Wednesday, April 30, 2014

StoneFish Medium Hold Matt Texturising Clay

This is one of those blog posts I really hate doing - the slating review. 

In this case it is even harder as I’m a huge fan of Fish Soho hair products having taken #hairontour with SuperFish putty and Fishshape cream. 

Using the putty and cream firmly converted me but my faith was tested more than Abraham in Genesis* (sorry for an obscure Bible reference).

The product claims: 

‘Fish StoneFish Medium hold Styling Clay is great for short and choppy styles, Stonefish gives the ultimate textured look with a cool matt finish.’

When I first started trying this my hair was about an inch in length and I consider this to be short - correct me if I’m wrong, but my experiences are based on trying it while my hair grew from one to two inches. 

The clay is beige in colour, but looks off white due to the blue plastic packaging. It has a very subtle fruity whiff to it but nothing that could ever be considered to be over the top or likely to overshadow any other grooming products you might choose to add.

While writing this and considering the fragrance I had one of those childhood flashbacks that come on when my brain starts to access memories attached to smells. In this flashback it reminded me of the smell of groundbait - the bread based stuff we would use when fishing as kids. Weird! 

Anyhow, I digress as usual and will come back on topic!

Trying to extract the clay is a nightmare - I scraped and scraped away at it and it took five minutes to remove enough to spread across my fingertips and start to apply.

The clay does soak into the fingertips as they warm really quickly so no hanging around with styling.

At an inch in length I found that I had to massage the clay into the strands of hair and then re-apply more - it does have a fantastic matt effect but the hold wasn’t up to much for me. While taking into consideration that I have quite heavy hair, there are other products in the Fish Soho range that offer more substantial hold.

After about 3 hours the clay had come out as I touched my hair throughout the morning (this usually comprises of me with both hands on top of my head shouting obscenities at work over a minor matter). My hair started to feel fluffy and the style came out completely leaving me feeling quite self-conscious. That’s not a feeling I like at all.

Sorry Fish Soho but StoneFish just doesn’t offer the hold and at £5.99 for 70 ml pot this isn’t something I can recommend. I did try with it - I used it for weeks but it continually let me down and when I don‘t feel comfortable the poor souls who have to spend time with me feel the brunt.

In the interests of harmony at home and work I just won’t be using this again.


As I’ve mentioned above, if you are looking for seriously good hold you can do a lot worse than SuperFish Fishpaste Hardcore Hold Matt Effect Putty or if you have a longer style, you are better off looking at Structure Paste Flexible Adhesive.

Obscure Bible reference:

*In Genesis Abraham was tested by God 12 times. Known as the 12 tests of Abraham, the last of which was to offer his son up as a sacrifice.  

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Monday, April 28, 2014

The Monday Montage

The last seven days have seen weird things happening with my blog - not only have I had the urge to write lots more but the traffic coming to my little corner of the Internet has gone wild.

My review of Dirty Burger from earlier in the month received over 1,500 page views in a day, Lush I Should Coco from March over 300 and my tattoo article over 200.  

So what has BKUK offered to people stumbling across my pages over the last week?

Tigi Bedhead Supercharge Duo Giveaway

After being open for a month on Saturday I drew the winner of the gift set. 

Congratulations again to John Wharff, owner of one of the coolest male beauty blogs around ‘Mr Wharff’.

Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Scrub

Arty outside photographs were the order of the day again on Saturday when I likened Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Scrub to sandpaper - it is a cheap and cheerful product that won’t break the bank but will strip away layers of dead or dying skin.

Structure Paste Flexible Adhesive

The surge in traffic aside, on Thursday I wrote up my thoughts on Structure Paste Flexible Adhesive. Personally I think this is one of the most bizarre posts I’ve ever done as I managed to fuse The Happy Mondays, glue sniffing and references to colleagues at work into what was originally an attempt at a serious review of a product I really was shocked by - for all the right reasons. 

Erasmic Lather Shave Cream and Brush

'Erasmic is orgasmic' was the punt I took when thinking of something funny to say but after my first experience of using a shaving brush instead of being lazy and using gel or foam resulted in some surprising results.

Coming up....

So what does the coming week hold? Well, I attended my first ever blogger event a few weeks ago with the lovely people from Ilumi to sample their new Chinese and Modern Asian range of gluten free meals. 

The night had so much to write about it has actually taken me days to write it up where I'm happy that I haven't missed too much out and where I think I do the products and evening justice.

