4 Men's Hairstyles for Curly or Wavy Hair

If you are like me and have struggled for years wondering what to do and how to style your thick curly or wavy hair, then here are 4 ways to style your hair with the same haircut. After years of keeping my hair short, so that the curl would be controlled - I have learnt to embrace the curl and style my hair in ways that does just that. In all looks, I'm using TONI&GUY products which can all be found here.

 

Hairstyle 1 - The Curly Look

  • Wash hair with conditioner.
  • Pat-dry your hair with a small towel.
  • Apply 4-5 sprays of the TONI&GUY High Definition Spray Wax & massage into roots.
  • Use your fingers to twizzle and define the curls in all different directions.
  • Use a fingertip of a matte paste product and apply to the crown, sides and back of you hair.

Products used in this style:

Hairstyle 2 - The Slick Pompadour

  • Wash hair with conditioner.
  • Pat-dry your hair with a small towel.
  • Apply 4-5 sprays of the TONI&GUY High Definition Spray Wax & massage into roots.
  • Use a Denman brush and hairdryer and start brushing back the hair starting from the crown.
  • Work you way towards the fringe.
  • To give volume to the pompadour hairstyle use the brush and your fingers to give lift.
  • Use the TONI&GUY Stick it up gum to style the hair to give volume, hold and a shine finish.

Products used in this style:

Hairstyle 3 - The Side Parting

  • Wash hair with conditioner.
  • Pat-dry your hair with a small towel.
  • Apply 4-5 sprays of the TONI&GUY High Definition Spray Wax & massage into roots.
  • Use a comb to find your natural side parting.
  • Use a Denman brush and hairdryer to brush the hair away from the side parting.
  • To style this hairstyle I used the TONI&GUY Styling Putty for a sleek and smooth finish.
  • Apply hairspray for extra hold.

Products used in this style:

Hairstyle 4 - The Messy Look

  • Wash hair with conditioner.
  • Pat-dry your hair with a small towel.
  • Apply 4-5 sprays of the TONI&GUY High Definition Spray Wax & massage into roots.
  • Blow dry the hair by using a Denman brush in a downwards side by side motion.
  • Then blow dry using your hands and style the hair into a slick back style.
  • Use your fingers to separate the hair into a rugged wavy finish.
  • Use a matte paste for reworkable hold throughout the day.

Products used in this style:

*Where I could not find the specific product online, I've substituted with similar products.

Aston Martin Hand Built in England | Factory Tour

What does an Aston Martin mean to you? For me it's the ultimate in luxury, an experience, a car that turns heads, a pure reaction to beauty. So when I got the opportunity to visit the Aston Martin factory in the heart of England's racing mainland, just outside of Silverstone; of course I had to visit. The home of Aston Martin is a purpose built complex, where the magnificent cars are hand built, it's where they create the new design concepts for their future masterpieces of engineering and where I was in awe of my dream car the Aston Martin DB11.

No one needs an Aston Martin, it’s something that you reward yourself with.

Aston Martin has a wonderful history of creating luxury sports cars, where design and beauty have always been at the forefront of what they create. As they are all hand built in England, each car is built to a limited number, keeping the exclusivity and rareness of an Aston Martin, however rare they maybe, Aston Martin are not an exclusive brand, they are inclusive and appeal to a wide variety of us.

Aston Martin has a elegance about each and everyone of their cars, unlike some of their major competitors which rely on shock and awe. Aston's have an underlying beauty that has transcended through time with everything in proportion as nature intends. A car designed to be as streamlined through the air as a shark is through water.

Being a hand built car and not mass produced, gives each Aston Martin a unique has a finger print, it may be a slight difference in the stitching or the leather grain but that's what you get for hand made and hand crafted - it's all for the love of beauty and setting standards to which others will admire.

Two of the latest concepts to get designed are the Aston Martin DBX, which is a 4 door sports car and the Aston Martin Valkyrie, which is estimated 1000kg & 1000bhp high performance road car built in partnership with F1's Red Bull Racing. 

I would love to see how you would design and configure your own Aston Martin DB11, mine is below. 

CONFIGURE YOUR OWN ASTON MARTIN DB11

Tailor Me by Moss Bros | 4 Steps to a Perfect Suit

You may be part of the majority if you haven't heard about the Moss Bros TAILOR ME service but it certainly is a service to shout about. Moss Bros 'tailor me' is available at any of their physical high-street stores, where you'll receive a friendly and knowledgeable service from one of their tailoring experts. It's a quick 4-step process from picking fabric to getting your measurements, then the suit will be crafted and delivered within 30 days.

The suit fabrics are high quality with a very large range to choose from - personally I picked a grey windowpane/Prince of Wales Check style in a single-breasted design. I love peak lapels, so this was always going to be my style plus extra tapered trousers in a turn-up Italian style finish - perfect. You can then choose options such as the silk inner lining colour or pattern (of which I chose light pink), buttons, pocket styles, trousers adjusts, button hole colours and even embroidered details. 

This service is perfect for weddings where you can get all the groomsmen together to get tailored. Add a lovely touch by surprising them with a personal message embroidered in the inner lining of the suit. So if you are after a completely personalised, perfectly fitted suit within 30 days of being measured, find your nearest store by using the Moss Bros Store Locator and get creative!

 

SHOP MY LOOK

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MOSS BROS. TAILOR ME SERVICE

Photography by Rebecca Spencer

What to wear at Wimbledon Tennis | Get Wimbledon ready

The 7th day of Wimbledon is traditionally middle Sunday, where there is no-play unless in the event of extreme weather conditions. We are now into the business end and as the tournament heats up, so do the style stakes. On this Sunday evening, if you are lucky enough to be heading to Wimbledon in the coming week, it's a great time to get your wardrobe Wimbledon ready with some key menswear pieces from Debenhams to keep you cool and stylish in the sun.

Avoid upsetting the Wimbledon style police this year and leave your ripped jeans and longline t-shirts at home. This is London and of course the weather is always a little unpredictable but it can also get very hot as temperatures rise on and off court. So when you are picking what to wear, light colours, linens and lightweight blazers are 'advantage you'. Jeans, ripped clothing, vests, jogging bottoms and overly bright colours are most certainly 'break-point'. Chino trousers and linen fabrics can keep you cool and most importantly stylish through the day then layer with a blazer for evening play.

