Introducing Super Facialist: The Rise of Cactus Water

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Today I'm going to introduce you to a new-to-market men's grooming range called Super Facialist. 

Not only have I been road testing these products this past week, but I've also been humming Super Facialist-califragilisticexpialidocious to myself like Mary Poppins all week. 

They are an Award-winning high street skincare brand Super Facialist that expertly blends Vitamin B3 and Hyaluronic Acid alongside natural extracts of Cactus Water and Volcanic Sand.

Furthermore they don't come in at lofty Gwyneth Paltrow prices. The Performance driven formulations combining science and nature deliver real results at affordable prices on the high street. 

What does the range consist of? 

There are three grooming products in the cleanse and prepare that all contain the crucial ingredient of Vitamin B3 and cactus water; face wash, face scrub, cleanse face mask. 

Once you've prepared and cleansed the skin you will need to moisturise and protect. Super Facialist offers three products to aid this process; the Hyaluronic Acid SPF10 moisturiser, the Hyaluronic Acid anti-ageing moisturiser and the Hyaluronic Acid firming eye cream. 

What are the benefits of the ingredients used in the products? 

 Vitamin B3 is a great rejuvenator for the skin. I wish my skin could live in a permanent translucent mold lined with Vitamin B3 so I could defy age like Keanu Reeves. It helps to reduce the appearance of imperfections and improves skin tone for healthier looking skin. 

Hyalronic Acid on the other hand has the unique ability to lock in the moisture and acts as a chemical hard nut-bodyguard creating a barrier between skin cells. This facilitates hydration for the skin. 

Then there is the cactus water. Cactus water is rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants to help prevent UV damage. I guess that's why you get so many young looking Cacti in the desert right? I'll show myself out. The whole range uses Cactus water for its anti-oxidant and deeply hydrating properties.

TOM FORD introduces BEAU DE JOUR: the new fragrance for men & women from TOM FORD BEAUTY

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Whilst it's remaining all quiet on the James Bond front, (no mention of whether Tom Ford will be back to do the wardrobe for Bond 25) we at least have a new private blend to look forward to.

The BEAU DE JOUR bottle is in keeping with the other Tom Ford private blends, inspired by classic apothecary containers and crafted with satisfying bold lines and weight.

The opening will be an incontestable fervent entrance of Lavender. Fresh, evocative. The spicy cardamom and saffron initiate the journey at the opening, as floral desert tones reverberate in a constant shift with an enigmatic sweetness of jasmine sambac.

It's been described as maverick by some e-tailors. Which is a near truth. The blend has a very esoteric appeal, an unidentifiable yet palpable undercurrent of danger. Yet there's a classic sensuality to it.

Which kind of silver screen hard man would wear this? Sure James Bond, the maverick. The chancer. But it's less black tie then Bond, it has a tangible thuggery to it. I imagine Edward Woodward's Equaliser would wear this before leaving the house. (Deep pull Carl, I know).

Patchouli and Amber create an earthy foundation of radiant wood and sensual musky warmth, further elevating Beau de Jour’s refreshing notion of masculinity through the finish.

Classed as unisex, which is not unremarkable as it has a very soft, velvet-like dry down. However, I'm more than happy to class this as a masculine scent. The fougere notes, the patchouli and the oakmoss shifts this blend into my wheelhouse. 

Tom Ford continues to create effortless and unique blends that keeps him firmly on top of the heap. Nobody does it better, (touché Carl) nobody daren't.

@TOMFORDBEAUTY  #TFBEAUDEJOUR

RRP:

50ML – £162.00

100ML- £238.00

 

Davidoff Cool Water Fragrance Review

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Have I told you how Davidoff are missing a marketing trick? They should simply sponsor a catwalk showdown between David Beckham and David Gandy! It will be coined the 'Almighty Davidoff'. You see that's why I get the big bucks people.

It leads me swiftly on to this classic scent from Davidoff, neatly entitled: Davidoff Cool Water.

The Gamechanger

It really was. Released in 1988 the Davidoff Cool Water fragrance came about and enlivened the aquatic range. 

The Notes

In the top note, a marine splash awakes the senses with a distinct floral opening. You'll get an immediate introduction to the main theme of Lavender, followed by a subtle push of Rosemary and Orange Blossom. 

