Sunday, February 28, 2016

LUNA™ for MEN By Foreo

It wasn't until I got told off for trying the Foreo Luna Mini by my other half that I realised how much these things cost, and lengths that people will go to in an effort to keep their skin cleansed and looking good. I was merely using it because it amused me (yes, I'm a skincare heathen at times), so when I was given the chance to try the Foreo Luna for Men I actually took it a bit too seriously. I cut down on my normal cleansing and moisturising routine to see what benefits this offered. 

LUNA™ for MEN By Foreo

At upwards of £120 for the device and £25 for the cleanser it is by no stretch of the imagination on the cheap side, but given the results I had achieved with the mini, and the childish giggles that come when using it, I couldn't resist giving it a try. I've been using this for over two months now, and as a cleansing and pre-shaving device it is exceptional, and it isn't just a one trick pony.

LUNA™ for MEN By Foreo

LUNA™ for MEN By Foreo

LUNA™ for MEN By Foreo

This is what they say about the device over at Foreo here:

'THE ULTIMATE PRE-SHAVING DEVICE & FACIAL CLEANSING BRUSH FOR MEN The LUNA™ for MEN's brush surface has been specifically engineered to refresh and cleanse men’s thicker and oilier skin by being composed of broader touch-points that channel T-Sonic™ pulsations more directly for a skincare solution custom-made for men.

The LUNA™ for MEN’s cutting-edge T-Sonic™ pulsations deliver deep facial cleansing that ensures a closer, smoother shave after just 1 minute’s use.'

Personally I use this twice a day and have combined it with the Foreo Revitalising Face Cleanser. Even a little applied to the face of the device lathers up brilliantly and with a slight stubble you can feel the pulsing of the brushes massaging and opening up the pores in your face. 

LUNA™ for MEN By Foreo

LUNA™ for MEN By Foreo

After a minute of using this and rinsing off my face, even after regular use removes all sorts of dirt and pollution. It really does work as a deep clean for your skin, and with it's gentle exfoliation it makes it great just before shaving. 

After running it over my beard for around ninety seconds the bristles feel a bit softer and don't get stuck in my safety razor as much, and there is a lot less irritation or razor bumps once dried off. The cleanser doesn't dry out my skin, and it feels hydrated, soft and smooth, and for that I am truly thankful. 

For the first four weeks of using this I didn't even need to moisturise after shaving - a quick touch of aftershave balm and boom, I was ready to rock and roll. As the temperature has dropped slightly over the last few weeks I have needed to apply a little but I have to give credit to Foreo, it does exactly what it says it will and the pulsating face of the brush always makes me laugh.

Charged using a USB I haven't yet needed to recharge it, in fact, it works now with as much power as it did the first time I used it. Brilliant.

If you are serious about skincare and are looking for something to keep your face looking good then seriously, check this out. It's great for those who suffer when they shave and it removes the gunk and funk of daily life with little effort.


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Friday, February 26, 2016

Every man should have a good selection of shoes

If you had asked me ten years ago how many pairs of shoes I needed the answer would be two – a pair for wear with my work suits and another pair for wearing with jeans. Oh how things have changed. I’m now rapidly rivalling the other half in the shoes stakes at home and it’s safe to say (I think) that most men would say that they become a little bonded to their favourite shoes. I have been known to shell out hundreds of pounds every year on buying footwear, a shudder at some of the monstrosities that I've had on my feet over the years! Does anyone remember LA Gear?!? 

(silence and tumbleweed)

With this in mind, and given the evolution of my shoe tastes (in a non-fetish way) there are certain styles of footwear that every man must have.  

Dress shoes

When I say dress shoes, the first thing that comes to my mind is Oxfords. They are mostly divided into balmorals and bluchers depending on the lacing systems (sounds complicated doesn’t it). Balmorals comparatively have simple looks. I personally advise everyone to have a pair of balmorals that can be worn with formals.

