Posts Tagged ‘male grooming’

features, Grooming, News, Retail

Carter and Bond: London’s hidden grooming gem

By Gerald Lynch on July 23rd, 2012

Hidden a few streets away from Latimer Road station, tucked inside a studio unit on the corner of a housing estate, is one of London’s finest hidden grooming gems. Carter and Bond, established in 2002, offers traditional cut and shave services of the highest quality, as well as a store touting a range of superb male grooming products sourced from across the globe.

Entering now its tenth anniversary year, Carter and Bond’s focus on quality, hard-to-come by goods is spearheaded by managing director Joe Cotton, whose time in the armed forces helped cultivate an appreciation for the finer points of men’s grooming practices.

“We’ve found that people want to go back to quality products that they can trust and traditional grooming and shaving regimes that were being lost,” explains Cotton.

“A lot of people were finding that they weren’t getting the satisfaction they wanted from the mass market, high street products. It’s all just cheap and nasty foams and gels out of aerosol cans, full of chemicals and propellants and razors with 3, 4, 5 or 17 blades with cartridges that you need to take a mortgage out on to be able to afford.

“Whether it’s in architecture or fashion or cuisine, there’s a desire now to rediscover a bygone era, to look at how things were done in the old days. We cater for that desire in male grooming.”

Though rising rates recently forced a move from Carter and Bond’s Royal Oak home to its current location, the new shop retains the charming decor that helped make Carter and Bond so dear to its loyal customers. Model Airfix planes litter the barber’s showroom, piles of Commando comics are stacked in every corner and tin robots gaze at you from atop glass-fronted, brush and blade-filled cabinets.

It’s a unique spin on the traditional grooming emporium, but Carter and Bond’s skilled barber Mustafa’s cut and shave work is as solid as it comes. Specialising in styles from the 1950s and 1960s, a cut at Carter and Bond is a friendly, warm and carefully considered affair, while the 30-45 minute full facial and hot-towel shave is the ultimate in men’s pampering.

Carter and Bond take their niche online too, offering the same range of classic grooming products through their long-serving website. Brands like Agua de ColoniaBaxter of CaliforniaCzech & Speake, D R Harris, Dovo of Solingen, Floris, Geo F TrumperHeadBlade, Marvis, Merkur, Musgo Real, PashanaProrasoand and Truefitt & Hill can also be purchased through the Carter and Bond online store.

“As the male grooming boom took off in the mid 2000s, there were lots of bandwagon brands popping up,” explains Cotton.

“Most of them didn’t last for ten minutes. So I became cynical and skeptical about these brands and became a lot more confident in the brands that have been around for decades or hundreds of years, particularly old English brands and their equivalents in other countries.

“Because these brands are quite niche and not widely available, we find our customers are very loyal.”

In a world of flash-in-the-pan fashions and trends, Carter and Bond’s classic take on grooming style looks set to stand the test of time.

“Both online and offline, we’re in a minority,” says Cotton.

“We’ve got our speciality; there’s not many people that do what we do, and the way that we do it, and I think our customers like and appreciate that.”

The Carter and Bond barber shop can be found at 15-17 Baseline Studios, Whitchurch Road, London, W11 4AT. Open Monday to Friday and Sunday, the shave and cut services are available Wednesdays and Sundays. While you can turn usually turn up without an appointment, you’re encouraged to book roughly a week in advance, especially for Sunday sessions.

A wash and cut costs £22, a standard shave costs £27, while the full facial and shave costs £35. Double deals for cuts and shaves are also available. 

For more info, click here. 


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


Body Shop For Men Face Scrub: the best a man can get?

By admin on June 20th, 2008

Body_Shop_Face-Scrub.jpgWhen it comes to the whole grooming palaver, I still have a resolutely male approach. I don’t mind using facial scrub, or moisturiser – I just want to find one that I like, that works for me, and I’ll stick with it. I’m not too interested in trying every facial scrub on the planet, though I was half-expecting to in order to find one that I liked enough to use every day.

Then I received a gift pack of Body Shop for men stuff, and that was it – their Face Scrub was the one for me, and has been ever since.

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M(o)ustache update – World Beard & Moustache Championships 2007; Brits granted entry to Best Sports M(o)ustache of All Time

By ShinyMedia on July 19th, 2007

Boy, those moustached fellas don’t miss a trick. Following yesterday’s post focusing on the American Mustache Institute, a nice man representing the World Beard & Moustache Championships 2007 got in touch to alert us Britishers to their event. It’s held on September 1st in Brighton, which is frankly rather more convenient than Missouri. Like the AMI, the Championships aim to raise money for charity (The Rockinghorse Appeal).

As you’d expect from a body of folk used to keeping things neat and tidy, the event looks extremely well-organised. Check out the event schedule for proof. I for one would definitely take part in the "Parade", which runs from 11am. Later on the competition proper takes place (partial and full beards are catered to), before a buffet supper (runny eggs excluded, one hopes).

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The American Mustache Institute – fighting m(o)ustache discrimination

By ShinyMedia on July 18th, 2007

SelleckIf I could grow a moustache, I would. And I imagine I’d become obsessed with it. I would nurture it like I would a pet. I would search for avenues that would indulge my fixation with my new hairy accessory. I would seek out websites which would feed my desire to look into any number of moustache-related matters. In short, I would be checking the website of the American Mustache Institute every. Damn. Day.

British readers, you’re just going to have to get used to the fact that "moustache" is spelled differently "over there". American readers, I’m only spelling it your way because that’s how the AMI spells it, so don’t go getting all cocky or nuthin’. Anyway, trifling spelling-related matters aside, the AMI provides a portal for all things pertaining to hairy face-sluggery. For instance, you get a section for "Mustaches In The News", which currently has bits about living moustached legends such as Tom Selleck and Billy Dee Williams.

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Lost’s Matthew Fox is the tear-free face of L’Oreal Men Expert

By ShinyMedia on July 16th, 2007

This may be old news, but over the weekend I saw two adverts starring guys from Lost. Cool Water are using Josh Holloway – aka Sawyer – as their swimming hunk in their latest ad, while, as you’ll see after the jump, Matthew Fox is fronting the new L’Oreal Men Expert ad.

Now, when I started watching Lost, my first thought on seeing Mr. Fox was "Hey! That’s the guy from Party Of Five who, like his brother Bailey, cried in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE." If you never saw Party Of Five you may think I’m exaggerating a touch. I’m not. Ask anyone. And then whaddya know, he joins Lost and before you know it the "crying while trying not to cry" face is back on our screens every week. And providing plenty of opportunities for humour.

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Men and tweezers

By Isabelle on March 19th, 2007

Over at See Jack Shop he is discussing eyebrow grooming, but I’m not so sure that UK men are that up for some magnifying mirror and tweezer action. I’ve seen Japanese men with shaved eyebrows but apart from a few averted monobrow massacres and uber-gay men who also wear foundation you don’t see many groomed eyebrows. I can understand some careful snipping if you’ve got Healy-tastic eyebrows (see left), do you pluck your eyebrows?

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