In addition to this I’ve been trying StoneFish Clay by Fish Soho and trying to resist the temptation to eat Soap and Glory Sugar Crush.

I hope you have enjoyed one or two of my posts over the last week and feel the urge to return to check out my musings over the next seven days.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tigi Bedhead Supercharge Duo - The winner is….

While I still consider myself very new to the bloggersphere, back at the end of March I got overly excited by reaching 250 Twitter followers and decided to giveaway a Tigi Behead Supercharge Duo gift set.

The competition attracted a lot of interest, drew some new people to the blog and until recently was one of my most popular posts (this has since been significantly exceeded by review of Dirty Burger and my tattoo).

Using the powers of Rafflecopter yesterday the winner was selected in true lottery style.

*Drum roll please*

The winner is John Wharff - @MrWharff

Congratulations John, an e-mail is winging its way over to you shortly.

The interaction that this giveaway has provided spurred me on with my writing, and I’ve decided that when I reach 750 Twitter followers and 200 on Bloglovin’ I’ll run another. This time however it’ll be one of my favourite brands of the moment:

The Thalgo Duo Cleanse & Pure set also comes with the freshness exfoliator. Worth over £50 it must be worth a punt. 

I’m sure whoever wins this in time will be a very happy person.

As always, thank you to everyone who reads, comments and follows my blog. I really appreciate it.

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Scrub

Get the puns out the way early, that would be sensible advice had I not been writing about Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Scrub - seriously, just drafting this resulted in lots of sounds reminiscent of an episode of Beavis & Butthead.

So, in the interests of moving on and getting these out of the way I will not be using phrases such as ‘Coconut Caress is Coco-nuts‘, ‘I’m a dirty boy’, ’getting down and dirty’ or ‘I’m a little scrubber’ from now on - promise.

To fully appreciate my experience you really need to know how I started using this - picture a man clinging to consciousness trying to get showered before work. Eyes haven’t fully opened and support being provided by both arms propping me up. 

I actually went to grab a different body wash but picked this up by accident. 

Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Scrub

So, what do they say about it?

Clean up your act with this feel good scrub to leave you revived, recharged and ready to go!

Change your ways and buff yourself to innocence! With Walnut shell granules to help brush roughness away and Coconut Oil to condition and moisturise.

Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Scrub

As soon as you step under the shower and squeeze the scrub out its like being smashed in the face with a bag of coconuts - wow, that coconut oil is strong! Really strong. It also requires far too much effort to squeeze it out as the scrub is really thick in texture.

I’m not normally a big fan of coconut but with this it is much sweeter on the nose. Yes, I can just sit here sniffing the tube. Sad, very sad but true.

Once I’d flexed my muscles and squeezed enough out it felt thick and gooey in my hand, no signs of any walnut shell granules. With Ted’s Grooming Room Step 01 Face Scrub I found that as soon as I put it on my hands I could feel the micro-beads. With Coconut Caress I had to rub this between my palms and as it spreads boy does the abrasion follow.

Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Scrub

As I started to rub this over my body the walnut shell granules gently dug into my skin but in a way that you kind of knew that it was removing every inch of dead or dry skin from my torso. The scrub doesn’t lather but it is so smooth you can actually see the granules as they become more and more abrasive - too much pressure and you’ll find yourself losing hairs off your arms (I jest).

The granules don’t disintegrate like other products so until they are washed off you can continue to rub them over your torso which means you don’t need that much of this for a full upper torso wash and exfoliation.

After stepping out of the shower and drying, my skin did have a subtle glow to it and was extremely smooth to the touch. It was 100% clear to me on the day of using and still the day after that my skin had taken a pasting and had been treated to some TLC.

The coconut fragrance while strong when washing doesn’t stay that way. You can detect hints of the coconut oil for a few hours on the skin after using. Personally I don’t use this on my face as it does interfere with how my aftershave smells but for washing my torso - ’pits and body this is perfect. Not a hint of the dreaded BO after washing using this and with the lovely results I can’t help but recommend this to people who want a bloody good exfoliating body scrub.

Do I feel innocent after using this? Well no, but I also don’t feel like I’ve been robbed as 200 ml costs just a £1 if you shop around which represents exceptional value for money.

Do I feel revived and recharged? Well it certainly wakes you up, but recharged? That's just a claim too far. Even so, this has far too many positives to let the mindless marketing blurb stand in the way of top marks from me.


