Archive for the ‘Grooming’ Category

Grooming, health, Lifestyle

Review: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

By Laura on January 1st, 2012

Philips recently released The Sonicare DiamondClean, a £250 toothbrush, but is it worth it? Read on to find out.

The Sonicare DiamondClean is probably one of the most techy toothbrushes I have ever come across, its packed with teeth cleaning features and even looks good.

The bush has a long oblong handle that features a power/mode select button and an illuminated display to indicate which of the brush’s five cleaning modes you’re currently using, in addition to battery charge levels. The five cleaning modes are designed to target specific areas of your mouth, allowing you to specialize your brushing with settings such as gum care or the whitening mode. Th brush has been clinically proven to remove up to four times more plaque than a manual toothbrush, increase gum health in only two weeks and whiten your teeth in as little as one! In addition it has an impressive rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, which is good for 3 weeks of regular usage from a single overnight charge.

Tech aside, the DiamondClean looks great on your bathroom shelf. The brush comes with an eye-catching silver travel case and a nicely cut glass tumbler with a silver base unit that it rests in all while wirelessly charging.

Using an inductive charging system similar to that found in Powermat chargers, simply placing the brush into the glass resting on the base unit (with the base unit plugged into a wall socket) charges the DiamondClean. With the green-lined travel case, it’s a similar principle, lying the toothbrush down inside rather than standing it up, and connecting the case via a USB connection on a PC or laptop to charge the brush. A useful feature for those who travel a lot.

After only one use of the DiamondClean I was a fan. My teeth as clean as they do after a visit to the dentist. For those not use to using an electric toothbrush Philips have cleverly designed the brush to ramp up the intensity of the cleaning cycle progressively after your first few brushes, letting you get used to the brush gradually. While testing out the brush I generally stuck to the default “Clean” setting. In this mode the DiamondClean uses a 2 minute “Smartimer”, automatically switching off after you’ve brushed for the recommended 120 seconds. In addition it will stop the motor for a split-second at 30 second intervals to help you better judge when to move onto a new area in your mouth. It’s a great way of making sure you’ve done a thorough job. After only a few weeks of using the brush I noticed my teeth look notably whiter and my mouth felt fresh.

Grooming, Lifestyle

Victorinox launch new fragrance with underwater 360° video

By Laura on December 31st, 2011

How do you communicate a fragrance online? Swiss brand Victorinox has found a fun way of doing just this, with the first interactive underwater 360° video. Shot in a picturesque Swiss lake, the movie’s perspective can be altered by the viewer to encapsulate the experience of a brisk lake swim. The video aims to merge interaction and the breathtaking landscape into a near-physical experience to trigger the feeling of well-being and freshness as exemplified by Victorinox Fragrances.

Check out the video above and don’t forget to order a free fragrance sample.

features, Grooming

Movember 2011

By Laura on October 31st, 2011

Moustache Season is upon us as Movember kicks off tomorrow. So its time to man up and grow that cookie duster.

Every November, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim is simply to help raise money and awareness of men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

On Movember 1st, men will start the month off with a clean-shaven face and then for the rest of the month, Mo Bros will groom, trim and wax their moustaches becoming human billboards for men’s health. So what are you waiting for? Join your Mo Bro’s and sign up here.

If your based in London don’t forget to pop down to the Merc clothing store on Carnaby Street throughout November for a tash tidy

features, Grooming

Gentlemans Relish – the return of the barber shop

By Laura on August 5th, 2011

Yesterday evening I headed to Gentlemans Relish in Clerkenwell for some head and face topiary.

My hair was long, misshapen, permanently unruly and I’d not shaved for a few days, so this assignment was perfectly timed.

A brief run down of the company – Paul Jackson opened the company’s first salon in Colchester in 2007 and has been steadily expanding the business every year since. The Clerkenwell salon is the company’s second in London (the other is off Brick Lane), and they have ambitious growth plans, aiming for a solid 45-50 across the UK in the future.

The salons sell products by some quality male grooming brands as well, including Kevin Murphy, American Crew and Lock Stock & Barrel.

The Clerkenwell outlet itself is classy as hell, the centrepieces being four perfectly restored 1950’s cream and red crocodile-leather chairs with heavy-duty foot rests. An intimate size and excellent online booking system means there’s no one impatiently thumbing dog-eared copies of GQ on the sofa either.

