Friday, February 27, 2015

Soap & Glory Face Soap and Clarity

My daily cleansing routine has expanded in recent years. Over the last twelve months in particular since starting to write this blog and discovering a whole host of new lotions and potions to smear on my face in the hope of reversing years of abuse. Today I commit my thoughts on Soap & Glory Face Soap and Clarity, a three in one daily detox vitamin C facial wash.



While looking to write this post up I looked to see how much this costs as it was one of those products that just appeared in the bathroom. I couldn’t find it on sale anywhere, but there is a Face Soap and Clarity by Soap & Glory available here for £8 for 150ml. 

I have been using the Superfruit Plum face soap and to be honest it’s probably one of the most disappointing products I’ve tried in a long time. The packaging is far too busy with too much information being thrown out. It took me a while to find out what ‘flavour’ the face soap was and to a bloke with some colour blindness it helps to have dark writing on a light background. I had to squint, tilt my head to the side and wait for the wind to blow in the right direction to read some of the useless blurb on the tube.

This may possibly be the shortest post I ever write as I’m struggling to come up with redeeming features of this product. For me, it is overly feminine (to be fair it is probably aimed at women), doesn’t lather up that brilliantly and has a drying effect on my skin after using, so much so that I have to double the amount that I moisturise.

The fragrance considering that it is suppose to be ‘Superfruit Plum’ comes across as far too synthetic and I had to sniff away at my hand when writing this for a good ten minutes to detect any hints of plum. It’s bland, and unlike other Soap & Glory products is not distinctive in the slightest. I believe this is the face soap where I may have taken my life into my own hands and made this comment to the missus when she used this "you smell of old damp dog, what have you washed your face with?" - yes, I can be a real charmer.




Yes it washes off the grime but I don’t like the fragrance and I find that the micro-beads used to exfoliate the face are few and far between and feel more like grit than a gentle way of removing grime, impurities and dead skin (eurgh)

After using my skin didn’t have any noticeable ‘glow’ and while my face did feel smooth this could be more down to the fact that I had to moisturise so much I think my face lost the ability to absorb any more! 

It’s a shame that this isn’t up to much, after all I had high hopes for the face soap after trying Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub (so lovely and sweet that you want to eat it!). It appears that this may have been limited edition and for me it can stay that way. It costs a reasonable amount but for me the results were poor.

Ladies and gents, steer well clear.

NOT RECOMMENDED  

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Molton Brown Templetree Body Wash

Anyone who casts their eyes over my little blog on a regular basis may have seen me write up my thoughts on Molton Brown Black Peppercorn Body Wash will know that I loved the manly fragrance and the fact that it banished BO (body odour). I was impressed, so when that ran out and a bottle of Molton Brown Templetree Body Wash appeared I couldn’t wait to try it out. 

I was so eager to try it that once again I committed the cardinal sin of beauty blogging by using it before taking photographs from several thousand angles - you would have thought I would learn but…..



Anyway, a small 100ml bottle of Templetree appeared, spookily a day after I had commented on a picture of it on Instagram saying I wanted to try it. Not spooky really, I could probably pick fifty random beauty products and the missus will have it somewhere. Needless to say, you don’t have to fear that my opinion has been influenced in any way. 

If you want to pick this up for yourself you can get a 300ml bottle direct from Molton Brown for £18 here

Like my last post, it could be me being tight with money or just because I have no idea how much things cost nowadays but £18 seems a lot to pay for a body wash. Go on, say it, I’m tighter than the rear end of a fish..….

This is what they say about Templetree over at the Molton Brown website:

‘A blissful bath and shower gel blended with moisturising algae extract and purifying templetree flower extract.

The fragrance

Top note: fragrant jasmine.
Middle note: fruity Rose.
Base note: sandalwood. 

Formerly known as Blissful Templetree’


Well, I now know what it used to be called, and the way my brain works I’ll retain that useless fact until the day I expire! 

Like other Molton Brown body wash this lathers up really well even when using only a little. If you look at the bottle in the pictures you can see how much has been used - that is after I had used Templetree for three days, so a little goes a long way, and in fact this what I consider small 100ml bottle will last for ages.

