Manual.co | Skin Care Review and Men's Health Tips

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Today I'm going to introduce you to a brand called Manual.Co, a company that actively promotes awareness for Men's Health. They've forwarded on some products for review so we'll take a look at that, some surrounding themes and Men's Health facts. 

Manual.Co have a mandate! They look empower men with solutions and provide education to proactively own their well-being.

When it comes to the face we have to our skin we sometimes forget that the human organ accounts for 15% of our body weight. It's the largest organ on the body and it's nuts to even think that we're encased in an organ right? 

The Manual.Co Skin Kit stars Mr Moisturiser - 100 ml and a Wrinkle Warrior - 50 ml.

A note on the website also. It's very easy to navigate, some compelling articles that will teach you about skin care. There are plenty of articles on Men's Health Online but this is definitely one to book mark.

THE SCIENCE IN THE PRODUCTS

The Wrinkle Warrior is composed from Coenzyme Q10. Never heard of this? Me neither. It's a compound that regenerates the skin’s energy and protects it against premature ageing.

MORE SCIENCE

Mr Moisturiser contains natural biopolymers. For personal care products biopolymers offer many functional benefits. More on those benefits here. How about we talk about the products?

THEY FEEL GOOD ON THE SKIN

The packaging is solid, sleek minimalist, un-fussed. My face does get rejuvenated in the morning and I like the overall style and ethos of the brand. 

Other Mens Health Forums: I want to give a shout out to my friend and comrade Darren Branch who has just released his website and this Vlog on the highs and lows of social media. 

I've also written a lot of content around Men's Health, a big one you should dive into is on the research I did on how to manage stress

Simple Solution for Dandruff & Flaky Scalp | T/Gel by NEUTROGENA®

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Today I'm going to talk about T/Gel by NEUTROGENA®, Simple Solution for Dandruff & Flaky Scalp. 

As an ambassador for NEUTROGENA® I'm very keen to bring some of their grooming products to the forefront and explain the benefits. 

I'm lucky enough to never have suffered dandruff, but I've suffered a dry scalp from time to time.

T/Gel by NEUTROGENA® combats the dryness and relieves itchiness. 

I've done some research this morning and have learnt several new things. People can feel massively insecure about having dandruff. It plagues people’s confidence and even if treated, they're constantly living with the worry of it returning. 

One reviewer spoke of her trouble with psoriasis and dermatitis. Not only did she apply the T/Gel by NEUTROGENA to her scalp like an ordinary shampoo, but to other areas of her skin that were dry and flaky. 

To do this you shake the bottle and rub a small amount into the areas affected This sinks into your skin like a lotion. 

For hard to reach places, sensitive areas, apply some to a cue tip or ear bud and lather in. Leave overnight if possible and continue the treatment for a month for optimum results. 

My personal review on T/Gel by NEUTROGENA®

The shampoo lathers up really well in your hair. Always a plus for me. They say to use twice a week if you're having problems with a dry scalp. 

I personally only need to really hydrate my scalp say once a week. The smell is quite medicinal and people have mentioned that it's too potent. I found it lingers for a few hours in the morning but I quite like the smell. Tea-tree oil mainly. 

Remember it's a therapeutic shampoo, which includes anti-fungal properties that can help manage dandruff. If it has a medicinal smell then there is a greater chance that it's doing its job. 

Rinse away after shampooing and give your scalp a chance to breath before applying any other products. 

At the time of writing the T/Gel by NEUTROGENA® has over 60 reviews on Amazon at a rating of 4.2/5. 

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American Crew Matte Clay Review | Hair Products for Men

American Crew, the official supplier to men, introduces new matte clay the latest addition to the brands clay family. This was a product that felt like it was ergonomically designed for my hair length. Sometimes I can get a bit overwhelmed with the amount of hair products on the market, so knowing this one designed for shorter to medium length hair, with workable hold, got me really excited.

About American Crew

The American Crew family of grooming products delivers everything needed to create and care for men’s styles including products in the hair body shave style and fragrance categories. 

The American Crew Matte Clay is presented in a cylindrical vase, with the signature American Crew burnt orange label and branding logos. 

