Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SuperFish Stiffish Cream by Fish Soho

Do you ever use something for so long that its just there and becomes part of your routine? For me, SuperFish Stiffish Cream by Fish Soho is currently that product, and one that I have used for months without ever thinking about writing about it. In fact, it wasn’t until I wrote up my thoughts on GO24-7 Texture Paste that I realised I hadn’t imparted with my wisdom.

So here it is….

SuperFish Stiffish Cream by Fish Soho

Any regular readers will know that I’ve tried out a few Fish Soho products since I started up the blog and while these little beauties find their way into my collection thanks to their lovely PR people. This doesn’t mean they get gushing reviews of how much I love their products, in fact looking back I have to say it’s probably been 50/50 when trying out their hair and body products. 

SuperFish Stiffish Cream probably falls into the gushing category as to be frank I love it, the fragrance, the texture, the ease of application and most of all, the hold that it offers to varying lengths of hair.

SuperFish Stiffish Cream by Fish Soho

The cream itself is white in colour and has a fresh clean smell to it. You can rub your fingertips through the pot and in an instant have enough of the cream to style. Rather than being a but tough like wax, paste or clay the cream is really pliable between the fingertips which mean that when it comes to applying it the chances of breaking into a sweat are as likely as Gary Barlow from Take That winning Taxpayer of the Year 2014. 

SuperFish Stiffish Cream by Fish Soho

When my hair is around an inch in length I like to apply the cream to dry hair - it means that as it dries it leaves my hair with a matte finish but with hints of a shine as my spikes stay rigidly in place for well over 10 hours. As the length increases personally I switch to applying it just after stepping out of the shower. As my longer hair is slightly damp it spreads the cream more evenly from root to tip.

There is no need to blow dry a style either which cuts down on much needed time when getting ready to go to work or go out in an evening. This dries really quickly and while you are waiting there is zero risk of the style falling out (unless you go and stand in a wind tunnel) - as soon as it is applied each strand of hair takes on the consistency and pliability of a pipe cleaner. A joy to style with and it’s rare that I say that.

Once dried the dreaded white flakes are nowhere to be seen so no need to be self-conscious which I find a bonus.

Fish Soho haircare products are reasonably priced for what you get - I’ve been using a 100ml tub for months now and it has probably another month of daily use left in it. 

If you are looking for a hair styling product that is good value for money, a breeze to style with and has exceptional hold then you can do a lot worse than Superfish Stiffish Cream.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Perfect Pumpkin Carving Tutorial

I'm a simple man who finds the simple things in life the most fun and over the last three years I have been attempting to perfect the ultimate pumpkin carving. As Halloween approaches I thought I'd give you my easy ten step cheaters guide to carving pumpkins that will leave people dazzled, amazed and basically accusing you of cheating.

If you are particularly artistic you can substitute the drawings below with your own. Personally the best two that I have carved have come from my own drawings copied from books with my own unique twist on them - the two below took over three hours each to carve so before you start think how much time you have spare.

Step One - Pick your pumpkin

Think this through before you pick up the largest on the shelf - how big is your picture? Choose a pumpkin that is too big and the carving will get lost, but pick one that is too small and you'll be making that long slog back to the supermarket.

Personally I look for one that has about 10cm either side of the image - so if the image is 30cm across then you need a pumpkin that is at least 50cm across. I also look for one that has one large flat side where it has rested on the ground - trust me, it makes carving easier.

Step Two - Clean your tools

It is essential that you have the right tools for the job. It is best to invest in a cheap set from the supermarket but you can make do. I've put what I would use as a substitute in brackets. 

You'll need a fairly long and sharp knife to cut through the top, a scoop (tablespoon) that has a sharp edge, a prodder to mark the outline (a sharp pencil or thin knitting needle) and finally a small saw (a saw from a pen knife).

Step Three - Try not to cut your fingers off

First of all you have to get into the pumpkin. For me this is by far the worst bit as I invariably nearly cut my fingers, hand and sometimes leg off while trying to cut out a lid. BE CAREFUL...

