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

Clinique For Men | Maximum Hydrator Eye 96-Hour Hydro-Filler Concentrate Review

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If you're like me then you're constantly asking yourself two questions. How do I reduce under eye bags and wrinkles? Can I legally register my fists as weapons?

Today I'm going to focus on the former and coincide that with a look at the all new Maximum Hydrator eye 96 hour hydro filler concentrate from Clinique For Men.

I loathe my under eye bags and constantly by drinking plenty of water to release the high salt concentration in the area. 

I'm also interrogating brands beauty bloggers on tips on good ways to remove eye bags. 

The Clinique For Men Maximum Hydrator is a light water-gel that helps eye-area skin replenish its own moisture using Auto-Replenishing Lipid-Sphere Technology.

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Sounds good right? 

Well maybe not as cool as putting cool green tea bags under your eyes first thing in the morning. (Yes I have tried that. Apparently it’s the cool temperature that helps reduce eye bags. That's why you have people doing the whole cucumber thing). 

What's the science behind it? 

Auto-Replenishing Lipid-Sphere Technology with pure aloe butter helps rebuild skin’s lipid barrier to minimise moisture loss while encapsulated antioxidants break the cycle of environmental stress that can lead to premature ageing.

Does it work? 

I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and I'm starting to notice some difference. My eyes look a little less dark and my skin under my eyes has more of a glow. 

If you're looking to remove the bags under your eyes entirely then that's going to take surgery. That's a separate blog entirely. 

Do men find under eye bags ugly? 

Whilst most of the advice in this blog I've cobbled together from female researchers. The best one telling me I should just separate egg whites and rub those into my skin. AMAZING! 

However, to finish I want to tell you ladies, that men don't really give two hoots about your wrinkles or bags under your eyes. 

Think about it

Ladies when you're sizing up guys coming toward you on the street, you check out their height first, their general appearance (not got muddy shoes or carrying an axe) then it's looks and swagger. 

Same with guys. Check out this scene in the movie Shame where the guy at the bar is explaining to a girl at the bar that he has an amazing eye for detail. She then closes her eyes and proceeds to ask what colour they are. He fails. 

Why? 

It's not on the top of our list. We're more consumed with how we're coming across in the conversation. Figuring out what we can say next so we don't look like dumbasses. And talking of asses, we're probably looking at yours in a reflection somewhere. We're guys. We're not complex, we're easily distracted. 

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. 

SHOP THE RANGE OF T/GEL PRODUCTS

My Morning Regime with American Crew

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Today I'm going to walk you through my morning regime with American Crew. I will be posting a YouTube video to this article that will also help. I've been using American Crew products for over two years now. Many things have come and gone in my grooming rituals, but American Crew has been one of the few mainstays. 

Before jumping into the shower I apply the Clay Exfoliator. Get a coffee whilst it dries and read some news, social posts etc.

I then hit the showers, switch the dial to cold and put my body into shock for 30 seconds. It's like having ten cans of red bull. 

After I switch the dial back to a more realistic temperature I apply the following:

  • Daily Moisturising Shampoo

  • Daily Conditioner

  • Rinse off the clay exfoliating Cleanser

The Daily Moisturising Shampoo is suitable for all hair types, it offers volume and has a nice subtle fragrance. The conditioner stimulates the scalp and gives it a healthy look. 

NOTE - I won't lie, if I'm pressed for time I'll just use the clay exfoliator as a facial wash and scrub evenly under the hot water for a few minutes. 

Beard:

You're probably thinking, 'Jeez-Louise Carl, doesn't this eat into your day?' You'd be right. But I don't actually mind the maintenance. I take pride in my appearance and I enjoy the process of looking good.

Much like you need to enjoy the process of cooking to appreciate the meal. Wait did someone say Deliveroo? Only messin'. 

For my beard I wash my face with warm water, then apply the ultra-gliding shave oil. It's important to get the oil into the beard. You don't need to apply more than a drop or two. But get it right in there. Oils of eucalyptus and clove are antibacterial and counter nicks, razor bumps and ingrown hairs for a clean shave.

Then after I do any trimming or maintenance, I apply the serum which softens the beard.

Skin Care:

As Scaramanga would say 'this is the part I really like'. My face is like a puppy waiting for the return of his master. It can't wait to be hydrated and recharged. 

Don't forget to apply the hydrating cream over your face AND neckline. Your neck needs some loving too. 