Slip-ons are less formal compared to Oxfords. Some people wear them with suits, while others prefer to have it with sports jacket and trousers. There are a number of slip-ons available in the market and most of them are categorized as casual footwear.

Personally speaking, I wouldn’t advise slip on shoes for formal wear. My first boss gave me tips – never employ someone wearing slip on shoes or who wears a shirt that has a pocket on the front! He was, shall we say, slightly old school.

Casual wear

Saddle shoe
It is a type of Oxford shoe with a layer of leather on the top. The shoe is mostly considered as a casual wear.

Deck shoes
Perfect for summer, this babies go well with canvas trousers and shorts.

Canvas shoes
Who doesn’t have a pair of trainers (Translation: sneakers)? You can find a wide variety of trainers in different colours and styles. I have two pairs now that rarely see the light of day – but always good to have a pair or two for when I finally get back into the gym. I’ve never been one for wearing these with jeans or when going out, I think it just looks strange for a man to be out and about wearing trainers.

Slip-on loafers come with heavy rubber soles and has the upper part made of leather. They are available in a number of colours and styles. In case you are looking for something between dress shoes and canvas shoes, loafers can be your best bet.

Never do socks and sandals – it’s the law. If they were good enough for old JC then they are good enough for me. Bizarrely I have three pairs of sandals and are the oldest form of footwear. They provide a good grip to the sole of your feet while allowing enough air to pass on the upper part of the feet. Great for summer and even better when walking across red hot sand!

Athletic footwear
A number of athletic boots like tennis shoes, basketball shoes and running shoes are available in the market. You can’t go wrong with a pair in black but looking at the cost of some nowadays I actually start to think the world has gone mad! 


Work boots
Any person who works 14 hours a day at a construction site definitely understands the importance of work boots – I don’t work on a construction site, but I do love a good pair of boots – I’ve got five pairs now. It’s good to invest in set of solid boots so that you can use them for a long time.

A good quality boot can get back on the road with some repairs. I paid £120 for my last pair of biker boots circa 2006 and they only fell apart on me late last year. You can’t grumble at that return when you consider that when picking up a cheaper pair in December last year I thought I was getting a bargain until they literally fell off my feet some nine weeks later. Not good!

Hiking boots
There is no way on god’s green earth that you would ever get me into a pair of hiking boots – I see people wearing them and immediately think Geography teacher! Well worth it if you enjoy the outdoor life but seriously, why do people need to wear them when traveling on public transport in London?

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How many pairs of shoes do you think are too many for a man? Is the answer there are never enough?
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Friday, February 12, 2016

GoSend - Shop in America from home!

For ages I have been coveting a pair of amazing biker boots from an online store in Texas. While they are very reasonably priced at $135 the actual shipping charges are an absolute joke, in fact it nearly doubles the cost. So when I came across a company called GoSend talking about the advantages of shopping in the US I realised how much we are getting screwed over in the UK by US retailers. They not only change prices on us, but also cut down their product catalogues significantly to shoppers outside the US. Plus, they don’t share the huge sales and deals going on at their stores that U.S. shoppers have access to all the time.

I checked out to try the service myself and found that I was able to shop at some of my favourite online stores as if I was in America. I got access to all specials and sales from US retailers that are not available to us in the UK through their GoShop page where GoSend highlights top deals and specials going on in the US every week at hundreds of US retailers. I was also able to shop the full catalogue of goods offered by every US retailer and had access the cheapest pricing on goods available.

GoSend - Shop in America from home!

So let me tell you about my experience with GoSend.

First of all they offer 2 membership services: a free version and a six pound per month version which is SO worth it because of the big discounts and shipping costs that they extend to us over here on the other side of the pond. 

The way GoSend works is they give you a U.S. shipping address so when you go to checkout at any U.S. store you must enter this address as though it were your shipping address. Being that they are also in the state of Delaware there is no US sales tax on any products the retailers ship to their warehouse.