Mark out with the prodder where you want the lid to be and then push the knife directly down into the pumpkin. Repeat all the way around the outline and then push. The top should break away and then you can get some purchase under the lid to flick it out.

Step Four - Hollow out the pumpkin

Once you can get your hand inside take the scooper and erm......scoop. You'll need a big bag with no holes in (a mistake I made the first year) and away you go. 

Now you can either save the flesh to use in a recipe - if that's what you are expecting here - jog on lol.

How much the pumpkin will glow depends on how much of the interior you remove. Personally I remove as much as possible so that not only do you get the stunning image lit up but you also have a pumpkin that gives off a weird ghostly glow.

Step Five - Choose your design

As the title says, choose your design. Cut out as much as possible and move onto the next step.

Step Six - Attach image

Get some pretty strong tape and tape your image into position. You won't be able to get it completely flat but close.

Step Seven - Stab, stab, stab away

Take your prodder and simply press down onto the outline of the image at spaces of about 1 cm. Once you have done this on every edge in the image remove the paper and wait for ten minutes.

What you'll find is that where the exterior flesh has been punctured it becomes darker. 

You should at this point be able to see the outline of your image.

Step Eight - Saw like there is no tomorrow

Take the saw and push it into the outline of the image and as the title says, saw like there is no tomorrow.

Personally I saw away small sections at a time. It is far more manageable and you can keep track on steady progress.

Continue to do this until all of the sections that need to be cut away have been done so.

As a final once over I insert the prodder into smaller sections to make sure that the holes are big enough and that light can shine outwards. If there is a blockage it will look rubbish.

Step Nine - Insert candles

Light and drop some candles into your bad boy and pop the lid on.

Step Ten - Gloat

Stand back, take some photos, share on social media and gloat. Text friends and point out that "I knocked this out in half an hour" while secretly wishing you hadn't developed carpal tunnel syndrome it has taken so long.

Now I know you are dying to see the final product - well here it is.....Total time taken to carve = 1.5 hours.

Do you like the cheaters guide to carving pumpkins? What are you doing this Halloween?

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Aqua Zinger by Zing Anything

To say that I'm not a fan of drinking water is an understatement - back in my teens I was hospitalised a few times with severe dehydration simply because I couldn't bring myself to drink water unless infused with super strength coffee or in the form of a 2 litre bottle of Coca Cola.

This was not good, actually pretty life threatening and while I have got better and cut out the Coca Cola and started to drink at least one litre of water a day, the Aqua Zinger has been a god send.

Available for under £20, the Aqua Zinger fell into my possession thanks to a competition run by Zing Anything and Chloe at Clo's Beauty Spot blog.

This is what the Zing Anything website has to say about the product:

'As most of us know, we need to drink more water, but even in concept it can come off as a chore. The Aqua Zinger offers a fun new way to enjoy drinking water and reduce food cravings.
With the Aqua Zinger you can drink significantly more water and still satisfy your palate, as well as your body’s need for hydration and energy.
The Aqua Zinger water bottle works by subtly infusing water with flavours. From cucumber to lemon and lime, to blackberries, kiwi, strawberry, raspberry, peach, ginger, or even mint and basil – your Aqua Zinger can infuse them all.
Mix and match and get creative; the flavours and ingredients are only limited by your imagination.
The Aqua Zinger has the unique ability to create all-natural beverage options that are light and refreshing.'

So easy to use is the Aqua Zinger that a simpleton like myself can manage to infuse fruit into water which with anything remotely technical is a hurdle that has to be overcome. I first of all tried infusing lemon, and duly added half a fair sized lemon to the bottom and left for an hour.

After unscrewing the lid and pouring out some of the water it was obvious that thee fruit juice had mixed with the water - I could see little bits of lemon floating around in the water. More importantly I could taste the lemon but it was a subtle infusion, not too bitter and certainly not overpowering. It also tasted a lot better than the flavoured water you can buy in the shops.