The fragrance is the clincher for me when I thought about whether I would recommend this. The jasmine and rose give this an incredibly strong aroma that is only magnified by the hot water of a shower. The lather retains it’s rich texture for ages and as it is absorbed into the top layer of skin you really start to just pull out the rose notes. 

While a lovely fragrance not that manly - so I was pleased that like an aftershave, once dried it took on a warmth as the rose was replaced by subtle hints of the sandalwood. For me, once dried off the fragrance is perfect for both sexes, not too feminine and not too masculine. 

But does it banish BO? Yes, yes it does, and even better, once it has helped wash the stink off it does have a positive effect on my skin, it does feel smoother - it’s not groundbreaking but there is an obvious difference.
Like most things I suppose, it depends upon your own personal preference, but if you like subtle floral fragrances with a solid warm base that will help clean away your sins in the shower then this baby is for you. Personally, and considering I’m tight I will buy this when the current body runs out. Hell, a 300ml bottle would probably last me for months! 

Try it, I think you’ll like it.

RECOMMENDED

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sumotech by Bumble and bumble

Sumotech by Bumble and bumble, no it’s not some new nappy system for Sumo wrestlers but in fact a lo-gloss elastic moulding compound for styling your hair.




If you read my recent post about Bumble and bumble grooming crème you may recall that I said I wasn’t a fan of Sumotech. Well that was then and since smashing palm into keyboard to commit my ill considered thoughts to the Internet I have done a bit of a three point turn, mainly because:


  • I actually discovered some patience and persevered in using it instead of having a mild paddy, stamping my feet and launching it in the direction of the bin.


  • After figuring out how to apply it easily, the hold and finish kicked most other hair styling products into the long grass.

There, I’m man enough to admit that I’m wrong (that makes two admissions in my lifetime) but readers, read on and I will tell you more….


Sumotech came with a batch of other hair products for me to try, and here I will give my balanced thoughts on the compound, particularly my first impressions, why you should take your time when using it and why if I could afford it on a regular basis this would give some of my favourite styling products a run for their money.

When I say if I could afford it this is because it costs so much, it is expensive I think for a hair styling product. Maybe I’m just getting tight with cash in my old age. For a small 50ml tub of the compound it costs £21.50, yes, £21.50.…(insert expletive).

What do Bumble and bumble say about Sumotech? 

‘Flexible hold, lightweight structure, matte finish, water-soluble, pliability

What: It's not a wax, not a paste and not a creme, but a midweight moulding compound that's a combination of all three (and a miracle of modern technology).

Who: Anyone; a natural for short hair; won't overwhelm fine hair; perfect for highly textural cuts. 

When: Anytime; after Prep or Tonic Lotion; use on damp or dry hair to style.

How: Spread a pea-size dab or two onto palms and work through barely damp or dry hair with fingers and style; work quickly and try not to overwork; spray down with Tonic Lotion (or Bb.Shine) to rework or to cut hold.’




OK, the first time I used this my hair was far too long - it was actually so long I had developed a full blown Shawcrest (a massive quiff, the name comes from a very funny former colleague blending my surname with crest - if Carlsberg made communications folk…..). Had I taken the time to read the packaging instead of diving in fingers first to see what it felt like I would have seen that this compound is actually for shorter styles.

Trust me, in my head there is a man continually slow clapping my original efforts. It was just too fiddly to style and I had to use quite a bit to get the hair moulded and styled how I wanted it, and even then, in the end it just didn’t have that oomph so I used something else. Total time wasted, 30 minutes.

Had I read the blurb above I wouldn’t have been so frustrated, but after having my hair taken down to two inches in length I decided to have another go. With hair slightly damp after washing I took just a pea sized amount (shown below) and massaged it into my palms. 



This is where it gets tricky to describe - to the touch when scooping it out of the pot it has the feel of a wax, but isn’t a wax. It’s almost like a solidified cream that had gone hard in the sun. As it warms though it takes on more of a pomade feel, silky in nature making it really easy to run through hair from root to tip. The fragrance is nothing to write home about but that really doesn‘t matter, personally if it doesn‘t smell like Fructis (fresh apples) I would prefer them to be scent free. 

