Sunday, June 24, 2018

AFTERSHAVE: Michael Bublé Pour Homme

When it comes to celebrity fragrances I tend to steer well clear, they often smell cheap and nasty and I'm convinced (with zero evidence to back up this feeling) that more often than not it's just cheap stuff whacked in a bottle and flogged to the gullible. I've had to kind of reassess this after being asked by the wife to review Michael Bublé Pour Homme.
 At £39 for a 70ml bottle or £55 for 100ml, this I think sits in the mid-range for aftershaves - anything over £60 and I take a serious whiff of it before forking out my own cash. The attractiveness of the bottle, with its sharp angles and lines, are said to have been inspired by the microphone with the shade of blue being a reference to Buble himself and his usual choice of suit (or so I'm told).
MB Pour Homme is described as a rich signature scent for the sophisticated modern gentleman. The notes to Pour Homme are:
  • Head: Grapefruit, bergamot and pink pepper
  • Heart: Geranium, neroli and blond wood
  • Dry-down: Patchouli, sandalwood and musk
Almost as soon as this left the bottle I was in love with the fragrance - it's unique, fresh and has a depth of fragrance that sits right in the middle of the woody and spicy fragrance familyThe freshness of the citrusy notes really make this fragrance for me and blended with the Patchouli, you have an aroma that seamlessly takes you from day to night and one which is suitable for absolutely any man in your life.
My only question is if you've sold 55 million albums worldwide, why would you branch out into aftershave? You can't be short of a few quid. The many questions that run through my head aside, this is a lovely fragrance that isn't too heavy or warm on the nose. If you are looking for something a little unique this summer then you can do a lot worse than this. 

In terms of celebrity aftershaves and fragrances, this stands head and shoulders above any other I've had the chance to sniff at. 

Perfect for any occasion, this is one where throughout the day you'll close your eyes and think "mmm, yes, this is actually a good fragrance" and you'll be feeling good.


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Sunday, June 17, 2018

BEARDS: Schwarzkopf Got2b Beard Oil

Last week a massive box of the new products from the Schwarzkopf Got2b Phenomenal range was delivered - everything from a beard trimmer, hair paste, wax and sprays. As part of the package was Schwarzkopf Got2b Phenomenal Beard Oil, and for the last seven days I've been slapping it onto my ever growing beard, stepping back and then making the other half feel the results.
Schwarzkopf Got2b Beard Oil
Schwarzkopf Got2b Beard Oil
Given my experience with this beard oil I thought it deserved a post all to itself, so check back over the coming weeks if you want to read more reviews of the range.

What does the marketing blurb say about the beard oil under review?

'Discover the real gentleman in you. The lightweight conditioning oil softens and tames your beard, leaving it well-groomed and non-greasy.'

I had no idea that this sat firmly in the budget range of grooming products (it's RRP is £4.07 for 75ml) but prior experience with the got2b hair styling range meant that I had some pretty high hopes. Had I seen the price beforehand I would have expected little.

So what did the product do? Well, it surprised me immensely from the moment it left the bottle and for hour after hour later. Why? Well, many reasons. The first being the silky smooth oil that really could not be simpler to apply. Two to three pumps from the dispenser should be enough according to the directions but given the longer length of my facial foliage I use two to three on the beard on my cheeks and chin and another two to massage into the shaft of the hair that hangs about five inches down from under my chin and on my neck.

The oil is a lot thinner than pretty much every oil I've ever used before but this helps with the absorption into the hair and within a matter of seconds you'll hardly know that you've applied it - it isn't greasy as promised and washing it off your palms is much, much easier than other premium brands.

The results are out of this world - after three days of using this my beard was noticeably softer to the touch, and I mean really soft so much so that I spent most of last week stroking my beard. Normally if using oil on my beard this would result in residue bein transferred to my fingers and the risk of oil stains on my clothing but not with this - excellent.
Schwarzkopf Got2b Beard Oil
The beard some six hours after using Schwarzkopf Got2b Phenomenal Beard Oil
While much runnier than normal this doesn't detract from the hold it provides when styling the beard - I've found that it keeps my long beard in place for a good seven hours before the hairs start to lift up off my face and look untidy. That's much better than oils you can find yourself paying upwards of £20 for elsewhere.