I've tried lots of different flavours since receiving the Aqua Zinger and none have left me thinking I needed the flavour to be stronger. Personally, my favourite is orange and lemon, it blends brilliantly and the flavours linger on the tongue. It's also an excellent way of taking on board some much needed vitamin C.

Each grind of the fruit section should deliver two drinks that are free from artificial sugars and ingredients and that to me makes this a great little gadget that has got me drinking even more water on a daily basis - so fear of dehydration reduced (bonus) and vitamins pumped into my body (bonus)

While this isn't something I would ever have thought to buy I wouldn't be without it now. It fills up a bottle of flavoured water for me to take onto the underground in the morning. Usually I spend around £3 a day on bottled water while travelling to and from work - even if I spend £1 a day on fruit to infuse I'm making a clear saving, not using up so many plastic bottles and have tastier drinks. 

On a value for money test this pays for itself in just weeks and would be ideal for someone like me who detests drinking plain water, someone (not me) who treats their body like a temple or will appeal to people who just like fruit flavoured water. Winner!

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

GO24-7 Texture Paste

For the last couple of months I've been wading my way through various hair styling products from Fish Soho completely forgetting that I received a 2oz tub of the GO 24-7 Texture Paste as part of the Selfridges&Co Male Beauty Box in June.

As my Fish products started to run dry just over a week ago I decided to give my hair a few days rest before starting to test this one. GO 24-7 is not a brand I'm loyal to, in fact I've never bought anything from them before. 

While the 2oz tub costs $15.95 on the GO 24-7 website what initially struck me was the fact that this sells for around the same price as my current favourite from Fish Soho - Stiffish.

The fragrance actually oozes floral tones, so much so that in an instant childhood flashback it reminded me of the smell of Shake 'n' Vac powder that my mum used to use before vacuuming around the house. It hits the nostrils with an artificial punch that while not offensive is nothing to write home about.

Personally I like to apply hair styling paste to damp hair as I find it much easier to style. In the interests of research I actually tried applying to damp and dry hair, the results of which were massively different. 

Once I had zoned back in after my childhood flashback I removed the plastic cover that protects the paste and rubbed my fingertips over the pale contents of the tub. It certainly doesn't have the texture of a paste, in fact it's more of a wax/paste hybrid. It's solid, but seems to become more pliable the warmer it gets. Without warming it slightly with your fingertips you will struggle to get enough out of the tub to do any styling at all.

When applying to damp hair it is a breeze to style and it dries fairly quickly into a solid hold, so much so that the spikes in my hair (currently two inches in length) remain upright, but have an almost matte look finish. I'm not a great fan of this look, mainly because I get ribbed for looking like Andy Coulson (the disgraced and currently incarcerated former Director of Communications of David Cameron) but I couldn't grumble about the initial hold. 

After the damp application the hold remained for around five hours, I could alter the style, the paste didn't rub off onto my fingers and there were no signs of the dreaded white flakes associated with hair styling products. 

So, the hold didn't last that long, and when you also factor in that I found it near on impossible to style my hair when it was applied to dry hair I just tossed this back into the basket of hair products to be used when my favourites run out.

GO 24-7 Texture Pasture competes on a price level with other brands, but it fails to live up to expectations in the most important category - it doesn't have the long lasting hold that I personally look for in a hair styling product. If you are looking for a paste you should take a look at Fish Soho, but if gel is more your thing then The Legends London have a maximum hold gel that gives far superior hold and is much easier to apply.

While I won't be rushing out to replace this one when it eventually runs out and it seems that I'm being overly harsh in fairness to he product it does have strong hold, just not for long enough.


You can buy the product here if you wish and there is a pretty decent hair styling tutorial video.
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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wild by DSquared2

I never thought it possible but after receiving a bottle of Wild by DSquared2 I’m starting to believe that it is possible to completely fuse fashion and fragrance. But before I go all aftershave serious in my usual manner, a light interlude….