That said, a barbershop is only as good as the guy holding the scissors. Salon Manager and GR Managing Director Darren Agyei-Dua sat me down, and I ran through my normal style before deciding to just let him do what he liked.

He’s trained in pretty much everything there is to train in in terms of hair and grooming, and cut for numerous agencies including CLM, Caren and Jed Root. He even cut Robbie Williams’ hair at a Brit Awards Ceremony recently. Impressive stuff.

Darren was quick, precise and effortless with his cutting. He had consistently good chat as well, which really does make all the difference.

The shave was of matching quality. I had a Turkish shave in Istanbul last year and it was going swimmingly until they burnt my ears with a lighter. Darren assured me no ears would be burnt.

If you’ve never been shaved, have it done. It’s quite therapeutic. At Gentleman’s Relish you have your face washed, some ‘skin food’, a warm towel, badger brush applying the foam, straight razor taking it off and then a cool towel to close your pores. Your skin is left as smooth as the day you were born and feels fantastic.

It’s really not that expensive either – £25 for a cut and £15 for a shave, which is considerably more accessible than what Gentleman’s Relish’s previously charged.

The Clerkenwell salon is in a good location, boasts top-notch stylists and is hoping to add a masseuse to the mix by Christmas. They’re creating a new kind of barbershop for a new, style-conscious generation. I’m sold.

Visit their website here
Follow GR on Twitter here and Facebook here.
Read more about Darren Agyei-Dua here and follow him on Twitter here.

Guest post by Alex Clough


Review: Stargazer Hair Wax

By Laura on March 15th, 2011

Last month the guys over at Stargazer sent us some of their natural hair wax to test out.
Overall we thought it was a great product. The packaging has a wonderful retro feel that made us think of classic barber shops and 50’s styling. These practical tins also make it easy to slipped into a bag or kept in your office desk.

We found the Natural Hair Wax to be ideal for creating a raw, untouched look that will still last all day and night. In other words its a perfect for those who want to style their hair in the morning and forget about it after. For a wax it was very light weight and was hardly noticeable once applied, even in lighter hair.

Stargazer’s Hair Wax also comes in “Hold” which is apparently better for creating more sculpted styles.
If you are in the market for a new hair wax definitely check out Stargazer. Available for £3

features, Grooming

Men Are Useless Review

By Laura on February 5th, 2011

This month one of our reviewers, Joe, kindly tested out the monthly box scheme for male grooming essentials – “Men Are Useless.” For about the same price as you would pay at the shops, Men are Useless will do all your essential toiletry shopping for you, box it up and deliver it through your letter box.
Read Joe’s full review of the service below:

My box came with:
1 x KoS Razor (w/ 2 heads)
1 x KoS Face balm
1 x KoS Shave Gel
1 x Moose Head Grime Blasting Face Wash
1 x Original Source Hair & Body Wash
2 x OrganicHomme active fix Repair Serum sachets
Menareuseless mints and selection of sweets

Overall I was extremely impressed with the packaging and layout of the products within the box. It felt like getting a treat, despite the fact that it’s full of things you’d normally just get at the supermarket/chemist. That said, its a great idea as these are the kinds of things I tend to forget to buy, so this service would ensure I’m not having to steal from my flatmates. Oh and the sweets were a nice touch too!

It arrived quickly and fit through the letter box with no problems. My favourite product from the box is probably the shower gel. The shaving products were all great too. I would definitely buy Kings of Shaves as opposed to Gillette now.

I would definitely consider this option for myself each month, especially because the pricing is so reasonable. However, I am not sure I would buy it as a gift as there are no luxury brands included, but as a monthly service its great.

Overall we thought that this was an excellent service and would definitely recommend it to our readers.

Joe received “The Works” Box available for £16.99. They also offer an “Essentials” box for £14.99.

*Disclaimer Brandish was given The Works Box by Men Are Useless to demo. This however in no way influenced our review.

features, Grooming

Green shaving creams to celebrate end of Movember

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on November 30th, 2010

Originally published on Hippyshopper.

December is just one sleep away and we are all getting geared up for Christmas cheer and shopping. However, as November draws to a close I thought we’d give an extra cheer for all of the guys who’ve been sporting tashes for a month in support for Movember; raising funds for The Prostate Cancer Charity.

Now all the lovely ladies whose boyfriends, friends, brothers or fathers have spent a month cultivating a moustache, why not give them a pre-Christmas treat in the form of green shaving products. To make things easier, with the help of Jay Clarke, Hippyshopper has tested four of the best natural shaving creams on the market. (pssst – they are also great as stocking fillers!)

