#Beardcare Review – Totem Wolf Blend 79

If you’ve been paying close attention to our social media lately, you’ll know that we love the Totem Wolf brand. Their professionally crafted beard oils, and other beardcare products, have been keeping our beards bushy, bright and beautiful for a while now.

I’ve been lucky enough to sample a few of the lovely beardcare concoctions at Totem Wolf HQ, they were even kind enough to get Bristlr to Pride! But let’s talk about Blend 79 (as seen in GQ Magazine) and why you should get in to it. Check at the end of this article for a store link!

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Have you ever thought you need more variety in your beard oil? Want to be greeted by a different scent each time you give it a sniff? Blend 79 has an eclectic mix of carefully selected scents that all come together to make one beautifully sweet sniff.

When the scent first hits you, you’ll be greeted with the sweet yet minty top notes of Grapefruit and Peppermint. These scents are great mood boosters, and combined are great to help with depression, colds and even headaches. The oils are also antibacterial and antiseptic, so no nastiness in your beard! And those are just the top notes!

It doesn’t stop there. Shortly after the initial application, as the top notes begin to fade, it’s time for the heart notes to kick in! A strong combination of Rosemary and Clary Sage.

If you’re feeling a bit run down, the Rosemary is a great mind booster. It’s a fresh, minty scent with a woody undertone (for that touch of masculinity, if that’s what you’re after). The Clary Sage mixes well, with a sweet, nutty scent that calms and helps with stress.

Fun fact, Clary Sage is also an aphrodisiac. Use with caution! If you know what I mean…

A little while longer and the base notes of Cedarwood and Patchouli Dark come out.

The Cedarwood, as the name suggests, is a very woody scent, with a touch of warmth. What’s that? Perfect for the winter? Perfect Christmas present for your bearded buddies? Yeah, that’s what I thought you said. More mind clearing scents to follow with the Patchouli Dark oil, which is deliciously sweet and rich, with added earthy tones.

So, how would I describe Totem Wolf’s Blend 79? Well, it’s definitely a journey of a scent. It’s a complexly sweet scent, that evolves whilst it’s on your beard! Who doesn’t want a dynamic scented beard? I know I do!

Speaking from experience, I can tell you that Totem Wolf beard oil’s are worth every penny. You get a lot for your money, not just in quantity (the bottles last a long time) but also quality. Each bottle is delicately blended with care and attention to detail. They also look super classy.

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What’s that? You want your own bottle? Or thinking it would make a great present for your beardy pal this Christmas (Winter is coming, just sayin’)? Get Blend 79 here!

 

Beard Elitism #DontDoIt

It sounds like a joke, right? But it’s not.

Let’s not pretend we haven’t all seen posts on social media about beards, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE! And some of them aren’t too friendly. I’m not saying we need wrapping in cotton wool, or big bushy beards. But as individuals we can do something to make the world a better place to live in…and be less horrible on social media.

Okay, so lets talk Beard Elitism – it sucks. So much.

Do you remember when you first started growing a beard? When you fell in love with the hair growing out of your face? It was great, right? Then the trend on social media set in (which we at Bristlr have a lot to thank for, really).

Some of you will have stuck to your guns, you had a beard and you loved it. Some of you decided to back out and get rid of the beard, because trends can be a pain to keep up with, which is entirely your prerogative. But then there was heat from both sides for some of the more folicly challenged, and it was kind of unfair.

First, lets look in to the things that affect beard growth.

Genetics! Literally beyond anyone’s control. So what if someone can’t grow a beard because of their genes? Maybe they didn’t want one in the first place. Leave ’em be. “Supplements,” you say? Yeah, have fun with those side effects…

Stress! A good diet and plenty of sleep help out a lot with beard growth. So when someone’s particularly stressed and struggling to do either of those things, it’s going to have an effect on their beard. You’re going to kick someone when they’re down by berating the beard that in your eyes isn’t good enough? Feel good about yourself? You shouldn’t.

Exercise! Some of us are just too damn busy, and hitting the gym after a long day at work isn’t always top of the priority list. So cut us some slack and take your opinions elsewhere.

Those are just three things, and they’re all sort of beyond control. Notice how I put genetics top of the list though? No one can control that, not even you, with your opinions.

It might seem like I’m getting a little irritable, right? Here’s the thing – I’m fairly lucky. Despite being plagued with mental health issues (things just got personal up in here), having very little time to exercise and, let’s be honest, a terrible diet, I’m somehow blessed with (what many would consider) a “pretty good” beard. Genetics. Despite that, every now and then someone will happily point out that my beard’s looking whispy, a bit thin or a little patchy.