My wife said to me the other night, “why does your skin always look so glowing and radiant when I look at it?”, I replied deadpan “it’s the drugs I slip into your tea”, boom, boom! No, she wasn’t amused either.

DSquared2 is not a brand I have been familiar with over a period of time, indeed I only first heard of them in August of this year as I stood in a perfume shop on holiday in Mallorca. “try me, you’ll like me” - no it wasn’t the shop assistant, it was coming from a strange, weird looking bottle of aftershave. It was Intense Wood by DSquared2.

After trying Intense Wood (of which I will write when I can compose my thoughts) I had to try more. Instead of testers I was sent whole bottles of not just Intense Wood, but also Wild, their new fragrance released on 1 October. Ear to ear smile for days, only improved upon once I got my nostrils around this baby.

Firstly, I thought I had seen it all with a wooden box for aftershave but taking Wild out of the box made me think WTF - the bottle comes in a leather harness. Now at first it seemed strange but actually when it comes to functionality it is simply superb and there is little danger of slippage as the straps allow for an amazing grip.

Wild by DSquared2

Wild by DSquared2

Wild by DSquared2

This is what they say about the release of Wild over at the DSquared2 website:

‘Wild is an evolution of Dsquared2’s olfactory journey inspired by and founded in the elements of nature. 

Building on a pathway forged by debut scent He Wood and follow up Potion, Wild is a new fragrance chapter for Dsquared2 that explores man’s desires and his connection to the natural and urban world that surrounds him. This enigmatic and covetable concept is also at the heart of Dsquared2’s DNA: the freedom for a man to express his sensuality and his deepest desires. Wild materializes Dsquared2’s passion for the avant-garde and unorthodox approach to fashion.

Contemporary and self-sufficient, this man works and plays within the paradigms of modern life and urban society. Yet his daily existence is attuned to a faintly audible thrum of rebellion that comes from deep within. Driving him to seek his own liberty, he is drawn to its magnetic pull, taking him to a place where, finally, he is free.’

The notes to Wild include, Santolina, St. John’s wort, resin accord, cypress, neo-labdanum, opoponax, vegetable amber and humus accord.

Exactly, means nothing to me either, but this is what I can detect when I liberally apply with four to five squirts of the atomiser.

You can immediately detect the earthy tones of the Santolina - it has a fresh herb fragrance that warms on contact with the skin. Within seconds of applying it changes to become warm and spicy, you can really start to pull out the warmth of the resin accord and amber blending with the cypress adding a woody edge.

To say it seems strong is an understatement - it is really powerful, so much so that three squirts are actually all that is needed. After around five minutes the strength of the aftershave seems to subside significantly and while I can detect the warmth in my nostrils I can’t actually smell this on me. Before looking at the notes I wrongly assumed that this contained either pepper or tobacco to give it that warmth.

This lasts on the skin and is still noticeable a good 14 hours after applying and you can’t grumble at that.

Wild was put through the office smell test - the ladies loved and were equally puzzled when I said what is was. They were hooked though. 

At £59 for a 100ml bottle this delivers its bang for its buck - only a little is needed to leave a lingering earthy and masculine fragrance that lasts throughout the day and well into the evening. Perfect for every occasion you will not, I repeat, simply will not go wrong with a bottle of Wild by DSquared2. The notes are subtle yet blend beautifully to hit every last memory in your mind.

Like me in the perfume shop in Mallorca, if you try this I promise you’ll be strangely drawn back to it time and time again. 

A fantastic addition to the market and a stunning and fashionable fragrance for the autumn and winter months.


Currently only available exclusively at Harvey Nichols, you will be able to find this readily available in stores across the country from March of next year. Go on, treat yourself.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb by Lush

Bath bombs are not my thing; in fact until a couple of months ago I would have openly laughed in your face if you had said I would be sharing my thoughts on one here on the Internet.

The Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb by Lush however looked too good to turn down and will aching bones and joints I decided to give one a whirl and see if there were any benefits to be gained by literally launching £3.50 into the bath.

This is what Lush have to say about the Lord of Misrule:

‘Revel in your bath with this mischievous bomb that features a spicy herbal blend of patchouli and black pepper oil. Inspired by the ruler of the pagan Feast of Fools, Lord Of Misrule has a deep green exterior that slowly froths away to reveal a rich wine-coloured centre. Just like at the Feast of Fools, when the wine starts to flow, the popping candy crackles and the festivities begin…’

You can watch a cool video of the bomb fizzing away in the bath and read more about the product here.

Needless to say I wanted to toss this into the bath like a hand grenade but was stopped seconds before doing so. My childish giggling being pushed to one side as I was shown how to use it properly.

A little hot water drawn the bomb was placed into the water and the taps turned to hot. The fizzing and popping was instantaneous - the water changing to a lovely emerald green in a way not too dissimilar to an oil slick spreading. As I remain transfixed by the changing colour I noticed an oily film on the surface of the water and then blam, the beautiful fragrance of patchouli hit me and started to fill the bathroom.

After a few minutes the bomb had halved in size and the water started to become a deep red, and just as claimed, it looked like I was about to dip a toe into a massive bath of red wine (all my dreams come true).

Once completed dissolved the fragrance of patchouli and pepper was so clear it was almost hypnotic. The oily film remained and I was a little concerned that this would leave my skin oily after finishing, but alas this was not to be.

After soaking happily for 30 minutes yes my skin felt softer and much smoother, but would it feel the same after drying off? Well, yes, and what is even better is that the lovely fragrance had been absorbed by my skin leaving the faintest hints of patchouli, not too masculine but far from being feminine.

Is £3.50 too much for one? Well I’m inclined to say yes yet again, I think £3.50 for every bath is too much but the beauty of this bomb is that it is easy to break into two and at that price, effectively £1.75 I think its good value for money and would buy and use again.

To a bloke this has a fascinating wow factor watching it bubble and fizz away, smells lovely and leaves skin so much softer and smoother. You can’t say fairer than that in my opinion.


Thank you for taking the time to sneak a peek at my musings, why not tell me your favourite bath products in the comments below?
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Scaramouche & Fandago ‘FS’ Face Scrub

Scaramouche, Scaramouche will you do the fandango……well, erm yes I will as I’m going to be taking Scaramouche & Fandago ‘FS’ Face Scrub through its paces.

I’ve been meaning to write this up for a loooooooong time……so long in fact that this tube came in the male beauty box from Selfridges&Co back before Fathers Day in June.

I’ve already reviewed the Scaramouche & Fandago ‘Hy’ Hydrator and to be frank I loved it, but this baby had the unenviable task of coming on holiday with me to Majorca and being my exfoliator not just after spending my entire days in the sun with little sun protection, but also while immersed in salt water as I fished in the river to the side of our hotel.

Normally I take a very gentle exfoliator on holiday with me to ensure I don’t aggravate any potential burn after first day overexposure or indeed rub any tan off (yes, I do still believe what my parents told me as a kid).

In this case it was a toss up between Ted Baker and Scaramouche & Fandago. Scaramouche & Fandago ‘FS’ Face Scrub  won.

Needless to say I baked, and baked and baked (mainly out of tan envy with my beautiful sisters) and was a touch sore.

Scaramouche & Fandago ‘FS’ Face Scrub while it has the texture of sandpaper, looks, erm……white-ish in colour and to be blunt did the trick as part of a wider facial regime.

After three days of baking and moisturising at least three times I day my skin was becoming slightly flaky around the top of my forehead. As everything else browned and tanned, this bit stubbornly kept peeling for the few week. 

The aroma is so fresh and clean, and as soon as it is applied to the fingers you can feel the micro-beads and boy they are abrasive. It’s like miniature there are tiny little rough balls that scrub away at your skin. 

