Big Phat Beard Lunar Solace
Updated: Jun 23, 2021
John from Big Phat Beard is no stranger to the UK small batch beard industry and has tried to be a pillar of the community. Giving up time to be part of the UK Beard Portal, giving tips to community members, learning his trade as a barber but also teaching the new generation about beard maintenance, and even speaking to brand new companies to offer them a helping hand. Whilst doing all of this, John has his own line of 4 different oil/balms, merchandise and beard care equipment including the legendary Monster Brush which I have also reviewed (Review Here.) John has been deep in his own research and has developed a brand new beard butter called Lunar Solace. The scent is a slightly tweaked version of Botanic Nectar (Review Here) and is exclusive to the new whipped butter Lunar Solace. Big Phat Beard's first whipped butter and it's designed exclusively for night time use however how does it stand up compared to some of the exceptional whipped butters currently rattling around the UK small batch market?
Outside The Container
A big 100ml container which dwarfs most on the market at the moment and priced at £19.99. Price-wise the product is very competitive considering the 100ml contents however all of the Big Phat Beard products are competitive to current market prices, but add on a discount code DOCK10 for an extra 10% off at the checkout will bring it down even more. A slick, jet black plastic container holds the product in place which may seem rather basic compared to a glass container however it looks rather sleek, reflecting any shine despite its less than bespoke feel. Two labels cover the container, with one on the top and one on the bottom, which is actually very different compared to the usual label wrapped around the side of the container. A stunning top label which has a purple solar system with white freckles representing the stars. Handlebar Hank sits proudly in front with circular white writing wrapping around the top which creates a soothing contrast, bouncing off the celestial purple background. Underneath the container is the second logo which handles all the nitty gritty legalities. Latin ingredients, allergens, batch numbers, company address and general guidance covers pretty much everything need for legal compliance. If you want to check out everything needed to make sure a company is legally compliant then check out my bog by clicking here. A great overhaul since my last review has shown Big Phat Beard stepping up a few levels regarding their labels, and demonstrating how it should be done. The overall labelling behind this product does a fantastic job at standing out in a congested beard cabinet. The celestial style logo is something which I've never seen before, creating a stunning job at bringing something a little different and eye catching yet whilst being very simple.
Inside The Container?
Big Phat Beard are notorious for using top notch ingredients and Lunar Solace doesn't break stride when following in the beard oil footprints. Shea Butter, Coconut Virgin Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Hemp Seed Oil. Although the mixture is not the most adventurous, its full of goodies designed to help nourish the skin underneath and beard follicles which we love soo much. Moving away from the Grapeseed and Golden Jojoba which is found within the oil yet replaced with Coconut Virgin Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil is a very interesting decision. Coconut oil is usually extracted from the dried Coconut Kernel however Virgin Coconut oil is actually extracted from the milk via a cold process which retains a few extra goodies including the aroma, which should play a factor in the overall scent profile of the product.
The scent is made up of Lavender, Bergamot and Ylang-Ylang. It's a simplistic blend of essential oils which are Soil Association approved to ensure that no cheap ingredients are used. An expected heavy lavender front which should be consistent with the night time theme backed with the coconut oil fragrance, and infused with slightly softer fruity notes to help balance the mixture, however is this enough to separate itself from others on the market?
Whilst many claim the be "The Butter King" it's very hard to truly define what product has the right to claim that title. Beard butters are notorious for being used more in the night time, as consumers want deeper nourishment, also less hold for styling and this is where Big Phat Beard have decided to focus. A super soft whipped butter, is in my opinion one of the softest on the market with perhaps one other able to challenge in this area. Whipped, whipped and whipped again until there's almost nothing left apart from air entwinned with pockets of actual product. Pushing your finger though the product and it has an amazing popping sound like miniture Rice Krispies, which any good whipped butter should have to show the pockets of air created in the whipping process. It emulsifies down almost immediately, whilst having an immaculatly smooth feeling when removing it from the container with virtually no signs of any lumps.
The scent profile is very reminiscent of Botanic Nectar yet it does separate itself away thanks to its softer overall presences. The Lavender is the domineering scent which is aimed to release tension and ultimately soothe you into a deep sleep however it packs a soft to medium power punch which is fantastic to ensure it doesn't become overpowering before you sleep. The Bergamot and Ylang-Ylang are present however to the untrained nose it can easily be missed as the soft, fruity / floral aromas exist in the background aimed to prop up the Lavender however its the milky coconut scent which seems to mellow everything into an extremely well balanced night time aroma. The scent profile holds its Lavender infused state around the 4 - 5 hour mark which is not the longest lasting scent however to increase longevity you would need to increase the potency which I think would create an overbearing product.
Within the beard Lunar Solace gives virtually nothing to style or hold your beard with a feeling of an almost complete natural hanging state. The common moan at the moment is beeswax within a butter, which users hate to sleep with a beeswax infused butter due to its slightly firm nature, yet this is something you don't have to worry about. Lunar Solace is soo soft that it's almost weightless within your beard and without the aroma reminding you of its presence then you may even forget you applied it. This style of weightless whipped butter is created by only a few brands and allows for a unruffled sleep if you are conscious about wax or heavy beards when trying to enter Dreamland (not the one in Margate.) Lunar Solace does sit on your beard with a slight residue to which a liberal approach of product used per application should be considered however it's nothing excessive which I find acceptable from a beard butter and enforces the normal rules of simply "DON'T TOUCH YOUR BEARD."
The product is designed for night time use however using it during the day won't cause any issues but it simply doesn't have the density to create any style, leaving it restricted at most for lazy day usage. Most beard butters can easily sit within your beard overnight, nourishing until the next morning and Lunar Solace does just this by expectational deep skin penetration with hair follicle softening properties when regularly used. Waking up in the morning and the aroma has long gone however a minimal amount of the product is still present which could easily last until the early afternoon before the dreaded itch takes over. A simple top up with any oil if you're not washing it out in the morning will top that feeling of hydration without causing any issues and only adds to the last bit of nourishment from the butter itself.
Lunar Solace has taken a sector of the market which is currently booming and created something which feels familiar yet very unique. The scent profile is not to dissimilar than other Lavender scents despite Big Phat Beard's unique twist on a widely used aroma. It does a nice job separating itself however I feel to the untrained nose these differences will go missing as the blend is created so well its difficult truly identify individual aromas. It's really hard to take such a dominant scent and make it your own but the mellowness and overall super soft feel is where this product has its own unique factors.
Overall I think John has created something which does a fantastic job and does exactly as it says on the tin. A whipped butter to challenge for "The Butter King" title but I think ultimately its going to come down to personal preference. If you like soft whipped butters and don't like the thought of overpowering Lavender then this is a must try. If you like products with a little more hold or feel within your beard and packing more of a punch then perhaps maybe not, but either way I think its a product which everyone should try.
For The Future
John has done a great job creating a beard butter but Lavender is such a widely used scent which has large restrictions due to its dominance as a night time scent. I would love to see John continue on his butter journey however introducing new scents completely away from Lavender but with the same aim to relax and soothe in the evening. Marjoram or even perhaps Chamomile are two other scents which could be used to inspire people who like the idea of a night time product but has a serial disdain for Lavender.