How to use Matte Clay

Let's dial it back a notch and first ensure we're applying the clay correctly. 

Dip your finger and grab a healthy pea-size amount, work with slightly damp hands before you apply it to your hair so the clay can distribute evenly. 

The clay is a creamy texture, like putty. For my money you should always go for a matte finish. Be sure to prep the hair before application.

I simply gave my hair a quick wash, towel dried and then shot the hair drier around the roots for about 30 seconds. 

When using the American Crew Matte Clay be sure to warm the product up by rubbing around your palms for a short spell. 20 seconds should do it. This heats the clay ensuring there are no lumps or bumps. The clay can then be distributed evenly through your hair. 

Depending on your hair style, you can now blow-dry your hair again on a cold heat to create your perfect finish or alternatively use your fingers to complete the style.

The Result Carl?

I was really impressed. Firstly, I felt the clay could really work with my coarse hair. It has a workability, it can fix to a decent finish with the required matte finish. 

Whilst other products in this field that I've tried make the hold effort-FULL, this felt like it delivered a shape that was effort-LESS. (Thanks, that's why I get the big bucks).

Ideal if.. 

So simply look at my pictures. If you have medium-short, coarse hair like mine that needs a bit of engineering, then this is certainly worth a try. If you're typically used to a more hardened wax and get a bit tired of the constant maintenance. This American Crew Matte Clay could be a more manageable everyday alternative. 

The Matte Clay is available at selected retailers nationwide at £15.20

Key Features: 

Matte finish. High Style. Build-able mouldable texture. Increased volume with a workable medium hold. Ideal for short to medium length. 

 

 

American Crew Introduce ACUMEN | Premium Men's Grooming Products

It's not every day you get to meet a legend. But it's been something of a 'meet the legend week' for me so far. Check out my blog post about my night at the GQ Awards, but for now let me talk about meeting David Ruccuglia, the founder of American Crew! 

One of the most charismatic, unassuming, yet at the same time wildly fascinating and gregarious souls I've yet to encounter. David started American Crew mixing products in his house, playing a various assortment of fragrances and scents. The backstory reads like a Roald Dahl novel (Georges Marvellous Medicine reference there for you Millennials) and he struck gold when he went to Japan and chanced across a water based pomade that didn't exist back in the US. 

The US pomades long ago were very greasy and you commit to several washing to get the residue from your scalp. Not a pleasant experience. With this discovery David began his obsession with male grooming and launched his Brand American Crew in 1990. 

Since then American Crew's styling products have all centred around the expression of excellence and attaining masterful poise the American Crew acumen assembly of products was created with the successful man in mind.

Cue the music and the dry ice, tonight Matthew, I'm going to be Mr Success. (Rapturous applause). That at least was the inner dialogue as David snapped away. Can you believe he was taking pictures of me? The day couldn't get any more surreal. 

 

 

American Crew introduce ACUMEN

I'm already a huge proponent of American Crew grooming products, so was buoyed by the news of a new product launch; ACUMEN,  a line of scientifically formulated products with proprietary ingredients to fit a mans grooming needs, available exclusively in Selfridges

American Crew, the official supplier to men, is proud to announce the latest innovation in men's personal care.

'As the official supplier to men we hope to inspire men to groom with confidence each day,' said David. 'Acumen brings a level of sharpness, sophistication and aspiration to the skin care beard grooming and body care routine.'

Being the unyielding gatekeepers to Grooming tradition, the Acumen collection  of grooming and skincare products are formulated exclusively for men who have specific issues and needs due to their male hormone levels, oily skin, thick skin, large pores, sweating and the inevitable dreaded ageing. 

 

 

What's so different about Acumen? 

You might want to know a couple of the ingredients so I've sketched some down for you. The Acumen products contain both Vitamin B5 and E and are fused with superior performance hyaluronic acid, ginger root extract, bisabolol and cranberry extract to increase blood flow retain moisture fight free radicals. How do you like those apples?

In total there are 15 products in the range specifically engineered to fit a man’s tone texture and grooming needs designed as a regime of 4 steps covering shower, shave care and style. 