While the beads are abrasive, they are also so very much and isn’t irritate my face even though I was doing my best to impersonate a lobster. After rubbing it around my face it spread brilliantly and on rinsing I was slightly appalled by the dark residue in the bowl. Either it was removing lots of muck, grime and general filth from my face or it was rubbing off my tan - panic.

The panic was unfounded - this complimented by facial regime over my holidays and has become a firm favourite in my books when it comes to a cost effective exfoliator.


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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Eros by Versace

Aftershave finds its way into my collection in a number of ways - PR companies send me samples, I buy some or they arrive from the other half in an attempt to cheer me up. In the case of Eros by Versace I had just been foiled in an attempt to have a go in a dune buggy while on holiday.

To avoid the risk of me tripping over my bottom lip we stepped into a perfume store and I left loaded down like a pack donkey but with a huge smile on my face.

After testing everything in the store, and I mean everything I had nailed it down to four that I really wanted. 

What was surprising was that I fell head of heels in love with the new fragrance from Karl Lagerfield but chose not to buy it, instead opting for Eros, the subject of today’s post a bottle of Uomo by Valentino.

I had seen the bottle to Eros in the past and thought “not for me” and gone on to instantly forget about it. My favourite Versace fragrance had always been Dreamer and that was what I was looking for without success. 

One glance at the notes to Eros however and I couldn’t wait to give it a blast, hey I even started to like the dark blue frosted bottle with bling-tastic Versace emblem on the cap.

Eros by Versace

Eros by Versace

Eros by Versace

The marketing blurb to Eros as outlined by Versace is:

‘Love, Passion, Beauty and Desire: these are the key concepts of the men’s fragrance by Versace. Eros, God of Love, able to make people fall in love with his bow and arrow. A luminous aura with an intense, vibrant and glowing freshness obtained from the combination of mint leaves, Italian lemon zest and green apple.

An addictive sensuality delivered by oriental, intriguing and enveloping notes like Tonka beans, Ambroxan (amber), Geranium flower and vanilla.

A racy virility symbolised by woods such as cedarwood from Atlas and Virginia, vetyver and oak moss, providing intensity and power.’

The official notes are:

  • Head: Tonka Bean, Ambraxan, Geranium Flower
  • Heart: Mint, Lemon, Apple
  • Dry-down: Vanilla, Vetyver, Oak Moss, Cedarwood

As a fairly new fragrance on the market (it was launched in 2013) I had moderate expectations but was immediately blown away, so much so that Eros now sits as one of my favourite aftershaves, bumping old favourites like Acqua di Gio out of contention.

So, does it live up the marketing blurb and what does it actually smell like I hear you demand?

In short, yes it does and I love it.

The head notes of Tonka bean combined with hints of Geranium explodes out of the bottle and has an immense strength and depth which I found quite heavy on my nose, not because it is earthy, but just so evident - it is so sweet that I was actually scratching around to see if there was anything being used in the ingredients to do this artificially. There isn’t. The Tonka bean smashes out light hints of vanilla and it becomes lighter and lighter the longer it stays on.

After the initial head notes the citrus and fruity elements of the heart notes shone through making what was on first application a rather heavy fragrance so light and fresh. The apple is to thank for this but it blend with subtler notes of mint beautifully.

After about an hour the head and heart notes dry down, but rather than leaving the top notes to be dominated by the dry down they remain and flawlessly blend. Yes, vanilla becomes more evident as the Tonka bean and vanilla mix but it becomes much warmer as the oak moss provides depth.

At £46 for a 50ml bottle and just a few squirts from the atomiser to keep this lingering on and around you for well over 10 hours then this represents an aftershave excellent value for money. Throw into the mix that people around you both male and female will love it and actually enquire as to what you are wearing then you have the perfect mix of an aftershave that sits head and shoulders above the rest.

Perfect for daywear, special occasions and those romantic nights out I promise you that this would make an excellent addition to any collection either for yourself or as a gift for a loved one.


