Monday, May 15, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Get dad on point with The Legends London

Apparently Father's Day is on it's way - it's on the 18 June this year so over the coming weeks it's quite likely that you'll see one or two posts about products you can pick up for your dad without breaking the bank. What better place to start than with a giveaway thanks to those lovely folk for over at The Legends London.
GIVEAWAY: Get dad on point with The Legends London
Say hello to Darius! 
The Legends London is a barbershop in Holborn, London where Darius and his team of amazing barbers cut, snip and shave blokes to grooming perfection. I've been lucky enough to experience the dab hand of Darius and you can read what I thought of the experience here. Not only did they make me look sharp and on point they introduced me to their range of shaving and hair styling products.

So, apart from razor sharp shaves and epic haircuts, The Legends London have a variety of other products on offer to help shape and style your locks. Their Maximum Hold Hair Gel has hold on a par with concrete and their pomade is great for slicked back styles and adding shine. You can read my review of the Maximum Hold gel here and my thoughts on the pomade here.

GIVEAWAY: Get dad on point with The Legends London
 So, what's the point of this post? Well, I've got one of each product to give away just in time for Father's Day 2017. Up for grabs are:

1 x 220ml tub of Maximum Hold Hair Gel

1 x 120ml tub of Original Pomade
1 x book of alum matchsticks (they help stop the bleeding if you nick yourself shaving)

Each of these products come recommended by me. They would make a cracking male grooming gift for your dad or just a fella in your life who needs to get their hair sorted and under control. 

This giveaway will be open for three weeks but due to postal restrictions will only be open to people with a postal address in the United Kingdom. You must be over 18 to enter or have parental permission to enter if under as I'll need your address if you are the lucky winner.


Good luck! 


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Friday, May 12, 2017

5 Ways to take care of your hair

Our hair goes through a lot of things every day. It’s exposed to the sun, dust, and pollution as well as chemicals found in hair treatments. It’s also prone to damage because of styling products, hair colour, and heat from blow dryers and flat and curling irons. We also experience hair related problems such as hair fall, hair loss, dandruff, split ends, and many others if we are unable to properly care for our hair.
Taking care of our hair is important because it affects our personal appearance. When we take the necessary steps to care for our hair, we can worry less about having hair problems and on being too conscious about how we look. Here are five ways to take care of your hair.
Eat the proper food. When you think about it, what we consume affects our entire body and this includes our hair. By eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, you can help your hair to grow strong and healthy. Iron and protein rich foods should be included in your diet to help strengthen your hair. This includes leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, milk, peas, and yogurt to name a few.  
Use natural hair care products. A lot of chemicals are mixed in typical shampoos and hair care products that is why it is important to choose those that have natural ingredients. There are a lot of natural hair care treatments and hair remedies that you can try. Going natural doesn’t do any damage to your hair. The ingredients can easily be found in your home or in your local store. And the best part is, they’re easy to wash off and are inexpensive.
Use a wide-toothed comb. Wide-toothed combs are great for your hair. They can remove tangles and dead scalp tissue and are gentle on your scalp. Wide-toothed combs are also good for combing wet hair. Be gentle when combing wet hair since they are at their most vulnerable and prone to breakage at this state. Combing your hair also stimulates your scalp, releases the scalp’s natural oils, and increases the blood flow in your body.
Use minimal heat with your hair. Being exposed to extreme heat is one of the biggest causes of hair damage. This means constant exposure to high temperatures will greatly affect your hair’s health and strength. Don’t put your blow dryer on high heat all the time. The same goes for the flat iron and the curling iron as well as other heat treatments. This is because your hair can become dry, rough, and fragile.
Try scalp micropigmentation for hair loss problems. For those who have premature balding or other hair loss problems, you can turn to scalp micropigmentation Chicago at Hairline Ink for a solution. This procedure is a nonsurgical hair loss treatment that will last for three to five years. And the results are pretty amazing, giving you the appearance of a full head of hair.
It is important for us to take care of our entire body including our hair because when you love your hair and care for it, it will grow strong and healthy.




*this post contains PR samples unless indicated otherwise/Sponsored
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Sunday, May 07, 2017

Below the Belt Grooming


I was rather hesitant when it came to accepting the opportunity to take a peek at the range of products on offer from Below the Belt Grooming. I had visions of wax strips that left me shuddering. When the products arrived I instantly knew they weren't really for me, they are clearly designed for people who have something of an active lifestyle whereas I have the style, grace and speed of a stoned sloth.  That said, I always go for extra mile (groan) to be objective for the folk who read this here blog for recommendations so please do read on, these products have literally been road tested.
Below the Belt Grooming
Before we go into thoughts on the products it's probably a good idea to explain who Below the Belt are and what they make eh? 

'Below the Belt offers three products that are designed to address the issues men face below the belt, and to provide easy to use solutions that fit with men's busy lifestyles.'
Below the Belt Grooming
The products available are:

Fresh & Dry Balls (£5.95)
This is a really fine gel that you apply to your nether regions, creating a fine layer that does leave the area dry and comfy even in the warmest of conditions.

