Monday, November 30, 2015

Top 3 Men's autumn fashion trends


At the recent fashion shows in London, Milan and Paris; there were a number of fashions highlighting the trends for men's Autumn/Winter 2015 clothing. 

The most popular of which, were definitely shearling jackets, checked clothing of all shapes and sizes, and all things green! The popularity of the shearling jacket may be something of a 70's revival, whatever the reasons behind it, there is no doubt that the shearling is the biggest trend for autumn/winter 2015. All the top fashion houses and designers are offering their own take on this classic jacket, and in any case stylish outerwear is probably the single most important addition to your wardrobe for autumn as the colder weather sets in. 


Top 3 Men's autumn fashion trends

The shearling jacket promises warmth with style, and looks just as good over a T-shirt and jeans as it does with a button-down Oxford shirt and sweater. If you’re planning on buying a shearling jacket, don’t skimp on the price, invest in some well made outerwear with a 70's vibe. Checks are a recurring theme in men’s fashion and we see them season after season, as thanks to the versatility of this pattern, it can be both timeless and eye-catching, to all manner of designs to suit everyone. Many designers for autumn/winter 2015 have introduced checks in new and interesting ways to breathe life into suits and tailored separates from many top fashion houses. 

This season the digital prints are being swapped for subtle checks which add interest to any outfit. The military look has been trending in menswear for some time and are firmly part of the contemporary men's wardrobe, they have been seen in everything from cold-weather outerwear to more formal looks. Grey has also been popular in recent fashion shows but green is easily the second most popular colour on the catwalks and could possibly be in the number one spot for next year. Online catalogues like Very, Jacamo and Premier Man are a great place to start looking for the latest men's fashion trends. For more information on the top UK men's catalogues visit Catalogues247.



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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Joseph Lanzante Aftershave Gel

Go on, feed your face after shaving - no, I’m not advocating lots of junk food, instead I’m talking about using Joseph Lanzante Aftershave Gel - new (to me) and exclusive products from, yes, you guessed it, Joseph Lanzante, the international and charismatic Italian barber. 

When I was asked if I would like to try anything from the range my eye was immediately drawn to the aftershave gel - mainly because if I get my shaving products wrong I end up looking like Freddy Krueger so it would be a good test for the product, but also because I’d never tried a gel after shaving, instead opting for a whole host of balms, creams and other associated potions.


Joseph Lanzante Aftershave Gel

You can pick up a 100ml bottle of the aftershave gel for £14.95 over on the Joseph Lanzante website (link below) - so rather than being a luxury item, it’s actually quite reasonably priced, and when you consider the benefits for your face, and the results I experienced it is excellent value for money.

Most male grooming products either claim to be the second coming of Christ or cost the Earth - this does neither and it one of those no nonsense products that simply does what it says on the tin (well, what it says on the brushed metal container).  

This is what they say about the aftershave gel over at the Joseph Lanzante website here (and there is a video of the man himself talking about the product):

‘The Joseph Lanzante Aftershave Gel is formulated to soothe, moisturise, and condition dry and sensitive skin that can occur after shaving. This non-greasy gel is absorbed quickly into the skin, and is rich in Avocado Oil and Vitamin E.

Simply rub the gel into the skin after shaving for soft and soothed skin. For best results use with our preshave and shaving cream for men.’


Joseph Lanzante Aftershave Gel

Joseph Lanzante Aftershave Gel

Now, I didn’t use any of the other products from the range when shaving, instead substituting this for my regular aftershave balm when taking off the growth I’ve been developing for Movember (and there has been quite a bit to remove).

After shaving my face did feel rather warm and there was a touch of razor burn - I’d left it way too long to shave so I was desperate for this to do the trick. After pumping some of the gel out onto my hand I was immediately hit by a flashback to my barber aged around six years old - it’s like a blend of citrus and Barbicide. So clean and fresh it gives off a sterile air that is incredibly reassuring.