I know these all sound like girls that will be linked to Jeff Bezos as he looks to seek solace from divvying up over $50Bn in divorce settlements. But trust me, the signature blend and vibrancy of this blend has stayed the test of time. 

On the dry down you'll get that relaxing flourish of sandalwood, cedar with an undercurrent of musk. A very reassuring masculine vibe. 

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What do I think?

Pierre Bourdin created and broke the mould when he introduced Davidoff Cool Water. Other flankers have saddled nicely, the Deep Dive and more recently Cool Wave have been notable inclusions to the Davidoff Cannon. But for my money nothing has usurped the original. 

When and where can I wear it?

It's a very casual fragrance, perfect for the office or out on a lunch date. It's not sophisticated enough for black tie or dinner events. I'll be wearing this to meetings with clients, coffee runs, even on my upcoming trip to Bali.

It's very Spring/Summer, it's fresh, youthful. I'd wear this with shorts, polo, tee shirt. My one reservation is that I'm loving the scent, but definitely feel like I'm at the high end of the demographic for its target audience. Because of the citrus/sweet notes, I'd say it would be too playful for anyone 45 and older.

Would I buy it again?

Absolutely, I've been buying it for years. I can't wait to roll this is out in the hotter months, that's if it lasts the course in Bali. It wakes me up, enlivens my senses. Makes me want to put on Pet Sounds and ride my little Deuce Coupe all the way to Lowestoft.

Just For Men | Tips, Q&A and a New Product Release at the Gentleman's Grooming & Lifestyle Show

Just For Men were the proud sponsors for The Gentleman's Grooming & Lifestyle Show that was hosted at the Old Truman Brewery last weekend. It was a truly a memorable event, galvanising so many grooming experts and likeminded individuals. 

It almost felt serendipitous that it happened on the weekend when there were no premier league games. For one rare lunar eclipse in the football calendar men had to find other modes of conversation and Just For Men offered a tremendous landscape for us to converse, share tips, beard-enlightenment I'd like to call it. 

Just For Men were just one of 50 Exhibitors that varied from fashion, male beauty and surgical cosmetics. 

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We were given a live demonstration by Just For Men ambassador Carlie Firth of RUGER barbers. A man that had an uncanny resemblance to a bearded Jake Gyllenhaal sat patiently as Carlie weaved a Just For Men Moustache & Beard application brush evenly through his beard. 

At first I was slightly bemused as to why he needed any treatment at all. The gentleman's beard was not grey. But as Carlie proceeded to highlight, it's not just grey hair that some guys could do with addressing.

Someone with a light or pale beard will also benefit in having their beard enlivened with a richer colour. As you'll see in the before and after pictures, the beard looks richer, thicker and healthier.

 

Bonus tip

If unsure on your shade, go for the lighter option first - you can always go darker later on.

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New Products

As well as the traditional Just For Men Moustache & Beard and the Control GX grey reducing shampoo and conditioner that I was kindly gifted at the event, I also got my hands on the brand new Just For Men Best Ever Beard Oil. 

It smells fantastic and feels like it was engineered specifically for me because it delivers a high performance solution for managing and manipulating course facial hair. Made from natural oils, with Jojoba oil, Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Vitamin E. Keep an eye out for this one, a great gift for someone looking to promote their grooming game.


Any tips? 

After the demonstration the VIP's (yep, I made it passed the velvet rope) I attended the Q&A to get some useful tips from Carli. 

Q> How much beard oil should I use? We all have varying lengths of facial hair and I'm always mindful of not putting enough in, or too much? For a medium length hair like mine how much should I apply? 

So after you've applied the Just For Men Best Face and Beard Wash Ever and Best Beard Conditioner Ever, you should apply the beard oil by hand. It's always down to personal choice on how much you apply. Some people like having the oil enable a glistening beard, but bear in mind the oil is designed to be absorbed by the follicles. 

I normally recommend 3-4 drops of the Just For Men Beard Oil as a starting base, for dark beards like yours (mine) I would say start at 4 to give it a shine and lift. If it has too much glow then reduce as required but always spread evenly and apply last in your grooming regime. 

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Huge thanks to all the team at Just For Men for inviting me down to the event. I certainly hope the Truman Brewery will play host again next year and I recommend every man come down, there's something for everyone. 

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

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. 

Jo Malone and Huntsman Collab | Makes Scents I Suppose

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This week I attended a dinner with some handsome souls to witness the release of the new fragrance collaboration between Jo Malone and Huntsman Savile Row. I'm a huge fan of each of these quintessentially British brands and it's great seeing these two juggernauts within their respected industries join forces. 

