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

DSC00030.JPG

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

DSC00027.JPG

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.

DSC00026.JPG

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. 

My Morning Regime with American Crew

American Crew Clay Exfoliater + Shave Oil.jpg

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. 

 

Introducing Super Facialist: The Rise of Cactus Water

ORG_DSC05294.JPG

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.

Heath Grooming Products | Fighting the Urban Sprawl

Health London.jpg

Back in the Summer I spoke about one of my hero finds, Heath Skincare and Grooming products. I appreciate the value of a working family relationship and knowing that Heath was is run by a father-and-son duo, only further enamoured me towards the brand.

A quick sidebar on the father son thing. Think on how many hours you spend a week feeding what I call the virtual farm. As a public figure I have to dedicate a fair slice of my diary keeping up appearances on social media. Posting, replying, commenting, retweeting, thumbs up etc 

Which is fine, I don't mind. 

But how about you shave just five minutes off that time, can give your old man a call. You never know a call could lead to something, an idea could snowball and who knows, you could both be launching your own version of Heath someday. 

I digress. 

In just a few short months, Heath have now expanded the range to seven products – Face Wash, Cream Shave, Post Shave Repair, Moisturiser, Hair + Body Wash, Rescue: Hair + Body Wash, and Hand Salve – all of which fit into the modern man’s daily routine. 

I've also been mindful of this dreaded Blue Light that has been keeping me awake at night. I wrote about the cause and effects of Blue Light in another article. With that in mind I was pleased to discover the Heath Moisturiser has been formulated with Soliberine® NAT to help protect skin from Blue Light.

As an antidote to the mundanity of city sprawl, us men often pursue more natural environments for our headspace, and this includes our grooming choices.

HEATH has been formulated with high potency natural ingredients and new-generation actives (derived from naturals) in a range that’s ideally suited to the daily skin concerns of the modern urban man.

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.

 

LAB Series 3.jpg

 

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.

 

The La Mer Moisturiser Products that are Perfect for Summer

La Mer Products 2.jpg

These past couple of weeks I've been experimenting with the latest La Mer moisturiser. As a side note, the bathroom shelf has become overrun with products of late. The products that I'm becoming inundated with have now started to bleed into other areas of the house and shortly I'll need a conversion to accommodate them. But how about that? Not just a wardrobe for clothes, but a walk in wardrobe for grooming products. 

I digress. 

Anyone knows anything about La Mer, knows they're an indomitable force in the moisturising market. In March they announced the release of their latest innovation The Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream. As with all La Mer products, the Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream features La Mer's signature ferment, the Miracle Broth, as well as the powerful antioxidant the Lime Tea Concentrate, which helps defend the skin from environmental stressors such as pollution.

La Mer Products 1.jpg

Since its inception, La Mer has incorporated the renewing powers of the Miracle Broth in all of its products. Designed to leave the skin with an even and balanced looking complexion. Its worthy to note that they have decreased the percentage down to 5% from 10% for this product, which might not sit well with some of La Mer's ardent fans.

Anyone that has been reading some recent grooming product reviews will discover I've got a somewhat unstable fetishism for an emollient. Will it manage to penetrate your pores and hydrate your skin? Or simply sit on top of your skin and claim squatter’s rights? 

As I'd expect for the price point it does penetrate well, it does enrich and has calmed some mild blemishes I've experience recently. (Easter Eggs take their toll people). It has a citrusy finish, which is satiating but not as pleasant as the Aesop Mandarin Facial Hydrating Creme, believe me it’s yet to be usurped in the great smelling moisturiser department.

I'm not entirely sure if this is designed for oily skin or people prone to bursts of acne, I haven't seen indications or slug lines from the campaign telling me so. So I'm dubious of some of the product reviews on the La Mer site. However, I will say the adverts featuring Kate Hudson are seriously highfalutin. Reminds me of those empty calorie signs you'd see hanging in corner coffee houses reminding you to smile and the world will smile with you

La Mer is really the Mike Tyson of Moisturisers, you might not like all the publicity surrounding him, but he does all his talking in the ring. Not sure if that analogy works but I'm sticking with it. 

 

SHOP LA MER PRODUCTS

Kilian Announce the Launch of Shower Gels & Body Lotions

Kilian Body Lotion 2.JPG

I can't remember the last time I vented artlessly about my ambivalence towards the words passion fruit and energy; imbued into every other shower gel and body lotion. It's certainly been a good 2 minutes anyway. Ironic really that I can be that dispassionate, about passion fruit, a fair to middling flavour of fruit that like a hot model, has danced it's way effortlessly to the top of the food chain disregarding all laws or meritocracy. How? It's just got a cool name.

So it's with welcome relief that luxury scent brand KILIAN has announced its first Bath & Body Collection for five scents: Love Don't Be Shy - Stmightto Heaven, White Cristal Moonlight in Heaven, Good Girl Gone Bad and Intoxicated.

Admittedly some of these names sound like they were in the hat for either a Ron Jeremy boxset or a Britney Spears best of, but it's a significant evolution from the brand that is now entering its 11th year. Kilian also boasts a collection of 35 fragrances as well as wearable scented jewellery, scented paperweights, tassels, candles and home accessories.

