Throughout much of my journalistic career I’ve written for men aged in their twenties, thirties and forties so it’s great to finally have the chance to write for guys who are 50+ thanks to the website high50. Guys in this age bracket are something of a forgotten audience when it comes to skincare (and male grooming in general) which is odd given their increasing numbers. As a man just a few years away from being 50 myself, I probably understand more than most how different a guy’s skincare needs are at that age than they are at 25, so it’s a real thrill to be writing for my contemporaries. So if you’re a man who’s 50+ or just want the heads up on how you should be looking after yourself once you get there, check out my male grooming features for high50 over the coming months. Oh, and if you’re a woman reading this they have some great ‘grown-up’ beauty features too!
The other day I happened to mention on Twitter that I was wearing Aesop’s Deodorant and a follower asked whether I’d blogged about it, presumably because he wanted a few more details. I hadn’t but, since I like to please, I thought I’d better. So…
I absolutely love this product. It contains no less than eleven essentials oils (including lavender, vetiver and clove) that have been chosen, not just for their great smell, but for their ability to deter micobial activity too. Helpfully, it also contains zinc ricinoleate – a naturally occurring fatty acid that’s a pretty effective odour neautralizer.
The big question, of course, given that this is a ‘natural’ deodorant, is: does it work? Well, actually it does, yes. Ok, so if you’re traipsing around town all day in scorching weather or are preparing for a stressful meeting and oozing ‘emotional sweat’ (that stuff that’s really pungent) you might want to opt for an antiperspirant but if you’re working from home, kicking back of a weekend or just want to smell good in bed this deo is perfect. Recommended.
For more info go to aesop.com
You know how they say you know you’ve made it when someone starts to impersonate you? Well, that’s the positive spin on impersonation. The darker side is when someone pretends to be you for their own material gain: that, dear readers, is commonly known as ‘fraud’. Sadly, a couple of weeks ago it came to my attention that someone (I nearly wrote f**ker there but am way too polite) had written to one of the ‘big three’ skincare companies claiming to be me and requesting product for review. The actual email they sent reads thus:
I’m Lee Kynaston, and I am the Online Grooming Editor for MensHealth: the number one online magazine for men – sex tips, fashion, sport and health advice. We cover a wide range of segments in our website: including Style & Grooming, consisting primarily of fragrance / grooming / hair care and whatnot. We haven’t actually featured any XXXXX product(s) on our website, and we were wondering if this would be possible as we would like to get more scents in for review before the summer. The review would be featured on our fragrance section of our website, as seen here:
Please check it out, and let me know your thoughts.
Thank-you for your time.
Online Grooming Editor.
They are absolutely right to laud Men’s Health but are wrong about the fact that I haven’t featured the product they requested and whilst they have accurately aped my notoriously flaky spelling in their sign off, even I know how to spell my own surname correctly. And who, apart from Jacob Rees-Mogg, uses the word whatnot in 2014?
On investigation it transpired this person has mailing addresses (anonymous suite numbers of course) in both Portland Oregon and in Belfast and is using an email address similar to my own (using the inaccurate spelling of my name). Not only is this person committing a crime by impersonating me, they are also on the wrong side of the law by using one of my employers as a cover.
Let’s be clear about one thing here: in the UK the Fraud Act 2006 makes it an offence to dishonestly make a false representation with the intention of making a gain or causing a loss and laws in the US are equally as clear. The bottom line is that it’s a criminal act.
So, if you are a PR I would ask you to be vigilant and always ensure that the person contacting you for product really is the person they say they are (and if they are not, do as the PR in this case did, and contact your legal team for advice).
If you’re are a journalist or blogger, meanwhile, I would merely ask you to be aware that identity theft like this is an increasing problem, particularly online. And if you do find you are being impersonated in any way contact the police about it immediately. After all, your identity is probably the most precious thing you own.
Mask image from http://www.maskparty.co.uk
The other day I wrote a piece about how rubbish men are at protecting their skin from the sun (you can read it here) but what I forgot to mention is that, sometimes, what puts men off sun protection products is the way those products actually smell and feel.
Things have improved massively since the days of claggy creams that stank to high heaven and got matted in your body hair, of course, but many brands still have a few, er, “issues” with their products (there’s a Nivea spray I used to use religiously until I realised it had a faint whiff of chicken jalfrezi, for example).
Anyway, New Zealand brand Triumph & Disaster sent me their No Dice SPF 50 Sunscreen For The Face to try the other day and I must say I’m rather impressed. Light as a feather, it’s totally non-greasy, doesn’t leave any visible residue on the skin and is virtually odourless too. Offering factor 50 protection (and with rather cool packaging to boot) it’s now become one of my favourite summer skincare essentials.