One question that will nag away at me - why use walnut shell granules and why not coconut husk?

Thank you for visiting and reading my latest post. You can keep up to date with my musings using any of the buttons on the top right-hand side of the page.
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Structure Paste Flexible Adhesive

First of all, if you think this is going to be about some form of glue, glue sniffing or tips on what adhesive will get you tripping the light fantastic I will ‘fess up - this is actually about hair paste, for styling your hair.

*Whoosh* and everyone moves their cursor to the back button on their browser!

For those still reading (and without a nasty red rash and spots around their mouths) I’ll continue.

I’m not sure how the two samples of Structure Paste Flexible Adhesive came into my possession. One day it was another of those brands I’d never heard of, the next, there were two 15 ml sample sachets sat by the basin in the bathroom.

Structure Paste Flexible Adhesive

Structure Paste Flexible Adhesive

Structure Paste Flexible Adhesive

Structure Paste Flexible Adhesive

Structure Paste Flexible Adhesive

Paste was a product I hadn’t thought of using before - I’ve been through mousse (no thanks Nicky Clarke), wax (a deffo no-no Mr Wella), gel, cream and clay. Hell, at one stage in my youth I used hair spray - readers, picture a better looking Shaun Ryder* with his curtain hairstyle and that was me.

Paste had passed me by - to my shame.

After losing the Madchester compulsory cut of the 1990‘s I went to short spikes and that is how it has remained for years, and years and god knows, years.….

I’m trying to grow my hair out to sample a new style but with that comes the comments such as “your mullet is out of control - (JB**, 24 April 2014)”, which means that styling is a must. Gel has been tried and failed - the hold fades after a few hours and it doesn’t hold the style, wax is pointless in hair over 4 inches in length and clay would require a team of navvies to apply.

I wanted a sort of Beckham look with my hair swept back and staying back.

Structure claim that their Paste Flexible Adhesive defines and creates texture with a firm but flexible hold and a completely matte finish. Their strap-line to this is ‘Style is about instinct, creativity, passion. We’ll provide the tools. You build the structure.’

This is the first time I’ve read that and it has brightened my mood - someone somewhere thought that sounded cool or mysterious, and they probably were sniffing glue at the time!

On opening, the paste was stuck to the side of the packet - it’s like Polyfilla (that’s for filling cracks for those not familiar) it’s so thick and gooey. Fingers were dabbed in and it was like iron to a magnet. My fingers were covered and I had to wipe some off. It all wanted out!

It doesn’t really have a smell, or so I thought. My other half suggested it had a smell like Fructis hair products, which tended to have hints of apple. Personally I couldn’t tell.

My hair had just been washed and was damp when I extracted enough to rub between my palms - it spreads really easily and as you apply it onto the hair it soaks in quickly and almost immediately makes the hair pliable. It’s awesome for styling people.

After rubbing it into the strands of hair and down the sides I brushed in the swept back style. It was instant - where the brush had been the hair stayed and it was solid. Jumping up and down didn’t move the style.

My hair however wasn’t rock hard to the touch and wasn’t shining off the lights - it does have a great matte finish and how it feels is well….weird city.

I touch my hair throughout the day, and when I touch my hair with this in it feels a bit greasy - it doesn’t look it but one brush through with the hand and you are off to the bathrooms to wash your hands. It comes off to the touch.

That aside, after 15 hours the holding power is still there and you can’t grumble with that. If you are looking for bonus points for this, well there aren’t the slightest hints of white flakes, even in the morning. So no white flakes in your hair making you look like you haven’t heard of Head & Shoulders and no embarrassing flakes on your clothes while at work or out on the town. Result!

A 75 ml tune of this can be bought for around £9. Personally I’ve never, and I mean NEVER found a product that holds like this and is so easy to wash out. The only problem I find is that first thing in the morning I wake up looking like this….


Forget the morning look, Structure has a styling product here that is simply fantastic for use on longer hair. A 15 ml sachet has lasted me a week up to now and I expect about another 3/4 uses out of what is left so this actually goes a long way for the price.


*An image of Shaun Ryder is below - he was the lead singer of popular Manchester band Happy Mondays during the 1990’s at the start the mental music scene in my beautiful home town.

**Names have not been changed to protect the guilty.

Thank you for reading, before you go I would love it if you could answer the two easy questions below. Please leave your thoughts in the comments:

1 - Should I continue to grow my hair out or go back to spikes like in the picture on my homepage?