I've mentioned it countless times before, but I love it when the right people come together and make things happen. One of the biggest crimes of the last century is that Grace Jones and Dolph Lundgren never had any kids. Those two were specimens, in their peak the best athletes on the face of the earth had they borne a child, it would be flying around right now catching planes falling out the sky. 

I digress. 

The bottles are beautifully appointed, dressed for success in a distinctive bottle, decorated with Huntsman's gold typography and a matte burgundy cap.

The four refined fragrances are as follows. 

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AMBER & PATCHOULI COLOGNE

For lavish evenings, entombed with the presence of amber. A scintillating pairing, blended measurably with deep, characterful patchouli.

ASSAM & GRAPEFRUIT COLOGNE

The luring smokiness of guaiacwood. Like Mariella Frostrup's voice, late 90's. (I've not heard it for the past 20 years as she's not been on the telly as much. I can only imagine it's got smokier but I can't attest to that). It's lively, full bodied and seductive. (The scent, not Mariella Frostrup. Although I bet Mariella is also those things, but having never met the lady, I can't attest to that either). 

BIRCH & BLACK PEPPER COLOGNE

The initial notes will project a citrus burst of grapefruit. As it settles, the  black tea note of Assam simmer through seamlessly, unfolding like the last ten minutes of an Agatha Christie Murder Mystery. 

It has a herbal, forest-floor vibe and would is on the crest of being intrusive, yet shows restraint just at the last. 

WHISKY & CEDARWOOD COLOGNE

Anything with Cedarwood gets my spider-senses tingling. Wait, no wrong way round. Anything with Whisky in I should say. (But spray responsibly).  Fused with the cool spiciness of black pepper and cardamom, juxtaposed with smoky birch and an accord of magnetic ink. 

 

The new collection is available at jomalone.co.uk, select Jo Malone London Boutiques and Huntsman, Savile Row from October 2018.

Photo Credit @archiebrooksbank

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. 

Robert Graham Fragrance Review | Valour Courage Fortitude

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For the uninitiated Robert Graham is a luxury men’s fashion brand, famed for its contrasting cuffs and collars and exotic bold prints and fabrics. The shirts come at a premium price but certainly worth checking out, they say it's as close as you can get to wearing art. I'm going to be talking about the three fragrances, Valour, Courage and Fortitude, designed to reflect the essence of the brand.

 

The inspiration behind the fragrances

Robert Stock. Founder of Robert Graham, was inspired by the rare craftsmanship of blended spirits for his baptism of fire into the world of men's fragrance.

"Like a great liqueur single malt Scotch or small-batch Bourbon, I saw these fragrances blended from a little bit of this, and of little bit of that," said Robert Stock. "We started with a feeling, where each blended essence had to have its own personality."

 

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The Robert Graham Bottle

It reminds me of something you' expect to house an exotic bottle of Peach Schnapps. Perhaps only served at The Beaufort Bar at the Savoy or The Connaught.  It's angular, housed in a faceted decanter and finished with a foulard print. In the 250ml range they become more ornate in the cap decorations. 

 

What are the fragrances? 

Let's start with Courage. First off all the names sound like names that were on the whiteboard when it came to naming the next fleet of Autobots. And I don't mind. I mind First Instinct, that's not a good name. 

Courage by Robert Graham opens with a citrus-y vibe. It has the bergamot going on but that's at the back somewhere. You hit the spicy vodka, but it's not direct. It's tangled in a delectable web of aromatic woods and herbs. It's the lighter of the 3, though not casual enough for every day. I'd wear this if I wanted to make a good impression at a smart/casual event. If I was into Ballet this would be my night at the ballet scent. 

Valour - This is my favourite of the 3 as it has a better projection. I noticed the silage was an hour or two longer. Maybe 6-7 hours I carried it round. Moving into the colder months this warm-wooded Oriental fragrance will be better suited for the Autumnal months. 

It opens with a nice spicy hit. There's sage, there's amber. It has a very smooth-creamy feel to it; makes me want to buy a box set of The Man from Uncle and watch them back to back in a Velvet nightgown. This is one that I'd wear to the Gentleman's Club. 

Fortitude - Lastly Fortitude, another Oriental fragrance that is peppered with tobacco sweet balsamic vinegar and Patchouli

 

What is Patchouli? 