For my own order I used GoSend’s Shop Assist service, which is their personal shopping option. Just by entering the URL and information regarding the item I wanted to buy I was able to pay GoSend for the product rather then the retailer and they then went and made the purchase on my behalf. This is a great tool to use at retailers that don’t take foreign credit cards or for people who don’t want to bother with the actual purchasing process - for a lazy bloke such as myself this was perfect when it came to picking out some gifts for my other half for Valentine's Day.

Once my order arrived at my GoSend Locker address, I got an email from them with photos of every product I bought so I could make sure everything I ordered was correct and undamaged. They also told me they were able to consolidate my many purchases into one box. This saved me tons on shipping costs, especially when compared to what it would have been if I had shopped from the retailer directly.

On a couple products I still had to pay UK duties and VAT but compared to the retail cost of similar products in the UK, the savings on buying in the US and shipping through GoSend rather then through the retailer directly plus just being able to shop at hundreds of top US.retailers without hassle, made it worth it.

So, this is what I picked up for the missus using my new GoSend address and everything arrived within just a few days. 

I had asked the wife that if I was to order something from America for her, what would she like. Three hours later she is still talking and blurting out a random selection of beauty products from a store called Sephora.  So with a list as long as my arm, I set off shopping and this is what she is now the proud owner of:

GoSend - Shop in America from home!

I know that Bath and Body Works is hugely popular but trying to get hold of anything in the UK is a nightmare, so I settled on two of the Three Wick Candles in scent London Tea and Lemon plus Japanese Cherry Blossom.  Added to that are two hand sanitiser anti-bacterial gels in Japanese Cherry Blossom and Check Meowt.

GoSend - Shop in America from home!
GoSend - Shop in America from home!

Then of course Colour Pop.  Unsure as to what would be good or bad I opted for two little sets in the hope something would fit and I got Color Pop Vixen Lips and Kathleen Lights 'Where the Light is' Eyeshadow set.

GoSend - Shop in America from home!
GoSend - Shop in America from home!

Back into Sephora and I chose the Pomegranate Sleeping Masks which I am told are amazingly popular. Sleep masks seem to be enjoying a bit of a resurgence at the moment and the very coveted and newly released Gwen Stefani Urban Decay release which has been mentioned on more than one occasion and not really knowing what to get, I opted for a lipstick in shade Rock Steady.

GoSend - Shop in America from home!
GoSend - Shop in America from home!

In this little bundle there are some amazing products which I am sure will get me the title 'Husband of the Year'.

What do you think to the service GoSend have to offer? Are you encouraged to want to try it? If so, just let me know as I have some coupon codes for a free three months VIP membership, all you need to do is use the code BEAUTYKING during your sign up!

This is a great service and all of the products arrived safely and securely. I can't wait until I get paid so that I can finally buy the biker boots I want, no need. 


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Thursday, February 11, 2016

#SoundsofSennheiser - Momentum In-ear Headphones

Last year I had the pleasure of attending the #SoundsofSennheiser event at Noir in Mayfair. The cocktails flowed and the sliders were consumed, but those things aside I got the opportunity to learn more about their funky new range of headphones, got to meet Jon the Baptist (the DJ, not the guy who baptised Jesus).

Sennheiser Momentum In-ear Headphones

Personally I fell in love with the over-ear headphones due to the exceptional sound quality and cool retro look. Priced around £370 they were out of my price range - I rarely listen to music unless I'm on the tube to and from work. After learning more about the range from representative from Sennheiser it was clear they have a passion for delivering a sensory sound experience that goes above and beyond.

I'm pretty certain I suffer from misophonia, an intense hatred (borderline obsessive trait) of losing the plot when confronted with noise or music being played by others. With this in mind and with the prevalence of people (w**kers I call them under my breath) using headphones on my journey to and from work that leak more sound out of rather than into the ear I really needed a set of headphones that blocked out ambient background noise yet delivered superb sound playback.