2 - Should I dye my hair again? I've been going grey for 20 years, but haven't dyed my hair since I was 28 (7 years). 
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Erasmic Lather Shave Cream

Just look at the name of the product - so much fun with puns to be had but I’ll behave, Erasmic did after all send me my first ever shaving brush and a 75ml tune of their lather shave cream to try.

In the interests of trying to be fair and balanced, I won’t be finishing my review of Erasmic Lather Shave Cream with phrases such as “Erasmic is orgasmic” or “a shave so smooth it’s gotta be Erasmic”, no sir….I’ll behave (and repeat, “I will behave, I will behave“).

I’m 35 years in age and until late last week I’d never used a shaving brush or the associated lather cream. If anything I had a flashback to my youth.

My late grandfather would always shave using one, normally at the kitchen sink so he could gain easy access to the rear garden (yard for my American readers - so thoughtful) to terrorise any passing squirrels with the nuts (and I don’t mean literally) to pass through.

I can see him now hunched over the sink in his trousers, white vest and shaving kit. It always seemed to take hours!

Before this turns into a fun blown Stephen flashback I’ll go back to the product in hand.

Erasmic Lather Shave Cream

Marketed as for a smooth, comfortable shave, the lather cream costs just £3 if you shop around and the products claims:

‘A superior quality shaving cream containing Chamomile and Glycerin to lubricate your skin, giving you a smoother, closer shave. Chamomile soothes your skin, for a close, comfortable shave. Glycerin moisturises your skin helping its natural renewal process.’

Erasmic Lather Shave Cream

Erasmic Lather Shave Cream

Armed with a healthy face of hair to rival a 50 year old Amish farmer I set off into the bathroom - in one hand the cream, the other a shaving brush (and without a clue how to use it properly for the best shave).

After washing my face I wet the brush and applied some of the shave cream. After rubbing it ever so gently on my face there was an explosion of lather and fragrance. While you can quickly pick up the hints of Chamomile the fragrance brought on another flashback!

The lather is so thick and rich it is untrue - wow, I had applied far too much to the brush and I’m talking less than the size of a 10 pence piece. I shaved and found the process a bit difficult - the lather was far too thick and combined with the bristles coming off my face my razor was constantly clogged. Shaving took 10 minutes longer than normal.

However, it was my own fault for being utterly clueless - so after the first round I decided to use what was left on the brush to cover my face again. It was much thinner and easier to shave with. So, lather is good, but in sparing amounts. Unlike gels this doesn’t disintegrate on your face if it’s wet - it has staying power.

Shaving the second time around was much easier - however I was left with a few blotchy marks for around an hour. They didn’t hurt and it wasn’t sore and after a while I didn’t notice then. In the morning they had gone completely and my face felt soft even though I hadn’t moisturised before bed.

I had a quite thick beard and while it was a pain at first, used sparingly this offers a nice shaving experience. Personally I’ll stick with something with Menthol in it as I like the cool sensation but if you are looking for a lather cream or fancy trying a new shaving experience then I would say go for it.


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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Molton Brown Seamoss Stress-relieving Hydrosoak

I had heard of the brand Molton Brown but had never laid my hands on any of their products - that is until I had the chance of a nice relaxing soak in the bath using their Seamoss Stress-Relieving Hydrosoak.

As an early random intermission, every time I see or hear of their products I start to hum Golden Brown by The Stranglers - I have no idea why, it’s probably some sort of misfiring in my brain.

Molton Brown Seamoss Stress-relieving Hydrosoak

Molton Brown Seamoss Stress-relieving Hydrosoak

Molton Brown Seamoss Stress-relieving Hydrosoak

If you asked the people who know me they would readily admit I’m a bit of a ball of stress at times (OK, most of the time), so anything that can lower my blood pressure and make me chill out is to be applauded, if it works.

300 grams of the Dead Sea salts is actually quite reasonably priced considering that in the back of my mind I’d always thought this was quite an expensive range. You can expect to pay just shy of £20 which in the great scheme of things is four or five beers on a Friday night.

Now follows a marketing blurb intermission….Molton Brown claims are:

Transform your bath into a marine hydrotherapy experience. Lie back and let the Dead Sea salts, red and brown seaweeds and horse chestnut extracts help flush toxins from your body and replenish your skin. Feel your muscles relax and your body de-stress while you are deeply refreshed.

