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

American Crew Launch Fiber Grooming Foam

American Crew have just launched NEW Fiber Grooming Foam, an expansion of the brand's Fiber Line that caters to the popularity of longer length hairstyle for men. 

Formulated with unique Fiber technology (ps - yes it does pain me to spell 'Fiber' the American way, but it's their product, their rules) Fiber Grooming foam takes the diverse product to new lengths. 

Is it any good Carl? 

I've taken the product out here with me and road tested it in the hot climates. Where most hair products fall down is that the application is greasy, the finish is wet-unnatural look as opposed to a nice clean shine and the damn thing doesn't last longer than an hour. 

This American Crew Fiber Grooming foam is designed specifically from medium to longer length hair. Although mine is on the shorter end, I still wanted to test the hold and the finish and I was pleased with both. It's high performing and leaves a natural shine and soft feel. 

"Grooming foam has a strong hold that adds thickness to fine hair with its fibrous properties, without leaving any residue in the hair. When working with thick hair it comes into its own with a malleable Fiber that grips the hair to give support and help lock in their style whilst adding volume." Ian Harrold American Crew - All-Star

The Application

It's water based, its similar to what you see in mousse and aerosol products with a citrus smell. It is unlike any other product due to the Fibers. The hair feels like it has volume and movement, has bounce. Not rigid or crispy. All the good stuff of a mousse. 

Perfect For

Obviously if you have long hair but you want to it to dance to your tune, then give this a try. But if you have hair like mine that's short-medium but coarse and curly, this can also play some neat tricks. I've enjoyed using it. I like the texture it has that by-the-beach feel to it. Also as it adds texture and weight, maybe if you're thinning out this could also be the product for you. 

*This paid post was created in collaboration with American Crew UK.

Heath London | A Brand for the Urban Natural Lifestyle

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HEATH is a new range of skincare and grooming solutions inspired by the Urban Natural Lifestyle. This week I'm introducing two new products into my grooming regime, the Heath Rescue Hair and Body Wash and the Hand Salve, a hand cream for men. 

 

But Carl, who are Heath? 

You're right, let's dial it back one. Who are Heath and where did they come from? Heath is a British grooming brand, made in the UK and was founded by a father-and-son team after discussing what they really wanted from a grooming regime after a game of squash. They found that they both wanted products that were simple to use, reasonably priced and well-designed. 

 

Who are the products tailored for? 

I might be ostracising a large part of my audience here but you country boys, living out in the clean air, punting down the River Cam might not appreciate what effect living in the city has on your skin. Your face is like a welcome mat for all the grime and invisible toxins that are just anxiously searching for a warm cozy pore to invade and fester. 

The new hair and body wash contain active ingredients to help battle fatigue. Jet setters, travellers, drinking their way through 10 espressos a day to keep their eyes open, this could be for you. 

People came to us saying they wanted something that would help clear the fog when fending off a cold, or after too many late nights. Rescue Hair + Body Wash is designed to help provide instant cut-through when the going gets tough.’ Heath brand director, Lesley Aaronson

 

How do you rate the packaging?

From an aesthetics perspective, I'd say this is a job well done. I love the look of these products. Maybe it's British Racing Green who knows, but the colour oozes natural, organic, earthy; all congruent with the philosophy of the brand. 

 

What's in the products? 

Rescue Hair + Body Wash. Firstly, I like anything with the word rescue in it. Has a swashbuckling ring to it don't you think? It's being coined the ‘Man Flu’ survival kit. Powered with Eucalyptus, Pine Needle, Juniper Berry and Rosemary essential oils to decongest and invigorate.Apparently men are more susceptible to colds and flu than women, throwing a new light on the idea man flu.

Rescue Hair + Body Wash adds to a man’s rescue survival kit for those very real ‘man down’ moments. Also has caffeine which is known to stimulate hair follicles and ginseng for extra ‘ping’.

Ever heard of the door handle test? 

Neither had I. Door handle test – an informal yet critical test when formulating a hand cream for busy hands. Before Heath finalised the formulation for Hand Salve (their new hand cream for men) it had to pass it. Apply a small amount, smooth into hands, wait 60 seconds then try the door. 

The non-greasy formula meant there was no residue left on the door handle. Which might sound like a neat bonus, but I have a whole bunch of creams and balms that don't pass this test and I'm forever washing and drying my hands after. 

Hand Salve is made with shea butter plus Pollustop, and acts as an invisible skin matrix helping protect hands from the ageing effects of pollution and the environment.

Deep moisturises dry, overworked hands with Shea Butter and Panthenol whilst Allantoin soothes and protects. Fragrance notes - Refreshing, clean, Mint and Lavender fragrance.

All products from Heath are available now heathlondon.co.uk & Waitrose & waitrose.com

 

TONI&GUY Beard Grooming Heroes

TONI&GUY were kind enough to forward on some samples from their new grooming range, beard grooming heroes. With all the grooming products I've been sent recently, my beard would be forgiven for thinking it was growing residing on cheeks of the Sultan of Oman. It's getting spoilt, one day all the beard oils will dry up and we’ll look back to these salad days and say 'we never knew we had it so good'. 