John Frieda London Men’s Grooming Products Reviewed

The eponymously titled John Frieda is a brand that started with the opening of a salon on New Cavendish Street, London over 3 decades ago. The man John Frieda is a British celebrity hairstylist and founder of the business, the hair product side that I’ll be reviewing today has since been acquired by Kao Corporation, a Japanese company. 

I will say that people should sit up and take note of how well the John Frieda website is put together. The reviews are very balanced, unlike the Harvey Nichols site which is very functional and easy to navigate, but offers little in terms of customer feedback. Still that's what us bloggers are here for right? So let's get to it. 

John Frieda Energising Shampoo

Where can I buy John Frieda London? Interestingly Boots have the monopoly on this. You can only buy this collection exclusively online at Boots or in selected stores. The Shampoo is designed to strengthen, invigorate and cleanse your scalp of all that dulled-product gunk that's been coagulating on your scalp since your teenage years. 

It does lather up well. When a product fails to lather in my palm I feel like marching back into the Boots store like Arnie at the end of Raw Deal. (Deep pull Carl, but go on). It has a nice lasting smell, like black tea, a tiny bit of citrus. It left a nice shine, I still needed to use the conditioner afterwards but I have quite coarse hair and I'm a creature of habit. £7.50, not bad at all.  

John Frieda Sculpting Paste

This one has cucumber in it. Known for its calming & hydrating properties, (eat that passion fruit). I want to knock passion fruit of its arrogant-prissy little perch. Passion fruit thinks just because it has a cool name it can put its name on anything. But not on my watch passion fruit, your days of ubiquity are numbered d'ya hear? 

Sorry, I digress. I wouldn't say my hair is unruly, but it is coarse and takes a bit of work to mold it to some kind of form. This product isn't as malleable as I'd hoped and it does give it too much shine. On the plus side it has a touch of splendour to it in the fragrance department. Smells a bit like passion fruit, wait! Dammit!

The Lifting Clay Creme

For less of a 20's gangster slick-sheen and more Le Blanc circa 90's matte finish, then this is the product for you. The smell is more muted than the paste and it does leave a nice textured finish. You'll need to go sparingly as it applies thickly, the tub should last you awhile if you've got reasonably short hair like me. 

There you go gents, did you like this one? Have you tried the John Frieda men’s products? Ladies if you're man is trying these grooming products what do you make of the smells? Let me know in the comment box below. 

 

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HOUSE 99 Male Grooming Products Created by David Beckham in Partnership with L'Oreal

HOUSE 99, is a complete collection of 21 grooming products created by David Beckham in partnership with L'Oreal.

'Lovely party, pity I wasn't invited'. Remember that from Ace Ventura? That would have been me watching every other blogger under the sun attend the launch of David Beckham's new grooming range House 99 on my social news reel if I wasn't invited, lucky I was! The launch was down in Knightsbridge earlier this month, but I didn't get time to trial the products on the night so I've decided to try out some of his new products over the last couple of weeks and create a more meaningful review.

What's with the name? 

The name 'House' is his idea of community and 99 is the year when he won the treble for Man United, got married, had a child (Brooklyn) and it also mirrors his philosophy that we can always do one better.

It's not a question of why has Beckham released a grooming range, more like why has it taken this long? When you think the male grooming industry was worth $50 billion in 2015 and has seen steady incremental increases since then. I know from personal experience that the grooming reviews and vlogs draw many people to my site. US online magazine Primer that writes about practical style and grooming advice for young men boasts numbers like 1.5m monthly page views. So there is an audience, has been for quite a while. It belies his seemingly omnipresent persona, but it could be a genuine case of Becks simply not having enough hours in the day to do everything. Why hasn't Becks played James Bond? Why hasn't Becks released a rap album? Why hasn't Becks saved the rainforest?

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So let’s get one with some product reviews. Up first:

Smooth Back Shaping Pomade £15 90ml,

According to Harvey Nichols this is a personal favourite for Beckham who cites 'there is no shine to speak of, which is important when you’re looking to get a natural look, and the hold is good. It’s very thick, so a little goes a long way.'

The packaging isn't as bad as other bloggers have made out. I saw quite an excoriating review by another blogger on the packaging and it's really surprised me. In my mind it's inoffensive, passable, risk averse. It's not as perfunctory as LQD or as lavish as L'Occitane, it's middle of the road, where it should be for this price point.

