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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