They say that the Got2b range is truly phenomenal and when it comes to the beard oil I'm inclined to agree. Not only can you pick this up for under £5 when fully priced (you can get it from Superdrugor just £3) it also leaves you feeling like you've just stepped out of the barber's chair. I has a fragrance that will throw you back to your childhood (it reminds me of the smell of Barbicide used by barbers) while also taming your beard - it softens so well, in fact, better than any other beard oil I've used and it keeps my fairly long beard well and truly under control.

Price, availability and results taken into consideration and pow, you have an absolute belter of a beard oil.


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Saturday, June 16, 2018

SKINCARE: Peel & Polish by Pixi

Every now and again I'll play shower roulette, this involves me reaching onto the shelf, picking up a product without looking and then giving it a try. No, seriously, I do.....and that's how I came to try Peel & Polish by Pixi, a kind of peel and exfoliating potion the other half must use. 
SKINCARE: Peel & Polish by Pixi
I've never used anything by Pixi before that I can recall so I had no prior misconceptions or indeed any expectations for this to do anything to my elephant hide like skin. Needless to say, that after the first application I've now been using this twice a week on my face to banish dead skin - but at £26 for a 80ml tube does this really compare with other face washes, scrubs and general exfoliants out there? Read on folks, read on.

This is what they say about the product:

'This radiance revealing enzyme peel resurfaces for smoother, softer skin, and a healthy looking glow. Natural fruit enzymes loosen dead skins cells, lactic acid gently exfoliates, cellulose peels & sugar extracts polishes, lifting away dullness revealing brighter skin. Professional salon peel treatment without leaving home.'

After taking the lid off and giving this a good sniff I was pleasantly surprised to find that it has a rather gender neutral fragrance, not too light and flowery and equally, not too heavy on the nose - the orange, papaya and lemon extract provide a fresh and fruity aroma that can become rather addictive.

Whacking a healthy dose of the cream onto my hands I rubbed it gently into my dry face and neck. First up, the grains within the cream are really fine, noticeable, but this is a gentle exfoliation rather than a full-blown sandblast of the face. As advised, I left it on the skin for a couple of minutes and that is when the tingling started - and it was good. Like a really weird mild burning sensation that tingles rather than hurts you can almost feel the dirt and dead skin cells being removed. Top marks.

As the tingling starts I tend to rub the cream into my face a bit to provide an extra touch of exfoliation.

As the particles/grains are so fine they are washed off really easily, leaving results that can be summarised in one word - "wow". To see the colour of the water after using would make you wretch - it clearly does eliminate built up grime and dirt but best of all, my skin looks radiant after using and to the touch it's smoother than it's been in years. When I say years, I can hand on heart say at least a decade.

This is a lucky find for me and while I wouldn't have ever sought this out or bought it myself I can't honestly see this out of my skincare routine now. It's excellent and does exactly what it says it'll do.


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Sunday, June 10, 2018

HAIR: Just for Men Control GX - Grey Reducing Shampoo

There comes a time in every man's life when the old colour in the hair starts to fade and those pesky grey hairs start multiplying faster than a rabbit colony subjected to Barry White on a constant loop. For me, that time came when I was fourteen, yes, fourteen - WTF!!! I've been dying my old barnet for well over 20 years, but in recent years I've tried to grow old gracefully, that was until the grey got out of hand, and with a longer style it was becoming too much. Step forward Just for Men Control GX, a shampoo that promises to gradually reduce the appearance of grey hairs.
Just for Men Control GX - Grey Reducing Shampoo
Just for Men Control GX - Grey Reducing Shampoo
Rather than being a conventional dye that blasts the hair and leaves a uniform colour, this promises to leave hair looking natural by reducing rather than completely covering the grey.

Bold claims! 

So, for just under £10 for a 147ml tube I set off on my grey reducing journey. If you want to pick up a bottle after reading this (seriously, read the whole post first) you can pick it up at most high street chains - Superdrug, Boots, Tesco and Sainsbury's. 

First up was the 48-hour allergy test - seriously important given the plethora of chemicals and to avoid looking like your face has been attacked by a hive of angry bees.

The instructions advise to run the shampoo into your hair using your palms to avoid staining of the fingers and with that, on went the shampoo and boom, the bathroom smelt like a chemical spill. Pungent is something of an understatement but I'd expected this - it's no more powerful than the ammonia smell you get from permanent hair dyes. 