It has a medium consistency, it’s not overly thick as you would expect a gel to be, in fact, as it sits on the hand it becomes more and more watery as it warms up making it so easy to rub and spread over the face. It’s absorbed in an instant and immediately gets to work.

I did find that this was soothing, the warmth was neutralised in seconds and in fact my face had a slightly chilled sensation for a good five minutes after using it. The little red bumps that had raised to the surface after shaving started to subside and overall my face feel soft and smooth. There wasn’t a hint of shine on my face and it didn’t look nor feel greasy in any way. 

Just fifteen minutes after shaving and any evidence of irritation was gone, and for this I am truly thankful.

The fragrance becomes so subtle it is hardly noticeable after about twenty minutes meaning that it wont mask your aftershave if you choose to apply some.

Joseph Lanzante Aftershave Gel is the business and I’m so glad that I’ve had the opportunity to give this a try. It represents excellent value for money and does everything that it claims to. Given my experience of this I can say, without hesitation that I will be looking at picking up the other items in the range. If they are all this good then you can’t go wrong. This would make a great stocking filler, but this shouldn’t just be for Christmas, it should be in every mans grooming bag.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Christmas Beard Oil Advent Calendar

Earlier in the month I was regularly bemoaning the fact that there appear to be hundreds of beauty advent calendars for women but none for men - yeah, that’s equality for you (joke). It actually resulted in me writing a post about the small range of male grooming Christmas crackers available. You can still see that post here. So, I was slightly taken aback when casually browsing the web (not the dark web) to find that The Bearded Man Co actually have one for us dudes, so step forward and take a bow because today I‘m highlighting the Christmas Beard Oil Advent Calendar


Christmas Beard Oil Advent Calendar

I’m actually really pleased that I found this as:

1 I’m currently sporting a gruff and snarly beard;
2 It will make a great gift in the lead up to Christmas for mates.

At £29.99 this calendar appears to be proving popular and after being paid, I went in search of a few to buy with no luck. They seem to be sold out everywhere. Fear not though readers, over at The Bearded Man Co website here they reassuringly say that they will have more in stock from 24 November. Rejoice, just rejoice.
Christmas Beard Oil Advent Calendar
This is what The Bearded Man Co say about the calendar over on their website:

‘This alternative advent calendar comes crammed with enough beard oils to see him right through to well after Christmas!

So his beard is going to look and smell amazing every single day in December. Bearded fans will love this ultimate selection of miniature treats in this luxurious calendar. Each little window houses a new dose of love for his beard. Each day he will discover a new scent, as this calendar contains our entire range of twenty four different scents.

Which will be his favourite?

Bay Rum, Bergamot, Black Coffee, Cedarwood, Driftwood, Fresh Cut Grass, Irish Moss, Leather, Lavender, Mahogany, Nag Champa, Oak Barrel, Oak Moss, Race Day, Rain Forest, Rio, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Sicilian Lemon, Spanish Orange, Steel, Tobacco, Unscented and Walk in the Woods.’
Christmas Beard Oil Advent Calendar
As a fairly recent convert to beard oils I have to say the range available seems out of this world and I can’t wait to get my hands on this - I’m looking forward to trying the rain forest, fresh cut grass and steel fragrances and know that the Sicilian Lemon and Lavender will have an aroma that I'll love.

At £1.25 for each 2ml of beard oil it does come at a premium but when you take into account the novelty value and the opportunity to sample so many new fragrances from a quality purveyor of beard products then I say go for it, why not have 24 days of treats? 

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

FiT Lip Serum

Winter can play havoc with your lips, and being no different it has been a toss up between just struggling along or actually agreeing to try FiT Lip Serum to see if I can get my rough and dry lips looking moist and plump. I opted for the latter after being impressed with their Moisturising Ultra Serum and I don’t think I’m over egging it by saying it’s been a revelation.


FiT Lip Serum

This came to me thanks to the great folk at FiT, and it has been gracing my kisser for a good few weeks now, which I think gives me the perfect opportunity to talk through the benefits of this baby.