Ok so I like to do a little teaching on here. I don't know the qualities of every herb and spice, I'm assuming no one does so here's a quick fact: it's a species of herb from the mint family and performs slightly different to other oils in that it matures better with age. 

The ancient Egyptians couldn't get enough of the stuff and treasured as highly as gold back in the day. 

 

My thoughts on Robert Graham Fragrances? 

I thought the show pony was Valour. It really spoke of luxury in a non-complex way. Courage and Fortitude would be good squad additions to your cologne bench, however, I wouldn't justify having all three for the price point. 

Valour and Fortitude both have that Oriental vibe so for variety, I'd pick Courage and Valour. Autobots Transform! To Cybertron! Sorry, couldn't resist. 

 

LAB Series Handling Your Oily Skin | Men's Skincare Oil Control

We all have oily skin because our glands produce a natural oil as a defence mechanism. However, some of you gentlemen might be experiencing some extra oil on the skin surface and that's why LAB SERIES, your source for innovative skincare for men, has introduced a three-step 8-Hour Oil Control System. I'll be getting into how you can use the Lab Series 8-Hour Oil Control System momentarily. First a couple of tips on how to treat your oily skin.

 

Don't over wash

As your skin is trying to help you by producing natural oils, you don't want to be over washing your face. Your job is to help your body maintain a smooth distribution of oil on your skin and of course, wash away any toxins or daily residue. By washing face too much you're stripping away the natural layers and your skin goes into oil producing over drive. Morning and Night cleaning is all that is required.

 

Your cleanser is harsh

You might be using a cleanser that is too abrasive, use a mild one. If you're using an exfoliator that has micro beads, then you need to carefully monitor how frequently you're using it. I recommend 3-4 times a week.

 

Too hot and too hard

Your skin shares none of the qualities of shoe leather. It shouldn't be attacked with brute force and you're more than likely being too aggressive when ex-foliating. Don't scrub the living crap out of it and don't scold the skin with hot water. Warm waters will open the pores, hot water will do it no favours.

Ok let’s get into looking at how Lab Series can help maintain your skin with a three-step 8-Hour Oil Control System.

The bottom line is you want skin that looks smooth and healthy. No 3pm shiny forehead. No 4pm greasy nose.

We mentioned earlier that your skin produces natural oils through the sebaceous glands, Lab Series is engineered to get oily skin under control by helping to regulate sebum production. Over time it's designed to fade discolouration and improve skin tone.

The cleanser, toner and moisturiser system helps diminish oil that can lead to breakouts, blemishes, and generally shiny skin.

 

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What are the key ingredients that will help me get rid of my oily skin?

The advanced formulas feature Amazonian White Clay, famed for its ability to deep clean and detoxify skin, helping to absorb and remove excess oil that can lead to breakouts. (I have asked Lab Series where they source their Amazonian White Clay, other brands have it very loud and proud on their site. When they reply I'll update this post accordingly at the footer of the article).

Additionally, a Salicylic/Lactic Acid Blend includes Alpha-Hydroxy Acids & Beta-Hydroxy Acids, plus Willow Bark Extract, to help gently slough away dead skin cells and purify the skin.

(Crikey that reads like the ingredients to Astronaut food right?)

Below is a list of ways on how to use the Lab Series 8-Hour Control System:

 

Step 1: Purify & clear

Oil Control Clay Cleanser + Mask (Dual-Use Formula)

As a cleanser, it purifies skin & instantly eliminates oil, dirt, and debris with immediate, visible reduction in pore size for clearer-looking skin. As a mask, it unclogs pores of oil and debris that can lead to breakouts and provides instant mattification."

 

Step 2: Swipe away oil

Oil Control Clearing Solution

This two-phase toner swipes away oil and dead skin cells that can lead to breakouts and absorbs surface oil. With frequent use, it helps to regulate sebum production.

 

Step 3: Hydrate + 8-hour shine control

Control Daily Moisturiser

Oil-free moisturiser provides up to I hours of shine control for oily, blemish-prone skin and helps to diminish the appearance of pores for clearer-looking skin. It also helps fade discolouration's and even skin tone over time.

 

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

Maximum Style UK: New Men's Grooming Site Launch

Guys I have a newsflash, a brand new men’s grooming site has been officially launched today called Maximum Style. Maximum Style also sounds like the best dressed Autobot on Cybertron right? What would he transform into though? Maybe a hat stand or a clothes horse right? 