Styling the second and third time around took just minutes - result. What I found really interesting (well, novel) is the way you can feel the hair becoming more and more rigid as you style. As this happens the shine from damp hair and the product starts to fade down to the final matte finish. It doesn’t look like any hair products have been used and that is a big thumbs up from me. 

The hold is excellent - the style and hair isn’t crunchy in a way some gels, glues and pastes can set. As an example, I styled my hair using this on Friday morning, didn’t wash my hair on Saturday morning and headed out fishing (and wrapped up, even with a ridiculous hat). In the evening the style was still there, a quick brush with my hand and it was back, some forty hours later. As an additional bonus, the residue on hands is negligible and if it doesn’t bother me then it is unlikely to bother others. 

For short hair this is perfect and when worked into a choppy style I have to say that even I find myself nodding in quiet agreement that my hair looks fabulous (and that is rare)




Yes the initial purchase price probably will put people off, but you shouldn’t let it. A 50ml pot, using just a pea sized amount daily will mean that will still be hanging around waiting to be used in six months, with more to give. A little goes a long way and when you consider that in my opinion it has the best matte finish ever then you should give it a try. 

Is it a wax, is it a creme, is it a wax paste? No, it is a cracking little compound that keeps hair in place and looking great for days on end. 

RECOMMENDED

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Buy Me Brunch T-Shirts

Pinterest has a lot to answer for, but over the last couple of months I have been searching out new and interesting t-shirts that would go well with not just my other clothes and boots, but also my tattoo. A pin for the online store for Buy Me Brunch appeared and I was hooked on their clothes.

Before I go any further I would like to point out that the images contained in this post will contain expletive ridden language - if you are likely to be offended please click on the back button now.

Hailing from San Francisco, Buy Me Brunch do one thing and one thing only, they make t-shirts and vest tops for men and women. With a slight twist, every month the company upload their new designs onto their Facebook page and allow us, the buying public to decide which designs they go ahead and print. This is something I have never seen before.

The t-shirts were ordered online about two weeks before Christmas and arrived within three when the holidays were taken into account. 
To say that I was chuffed would be a massive understatement. Unwrapping the two that arrived in time for Christmas Day brought a massive smile to my face, and when the last arrived again it was a brilliant surprise that had me itching (not literally) to try them on.

So, here are the t-shirts I have from Buy Me Brunch - I’m really pleased with the quality of the t-shirt, they are super-soft on the skin and look pretty hardwearing to me. Add into the mix the edgy slogans and images used then you have a perfect t-shirt company.


Buy Me Brunch sell designs and style of t-shirts, vests and pullovers for both men and women. Each of these t-shirts cost just US$28, so in or around £20.

I am so glad I pinned these and that they were spotted and bought for me. I’m a regular over at the Facebook page of Buy Me Brunch, so much so I have a wish list of their t-shirts I’m going to get my hands on.

FORGET THE REST, TRY THE BEST

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Friday, February 20, 2015

got2b Glued Spiking Wax by Schwarzkopf

Last month I wrote about a bargain purchase in Manchester, got2b Spiking Glue by Schwarzkopf - it was an urgent buy after I had forgotten my hair products and was hours away from giving a eulogy at my grandfathers funeral. As part of a buy two for £4 deal I also picked up a 75ml tub of the got2b Glued Spiking Wax, like the spiking glue, promising ‘screaming hold’. 



Without going into the usual hilarity that is my own mental illness (the voices, the voices), I needed to style some long hair, some four inches in length and I needed to do it quickly. By the time that I got around to using this, opting to use the glue on the actual day I wasn’t in need of screaming hold, just something to keep my then five inch long spikes upright.



This is what Schwarzkopf say about the spiking wax:

‘The first wax from got2b with screaming hold for remouldable extreme styles without the crunch. Moulds like a wax, holds like a glue!

How to use: Rub a small amount of wax between your palms, work into dry hair and style as desired.

Extra tip:

For outrageous spikes twist a small amount into the hair tips.’

First thing first, I love the smell of this wax, it is so fresh and reminds me of the Fructis gels I would use in my teens. While the teen flashbacks resulted in me shuddering at the clothes I used to wear, the strong apple fragrance is simply lovely. While writing this up I have literally had my nose buried into the pot sniffing away.