Instant Clean Balls (£5.95)
A summer breeze, came rolling in......ever felt a bit manky without being able to shower? Well this spray is just what you're looking for. A quick spray and you are fresh and ready to go for a good few hours. Not only is it refreshing, it does leave you feeling much more confident. This one is an award winner, it won the Pure Beauty Gold Award in 2016 for Best New Male Skin & Body product.

Sports Lubricant (£9.95)
The sports lube does just that, you apply it to areas where your clothing or skin might rub as you exercise and hey presto, no rashes, redness or bleeding. Deffo one for people with active lifestyles who like to run. 

It took me a while to decide on how the hell I could objectively review the products and then it dawned on me.....a colleague from work runs marathons on a regular basis, for fun - bingo! So, on the basis of anonymity when writing this up, away the products went to be put through their paces (double groan).

So, the tester shall be known as anonymous Running Red.....
Here are Running Red's thoughts.....

How does the lubricant feel when using it? Much less sticky than Vaseline – more of a watery feel. It is also easier to apply (and not miss bits) than a body glide stick!

Does it stop chaffing? 100%. Even running twice a day for several weeks no bother at all. It is also good for avoiding wetsuit and cycle short chaff for the triathletes.

How does it compare with your previous lubricant? Very well – better than body glide in terms of feel and reliability in avoiding chaffing. It is also feels less slimy than Vaseline

Would you use it again? Absolutely, the perfect gift for sporty people – especially when you don’t want to stretch to new trainers or a carbon bike. Runners will use this.

Would you choose to use it over your previous product? Yes

Value for money? The lubricant is great – I will buy.

Would you recommend the products to people with active lifestyles?I don’t often discuss lubricant with other runners to be honest. However, when I see poor chaps at the end of a marathon with bleeding nipples through their vests – I can pat them on the shoulder and offer a sound recommendation.

Personally I love the concept of these products and while I don't currently have that active lifestyle the products have been put through their paces and have come with thumbs up feedback from someone I really do trust. Taking the cost into account, the results they delivered and the uniqueness I recommend.

RECOMMENDED

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Thursday, May 04, 2017

Ted's Grooming Room - Canary Wharf


I have something of a soft spot for the folk over at Ted's Grooming Room, they have been cutting my hair on and off now for about three years, always done brilliantly and without any hassle. With that in mind, when they opened a store in banker heaven, Canary Wharf I knew I had to give the place a try.

So with uber-long locks, and a scraggly-arsed beard that blew in wind I frankly looked a right state (a bit of Manc for you all there).

First all, the new store is easy to find despite being in the rabbit warren that is Canary Wharf, even I did it without the help of the usual 3 maps, Google Maps and then asking for directions. Tucked away in Churchill Place (full address below) you can't miss the bright red neon and cool Barbicide jar lighting in the window.
This is what confronted Sam, my outstanding barber for the evening.....
Grizzly Adams eat your heart out.....
After convincing the guy on the desk that I wasn't after his spare change I sat down with my coffee and watched the barbers in action as I waited my turn. As I'm sure we can all agree, I'd taken hobo-chic to new, exciting and scruffy levels. Unfazed I asked for a slapping (should that be slashing?!?) great undercut and a slight trim of the top. Sam to his credit asked if I was sure and then suggested a scissored undercut rather than a brutal clipper cut. I took his advice thank god! 

An hour in the chair and my hair was beyond compare!!!! Been dying to use that line for about twelve months!

So, a scissored undercut and then onto the beard. I had been trying to go for a Viking kind of look but it all went horribly wrong when I had to take care of it myself - thankfully Sam was a dab hand with the old clipper and cut throat razor. Precision lines and a couple of inches off the length - job done.

So, what did I look like after the £54 Full Ted experience? Bloody brilliant (I think, and I rarely think that when I look in the mirror). Throw in the relaxing massage, always excellent Turkish coffee and the option to have my brows threaded and you've got a cracking deal here.
I never had any doubts that I'd be sat here praising Ted's Grooming Room, they never let me down and the new store is well worth a visit. My cut and beard trim was down in just under an hour making the Canary Wharf store the must have for any chap wanting to look dapper. If you haven't been yet, you should, without fail.

So, along with Holborn, Charlotte Street, St Paul's (New Change Passage) and The Strand that's Canary Wharf ticked off and without hesitation I can highly recommend the store and the talented barbers available for all your hair desires.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Ted's Grooming Room - Canary Wharf
Mall Level -1
Churchill Place
Canary Wharf
London E14 5RB

Telephone: 0203 397 9966

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Monday, April 24, 2017

5 tips to selecting the best beard trimmer


Anyone who has seen my face recently will know that I have a nice little beard coming along – it’s finally getting to the length though, particularly on the sides where it needs to be tapered down so that most of the hair is on and around my jaw line. I could attempt to do this using a pair of scissors and a comb but given my lack of dexterity the chances of me cocking it up stand at about 99.99%. With that in mind, a beard trimmer is a must and as my creaking Braun trimmer came to the end of it’s life I had to go out and buy another. With this in mind I thought I’d share some tips on choosing the right beard trimmer for you.
First things first, research, research, research. Without this you could end up with a right lemon or worse, cripple your bank account and end up with a lemon.

