Read Part 1 of this Beard Buddy review: Don’t Let Your Beard Get Weird.
After a week of using Beard Buddy Beard Wash and Oils I’m starting to form some concrete opinions. The beard oil is beard oil for people who don’t want people to know they use beard oil. Make sense? The scent is subtle and stays subtle all day. A light, fresh fragrance on your beard. It is also more of a matte style oil. It leaves your beard with a natural look and not a glossier sheen. This is a rare thing on the market. Most oils are designed in part to draw some attention to the beard as if it is the human male equivalent of peacock feathers.
As someone who uses beard oil regularly I was confused when I’d look at myself in the mirror in the afternoon (as I’m prone to due often since I’m super fucking vain). My beard would look like there was no oils on it but still feel soft. The downside being that because it is a lighter product my curly, bristly beard would need more oil to keep it from ‘fro-ing out by late in the day. That is important if you have a bigger beard. If you’re only applying the normal few drops in the morning you may want to do a refresher in the afternoon if you’re planning an evening out provoking envy from the unbearded.
The beard wash works fine, but doesn’t add a softening conditioner. So my beard felt clean, but also more dried out than normal. Be prepared to add a conditioner to your regimen if you’re using the beard wash alone. Maybe a future Beard Buddy offering? And as a design, the Beard Buddy looks good on the shelf.
I had a chance to interview Beard Buddy Co-Founder, Nathan Bell this past week to get some background on how the brand came to be, and why they do what they do.
SoCalSessions: What inspired you to start a beard product brand back?
Nathan Bell: My friend Gareth and I would always let each other know if we have weird stuff in our beards. One day, when I was telling him he had food in his kiwi face farm, he said “everyone should have a buddy for their beard..a beard buddy”
We had a good laugh at this, and then it got us thinking. We hadn’t seen anything we liked in the marketplace for beards, and if there was something, it was poorly designed and cheesy or way too high end for our tastes. We decided to start our own line of quality products here in LA.
SS: Your Beard products are “made for beards by beards”. Are you mixing & packaging these by hand in LA?
NB: We are completely made in LA by some really talented people. We have been fortunate to collaborate with friends and artisans in Los Angeles that have been able to help us make the unique, quality products we want to offer. We use the “for beards by beards” mantra to relay this team vibe and to reiterate that we are a genuine brand that is here for the right reasons…not just to make a buck.
SS: What was the process of developing Beard Buddy Beard oil, and how do you maintain consistency batch to batch?
NB: We joined forces with The Potion Shoppe, to develop the Beard Buddy beard oil back in 2012. We told her what we did and didn’t want and she put together concoctions for us and it went from there. We did our first meeting at her brother’s restaurant Pizzanista, and we’ve partnered ever since. We are able to be consistent because she is a bad ass.
NB: I am a graphic designer by trade so I had fun putting together ideas for the branding. I did a ton of sketches for the look and landed on the nautical direction. The sea has always been a great place for man and his beard. You rarely see sailors without facial hair. I’m big on word play too, so the “save” part of “Save Your Beard From Being Weird” mixed with the life preserver was interesting to me. In the end, I decided to enlist a longtime UK artist homie, Andrew Groves, to illustrate the logo direction. As an Art Director, you sometimes have to hire others to execute a vision. In my eyes, Andrews whimsical, fun style was a perfect match for Beard Buddy. We make serious products with a not so serious sensibility. I’m really happy with what we were able to accomplish, he’s the best.
SS: What’s the future of Beard Buddy? Will there be additional styles/scents or new products offered?
NB: Put on your shades, because the future is bright for Beard Buddy. We are continuing to grow (pun intended) and are planning on releasing new products this year. I won’t say what but I promise it will elevate your beard game and smell awesome.
Check back next week for my final review of Beard Buddy Beard Wash & Beard Oil