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Sunday, October 05, 2014

Prince Charming Shower Gel by Lush

I challenge anyone over the age of 35 to take a bottle of Prince Charming Shower Gel by Lush into the shower and not hum a line or two of the early 1980s song (1981 to be precise) ‘Prince Charming; by Adam and the Ants. Embarrassingly I do this as I wash away my sins on a daily basis.  

To be honest, whereas other shower gels like Multi-Task, Fish Soho 3 in 1 and Springwash have enough menthol and tea tree to spank a Rhino awake Prince Charming is far more subtle and lacks that punch. It does however make up for the lack of immediate invigoration by having one of the sweetest and addictive fragrances ever.

Far from being masculine, the pink shower gel is everything but, and it took me a while to actually take this in hand and use it. I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

Musical interlude:

Don't you ever, don't you ever
Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome
Don't you ever, don't you ever
Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome

Prince Charming Bottle

Forgive me….on with my thoughts….

This is what Lush say about Prince Charming:

‘With marshmallow root, Fair Trade vanilla and fresh pomegranate juice, Prince Charming will sweep you off your feet and carry you off into the sunset, leaving your skin silky soft and smelling lovely’.

On the camp-o-meter the write up from Lush registers a good nine out of 10.

Not put off by potential attacks on my masculinity and in the interests of thorough research I had to get past the jibes that would come from those who know me when writing this, and frankly, its that good they can say what they like.

Musical Interlude:

Prince Charming
Prince Charming
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of
Don't you ever, don't you ever
Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome

I think I may need help…….but I digress….As soon as the gel is unleashed into your palm the rich and sweet vanilla and pomegranate blend to become so pronounced that it is like you have buried your nose into a tub of old school sweets. With its rather thick consistency it teases as though it is going to be more of a body wash than a gel.

Prince Charming Bottle

As soon as the gel comes into contact with warm water the fragrance explodes yet again - there is no escape from this rich, lovely aroma. 

It lathers up reasonably well, and an amount similar in size to a 50 pence piece will provide enough of the lather to wash down your whole body. The lather is rich and again magnifies the aroma which weirdly becomes slightly floral as it is spread.

At this point you have to try and not lick your own arm for the following reasons - 1) you’ll probably be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but 2) it smells better than it tastes.

As soon as the gel and lather has been rinsed off the fragrance subsides significantly but what is left is silky smooth skin and any hints of body odour are banished. It cleans, it cleans…result! Really, to the touch skin feels so much softer, my arms and in particular my tattoo where there isn’t much hair is as smooth as ice.

Musical Interlude:

Silk or leather or a feather
Respect yourself and all of those around you
Silk or leather or a feather
Respect yourself and all of those around you

While it doesn’t punch you awake, singing Adam and the Ants in the shower certainly does (especially when my cats screech while begging me to stop), therefore I can do nothing but recommend this beauty from Lush. It’s long lasting, the subtle fragrance stays on the skin for hours without altering aftershave that is applied and I have mad 1980s flashbacks.

All in all a really good product and one you should try.


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Saturday, October 04, 2014

Winter coat wish list

I’m known for having one long cashmere coat that seems to serve me well all year around, the simple addition of a scarf and gloves when the temperatures start to plummet always do the trick.

However, constant ribbing that I really should mix it up a bit has resulted in me looking further a field to find the perfect coat that I like for the approaching winter season.

I’ve found four that I like, some are well out of the price range I would normally stretch to, after all I think a coat for around £150 should be of sufficient quality and style to last for more than one season.

The first coat I’ve fallen in love with is the Roman from Reiss but at £275 my first thought was “ouch” but I just can’t help but admire the finish of this wool-rich peacoat. The older I get the more I find myself drawn to double-breasted coats and suits. 

Made from a wool-rich blend, the Roman peacoat is a classic yet contemporary design and it screams “buy me” every time I see it. 

After the mind-melting cost of the first and my new found love of fishing (yes, I have firmly become middle aged) I have been taking a peek around for something a little old school and much cheaper. Enter the Dark Grey Holloway Road Waxed Coat.

