There are a lot of men’s grooming lines out there, but there aren’t many that put much of thought into the presentation or craftsmanship of their product. Enter Brooklyn Grooming – an all-natural and handmade men’s grooming line founded by Mckenzie Santiago and Alfredo Catedral. The line offers natural products with an old school feel, products like pomade, mustache wax, shave oil, and beard oil. Read our interview with Mckenzie and find out what we thought about the Brooklyn Grooming beard oil after a two week test by reading below.
How did Brooklyn Grooming get its start? I had previously owned a line called Pretty Monsters, it had a similar concept and values but was geared mainly towards women. The line was pretty masculine and naturally things shifted towards mens products. I had a mustache wax and tattoo balm that sold very well. I had such a great time creating and making men’s stuff that I decided to make a separate line for men.
I immediately researched men’s grooming and found that there weren’t enough products that weren’t heavily composed of chemicals and synthetics. Alot of the products smelled soapy and perfumey, and I felt that most men wanted to smell like men. What I mean by this is men like simple masculine smells that mimic things like wood or tobacco.
For readers who aren’t familiar with it, why should we be using beard oil? Women and men love men with beards! They are incredibly sexy and masculine when well kempt. That’s exactly what our beard oil will do. One or two drops of oil will moisturize the skin under your beard as well as the whiskers on your face taming scruffy beards and making them smell good, which a huge plus! Our beard oil will make your whiskers look like they’ve been trimmed. It’s really amazing stuff.
It’s obvious you put a lot of thought into giving your products a classic look with natural ingredients – was this something you set out to do when you began? Absolutely. I wanted to set myself apart from other grooming brands. I modeled all of my recipes after classic formulas. My entire line is made with a total of 24 ingredients all derived from vegetables and plants. The packaging is also super important to me because in my opinion I feel like products should be as good for the consumer as possible. My packaging reflects my personal principles about the environment and how grooming products are used and produced. I’ve never understood the point of putting a pure formula in plastic. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
I love that you’ve named your lines after neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Williamsburg, Red Hook, Commando…wait! Where did Commando come from? Ha! That’s a great question. While doing research I quickly realized that not all men want things that are scented, since I’m paying homage to Brooklyn neighborhoods, an unscented line didn’t seem to deserve a whole neighborhood. I ran the question of what to name the unscented version by many folks and my friend Jim Chu exclaimed in less than 20 seconds, I got it! Commando! It’s hilarious to me and it made sense as it implies nakedness.
What can we expect from Brooklyn Grooming in the future? I’m hoping this line will take off and I can extend the product line to include one of a kind grooming implements.
Bruce’s take: I spent two weeks using the Williamsburg Whiskers and the Red Hook Whiskers beard oil, basically alternating between the two every few days. Both of these contain jojoba oil, which helps make your beard softer and fuller. I noticed a difference in my beard after the first week. Be sure to follow the directions on the site, which tell you to use a drop of oil, and no more – if you use too much, you’ll have an oily, glowing beard, and that’s probably not the look you’re going for. Which one was my favorite? I’d have to go with the Williamsburg for the woody, earthy smell it gives off. Regardless which scent you choose, I don’t think you can go wrong with a product Brooklyn Grooming.