Predictably for a water sign I love being by the sea. But if there’s no sea available I’m more than happy splashing around (or doing some serious lengths if the moods takes me) in a swimming pool. The problem with that, of course, is the chlorine, which not only plays havoc with my skin but which also leaves me reeking like a freshly bleached toilet bowl. So it’s always useful to have a product to hand which allows me to de-Domestos myself. And that’s where Aveda’s Sun Care hair and Body Cleanser comes in. Though it smells a bit like lemon drizzle cake combined with plastic on a hot day (well, it does) it’s great for swimmers as it contains ingredients that help remove the chlorine and there’s also a little coconut oil in there to help maintain moisture balance. For me it’s a swim bag essential – if such a thing as a swim bag exists.
It doesn’t launch until September but since I’m getting old (and may well have forgotten I had a sneak preview of it by then) I thought I might as well give you the heads up on the brand new Aesop fragrance, Marrakech Intense, right now. Created by French perfumer Barnabé Fillion - a man who’s collaborated with the likes of Le Labo and who was the nose behind Paul Smith’s rather underrated Portrait For Men fragrance, it’s a rather clever “reinterpretation” of Aesop’s existing Marrakech fragrance.
Fillion (pictured) was brought in to give it a bit more oomph, reassembling it in the same way a musical track might be remixed in order to breathe new life into it and give it new meaning. Thus, Marrakech Intense is muskier and sexier than its predecessor and Fillion has fiddled with the top and middle of the fragrance, too, adding neroli, bergamot, rose and jasmine.
The distinctive clove, cardamon and sandalwood of the original is still there, but the Frenchman has added complexity and depth to Marrakech – making it much more nuanced – and in doing so he’s taken it from being a quirky apothecary scent and pushed it in the direction of a boutique fragrance with bags of character. Impressive.
Aesop Marrakech Intense will be available from September as a 50ml eau de toilette and a 10ml parfum roll-on.
Aw, am very excited today to have been High Commended in this year’s Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards for my male grooming column on telegraph.co.uk. One of the judges very kindly said it was the first time she’d actually LOL’d at a piece of beauty journalism which is just about the highest compliment I could have been paid because, at the end of the day, I write about deodorant and fake tan for a living. And if that’s not funny what is?
PS. Huge congrats to Joanna McGarry on her well-deserved win and a special mention to my pal Mark Smith who was also shortlisted in the online category. If you love spa treatments I implore you to check out his excellent blog, The Spa Man, which is one of my favourite online destinations.
I would very much like to tell you that Clive Christian‘s superb new fragrance ‘L’ was created just for me (it does bear my initial after all) and in my deluded mind it absolutely was. Alas, it turns out that the ‘L’ in question stands not for Lee but for Love.
Part of the ‘L’ private collection (there’s a female fragrance too) ‘L’ For Men is a sweet, sensual and – above all else – a ferociously woody scent. It features a fairly heady combination of grapefruit, vetiver and rose with a touch of smoky oud wood and a slightly pornographic musky base but the overriding smell is one of intensely woody pencil shavings (courtesy of atlas cedar). It’s sexy without being licentious, complex without being pretentious and, for men who like their fragrances to have stamina, has the kind of tenacity on the skin that means it can easily survive a hot bath or shower. Impressive stuff.
Available exclusively from Harrods from August
For lots of reasons this week as been a trying one. On more than one occasion I’ve been at the end of my tether and as a result my sleep has suffered horribly. Thank heavens, then, for the arrival of these two brand new products from L’Occinane in my postbag. Part of the company’s fantastic new Aromachology range, which launches in August, both the Relaxing Pillow Mist and Relaxing Perfumed Sachet have been essential bedtime companions this week – and a great help they’ve been too. Both smell amazing (thanks to lavender, sweet orange and rosemary) and, coupled with the Valerian tea I’ve been necking (alas, valium wasn’t available), they’ve just about managed to save my sanity. So if you’re craving a decent night’s sleep why not put these near your pillow!
Since my favourite sporting event, Wimbledon, is almost upon us, now seems like the perfect time for me to mention the special limited edition version of Lacoste’s Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Blanc fragrance. Although the fragrances in the ever-expanding L.12.12 range have always referenced the famous Lacoste polo shirt in the packaging this is the first time that the tennis association has really been referenced overtly, with the clean, white packaging brought to life with touches of eye-catching tennis ball yellow. I’ve always loved the understated simplicity of both the bottles and the boxes that house the L.12.12 fragrances and, unlike many limited editions, the changes in this particular edition only serve (if you’ll excuse the pun) to make it look even better.