At £10 for 5ml it sounds like you don’t get much bang for your buck, but actually you really don’t need that much, and you don’t have to use it every day, so a little goes a long way. The last week here in London has been, well, blustery and let’s be frank, bloody freezing!

This is what they say about the Lip Serum over at the FiT website here:

‘Lip serum seals in moisture and repairs and protects lips from the elements. A unique blend of marine & botanical extracts delivers lasting hydration. Vitamin C & Calendula extract repair damage & soothe inflammation and OXY-FIT-10 fuels skin cell regeneration. Taste and shine free.

Marine extract - Sea algae - Delivers lasting hydration.
Botanical extract - Cassia angustifolia - Repairs & soothes damaged skin.
Botanical extract - Pisum sativum - Delivers antibacterial protection.
Vitamin C – Helps protect from sun damage & reduces irritation.
Calendula extract – Anti inflammatory, soothes.
OXY-FIT-10 – Oxygen delivery system - Fuels skin cell regeneration.’


FiT Lip Serum

Being an infrequent user of products for my lips, I thought this would have some form of chemical taste when applied - I would be wrong! While they claim no taste I just couldn’t get my head around how this could be so. Just before applying it for the first time I tried and tried to get an idea of what this smelt of but it’s surprisingly free from any aroma - strange.

Using the pump dispenser was easy and one pump gives enough to cover my big Mick Jagger lips. The texture was curious, it felt a little like baby oil but had a thicker consistency which meant I could spread it over the surface of my lips really easily and it didn’t leave a slippery, greasy or gooey residue on my finger. For me, this was a massive bonus. In the interests of testing the ‘no taste’ claim I did apply some and lick it off - yes, I know I’m a little bit special, but hey, the things I do for this blog! In a nutshell, they are right, it has no taste at all, so no danger of it masking or altering the taste of food or drinks. Yay!

So, what did it do for me? Well, it coats the lips brilliantly, and after a week of using every other day my lips started to look much better - the colour was richer, the dry sections at the sides of my mouth looked far, far more hydrated and to the touch my lips were much softer. I couldn’t say with any confidence if the skin cells had been regenerated by using this, but when looking in the mirror my lips do look much healthier without looking as though I’ve applied some form of lip gloss (which would probably lead to an amazing amount of ribbing from my friends - yes I do have some).

Don’t be put off by the price - if I had seen this in a shop I might have walked on by but I am so glad that FiT Lip Serum is now a firm favourite and forms part of my daily grooming routine. After two weeks of using this I can tell that I still have over half of the tube left which makes it pretty good value for money. Combine the results that it delivers, the ease of application and the value for money test and this is something that every man should have in his grooming armoury. It’s bloody good.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Friday, November 20, 2015

10 Male Grooming Gift Sets

Still wondering what on earth you are going to buy the man/men in your life? You could opt for the laziest of lazy options and just pick up a cheap Lynx gift set, but if you get offended at presents being thrown back at you (with force) and equally brutal looks of contempt this probably isn't a good idea.

To save you all from strife on Christmas Day I've trawled the web to dedicate this post to 10 of the many male grooming gift sets currently available.

L'Occitane - Collection for men (£49.50)A Man's Ritual Gift Set, a collective of ready-to-go necessities specifically tailored for a busy lifestyle. Packed full of L’Occitane favourites, the spicy scent of the original fragrance has a handy selection of refined must-haves tailored to suit all men, no matter whether he’s rough and ready or groomed and gorgeous. This Kit contains:
  • 50ml L’Occitan Eau de Toilette
  • 250ml L’Occitan Shower Gel
  • 100g L’Occitan Soap
  • 150ml L’Occitan Shaving Gel
  • 30ml L’Occitan After Shave Balm
Again L'Occitane are one of my favourite brands and I am yet to find a product I dislike.  This gift set has an actual value of £70 and is an absolute bargain with all of those full sized products.
My Top 10 Gift Sets for Men