Sorry I digress. Talking hair follicles Carl? I thought this was a serious blog?

TONI&GUY are looking to get out in front of current beard trends, considering not just the gentleman that like to grow full voluminous beards, but different styles and lengths. Second day stubble has been wildly overlooks as a demographic and now we're seeing more retro moustaches come into vogue.

The packaging

I'm all in favour of having different shaped vessels to differentiate the products. It's something of a bugbear of mine when I squeeze out the face wash expecting the face scrub, all because I didn't read the fine print. The pack leader in this field of terrible packaging is LQD.

The only thing I would say is that the product is a little black for a Spring/Summer launch. It's not offending my delicate sensibilities, and it is a stylish look, but it doesn't exactly liven up my shelf. On the flip side it is very masculine and I would be drawn to it on the shelves of Boots.  

The products

The beard oils come in Nourishing Premium Beard and Softening Premium Stubble. Both retail at £11.99, essentially one is a pre-shave, but both are designed to hydrate the hair follicles and soften the skin. Remember only use 2-3 drops and don't over saturate your beard. I can't say I noticed it being any better than recent oils I've tried, it certainly hasn't got the emollient qualities of an Acqua Di Parma Serum, but for the price point I wouldn't expect that. 

The Beard Foam, Shampoo and Balm each bring different qualities to the table. The Shampoo perhaps isn't going to be a repeat purchase for me as it's designed for longer or thicker beards. It feels slightly superfluous for me, however the Beard Foam lathered up nicely and was quite refreshing. 

I should say that these TONI&GUY products are exclusively available at Boots, but the Beard Foam one isn't currently online. The Beard Balm would appeal to someone like me as I have quite a frizzy beard. Although the changes were imperceptible, for the price point this is a decent introduction for anyone looking to get into men’s grooming. 

The moustache wax was a tough one for me to trial as my facial hair in this department isn't long enough to shape. 

Conclusion

Fairly tick the box stuff from TONI&GUY, perhaps an opportunity for innovation missed, but we have to look at what market of the industry they’re targeting. They’re not Aesop or Acqua Di Parma levels of luxury, nor do they pretend to be. Moreover, TONI&GUY have produced what the industry might call accessible products for the everyday man. And they’ve done so comprehensively.

Murdock London Grooming Products Reviewed

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Today I'm talking about some of the wonderful grooming products the good guys at Murdock London were kind enough to send on. I've frequented their barbers down in Shoreditch a handful of times, it was in East London that I spawned the almightiest slogan for every independent coffee house to have on its wall. You don't have to have a beard to work here, but it helps. Thank you, it's why I get the big bucks. 

Let me also tell you the word around the campfire is that Murdock know what they're doing with their brands. They have a loyal audience and consumer base and having just relaunched some of their staple products, amped up the price a little bit on some of their products, but let’s see if it's justified. 

Murdock London Grooming.jpg

Packaging

I love these bottles. Between navy and cobalt blue, like a bottle you'd find whilst digging a pond for your goldfish when you were young. Long tubular lids accentuate its stance, with contrast ivory labels with a braille motif, only not embossed. They look like glass, which is why the touch and feel of plastic deflated me momentarily. But I got over that. 

I applied a few squirts of the Beard Oil the night before to allow my beard to absorb and soften. 2-3 pumps is enough, as the Sultan of Silver will tell you the majority of men will drown their beards. 

In the morning I applied the Pre-Shave Oil which is the first step any man should take before he approaches the blade. (Sounds rather menacing that doesn't it?). The barbers of Murdock recommend for you to use a couple of drops once a week as a treatment for your hair. 

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I didn't actually wet shave this week but did get a nice lasting glow from the oils. It didn't penetrate the cuticles like some previous high end brands I've tried, perhaps due to the lack of emollient, but my beard has maintained a nice feel and texture.  Both the beard moisturiser and the facial moisturiser are scented, you'll get wafts of cinnamon and citrus and it stays with you for the best of the day, an indictment to its silage. 

"There is a reason this is our number one selling product. I use it every day on my own beard and on every bearded client I see. Use daily to keep your beard in best condition. If you beard gets really dry, maybe after a sunny holiday or when the weather is freezing, pimp the Beard Mo up by blending in one pump of Beard Oil." - Murdock London

Lastly the Sea Salt Spray was very effective. It gave my barnet a degree of veracity, very 'day on the beach'. It's a summer staple that guys are moving into right now of having a do that’s styled, but looks like you made zero effort. Typically, you only need sea salt for lightweight hair, but it did give mine some body and movement. Apply it to dry hair, run your hands through it and give it the once over with the hairdryer on a cold setting. 

Let me know if this review has helped at all in the comments below, also if you're interested in having me review any other products then get in touch with me here.