15 plus shipping). The name is spot on. It smells like a woodshop. What’s not to like about that?

The Gentleman’s Beard Grooming Kit by First Olympian

I felt like I took a big gamble with this, but it definitely paid off. This amazing grooming kit (£94) came with 4 travel-sized oils (Hermes, Ares, Zeus, Eros), trimming shears, and a badass wooden comb. Each of the oils smell good enough to eat, and kind of leave everything else I’ve reviewed so far in the dust. Seriously the best stuff I’ve tried. I’ll have to use it parsimoniously.

Combs

I knew I needed a decent wood comb for the beard, the Conair comb I’ve been using for my hair for a billion years ain’t got what it takes to clear a swath through my tangle, and I wanted something wooden to absorb the excess oil. I bought a cheap neem wood comb from Amazon and it’s done a great job. I wanted to find something a bit better quality and made in the USA, if possible. All I could scrounge up at the time was Sierra Legacy Hardwood Combs. What I got was a great comb, but not for my beard. Now I’ve stumbled across a few other beard comb options, but haven’t picked anything yet.

Beard Accident

Monday, 10 February 2003

-Why are things like this reported?

Honestly, it serves only as an explication of cultural values instead of anything remotely health-related. It is also far too narrow, dealing only with Welsh men. Now, they mention that social factors are probably the cause of a majority of the diseases, apparently because men that don’t shave regularly are blue collar workers that don’t get any. But this is immediately dismissed in favor of the evidence for shaving. and apparently, not shaving regularly fucks up the testosterone levels which in turn leads to stroke. excuse me, but a beard grows whether or not you shave it. and the lack of sex is most definitely due to mate appearence preferences rather than anything to do with the physiology of facial hair. if a girl doesn’t like facial hair she won’t sleep with you. if facial hair messes up sexual virility Homo sapiens sapiens would have died out long before the first razor. how can people get 20 years of funding for this when an artist or independent filmmaker has to kiss pimply ass and jump through flaming hoops blindfolded just to get the chance to ask for money. Stuff like the above article will destroy the world.

why am i so emotionally involved? well, i do have facial hair. i do not get any, and i would much rather think that it is because girls don’t like facial hair rather than the idea that hair makes me impotent. was it not a sign of potency back in the day? also the NEA gets axed while 20 year studies on shaving get plenty of funding. yeah, the NEA was a US thing and this was in Britain, but they are most definitely related phenomenon.

*UPDATE*

not two minutes ago after going to the bathroom to trim said facial hair, the electric trimmer slipped from its selected trimming length and before i knew it i had taken quite a chunk out of my beard. i had to trim it almost to oblivion. poetic justice my ass.

Bad Hygiene

Tuesday, 23 July 2002

i’ve stopped even making the attempt to get up early enough to do basic hygiene before stumbling into work. at the beginnning of the summer, i strove to start my schedule at 9 in the morning but since clusters open at 8 i was not permitted to schedule myself at 9 without also signing up for 8. this wasn’t a terribly big deal since for the past three years i have been getting up at 5:30 in the morning to go to work. so i started getting up at 7, showering, eating a bit of breakfast and then going in to work. this worked out well until i started my night job. then, getting back into the dorm at one in the morning made getting up 6 hours later much more difficult. at first i started getting up at 7:15, then that turned into 7:30, now my alarm goes off at 7:45 i sleep for another ten minutes, roll out of bed and wander over to the cluster right as it opens. my breath smells, my face is greasy, i’m pretty sure the these shorts i’ve been wearing are the only ones i’ve ever had in my entire life. my hair is mussed, i need to shave. flowers wilt before my presence and children are afraid of me. thankfully, once lunchtime rolls around, it is just as easy to wander back to my room and shower up. only 9 more twelve hour days until i actually get something resembling summer vacation. alright!

i found the CSS reference section in Dreamweaver. Now i can actually start fiddling around! but lo and behold, one of my previous pages was pretty much done in CSS and i didn’t even know it. granted, that was the page that a stole probably 80% of the code from, but it was a good learning experience. maybe this won’t be as bad as i had expected.