First off, thanks, that makes me feel great. Second, why did you have to say anything anyway? Third, remember that bit about mental health issues and kicking someone when they’re down? Yeah. You just did all that. And I didn’t even ask for an opinion. Go you.

You can say I’m taking this a little too seriously, but let’s be honest if you’re going out of your way to upset people, you need to have a word with yourself.

It’s not just beards either – all over social media people are commenting on all aspects of other peoples’ bodies. Like it’s their right to tell someone else how they should look. It isn’t.

We’re all about the beards here at Bristlr. So we do what we do to keep the beard community happy, whatever the shape, size and thickness of their beards. But that doesn’t mean we don’t care about everyone else! So, we say; Beard Elitism #DontDoIt. But lets lay off on judging people for their bodies and they way they present themselves.  Whether you have a big, bushy beard, or a little bit of bristle, you do you, and let others’ do the same.

A Bristlr Success Story – Jenna & Chad

Did you know that on average Bristlr causes at least one wedding (that we know of) per month? Totally legitimate statistics for you right there!

This month we’re both proud and delighted to announce the engagement of Jenna & Chad! Congratulations!

In a twist on our success stories, Jenna’s best friend Katy approached us with the story. So, surprise Jenna! You’re on Bristlr again!

In fact, it’s thanks to Katy that Jenna found her way on to Bristlr:

I made her Bristlr profile for her as a joke – I made her profile exactly what I thought people with beards would love “oh I love tacos, I love whiskey, I love biking…” and it really attracted these bearded guys!

It’s great when jokes turn in to amazing things, right (remember how Bristlr itself started out as a joke? Oh, the fun we’ve had)?

Although Jenna was skeptical at first, it didn’t take long for Chad to make himself know. A first date was arranged and after, as we’re told, a lot of making out later (well, who can resist a good beard like that?) Jenna and Chad became a happy couple!

Five months down the line in Hawaii, Jenna and Chad became engaged! Though Chad knew he wanted to propose after just two weeks together. The happy couple now share a beautiful home in Chicago and will be married after about a year of being together.

We couldn’t be happier for Jenna and Chad, we wish you all the best in the future. We’re delighted to have heard and shared your heart warming story.

jenna-chad

#BristlrPride Winners

We have our winners!

While we had some fabulous entries, we managed to narrow it down to our three winners in each category!

Taking home the Rainbow Beard category is:

It might not be a rainbow, but it’s a wonderful colour and we truly admired the creativity! You’re a winner!

Category is… GLITTER BEARD! And our winner is:

A beautiful, glittery look! Condragulations, you’re a winner, baby!

And our final category, with the most entries (so well done, you!), the standard beard winner is…

Beardy, beautiful, what’s not to love! Congratulations, you’ve done it!

Well done to our three competition winners! We will be in touch to sort out your prizes!

A huge thank you to everyone that entered the competition and to Totem Wolf for supplying the prizes!

Until next time, #HappyPride!

 

 

#BristlrPride Entrants

It’s almost time to reveal our THREE WINNERS of the #BristlrPride competition!

But before we do that, let’s take a quick look back at all the wonderful photos you beards and beard lovers have sent in.

*Multiple photos has not increased anyone’s chances of winning, but we’re always happy to see more of you!

So, in no particular order, here are the many beards of Pride!!

Okay, actually our first entrant! And a beautiful beard at that! Now, in no particular order!

#bristlrpride #beards #manchesterpride

A post shared by Andrew Love (@andylove100) on

All those beautiful beards, but are they a winner?

A beard and achievements to be proud of! Well done, you!

Wee Glasgow Pride March selfie #BristlrPride

A post shared by simon (@strangerbythecake) on

Could this fiery red beard be our winner?

@samuelalexanderxiii 's first pride!!! #happypride #manchesterpride #celebratinghistory #bristlrpride

A post shared by Joseph (@joey_seph) on

Someone found a member of our team!

Smile, it’s Pirde! And you could be a winner!

Our only bearded queen! And a fabulous queen at that! Here’s hoping you’re a winner!

Lost at Pride @manchesterpride #manchesterpride #pride #beard #lgbt #bristlrpride #streetparty

A post shared by Robert Elkin (@robertelkin) on

There could be a reason to celebrate yet!

Good luck to you and Lil Poundcake!

Who said you couldn’t get creative? Extra points there!

Living it up and hopefully having a reason to celebrate soon!

Just look at that beard of authority!

Those are all our entrants for Bristlr Pride! Thank you so much to everyone that took part, we hope you all had a magical Pride celebration!

We’ve consulted with Totem Wolf, our prize suppliers, and the decision is ours to make.

