Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas 2016: Gifts for a Bearded Bloke

Over the course of the year I've been inundated with various products to tame my mane (read beard) or just to get rid of it completely. There are a range of products, services and experiences that I would recommend, but rather than just re-hash things that I've already written about I've gone a little bit further and decided on a mash up of products. Some I've written about, some I've used and some stuff is just really cool. So, stuck for a gift idea for the bearded man in your life or for the bearded man in your life you no longer want to be bearded? Read on!

The Real Shaving Company
There are two little crackers (not literally crackers) from The Real Shaving Company. First up is the Shaving Brush Collection which at £9.99 from Boots here is well worth a look for those interested in taking some time and effort into their shaving preparation. Not only does it contain a professional synthetic bristle brush (it's hard to tell the difference between this one and real badger hair brushes), it also comes with a 50ml tube of their shave cream which again is actually well worth a look.
The Real Shaving Company Shaving Brush Collection
The Real Shaving Co Men's Travel Essentials
Second up is the Men's Travel Essentials, only £5.99 from Boots here. It contains steps one, two and three from the range with all of the products coming in travel friendly 50ml tubes.

So, the three products are:

  • Daily Face Scrub 
  • Shave Cream 
  • Moisturiser
All three products are good value for money and the pack is a must have for the frequent flyer/traveller (no more ditching products at airport security)

Barber Pro Shave Mug
With a variety of shaving brushes on hand now in my bathroom for yonks (read a while) I have struggled to actually use them properly, either rubbing the brush into a bar of soap or squeezing an assortment of product onto the brush. Neither approach has really been ideal, but lo, what is this, a funky little enamel coated cup to finally end my half arsed approach to applying shaving cream! 

At just £8.95 here, this mug is not only a bit of a looker (I think it's cool) it's easy to wash out and let's me mix my shave cream properly before spreading it across my face with a brush.
Barber Pro Shave Mug
This would make an affordable secret Santa, a cute little stocking filler or quirky gift.

Two products from the Big Boy range in focus today, with more to come in the New Year. Big Boy are a new brand to me but I've been using them on and off over the last few months. The brand originates in Sicily. They say that their products combine rich natural ingredients like Sicilian olive and almond oil with bees wax and shea oil create superior hair and skin products.

First up is their Soothing Drops, which cost £24.95 from their website here. They smell amazing and are applied with a dropper into the hand before applying to your beard. I love the fragrance, it's like a clean, sterile smell and it doesn't interfere with any aftershave or cologne applied after using it. The emulsion drops are absorbed by the beard and skin quickly and since using this I've found a marked decrease in the number of acne outbreaks under my facial foliage.
Big Boy Soothing Drops
Second up is their Moisturising Cream, with a SPF20 and hefty £36.95 price tag comes in a 50ml tub. Again it has the fragrance of the soothing drops and despite the price tag it happens to go a long way, even when used on a face as large as mine. Not only does this reduce the damage to your skin from sunlight I have found that it does help to keep my skin feeling and looking more hydrated - the harsh cold weather has form for drying out my skin but this acts as a kind of rescue remedy! Top stuff and with this you get what you pay for.

What about a seven piece all you need travel bag and essential grooming products? Well, over at the Mankind site you can pick up everything you need as a kind of grooming grab bag for just £22.49 here
Christmas 2016: Gifts for a Bearded Bloke
I'm a big fan of their products and have used a large amount of the range before, but in this gift set you get to play with:
  • 100ml of Daily Refresh Shampoo
  • 100ml of Shower Gel
  • 15ml of Shave Cream
  • 15ml of Healthy Face Wash
  • 15ml Matt 'Skin Refresh' Gel
  • 15ml of Liquifflex
Before you ask where the seventh product is, its the actual toiletry bag. In the past I've used the shampoo and shower gel and been impressed, but for me, the Skin Refresh gel was a real eye opener that soothed my skin after shaving. 

Cornerstone shaving box
How about a monogrammed razor and enough product to keep your face as smooth as a peach? Well, you could take a peek at the Cornerstone subscription shaving box. It comes with a cool blade shaft, enough razors to keep you going for well over a month but best of all, it comes with one of the best face scrubs ever, excellent shaving cream and a lovely cooling balm for when you've finished. 
 Cornerstone shaving box
At £30 for the monogrammed razor and six blades, face scrub, shave gel and post shave balm it is well worth the cash. You can read my review of the box here, or just pop over to the Cornerstone site here and take a look at the options available (you can tailor the box to suit your bearded bloke's shave routine).

This Bearded Life
Yes, a shameless plug for a recent post, but I genuinely did enjoy reading this book by Carles Sune. I'm not one for endless reading about grooming, I find it all very repetitive if I'm honest but I did find this a page turner. The interesting facts, history of the beard and quirky illustrations captured my attention, and that's hard to do. At £12.99 you can't go wrong. You have the chance to win one of two copies in a previous post here (until midnight on 14 December).
This Bearded Life
Ted's Grooming Room gift vouchers
I've visited three of Ted's Grooming Rooms over the last two years and each time I've found the experience to be truly uplifting. I'd strongly recommend a visit for a haircut, to have your beard trimmed or removed or to just shape your brows. It's a great grooming experience and you can pick up gift vouchers here.
Ted's Grooming Room gift vouchers
The 'Full Ted' service that I usually opt for is available for £48.50 and includes a haircut with a clean shave or beard design. A few pictures of my before and after visits are below to show how they really can transform even the most neglected (grooming wise) into something that looks sharp and on point.
Beautykinguk before and after visit to Ted's Grooming Room
Before and after a visit to Ted's Grooming Room just off The Strand
Beautykinguk before and after visit to Ted's Grooming Room
Before and after my latest visit, this time to the new branch by St Paul's
So, there you have it, my selection of possible gifts for the bearded bloke in your life. There are so many things that I could have added, like the amazing Oil Can Grooming Iron Horse Beard Oil (£24)Jamie Stevens MR Beard Oil (£10) or Citrus Wood by Yardley London (£19.99), but alas I didn't want to overload you dear readers with too many choices. Needless to say, they all come highly recommended from me.

I do hope you find this useful in your quest for gift ideas, and please do let me know what you think to my selections, or indeed the products if you choose to buy them for yourself, a friend or a relative.

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