At Debenhams, they offer an extensive menswear range dedicated to upgrading your wardrobe with Wimbledon in mind but clothing that you can also style-up in general this summer. For my personal Wimbledon whites style edit, I have chosen to wear a pair of smart, white belted canvas shorts by Jasper Conran paired with a crisp, white, tailor fitted shirt. I've kept my blazer choice to a neutral tone in a single-breasted design. I've accessorised with a Fred Perry barrel bag and clean white trainers, although for a smarter look, a pair of blue or brown loafers would be a perfect doubles pairing.

 

SHOP MY WIMBLEDON READY WHITES

Photography by Rebecca Spencer

*This post was created in collaboration with Debenhams*

Outfit of the Week | The British Racing Green Style Edit

This week I've been spending some time on the Spanish island of Ibiza and with a little bit of time to kill before I head off to the airport, it's time to post my outfit of the week. If packing for Ibiza the style is very much cool and casual, pack jean shorts, t-shirts and trainers. As I fly an hour across to the Spanish mainland to Marbella the fashion changes slightly, a little bit more on the lines of smart-casual tailoring, pack tailored shorts, white chinos, shirts and loafers. My outfit of the week has a touch of both styles with a British racing green colour palette.

I recently got a pair of super comfortable shoes by the brand Freakloset, whose loafers literally mold to your feet. The shoes are made from calf leather, leather lined with a line-stretch neoprene back and rubber sole - a seemingly perfect combination for comfort. Their shoes are fully customisable so you can add you own personality and style to your finalised design. These loafers are in a deep olive green colour, so I wanted to match this colour with another item of clothing, which in this outfit was a zip top by Reiss. Finally the white zip details in the top matched the white jeans perfectly, completing this look.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Introducing Kartel Watches Latest Men's Collection

I've had the pleasure of sampling quite a lot of fashion watches around the £100 mark, over the last few years and one brand that sticks in my head for offering the best value is Kartel Watches. Kartel are always bringing out new strap designs and different colour combinations to keep their brand on-trend and contemporary. 

Retailing at around the £100 mark, these are a great buy. Kartel have managed to get the perfect balance between cost, quality and design. Pick up one of their watches and they feel well-made, they have a medium weight and each component has a certain quality. I've owned many Kartel watches and never had any problems with the watches that I have owned. What I love most about owning these watches is that the designs tend to be very minimalistic so they become collectable - wearing a different Kartel watch for each different outfit you wear throughout the week.

I've owned a few other brands who operate in this price bracket and they feel very lightweight and plastic. So if you are after something fashionable, wearable and affordable - look no further than Kartel watches.

Their new men's collection focused on minimalist colours and colour combinations whilst sticking to it's core contemporary design.

So if you like any of the above watches that I have styled, you can shop them below. You can also have the back of the watch engraved for free.

Photography by Ella H

The Must Have Summer Shirt Collection by Hawkins & Shepherd Tailored for Versatility

When it comes to fine shirt making you do not have to look too far, in fact you are already online, so just click on one of the images above and you've found them! In an increasingly digital world Hawkins & Shepherd have focused on operating solely in an online marketplace giving their customers across the globe an equal opportunity to wear their exceptional cotton shirts. Hawkins & Shepherd which was launched in 2013, continues to grow, improve and supply its loyal customers with the best in men's shirts. Many of the London based shirt makers still own retail spaces, which are extremely costly in terms of rent, security and staffing. Paying for these overheads has to come from somewhere and that often leads to selling an inferior product at a higher price, making more profit margins. Being online only, you do not have these costs and are therefore able to offer a better quality shirt for a better price - which is why a Hawkins & Shepherd shirt will ALWAYS be handmade using skilful tailors and the best fabrics.

At Hawkins & Shepherd, they realise that more men are after versatile shirts that can be worn day-to-night. A shirt that looks equally great in the office, walking along a marina on holiday as well as going for dinner or drinks. This summer collection has been designed with that in mind, a truly perfect shirt for this summer, holiday season. They've handcrafted their shirts using 100% cotton fabric in an Oxford breathable weave. The patterns are clean lines in a variety of pastel colours and a variety of different collar types to suit everyones personal style preference.

The Hawkins & Shepherd Summer pastel shirts are simply the best choice to look smart, cool & stylish. Now also available in plain super-soft luxury cotton.

At Hawkins & Shepherd, they are forever evolving and looking for new and exciting fabrics with even higher quality, so keep your eyes peeled for their developments as there will be some exciting improviments to the website and well as their products in the coming months.

How I style my hair this season using TONI&GUY products

Throughout our lives we change our hairstyles on many occasions, comparable to the trend led, seasonal, fashionable world that we live in. For me personally I’ve come a long way from my early twenties of having a ‘short back & sides’ to these days refining my hair style based on what trends come directly out of the catwalk. Of course you need to work with what you have been given, straight hair, curly hair, wavy hair, long hair, short hair but my top tip is to use men’s catwalk hairstyles as inspiration and then adapt to your own personal preference and style.

When styling my hair, using the best hair styling products is absolutely essential. Use a brand whose product ranges are forever evolving, never stagnant and commits to formulating new products to meet our fashionable needs. The British heritage TONI&GUY are my go to for hair styling products and right now I’m styling my hair using their TONI&GUY MEN range of products. Fusing a reworkable shape, flexible hold and a matte finish is exactly my style and this range is all about letting you express your style tribe with ease. This product gives you free reign and put you in control of your look.

Being more specific, I currently use the TONI&GUY Workable Matte Paste tin from the MEN range in a relaxed pompadour hairstyle, where I let my natural waves give some personality to the hair whilst the product gives it a slight shine and rework potential. Choosing a matte finish for a guys hairstyle offers a great everyday look, from day-to-night you’ll still look your stylish best. It offers long lasting texture with a cool matte effect that does not compromise your hair’s flexibility.

