• The Bearded Underdog

Amazing Brands / Artists That Keep Me Excited! - Part Two.

This is part 2 of an ongoing series, to see what super brands came up in part one go here. In no particular order these are the most important, inspirational and exciting brands and artists that keep me enthused, excited, and eager to push myself more every day. I would like to point out that I have no affiliation with any of these brand and I have purchased each and every product that I have from any of them with my own money.

1. Mr Natty. Website: https://www.mrnatty.com/

Mr Natty Homepage

Mr Natty's Famous Beard Elixir was the first ever beard product I used and at the time I first ordered it I didn't know any other brand offering products for men's beards, at least in Europe. There are 3 beard elixirs on offer from Natty HQ, Frank's Famous Beard Elixir, Bring Me Sunshine, and the newest addition to the bunch, Lucky 3. They all smell great and work superbly and all at a great price from this master barber company.

There are some other absolutely standout products that for every day I could not do without. FFS - Mr Natty's Face Forest Soap is by far the best beard wash product that I have been using. It smells great and does not over strip your beard of oils like many beard washes out there. In addition to this it is a solid soap that comes in its own storage can which makes it amazingly compact and easy to bring along on travels with you.

My favourite product in the Mr Natty arsenal has to be the Save Ya Own Skin Moisturiser. While it may not look like much being in a small tin (30g / 1.0 fl Oz) this fresh scented wonder lasts absolutely ages, about 2-3 months per tin for me. Forget your Biotherm, Clinique, Perricone MD, Zirh, and all those other expensive moisturisers that you pay through the nose for and last a very short time with disappointing effects, believe me, over the last 20 years I have tried most moisturisers on the market. You would be much better off buying this and saving yourself a ton of money. There are 2 new "Urban Protection Factor" products, another moisturiser and an eye serum available, both of which I have not yet tried but if all the previous products performance are anything to go by these will also be superb.

Mr Natty also just released the Triple Sea Salt Spray. This is a product mostly meant for hair and since I have no hair it may seem a bit pointless for me. However, I did try it on my beard. You get a great texture and hold with this simple and fresh coconut smelling product which would be perfect for a night out. However this is certainly not an every day product to use in the beard as it would dry out your beard very quickly. Like they say, everything in moderation.

There is something very authentic, honest and British about Mr Natty. I think that is the point and it keeps me interested and always coming back to stock up on decent products.

2. Red Wing Boots Website: http://www.redwingshoes.com/

Red Wing Shoes Amsterdam homepage

At the age of 15 I started buying 2nd hand German Paratrooper boots from the local market. These would last about 4 months before falling apart. Then I went on to Caterpillar boots which almost crippled me when wearing them in. I have always worn work boots and have tried a bunch of the manufacturers. For a while I had seen Red Wing Boots and admired them but because of the price tag never got a pair - big mistake since I ended up spending money on inferior products and never being satisfied.

2 years ago I got my first pair of Red Wings, yes, I arrived late to the party. I got the 6" Moc Toe 8138 in Briar Oil Slick - I had wanted these for a long time and was prepared to go through potential wear in pain for as long as it took. I got these properly fitted and then had a big surprise, no extreme crippling wearing in pain. There was a little discomfort but not much. The more I have worn these then the better they have got and have fully molded to my foot giving me great comfort in every work situation and they look great too tied with a decent pair of selvedge denim! Quite quickly after getting the 8138 I also got a pair of 3140 Work Chukkas, and have had the exact same experience. Now I pretty much won't wear anything else and have my sights set on at least another 6 different models of Red Wings when I would eventually have the money.

The workmanship is amazing on these boots and the tread, just wow! Never have I been able to walk on icy streets without worrying that I would fall. These grip, look cool, and will last for many years to come keeping my feet alive and comfortable.

3. Jacob Bannon Website: https://jacobbannon-com.myshopify.com/

Jacob Bannon Homepage

From the very first time I saw the front cover of the Converge album, No Heroes, I became very intrigued with both the band and the artistic direction. I was a bit late in finding the band as a whole but better late than never! Then I saw the mini documentary called Rungs In A Ladder which is all about Mr Jacob Bannon and is a recommended watch. Just his whole outlook, story and humbleness got me very intrigued.

I have now lost count of the number of J. Bannon prints that I have, all beautiful, all that I could just look at for hours. This guy never seems to stop, whether it be his art, Converge, or Wear Your Wounds his is always creating and this gives me so much inspiration. The pieces I have up in my living room constantly cause visitors to stop, look in detail and want to talk which is always a good thing in my book.

The last offering I got was the 300 page Dunedevil book and accompanying music from Wear Your Wounds (J. Bannon's side project) which just blew me away. For one week J. Bannon resided in the C-Scape Dune Shack (formerly known as the Cohen Shack) within the Peaked Hill Bars National Register Historical District in Provincetown, Massachusetts. This primitive environment inspired an outpouring of abstract mixed media work, photography, and music. The visual material from the experience is presented as “Dunedevil", a nearly 300 page “smyth sewn” art book with a forward by acclaimed artist Thomas Hooper.

I never thought art could be so thought provoking for me until I saw what J. Bannon could do.

That's all for this instalment and I am happy to continue to share these gems as my list grows for the inspirational. Part three of this series will come soon enough.

Please feel free to contact me and suggest any other brands you feel I should check out. In the meantime, also check out my webstore for some coolness in your pocket