If you can get over the lovely fragrance the next thing that is a little bit weird is the actual texture of the wax. Expecting something that would need to be warmed to make pliable I was presented with what can only be described as a cream like substance. 

With the texture of a cream it makes the spiking wax so easy to apply, but even easier if applied to slightly damp hair. When I apply to dry hair I find it just a little bit too tricky to style into spikes and have to make do with a choppy look after I had it cut down. When applied to damp hair spikes are a breeze and when dried hold as well as when applied to dry.



In terms of hold, the claims of being ‘screaming’ it isn’t far from the truth, it does hold and hold and then hold a little bit more. It’s excellent. When applying early in the morning the style is still going strong at three the following morning after a night in a sweaty bar and nightclub. Nothing knocks this off its stride.

Now for the best bit, how my hair looks when styled. This leaves my hair with a great matte look finish, which when styling shorter lengths looks good in my opinion. It also retains a bit of pliability so the style can be changed. 

Unlike the slue, where hair feels crunchy, there is no danger of this and while changing the style can result in a little residue on the hands it isn’t as bad as my experiences with Wella products.

As someone who can take or leave wax I have found over the last couple of weeks that more and more I am reaching for the spiking wax over every other hair styling product I have to choose from. It is excellent value for money (hey, it only cost me £2), makes styling easy, holds hair brilliantly and leaves it looking really quite natural.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Polo Red by Ralph Lauren

In my opinion it would be near on impossible for Ralph Lauren to improve upon his offering within the fragrance market, particularly for me with a plethora of aftershaves, all with amazing scents. As time goes by my tastes in aftershave change, but Polo Blue and Polo Black remain as solid, dependable aftershaves that I never tire of wearing. 

Today I will be giving my thoughts on Ralph Lauren Polo Red, an aftershave that came courtesy of my dad at Christmas (in response to my asking for it so I could write about it here). Polo Red was one that I had let pass me by, and was not one that I was desperate to try, that is until someone on Reddit asked for my opinion on it.



The prices for Polo Red vary wildly, but you can expect to pay in the region of £35 for a 125ml bottle of the EDT.

This is the kind of marketing blurb that comes with the gift set that I received:

‘Polo RED is announced as a ferocious and energizing fragrance which includes ingredients fitting the red color. The composition opens with red grapefruit united with cranberry and Italian lemon. The heart of the composition emphasizes accords of red sage, red saffron and lavender, while the "red notes" in the base are described with red wood, hot amber and fragrant coffee beans! The spicy red composition of woody-spicy character is signed by perfumer Olivier Gillotin, carrying the scent of strength, masculinity and character.'


  • Head: Red grapefruit, Italian lemon, cranberry
  • Heart: Red saffron, lavender 
  • Dry-down: Redwood, amber, coffee



You would think that I would learn to be a bit frugal when applying for the first time, but no, not me, I sprayed far too much on, but accidents will happen. Time after time I do this, I should probably tattoo a warning onto my forehead as a reminder to be careful! After getting over the gagging sensation as the bathroom quickly filled with an incredibly potent fragrance I could start to pull out hints of the top notes. It wasn’t until about ten minutes later that I could smell or detect the top notes - my bad. 

First things first, I can’t tell the difference between a red grapefruit and a normal grapefruit - they smell the same to me, and it is that fragrance that immediately comes out after a few sprays. Within minutes the grapefruit blends with the lemon to create an uber citrus aroma that is both sharp on the nose yet very fresh and uplifting. First thing in the morning this baby gives your senses a kick awake. At no time could I detect cranberry, in fact my first thought was that this was repackaged Polo Blue! 

The head notes remain for around fifteen minutes before the sharp citrus starts to fade down to a more herbal aroma with far more body. If this makes sense it seems to have more substance to it, whereas the top notes feel as though they could pop off into the ether at any moment the heart notes blended with the citrus just feels hardwearing. 

Within thirty minutes you have the final dried down fragrance that is out of this world. You can still pick up light hints of citrus, but it has a warmth and edge of masculinity that comes from the wood and amber. You can’t detect any note at this point individually which is a massive plus for me, and shows how well this has been put together.

