Posted in News
April 10, 2015

Beards cause problems? Who knew?

1798427_888225617907612_7969085629406817340_nProblem: How to describe a character’s beard without sounding like a barber textbook.

This one is for us writer’s to tangle with. As this awesome chart indicates, not all beards are the same. Different lengths, intricate angles, without the inclusion of the mustache, with the inclusion of the mustache… You get the idea.

Let’s say a hot guy character has some nice scruff on his lower jaw but he’s cleaned up the strays on his upper cheeks. Does the writer need to include a high level of detail in that description? Nah. A simple note of the dark shadow or the woman’s desire to run her fingertips across the bristles will take care of it.

But what if the hot guy has a nice mustache and well-trimmed growth over his chin. Many people refer to this simply as a goatee; however, to be accurate goatee refers only to the hair on the chin. So to describe this character accurately, and correctly, the writer would need to say goatee with mustache. Mmmm…that’s kind of distracting. Too many words. Want a shorter option? The correct term for this arrangement is circle beard. Um, yeah. We’re still talking about the same guy, with the same awesome facial hair but using the words ‘circle beard’ kind of throws things off. Want another option? The circle beard is also called a door knocker. Oh. That’s not making things better, is it?

So readers, if you’re ever wondering why you aren’t getting specific details on the hero’s facial hair, or all the guys sound the same with their rough stubble or neatly-trimmed jaw line its because we writers are doing our best to save you from accurate terms such as ducktail, anchor or bandholz.

Masculine-beard-styles-for-men-to-Try-in-2015-8Another problem: How to kiss a guy with a beard without getting a ‘tash rash.

Here’s where city girls can learn from their country sisters.

Everyone knows the trend of guys having beards–long, short, full, trimmed, totally wild, you name it–came from the country. County dudes have been wearing beards for forever. Don’t believe me? Try watching any movie or television show set in the country. Then compare what you see on the screen to what you see on the city streets. Nuf said, ‘cause there’s your proof. So, it makes sense that country girls have the 411 on dealing with this itchy situation.

Here’s what you do:

Coat your face with lotion before for the smooching starts.

Sound unromantic? No worries. Embrace some hipster irony and use the country cure-all for skin irritations–3985d8f3e8a318107c55b39ba05ff7f5Bag Balm. Yep. Bag Balm. The stuff that comes in the cute green and red square tin. Yep, with the clovers and cow head on top. Don’t have any on hand? No worries. Just go ask a dairy farmer for some. He’ll have it on hand because what Bag Balm is actually for is treating cow udders after milking. Bonus to rubbing it all over your face before you start locking lips? If you have any stitches the Bag Balm will loosen them up so you can pull them out yourself. Later, of course. There are many other very practical uses for this awesome ointment but you’re getting the idea.

Thinking rubbing your face with cow udder cream all sounds a bit too country? Prefer something more citified?

How about soy milk? Soak a washcloth in soy milk then hold it to your skin for five minutes.  Then apply some aloe. Then hydrocortisone cream. Do that a couple times a day. ‘Cause you have time for that and it’ll make you smell nice and not ruin your makeup at all.Masculine-beard-styles-for-men-to-Try-in-2015-18

Okay. So maybe you don’t want to layer your face with oily ointment and you don’t have time to lay around with a soy-milk soaked washcloth on your face a couple times a day. Here’s another thing to try: ask your guy to grow his beard longer. Long, like Santa’s. Because kissing Santa would be so hot. If your guy is worried about looking like a hipster or actual bumpkin with his long, Santa beard, suggest you both move out to the country where things such as men with long scraggly beards are commonplace.

No, you won’t be able to get any good sushi but on the bright side your guy, with his new rugged, rowdy beard, will fit right in. And if he decides to trim it later, Bag Balm will be easier to find and coating your face with it before kissing won’t seem odd or awful at all.

So yeah, beards cause problems. But we’re all okay with that.

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  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    I knew a guy once with a rich, thick beard — not long and (to me) the perfect beard color–slightly reddish brown. It looked like it would take your skin off in minutes. Seriously. His number one seduction trick was to get women to feel the beard. It was amazingly soft–completely contrary to how it looked. And once you were startled at the difference between looking at it and touching it, the contrast became fascinating–you didn’t want to stop looking and just didn’t want to stop feeling it either. From there it was short step to kissing. I saw him pull that trick off at a movie theatre with a blind date. From sitting down, to touching the beard to making out — about ten minutes.

    Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorIsabelle Drake

    That’s pretty darn awesome! Good for him.