Being lucky enough to receive a set of the new Momentum in-ear headphones from the range to try that retail at £89.99 I couldn’t wait to get on the tube to work.

Sennheiser Momentum In-ear Headphones
Noddy is missing a friend......

This is what they say about the range here:

‘The true dimensions of the Sennheiser MOMENTUM In-Ear headphones can be measured not only by their uncompromising sound, but also in a wealth of little details – from the nano-precise, stainless-steel sound tunnel to the three-button multifunction remote with integrated microphone.’ 

I've been using these for well over a month so feel that I can now go the whole hog and set out why I think you should take a closer look, no, ignore that, why you should invest in a pair of Sennheiser Momentum in-ear headphones.

Sennheiser Momentum In-ear Headphones

Sennheiser Momentum In-ear Headphones


Unlike Apple headphones these slip into my ears and don’t immediately fall out. Result. They are curved to sit in the ear and with the plastic buds they nestle just inside with no rubbing and even better, when lying down (at home, not on the tube) they don’t get pushed further causing pain or a distortion in the playback. 

Also, and as a lazy bloke, having a remote on the wire at neck height that controls volume and an on/off for playback means I’m not constantly fiddling with my iPod in my pocket (and looking like an old pervert).

Sennheiser Momentum In-ear Headphones


It’s crystal clear, and certainly the best I’ve ever had from an in-ear headphone set. Personally I do like my heavy metal and the Momentum headphones really do pack a punch both in volume levels and with a deep bass. That said, the bass doesn’t overshadow the main track and you can pick out with clarity all of the other instruments being played - it is literally like having a concert played in your head. To me it reminds me of the concert surround sound I used to have in my car and makes me smile.

If it makes me smile it has to be a good thing.

Have I become leaky?

Surprisingly, no, I haven’t. They do leak a little sound but only when the volume is whacked right up to the top which is physically impossible to listen to without it hurting for more than three seconds. When music is being played back with thumping bass and on a volume akin to being at a stadium listening to heavy metal it doesn’t leak a bit, so I can rest assured that I’m not bothering other people around me (well, not with music anyway).

I've had a pair of Sennheiser headphones (the kind that sat sideways in your ear with a headband) in the past and they were underwhelming (we are talking circa 2000) but these could not be further away from my previous experience, indeed the Momentum headphones are in my opinion right there at the other end of the spectrum. The sound quality is exceptional and they are so comfortable at times I forget that I have then in. They are more expensive than most headphones but for that you get an amazing product, and one I would recommend.

All that is left to say is "rock on". 


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Sunday, February 07, 2016

Eau De Cedrat EDT by L’Occitane

With spring just around the corner what better time to give my thoughts on Eau De Cedrat an EDT from L’Occitane. This came into my collection early last year just before it was launched on the market along with other associated goodies from the Cedrat range. 

At £42 for 100ml this is priced at around the same level as Eau De Cade, also from L’Occitane (well worth a look if you are into your masculine and woody fragrances)
Eau De Cedrat EDT by L’Occitane

This is the description over at the L’Occitane website here:

‘With its striking appearance and irregular shape, the cedrat is an eminently masculine citrus fruit. Its skin thick and rough, it embodies the very rawness of nature – just like the man it is intended for.

L'OCCITANE has placed this mysterious citrus fruit at the heart of its new fresh and energizing range for men.

Discover Eau de Cedrat, our new fresh and masculine fragrance, also at the heart of a daily grooming ritual with an undeniable elegance. In addition to its refreshing scent, this rare and mysterious fruit boasts another treasure: a sparkling pulp with energizing properties. Try our skincare range for an invigorated skin ’

Eau De Cedrat EDT by L’Occitane
Eau De Cedrat EDT by L’Occitane

I can’t say I have ever managed to get my smelling tackle around a cedrat, but boy, if they have the power and kick that comes from this bottle I have been missing a trick. The first few sprays of this onto my freshly shaved face come with a little sting, but not as much as I had expected but wow, it’s strong. Had I not known about the top note of cedrat I would have sworn that this was a blend of concentrated lime and bergamot. It was so strong on first application I thought the three squirts from the bottle was way too much but actually it was about right as some ten minutes later the strong, fresh smell had faded so much I had to repeatedly sniff around to see if I could pick up the heart and dry down notes. This had blended so well onto my skin that I failed to detect anything but a light citrus and had to resort to spraying more on my wrists.