Well, did I end up all by myself after going out smelling of Polo Red? Wear this and you won’t find yourself all alone in the pub, people will sniff as they pass you, but in a good way and compliments are not a rarity. Bleu de Chanel remains my aftershave of the moment, but Polo Red is a close second and once spring gets here this will make the perfect aftershave to top off an outfit for a special occasion and give me the self confidence in knowing that I will be smelling gorgeous all day.

This lasts all through the day, hour after hour. Over time is does become more subtle as you would expect but even after ten hours and a long night I could still pick up hints of this on myself and when undressing it really was quite strong where it had transferred from my neck onto my jumper. A lovely reminder of the initial fragrance.

When you consider the mid-range purchase price, the fact that it lasts for so long and is perfect for every possible occasion, night and day then you have something special. Personally I have been using this night after night since Christmas and still have two thirds of a bottle left.

From the fall of autumn leaves, to the bright hot and sticky days of summer, I believe that Polo Red is quite possibly one of the freshest fragrances to have passed my nostrils. Yes indeed, this is the bomb and when you’re smiling as much as I do when wearing this then it has to get top marks. 

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Ladies and gentleman, I would like to thank the songs of Frank Sinatra for helping with the writing of this post. There are a number of his song titles contained in this post, do you want to have a guess at how many in the comments below?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Grooming Creme by Bumble and bumble

Bumble and bumble, so good they named it twice! Boom, boom….

Bumble and bumble, no it’s not a description of me going to pieces at job interviews but actually a company that I was blissfully unaware of until their products started appearing mysteriously around my bathroom. I have to say, their shampoos are great, but today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Bumble and bumble grooming crème.  



This came to me with a host of other hair styling products from the company, but fear not, while they did come free it won’t make me pull my punches, in fact, I’m pretty certain the PR peeps will not be looking forward to my review of Sumotech! But that is for another day!

The grooming crème comes in a 150ml tube and costs £22.50. Now that is a lot of money, and if you want to pick up a tube for yourself you can do direct from Bumble and bumble here.





This is what Bumble and bumble say about grooming crème, lifted directly from their website.

‘Texture, separation, low-glow satin finish, softness, moisture

What: Not so perfect, lived in texture really can come easily with this styling moisturiser, which gives natural separation, subtle hold, and a soft, smooth low-glow satin finish.

Who: Anyone; good for thick, coarse, and afro textures or dry hair; good for men, minimalists or one-minute styling.

When: Anytime; after Prep or Tonic Lotion, on its own or with other products to add texture and shine.

How: Start with a very small amount and build up as needed; squeeze onto palm, work through damp hair with fingers to tousle, slick with a comb.’

Being a typical bloke I started off after washing my hair by ripping the lid off, not realising that it was a screw cap with the crème being dispenses through the middle. A real Homer Simpson moment! 

At the time that I started using this my hair was incredibly long for me, the photograph below shows one of my hairstyles of the day (#HOTD) using the crème. As you can see, considering the length, the crème made styling really easy and kept the slicked back look for a few hours until it dried out completely.


Yes, the picture has been filtered for your own protection.....
Since having my hair cut right down to about an inch in length I haven’t noticed any difference in the results, so again another tick in the positives column. The only difference is that less of the product is needed to style.

The impressive points however are:

The fragrance - it is clean and fresh, with hints of jojoba and sweet nutty almond. Rather bizarrely it reminds me a bit of the smell you get from suntan lotion! I can be strange at times!

Ease of styling - the crème is absorbed into the shaft of the hair quickly but just a little is needed when applying to damp hair to get complete coverage. The crème does separate the hair and this worked well for me when slicking back my hair. It didn’t look like I was wearing a helmet which you can get when slicking back using glue or gel.

The hold - the hold is minimal, but as a grooming crème I didn’t expect anything out of this world. It did hold my slicked back look in place, and after adding the styling crème on top it didn’t budge for hour after hour.

The finish - probably the most important thing, how does your hair look? Well, after using this and drying my hair on a gentle heat the finish is as described, a very subtle satin finish. In certain light it shines (not like a halogen light bouncing off a bald head) but is more of a glow, and I think it looks great.

Residue - there is none, end of, nothing more to see here. It isn't even sticky on the hands when styling.