Scaramouche and Fandango Men's Full Works Pack (£40) - If you read my blog regularly, you will know that I am a huge fan of this brand. This gift set features all you could possibly need in your wash bag. This comprehensive gifting pack comprises of a bold and sturdy wash bag, along with a complete set of body and skincare products.
  • Black Quinoa and Shea Butter Shampoo, 200ml (it's great)
  • Conditioner with Keravis Protein, 200ml
  • Vitamin E and Brazilian Papaya Body Wash, 200ml (it's great)
  • Shaving Cream containing Chronadyn Cell Energiser, 100ml (it's great)
  • Face Scrub with Prikly Pear and Chronadyn , 100ml (it's great)
  • Anti-Fatigue Moisturiser, 100mlBranded wash bag (it's great)


My Top 10 Gift Sets for Men


Selfridges Men's aw15 grooming box59)- I have recieved two of these gift sets to date and have always been really impressed with them.  This set is referred to as 'The perfect gift for him' and the Men's Grooming Box has returned for Christmas 2015 featuring £200 worth of products.  Also included with the nine grooming essentials, which include brands such as Hanz de Fuko, Molton Brown and Clarins is an exclusive Otis Batterbee bag.
My Top 10 Gift Sets for Men

Elemis Perfect Man Christmas gift set (£49)- Elemis have put together a box which includes award-winning skincare to luxurious face and body treatments for that man in your life and it contains products such as:
  • Ice Cool Foaming Gel 100ml
  • NEW Pro-Collagen Marine Cream for Men 30ml 
  • Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks 2 sachets
  • Aching Muscle Super Soak 125ml

Put together like this, the actual value is said to be £77 which I think is a bit of a bargain and is most definitely a gift set not to be missed. I'm a big fan of the Elemis muscle soak - it works!  

My Top 10 Gift Sets for Men

Korres Men's Kit Gift Set (£19)- This is perhaps the set which is the best bargain and would make a great secret santa if you play it safe.  The Korres Men's gift set contains a collection of male grooming essentials, ideal for a short escape, for business or pleasure such as:
  • Absinthe Shave Cream 25ml
  • Marigold After Shave 25ml
  • Basil Lemon Shower gel 40ml
  • Aloe & Dittany Shampoo 40ml
  • Guava Shower gel 40ml
All really decent sized products which are presented in this really amazing box.
My Top 10 Gift Sets for Men

Murad Man smooth/healthy kit (£49.50)
 - Give the man in your life the very best skincare with these three high-performance skincare products. This kit contains everything a man needs for soft, smooth, healthy-looking skin: 
  • a dual-action cleanser/shaving gel, 
  • a soothing razor burn treatment and 
  • a lightweight moisturiser.
Again, presented really nicely and boxed and with decent sized products.
My Top 10 Gift Sets for Men

Liz Earle Men's Great Skin Skincare Gift Set (£24)- I am well aware that the Hot Cloth Cleanser is something of a cult product, the wife loves it and I have yet to try it, though I am reliably informed there is a male version to be had! This skincare gift set is said to allow your man to cleanse, soften and smooth from top to toe with this hardworking skin duo. Packed with gentle, naturally derived foaming agents and specially selected botanicals, the Face and Body Wash leaves skin feeling clean without drying it out, while the daily After Shaving Moisturiser leaves skin smooth, clear and hydrated. 
My Top 10 Gift Sets for Men


Mr Natty Emergency Flair Kit Beard Gift Tube (£25) - The set includes the brand's classic Famous Beard Elixir, the seasonal Bring Me Sunshine Beard Elixir, and the Save Ya Own Skin moisturing butter - all made from natural ingredients to keep beards looking groomed and smelling great. Or there is also the Mr Natty Emergency Flair Kit Shave Set Gift Tube (£25) As well as a wooden-handled razor that fits disposable blades from all major shaving brands, the set includes the brand's scented shave oil and Save Ya Own Skin moisturising butter - both made from natural ingredients to keep you looking and feeling great.