Here are my 4 Simple Steps to create my look:

1. Wash your hair with the TONI&GUY ‘Intense Softness’ shampoo and conditioner. My hair is always easier to style exactly how I want it if it’s freshly washed. Build-up of hair product can make you hair harder to blow dry, style and your hair will not fall naturally in the relaxed style that I want to achieve with this look.

2. Warm a small amount of TONI&GUY Workable Matte Paste through your hands to ensure maximum pliability. Make sure all areas are covered then massage deep in to the roots. Slowly dry the hair with a medium heat hairdryer, brushing the hair in a pompadour style. You’ll find that this product will add texture to layers, waves and shorter styles which is why it’s perfect for styling your hair like mine.

3. Once the hair is fully dry, work the product between palms and apply to style. Pull the front of your hair out, work the product deep into that area. For my relaxed pompadour hairstyle, there is no need to add too much product at this time.

4. Finally mould hair into shape with your fingers or comb for medium hold throughout the day, as using your hands and fingers to complete the styled look will ensure that the finish will be quite natural. If you have wavy hair similar to mine, this is extremely important as using a brush will straighten out the hair a little and this look is all about letting your natural waves fold over each other. At this stage if you feel you need to add a little bit more product for a little bit of extra texture, hold and for reworkable control throughout the day or night do so.

I hope you like my pompadour hair style using the Workable Matte Paste product, a must-have to create this bold slicked back look! I hope it inspires you to try something a little bit different with your own hair by try different types of TONI&GUY products and experiment with how you style your own hair.

 

SHOP TONI&GUY AT BOOTS

Photography by Ella H

*This post was created in collaboration with TONI&GUY Products*

Menorca, Spain Travel Guide | 5 Best Beaches

Every year for the last 5 years we have gone away as a family on a villa holiday somewhere in either Spain or Cyprus. Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister, myself and any other halves that us children might have had during the time. It's something I look forward to every year, as family mean everything to me and living a face-paced busy lifestyle, I don't get t spend as much time with them as I would like. So going away for a week or two, where we can all relax and spend time together is priceless. This year we headed off to Menorca in Spain for 2 weeks for a villa holiday in beach the town of Binibeca Vell.

Menorca is part of Spains trio of islands in the Balearic Sea alongside Ibiza and Mallorca. You can fly into Mahon (the only airport in Menorca) from London in just under 2 hours making it extremely accessible for short breaks as well as those travelling with young children. 

Menorca is known to be the quieter of the 3 Balearic islands and from my experience that is true, however it has an inner beauty that I wasn't expecting. From the *instagrammable white buildings of Binibeca Vell to small beaches only accessible to those willing to climb over rocks, Menorca is full of hidden gems.

BINIBECA VELL

Situated in the south of the island, this quaint port and town is littered with a coastline of rocks. A small, sleepy town painted white with small narrow cobble streets. In the coves adjacent to the town you can find some incredible sandy beaches. Nightlife in this town is quiet, but I found the most incredible Gin Slush cocktails in a bar called BB Cocktail Bar. Head upstairs for amazing sunset views.

CALES COVES

From south of the Menorcan island all the way to the north is only 45 minutes. About 15 minutes up the coast from Binibeca is the Cales Coves. You'll have to park up your car before walking about 10 minutes to the Coves and beach area. Cales Coves are a walkers dream, exploring coves in a picturesque setting. The beach itself isn't really one to spend all day at as it is a little muddy and there are no refreshments or facilities. However don't come here for sunbathing, come for appreciation of natural beauty.

PUNTA PRIMA

This location is the furthest south and only 10 minutes from Binibeca. A more built up area with a few restaurants and bars as well as a long sandy beach perfect for families. The sea here is calm with small waves, exceptional for swimming. This is a beach you could spend all day at.

CALO BLANC

Only a short 'around the croner' drive from Binibeca Vell, this could be the worlds tiniest beach but it packs a massive punch in tranquility. Park up directly opposite the beach and walk down a steep pathway and natural steps in the cliff (unsuitable for buggies) to get to this secluded beach. The beach is probably only 3 metres wide so there is little space for sunbathing but you can lay down your towel if you get there early enough, ideally before 10am to catch the best spots. Remember a cool box of supplies as this beach has no shops. 

CALA EN TURQUETA

In the north-west of the island you'll find this medium sized beach, situated as many of the best beaches, in a national park. You can not park close to the beach, however there is a large carpark 15 minutes walk from the beach, which has simple facilities such as refreshments, toilets and a shower. This is a scenic beach with turquoise water, ideal for snorkelling, swimming and just relaxing.

CIUTADELLA DE MENORCA

If beach life is not your thing and prefer the history, culture and familiarity of a city, then head to Ciutadella. Centred around the Cathedral de Santa Maria you'll find shopping, eating and drinking here to be major attractions. Spend time sight-seeing around this city and you'll be able to view some amazing historical buildings in this old city.

The Solution to Men’s Sizing Issues

How infuriating is it when you have been clothes shopping to find that you are actually a size small in one brand, a size medium in another and even a large on the odd occasion? Well that example is actually me. How can I span from a size small to large…I just don’t get it. Well there is now a solution to this problem in the form of an app which helps you with these odd sizing issues and it’s called EyeFitU. EyeFitU was developed to address the lack of uniformity in fashion, one which I’m supporting via their #OneSizeFitsNone campaign.

I feel that I’m quite a typical shopper in this modern age, spreading my time between shopping online and shopping on the high street with an emphasis on wanting to shop as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Take my typical online shopping experience. I’ll open about 10 internet browser tabs, one for each of my favourite brands, browsing their collections trying to find an outfit or outfits in the shortest possible time. What tends to happen is I’ll end up with about 30 tabs open with all sorts of items of clothing that I love. I’ll then have a coffee, come back to it and close those tabs that I don’t actually want. Finally I’m at the point where I have a few items from different online fashion retailers and it is time to choose sizes and checkout, which is when things get tricky.

Do I…

Order everything in a small, medium and large to ensure I will get the correct size? Probably not; Just refer back to my second paragraph, where I like shopping to be quick and easy. I’m not a big fan of ordering every size because when it comes to the returns you’ll be stuck in a ridiculously busy post office sending back a big box of clothing – not a very efficient use of time in my eyes. There is another issue with buying every size and that’s financial. I mean who has the money to buy every size and you might get the refund weeks later, by that time I’ve already maxed out my overdraft and incurred penalty fees. No thanks.