Considering that this is good for such a wide range of hair lengths and has so many positives I can’t do anything but recommend this to others. To get that extra bit of hold I did have to add another products but as a base Bumble and bumble grooming crème is the works. It is expensive in my opinion and I’m not sure I would have taken the leap in the first place to buy it. If I did I would use it sparingly.

When weighing up the value for money this represents I have to say yes, it is worth it. It is the first time I’ve used such a crème prior to styling and it just made it that so much easier. 

RECOMMENDED

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Osmo Effects Detoxify Shampoo

With the endless amounts of lotions and potions that get rubbed, smeared and massaged into my hair it is no wonder that from time to time it has the texture of straw and can look tired. Until late last year, washing my hair consisted of picking up the nearest bottle in the shower (and there are a lot to choose from)

Osmo Effects Detoxify came as part of the Osmo Male Grooming gift set and it sat around for a while until I finally got to the stage where my hair just couldn’t take any more.

Detoxify is a one day a week clarifying cleanser - it’s basically a shampoo that strips away all of the gunk and junk added over the course of seven days.



I have a 250ml tube of Detoxify, and when looking to see how much this costs when sold separately I was surprised to see that it is only £4. If you are interested in picking up a tube, you can do so from here.

This is what Osmo say about Detoxify:

‘A deep clarifying cleanser designed to effectively remove product build-up and impurities whilst retaining the hair's natural moisture.

Achieve super clean results with this unique formulation which combines Rosemary and Tea Tree Oil. Jojoba and Wheatgerm condition and soften.’

First things first, with any shampoo I tend to be drawn back by the fragrance - anything remotely sweet in nature and I’m hooked. While Detoxify isn’t sweet, you can pull out the light fragrance of tea tree which makes it smell fresh and clean, but to be honest, no hints of rosemary whatsoever. Personally I like the fragrance of this, it doesn’t hit the senses it is so subtle and doesn’t have that underlying synthetic smell you can get with some shampoos. 

This is the first shampoo I have used specifically to remove product build up in my hair so I can’t compare the fragrance with others like it on the market, but take it from me, it smells lush.




A tiny amount, a quick massage onto my hair and whoosh, my head was encased in a light lather. It didn’t have the thickness of my usual shampoo and it quickly faded as the shampoo stripped away at my hair. After a couple of minutes my scalp tingled ever so gently and I decided it was time to rinse it off. 

After a thorough rinse my hair felt light and it squeaked when I ran my palm over the crown of my head. 

Now for the gross bit - I first used this in the bath and as soon as I had washed my hair the water turned an awful, stomach churning beige. Eurgh….The shampoo had clearly removed a lot, and I mean, a lot of residual gunk that had been glued to my hair. 

While still wet my hair had an amazing shine that remained even after drying. My hair did feel a bit lighter and before styling the individual strands were much more fine to the touch. 

Styling was also much easier after using Detoxify, in fact, much less product was needed to sculpt the style I wanted. Excellent (said while tapping fingers together Mr Burns style).

This is the perfect shampoo for removing build ups of hair products. It doesn’t irritate the scalp, has a strange tingling sensation when using and strips away impurities. It does what it says on the tin (it’s a tube stooooopid) and doesn’t cost the earth. Using this once a week has improved the health of my hair - there is also certainly less hair product residue throughout the week that can flake off onto clothes.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Clarins Men Rasage Ideal Smooth Shave

Shaving is the bane of my life, I‘m not constantly craving that lumbersexual look and to be honest shaving ranks as one of the largest thorns in my side when it comes to attempting to make my face look respectable. Sometimes I can go weeks without shaving until the resulting beard starts to itch - at that point out comes the razor, and to avoid a shaving rash out come lots of products to choose and use (look how I made that rhyme….)

Today I will be giving my thoughts on Clarins Men Rasage Ideal Smooth Shave, something that came in my Selfridges&Co male grooming box back in June. Yes, it has been sat around that long!



To put it quite simply (as I’m a simple kind of guy), I have been using a whole host of shaving gels and creams over the years as a kind of bathroom pre-emptive strike against the botchy red rash on my neck that I used to get when shaving.  

