Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ted's Grooming Room - Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia


A casual look at the homepage of this here blog and you’ll see that there has been a bit of a beard obsession for the last month or so. Yes, the beard is now so grizzly and I’m so scared of cocking up the shaping of it that I asked the good folk at Ted’s Grooming Room if they would like to have a crack at my beard so that on-going maintenance would be easier for me. They of course jumped at the chance and so yesterday I ventured around the corner from my office and slipped into the barbers chair at Ted’s Grooming Room – Charlotte Street.
Ted's Grooming Room - Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia
Usually when I venture into one of the Grooming Rooms I opt for The Full Ted, which comprises of a wash and cut, shave and eyebrow threading. With limited time, and a half-arsed attempt to grow my hair out again I opted for a beard trim and shape on my visit during lunch on Friday. This would set you back £22.50 and takes around thirty minutes. 

Drum roll please as the pictures speak much louder than any words that I could type!

Looking a state so you don’t have to!

So, this is what I looked like the morning of my visit:
Ted's Grooming Room - Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia
 Well hello there!
Ted's Grooming Room - Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia
The final result? Bearded awesomeness.

So, a quick compare and contrast and it’s obvious to even Stevie Wonder that Eren my nimble fingered barber performed a minor miracle. My beard is shaped and trimmed to perfection, it feels better, it looks better and it's now in a place where I can use my own trusty beard shaping tool and a razor to keep it under control.

As an aside, how cool is the lighting?
Ted's Grooming Room - Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again about Ted’s Grooming Rooms – they offer a wide variety of treatments, they treat you like a king and their skilled barbers really do provide an exceptional standard of service. They know their craft and they attain perfection every time in my view. Throw in the Turkish massage and it's always an experience worth having.

Bravo, and thank you.

Ted's Grooming Room
20 Charlotte Street
Fitzrovia
W1T 2NA

Tel: 020 3 397 9966

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

You can read about previous visits to Ted’s Grooming Rooms and see the before and after shots to get a feel for the incredible work they do below:

Holborn

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Moustache Grooming Kit from Barber Pole


Unless you want to look like you’ve just crawled out of the Borneo rainforests after being lost for six months you need to take care of your beard – that’s a fact people, a total fact…….(sorry was chanelling my inner Trump then). Those locks growing on the front of your face don’t take care of themselves, so after leaving my beard to grow for two months it had got to the point where I could either a) shave it off completely (not an option according to BeautyqueenUK) or b) invest in a whole host of products to help.

A beard brush is a must have, as is beard oil or beard balm to contain the itching but what do you do about the hair that’s curling over your upper lip and into your mouth (eurgh)? You buy a pair of scissors specifically to trim your moustache, and that’s just what my lovely missus did for me, picking up a Moustache Grooming Kit from Barber Pole.
Moustache Grooming Kit from Barber Pole
Moustache Grooming Kit from Barber Pole
Moustache Grooming Kit from Barber Pole
Picked up from Amazon for just under £12, yes, just £12. If you want to pick up a set yourself you can do here.

So what comes in this particular kit?

1 x scissors
1 x comb
1 x leather carry case

The scissors promise to be super-sharp that will give a clean cut without pulling on your facial hair. Good stuff I thought and with zero research, zero planning and a very unsteady hand I dived straight in and tried these out…..so was it plain sailing or a complete ca-tashe-ophy?

The trimming and grooming process was so easy I was taken aback – honestly, I originally thought that I’d have a go, cock it up and end up having to shave everything off to avoid looking like my ‘tashe was lopsided. Nothing could be further from the truth. The scissors are razor sharp, not super sharp and they cut through my facial foliage with ease. No complaints from me on their ability to cut and even better not one painful snag. Top stuff.

After the first trim I did a little bit of research and realised that the tiny comb (it’s about the same size as my little finger) in the kit would make the process even easier. By using the comb to straighten the moustache, trimming evenly could be done with just a casual gaze into the mirror.

Doing this kind of thing at home using the grooming kit is saving me a fortune as I don’t have to go off and pay for a beard shape or trim at a barber. The scissors are sharp, they are really affordable and trimming my facial fuzz has never been simpler. 

RECOMMENDED, TOTALLY RECOMMENDED 

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Kent BRD2 Beard Brush

In December I took the conscious decision to grow my usually straggly-arsed beard out a bit so that I could be shaved properly by those lovely folk at Cornerstone. The RMT put paid to the shave thanks to their seemingly endless strikes. Since then I haven't done a thing with the facial fuzz apart from add copious quantities of beard oil and balm (not together) and today as I sit here it's actually the longest length that I've ever had it. So with a beard and an aversion to looking like I've slept rough for a week I sent the missus on a quest to find a decent beard brush that didn't cost the Earth. She ventured into John Lewis and came back with the Kent BRD2 Beard Brush.
Kent BRD2 Beard Brush
Kent BRD2 Beard Brush
Kent BRD2 Beard Brush
The brush comes in a quirky little box with a carry bag and retails for £20. If you want one, you can click here to buy it direct from John Lewis.

This is what they say about the Kent BRD2 Beard Brush:


'Boasting an ergonomically shaped handle, the pure natural boar bristles have been cut and shaped to improve the brushes performance. Each brush comes with a beautiful hand-stitched cotton bag printed on both sides. Not only a handy bag to store your brush in but for those who use beard oil it will protect your clothes from any excess oil held in the brush head from leaching into your suit pocket or the lining of your favourite bag.'

The brush itself is easy to use (it's a brush after all, not rocket science) and despite using a coarse type of hair in the bristles it is surprisingly soft on the skin. This really did shock me as I'd heard from an avid beard brusher that boar hair felt to the touch about one notch down from a yard brush. The angled bristles makes the brush glide over the surface of the beard while the rear bristles do as promised penetrate through the beard to style the hair below. One brush through and boom, the brush had separated and tidied the hair into the direction of travel so to speak. Here is the scraggly-arsed beard before brushing.