Do I…

Read through each brands size guide and try to figure out exactly what size is best for me from each different fashion retailer that I’m buying from. I mean, I could do this, but that’s a massive time killer and again refer to paragraph 2. No thanks.

Do I…

Guess. Actually this is normally what I do. If I’ve had a big fry-up for breakfast that morning, I might psychologically choose a larger size than if I have had a handful of chia and pumpkin seeds!

I don’t fair much better when shopping on the high street if I’m honest. Walking from shop to shop in a fast paced, almost jog, weaving in and out of the annoying slow walkers as I’ve always got something more important to do. I’ll then hit a few shops, pick out clothes and try them on for size right? Wrong! Who else checks sizing by just holding the clothing (still on the hanger) up to their body…1,2,3,4, okay most of us! I’ll then get home and realise  that nothing fits.

If you watched my Instagram Stories yesterday, you would have seen my EyeFitU challenge, which was to find a holiday outfit using high street stores in 20 minutes and then using their app in 20 minutes. Here are my findings:

Firstly I started my journey off at Covent Garden tube station in London, set my timer for 20 minutes and away I went, briskly walking towards COS. On a busy afternoon a couple of minutes were lost already just getting to the shop. With time to make up, I found that when browsing items even in the same store the sizing between shirts & t-shirts can vary and with my stopwatch ticking there was no time to try anything on. At this point I’m doing my usual guessing sizes or buying way too much to make up for it. 12 minutes in and I have visited one retailer, then, typical there is a queue at the checkouts, not a massive queue but still took another 4 minutes of my allotted 20 to queue, pay and pack my items. With a few minutes left, I headed over to Reiss, which I browsed a few items before the 20 minutes was up…boy that went quick!

My 20 minutes using the EyeFitU app started as I entered a local coffee shop, ordered a coffee and sat down a little perspired from my 20 minute high street challenge! Time to open the app and get shopping. Please note that I already downloaded the app and inputted my measurements prior to this challenge. The first thing I did was to select my favourite few brands in the app so when searching for an outfit, these brands would show up in my search list first. From that moment on, in-between sipping my flat white coffee and feeling pretty relaxed, I just browsed quickly and easily, using the ‘My Size’ filter which just shows you products in your exact size. Within minutes I had chosen a perfect holiday outfit, gone through the checkout process and even had time to order an extra chocolate croissant.

You’ll see that in my high street outfit there is no-cohesion in the styling and the sizing was actually wrong too, out of 3 pieces, 2 didn’t fit perfectly. However with the EyeFitU outfit, the styling is much better as shopping using the EyeFitU app I didn’t have to worry about selecting the right size (as the app does that for you), I had more time to concentrate on the style choices and outfit as a whole.

EyeFitU is the perfect solution to these everyday daily shopping struggles, which you can use for referencing to get the perfect size for you across multiple fashion retailers. Or you can even shop directly from the EyeFitU app making the whole process even more seamless, time saving and stress-free. EyeFitU matches users’ profiles and measurements with the brands own size charts so shoppers can be sure of always getting the right fit.

 

Download the EyeFitU App here, free to download on iOS and Android.

Photography by Ella H

*This post was created in collaboration with EyeFitU*

Best London Rooftop Bars: Suntory Whisky Cocktails at ROKA Summer Roof Terrace

If you are looking for the perfect after work, summer roof terrace bar in the heart of Canary Wharf, then look no further than that of ROKA. Start the night at the restaurant where you'll be served some of the best contemporary Japanese robatayaki cuisine in London, then head up to the Japanese garden inspired roof terrace and sample 3 fantastic cocktails mixed using Suntory Chita single grain whisky.

Officially launching to the public on 9th June, guests will be transported to a Japanese garden adorned with hanging installations. The terrace will also celebrate the launch of The Chita Single Grain Whisky. With Chita’s official launch in the UK set for July, the ROKA Canary Wharf terrace which opened this June has an exclusive opportunity for guests to experience the smooth notes of this unique single grain whisky ahead of anyone else.

Emulating a sense of calm and tranquillity similar to that of the Chita Peninsula, the terrace at ROKA Canary Wharf is the perfect location to showcase Chita, a whisky which embodies the serenity of Japanese Whisky. The terrace will feature a menu of three bespoke Chita cocktails, perfectly refreshing for the summer months.

Here are the 3 cocktails created:

Chita Cooler, Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky, mango, yuzu, basil, lime foam (£13.90)

Chita Cooler, Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky, mango, yuzu, basil, lime foam (£13.90)

Tokai Highball, Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky, coconut, cherry leaf tincture, sweet cornshoot, soda (£12.90)

Tokai Highball, Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky, coconut, cherry leaf tincture, sweet cornshoot, soda (£12.90)

Red Gold Hook, Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky, plum sake, red vermouth, saffron distillate,umeboshi (£13.90)

Red Gold Hook, Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky, plum sake, red vermouth, saffron distillate,umeboshi (£13.90)

The pop-up terrace will open daily from 12pm – 12am Monday to Friday and 6pm – 12pm Saturdays. Bar food will be available throughout the pop-up from ROKA’s esteemed kitchen, served from 12pm-3pm and 5:30pm -11pm Monday – Friday and 6pm – 11pm on Saturdays. The terrace will close on 5th September.

Make a reservation here

Stylish Athleisure for Men

I find myself wearing fitness gear more and more these days, maybe I'm just getting lazy in my old age or fitness, gym or athleisure clothing has finally become trending amongst those who live a busy life. Of course, it's the latter...with brands like Under Armour, Adidas and BAA Clothing leading the way in stylish sports wear, which you can wear to the gym as well as during everyday life. 

