I take caring for my beard seriously. There are products I use all the time, but I’m also open to trying new ones – and sharing them with my bearded brothers. That’s why I was eager to try Grave Before Shave Bay Rum Beard Balm.
About Grave Before Shave Bay Rum Beard Balm
Let’s start with the obvious. The Grave Before Shave products have excellent packaging. It’s so cool that it made me want to like the product.
This particular product, the Bay Rum Beard Balm, comes in a great tin with a black and white illustration of a bearded skull in a pirate’s hat. I love the idea that this pirate would die before shaving his beard!
The next thing you need to know is that this product smells fantastic. It’s patterned after bay rum, kind of the original men’s cologne, and it’s masculine and fresh smelling. I can tell you with confidence that the ladies love it! I got a ton of compliments on the smell when I used this balm, and nothing has compared to the scent yet.
Similar to what we showed in our DIY Product Guide, the ingredients are all-natural. Here’s a list of what’s inside:
There are also some essential oils included. As you can see, no harsh or toxic chemicals in this mix. So far so good.
My Experience with Grave Before Shave Rum Beard Balm
Now let me tell you about my personal experience with the Grave Before Shave product Bay Rum Beard Balm. Remember… I wanted to like this product (not only because of the smell and packaging but because it was also a gift.)
Getting this stuff out of the tin, though, isn’t as easy as it should be. It’s pretty thick and dense, and I found I had to press my finger in there pretty hard and scrape some of the balm with my fingernail and then spread it into my palms for the liquidation process.
It’s pretty normal to have to rub beard balm between your hands to soften it up for application, but in this case, I had to rub a lot to generate the proper heat. The Grave Before Shave balm isn’t as melty as some others I’ve tried. I had to give it a serious warm up before I could use it in my beard.
When I put it into my beard, at first all I could think of was the smell. Like I said before, this product smells unbelievably good.
But then I applied it to my beard, and that’s when things started to get a little weird. The day was a bit on the cold side (sub zero), and just in the brief amount of time between when I finished ]applying the balm to my beard and walking to my truck, some of the balm started to solidify… IN MY BEARD!
Update: I have pulled this product out of the bathroom closet for a Round 2 now that is warming up outside and have not had the same incident I first experienced. I’m onto the idea that in a colder climate some balms may do this. I haven’t experience it on any other brands but it may not be Grave Before Shave’s fault for this.
The result? I ended up with little blobs of white balm in my beard. NOT the look I was going for, certainly. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it was off-putting and quite embarrassing… Had I not noticed when looking into the rearview mirror I would have walked around all day looking like this. I had to go back inside and wash it out and use my Beard Struggle Products for the day.
Here are some of the other things I noticed on my first use of this product:
- It doesn’t provide a ton of holding power. In fact, I don’t feel like it did very much at all to tame the flyaway hairs in my beard and keep it in place.
- It did soften my beard once I managed to get the balm blended in there.
When I noticed that it wasn’t holding, I tried reapplying it mid-day to see if it would do a bit better. Maybe I just hadn’t applied enough.
Nah, that wasn’t it. Adding more actually made my beard feel a bit greasy. In fact, when I looked in the mirror I noticed that it looked sort of greasy as well. Again, not what I was hoping for.
Observations about Grave Before Shave Bay Rum Beard Balm
When I review a product, I always want to give it a real shot. Even though my first experience with this balm wasn’t great, I decided to use it a few more times before writing and publishing this review. Here’s the rest of what I noticed about Grave Before Shave Bay Rum Beard Balm:
- When I went to sleep, the balm came off on my pillow and sheets. Maybe that’s because I put on more than necessary – but it was still not great that it did that.
- It was really hard for me to gage how much to use, mostly because the hold wasn’t as strong as some other products I’ve tried. I think I often over-applied it because I kept hoping that it would give me the hold I wanted.
- I’m a little acne prone, and I noticed that after a few days of consistent use I had some breakouts under my beard. Again, this might be because I used too much, but I would just as soon use products that don’t make me break out.
Because of the issue with the consistency, I tried keeping it in the bathroom with me while I showered one day. What I found is that the heat of the shower softened it – making application FAR easier and had much less solidifying problems.
My two big positives about this product are the smell, which I’ve already mentioned, and its softening ability. There’s no question that this product made my beard nice and soft and smelled great– so that’s a good thing (especially for the women.)
The bottom line here is that although I really wanted to like this product and I encourage you to try it for yourself rather than just listen to my opinion. Buy it here: Grave Before Shaves product Bay Rum Beard Balm, but at the end of the day, I didn’t like it. It did soften my beard, and it did smell fantastic, but on the whole, I’d just as soon use beard oil for that purpose. I was hoping for something that would provide real holding power, and this just didn’t do it the way some other beard balms do.
All of that said, I do look forward to trying Grave Before Shave’s other products (I have this one in my cart now). This stuff smells great, and their packaging is so badass that I still have high hopes for their other beard care products.