Dead Sea salts provide a concentrated source of essential minerals and vitamins. Through osmotic absorption they can help to keep the skin healthy and ease dryness.

After getting the bath running in true bloke style I followed the instructions and added 2 capfuls of the salts….and then added a further liberal sprinkling for good measure - sorted. 

Molton Brown Seamoss Stress-relieving Hydrosoak

Molton Brown Seamoss Stress-relieving Hydrosoak

The green salts hit the hot water and almost immediately dissolve as the lovely warm marine scent wafts across the bathroom. The solid salts have a seaside feel when you give them a sniff - you can pick out the sea salt and hints of the seaweed. Once in water though there are two things:

  • The water goes a lovely aquamarine colour which looks pretty cool in my opinion (yes, I am easily impressed);
  • The fragrance loses some of the harshness of the sea salts and the warm seaweed smells delightful.

So after slipping into the bath and attempting to chill out the acid test is where the claims are true or not. The fragrance is very relaxing, it’s subtle and not too overpowering and after a while I just couldn’t smell it anymore. I was too chilled to care to be honest.

After 15 minutes of soaking I did feel so calm I could have easily fallen asleep, after 30 minutes I had actually fallen asleep. Result. I struggle to sleep so anything that knocks me out is to be applauded.

After waking I was literally dazzled by how soft and smooth my skin had become. It was fantastic.

After using this for a few weeks I still have about half a canister full and that’s after bathing every night with it, representing excellent value for money in my opinion.

The dryness that I find around my elbows and hands has cleared us and my skin is so much softer to the touch. Combine this with the fact that it has me so relaxed I’m borderline drooling then there is little left to add other than I recommend this to anyone looking for some bath salts to try. Since my teenage years I’ve been firmly attached to Calvin Klein Eternity bath salts but ladies and gentlemen, I have a new favourite.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Head Candy Revive and Energise Shampoo by Anovia

When I first heard that I had the opportunity to try out Head Candy I mistakenly believed that I would be on a jet to Ibiza to party my ass off at the legendary Hed Kandi club nights.

What I actually had was Head Candy by Anovia, their revive and energise shampoo containing Argan Oil.

I’m usually a one kind of brand guy, shampoo is shampoo and nothing to get excited about. This wasn’t any different but it did have a few tricks up its sleeve that could lead me to take a look at it again in the future.

Personally I would never pick this off the shelf - the colouring of the product is far too feminine, the packaging doesn’t particularly jump out at me and I can hand on heart say that I’d never heard of the company or product before getting my hands on this.

Head Candy Revive and Energise Shampoo by Anovia

Head Candy Revive and Energise Shampoo by Anovia

Head Candy Revive and Energise Shampoo by Anovia

Head Candy Revive and Energise Shampoo by Anovia

Marketed as the perfect pick me up for all hair types, it gently cleanses without product build up. There is also an associated conditioner which I have used on and off, but I didn’t really see any additional benefits by doing so and stopped.

So, the marketing blurb aside, the product claims to leave your hair soft, smooth and frizz free. I don’t have hair that is prone to frizz, so the acid test for me was whether it left my hair feeling soft and smooth.

It’s hard to get even remotely excitable about a shampoo, but as soon as you remove the lid there is the sickliest sweet fragrance - it’s amazing. It reminds me of old school strawberry laces you could buy from the sweet shop.

Once I’d gotten over the childhood flashback and was back in the room I removed the tube from my nose and decided to try it out.

There isn’t a day that goes by that my hair doesn’t take some form of pounding from hair products - gel, wax and clay are part of the normal routine (not all at the same time). Using Head Candy strips any residue from my hair and the shampoo produces a mild yet rich lather than soaks into the shaft of the hair.

It rinses out easily and the smell lingers on hair for hours after washing.

As a smoker I like to feel confident that my hair is truly clean and smells clean. With Head Candy I never have any reason to doubt this to be the case.

After using this my hair does feel incredibly soft, it is smooth and it smells fantastic (if you like the strawberry aroma).

This is the good bit - you can buy a 200ml tube of the shampoo for just 99 pence online and that represents excellent value for money.

This shampoo has everything - it delivers the results that it claims to, it has a fantastic sweet smell and it’s cheaper than a small bottle of Coca Cola. It has a value price tag with results that are on a par with some of the more luxury brands on the market.