Our three winners will be announced tomorrow, so watch this space! You could be one of them!

Post Pride Celebrations at Bristlr

It’s officially the end of EuroPride month, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be proud! So we’ll be carrying on with our Queer Beard Questions series as we find more people to speak to. So if you want to get involved, get in touch!

In addition, our #BristlrPride competition is STILL running! It’s been a busy Pride month, and we know (from experience) that when you’re caught up in the moment it can be tricky to do things like enter competitions with amazing prizes. So we’ll be accepting entries for the first week of September!

Insta send out

We’ve already had some fabulous entries, just take a look below!

Just look at that beard of Pride! 

#bristlrpride #beards #manchesterpride

A post shared by Andrew Love (@andylove100) on

All those beards, practically beaming with Pride!!

Lost at Pride @manchesterpride #manchesterpride #pride #beard #lgbt #bristlrpride #streetparty

A post shared by Robert Elkin (@robertelkin) on

That’s a face of pure pride right there! 

And that’s just some of them!

Thanks to the support of our amazing friends at Totem Wolf, Bristlr was able to actually attend Manchester Pride this year. Albeit on a small scale (just me!), but what an experience was had! Next year, we’re thinking Bristlr Pride float! Fingers crossed…

We saw some pretty amazing beards…

And reconnected with some old friends! Remember our #BareYourBeard runner up here? 

We even had the pleasure of meeting the handsome guys at Moody Bear

…and couldn’t resist getting some of their merch. Hopefully this won’t be the last we hear from them!

This is the personal bit – the most important part for me was attending the vigil on the final day of Manchester Pride. With so many attacks on the LGBTQ community in recent months, a community that I am proudly a part of, I wanted to show solidarity in the face of adversity. A truly humbling and moving experience.

Manchester Pride Vigil
Photo credit – Glenn Jones

So thank you to everyone that has shown their support in joining in with Pride and helping Bristlr celebrate, whether you entered the competition, spread the word, helped us raise awareness or helped us actually attend a Pride celebration ourselves (Thanks again, Totem Wolf!)! It’s been an enjoyable month for us at Bristlr, and we were proud to take part!

Don’t think it’s over though, the team at Bristlr will strive to always raise awareness for our fellow LGBTQ community all year around! So as always, watch this space for exciting things to come.

Queer Beard Questions – Andy Beard

Euro Pride month is almost over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to raise awareness of the minorities within our bearded community. For our second in the series of Queer Beard Questions we’ve tracked down another beardy drag artist, Andy Beard down in London, UK. Check out the flawless artistry…

Here’s what they had to say about beards, drag and gender identity.


-What does drag mean to you?

Isn’t everything drag, some aesthetic choices are less “interesting” than others, but we’re all dressing up to fit some ideal regardless of how understated that is. To me everything is drag- from leather clad Muscle bears to queens with the highest hair and drowning in sequins. It’s all dress up.


-What do beards mean to you?

After 10 years of having a beard it’s pretty ingrained in my sense of identity- facial topiary isn’t a prerequisite when it comes to attractiveness but you’ve gotta love a nice hairy dude.


-What statement are you trying to make by mixing drag and beards?

Just because I’ve embraced my genetic predominance to being hirsute I don’t feel I should neglect my ability to embrace and radiate femininity, it’s powerful and courageous to explore all facets of yourself – I don’t feel I’m making a statement about a clash of gender so much as how a balance can be struck. These things shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.  #mascandmascara


-How do you feel about recent acknowledgements of different gender identities?

It’s too little too late, humanity’s obsession with classification is so overwhelmingly stifling. Who we are is much more than the corporeal form we inhabit, you should never limit yourself to such a small definition.


-What would you say to someone that sees beards as a “men only” zone and would force us in to little gender boxes?

I think it’s a real pity, but at the end of the day small mindedness only clips it’s own wings. Beards are for anyone who can grow them, masc or femme, male or female and the vast spectrum between.


-What words of wisdom and inspiration would you impart to anyone struggling with their idea of gender and how to present themselves?

Self hatred and despair are very easy to give in to. In a world where even our own small subculture is so cannibalistic, in terms of how we compartmentalise what is acceptable and what isn’t. I urge you sincerely to resist the temptation to become more generic and risk not fully realising your own identity. You are so much more than the body you own, start taking care of your mental well-being and the rest will follow.

You hear that? Beards are for anyone, so don’t let people put you in a box. Even if you don’t want a beard of your own, don’t let the small mindedness of other’s restrict your from being the person you want to be.

Thanks so much to the wonderful Andy Beard for these words of wisdom!