Lastly the eyes, the windows to your soul, why not give those windows a little gloss. The eye hydrating gel It diminishes the puffiness and I feel like I can look myself in the mirror and brave the world and all its beauty. 

Hair Styling:

And for the headline act, (pun intended) we have the forming cream for the hair. I have medium yet, quite curly hair so this forming cream is perfect. It provides hold, excellent pliability, and a natural shine. 

Check out my YouTube video for a full demonstration and make sure you hit subscribe. 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own. As I alluded to earlier I've been a long-time user of American Crew and am proud to be an ambassador for them in the UK. 

 

Bleu de Chanel: The Shaving Essentials

Today I'm going to be reviewing Bleu De Chanel, the latest shaving essentials from Chanel which was launched on the 31st May, 2019. 

The range is easily refined into the shaving cream and 2-1 moisturiser for face and beard.  

It's great to see Chanel extending their Bleu De Chanel range. I was onboard from day one after seeing the Scorsese-directed promotional video. Christ that was 8 years ago now. 

If anything it proves that Chanel are very focused on getting their products and fragrances just right. They don't need to rush anything out in a wormed bid to earn a quick buck.

As many of you know, I tango between electric razors and wet shave. To get the details and style I like around the neckline and high cheek areas, I will resort to wet shaving. 

The Bleu De Chanel shaving cream, (already sold out on Harvey Nichols btw) has a transparent texture to it which is kinda neat and catches you off guard at first. But it's super-practical because you can see exactly where you need to position the blade to get the style you want. 

I like this because I'm very fastidious around my neckline, and one false step can really make my beard off-keel. This enables a great amount of control and the cooling after is a nice sensation on the skin. 

If you haven't done so already you can get the aftershave lotion and balm from the Bleu De Chanel range and that really gives your grooming routine a lot of depth. 

BLEU DE CHANEL 2-IN-1 MOISTURIZER FOR FACE AND BEARD

This is a very light moisturiser, intended to fragrance your beard and skin. I was expecting more of a rich, heavier moisturiser to penetrate my skin through the beard. And the trouble you get with those are the residuals left over on your stubble. It can often do one but not the other. 

The scent is definitely aromatic. It has a mixture of cedar and sandalwood and citrus. Although I didn't pick up on the citrus as much. But it still smelt great and I felt my skin has survived the day without needing to replenish moisture at all. 

BLEU DE CHANEL 2-IN-1 MOISTURISER 50ml - £39.00

BLEU DE CHANEL SHAVING CREAM 100ml - £43.00

When The Stars Align | The Male Grooming Constellation Gift Set

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I know you'll all be inundated with Christmas Wishlist's and gift guides this year. However, I only want to deliver the gifting ideas that will save you time and save you money. Today I want to introduce you to The Grooming Constellation by Estee Lauder Companies.

I constantly talk about how you can't go wrong with skin care, grooming and hair care products for Christmas gifts. I personally only wish people buy me these products as I can guarantee they'll get used. (The same can't always be said for that random snow globe that gets swiftly moved onto the charity shops). 

The Grooming Constellation is the perfect gift for the man in your life. Wait wait wait, that's press release talk. That sentence makes me sound like I'm writing for Beefcake Magazine. Please allow me to start over. 

If you're looking to get some Christmas gifts for him this year, The Grooming Constellation has just launched an exclusively designed limited edition box featuring iconic products from some of the world’s leading men’s brands such as Clinique for men lab, Lab Series, Aveda & More…

How it arrives? 

This is the best thing. You don't have to burn any extra calories wrapping up these gifts individually. Be a little greener this year people. This Grooming Constellation gift set comes in a neat square cubed box, adorned with an intriguing constellation motif. 

Who should I get this for? 

Ladies, your other half will thank you kindly for this. Us guys aren't one for cosmetic shopping, although we love the products, we like the baby without the birth if you get the expression. 

This screams great buddy gift. Dispense with those useless drinking hats or 'Best Dad' mugs this year and get him something he can truly utilise. 

The perfect gift with an amazing saving!

Launching Tuesday 6th November for only £39, worth over £114. 

Introducing the Evo Square Pucks | Men's Haircare

These past couple of weeks I've been road testing some of the professional hair products from EVO. Recently EVO have revamped their packaging and dispensed with the cardboard boxes and round packaging and have introduced a new and improved square look for box o’ bollox, cassius, crop strutters and the newly formulated casual act.

