My face has been an experimental playground lately, testing all sorts of skin cleansers and moisturizers. Feel free to read my other two most recent reviews on Floris and Penhaligon’s, with a combined 432 years of experience between them. Today’s review comes from a much different company, a burgeoning New York based startup named after Beau Brummell, the 18th century male style icon who influenced politics and fashion with his own personal attention to grooming and dress. Can you imagine if Beau Brummell was alive today? His Instagram feed would be required reading.
With its full line, Beau Brummell is taking on some heavy hitters in the exploding men’s grooming space. Fortunately for BB, they are taking them on with some fantastic offerings. I guess I’m not burying the lead too much, but I really enjoyed using these products. What I’d like to do is run through each one, and let you know WHY I liked it.
Normally charcoal face washes don’t work for me. I find charcoal-based cleansers to be too mild for my more oily skin. So, it only makes sense that I was initially skeptical. This face wash is different though. Beau Brummell says this cleanser contains a “heaping amount” of charcoal, and that seems to be true. Even the color of the face wash is different than others, due to the addition of the charcoal. So what does the charcoal do? Think of it like giving yourself a clay mask treatment twice a day, but with the gentleness of a citric or glycolic acid face wash. The charcoal contains oil-absorbing qualities, similar to kaolin clay, and helps to wash away normal dirt and grime too. My skin responded quite well to this face wash. It cleared up and stayed clear.
This is probably my favorite product in the entire line. The balance of cleanser to menthol to abrasive scrub is spot on! I love using this as a prep before I shave, and I use it three times a week prior to shaving. In addition to normal use, I have used this face wash when I just needed to feel clean at the end of the day. Whether I was grimy from running around downtown Philadelphia or greasy from cooking dinner for everyone, this scrub made day’s dirt disappear.
The best part of this moisturizer is the mattifying quality. In addition to protecting and nourishing my skin, this product keeps the oil at bay. The addition of charcoal into the moisturizer helped it absorb oil as my skin produced it, keeping my pores clear and blemish free.
As far as clay masks go, this is definitely a stronger than usual mask. I, personally, appreciated the strength. My pores certainly certainly got their money’s worth with this mask. It performed superbly, deeply cleaning my skin and pores and refreshing them for the coming week. (I typically do my masks on Monday night while watching guilty pleasure tv shows!)
The performance of this shaving soap is outstanding. I tend to prefer soaps over creams, but soap really put that preference to the test. Twice I was able to slice through multiple days of facial hair growth without a single nick, weeper, or irritation. Lathering was also very simple. “Over-watering” the lather was so difficult. This cream just absorbed more and more water, resulting in an over-abundance of lather (not really a bad problem to have!). This is an ideal shaving cream for both beginners and veterans alike. The scent reminded me of the Taylor of Old Bond Street “Grapefruit” shaving cream, but milder. I think many wet shaving enthusiasts will appreciate this, as the TOBS “Grapefruit” has been known to be too strong for some.
Typically, I think the shaving brushes supplied by most skincare companies are really substandard when compared to those produced by either a wet shaving product manufacturer or a true brush manufacturer. However, Beau Brummell’s shaving brush seems to have a little more behind it than some of those other add-on brushes. The black badger hair is pretty strong and required some breaking in. But once it did, it chewed through most of my soaps with ease. I was even able to build a better lather than usual with one of my most poorly review soaps. There was some minimal shedding and an initial badger brush smell (i.e. wet dog) that needed to be washed out. But, overall, I was impressed by this brush, and it quickly paid dividends on the time I took to break it in.
On the whole, I highly recommend the entire Beau Brummell line. If you wanted to start with one or two products, I would suggest the face scrub and the shaving cream. But everything lived up to the claim of expertly crafted, small-batch products with excellent performance and optimal results.