OSMIUM Age Defend Shave.jpgOSMIUM® Age Defend Shave (£12 for 125ml)

A deluxe plant-rich non-foaming shaving cream, the Age Defend Shave contains ingredients to protect, soften and soothe skins while ensuring an ultra-close shave. The shaving cream is free from sulphates and contains Siberian ginseng and juniper, aloe vera, chamomile and eucalyptus oil. This non-drying and calming formula is said to reduce irritation and minimise redness.

Formulated specifically for men, the OSMIUM® range is rich in plant actives, vitamins and minerals, is more than 93% natural and 99% preservative free. Developed in the UK, the products are prepared by experts in natural treatments under the highest quality standards, each product is said to be non-greasy, fast-absorbing and easy to use.

What Jay thought:
While the name sounds like three point military procedure, the name doesn’t mask it from being a decent, if not overwhelming product. It does an excellent job at soothing and preventing irritation or redness which is crucial when shaving. The shaving cream also leaves a pleasant freshness after it is rinsed off. One of the more costly products tested, my only gripe is that I was expecting something special, special aromas that will linger in my memory and long to smell again. While a good product that does everything it says on the box, it unfortunately didn’t blow me away.

Where to buy:

Trilogy Shave Cream.jpgTrilogy Smooth Shave Cream (£10.00 for 150ml)

The Smooth Shave Cream by Trilogy, is a high glide and conditioning cream that contains a unique balance of natural shave primers and skin softening emollients from pure plant oils including avocado, olive, marula and wheat germ. The added benefit of aloe vera and green tea soothes as facial hair is lifted for a comfortable, close and even shave.

Trilogy Natural Actives for Men is produced with a unique combination of zinc, copper and magnesium – minerals known for their beneficial impact of the skin, and essential plant oils that assist in supporting healthier, firmer and younger looking skin.

What Jay thought:
My expectations were high: expensive looking packaging and luxurious sounding ingredients. The first thing I noticed upon applying the cream was its thickness. Like skin-friendly Tip-Ex, it forms a thick shield protecting your face, which feels soft and comforting. The aloe vera sooths and relaxes the face before shaving begins. However upon shaving I realised that it was if anything, slightly too thick, somewhat impeding the razor. I was underwhelmed by the smell, or lack thereof, for a shaving cream containing so many exotic ingredients it smelt bland. It did however do an excellent job at preventing irritation and redness, which is a major benefit of a shaving cream over a shaving gel. Overall, Trilogy shaving cream feels better on your face than it smells. As the shaving cream is part of a skincare series, I expect it to work better with the whole range. For instance, the Trilogy Post Shave Balm provides a plethora of wonderful aroma when opened. Ginger, lemon, orange – dare I say it, Cointreau Liqueur. By the time I’d massaged it into my shaven face I was eager for an edible version. It felt refreshing and is a beautifully complete product. The post shave balm is not cheap at £16, but it is a price worth paying. This is the balm for me; a fantastic product.

Where to buy:

Organic Homme Wash and Shave.jpgOrganic Homme Wash and Shave (£11.95 for 125ml)

This two in one active-packed face wash and shaving gel from Organic Homme promises the ultimate close shave. The gel lifts the hair shafts to help prevent ‘razor burn’ and nicks and cuts. The organic aloe vera soothes, conditions and protects the skin, while plant proteins and seaweed keep the skin smooth and supple.

Organic Homme’s natural and organic products are suitable for all men including those with sensitive skin and those prone to eczema, psoriasis, acne and skin blemishes. Made without any chemical nasties, the products are based on 100% natural, organic and fairly traded ingredients.

What Jay thought:
Organic Homme’s Wash and Shave is another wonderfully citrus effort that I instinctively want to drink rather than rub over my face, perhaps doing both would be an acceptable compromise? From its sweet masculine scent to its minimalistic packaging, this product oozes sophistication. I like it a lot. As it also leaves your skin moisturised it is perfect for the cold winter months.

Where to buy:

Bulldog Original Shave Gel.jpgBulldog Organic Shave Gel (£3.49 for 175ml)

The UK’s first and largest natural skincare brand for men, all Bulldog products are body friendly and don’t contain any artificial nasties, like parabens and sulphates, artificial colours or synthetic fragrances. The products are loaded with essentials oils and natural actives.