I'll certainly be a visitor to this site, purely because of the brands they have on their portfolio. Yes, they don't have a huge welter of brands but they have brands that are modern, disruptive, bit like the current England football team, not a huge breadth of experience or household names, but some serious up and comers. 

Ok Carl we get it, what men’s grooming brands can I find on Maximum Style? 

They have some headline acts such as American Crew, Morgans and Bluebeards Revenge. You should also look out for the Islington Rock and Rollers, TommyRiots. Willy O’Shea's Uppercut Deluxe is also one to look out for. Quality male grooming products without fancy embellishments.

"We are just a small company trying to make I difference in a big sector. We love messaging and replying to our customers we encourage it. We are constantly talking to brands and getting them on board and on our site. 

We just think having products and a huge range at your fingertips in 2018 should be available and currently it’s not some sites do have lots of brands but there not current there not the brands that people love not the brands that are modern and fresh.

24hr delivery as standard a handful of clicks, done. It should be any harder than that and with Maximum Style it isn’t any harder than that." - The founders. 

 

What brands would I like to see on the site? 

As a man that runs an independent e-commerce store myself I'm keen to champion up and comers like Maximum Style. I was sad to see Niven & Joshua (men’s grooming site) close its doors last year so I think the market will be tough, but there is certainly space and a demand.

I'm also hoping people will invest and experiment with new grooming brands as they continue to work on their personal style. 

I'd love to see them bring in Murdock London as I feel these are the unsung heroes of men’s grooming currently. 

They're in the same space as Ted Baker whom have also released their own Teds Grooming Room collection. Not as good pound for pound as the Murdock London boys but it would be a big pull for Maximum Style to get Ted onboard. 

 

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

 

How I Get Ready For a Date | Men's Grooming & Fashion Advice

You're getting ready for the biggest date of your life, or week, depending how much of a woodsman you are.

I've just uploaded a new tutorial to my YouTube channel, giving you run down on how I get myself in the groove. In this article I'll give you the highlights reel on the MUST DO's to get you ready for that big first date

I've also teamed up with Base London to give my readers a chance to win a Base London £100 Gift Card and a Carl Thompson first date grooming kit.

I've included all the details at the bottom of the article but first, guys let's get you prepped. 

Get in the mood with ..  

I want to get in the mood, put a little Marvin Gaye on Let’s Get it On. Only joking. Normally I go for a bit of Jacko, I want to Rock with you or something equally as cheesy, don't ask me to sing it. Or how about a bit of Bobby Womack, Across 110th Street? Yessss now we're talking.

Make sure you're bopping around to a song that empowers you and gets you relaxed.  

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What's in my grooming kit? 

OK give the cash register a nice facial scrub. I currently using one from Lab Series, they're riding the crest of a wave at the moment these guys and I can see why. Makes my face feel really fresh, wakes me up! 

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Not all the girls like a man with a beard, so I make sure mine doesn't look to scabrous. I tame the beast with a bit of American Crew Beard serum

Moving onto the skin, I use the Clinique Maximum Hydrator moisturiser.

They say the eyes are the windows to your soul right? So got to have a little window dressing. Eye contact on dates, so important. I have been using Perricone MD for as long as I can remember. 

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What about my hair? 

You need something that is going to do your hair a solid service for the date, especially if you're going straight from work to the date. 

I use David Beckham's House 99 Pomade; it can give a decent enough hold for 8-9 hours before it starts to lose its lustre. 

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And the best Aftershave for a First Date? 

Keep that aftershave light and fresh, you don't want to overpower the poor girl or else she'll want to dine on one of those tables from that Bruce Wayne used to entertain Vicky Vale.

(That is a timely reference from 1989 and if you get that gag, then let’s go out for a beer). 

The best first date aftershave out there right now is Tom Ford Noir de Noir. It's pushy, but not assertive. 

Why I dress casual on a first date

Suits are too stiff for a first date, that's why I dress light

What’s the most important rule for light dressing? Go easy on the white wine vinegar but plenty of turmeric. Oh you mean clothes? Gotcha, (I have better jokes, haha) light dressing.

You should wear something that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Dates can be quite nerve racking; you don't want to feel rigid in an outfit you hardly wear.

I have my go-to outfit. 