With a flannel hood, faux leather trim and thick waxy exterior this has the power to cut dead the iciest of winds. Available from River Island at £128 it sits in the reasonable category for my own personal coat shopping budget.

Another coat that sits at the top of my budget range is the Barbour Quilted International Ariel Polar Jacket for £150 from House of Fraser.

I know Barbour have increased in popularity over the years but my decision is based purely on the comfort and warmth factor. Having tried this one on it was like having a second skin with levels of comfort from seen his the days of shell suits (that’s a joke to see if anyone is paying attention).

Last but not least is the John Lewis Buckle Neck Donkey Jacket in Navy. I’m 99% certain that this is the one for me, the only thing holding me back is the Navy colour, I much prefer my clothes to be black (and not because I need the slimming effect before any starts that).

Being wool rich rather than being 100% wool means that it won’t irritate my skin (I’m weird like that) and it truly is a modern twist on the traditional donkey jacket.

This is my favourite, it would look good for work and still as that slight snazzy edge for casual nights out. The coat that has everything in my book, except for a huge price tag. 

As you would expect from John Lewis it isn’t cheap but it also isn’t massively inflated - at £140 this is a reasonably priced coat.

What do you think to my winter coat wish list?

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Thursday, October 02, 2014

Ralph Lauren Polo Sport

My love affair with Ralph Lauren Polo Sport started in my late teens when living with a cousin. Her boyfriend was something of a designer label freak, even down to the type of bath salts he used. For all his faults he had one thing going for him, no not my cousin, he introduced me to Polo Sport and actually bought me my first bottle - legend.

Polo Sport comes packaged in a lovely white box with the Ralph Lauren logo on and a mock American flag. Instead of stars on the flag however there are the initials RL (not an ego-maniac much are we Mr Lauren?!?) 


Although minimalist in appearance I like the way it stands out in it's plain packaging.

On opening the box you are greeted with the usual notes of the aftershave. A lovely, solid blue bottle topped off with a metal screw top lid. It looks stylish and wouldn't look out of place in any bathroom cabinet.

Unlike most aftershaves I use, the Polo Sport I have isn't the spray version and the aftershave has to be poured out and then applied. 

In the past I’ve always found this a rather tricky process when late for work or hungover in the morning and invariably I always applied far too much. I’m tempted to have a bit of a reminisce about the good old alcohol fuelled days but alas they are behind me.

As soon as the lid is unscrewed the scent is immediately noticeable. It's a very strong and at times (depending on distance from hand to nose) overpowering smell. Whilst overpowering this isn't a bad thing. 

To summarise my initial thoughts I would have to say fresh - that’s fresh and not the hip and street version - Phresh.

The notes to Polo Sport state that this aftershave has a clean and invigorating scent that energises the skin with natural citrus extracts, soothing agents and protective emollients.

After shaving and applying this product burns. Jesus yes it burns so massive tick in the rammed with alcohol box, but in it's defence it isn't as painful as other aftershaves I've used, in fact the burning tends to subside after a few seconds. 

Once one the skin and after the mild cursing has subsided the aroma of citrus extract are a little over the top, but with time this aftershave becomes very much softer on the nostrils and instead of being a touch overpowering it takes on a sweet and refreshing smell that is noticeable for well over 12 hours at a time. As the citrus smell fades a woody undertone was detected, in fact, after three to four hours the citrus is completely gone and it is a sweet blend between fruit and wood that is a fusion made in heaven. 

As the fragrance is after time far more subtle, softer and much sweeter I find this draws attention from males and females alike, and this leads me to categorise this aftershave as a pulling fragrance.

I wouldn't say it invigorates my skin and it certainly doesn't energise it in any way, but it does smell delicious. This is perfect for day or evening wear.

Polo Sport can be purchased from all good retailers represents excellent value for money at under £30 for a bottle. A little goes a long way and to be honest you won’t be disappointed. 


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