My Top 10 Gift Sets for Men


Molton Brown Re-Charge Black Pepper Men's Fragrance Gift Set
 (£59)
Described as being the ultimate gift for lover of Spicy black peppercorn oil.  The set includes:

  • 300ml Black Peppercorn Body Wash
  • 50ml Re-Charge Black Pepper Eau de Toilette
  • 100g Re-charge Black Pepper Bodyscrub Bar

I am a huge fan of Molton Brown and again have featured them on my blog before. I like the way this gift set is presented and think again that it is great value for money.

My Top 10 Gift Sets for Men
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Men Rock Double Edged Razor Starter Kit Gift Set (£43.50) - The perfect gift set for difficult to buy for men, boyfriends, husbands, best men, fathers Men Rock have put together an amazing kit. The kit includes:
  • Menrock Double Edge Razor 
  • Menrock Shaving Brush 
  • Menrock Sandalwood Shave Cream, 100ml

I love everything there is about this gift set, it has everything you ever need for shaving, it looks brilliant and I am fully on board with the double edge razor and no longer cut half my face off whilst shaving.


My Top 10 Gift Sets for Men
They all look great – a few I’ve tried in the past and loved – particularly the Molton Brown, Menrock and goodies from Scaramouche & Fandango. If you want an in-depth analysis of a gift set when check back next week where I will be giving the low-down on the gift range (it’s a big range) from Bulldog.


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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Nivea for Men Cool Kick 48 Hour Deodorant

Now, I don’t have a BO problem, I wash religiously, in fact it’s borderline OCD as I really do fear smelling, or the people around me thinking that I smell anything other than lovely, or of Eau De Embassy Number 1 at a push (I smoke, for shame). To keep this self-doubt in check I really do rely on good deodorants.

Throughout my youth I was a firm convert to the Sure range of deodorants for men, they knocked the spots of everything else on the market in my opinion, and to steal their own marketing slogan, Sure didn’t let me down. As I aged (badly some would say) I found myself drawn to Right Guard, and it did offer excellent protection against that dreaded problem of body odour. Despite wracking my brain, I have no idea why I decided it would be a good idea to jump into the unknown and give Nivea for Men Cool Kick 48 Hour Deodorant a go.


Nivea for Men Cool Kick 48 Hour Deodorant

At £2.29 for 150ml can this really is quite cheap. I thankfully didn’t even pay that, I received a 35ml can, I think in a beauty box. 

This is what they say about the spray over on the Nivea site here:

‘NIVEA FOR MEN Cool Kick Deodorant with its cool-care formula delivers 48h confidence and antiperspirant protection keeping you fresh, dry and invigorated all day long.

It’s the perfect combination of NIVEA‘s mild care and reliable protection.’

First thing first, it smells actually rather lovely. It does have a fresh kick to it and unlike other sprays it doesn’t come across as overly artificial - and even better, it doesn’t leave white residue under your pit or down the side of your clothes, which is a blessing for me given the sheer amount of black clothes I wear (closet Goth alert)


Nivea for Men Cool Kick 48 Hour Deodorant

Nivea for Men Cool Kick 48 Hour Deodorant

With claims of 48 hour protection I had very high hopes for this, but after a brisk walk to work, a bit of lifting (that would be my laptop from my bag to my desk so nothing too taxing) the fragrance had changed from being fresh to slightly warm, and musky. I started to fear the worst.

After four hours on and very little exertion in a fairly cool office I was sure I could detect a hint of BO - first thought “oh Christ no”. After another hour my self-confidence had evaporated (like the spray) and I actually had to go and buy a can of Right Guard. A quick pop into the shower room at work and boom, the confidence was back.

Not wanting to sit here and write up a scathing analysis unfairly I did try it again when off at a conference in Perth recently, but alas, in a warm conference hall it’s claimed antiperspirant were nowhere to be seen and for a good four hours I was praying for time to pass quicker so that I could get back to my guest house to shower and apply some Right Guard (as an aside, and to add some positivity to this post - if in Perth you could do a lot worse than the Clunie Guest House - lovely Adele and Hatem, the owners were so friendly, it’s very clean and reasonably priced).