Before you leave the house remember? 

If you've met her online give her profile one last eyeball before heading out. Look for some veiled clues, like if she's been traveling we can talk about places she's been that I might have been also.

Some people call that semi-stalkery, I call it good old fashioned research.

 

COMPETITION TIME FOLKS

As I promised you, here is your chance to win a Base London £100 Gift Card and a Carl Thompson first date grooming kit. Competition closes 31st May, UK Entrants Only. Enter by clicking this link https://mailchi.mp/683daaf6009a/07k68...

T&Cs blurb for competition:

Gift card can only be used at www.baselondon.com and cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative. Competition only open to UK entrants. Prize will be for one £100 Gift Card and a selection of men’s skin care and grooming products which will be delivered to the winner’s UK address. 

This competition is in no way sponsored, administered or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Lab Series, American Crew, Clinique for Men, Perricone MD, or David Beckham’s House 99. By entering, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age, release Instagram, Facebook & Youtube of responsibility and agree to Instagram’s, Facebook’s and Youtube's terms of use. .....phew! 😓 Good Luck!

 

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. 

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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. 

 

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

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. 

 

SHOP THE COLLECTION

Recreate the Look: The ‘Godfather’ by American Crew

American Crew has created a concept called ‘Mixology’ which is the art of mixing a combination of their products to create a particular look. This week I have been working with them to recreate their iconic ‘The Godfather’ look, which is for guys with a short, mid-length or long beard.  

American Crew has a long-standing, exceptional reputation in the history of men’s grooming. It is the leading salon brand created specifically for men and is the dominant professional men’s grooming brand in the world. The brand develops the latest in men’s hair, body, shave and style products and for more than 20 years, they’ve delivered.

This look and the products that I’ve used perfectly complement each other, so you’ll get the nourishment and hydration of the face balm. Combined that with the softness of the texture lotion and you’ll get a soft smooth finish. Complete the look with the beard serum which has an oil blend that keeps the beard soft, shiny and smoothe.

 

RECREATE THE GODFATHER LOOK

1.     Massage around 2-3 pumps of All in One Face Balm into the whole face, using a circular motion around forehead, eyes and cheek area.

2.     Apply Light Hold Texture Lotion to damp beard.
a) 2cm on short beards.
b) Up to 4cm on longer beards.

3.     Blow dry into the beard on a low heat, to condition and smooth.

4.     Finish by applying 3-4 pumps of Beard Serum to the blow dried beard, depending on the length and thickness of the beard.

 

PRODUCTS USED

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:

Gentlemen's Tonic | Treatments for Him

I've been a customer of the Gentlemen's Tonic products for years now because the brand is designed specifically for men and their products are all so scientifically sound combined with masculine scents. I then moved on from products to using them for their barbershop skills. However last week I had my first Gentlemen's Tonic treatment which left my skin feeling so vitalised and soft, I felt compelled to write about my experience. 

The treatment I chose to have was the Gentlemen's Tonic Detox Facial, as a treat to myself for the start of 2018. The Detox Facial lasts 60 minutes and costs £80. Starting with a thorough skin analysis and consultation their highly experienced therapists carry out a deep cleansing facial using their award-winning products. This treatment draws out toxins, relieves congestion, minimises blocked pores, blackheads and milia by using active anti-oxidant peels, a combination of serums and pore refining masks. This is the ultimate facial for those concerned with oily, combination skin types and prone to breakout and will leave your skin refreshed and balanced.

I've never really had terrible skin which I'm so grateful for but I am prone to getting spots and when I do it usually comes through as one large, massive, disgustingly red one! I'm also prone to slightly oily skin and therefore plenty of blackheads which tend to congregate around my nose area. The key to keeping these outbreaks at a minimum is to look after your skin daily using a face scrub, face wash and a combination of creams and serums. On top of this, it is important to get professional help, because home products are great but the issue is the person (us) applying it and it's much more effective taking an hour out of your day to have a professional apply the products and treat the skin. 

A week on and my skin is still feeling detoxed, refreshed and soft. After all of my blackheads around my nose were removed during the treatment, they have yet to reappear and when they do, it will be much easier to manage myself using a hot towel steam facial at home. I've had zero spot breakouts since and my skin is less oily. In conclusion for me I think this we become something that I'll do every two months as a MOT for my face. 

 

VISIT GENTLEMEN'S TONIC HERE