The shower gel and body lotion have been custom-formulated with uncompromising respect for the quality and integrity of each fragrance blend. Each shower gel and body lotion refill claims its own elegant, upright vessel made of melded and lacquered resin. It is meticulously hand-polished for a sleek, jet-black gloss-except for that of the fragrance Good Girl Gone Bad, which stands innocently in white.

Who is Kilian?

Kilian Hennessy is the heir to a long line of cognac-makers. Many of Kilian’s fragrances today carry nostalgic childhood memories of those family cellars in Cognac as they are reminiscent of the sugar in the alcohol and the wood of the cognac barrels. After graduating, he then went on to train with the greatest noses in perfumery and worked for the most prestigious perfume houses such as Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, Alexander McQueen and Giorgio Armani.

You might start to think who pays $150 on a paperweight? Or $500 on a bottle of perfume? Granted, those with a disposable income for sure. Kilian isn't just a brand for those looking to upscale from Lynx Africa, it overshoots that playing field by a couple of acres. However, Kilian is no stranger to the price of luxury and offered a candid rebuke to this in a wonderful article by Susannah Frankel at The Independent citing, 

"The luxury brands have been saying to customers for the past 80 years that a luxury fragrance costs £50. So generation after generation it has been established. When someone comes along with a perfume that costs £145, they're like, 'It's very expensive'. But it's a question of what you are giving the customer for that £145? There is not a single product designed by Apple that costs less than a few hundred dollars; at one point Steve Jobs said it is not that Apple has become mass market, it's that the market has now reached Apple's level. Hopefully that will happen with fragrance. Hopefully more and more people will say, you know what? £145 for that product is not a lot of money." Kilian.

Kilian can be found online and in Burlington Arcade in Mayfair.

Kilian Body Lotion 1.JPG

Murdock London Grooming Products Reviewed

Murdock London Men's Grooming.jpg

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. 

Murdock London Products.jpg

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

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?

House 99 by David Beckham.jpg

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

Smooth Back Shaping Pomade £15 90ml,

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

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

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

Going Big Thickening Daily Shampoo 250ml

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

Bold Statement Tattoo Body Moisturiser 

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

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

Introducing the New Redken Brews Grooming for Men

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

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

 

SHOP THE COLLECTION

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

Top 7 Skincare Products as Recommended by Menswear Bloggers

SKincare.jpeg

We can't be too hard on God. It's what happens when you try and take something as wondrous and complex as the human body from concept to market in a single day. You might forget that we'll need identical thumb prints so we can unlock our iPhones with both hands. That Appendix thing? Yeah no need for that cheers. Oh and why haven't we got a built in moisturiser for our face? Oh we have? Sorry, yes of course, as you were God.

That's right, our body is clever enough to produce its own moisturiser in the form of this fat produced by the Sebaceous gland, a small oil-producing gland present in the skin of mammals. (Check out the brains on ..... Wikipedia).

However, we strip our natural oils when we use detergent cleansers on our face, or when our glands are under performing or when we just like to compete with the missus for time-territory in the bathroom.

So I've done the honourable thing and got my mates to research the best moisturiser on the market right now. Or moreover, what works for them. Here are the Top 6 men’s moisturiser as recommend by menswear bloggers.


My Recommendation - Carl Thompson

Personally the most important step of my skincare regime is eye care and I think the majority of men would agree. Reducing puffiness and dark circles under the eyes is something that I would spend good money on a product that can help with this issue for many men. I’ve used many eye creams and this Phormula 3-9 eye repair from Erno Laszlo is my top pick due to the luxurious, rich, silky texture and it’s smooth finish.


Craig Landale - MenswearStyle

I got married last year and went to South Korea as part of my honeymoon. I was amazed with the skincare game in Seoul, with a facial bar on every corner. They certainly seem to be ahead of the curve over there when it comes to skincare. As a true tourist I picked up a few souvenirs from one of the most prominent skincare stores 'innisfree'. This serum is so good for my skin that I recently asked one of my friends who was working in Seoul to bring back a bulk amount of the stuff. Craig Landale - MenswearStyle


Adam TanousThe Dapper Chapper

REN V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream is the product I’ve used consistently on my face for a while now. It’s designed to recharge and intensively hydrate the skin overnight and is suitable for all skin types. An indulgent way to finish the day. Adam TanousThe Dapper Chapper


Charlie Irons - Man About Town

In the colder months there is less moisture in the atmosphere and your skin can become dehydrated, dry and flaky.  To add insult to injury, the heating in your office and at home can further create problems and ultimately dry things out even more.  All this means your skin is constantly fighting a battle against the elements and it's important you 'equip' it with some firepower to fight back. Charlie Irons - Man About Town


John Robertson - The Everyday Man

At the moment, I’m using Gentleman's Tonic I went for a facial a couple of months back and the therapist told me I was using the wrong things on my skin. I was exfoliating too much and using a very thick moisturiser. On her recommendation, I switched to this and have already seen a positive improvement. My skin feels firmer and looks a lot healthier. John Robertson - The Everyday Man