The Organic Shave Gel, contains seven essential oils to give a smooth and moisturising shave every time: aloe vera, jojoba and konjac mannan. The shave gel is best used with liberal amounts of warm water, or better still, in a steam shower. It softens stubbornly hard facial hairs, and is formulated to work with your razor to achieve the right amount of glide to deliver a perfectly smooth shave.

What Jay thought:
I like Bulldog, the value for money is good, the packaging looks lovely, and the gel smells amazing! A cool cascade of menthol eucalyptus, ginger and aloe vera sooths your face, relaxing and silky yet firm and fit for purpose. As mentioned on the packaging, I recommend mixing warm water with the gel as it is quite thick, yet this is no bad thing. The razor glides through it seamlessly, giving a nice smooth, close shave. And best of all, it leaves a lovely cooling, refreshing after-fragrance.

The best of the shaving gels/creams here, and that’s before you factor in that it’s available at a fraction of the price of the others. This is the shaving product to have!

Where to buy:


Get A Free Mo Trim At Merc

By Laura on November 25th, 2010

crazy mo

As it nears the end of Movember, you might be wondering what to do with your stash. To keep it or lose it, that is the question.

For those of you in London, why not head down to the Merc shop on Carnaby Street. For the next month they will be offering shoppers a free trim, moustache tidy or fringe tidy to ensure you’re looking fresh and crisp this festive season. For anyone who participates they are also offering a 20% discount on clothing and accessories.

Mo trims are open to anyone, no appointment necessary. Merc is located at 10 Carnaby Street.


Bulldog becomes first Fairtrade male grooming company

By shinychris on February 15th, 2010

BulldogFairtradegroup.jpg Bulldog has become the first male grooming company to launch a range of Fairtrade products. The new range, which consists of Bulldog Eco-System Shave Gel and Bulldog Eco-System Moisturiser will launch ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight (22nd February to 4th March).

The new products include amazing natural Fairtrade ingredients from across the globe. The range contains green tea from Sri Lanka, organic shea butter from Ghana, organic sugar from Paraguay, sesame seed oil from Nicaragua, and Brazil nut oil from Peru.

Bulldog Eco-System Shave Gel – (175ml, RRP £3.69) – Containing Fairtrade Green Tea from Sri Lanka, Organic Sugar from Paraguay and a unique blend of eight essential oils to soothe the skin following the rigors of shaving.

Bulldog Eco-System Moisturiser - (100ml, RRP £6.49) – Containing Fairtrade organic shea butter from Ghana, Fairtrade sesame seed oil from Nicaragua and Fairtrade Brazil nut oil from Peru and a unique blend of eight essential oils to hydrate the skin.

The Bulldog range was born out of frustration that there were no options available for switched-on men who wanted to reduce the number of man-made chemicals in their bathrooms.

The Fairtrade Foundation was established to focus on better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest and weakest producers.

It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives. More than 7 million people now benefit from Fairtrade, with products coming from 58 developing countries all around the world.


Bulldog becomes UK’s first cruelty free range for men

By shinychris on December 8th, 2009

BulldogMoisturisers.jpgWant a moisturiser that hasn’t been tested on animals? Bulldog has become the UK’s first cruelty-free male grooming brand to be recognised and approved by BUAV (British Union for Abolition of Vivisection) under their Humane Cosmetics Standard.

Born out of frustration that there were no options available for switched-on men who wanted to reduce the number of man-made chemicals in their bathrooms, Bulldog’s products also don’t contain controversial man-made chemicals such as parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, artificial colours, or synthetic fragrances.

Bulldog Co-Founder, Simon Duffy, said: “I’m delighted that Bulldog is the first male grooming brand to be recognised by the BUAV. Consumers deserve to know that the products that they use are cruelty free.” Bulldog is now calling on other brands such as L’Oreal Men Expert, Nivea For Men and Gillette to follow its example and make their own positions clear.


Half price No7 Men Skincare Collection at Boots

By shinychris on October 16th, 2009

No7 For Men Skincare Collection £40.jpg Every week from now until Christmas, Boots is marketing an ‘Offer of the week’, giving you the chance to pick up gifts at sensational, knockdown prices. This week (October 16 to 22nd) customers can get their hands on the No7 For Men Skincare Collection for just £20 instead of £40.