All 3 of the brands mentioned above offer something slightly different. For example if I'm looking for a well fitted, but not overly fitted running top, gym t-shirt or plain sports socks, I'll go straight to Under Armour. If it's comfortable and stylish running trainers I'm after, for me Adidas create the best value in terms to tech, style, comfort and price, their track/trail range is exceptionally good. If it's clean lines, trendy, athleisure I'm after then I'll always shop at BAA Clothing. Their fit is perfectly tapered, especially the zipped hooded sweatshirt and joggers. Combine all 3 and you have yourself a winning combination.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Ella H

The Stylish Travel Guide To Pine Cliffs Resort | Algarve, Portugal

Flying over the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa at 1000 feet as we cruise in to land at Faro airport I can't help noticing that the landscape has a resemblance of a beautiful archipelago full of wildlife. A good sign of things to come on my short break to Pine Cliffs Hotel, Resort & Spa which is located just outside of Albufeira on the Argarve in southern Portugal. I have a saying when choosing locations around the world to travel to which is "if it's good enough for dolphins then it's good enough for me". Okay so I may have just made that up about 10 seconds ago but it rings true on this occasion as on the first day during sunrise (which is about 06:30 in June) I headed to the beach where a number of people spotted a pod of dolphins in the shallow waters.

The Pine Cliffs Hotel as you can see by the first image below is a 5-star hotel, but it is so much more than that, it's a resort, a golf course, a spa, a lifestyle and an experience. Suitable for families, couples, singletons, sun worshipers, golfers and well pretty much anyone in-between due to the variety of amenities and sprawling grounds that the resort is situated on. 

On arrival you are greeted by the most friendly, experienced hotel staff and it's immediately clear to see how and why this incredible resort has won so many prestigious awards over the last few years. Despite its size, the Pine Cliffs Resort is considered as a hidden-gem because it is away from the hustle and tourist trap of central Albufeira whilst situated along a picturesque, tranquil pine cliff and soft, quiet beach front. Take me back now....please!

You can fly to Faro airport cheaply from the UK with Monarch Airways, British Airways, Iberia or Vueling, I personally flew from London Gatwick to Faro on a return flight with Monarch costing as little as £120 *hand baggage only, checked baggage was extra ££. Once at Faro airport, you can grab a taxi or pre-order a pickup service from the Pine Cliffs Resort...which ever you choose it is only a 30 minute journey from airport to resort making it a fantastic choice for those with children. If it's a villa you are after for a larger group such as your friends or family? You can check out the latest offers at Oliver's Travels Oliver’s Travels, luxury holidays specialists.

Are you a sports person? Is it golf that you are in to? The gym or even an early morning run along the beach? The Pine Cliffs Resort caters for you with a state of the art gymnasium, various swimming pools and a private beach, perfect for a run, which is only a short 5 minutes walk, down an escalator and along a wooden walkway. The golf course is a perfectly maintained 9-holes which features an epic par 3, 6th hole which you have to drive 197 metres over an out-of-bounds ravine in the cliffs to land on a small, narrow green. Good luck with that...remember to take an extra few golf balls if you are prone to 'shanking it' off the tee! If it's golf or tennis coaching you are after, speak to the resort and they can arrange this for you. 

If you go away for the sunny weather and like to relax, just choose a sunbed next to one of the swimming pools to soak up the sun or under a palm tree, in the shade whilst reading a book. 

When packing for a holiday abroad I always plan my outfits for the day and evening, with, of course an extra few items if I change my mind whilst out there. I love to wear a pair of tailored shorts, crisp white shirt and comfortable, airy, slip-on shoes which you can wear with no socks. An outfit that will suit going out for early cocktails during sunset through to dinner and even drinks in the late evening/early morning at the bar. So my first outfit is my day-to-night style and I'm wearing a white grandad shirt from Mr Porter, grey tailored shorts from Reiss, brown shoes from Harrys of London, a watch from Rotary and finally my favourite retro inspired sunglasses from Finlay & Co (*see below to shop the look).

SHOP THE ABOVE OUTFIT

My room was on the 1st floor of the Pine Cliffs Hotel, quiet, large, light, airy and clean with everything you need in a hotel room except for an ironing board and iron. Which if needed just call down to reception or ask one of the cleaners dotted around the hallways (Translation of 'an iron please' in Portuguese is 'um ferro por favor') and they will bring one up to you.

The Pine Cliffs Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort is positioned on an orange sandstone clifftop location surrounded by aromatic pine woods over looking the Atlantic Ocean. The grounds sit within over 72 hectares and therefore requires a large number of diverse restaurants which suit the tastes of all of their guests. Eat at the Piri Piri restaurant which is one of the finest steak houses in southern Portugal; personally I would recommend the t-bone steak or tenderloin fillet. If it is freshly caught fish you are after, head over to O Pescador or if you prefer al fresco dining and a more relaxed atmosphere try Corda Café.

It was during a lunchtime meal that I found my favourite restaurant in the complex; a healthy wellbeing place called ZEST. Fresh interior design and outdoor tables was the perfect setting for a healthy light lunch *minus the wine! Their freshly pressed juices are a must and I would also recommend the quinoa bowl with shrimp, chicken and halloumi. 

Of course I'm saving the best until last, this incredible on-site, luxurious, brand new Serenity Spa, offering the worlds best spa treatments and products such as Gentlemen's Tonic. Focusing on 'The Art of Well Being' the Serenity spa offers its guests personalised experiences to relax, treat and revitalise you.

During my first (of many) visits to the Serenity Spa, I booked in a 50 minute 'The Duet' treatment which consisted of a combination of a deep tissue massage and an express facial. The massage treatment tables were incredibly comfortable, to the point where I feel asleep on numerous occasions throughout my treatment. The beauty technicians where knowledgable, professional and exceptionally good at massages.

The Serenity Spa is much more than just treatments, they have invested heavily in state-of-the-art facilities which can be found in the Thermal Oasis, a sanctuary of relaxation and rejuvenation. 

Not enough? Then maybe the Aurum Suite is for you, designed to spoil and lavish guests in a privately hired room decorated in an opulent gold bullion designed interior. Pamper yourself and your private guests with your very own steam room, sauna, jacuzzi, double treatment room and lounge area. Heighten the experience, go all-out and celebrate a special day with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. 

The Serenity Spa has travelled the world looking for the highest quality products and best brands of which the menswear grooming brand Gentlemen's Tonic is stocked exclusive in Portugal to the Pine Cliffs Resort. As an extension to the Serenity Spa, head up one flight of stairs and along a bit and you'll find a hair salon complete with a barbering chair, perfect for a gentlemen's wet shave. 