While I could for a short period pick up hints of the nutmeg and a touch of spice from the ginger this faded again within ten minutes.  Even after a liberal amount to my wrists it was a rather faded citrus with a twinge of nutmeg. 

Within thirty minutes I was struggling to smell anything again and feeling rather dejected I asked my other half if I had gone mad. She of course looked me up and down and said it happened years ago (thanks love) and after finally stopping laughing at her own (she says hilarious) joke gave an assured opinion that actually yes, she could smell me, and it was good. 

Testing the theory again after five, eight and ten hours after first applying this I got the same reaction, although much more muted after ten. It had faded to nearly unnoticeable. 

Launched in February 2015 this is welcome new fragrance to the market in my opinion. It has the lightness and fresh zing that comes with fragrances like CK One but dries down incredibly quick to deliver a masculine fragrance that retains it’s citrus vibe. Perfect for daywear this is an affordable fragrance that should make it’s way into the collection of any discerning gent. Personally I would like to see it less strong on first application and with a bit more heart to make it more noticeable say eight hours down the line but you can’t have everything. My grumpy old grumblings aside this is a cracker.


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Thursday, February 04, 2016

The GQ Grooming Power Pack 2016

If I said you could pick up an excellent male grooming box for just under £35 that was packed with top notch gear you would probably call me a bit of a mentalist, but no, The GQ Grooming Power Pack 2016 is here and I love it.

Packed with eight, yes eight products worth £130 this has opened my eyes to yet another aftershave (yes another), body washes I’ve never even heard of let alone used and banished my hatred for all things Toni & Guy.

As male beauty boxes go, they are very sparse with only Selfridges and Birchbox coming up with the goods until now.  

The GQ Grooming Power Pack 2016

Once the box arrived, feeling quite heavy and packaged to the gills with products, I was keen to see exactly what was inside and surprisingly, each and every product is just fantastic, a decent enough size so that you can definitely get a try before you buy feel and a mixture of brands I have comes across and some I haven't.

So the first item out of the box is Escentric Molecules - Escentric 03 Body Wash 200ml - I have only recent come into contact with this brand by way of their Molecule 01 fragrance (review coming soon) so I was impressed to see a full sized body wash. Described as being a body wash which is bursting with the scent of warm ginger, spicy green peppercorn and fresh Mexican lime plus base notes of amber and leather, it definitely has a manly scent to it and one which lingers on the skin for most of the day. Priced at £20.

It is quickly becoming my favourite body wash of 2016 (yes, I know it's only February), this has one hell of a powerful punch thanks to the heady fragrance from the vetiver, grapefruit and lime. I adore the smell of this and it’s a belter when it comes to washing away any hints of body odour. 

The fragrance lingers on the skin for hours and once it has been washed off and I've dried myself and I can still pick up hints of ginger and peppercorn an hour later.

Lathering up brilliantly, the luminous bottle and fragrance make this something that goes on the list to replace well before the actual bottle runs out. 

Escentric Molecules - Escentric 03 Body Wash

MALIN+GOETZ - Vitamin E Shaving Cream 29ml - This is a new brand that I have never come across before, so I was interested to see how well the creams works on the rare occasion that I shave.  Described as being packed with vitamin E and amino acid proteins to effectively prepare and ph balance all skin types for a smooth, non-irritating shave. This soothing formula cools and protects without clogging razor allowing you to rinse clean without residue, drying, or stripping. 