The No7 For Men Skincare Collection contains Multi-Task Hair & Body Wash, Wake-Up Face Wash, Anti-Friction ShaveGel, Post Shave Recovery Balm SPF15, Protect & Perfect Serum, Anti-Fatigue Eye Stick and Anti-Shine Lotion.

Available at larger Boots stores, or online at

Brand Spotlight, Grooming, News

Trend Transition… Eyebrow-Free Faces?!

By wreid on July 17th, 2009

eyebrows.jpgBack when she started out, Karen Elson had her eyebrows infamously off-ed at the suggestion of Steven Meisel. She catapulted to international fame fronting high-fashion campaigns and covers from W magazine to Italian Vogue. All this would suggest that the loss of one’s eyebrows is actually rather beneficial- a debate being started over on the Daily Mail website. In the latest Givenchy advert, model Adriana Lima shows off a pair of bleached brows and the Daily Mail is as always on the attack.

Unfortunately for my now traumatised retinas, the newspaper made up a few of Britain’s biggest stars without eyebrows (image above.) I’m not a fan; waking up without eyebrows would be one of my worst nightmares. I can understand that on someone staggeringly beautiful and Elson-esque, a lack of eyebrows would only increase allure. However, this is most definitely one trend I pray does not make the leap from womenswear to menswear. Let’s leave it to the models!

(Image: Daily Mail)


Time to groom and be all the man you can!

By jsmith on June 26th, 2009


Older than Berlusconi this Italian native is safe to keep around your daughters but definitely not as fun. What Proraso lacks at a party it more than makes up for in a quality shave, originating from Florence and over 80 years old this shaving cream has been giving Italians glowing skin and a smooth visage for generations. The ingredients of Proraso are a closely gurded secret, however it is known to contain coconut, lanolin and euclyptus oil- this last one you can smell and feel tightening your skin whilst being soft enough for even the sensitive of us. This shaving cream can be used with both a brush or your hand and a cut throat or regular razor, though I would recommend using a brush as it makes the cream go much further and the lather much more lathery.

I was given a pot of Proraso shaving cream 4 months ago and I can honestly say this stuff is far and above the best shaving aid you can buy. It surpasses all the highstreet brands and costs no where near the price: £5 for a 150ml pot which will last you at least a year, this plus it means you’re no longer funding adverts that make having a shave look like changing the carburettor in your muscle car.

Get some Proraso from Murdock London and be all the man you can!


Kiehl’s sun protection: your summer sun essential kit

By cchapman on June 15th, 2009

kiehls uv protective sun cream sunscreen.jpg

As a typically pale Brit, sun protection is something I need to take seriously if I want to avoid the look referred to as ‘rosbif’ in certain parts of Europe. I use Kiehl’s Ultra Factor Moisturiser with an in-built SPF 15 as my daily. For more serious sun, I recently trialled Kiehl’s SPF 30 Face and Body Sunscreen Lotion. I had memories of Kiehl’s sun lotions being quite greasy, but this seems to be a new recipe. Buttery but easily absorbed, the SPF 30 is perfect for the first few days of your hols when burning is most likely, and advisable for your face, potentially, for your whole trip. I’d pair it with a spray such as Kiehl’s own SPF 25 spray.

As an after sun treatment, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula can’t be beaten and leaves you smelling like a posh chocolate. Best stick to something lighter such as Clinique’s After Sun Rescue with Aloe for your face, though. As a final tip, if you’re only stealing away for a few days, try decanting your products into the handy travel-sized clear pots and bottles from Muji.


Lacoste Challenge: Fresh Scent For Summer

By admin on June 12th, 2009

lacoste summer fragrance challenge.jpg

Kiss & Makeup‘s Zara writes…

Lacoste are launching a new scent which challenges men to be, uh, Challenge(d). The idea is that the scent will capture the essence of today’s young metrosexual, and be light enough to wear daily. Considering the tagline is ‘Never resist the call of the game’. it seems pretty relevant for Wimbledon, and I can imagine Henman spritzing on a little in between getting trounced trying his hardest.

The scent combines notes of tangerine and lemon mixed with aromatic lavender- an unusual combination for a male scent. They have added ginger to give it an extra a kick though, so hopefully you’ll be feeling zesty rather than getting flashbacks to your gran’s knicker drawer.

It costs from £24 for 50ml, and will be available this summer.

Related: False Eyelashes for MEN! (It’s OK, they’re ‘natural’)

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