    Reply to Isabelle Drake
  • Post authorKel

    Just get him to condition it.

    Seriously. Conditioner. On his face. Every day. Leave it in for the full recommended set time. It’s make it easier for him to shave, too.

    And bag balm is oily, but you can put it on at night like a mask instead of right before you kiss someone, because whose got time while they’re on a date? It’s good for a sunburn too (listen to the pasty-white-girl, she knows things about sunburns. Anyone who tells you to use coldcream is a sadist who wants your skin to slough off like a banana peal. I do not know swears foul enough for them.)

    • Post authorIsabelle Drake

      Thanks Kel! Bag Balm also great for cuts and scrapes.

      Reply to Isabelle Drake
      • Post authorKel

        A combo of delicate skin and being a sucker for the absolute worst beard length – just a day unshaven… beard-burn and I are old friends.

        And having grown up with chickens and horse and puppies and yard chores that required carting heavy things like hay bales and bags of feed, sometimes in the snow, I am well-familiar with the wonders of bag balm despite not really being a country girl. It’s non-toxic and doesn’t hurt like lotion when it gets into cracked skin, so it’s good on wind-chapped hands and lips and feet and… whatever.

        And if you want to put bagbalm on a sunburn, clean your skin really well first and put the bag balm in the fridge. Pat dry, and then apply a light coat without rubbing it in – leave the skin oily. It feels… odd and weird, but keeps the skin supple and from blistering. Keep the container in the fridge and reapply as needed until your skin stops feeling hot.

  • Post authorIsabelle Drake

    Sunburn! Great idea. Thanks for that. Me, wishing there was enough sun here to get a sunburn.

    Reply to Isabelle Drake
  • Post authorLiz Everly

    Love the post Isabelle! I look forward to reading your once-a-month posts at Lady Smut! HUZZAH!

    Reply to Liz Everly
    • Post authorIsabelle Drake

      Thank you Liz! You guys rock, so I’m thrilled to be here.

      Reply to Isabelle Drake
  • Post authorKemberlee

    Just catching up on emails after my trip to Cali. Of course, the beard topic stuck right out at me, especially given I just published a story with a very beardy hero 🙂

    One guy in the story was described as having a soul patch, which is what we in Cali call that bit of fuzz just under the lower lip.

    The hero, however, has a full-on beard, I guess what’s called a Bandholz by your above image. The heroine, Sive, takes in his appearance on first glance but doesn’t mention his beard outright. Instead, her first words to him are, “Can I braid that?” Then after falling over herself with embarrassment, she says, “Sorry. I’m sure women all over Ireland ask you if they can braid your beard. Truly, it’s magnificent.”

    I went that route describing his beard, hoping for more of a visual…and to give the reader the opportunity to insert whatever beard type she, or he, prefers. But also that it must be long enough to braid. There’s a later scene in the book where she does braid the beard, and a hero is on the cover to give readers an idea of just how long I see his beard.

    While writing the story, I couldn’t help but remember my first boyfriend who was bearded. Loved putting my fingers through it. I didn’t date much, but now that I think of it, I tended toward bearded men for some reason. I don’t know how it happened but I ended up marrying a guy who refuses to grow one lol He did get a short ‘circle beard’ (what I called Robert Plant scruff) over one winter when he didn’t shave. When he did shave, it was all but the chin and mustache which I thought was *very hot* on him, but he had it long enough to get a picture then it was off. Didn’t even get a snog out of it 🙁

    My biggest complaint about beards is the lip hairs going up my nostrils while snogging. Today there would be a number of products on the market to tame and soften those scratchy hairs, but back then, and being so young, I just put up with it.

    I saw Bag Balm mentioned (haven’t seen that product in over 25 years but it’s a wonderful skin softener). The guy on my cover is actually known as Isaiah Webb, aka Incredibeard. He has a company specializing in beard products — http://www.incredibeard.com. He’s also on Facebook. He does a new beard design every Monday, or did last time I looked. Now *that* is a beard *I’d* like to braid 😉

    Thanks, Madeline, for the fun topic! Sorry I’m so late on it.

    Reply to Kemberlee
    • Post authorIsabelle Drake

      Your comment on the braiding reminded me of the pics I’ve seen with guys who have flowers tucked into their beards. I’m not sure what I think of that. It’s interesting for sure.

      Reply to Isabelle Drake
      • Post authorKemberlee

        I like the flowers. Better than a burger and fries, and Top Ramen (which Isaiah has done) 😉

        Reply to Kemberlee

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