The guys here can not do more for you, you'll get a relaxed barbering experience straight from Mayfair to the Algarve. If it's a full on beard trim, wet shave, haircut or hot-towel facial; this is the place to be.

Of course what holiday would be complete without a final 'let's get dressed up for a big night out' night. Cocktails at sunset followed by a 3-course meal and some drinks afterwards. So my outfit for this occasion is styled for warm sunset temperatures followed by the cool Atlantic breeze that you get in the Algarve, late into the evening. 

Smart, formal is my preference, lightweight, breathable fabrics in a neutral summer palette, I've come up with this look, styled for evening wear. The trousers and blazer are both from Reiss, whereas the 100% cotton, super soft luxury shirt is from my very own Hawkins & Shepherd, the shoes are Harrys of London, the watch is Rotary and the sunglasses are the Brunswick design from Finlay & Co.

SHOP THE ABOVE OUTFIT

A very special thanks to.
The Pine Cliffs Resort, Serenity Spa, Gentlemen's Tonic and The Brandman Agency.

And also to my fellow friends, editors, photographers, travel bloggers and journalists.
Carl Cunard, Toni Tran and Patrick McAleenan.

Photography either by myself (using an Olympus Pen EPL7) or Toni Tran aka Fashitect (using a Canon 5D MarkIII). 

Videography filmed & edited by myself using a DJI Mavic Pro Drone for the aerial footage.

My Eyewear Style Edit

Accessorising an outfit has always been a way of adding extra personality and can be done perfectly by selecting a pair of stylish frames from David Clulow opticians. These incredible, tortoiseshell coloured eyewear are from Oliver Peoples latest collection and are extremely versatile. There are so many decisions that you need to make when choosing the perfect glasses for yourself and it can be very overwhelming. Different face shapes suit certain frame shapes, large frames, small frames, do they fit correctly on your nose etc are amongst some of the most common questions asked. Often it is good to bring a friend along when choosing the right glasses for you or of course you can always go into David Clulow opticians and discuss everything with one of their style experts.

The glasses style experts at David Clulow will be able to give you expert advise to make absolute sure that you choose the perfect pair or pairs. Personally when choosing glasses or sunglasses for that matter, I also look at my style of clothing and what palettes I like to wear most. Also when will I wear these glasses? For work, watching TV, going out or a utility pair? All these questions need to be answered. If I'm buying a pair for work, I would want a solid colour such a black frame which would work well with any coloured suit. Whereas, my indoors pair would have to be more flexible and light in weight. Finally a going-out pair would be where I choose something a bit more risky, a bit more stylish to stand out from the crowd.

This outfit of the day is focusing on mixing tan tones with black and therefore I've accessorised perfectly with my Oliver People glasses and Harrys of London tan sneakers. If you imagined this outfit with a pair of green or red framed glasses, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work as well. So getting the right pair of glasses for your own personal style is something you should take time to get right. 

Recently I collaborated on a 'day in the life of' type video with David Clulow. So make sure you head over to their website (link below) to watch the video and read my full interview discussing eyewear and style.

CLICK HERE

 

More styles available in-store, use their store finder to find the closest one to you.

 

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Photography by Ella H

*This post was created in collaboration with David Clulow*

Introducing the Men's Athleisure Sportswear Range by BAA Clothing

Athleisure is a massive growth area in men's fashion right now, with major brands bringing out complete ranges based on this lifestyle choice. As a man who wears a lot of sportswear, we are still a long way off the women's fashion led sportswear in terms of design options, but with brands like BAA Clothing launching new ranges, we now have a lot more choice when wanting to look great in the gym to coffee shop.

BAA Clothing are a startup focusing on a subtle black and grey palette for men and women - it's clothing based on clean lines and great tailoring. The clothing was delivered quickly when purchased online and packaged in a luxury box which resonates with the brands clothing which is clearly tailored using amazing comfortable fabrics.

Shout, and you’ll be heard. Whisper, and you’ve captured their attention.
— BAA Clothing

In this look I've kept things in keeping with the BAA Clothing style, dark, mysterious and casual. I'm wearing their zip t-shirt, layered underneath their zip-through hooded sweatshirt. My final piece of BAA Clothing piece is their padded sweatpants. Their clothing is very fitted, using fabrics that stretch and mold to your body shape so if you are in-between sizes, choose the larger option. I'm wearing medium. To finish off this look, I'm wearing Under Armour white sports socks, Adidas trail running trainers and a black strapped Rotary watch.

As always, if you like it shop it below.  

 

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Photography by Ella H

Barnsley House | A Country Hotel & Spa | The Cotswolds

If you follow me on Instagram, last week you would have been inundated with stories of my trip away to Barnsley House in The Cotswolds. A beautiful hotel and spa retreat in the British countryside. So far this year for me it has basically been just a lot of working and sticking around London. So I organised a lovely weekend away to Barnsley House as I just really needed to get away, relax and take some time out. Barnsley in the Cotswolds is only a 2 hour drive from London and it feels like you are in a different, mystical world...a truly relaxing place.

Barnsley House is an incredible, romantic place which would have been amazing to have someone to have shared the experience with but on this occasion I went alone. I've backpacked around Asia and South America alone in the past, so having a few days out alone in the UK was not all that bad. In fact it gave me time to think about work, life, friends and family but most importantly dating and what I want in a relationship and my future life in general. At 36 and single, I'm always looking for that perfect relationship that is just easy and progresses naturally without having to continuously fight for it. One that you laugh all the time, you have loads in common, you get the best out of each other, your friends love her, you wake up thinking about her, you go to bed thinking about her and someone who you want to share everything with, completely open up and let them into your life, heart and soul. I actually thought I found that a couple of times in the last few years but ultimately hasn't quite worked out as planned but I'm not giving up! I also had a lot of time to think about how I'm going to improve on my menswear business Hawkins & Shepherd, so I've got some really exciting plans for the next few months, leading into AW17 starting with a new website design and new shirt designs.