There is a slight scent but by no means invasive, very creamy to the touch and easy to apply. I got some good definition and as it's water based it was easy to wash out. However, after about 6-7 hours it ran out of puff and lost some of its lustre. It doesn't hold like a wax and a pomade won't, but it's something to note if you're thinking of going straight out after a day’s work.

Going Big Thickening Daily Shampoo 250ml

This shampoo is infused with styling polymers; designed to instantly purify and thicken hair. It has peppermint notes and comes out black (that's the charcoal) which is a funny colour for shampoo but gives the verisimilitude of containing something 'sciencey'. Truth is, and I hate to brag, but I have a lustrous head of hair, thus it's not a product that really speaks to me. I'd be interested to know why there isn't an accompanying conditioner with this also? Take two bottles in the shower? YES. DO! It makes sense, always has.

Bold Statement Tattoo Body Moisturiser 

David Beckham has 40 tattoos! One every year, where's he going to put them when he runs out of square footage? I've only used the Tattoo Body Moisturiser for a couple weeks and it's hard to tell if it's had any effect reviving any discolouration on my tattoos. I'll be honest and say it's imperceptible if it has, but it's a non-greasy formula, attacks the skin well and doesn't feel like I need to jump back in shower to get the residue off. It's a spray lotion, with SPF 30 so will protect you against the elements.

That’s it for now, if I get any more products from House 99 I’ll be sure to review them here. I’ll be interested to know if you have any thoughts, maybe you’ve tried a few. Let me know in the comment bar below.

Introducing the New Redken Brews Grooming for Men

It is fair to say that the male grooming category is booming at a faster rate than ever expected. Yet with new men's haircare and skincare ranges launching monthly, the competition is greater for the brands in that sector. As a consumer, this level of competition is a good thing as it means lower prices, better quality products and more money invested into developing unique new formulations. One of those new male grooming ranges launched is the new Redken Brews collection. 

The new Redken Brews grooming for men range is considered a one-stop-shop for men's care, as their range caters for all the man areas such as style, colour and skin. Redken Brews is a New York crafted and barber inspired range of 4 new hair cleansers for everyday use. 7 new styling solutions for everyday use including a hairspray. 2 new skincare solutions including a beard oil and shave cream. In addition, the Redken Brews range now includes Camo colour shades (available in 5 shades) for men. Camo is a no foil, no fuss five-minute colour service for men who want to camouflage greys, not colour. 

 

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David Beckham Launches House 99 Exclusive at Harvey Nichols

On the 31st January 2018 the day after announcing his Miami MLS Soccer team venture (football to us Brits), he flew into London to launch the men's grooming brand House 99 which is currently exclusive to Harvey Nichols. Attending the event was an extremely well groomed guest list. Alongside HOUSE 99 founder David Beckham, a multitude of celebrities, models and the best men's fashion, lifestyle and grooming Influencers and YouTubers attended the star-studded event. Including some of my friends including Gwilym Pugh, Craig McGinley, Rowan Row, Darren Kennedy, Ali Gordon, Ben Heath, Carl Cunard and many more of the ever expanding House 99 influencer community.

Guest made full use of a bar serving the best Haig Club Clubman cocktails including my personal favourites, the Haig Club Espresso Martini, Haig Club & Coke and Haig Club Whiskey Sour. On top of that their were skilled barbers on hand to offer expert advice while encouraging guests to step out of their comfort zone and try a new look.

Among the new products, guests discovered House 99 Seriously Groomed Hair & Beard Balm, Soft Touch Beard Oil and the already famous Bold Statement tattoo moisturiser. Taking over Project 109 within the Harvey Nichols menswear department, the event space was transformed to create a modern grooming parlour with specific references to London’s barbershop culture.

To celebrate the launch, Harvey Nichols has transformed its windows along Sloane Street as well as the corner windows on Knightsbridge for the House 99 brand. House 99 will also be available at all Harvey Nichols stores regionally in the UK and Ireland as well as on harveynichols.com.