Queer Beard Questions – Ruby Rawbone

With Pride Season in full swing, we’re making a whole series of Queer Beard Questions! We’ll be seeking out various queer beards to question them on their thoughts on beards, their own expression of gender and gender identities and the progress we, the LGBTQ community, have made over the years.

Ruby Ross 2

Our first interview is with a good friend of ours, Ruby Rawbone (AKA Ross), a beautiful, beardy BABE of a drag queen based in Bristol. Here’s what they had to say:

What does drag mean to you?
Drag to me means that I can be whatever I want to, Its a beautiful and varied art form. Drag is an expression, a movement, a performance.
Drag Kings and Queens have been an integral part of the LGBTQ community and have been the key to so many successful equality movements. The art form has been around for centuries and continue to grow everyday. There are so many sub cultures within the drag community, which is a sub culture itself. It just shows how varied the art form is and to be part of something so wonderful is nothing short of an honour. Standing on stage at Bristol pride was a highlight of Ruby’s life so far and to receive the love and support that I did it made the 6am start worthwhile.
What do beards mean to you?
Beards have historically been a sign of status and masculinity. You just have to look at history and portraits to understand that… However it is very much not the case in this day and age. It is a look and they come in all shapes, sizes and colours. They are used as  a sign of expression, blue beards being my favorite so far.
What statement are you trying to make by mixing drag and beards?
When I first started being a drag performer, I loved my beard as  Ross and thought why compromise. Ruby was spawned with a beard and why change that. The mixing of the stereotypical feminine look with the stereotypical masculine look worked for me as a performer. Why should I have to do something because society says so? I took a lot of influence from several areas from the beautiful creatures that make the ‘Sink the Pink’ nights in London, to the Cabaret stunners all around the country to the artistic prowess of the Housewives of Birmingham and the #Manchesterqueens.
How do you feel about recent acknowledgements of different gender identities? 
About TIME, why should anyone be put in one of two boxes by society. There are an infinite amount of ‘boxes’ and people should be able to be who they want to be with THEIR life and jump in and out of whatever they want. Why label it? I feel some people have to compartmentalise to understand, but who cares what other people think, life is too short. Be the beautiful person you are, whatever that may be.
What would you say to someone that sees beards as a “men only” zone and would force us in to little gender boxes? 
Two words…. F**K YOU.
What words of wisdom and inspiration would you impart to anyone struggling with their idea of gender and how to present themselves? 
Be who ever you are and want to be. The people who care about you will love you for whatever you want. Just fill your life with love and positivity and you will be a very happy person leading a full life. I learned this the hard way. Ruby has shown and taught me a lot. I get so much love from strangers, friends and family so go on do your thing. The LGBTQ  community are a massive family across the world and will stand by each other regardless. Drop a friend a message tell them you’ll support them with anything big or small. express yourself! LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Thank you so much to the beautiful Ruby Rawbone! Stay bearded and stay beautiful, and keep up those words of positivity!

Recommend Your Barber for Totem Wolf!

Our pals over at Totem Wolf are looking for barbers to stock their beard products!

If you’re a local barber in Manchester and you want to stock some quality beard oils, soaps and more, we can’t recommend Totem Wolf enough! We’ve even been gifted with our own, unique blend! So, if you feel that the oils on offer aren’t for you, drop a message. Perhaps you could have your own blend.

Not a barber yourself? No problem! There’s still an offer for you if you think your barber is interested in Totem Wolf products.

If you recommend a barber and they choose to stock Totem Wolf’s products you’ll be gifted with your own 30ml bottle of Blend 79 beard oil!

To recommend your barber, just drop Totem Wolf a message and get your barber to do the same. Then, if your barber says yes, we’ll say yes to gifting you with your free bottle of Blend 79!

So get recommending!

 

*currently UK only!

 

 

#BristlrPrideMCR with Totem Wolf!

Oh, y’all wanted a twist?!

You read the title right, beard fans! Celebrating our Manchester roots and the LGBTQ community, Bristlr will be attending #ManchesterPride! It’s all thanks to Totem Wolf!

In celebration of Manchester Pride month we’ll be creating a number of blogs in celebration of gender and sexuality, all beard-centric of course! Watch this space, you might just learn a thing or two, and you’ll be proud of yourself for opening your mind. How fun?!

We’ll also be running a competition sponsored by Totem Wolf, more on that later! Be sure to take a look at their amazing selection of products – we’ll be plugging them this month too as a huge thank you!

So, keep an eye out for our Bristlr rep at Pride and watch this space to get involved with our competition!

Bristlr Pride

#HappyPride!