Today’s specimen has been harvested from Queensland, Australia. Family run business Beard Mate is headed up by chief beard oil artisan Sam, who is fiercely passionate about her craft. I suspect if one were to invest in a bottle of Beard Mate one could rest assured that they had someone truly looking out for their skincare in their corner.
The Beard Mate recipe itself is rather enticing. It contains the all-powerful coconut oil. I praise the benefits of coconut oil for beard health so much that it almost depresses me when I gather a specimen that does not contain this amazing goodness.
I’m also awarding top marks for the applicator on this specimen. The crew at Beard Mate have sourced the best and the push button on this particular item is exceptionally responsive. This means if you press it down a tenth of the way, you get exactly a tenth of a squirt. Really cool.
The sauce itself is golden and gleams and shimmers in the hand. A sign of top quality carrier and essential oils.
Let’s see how the Urban Growth recipe fares in my formal assessment.
Lingerability is not this oils strong point.
I conducted the sniff test and was able to detect the aromas for 35 minutes after application.
The market benchmark is around 30 minutes, so I am scoring just a little over average for lingerabilty.
58% for lingerabilty. Acceptable.
Where this sauce does don its boxing gloves and start striking back is emanation. This brew is potent.
You can tell when you look at the oil in your hand and the aromas float up into your nostrils that you are dealing with a beard oil of strength. Many specimens don’t produce a strong aroma until you activate them – by rubbing your hands together to warm the oil – and apply them to your face.
With Beard Mate, you can sense the aroma emanating off your beard into the atmosphere around you (believe me, as a professional beard oil collector I pay close attention to these measurements).
In the formal emanation test using my patented emanation meter, my girlfriend was able to detect the aroma (after a salt-water nostril cleanse) from 1.8 feet away. The standard benchmark is 1 foot.
This is huge!
Note: I am grading two scents here City Ranger & Urban Growth. Emotional Response is the only criteria that is graded individually since other criteria are common.
The shades of this aroma are of such complexity they are difficult to describe!
Immediately upon application I was struck by multitudes of floral yet masculine notes. Some running, some sauntering and yet others leaping into my nostrils. The essence is one of refreshment and invigoration. My eyesight was temporarily enhanced and all senses become momentarily brighter. I was a top-tier city banker wearing the world’s slickest suit as I stalked through the CBD, with woman dropping around me at my feet with but a single glimpse of my bearded might.
My intellect doubled and I knew for fact that the day ahead was mine.
This effect lasted for 4 seconds before fading: leaving me with the pungent, earthy tones of oakmoss and patchouli combined with the bitter-sweet and sublimely rich combination of neroli, sandalwood and vanilla.
91% – Sublime.
The combination of peppery spearmint and sweet rosewood struck me a refreshing blow directly in the middle of the forehead. Wow!
If I had just emerged from a great shower and a beard trim, there could be little better than this envitalising floral melody to round-off the refreshment and set oneself up for an evening out on the town.
The evasive sweetness of ylang ylang and frankincense combine with the rich earthy depths of oakmoss to leave a pleasant musky after tone floating around ones person.
90% – Invigorating.
This specimen fared pretty well as far as greasiness is concerned.
Even after multiple coats there was no notable greasy residue, with the oils being well absorbed.
In the formal race, the specimen excelled itself and sprinted down the 21cm glass substrate in a mere 18 seconds (compared to the 30 second benchmark)! This indicates a low viscosity substance.
89% for greasiness. Impressive.
I could practically feel this specimen nourishing my beard hair. The coconut oil with its tiny lipid molecules helped carry the benefits of the almond, jojoba and soybean oil into the inner cortex of my beard hairs.
In practice, this really ‘calmed down’ my facial hair. There was a tangible increase in manageability and combing was a pleasure after using the Beard Mate brew.
Even in the formal beard oil review methodology, the post-strike hair indentations in the blu-tack were barely visible.
92% for hair impact – Rock on!
My skin was a little dry before applying this specimen.
I can say with sincerity that my skin was notably improved within a sink time of 15 minutes and an estimated sink rate of 85%
Warning: this is a potent sauce, so don’t use too much or you will look like an oiled-up 18th century greco roman wrestler.
90% for skin impact. Effective!
This oil was delivered in line with the promises on the web site.
Given solid customer service is readily available I am ranking this Beard Oil 80% on delivery.
A 25ml bottle of this oil will set you back $23.95 (AUD), with P&P of $7.95 for delivery within Australia (International delivery is available and priced at checkout).
Beard Mate is also offering 10% off any purchase over $5 with the coupon code BEARD, so I will grade based on this offer.
The Total Price of $28.71 therefore equates to $1.15 per ml.
My market analysis of the Australian beard oil industry tells us the median price per ml of beard oil made by the major Australian producers is $1.11 per ml.
Therefore, this specimen is just marginally above average, falling into the 55th percentile of the market – giving it a base value score of 45%.
However, we must make two adjustments to the value score. Firstly a 10% adjustment for the cost of the really cool and extra-responsive pump action applicator. Secondly, a 20% adjustment to provide for the fact that this recipe contains 6 essential oils versus the market average of 4.
I therefore award:
75% for Value.
So, overall, based on the weighted factoring of all criteria, the Urban Growth by Beard Mate scores an awesome:
A highly nourishing and invigorating blend with deep, complex, earthy tones. Strongly recommended.