Taylor of Old Bond Street Coconut Luxury Shaving CreamErasmic Lather Shave Cream and Gillette Fusion Proglide Shaving Gel are all favourites that have helped put pay to that rash in the past but fancying a change I decided to try out Clarins. 



A foaming gel, ISS as it shall now be referred to (not ISIS) has a lovely fragrance, clean and fresh as you would expect but it is highly perfumed, almost floral. I love it, its much better than the synthetic fragrances you can get with other shave products.

Even though this is supposed to be a gel when you dispense it is comes out in a combination of gel and foam form and this is where it starts to go down hill. Quite a lot of the gel is needed to cover my face - yes, it may be a large face but it felt like I had used nearly half of the 50ml can. That wasn’t a particularly pleasing development but worse was to come…. 




The lather, if you can call it that is watery and runny, not rich at all and a bloody nightmare - as soon as it was on my face the lather started to deteriorate immediately, soaking in way too much to the point that I couldn‘t tell where I had applied it to my face. You would think that this would make shavng easy and the build up on the razor less - WRONG. 

Even with short stubble the gel/lather mix (whatever you want to call it) acts like a natural barrier between the blades of the razor which meant vigorous cleaning in between strokes down my face. It took twice as long to shave and time shaving is not my idea of fun.

My skin felt hydrated in fairness to ISS, but have soft and smooth cheeks does not forgive the fact that an hour after shaving the dreaded red blotches started, and the stayed for two hours. Nothing would clam it down. 

I won’t be finishing the can…..

NOT RECOMMENDED

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Nip + Man Body Sculpting & Toning

Today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on a range of products from the Nip + Man Body Sculpting & Toning range, four products that are designed to promote your workout regime by helping to sculpt, tone and improve the texture of your skin. 

All of the products had been calling my name from the shelves dedicated to my male grooming products for some time but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I decided that now was the time to try them - after all I had been eating a bit more healthily, had been off the demon drink for weeks (for the first time in twenty years) and had been increasing my levels of activity from zero to brisk walks and a few sit-ups (the gym is a bridge too far at the moment).


Needless to say I'm not ripped, but the lack of alcohol and mild exercise has resulted in the loss of any kind of beer belly and love handles, my biceps and abs are more defined and I want to keep them that way! 


The four products in the range are available from the Nip + Man website here




Now personally I think the products individually are quite expensive and you‘ll be able to see why below with the breakdown of the range, however you can buy the Pec, Bicep and Ab Fix together as a Body Fix Kit for a discounted price here of £39.95:

So what are the products (descriptions taken directly from the Nip + Man website) and are they worth investing in?


Pec Fix - £16.95 for 100ml


Pec Fix is a minimising + sculpting gel with a fast acting formula to help to improve tone, texture + smoothes the appearance of pec contours.


For use after a workout or for pecs that just need a boost, this non sticky formula is ideal for daily use to contour, tone + reduce the appearance of excess fat.






Ab Fix - £19.95 for 100ml 

Need help getting that six pack? Nip + Man Ab Fix is a lightweight, fast acting gel which will help to improve skin tone and texture around the abdominal area. Containing Gemmoslim, Nip + Man Ab Fix helps improve skin tone + texture in the abdominal area.






Bicep Fix - £12.95 for 100ml

Get better biceps with Bicep Fix, a firming, toning gel to make arms appear stronger.


This sculpting gel helps define the appearance of the upper arm area + improves tone + texture for extreme body confidence.

Containing ultra firming ingredient laracare, the bicep area is enhanced + skin appears smoother + more toned.




Power Workout Fix - £9.95 for 50ml

Power Workout Fix is your ultimate workout accessory.

This muscle warming serum is designed for use post-workout to help de-stress the body + soothe tired muscles.

Ever felt fatigued after a workout? This gym bag essential relieves + warms aching muscles while improving the skin’s tone to help treat muscles fast.




Well, what is there to say, the Ab, Pec and Bicep gels have a fairly neutral fragrance, it's fresh on the nose and seems to have a faint floral aroma. Don't worry lads, it is so faint you would struggle to smell it and as soon as it is dried in you can hardly nose it when trying to - so no chance of being dubbed the office bouquet after a work out and using this.  