Anyway, back to this excuse for a deodorant - It doesn’t last for 48 hours, eurgh, the thought of how I would reek 48 hours after applying doesn’t bear thinking about. I found that after five hours I just couldn’t get comfortable knowing that my colleagues might think that I stink, or lord, hadn’t washed properly. Yes, it’s cheap, yes it has bold claims but avoid this like the plague as it simply does not do the job. 

Buildings burn, people die, but my hatred for this product will last forever!*

AVOID AT ALL COSTS


*this may have been adapted from the closing line of one of my favourite films, The Crow.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Purifying Face Wash for Skin & Stubble by L'Oreal Men Expert

I have always wondered whether face scrub actually does anything to soften my grizzly stubble as it slowly turns into a scraggly beard! I can’t say I’d ever noticed a great difference until I started to use beard oils, so after moaning about the lack of male grooming advent calendars (gents, there are loads for women but not none for us), Mankind, those lovely purveyors of all things for male grooming sent me a sort of consolation package which included Purifying Face Wash for Skin & Stubble by L‘Oreal.


Purifying Face Wash for Skin & Stubble by L'Oreal Men Expert

Result! Thanks guys, when you said goodies, I didn’t expect a much needed aid package for my face!

Even at first glance this had me chuckling - on the rear the first things are “Feeling Dirty? Feeling Rough?” - erm, yeah, that’s me every day….

A 150ml tube of this face wash from the L’Oreal Men Expert range costs £6.35. 

This is what the product claims to do:

‘Eliminates impurities, skin instantly feels refreshed and energised and no feeling of tightness in the skin.
For Your Stubble, it eliminates dirt & pollution from stubble and beard area, and conditions and softens the feel of facial hair’

So, with a filthy mind (I mean face) and feeling extra rough I took my face, stubble and half asleep body into the bathroom to give this a try as soon as it arrived. It was the shiny tube that drew my eye and meant it got first dibs in the testing stakes.

God it smells gorgeous, it has the familiar aroma of the Men Expert range but it is far stronger on the nose, it’s like someone has rammed some Aloe Vera up your hooter (in a nice way). Unlike other face washes however, once it comes into contact with warm water it doesn’t get any stronger and any fears of it masking or lingering on the skin and stubble proved unfounded (I even got the other half to give it a whiff after rinsing to see if it had lingered - it hadn‘t).

The pale blue face wash isn’t that thick in texture which I found rather surprising, but that didn’t hold me back. A quick rinse of the face, a good blob of it in my hands and away I went. After closing my eyes and rubbing away for what seemed like an age I could tell that this had lathered up, the bubbles were really evident as I gingerly opened my eyes. It had covered my face, had turned a bright white (strange) and it seemed to be slightly absorbed as I stared vacantly at myself in the mirror! 
Purifying Face Wash for Skin & Stubble by L'Oreal Men Expert
Purifying Face Wash for Skin & Stubble by L'Oreal Men Expert

After rinsing the face wash off I was rather sickened by the colour of the water - a very murky colour that made me feel slightly ashamed, even though I’d been out of the razz for a good ten hours the night before. 

It says it shifts impurities - well, I haven’t got any litmus paper to test the Ph levels, but boy it shifted the build up of dirt and pollution that comes from living in filthy London. So, massive tick in the box that says ‘does this face wash actually wash’.

But, that was day one, I was particularly interested in the softening effect - did I notice anything on day two, three or four? Erm…….nope. It wasn’t until day five when the other half commented that the bristles were getting long but felt much softer that it dawned on me - I’d had a stroke and had lost the feeling in my hands…..(I jest and before you all get some mock outrage there is serious information about Stroke prevention here), I just couldn’t tell the difference, but I’m assured that my stubble and eventually beard was softer to the touch.

The Men Expert range for L’Oreal was in my opinion the first product that made me think seriously about how I look after my skin, and this is a lovely addition to the range. It’s affordable, lasts for ages, has a great smell, removes grime from the face and has the added bonus of softening my stubble and beard. 