(Box o' bollox eh? Sure why not I'll have a box o’ bollox please. It sounds better if you order it in a Noel Coward voice). 

 

Who are EVO? 

EVO hold a strong party line on innovation. They manufacturer with individuality and integrity; and want to be seen as a manufacturer that speaks the truth. If Abraham Lincoln was around he'd be calling EVO a professional hair product by the people, for the people. Of course he'd need to take off his top hat for the promo adverts. 

 

Do they have organic ingredients? 

I know it's all the rage, we have to know exactly where everything is sourced and precisely how many monkeys were killed in the process of making it.

I'm happy to announce no animals were harmed, in fact you’ll find certified cruelty free products that are gluten, sulphate, paraben, dea, tea and propylene glycol free.

 

What other products are in the EVO range? 

Aside from the aforementioned box o’ bollox, you'll also find cassius, crop strutters and the newly formulated casual act. Box o’ bollox, (I can't stop saying that, I do hope Googles spiders won't be punishing me. Away with you Google spiders, go knock on Tom Ford's door. He's got real swear words in his perfume range) cassius and crop strutters contain the same great formulas while causal act has undergone a complete revamp. think better shape, better formula.

 

My thoughts on the EVO range

I'm pro saving the planet, like the move guys. As far as the products go I also like how it's water soluble, non greasy. The new formula provides increased separation, almost reupholsters my hair with texture and style versatility.

They are fairly ubiquitous these days. Readily available in most reputable salons.

 

What I Think it Means to be a Stylish Modern Man & Grooming Tips for How to Look Your Best

Someone tell Jim Chapman he was right all along. I've just got wind that Norwich is home to the most style conscious men in the UK, according to a recent survey undertaken by Just For Men. Of course Jim, who heralds from Norwich, has been banging that drum for years. The survey, which spoke to 1,000 men, is pretty damning of guys from Cambridge who spend a dismal £11 a month on hair and wet shaves, compared to £45 for the average man from Norwich.

Other results state Norwich guys will splurge £77 on clothes each month, that’s £15 more than men from London. But what about Norwich guys that live in London eh? Jim Chapman wore a £1,500 Alfred Dunhill Jacket to LFWM. Does that aggregate a bigger score because he's living in London now? Anyway, well done Norwich. They're obviously putting something in the water down there. 

The survey was quite interesting in a lot of ways: 

"Four in ten said you know a man cares for his appearance when his teeth look white." 

I've said for a long time that your smile is your business card. Guys, we need to look at the teeth situation. My biggest bit of advice in this area is not do teeth whitening at home, leave it to the professionals. 

The poll also found that 32 percent said having the right facial hair was fundamental to looking good. The right facial hair is incredibly important. It's not only a fine line between looking well-groomed and looking slovenly.

We all remember Ricky Gervais dying his facial hair back in 2010, apparently succumbing to the pressure of Hollywood. 

I'd say it’s a great move and with the right products, highly effective for knocking some years off. 

“Since 2016 the emphasis has shifted from simply having the facial hair, to how well-kept that facial hair is, particularly in terms of being neat and full – both signs of stylishness according to this research.

“Just for Men Moustache & Beard brush in gel eliminates grey hairs, but it can also be used to enhance lacklustre beards, making them appear fuller and thicker – perfect for style conscious UK men.” A spokesman for Just for Men Moustache & Beard.

 

 

My tips on grooming for the modern man

I'll start with Just For Men Moustache and Beard. Men shouldn't loathe their grey hair, but if it increases one’s confidence to look younger, then I'm all for it. What's more, you don't need to block out any time in the diary, the easy brush-in application gets to work in just five minutes.

Whilst I'm on the topic of beards, invest in a decent beard oil to prevent itchiness, Just For Men also do a Face & Beard Oil made with soothing oatmeal, aloe, camomile and jojoba oil. The benefits of jojoba oil by Susan Patterson is a decent read. It's basically a liquid wax and doesn’t have as much of a greasy feel as other oils.

 

My Style tips for the modern Man? 

If you want style tips, ask the ladies what they look for in a man. Half the women I know will notice two things about a guy walking towards them in the street: 1, their height, 2. their shoes.

Your new 2k a tooth veneers and coral-coloured Tiger of Sweden suit won't mean much if your shoes look like they were bought in the 80's and last cleaned in the 90's.