I thought I'd cocked up after the first application as my hands went a sort of dirty purple colour which only got darker and darker as the day progressed and it was a nightmare to remove. On second, third, fourth and fifth applications I was incredibly careful not to use my fingertips but again, my fingers, nails and the palms turned a dodgy colour just hours later. Not the look I was going for, and scrubbing most of the skin off my hands to remove the stains wasn't a pleasant experience. Could the results redeem this product?

The quick answer is - NO.

After using this fifteen, yes, fifteen times a comparison of before and after across the root, shaft and tips of my hair showed zero effect, in fact, to me the tips looked even more grey than before. In terms of masking this is, to be blunt, appalling. 
Just for Men Control GX - Grey Reducing Shampoo
Less than impressive results after fifteen washes over 6 weeks
Who remembers the original marketing slogan for Wash & Go? "Take two bottles into the shower, not me, I just take Wash & Go. Well in the case of Control GX I not only take the tube in the shower but also gloves, a nailbrush and some serious cleansing agents. It's fiddly to use, stains your fingers and palms and in my case did not one jot to reduce the grey in my hair. While it does leave my hair feeling clean, in term of its primary purpose of reducing grey hairs, this is a lemon.


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Saturday, June 02, 2018

BEARDS: Modern Day Duke Beard Wash & Tonic

Where has he been for months I hear you say? Growing a beard. With that in mind expect one or two posts on beards over the coming weeks and months, but today I'll start off with two cracking products from Modern Day Duke - Luxurious Beard Wash and Superior Beard Tonic.
Modern Day Duke Beard Wash & Tonic

So, who are Modern Day Duke? You can read all about the company and it's ethos over at their website here:

A 200ml bottle of the luxurious beard wash will set you back £16.95, which compares favourably with other beard washes on the market. There are a number of things that I genuinely like about this beard wash - it smells lovely, it lathers up a dream, it cleans away grime and doesn't dry out my skin. 

Those four things above make this a must-have product for any beardy weirdy like me.

But saying that it smells lovely is a bit vague and really doesn't do this justice. It blends together cedarwood (a favourite base note in many an aftershave in my collection), lime and aloe vera. The cedarwood gives it an earthy masculine nose but the sharpness of the lime gives it a fresher tangy citrus waft that personally I've found a touch addictive.

Just two pumps of the beard wash, slap it onto a wet beard and you're away - it's like an explosion of lather that intensifies the fragrance two-fold. Result! 

Last but not least, my beard feels clean, smells clean and fresh while also have a softer, smoother feel. 

Having now come down with a massive dose of OBD (Obsessive Beard Disorder) keeping it in shape and trying to avoid looking like a hobo means carefully oiling and brushing down the stray hairs. Get a crappy oil and you'll be wiping oil it off your face, hands and sometimes clothing all day. I'm happy to report that this is not one of those lemons!

While the oil itself is quite thick any fears that this would just be smeared up and down my face were quickly allayed - a couple of drops from the applicator, a quick warm up between the palms and it's ready to go. Being, well, an oil, it is smoothed onto the hair really quickly and is absorbed by the hair and skin in under a minute. Excellent.

Throw into the mix once again that lovely fragrance, this time with hints of bergamot, patchouli and grape. It's fresh, it's fruity and for some reason whenever I use this I have an urge to grab an axe and chop some wood.

Styling my beard is a doddle using this - the one day I didn't use it my lovely aunt commented "you look homeless", which says it all. 
Modern Day Duke Beard Wash & Tonic
Saving the best for last - my beard does grow quicker using the tonic - in just four months I've managed to grow a beard that would have taken at least a year. Indeed, the people I work with have commented on how fast it has grown. 

50ml of this will set you back £18 and at that price, if you have whiskers, you shouldn't be without this.  

I've been using both products on my ever-growing (and greying) beard now for a good four months. Those four months have seen my beard grow at a speed I've never known before, not a hint of beard itch or scratching and the oil leaves the longer style of beard in a position where brushing and styling is a breeze.

They (Modern Day Duke) say that with a great beard comes great responsibility. Not too sure about that, but when they attach phrases like superior and luxurious to these products I'm more than inclined to agree with the assessment. Both products are reasonably priced, I've been introduced to a brand I will be using again (when this batch runs out) and I know I'll be supporting a company that manufactures here in England. 

Summarising in one word how my beard feels after using? Majestic.

Modern Day Duke Beard Wash & Tonic
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