I found the toners really useful - while it would take a Genie and three wishes to create the body I want, the gels did have a positive impact on how my skin felt and looked. Once the gel had dried in the skin was felt much more hydrated, it had a spring to it when pushed in and felt soft to the touch. Not bad. 


The Pec toner however had some weird and welcome results. After showering and drying off properly I massaged the gel into my pecs and let it soak in. After about ten minutes my chest started to tingle (not in a bad way) and I could feel the skin getting tighter! Wow....It did firm up my pecs for a couple of hours. 


So amazed by the results of the Pec Fix I mentioned it to a friend who renamed it "T*t toner" (it's more a reflection on the company I keep).


While I may not be running any marathons lately (or ever) I do have to cart around biker boots on feet that weigh about 6 lbs each. A long walk and I really feel it in my calf and thigh muscles - it's a pain. In the past my thighs cramp or I ache in my lower leg. After a night on my feet I have found that using the Power Workout Fix eases the stiffness and aching. It is like a roll on deodorant but instead it dispenses a warming gel that is absorbed immediately. This stuff has become priceless to me!


Once I get my carcass back to the gym these four products are going to become invaluable to me. Using them won't leave you with washboard abs or biceps as big as my waist, but they do work wonders on the skin, they do sculpt and tone as promised.

All that is left to do is flex my bicep, kiss the muscle and mutter under my breath (in a slow, deep Lancastrian accent), “welcome.....to.....the.....gun show”.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Monday, February 09, 2015

Blackberries Exfoliating Shower Gel by Yves Rocher

My bathroom is starting to look like a store room for Boots at the moment, with tubes of every imaginable shower wash, body polish and toner lining every inch of once available space. I have no idea where 90% of it comes from but that doesn’t stop me from trying them all out! The Blackberries Exfoliating Shower Gel by Yves Rocher had been eyeing me up in the bath (if you actually thought something mildly rude, all I have to say is…..shame on you, shame….).


Now I know that this is the second Yves Rocher post in a row, trust me the blog isn’t going to turn into some kind of love in, but this shower gel is one of those products that you just have to tell people about. I literally started to write this post up as soon as I had finished using it the first time. Not wanting to rush to judgement I have been using it ever since to get a more balanced view - I also committed the cardinal sin of not photographing it to within an inch of it’s expiry date before using it.

You can expect to pay around £3-4.50 for a 200ml tube of the shower gel and this is what Yves Rocher say about it:

'The elegant pampering of an exfoliating shower gel, enriched with Kiwi seeds to gently scrub your skin. It’s formula, deliciously scented with Blackberries, contains organic Cornflour water. 

Leaves your skin perfected cleansed, delicately scented.’

Paraben free, the chances of this drying out your skin are incredibly low from just looking at the ingredients. 

The fragrance is simply put of this world - it's like smearing yourself in blackberry jam, so sweet, it even has a jam like texture that is really easy to apply.

To assist with exfoliation the shower gel uses Kiwi seeds, these are larger than blackberry seeds and stand out in the gel. While these seeds act as a fantastic exfoliant and they really do scrub off that dead skin to reveal a rosy glow. The only thing I would have liked to have seen is more seeds - it's a bit sparse on that front I'm afraid.  



Washing with the gel is a breeze although personally I have to remind myself that while it smells like jam and looks a bit like jam I shouldn't lick myself (weirdo alert).

This does the job. It could do it better with more seeds added to the ingredients but even so the results are great. My skin does have that soft glow after using that you would expect after exfoliating large sections of your body and in addition to my skin feeling soft and hydrated it also smells amazing. If you throw into the mix the fact that the actual exfoliation is so gentle you would harder believe dead skin is being removed and you have a winner.

The fragrance lingers on the skin for a good half an hour and after using this again on Friday I still detected hints of this coming off my arms and over a fairly potent aftershave while travelling on the underground. Heaven!

After going from having never heard of Yves Rocher to stalking their website for new things to try I have to say in firmly converted. 

It's pretty difficult to get excited about a shower gel I know but this has everything. A slight tweak to the formula and you have an amazing product. As it stands it is just a bloody good product.

I'm glad I tried it and have been using it ever since.

RECOMMENED

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