If you're tardy with your trainers, simply don't buy white ones or ones with white crepes.

 

What trends are in right now? 

Notice that trends aren't big into motifs or logos. You can gauge what the big fashion houses are doing in recent years. Burberry has completely transformed themselves by putting the check on the inside of their garments. 

Ralph Lauren has shrunk its logo size to something completely imperceptible nowadays. People are striving for esoteric individuality, not tribal collectivism. 

I'm noticing the boating stripes are flooding in. I think the people that dress up for the Henley Royal Regatta don't want their Hackett jackets exclusive for one weekend of the year. 

 

My ultimate styling tip? 

You don't have to be the most stylish dude in the room to stand out, but the fit of your clothes will speak volumes about you. 

In the Just For Men survey 38 percent said a stylish chap would always wear jeans that fitted well. In a way it's sad that only 38 percent said that. 

Get to know your tailor or your local dry cleaner really well. Have all your old jeans nipped in, tucked or hemmed. Your body shape will change over the years and your jeans need to inflate or deflate accordingly. 

That's all I have for today, let me know your thoughts on this article and in particular, if you have any style or grooming habits of your own. 

The Just For Men Moustache & Beard is available to buy nationwide from Boots, Superdrug, most Major Supermarkets and Wilkinsons, while the Just For Men Beard Care range is available exclusively from Amazon. You can learn more about the brand here.

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Just For Men.

Panasonic ER-GB80 Multi Groomer Reviewed

A few weeks back I reviewed the Panasonic i-Shaper ER-GD60 3-in-1 Trimmer. Since that review I've had countless amounts of you stopping me in the street asking when I'm going to review the ER-GB80 Multi Groomer. Well cool your jets guys because here it is! 

 

ER-GB80 Multi Groomer Reviewed

You know what it's like when you need to do the full monty of shaves, but doing the back-sack and crack regions with the same clippers you use for your face is too 90's Neil Morrissey. 

Now Panasonic has introduced the new ER-GB80 Multi Groomer, a multi-functional and easy to use trimmer with three attachments for beard, body and hair. 

The groomer has been designed with wider blades for heavy usage, narrow blades for precision trimming and offers 40 adjustment settings between 1mm and 20mm for a trim adjusted to your personal style.

The 4S-degree angled precise cutting blade is durable for even the hardest to trim hair.

The body comb attachment is a great addition to standard groomers allowing you to groom delicate areas including underarms, shoulders, legs and groin alongside both facial and head hair.

 

What are the positives of the Multi groomer? 

It's really the all-rounder for grooming clippers. Although as an all-rounder it does spread itself a little thin (pardon the pun) in some areas. For example, I've noticed I had to do a few more passes and actually found the ER-GD60 a better and closer shave for the face. 

But the ER-GB80 is smaller, lighter, a better battery life and I can keep the key areas under control if I'm away for a spell. 

The biggest distinguishing feature is that it's 100% water proof. Very handy if you're just in the shower and want to shave on the go. 

 

What are the key difference between theER-GB80 and the ER-GD60?

You get plenty more combs and attachments with the ER-GB80, 40 lengths compared to 20 lengths. ER-GB80 has a 45-degree head whilst the ER-GD60 has a rounded edge blade. 

 

Would I recommend this product? 

Yes for those that travel regularly. This is perfect for someone that might be away from home for long spells or who is living out of a number of suitcases. 

 

*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Panasonic

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. 

 

SHOP THE COLLECTION BELOW

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.

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:

Top 5 Beard Oils for Men

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Does your beard look shiny and groomed or dusty, flaky and unkempt?
Many gentlemen use beard oil to remedy this.
What is beard oil and what do we need it for?
When is the best time to apply beard oil?

WHY DO WE NEED BEARD OIL?

It might come as news for some but what does Beard Oil actually do? Why do we need it? Firstly; a little bit of science. Each beard follicle has a pair of glands called the sebaceous glands. These glands enable your beard to stay nourished by secreting called sebum oil. As your beard follicle gets longer it demands more sebum oil to coat the follicle. This is why we apply beard oil, to act as a sebum oil and nourish and moisturise the hair follicle. 

What I look for in a Beard Oil is one that softens my beard, gives it a nice shine and above all, keeps the itchiness levels down to zero. I have an interchangeable beard oil collection, below are my top 5 beard oils for men. 