MALIN+GOETZ - Vitamin E Shaving Cream

Neville - Face Reviver 30ml - Another brand I have never come across but is said to be suitable for all skin types.  Face Reviver is a non-greasy daily moisturiser skin shield. Vitamin A prevents inflammation, Vitamin E protects and repairs whilst Aloe Vera soothes and moisturises.

Neville - Face Reviver

Elemis - Time for Men Energising Skin Scrub
20ml - This scrub helps to prime the skin for a clean, smooth shave by lifting the hair before shaving to make it a much easier task and it is said to help protect against ingrowing hairs. Containing marine phytoplankton, laurel and hops in a vitamin E-rich base, dead skin cells are removed to leave skin polished, smooth and brighter as well as 
shea butter and beeswax to nourish and condition your skin with essential moisture.

Elemis - Time for Men Energising Skin Scrub

Penhaligon - Sartorial Fragrance 30ml contains notes of violet leaf, neroli, cardamom, black pepper, fresh ginger, beeswax, cyclamen, linden blossom, lavender, leather, gurjum wood, patchouli, myrrh, cedarwood, tonka bean, oakmoss, white musk, vanilla and amber. 

If you read my post about my favourite fragrances from 2015 you will have seen that I have a soft spot for Penhaligon’s No33. Sartorial was a fragrance on my list of things to try, but as it can be a touch on the expensive side I hadn’t yet got around to picking up a bottle. This 30ml tester has been pretty much all I have worn since the box arrived.

Strong top notes that ooze masculinity, it starts off almost floral but dries down quickly to leave a subtle yet long lasting body that has warmth from the cedarwood and a sweetness that is retained for well over ten hours thanks to just enough Tonka bean in the dry down. This is an aftershave for all occasions and has drawn lots of compliments.

A 100ml bottle costs £88, so this 30ml bottle pretty much makes the box worthwhile on its own. Top notch stuff.

Penhaligon - Sartorial Fragrance

The Refinery - Shave Foam Gel 125ml - This is a rich foaming shave gel helps to protect against razor burn and nicks for a close, comfortable shave. Contains clove and peppermint for a spicy, minty effect as well as fresh aloe vera, which adds moisturising and soothing properties. 

The Refinery - Shave Foam Gel

Toni&Guy - Styling Fibre 75ml - Creates casual, lived in texture with a matte finish. Loosen product between palms and work through dry hair for medium hold. 

I had a bad experience attempting to use a wax from Toni & Guy some ten years ago and have avoided anything else from their hair styling range since. After my Osmo Clay finally ran out and in a rush to get to work I reached into the box to use this. At the time I had really quite long hair that was so thick it was a bit of a pain to style. 

Applying this to damp hair made styling actually really easy and after it had dried not only was the style held firmly in place it had a great matte effect look while the strands remained pliable. This meant that after being in a force ten gale I could pop it back into place easily. 

Toni & Guy, all is forgiven. Well worth a look for any style - from an inch to spike or long to sweep back this will hold your hair in place and leave it looking like it hasn’t got any product in it. Nice one.

Toni&Guy - Styling Fibre

Philip Kingsley - Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo 20ml soothing but highly effective shampoo that will leave hair shiny and manageable, whilst quickly clearing dandruff and irritation.  The one thing I don't have is a flaky or itchy scalp, but the wife is a huge fan of this shampoo and has already claimed it for herself.

Philip Kingsley - Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo

At £35 for £130 worth of products you can't argue - the products I have tried have massively impressed me and I can't wait to try the rest. Even if they are all rubbish the fact that I've fallen for Sartorial and finally gotten over my mental block on Toni & Guy products (I have even avoided getting my hair cut in there due to my wax experience) for me makes this well worth the cash spent on it. 

Go on, if you are new to male beauty boxes, give this a try. If you are looking to introduce your other half to more grooming products, give it a try. if you just want to smell amazing (using Satorial obviously), give this a try.


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