On my arrival at Barnsley House, I was greeted by friendly staff who showed me to my room, which was actually a little house. I stayed in number 19, which was a split level house comprising of a jacuzzi bath on the upper mezzanine. The room was extremely spacious with everything you would ever need during a short break away. The hotel even allows dogs in certain rooms, which I only found out whilst I was there - which is a shame as Charlie (my French Bulldog) would have loved running around in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. 

The spa has a comprehensive list of treatments both for men and women as well as the usual spa facilities such as a sauna, steam room, relaxation room and heated hydrotherapy outdoor pool. 

Eating at Barnsley House is fantastic, dine in the restaurant or order room service if you want a cosy night in. Failing that, walk 2 minutes down the road the 'The Village Pub' and enjoy some Great British gastro pub grub. 

Hyundai Tucson Premium SE 2017 Independent Review | Carl Thompson

I have been a major car fanatic all of my life and growing up near Brands Hatch in Kent only fuelled my petrol loving instincts. So when I was old enough to join my father working at one of the most incredible, historical and technical race tracks in the UK, I jumped at the chance. Although Brands Hatch no longer hosts the Formula 1 it certainly has history as a great race track, just look back at 1976 Lauda V Hunt British Grand Prix which was drama packed and after the race finished had my favourite F1 driver interviews by James Hunt. In fact for those of you who haven't watched that race, here are the highlights below.

Yes chatting about F1 is a strange way to start a review of a compact SUV but for some reason writing this review brought back a lot of different driving memories from the past years. My last car was a Lotus Exige S2, so it was certainly a step up in height jumping into this compact SUV, the Hyundai Tucson Premium SE. The first thing that I did was test out how spacious this compact SUV vehicle is and I would normally expect the back seats to be a little on the crammed side. Well that is rubbish, in fact the front seats are armchair spacious, then with the front seats pushed back as far as a six foot man would have them - I then jumped into the back to see what it would be like on long journeys for the passengers. Unlike an other compact SUV I recently drove, the Hyundai Tucson was much more spacious, I think this is because they have kept things simple in the back as well as the back seats being able to recline, making for a more comfortable ride. 

However this car is far from basic and safe, the designers have jam packed in a medley of techie 'things' and the exterior design is bold, merging sharp edges with illustrious curves which certainly turns heads. 

Under the bonnet the Hyundai Tucson Premium SE (their top spec version) has a 2.0 CRDi 185PS (PS is a term used for power output) engine, 6 speed automatic or manual transmission delivering a 0-62mph result in 9.5 seconds. As a result of this the fuel consumption and emissions are a combined mpg of 43.5, CO2 emissions (g/km) of 170 and a VED band of H. Personally I test drove the automatic transmission which gave power on demand with a very small amount of delay or drag. I was impressed with the low revs when easing the SUV down the rolling hills of the Cotswolds and equally the immediate power given on the steep climbs - I suspect there is some very clever onboard software managing the engine components.

The 2.0 Tucson Premium SE comes with 19" striking alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, chrome effect radiator grille, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light and a twin exhaust finisher giving it a mean, angry sports finish. 

The interior is exactly what I like, it's trying hard but not too hard, it concentrate on what matters. A soft leather finish, electrical front seat adjustment, heated front seats (with a convenient button to sync up the drivers with the passengers seat temperatures) as well as lumbar support for the driver...well it is his/her car after all!

The Premium SE edition has some of the advanced, useful technology on offer to help your everyday needs. Including parking assistant which has front, back and side sensors including steering assist if you require a little help parking. The 'Smart Electric Tailgate' allows the boot to open automatically if your hands are full of shopping - just stand in the rear detection area with your smart key for 3 seconds and the boot will open automatically...smart. Heated seats are nothing new, but these also have the added ventilation for cooling air flow.  

Finally and most importantly safety are at the forefront of most choices when picking a new motor vehicle and the Hyundai Tucson has this category absolutely nailed. The Tucson is packed with advanced technologies that are simply passively waiting to help as well as actively monitoring driving conditions. Just to name a few the Tucson Premium SE model has autonomous emergency braking (AED), blind spot detection system (BSD), downhill brake control (DBC), hill-start assist control (HAC) and advanced traction cornering control (ATCC) which directs torque to the wheels with the most grip (torque vectoring), ATCC enhances cornering performance and safety of 4WD models. It also actively applies measured braking to the inside rear wheel.

Prices range from £19,705 | For the Premium SE Model I reviewed here it is £33,715 | Colour of the car in the images is Stargazing Blue | This is a honest review where all views are of Carl Thompson.

The photos in this review where taken during an amazing trip away to the beautiful, picturesque Barnsley House country retreat and spa in the Cotswolds.

 

DRONE FOOTAGE OF MY TEST DRIVE BELOW

Casual Sports Tailoring | Suits with Trainers

Casual tailoring is a type of men's style that seems to be more tolerated in terms of a style choice these days. Traditionally, I would turn my nose up at wearing a suit with trainers. Even wearing gym trainers with your suit when hitting the gym prior to work was a little too much of a fashion faux pas for my traditional sartorial sense of style. Well times are changing slightly and mixing casual clothing such as a t-shirt or trainers with formal suits is becoming quite mainstream with NEXT menswear running collections dedicated to the design or styling of 'modern tailoring' or 'sports tailoring' as you may also hear it referred to.

I personally don't see this style breaching the strict dress codes of some of the larger FTSE100 or 250 companies in the heart of London...by this I mean the big banks, insurance, accountants etc. Bigger companies tend to be less lenient on breaches to their dress code 'give an inch, take a mile' springs to mind. As a 36 year old man who prior to working in the fashion industry used to work in a corporate office, I loved to dress smart or formal. Not only do you feel a sense of power, a sense of style, a sense of tradition, it also is quite easy to dress formal as you are not having to think so much about high-street fashion. Wearing suits is very much about colour or pattern combinations, get this right and you'll look great regardless on the cut and cost of your suit.

However there is a place for this type of mixing casual with formal style and I'm seeing it appear more for going out, when a suit is too much yet a blazer is perfect. I'm seeing this style be very much a spring/summer look, where the design of the blazer is tapered and the trousers are either draw-string or tailored as cropped which allows for the wearer to opt for no socks and trainers or a more casual shoe choice. 