One final test is whether repeated use can lead to a dried out scalp and the dreaded dandruff. It doesn’t, I don’t get an itchy scalp that leaves me looking like I have head lice (always a bonus) and after applying styling products my hair is more pliable than normal.

I can overlook the feminine packaging and give this the thumbs up.


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Monday, April 14, 2014

Dirty Springwash Shower Gel by Lush

In my youth I had a phrase - “Lush Sucks”, mainly because every conversation I started with a woman would always turn to their products. 

It was a lazy way to shut down that particular line of questioning so that a massively hormonal Stephen could concentrate on other things. I am of course talking about food *cough*, honest.

After overcoming the smell that turns my stomach and growing up (yes, yes, stop laughing, I’ve matured) I ventured into a shop and bought a few products. 

I’ve written before about my love for I Should Coco soap and my quest to get them to start stocking it again but using the bath bombs, the facial scrubs and gels had me converted. The stock phrase from my youth was banished.

Here and now I use Lush products off and on depending upon how I’m feeling and how much time I have on my hands. If you are dropping a couple of quid into the bath you don’t want to be draining the water in minutes, you want a long soak.

Under the microscope today as the title blatantly gives away is Dirty Springwash Shower Gel.

A 250g (yes, based on weight rather than volume) tube will set you back £8.95. Now that isn’t cheap for shower gel in my view, but the proof is in the pudding and all that….

Marketing blurb intermission:

Like a dip in a mountain spring, with spearmint & menthol to make your skin feel cool in a hot shower. Don’t be dirty - get fresh with this tingly, and extremely minty body and hair gel.

As there was a dirty great sticker over the ingredients (mine was made by Dawid like I really care) I couldn’t make out what was in it but boy do you get a huge idea from the fragrance! 

When described as extremely minty that is one hell of an understatement. As soon as the cap is off - BANG, it hits you in the nose like the fist of an angry man after taking a bottle of angry pills on Saint Angry Day.

The spearmint and menthol attack your senses like a battalion of infantry on speed - it’s a lovely smell that gets stronger as soon as it comes into contact with the hot shower water. The fragrance provides a fantastic wake up call first thing in the morning.

The shower gel lathers up really well, it isn’t rich but a small amount of the gel is needed to wash the entire frame of a six foot man - me. 

This is a man’s wash and as the lather runs over the body you can feel the menthol properties, they are right. Even in a warm shower the menthol was making me feel really cool. I can see this being a firm favourite if we have a hot summer this year.

I always feel clean after using this and the spearmint and menthol lingers on the skin - it’s very subtle and doesn’t interfere with aftershaves that are added over the top. A bonus in my book. 

You really won’t be dirty if you use Lush’s Dirty Springwash on a regular basis. It doesn’t dry out the skin and I’ve found that to the touch it is smooth and soft.

The price is a stickler for me - it does last for a long time but it is expensive in my view. I’ll buy again for the summer months but probably go back to a mainstream and cheaper brand in the interim. 

It does what it says on the bottle and you can’t say fairer than that.


It's so good even cats love it....

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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Monday Montage

Welcome to the Monday montage here at BeautyKingUK - after a week of posting away I thought I would give a little round up.

In the last week I’ve covered a number of topics, mainly writing about products that I’ve been using. This post is a little summary of my activity with links so that readers can track back to earlier ramblings for ease of reference.

When I started this blog if you had told me I’d be writing up reviews nearly every day I’d probably try and have you sectioned under the Mental Health Act

I genuinely had no idea that I would take to it so quickly, have not a care in the world if people I work with see it and most of all enjoy the relaxation I get from spewing forth my opinions and the things that make me laugh in my head.

The week started with a post on Mandara Spa - Tropical Blooms Softening Bath Milk, a lovely product that I really do love a lot. It actually didn’t get the attention it deserves when you consider the results I experienced using it.

Always guaranteed to get me sleepy if I have a bath using this - it’s chill out pampering at its best.

I then went with the top five aftershaves I couldn’t be without. Yes, any regular reader will know that I likes my aftershave and having to limit the choices to just five was a struggle. It really could have been a lengthy list. If you decide to try one from the list you should seriously consider Bvlgari Pour Homme as it has a little of everything for everyone.

On Wednesday I spent the evening trying to write up my thoughts on Fish Sportfish Revitalising Hair, Face and Body Wash. I’m not sure why but I found it be a real struggle to write - whereas normally I can pour an opinion/article onto the page within about 30 minutes this one took hours. 