1# Gentlemen's Chuckaboo - The Gigglemug Beard Oil - £19.99

Whilst this list is in no discernible order, I'd have to rate this number one on the name alone. It has a mixture of mint, zest and spice. I like the fact it contains Sandalwood Oil, which has been widely used for its anti-aging properties. When shopping for beard oil try and find one with Vitamin E (which The Gigglemug Beard Oil has) as it stimulates the hair follicle.

2# Tom Ford Conditioning Beard Oil - £36.50

Bringing in the big guns now. The Tom Ford beard oil has a very soft appliance without being greasy. It's probably the punchiest and longest-lasting fragranced beard oil I’ve tried and possibly the most potent. You'll definitely get a whiff of almond, maybe a little grape seed, but the Oud oil will deliver the most impact. Quite pricey but you get what you pay for. 

3# Jonny's Chop Shop Beard Oil - £6

I'm not sure if this is a best kept secret or not but it's definitely my top bargain pick. It has some interesting core oils (sweet almond, olive, wheat germ and apricot kernel), I like bottle - very voguish-retro. There is a mild scent, although it says it's un-fragranced. The best thing is the price, can't go wrong for £6. 

4# American Crew Beard Serum - £12.95

Another inexpensive bottle from a trusted brand that's been going over 20 years. Not as thin and spreadable as some of the others, but it still does the job and leaves my beard feeling soft. I have this as my emergency go-to serum if the others are running low or misplaced. 

5# Susanne Kaufmann Beard Oil Line M - £32

Who wouldn't trust someone with a name like Kaufmann? I use this one when my beard feels a little itchier than usual. Its active ingredients strengthens the elasticity of my skin and it also delivers a nice shine.

Introducing Levison Wood's Clinique For Men On-The-Go Essentials #BehindTheFace

London Fashion Week has taken over the press this week, however there was one exception, as on Wednesday it was the guys turn to celebrate with the relaunch of Levison Wood x Clinique For Men #BehindTheFace collaboration. The evening was hosted by Levison Wood and Clinique at Annabel's private members club in Mayfair where the best of London's men's lifestyle bloggers such as Joey London, Carl Cunard, Nathan Rollinson, Charlie Irons and Carl Thompson from Hawkins & Shepherd, were in attendance alongside the gents from Made in Chelsea and male grooming journalists from exceptional publications.

In between trekking Central America in his latest TV show 'Walking the Americas' and writing a book on his experience, Levison Wood still manages to squeeze in an efficient skincare routine into his lifestyle, making him the perfect ambassador. 

Clinique for Men has been inspiring confidence in men and in a world where there is more pressure on men to look good and find the right balance between work and life. They have a large range of innovative, dermatologically tested products to inspire confidence and help you look your best.

From left to right:

Clinique For Men Exfoliating Tonic, 200ml £16.50
Clinique For Men Cream Shave, 125ml £15.00
Clinique For Men Aloe Shave Gel, 125ml £15.00
Clinique For Men Post Shave Soother, 75ml £20.00

From left to right:

Clinique For Men Face Scrub, 100ml £20.00
Clinique For Men Charcoal Face Wash, 200ml £18.00
Clinique For Men 2 in 1 Beard Conditioner, 100ml £28.00

From left to right:

Clinique For Men SPF21 Moisturiser, 100ml £25.00
Clinique For Men Anti-age Moisturiser, 100ml £32.00
Clinique For Men Oil Control Mattifying Moisturiser, 100ml £32.00

From left to right:

Clinique For Men Maximum Hydrator, 100ml £32.00
Clinique For Men Dark Spot Corrector, 30ml £42.00
Clinique For Men Antiperspirant Deodorant Stick, 75ml £14.50
Clinique For Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel, 15ml £24.00

DRAKES OF LONDON: My First Laser Rehab Facial

Lets be honest for a second. We all care about how we look whilst hoping, nigh preying that we are going to age well because if you are anything like me (36 and single), you're going to need your youthful looks for a little longer than expected! We are living out our lives more and more through social media where images are overly edited and videos filtered with a dog filter which makes your skin look perfect. These edited images are used on our tinder profiles to our Linkedin profiles but rarely show a true reflection of ourselves. I mean, would you rather a) look average on social media but when everyone sees you in the flesh, they think, wow you look incredible in real life. Or b) look incredible on social media but when everyone sees you in the flesh, they think, wow you look absolutely nothing at all like your social media self? For a blogger who uses editing and filtering A LOT, I'm not here to preach about how we should all be more natural because that would just be hypocritical. But what I would say is that editing yourself will only last so long and the key to looking great and feeling great is to look after your skin with a little pampering from time to time.