In my outfit choice of the day, I've styled my look based on what I'm doing throughout the day. During this day I had a few meetings dotted around London, so I was walking between them, jumping on an off trains as well as having a press event in the evening at one of London's coolest rooftop bars. Firstly and most importantly, I needed to wear my most luxurious, comfortable trainers (or sneakers). There was really only one brand that comes to mind and that is Harrys of London whose shoes and trainers are at the forefront of design and only use exceptional, luxurious materials. It's this level of comfort I needed when wearing no socks and doing a lot of walking on a day where the weather is in the mid 20's. These sneakers are handmade in Italy and part of their 'Mr Jones' collection, which are designed to look just as good with tailored trousers as well as a pair of jeans. The Mr Jones offers unrivalled comfort and practicality in the form of the Harrys of London new non-skid Vibram® Wave rubber sole. Being a warm day, I then wanted to wear a lightweight suit with a roomy t-shirt, it really was just a comfort choice. When walking around, I could just take off the blazer; put it back on and I'll still look smart, casual and stylish for my event in the evening.

So as always, if you like it, shop it using the picture links below:

 

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Photography by Ella H

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Deep Clean Review

Being a fashion blogger and in front of camera pretty much every single day makes you much more conscious of your teeth and smile, which is why I was extremely excited to be reviewing this Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Deep Clean electric toothbrush. To complete my independent review of this electric toothbrush I’m going to visit a dental hygienist before I start using the Philips Sonicare to get a report on how my dental care is prior to using the product. I’ll then use the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Deep Clean electric toothbrush for 21 days before heading back to the dental hygienist for a final comparison report.

I headed out to see multi award nominated dental hygienist and a Philips key opinion leader, Anna Middleton aka London Hygienist at the award winning Chelsea Dental Clinic for my pre dental check-up and to collect my new electric toothbrush, so I’m in very good hands!

My Pre Dental Hygienist Report

During my initial assessment the health of my gums were checked as well as my current oral hygiene routine assessed. The areas where I had plaque and bleeding were recorded which were mainly around my back teeth, my molars and along the gum line which is a common area often missed when brushing. As well as this I had plaque that had over time become hard. This is known as calculus on my lower front teeth with some staining. Anna removed this for me so I was then able to keep that area clean with my new routine. 

The residual plaque when left over time causes inflammation of the gums known as gingivitis and this is where the bleeding comes from. I had some bleeding around my back teeth and in between some of the teeth. Brushing only cleans 60-65% of the tooth surfaces so it's important to clean in between the teeth either with floss or little brushes and after a few days the bleeding eventually will stop and you should expect to see a full recovery in 2 weeks (usually between 4-7 days everything stops). 

A particular thing for me is the recession of the gums I have on my back teeth. This was most likely caused by previous aggressive over brushing with a manual toothbrush causing permanent and irreversible damage from scrubbing at the gums. Now while you can't get the gums back in those areas, by changing to an electric toothbrush you are preventing the risk/damage of over brushing. The brush is designed to be gentle and if you press too hard the pressure stops the brush bristles.

About the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Deep Clean Electric Toothbrush

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Deep Clean electric toothbrush comes in 4 different colours which are white, black, pink and rose gold. The DiamondClean Deep Clean toothbrush has a sonic brush head which vibrates at various speeds to give an exceptional clean. The AdaptiveClean brush head, cleans the hard-to-reach spots with ease. Its soft, flexible sides means you can glide the brush head around your teeth without having to worry about doing damage to your gums. To switch on this electric toothbrush simply press the power button, which you can press again to toggle through the brushing modes such as clean (everyday clean), white (removes surface stains to whiten), sensitive (gentle teeth and gums cleaning), gum care (gently massages gums) and deep clean (for an invigorating deep clean). The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Deep Clean offers a massive 3 weeks of battery life as well as a handy illuminated battery icon to display if the battery is full, low or empty and needs re-charging. The brush also comes with a sleek and stylish carry case which also doubles up as a charging case which you can charge using a USB cable or via a standard wall plug.

Prior to using the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Deep Clean electric toothbrush, I used to use an oscillating brush head model, which of course is better than using a manual toothbrush. However during my first experience of my new sonic brush head, I could feel the positive difference immediately within the first seconds of brushing. It left me with a #SonicareFeeling which lasted throughout the day. But what is the #SonicareFeeling? Well for me it’s that fresh smooth feeling you get on the surface and in-between your teeth thatyou only normally get when a dental professional has just cleaned and polished your teeth. It’s when you have used a toothbrush that you can physically feel a positive difference and finally for me the #SonicareFeeling is about being more confident, smiling and inflicting positivity throughout the day to those around you.

The vibrations that the sonic head gives are more intense and sharp, which when I first used it was a little bit tickly but about 5-10 seconds your mouth totally gets used to the new vibrations.

Rotary/Oscillating heads are small and round, rotating in one direction and then the other, one tooth at a time to sweep plaque away. Often these heads pulsate too.

Sonic heads vibrate at certain high speeds and frequencies to break down plaque as well as agitate the toothpaste and fluid in the mouth to clean between teeth and along the gum line.

My Post Dental Hygienist Report

In my follow up appointment there was no noted areas of residual plaque or bleeding where I previously had, especially the build up on the lower front teeth. Proof  that my new dental care using the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Deep Clean routine is a winning one! 

In terms of the technique you should use when brushing: key things to remember are always let the brush do all the work. Place the head half on the tooth and half on the gum with an angle the bristles at a 45-degree angle down (for the lowers) and up (for the top teeth). Slowly work your way around the mouth in a systematic path, totalling 2minutes, twice a day, morning and night. 

 

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This post was created in collaboration with Philips

4 Ways to Dress Smart or for Occasions

I'm so proud to reveal my collaboration with French Connection for Spring/Summer 2017. I was challenged to shop in the French Connection store on Oxford Street, London to style 4 completely different looks that I would class as smart or occasion wear. Well here they are, all styled with only 10 pieces of French Connection clothing to give you in insight in how you can use a piece of menswear such as a shirt and style it in a completely different way, yet still looking your sartorial best.

 

LOOK 1

LOOK 2

LOOK 3

LOOK 4

Photography by Rebecca Spencer