My first port of call was the Beardoholic website and it was a great place to start.  

A good trimmer is a must have for those who can cultivate facial foliage. My main concerns/need were price, it had to be a brand I trusted, it had to have a charge level indicator and varying trimming speeds.

First, consider these questions when choosing a beard trimmer:

Should the trimmer have a cord?
What features do you want the trimmer to have?
Consider the battery power. How long does the battery last before you need to recharge? What is the battery’s lifespan?
Quality of the trimmer’s blades. The better the blade, the better cut. How well do the blades cut stray hairs?
Is the trimmer comfortable to hold?
Is the trimmer easy to use?
Is the price, right?

If you like having a beard, ensure your beard is well-kept - always. There is a difference between a messy beard on your face and a clean, well-kept one. You need to keep your beard tidy. This requires care. A barber can help you, but if you are trimming once a week it soon adds up and becomes unsustainable.

An electric beard trimmer is a convenient and easy device to use. A quality beard trimmer will cut unsightly beard hairs. You should never use hair trimmers as beard trimmers. Keep the two types of trimmers for their specific uses. Beard trimmers use custom blades. These razors come with an extra guard to trim beard hair to create clean cuts.

The distance between the trimmer blades determine beard hair length. Beard trimmers have higher precision. It can cut hard to reach places like above the lips or chin.

Make a rational decision when choosing a razor. Choose a trimmer based on practicality. A rechargeable clipper for efficiency sake. Similarly, buy a trimmer that allows guards or has an adjustable trimmer head. This will give a degree of versatility.

Get a clipper with detachable cutting heads so you can clean your blades easily.
GQ offers some advice too:

Ask your barber for guidance - If you're on good terms with your local barber, consider hitting him or her up for a technique tutorial on how best to use your new kit at home. Learn from their mistakes and you would be surprised how many barbers are happy to provide practical advice and assistance if you just ask.

Pay Extra for a Trimmer If Needed - It's worth paying extra for a trimmer with an additional specialized mini blade for fine detail work around the moustache and under the lips. Personally I must have a trimmer that cuts the hair away from around my upper lip.

Finally, an honorable mention for blade maintenance! Some trimmers do not require much maintenance. Others do. Some require only a switching of the guards; other more complex adjustments. You might need to apply oil to the blades after several uses. You must consider all of these issues when choosing a razor.

Keep an eye out for the review of my new beard trimmer, coming soon! 
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Jo Malone: Oud & Bergamot Cologne

One gift I received rather unexpectedly for Valentine's Day was a bottle of Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot Cologne, cheers wife. It's the first bottle of Jo Malone fragrance that has entered into my collection and I had high hopes as many friends have for years sworn blind that fragrances from this brand are to die for. Throw into the mix the fact  that the 100ml bottle costs an eye-watering £112 and you kind of hope, no, expect it to reach and breach some high, very high expectations.
Jo Malone: Oud & Bergamot Cologne
Jo Malone: Oud & Bergamot Cologne
Jo Malone: Oud & Bergamot Cologne
Jo Malone: Oud & Bergamot Cologne
This is what they say about the cologne over at the Jo Malone site here:
'Precious oud, reframed. The mysterious, smoky character of this revered wood, central to Middle Eastern fragrance traditions, radiates with the clarity of crisp bergamot and an orange granite accord. Hypnotic. Alluring.'
Head: Bergamot, orange accord and lemon
Heart: Cedarwood
Dry-down: Oud wood

First impressions are that this is a very dry fragrance on the nose - it's instantly spicy, which is something I found weird, yet it's so unique and addictive you can't help but fall immediately in love with it. The bergamot and orange are exquisite and stay evident for as long as the cologne lasts on the skin. That dry sensation gives way a touch after around thirty minutes and then it becomes much more earthy - you cold get the feeling that you are in the middle of a wood in chopping season - wow!

The cedarwood takes some of the shine off the citrus and warmth of the top notes giving this much much more of a manly scent. It then takes around another fifteen minutes before it evolves fully to the final fragrance. Hints of bergamot and the sharpness of orange accord blended perfectly with woodsy notes that provide depth to what could have been a very light fragrance.

Sounds great doesn't it? Well, yes it is, and in terms of expectations for the fragrance I was blown away, but it isn't all good. Five to six sprays give coverage that remains noticeable to you and those around you (people will say they love it) for about five to six hours at most. I would have expected more, especially when forking out so much for the bottle in the first place. As a comparison, Man Rose by Etro costs around the same, has the same type of note construction yet lasts for double the time. Both are amazing fragrances but you have to give it to the fragrance that delivers on value for money.

I'd recommend this to blokes who are looking for something maybe for a night out rather than something hard-wearing to last all day and then maybe into the evening.

It's recommended as it is so unique and such a gorgeous scent, but I just wish it was longer lasting and then for me it would be the highest possible recommendation. At £112 you kinda want something that goes on and on and on. Sort that (and maybe the price) Jo Malone peeps and I'll be first in line to buy another bottle.

RECOMMENDED


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