Today about 6 hours ago to be exact, I headed over to Drakes of London which is a short 3 minute walk from Fulham Broadway tube station on the District Line to trial their new 'Laser Rehab Facial' treatment. 

This treatment evens out skin tone, lightening pigmentation, redness reduction and minimisation of open pores. Plus, it also boosts the skin’s natural supply of collagen and elastin to give the recipient plumper looking, more hydrated skin - all exclusively tailored to the male skin. For guys who suffer from skin redness or those thin red veins caused by alcohol and smoking, this treatment could offer an amazing transformation.

On arrival, I checked into the Drakes of London relaxation room complete with a leather sofa, flatscreen TV, a fridge full of beverages and GQ magazines whilst I filled in the consent form before my treatment began. Make sure you allow an extra 10 minutes on top of your treatment time if you are working out how long everything will take or putting payment on the car parking metre.

For a price of £99 you'll get an 80-minute treatment which will start with a fully comprehensive consultation to decipher your skin care needs and any specific problem areas that need to be addressed. Following this, their dedicated skincare therapists will cleanse and exfoliate your skin, with extractions if required. Next, laser will be used on the cheeks, nose and forehead and the treatment will finish with a soothing facial mask to calm the skin and a shoulder massage to ease away any tension. No down time means you will be free to go on about your daily activities with a fresher, brighter and revitalised complexion.

Of course when anyone says they are using lasers in a treatment you can be a little apprehensive. Add in that they are using the lasers on your face and it can be quite worrying to say the least. However the laser part of the treatment takes very little time (mine took about 3 minutes) and each 'zap' of the laser feels like someone has flicked your face...not painful at all. I was also worried about pain and redness after the treatment, but there was none.

The DRAKES OF LONDON Fulham HQ is an oasis for the modern man. Situated just 200 yards from Fulham Broadway station, the ground floor comprises of a traditional yet modern men’s barber shop, while a luxurious male grooming salon spans the entire first floor. What’s more, customers can enjoy free beers from the fully stocked fridge while relaxing on the sumptuous leather sofas in the waiting room. This teamed with the free wifi and classic movies on show means you’ll never want to leave! 

BOOK TODAY

Much needed Grooming with Pall Mall Barbers

Men's grooming is one of the largest growing sectors in the UK currently, along with tattoo cover-ups, craft beers and London-Dry gins - supposedly! Which is why I headed over to Pall Mall Barbers to get a haircut, beard trim and beard shaping. Shaving is always something I normally do stark bolluck naked at home in a poorly lit bathroom so as you can imagine, I never really do my beard justice or give it the treatment that it deserves. Having someone look at your beard (stubble in my case) and shape it based on how the facial hairs grows and your face structure can transform your look.

Pall Ball Barbers are in 4 locations around London - Fitzrovia, Bishopsgate, Trafalgar Square and Westminster, which was the one that I personally visited. My barber was Dil who has been cutting hair and throats (not literally) since he was 17 years old...I'm in good hands! 

My Barber Dil was friendly and extremely knowledgable and listened to what I wanted in a haircut, which is incredibly important trait in a barber. I feel that barbers need to totally understand your style, your lifestyle and your personality to be able to cut your hair appropriately. 

The style of haircut I was given was a modern pompadour, which suits my wire-like mane! One the sides we went for a 0.5 grade.

Haircut done and it was time for my beard shaping, which I was very nervous about - as although my beard isn't in great shape and has a few patches in it...I'm very protective over how it is trimmed. I normally like the hair grow how it wishes and trim it with my clippers to the same length to keep it quite natural. So having straight lines and a perfect beard trim is quite different to what I normal look like.

Most peoples facial hair grows at different lengths and in different directions which is why having someone professional care for it makes all the difference as it is very hard (impossible) to replicate at home what a barber can create.

The shave started with a pre-shave exfoliate, followed by a trim, then the hot towel treatment - which makes you look ridiculous (see above) but was the most relaxing minute ever! Following on with the razored beard shaping and finally a soothing post-shave treatment.

So there you have the final look, what do you think? You too can book yourself in for a spot of men's grooming here...go on treat yourself.

 

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