Thursday was a good writing day, I managed to finish my thoughts on Ted’s Grooming Room Step 02 Shave Gel and publish some random facts about myself as part of the Very Inspiring Blogger Award Nomination.

A busy weekend was rounded off with me asking if £20 was a lot of money to spend on a cleansing gel. I thought it was, my Twitter followers and those using the #bbloggers hashtag disagreed. Yes, I felt tighter than a fishes bum!

That didn’t deter me though and my final post of the week about Thalgo Gel Nettoyant Detoxifiant Visage went up yesterday.

Taking up blogging has given me something to do, I really do like sharing my opinions. Every time I get new followers there is a sense of achievement. 

This may seem a little weird but knowing that people are reading my ramblings is actually touching.

I put out on Twitter earlier today the question, what should I write about next - Lush wins and I’ll be sharing my thoughts on a few of their products throughout the week.

Last of all, thank you to all who read my blog - I really do appreciate it when you take the time to pour over my stuff and comment.

What would my readers like to see on this blog in the future? 

Should I stick with aftershaves and beauty products or expand more into the weird and often dark life that is BeautyKingUK? Let me know.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thalgo Gel Nettoyant Detoxifiant Visage

I’m not shy about trying new things (within reason) and after being so impressed with the Thalgo Descomen Deep Cleansing Scrub I couldn’t wait to try the cleansing gel.

Thalgo Gel Nettoyant Detoxifiant Visage is a gel designed for daily cleansing and I’ve had this for well over a month just itching (not literally) to have a week where I could put it through its paces as I just couldn't tell using it on and off.

Thalgo Gel Nettoyant Detoxifiant Visage

Thalgo Gel Nettoyant Detoxifiant Visage

Thalgo Gel Nettoyant Detoxifiant Visage

Thalgo Gel Nettoyant Detoxifiant Visage

Thalgo Gel Nettoyant Detoxifiant Visage

Thalgo Gel Nettoyant Detoxifiant Visage

Marketed as a detoxifying non aggressive cleansing gel, like the other male products I’ve seen in the range it contains Algae Bleue Vitale - I have no clue what this is and lack the motivation to do any form of research. As long as my face doesn’t melt off when I apply it I’m fairly comfortable not forensically examining the ingredients.

The gel should foam and rid the skin of toxins and excess sebum which they say will leave your face looking clear and clean.

So, here come the actual marketing claims:

  • Energises the skin
  • Combats cellular stress
  • Encourages cell renewal
  • Helps fight the appearance of the 1st visible signs of passing time
  • Glucose Derivatives
  • Gently cleanse even sensitive skin
  • Gentle to the hydro-lipidic film

Now, sit down readers, here comes the price for these fabulous claims. A small 150ml tube of the cleansing gel will set you back £20.…..yes, that’s not a typo, there is a zero after the two. So, firmly in the luxury product category if you ask me, but does it offer results that make it worth the outlay?

The fragrance got a firm thumbs down from my cat, but got a big thumbs up from me. It’s actually very subtle until the gel lathers up. You get hints of Aloe Vera, but not much else. It is very fresh and almost clinically clean.

Once it has been rubbed into the palms with warm water there isn’t a lather explosion that I would expect from a cleansing gel. I was expecting something on a par with the old Imperial Leather Foambursts, but even with vigorous rubbing between my palms it didn‘t become really thick. 

As the lather became richer the Aloe Vera like fragrance was quite strong, but again it gave a firm impression of being a lovely clean smell. Personally I like anything that reminds me of Aloe Vera as these scents don’t interfere with any aftershaves that are applied after and in this regard it gets full marks from me.

Putting my usual skincare regime to one side for a week I wanted to see how the gel removed the daily grime that accumulates on my face. I wasn’t to be disappointed, 

The pale marine blue gel is quite runny in texture as it is released from the tube and turns into a white lather that is really easy to apply across the face and neck. 

The claim of being non-aggressive is spot on - this really is gentle and after washing off my face the usual “eurgh” and look of disgust at the colour of the water in the sink came. Like a true Catholic I managed to summon lots of shame, very quickly.

The results have been fantastic and I’m pleased with how it has left my skin looking and feeling. Immediately after washing my face feels clean, it looks radiant and is incredibly soft to the touch. I had no irritation and after a week of using this without moisturising I had no signs of dry or patchy skin despite working on one of the most polluted roads in Europe.