Earlier this month David Beckham announced the launch of his first global grooming brand, HOUSE 99, a complete collection of 21 innovative products to conquer every style ambition. The launch was created by David Beckham in partnership with L’Oréal Luxe to provide all the tools men need to experiment with their look in order to express their own evolving style and unique identity. HOUSE 99 takes a holistic approach to grooming, merging British barbershop culture and style with hair, skin beard to build a home for every man’s next look. The brand is available in the UK and Ireland, exclusively at Harvey Nichols, from February 1st 2018.

Shop my top picks from the collection below:

National Grooming Day Essentials | Men's Edit

National Grooming Day

To all the gentlemen out there, it's 2017 so there is no excuse for an unkept unruly beard these days - the stigma around men's grooming has well and truly dissipated. With National Grooming Day actually 'a thing' it aims to raise awareness and ultimately educate men on how to look after themselves better. Skincare and haircare are the main two areas of which small changes to your daily men's grooming regime will make major improvements. Here are my top male grooming products which have all be tried and tested by myself.

Jo Malone - Lime Basil & Mandarin Shower Oil

£32.00 for 250ml - A soft shower oil which leaves your skin feeling soft and aromatic.

Heath - Hair & Body Wash

£8.00 for 250ml - Made in England this affordable option is enriched with ginseng and caffeine to provide an immediate power boost. 

Kiehl's - Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner

£19.50 for 250ml - The masculine scented product removes hair product buildup whilst hydrating the scalp.

Jo Malone - Geranium & Walnut Body Scrub

£42.00 for 200ml - A unisex product that for a body scrub is gentle on your skin and therefore usable for frequent use. The scent is incredible.

Clinique for Men - Charcoal Face Wash & Face Scrub

Face wash £18.00 for 200ml / Face scrub £21.00 for 100ml - Best used together, firstly with the face scrub followed by the face wash. Revitalises and smoothes your skin.

LAB Series - Multi-Action Face Wash

£19.00 for 100ml - Being 100ml and multi-action makes this product perfect for travelling. The cream is foamy and leaves the face extremely conditioned.

Harry's - Shave Gel & Razor

£24 for the set - The shave gel is easy on the skin and allows the razor to glide along effortlessly. German blades, precision shaving.

Remington - Barba Beard Trimmer

£29.99 - The godfather of all beard trimmers, this little beauty is robust, affordable and does exactly what you need it to do, no gimmicks no fuss.

LA MER - All skincare products

The LA MER product range is unbelievable, you pay for what you get. The LA MER moisturising matte lotion is £180 but you'll be able to tell the difference immediately between this and a cheaper entry level moisturiser so if you love to indulge in the best, these products are it.

Tom Ford - Conditioning Beard Oil & American Crew Beard Serum

In my opinion these are two of the best beard oils on the market. The Tom Ford, is infused with their private blend scent and slightly lighter than the American Crew version which is better for shorter stubble.

Guerlain - Super Aqua Crème Day Gel

£83.00 for 50ml - This luxury face creme protects your face during the day whilst wrinkles and fine lines are smoothed out.

Dr Sebagh & Estée Lauder - Eye Serum

These beauties are great for making the eye area look smoother, younger and more vibrant whilst reducing dehydrated dark circles. Use Dr Sebagh during the day and the Estée Lauder serum during the night.

Clinique for Men - Maximum Hydrator

£34.00 for 100ml - Lightweight is weight but a heavyweight in stature this is a new product from Clinique for Men. This water-gel formula intensely hydrates the skins moisture over a 24 hour period, perfect to take away on holiday when your skin is over exposed to the sun and other elements.

TONI&GUY - Hair Products

I only use the best hair products and these are the TONI&GUY for Men range. Developed specifically for men their range is extensive and can cater for all type of hair and all styles.

Jo Malone - Oud & Bergamot Cologne Intense

£112.00 for 100ml - Beautifully intense with notes of precious Middle-Eastern oud combined with the sweet citrus bergamot and cedarwood.

Tom Ford - Private Blend Fragrances

The godfather of fragrance, only the finest ingredients are used and you can smell evert single, perfectly put together notes. Two of my all time favourite fragrances are Tuscan Leather and Tobacco Vanille, whilst Oud Minérale is new to the party.