Peter Brooker - Human Research

I once got sent a load of Aesop stuff for a review article. I wish I hadn't now because this stuff is like Moisturiser Heroin. I've blitzed through the samples now and will shortly have to be forking out real money to keep this much needed ritual going. It has lime extract which just makes my grill smell like a citrus farm. I've leant it to a couple of mates on various events and stag dos and they're hooked now. Does that me a peddler? I guess so. Peter Brooker - Human Research


Ben Heath - Twenty First Century Gent

This is by no means my complete guide to grooming, but the final product that I use religiously in my five-minute daily routine is the Tom Ford Anti-Fatigue Eye Treatment. Physiologically, it helps to reduce puffiness around the eyes, and psychologically it leaves me feeling alert and mentally ready when I leave the house. Ben Heath - Twenty First Century Gent

National Grooming Day Essentials | Men's Edit

National Grooming Day

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

Jo Malone - Lime Basil & Mandarin Shower Oil

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

Heath - Hair & Body Wash

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

Kiehl's - Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner

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

Jo Malone - Geranium & Walnut Body Scrub

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

Clinique for Men - Charcoal Face Wash & Face Scrub

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

LAB Series - Multi-Action Face Wash

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

Harry's - Shave Gel & Razor

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

Remington - Barba Beard Trimmer

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

LA MER - All skincare products

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

Tom Ford - Conditioning Beard Oil & American Crew Beard Serum

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

Guerlain - Super Aqua Crème Day Gel

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

Dr Sebagh & Estée Lauder - Eye Serum

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

Clinique for Men - Maximum Hydrator

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

TONI&GUY - Hair Products

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

Jo Malone - Oud & Bergamot Cologne Intense

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

Tom Ford - Private Blend Fragrances

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

Men's Skincare by Lqd

Lqd is an Australian brand developed by men for mankind. Free from all nasties with high quality active ingredients that are totally irritant free. They launched into the US last year and are just launching in the UK and are about to launch in Harrods in June. Their brand ethos is about a holistic approach to skin care. In essence, looking after your body and mind as well as your skin.  

The product range includes facial wash, shaving cream, post shave serum, facial scrub, moisturiser, eye serum and anti-blemish control and I've managed to trial them all.

Starting with the Shave & Calm, two products to use during the shaving process. The 'shave' product protects during shaving, softens hair whilst nourishes shaved skin. The Lqd post-shave product is called 'calm' which is fast acting, helps reduce redness from shaving, penetrates quickly and is moisture enriched. 

My next stage in a men's everyday grooming regime would be the facial skincare, scrub, wash and hydrate. First use the 'scrub' product a couple of times a week to remove dead skin and do-clog the skin. The product also helps renew the skin and stimulates collagen. Next, grab the 'wash' tube, which should be used as a daily face wash, this particular face wash from Lqd is deep cleansing and non foaming. Finally once your skin has been dried, use the 'hydrate' product which is a daily traditional moisturiser perfect for men due to its matte finish in appearance.

I've saved the more specialist products until last, which are 'blemish control' and 'eye restore'. I use both daily to keep my skin looking and feeling its best. The blemish 'control' product inhibits bacteria growth, opens obstructed skin pores, reduces sebum production, removes redness and stops skin drying out. Where the eye 'restore' product referred to by the brand as "botox in a bottle" helps stimulates collagen, reduces puffiness, reduces crows feet and reduces dark circles.

 

TO FIND OUT MORE AND TO TRY FOR YOURSELF VISIT

 

 

 

www.lqd.co.uk

Men's Nighttime Skincare Routine

Men are starting to look after their skin a lot more and I think this shift is due to more products being available for the male/unisex market, more information on how to look after your skin and also a culture change in the habits of men theses days. I grew up in a time where everyone used either mousse or gel (which came in big tubs of green grease) when styling their hair and facial skincare was fulfilled by a tube of moisturiser you got from your nan for Christmas and would most likely gather dust on your shelf unused.

Times have changed and I'm now looking after my skin on a daily basis, although I'm still finding that most men only look after their skin during the daytime and neglect a nighttime routine. Having a nighttime skincare routine is just as important as your daycare one because at night you become dehydrated and therefore so will your skin. Drinking water prior to going to bed and using an overnight treatment is the way forward.

Pollution damage is something we also need to guard against for our skin, which is new for even myself. I found this Molecular Saviour - Toner Mist online at Cult Beauty which is a great website for you to learn more about skincare and of course shop the latest skincare products. This product repairs damaged skin and protects against DNA, oxidative, pollution damage. It also helps protect against UV radiation and reduces skin damage. The perfect product for anyone who dwells in city life.

Overnight I use the Allies of Skin Overnight Mask which refines and brightens the skin while we sleep, it protects against dehydrating conditions and restores nutrient-deficient complexions. This product is perfect for someone who loves to over indulge, maybe it is too much travelling, partying or just too little sleep.

If you are interested to hear more about how you can protect your skin better and maintain it's health, comment or message me and I'll make sure I'll reply to all messages. Have a great day.

 

SHOP ALLIES OF SKIN @ CULT BEAUTY