At these prices, and based on the results I would recommend this as a staple for every bathroom. 

RECOMMENDED


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Monday, November 09, 2015

Tigi’s Mini Bed Head Manipulator

A funky gunk that rocks! - that is what Tigi’s Bed Head Manipulator cries out as soon as you remove the lid, but is it funky, is it gunky and will it actually manage to keep my hair in place in the face of gale force winds on a trip to the South Bank in the name of cultural enlightenment.


Tigi’s Mini Bed Head Manipulator

At £3.74 for a 30g tub it looks tiny, but hey, good things come in small packages (sometimes). This does seem incredibly cheap for a hair styling product that claims to do all sorts of things! This came in a beauty box some months ago and the missus ignored it like an elderly relative in a care home so I stole it and gave it a try. 


Tigi’s Mini Bed Head Manipulator
Tigi’s Mini Bed Head Manipulator

This is what they say about it over at the Tigi website here:

‘Be a Master Manipulator. Get whacked-out hair – spike, twist dreads or go punky. More mainstream? Get body and texture.

Support factor: 3
Texture factor: 5
Separated & textured with a matte finish
Pliable, supportive & long-lasting
Good for any hair length or texture
Separates & smoothes fly-aways.’

First of all, being whacked out means something completely different to me! It usually involves heavy nights out and waking up under a trampoline, falling down stairs or just simply forgetting which city I’m in (I kid you not). As for being a master manipulator, well, I don’t need any help with that thanks Tigi. Anyhow, once again I digress! 

This has a lovely aroma to it, I say it has the smell of fresh apples, whereas my other half suggested it had a tropical hint to the notes. Either way, I think it smells delightful and doesn’t have any hint of chemical undertones to it, so no chance of being accused of smelling plastic. 

Once you’ve stuck your fingers in you get that gunky feeling (just take a look at the picture below), it’s like a thick pliable goo on your fingertips, but actually, once spread across the palms and applied to hair it soaks in really well, absorbed into each and every strand it comes close to. Great stuff.


Tigi’s Mini Bed Head Manipulator
Tigi’s Mini Bed Head Manipulator

Now, the big thing - can you style with something that it so gooey and gunky? Well yes, actually I think it’s a breeze. On short styles it is fantastic and makes hair so pliable you can style anything, and I mean anything. At Halloween I styles a pair of devil horns (which I thought looked great) but as I was going out for a serious dinner with colleagues from work had to take out (booooo). On longer styles it doesn’t lose any of its appeal at all, and I like this when going for my ‘cable thief’ style (it looks like I’ve been electrocuted when trying to steal some copper cable)

I’ve added in a photograph of my hair styled using this to help you get an idea of what it is capable of - and to save me having to describe it to the Nth degree (lazy, yes I know)

Stephen Shawcross (Beautykinguk)
Me, being a bit of a tool in Perth on Halloween.....
It dries quickly, sets firm, but hair retains the ability to be restyled. As I’ve said, I styled horns but didn’t have to go and wash it out and start again. I simply used my palm to flatten my hair and then whoosh, with a flick across the top the spikes were back. Brilliant. 

Fiddly as f*** to apply, but the results are simply too good to cast this aside and say “sod it”. I like the fragrance, it’s so refreshing first thing in the morning. It also appeals to the inner (many would say outer) child in me as it is gunky but by far and away the best thing, thankfully (otherwise it would be getting panned) is the hold. It isn’t going to hold massive spikes in place but on shorter styles it looks as though it has a wet finish for a few hours and then actually develops a matte look finish and for me, that makes it look as though my hair is staying in place naturally - excellent (said in a Mr Burns voice)

Yes, yes it is a funky gunk that rocks - and a product I will be keeping for when I need to style some extreme spikes.

RECOMMENDED

If you want to pick this up cheap, I would suggest you head over to ASOS here where it is currently available for the price above. 