My face takes a pounding from pollution on a daily basis and Thalgo Gel Nettoyant Detoxifiant Visage is the cure. 

£20 is expensive but you don’t need to use a lot and when you take the exceptional results into account you have to say that as a treat you probably won‘t find anything better, especially if you have sensitive skin. 

As an aside, the first time I applied this I actually said the words “I’ve just used £2 of that” as I was washing. After using for a while I stop looking at cash going down the drain and have embraced the fact that it works wonders for my face.


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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 02 Shave Gel

What’s that you say - slapping lots of white stuff over your face is ever so slightly homoerotic? Erm, well unless you fancy looking like a hillbilly or are really into aforementioned look then us blokes have to shave or we really do start to look like cavemen.

Unlike some of the ‘just of out university’ boys in the office I can actually grow a pretty healthy beard and that presents problems as I hate shaving. As I pointed out in an earlier blog post about Gillette Fusion Proglide Shaving Gel, shaving has in the past left me with red blotchy skin and that’s not a look I want to rock to be honest.

Personally, with this hatred of shaving I like to keep a bit of stubble and tend to use a beard trimmer most of the time. On occasion however as part of my job I do actually have to look respectable (before you say it, yes I know, a shock that someone who employ little old me!)

After testing out and writing about Ted Baker’s Grooming Room before, imaginatively starting with Step 01 - Face Scrub I was very keen to try Step 02 - Shave Gel.

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 02 Shave Gel

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 02 Shave Gel

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 02 Shave Gel

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 02 Shave Gel

Now follows a marketing blurb intermission…..and basically some background on why such a fantastic designer/label/brand such have Ted Baker have expanded into grooming products.

Ted Baker have the offshoot called Ted’s Grooming Room. No it’s not the inappropriate type of grooming, it’s the type of grooming that was very welcome before the advent of the Internet but I digress, probably to the intense displeasure of their PR people who are slapping their foreheads and pulling out their hair. He’s managed to link shaving gel to online grooming!!! 

Since the successful launch of Ted’s Grooming Room in three central London locations, the next step for Ted was to develop his own range of Ted’s Grooming Rooms products, catering to all the stylish gentlemen who like things trim and proper. It’s provides a modern take on the traditional Turkish ‘efe’ barbers.

Step 02 - Shave Gel claims to triumph over skin irritation with menthol infused gel with claming Aloe Vera powder to leave skin feeling clear, refreshed and ready for action.

Anything that claims to soothe any skin irritation is a bonus in my book. I’ve used the King of Shaves menthol shaving gel in the past with good results so I expected good things. Was I disappointed?

In a nutshell, no, I was blown away and that wasn’t just from the lovely Aloe Vera fragrance or the fact that the gel wasn’t white at all. As the pictures show it is green in colour - well it looks green to me when on my face.

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 02 Shave Gel

Ted's Grooming Room - Step 02 Shave Gel

Two quick pumps of the dispenser and an amount the size of a 50 pence piece is released. Seriously, this is all you need. While it takes a lot of massaging into the face to produce a small amount of white lather the gel before this spreads so easily - it’s like a hot knife through butter.

As the gel is massaged into the face the menthol is released. You know this as it really hits your nose and you can feel it in your eyes. Put too much on and I can guarantee you’ll be in tears, however if you’ve got blocked sinuses, this is the trick.  No word of a lie - I had a blocked nose and breathing this in was like inhaling those menthol rubs you get. Awesome!

As the lather isn’t that thick or rich shaving is a breeze - the razor almost glides across the face and the blades don’t get as clogged as they normally do when using foam or other gels.

After using Step 01 that softened my beard I can hand on heart say I’ve never had an easier shave. In fact, the only way I’m likely to have an easier shave is if someone shaves my face as I lay back and relax.

Sorry competition but this blows the socks off everything I’ve ever tried before and I’m massively impressed.

A 150ml tube and considering how little is needed will last me for months.

Yes, an initial outlay of £8 is expensive in comparison to the competition and in the past I’ve said that I think £8 is too much, but in this case, with the lovely shaving experience, lack of irritation and the length of time there will be before I have to buy another one means that it does actually represent good value for money.

It’s a luxury product that delivers luxury results.


*I know I’ve been gushing about the product but I can assure you Ted Baker are not paying me to say any of this.

In the words of Alan Partridge, “kiss my face”.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings here. 

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