Kent BRD2 Beard Brush

Kent BRD2 Beard Brush
Kent BRD2 Beard Brush
After applying beard oil or balm the brushing process has pretty much all of the hassle removed and it helps to set the hair in place. Win! The only possible gripe I could have is that the angled bristles mean that I have to brush left handed on both sides of my huge face - as I said, a very, very minor gripe.

Got a beard? Looking for a recommendation for a beard brush? Look no further - it's reasonably priced, is gentle on the skin when brushing and it helps sort out the knotted, straggly hair into a neater more presentable style to face the outside world with. Since I started using the brush I have found that my beard seems to be growing faster (weird) is more presentable and actually sitting watching a film brushing my beard is really therapeutic! Big thumbs up from me.

RECOMMENDED

How's my beard looking? "Strong" said the voice in my head....

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Iron Horse Beard Oil


In early December I wrapped up warm and headed down to the Gentleman’s Grooming Show 2016, held at Tobacco Dock in East London. It was a great opportunity to browse a plethora of male grooming goodies and talk to brands I hadn’t seen or heard of before. As soon as I passed the Oil Can Grooming stand I knew I had to pick up a can of their Iron Horse Beard Oil to expand my foray into the world of beard softening!
Iron Horse Beard Oil
Iron Horse Beard Oil
Iron Horse Beard Oil
On the day, I ended up buying a 50ml can of the oil for £20, a slight discount on the usual £24 cost of the product. If you want to pick up a can, you can so from their website here.

So, who are Oil Can Grooming? This is what they say about themselves over at their website:

Born of the industrial revolution an Oil Can is an essential and robust tool. They keep machinery and moving parts in prime condition and running smoothly, something we want our products to do for you.’

Iron Horse Beard Oil has a fantastic fragrance to it, so much so that I often forget to put aftershave on when using it as inadvertently I can smell it and think I've already applied it. It was indeed the fragrance that directly resulted in me parting with the £20 I paid for this - one dab, one sniff and it had me hooked. The leather and raspberry, a strange concoction I thought at first blends beautifully - the stand out fragrance is the leather and it forms a great masculine base you would expect from a beard oil but every so often the raspberry comes forward as something of a nice surprise. Far from being fruity this blend is actually a real gem.

But does it tame the mane? Yes, yes it does, a little of the oil onto the palm in the morning, a quick rub to warm it up and then boom, it smooths onto the beard with ease and is absorbed fairly quickly giving ample time to style my beard from the dragged through a hedge look to something a little more groomed. 

I have been using this beard oil for the last three weeks and my stubble was softer, my beard seemed to grow a touch (just a touch) faster than normal and now that it is about an inch long I can happily say that I've had not one jot of irritation from the growth. Happy days indeed. 

My beard, if you exclude the many, many white hairs that are appearing looks healthier and to the touch my beard is super soft.

Personally I think £20 for a beard oil is a bit expensive, you can pick up other brands for under £10 that do exactly the same thing for your beard. I've recommended this because it did the trick and what it said it would do, it smells fantastic and the can looks so very, very cool. If price isn't a consideration you really should give this a try.

RECOMMENDED

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Monday, January 09, 2017

MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion


Whenever it comes to having a long soak in the bath I usually go routing through the many boxes of bath products accumulated by the other half. A steady favourite for the last few months has been Lavande by L'Occitane, it's lavender notes well and truly relaxing me and helping me drift off to sleep (something I really struggle with). Now that I'm out of that I had to go looking for something else and came across MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion.
 It goes without saying that the 10ml bottle I had to try was immediately thrown into the bath as I carefully choose the next show to binge-watch on the iPad. 

You can pick up the 10ml bottles, good for one bath for around £3-£4, but if you fancy a larger bottle you can pick up a 100ml bottle for £27.50.

Magic Organic Apothecary (MOA) are a skincare brand from England. This is what they say about the Fortifying Green Bath Potion over at the MOA website here:

'De-stress the mind and relieve aches and pains with this concentrated, revitalising, magical bath potion. An invigorating herbal blend, sure to put the spring back in your step after a long, tiring day.
With skin toning, refreshing peppermint, detoxifying fennel, calming, relaxing fir needle and sweet birch to ease achy muscles and help to soften the skin.
Spell for feeling balanced: Pour 2-3 capfuls into a full bath. Once immersed in the water, breathe in and let the natural essential oils clear the mind and lift your mood...magic!'

The Green Bath Potion has a mass of essential oils in it, including peppermint, jojoba and fennel. As you pour this into the bath like me you'll probably be surprised by how strong the peppermint is - wow, it almost takes the breath away at first as it infuses with the hot water and starts to vapour. Personally I love the fresh and minty aroma of peppermint but for a good hour I tried and failed to pick out any other fragrances.

After thirty minutes of soaking this came into its own. The minty vapour started to clear my sinuses (win) and my chest started to clear (even bigger win) to the point where the wheeze that has been bugging me was gone. Just for this I'd happily recommend using this product but it actually gets better if you discount the slight tingly sensation on the eyes!

The effect on my skin has been immense. After drying off and settling down I found that after fifteen minutes my skin felt completely rejuvenated, soft and smooth and best of all, I felt completely relaxed. Even some seven hours later and my skin still feels silky smooth and yep, I still feel chilled out.

I'm really glad I nabbed this beauty off the other half - it's been a great find (theft) and it's a product I will be using again myself and would highly recommend, especially if you have a cold! I've been suffering for days but this has be feeling that little bit closer to alive than I did before using it. 

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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