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Sunday, November 08, 2015

Movember 2015

The hairiest month of the year has arrived and the term 'Movember' is one that you will see banded about all over the place and as well as being quite fun, there is a serious side to it and one that we should all take a moment to reflect on. 

The Movember Foundation is a global charity that is committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. Since 2003, millions have joined the men’s health movement, raising £402 million and funding over 1,000 programmes focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.

In order to raise awareness, social media plays a huge role and the idea is that for 30 days you begin to grow 'your Mo' and as it grows, you take photos and post them on social media. So in an effort to play my part, on the very last day of the month, much to the horror of my wife, I shaved off my facial hair with a helping hand from the following products:

Crabtree & Evelyn Moroccan Myrrh Shave Soap. - This I absolutely loved and you can read about it HERE. It is worth noting that Crabtree & Evelyn are partnering with Movember for the month of November and will be offering a £1 donation on each product purchase across our men’s ranges.



Crabtree & Evelyn Moroccan Myrrh Shave Soap
Crabtree & Evelyn Moroccan Myrrh Shave Soap
Crabtree & Evelyn Moroccan Myrrh Shave Soap

As the beard and 'Mo' begin to grow, Mankind have a range of products which help keep the itching at bay and the hair soft and smooth rather than wild and grizzly. It's well worth popping over to their site this month (November!) as they are also running a social competition, offering weekly prizes for the best progress photos. To enter all you need to do is upload your photo to twitter and tag @mankindcouk and include the hashtag #MKMOVEMBER.


Mankind Grooming Box


In addition, throughout November, Mankind will be offering 3 for 2 on beard and moustache products so well worth checking out their site.

But, should you choose to shave it all off, or just to remove the beard to show off the moustache I have to say, you could do a lot worse than checking out the huge range from Rehab London. I have already sung the praises of their shave oil here, but combined with Calm Balm and you have one of the most pain and hassle free shaves going. In fact, apart from getting shaved professionally, I'm yet to experience such few problems like razor bumps, burn and rash after using them.


Rehab London Calm Balm

What will you be doing for Movember? 


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Friday, November 06, 2015

Beauty Christmas Crackers for Men!

After being slightly disappointed with the lack of beauty advent calendars for us blokes (again) I thought I would see if this was a trend across all Christmas related beauty thangs to see if we had been totally left out. Result gentlemen, there are some treats for us in the form of beauty crackers:

Cowshed Bullocks Men's Christmas Cracker £10 here - The Bullocks cracker includes a bracing body wash and 2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner for refreshing and purifying shower experience courtesy of the shed. Cowshed's products are natural and made in the UK.


Cowshed Bullocks Men's Christmas Cracker


Weleda Men's Moisture Cracker £9.45 here. This cracker contains a 30ml tube of Men’s Moisture Cream. Perfect for indulging friends and family, for Christmas table, tree decorations or even secret Santa. Weleda Moisture Cream for Men is a light and fluid cream that quickly penetrates the skin so that it becomes elastic, smooth and supple. 


Weleda Men's Moisture Cracker

Molton Brown's Re-Charge Black Pepper Cracker £20 here.  This cracker comprises a trio of skincare treats for men which are Ultra-light Bai Ji Hydrator (30ml), Black Peppercorn Body Wash (50ml) and Black Peppercorn Nourishing Body Lotion (50ml). Personally I love the body wash and raved about it here.


Molton Brown's Re-Charge Black Pepper Cracker
Scaramouche & Fandango Men's Christmas Cracker £15.00 here. This cracker Contains their popular face scrub (100ml) and you can read my full review here and the hydrator (100ml) and you can read my view review of this here.


Scaramouche & Fandango Men's Christmas Cracker


Pricey they are, but I think worth it as a once a year quirky thing. 

These would make great little ice breakers around the Christmas table if bringing together families, or even better, a nice way to tell a male relative that they need to do something about their own personal grooming! I’m going to be investing in some for Christmas this year, just so I can try out some of the products.

It’s nice to finally see the staple of the female beauty world being converted so us guys are not left out.

Do you think you will have any of these crackers?


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