Creme de La Mer launch Intensive Revitalizing Mask

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Like your skincare a little bit on the luxurious side? Then this brand new Intensive Revitalizing Mask from Creme de La Mer is one product you’ll definitely want on your wish list. Out in September it promises to undo some of the damage done to the skin by pollution and environmental aggressors by infusing it with antioxidants, restoring critical moisture  and helping to rebuild its protective barrier.

Unlike many of the Creme de La Mer products you might be familiar with it has a different fragrance, thanks to ingredients like mint and grapefruit. For someone like me who loves the signature smell of Creme De La Mer this is a bit of bummer but on the plus side it’s quickly absorbed and leaves a perfectly matt finish. If you’re  feeling flash you can apply liberally, massage in and rub off any excess with a tissue after eight minutes or, if you’re watching the pennies, apply a small amount and simply leave on. Either way, it’s the perfect treat for your skin.

King of Shaves launch Shave + Shield dual action shave prep moisturiser

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KOSThe concept of the new King of Shaves Shave + Shield is simple: it’s a product that you can use as a shave prep but  as a moisturiser too. So, technically, you don’t actually need to rinse it off after shaving as you would with a gel, foam or cream. In that respect it dovetails beautifully with King of Shaves’ last big launch, the Hyperglide, which is essentially a razor that can, if necessary, be used without water. So, add the Shave + Shield to the Hyperglide and you pretty much have the ultimate waterless shave.

In practice, not rinsing has a few disadvantages (not least that the odd rogue stubble clipping might still be stuck to your face) but it’s still an excellent time, space and money-saving product to have in your bathroom, gym bag or to pack into your suitcase if you’re heading off on your hols. What’s most impressive about it is that it’s lubricating enough to shave with and yet isn’t remotely greasy or shiny on the skin, leaving a perfectly matt finish. Clever.

Available from shave.com priced £4.99

 

A grooming product worth investing in…

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the man combAs someone who’s self employed and who has a multi-pronged ‘portfolio career’ (or so I’m told) I’m acutely aware of how much time, effort and money it can take to get new projects off the ground, so I have huge admiration for anyone trying to bring a new product to market. Which is where Arthur Randall comes in. The man behind DAFT  (Design And Fresh Thinking) he’s using Kickstarter to put his (rather cool-looking) Man Comb into production.

Having had a chance to see the prototype (I am combing my beard with it in between typing this) I can tell you it’s a beautifully designed product, made with a high level of craftsmanship and the leather holding pouch, which you can attach to your belt, is absolutely lovely. It’s useful too: not only can you comb your beard and hair with it, you can open bottles with it too. And an immaculate beard and barnet is worth celebrating right?

For more info or to get involved visit Arthur’s Kickstarter project page here.

Ginsberg is God (and the fragrance is pretty good too).

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GinsbergodIn the past year or so I’ve had the great fortune to attend not one but two Jasmine training workshops organised by The Fragrance Foundation. Designed for journalists and writers interested in fragrance they’re always a voyage of discovery, regardless of how much or how little you know about aldehydes, absolutes or accords. On each occasion proceedings have been conducted by the very talented Perfume Designer Azzi Glasser – a woman who has a knack of making even the most bewildering aspects of the fragrance world accessible to all.

Now, as passionate about perfume as Azzi is, she is also evangelical about pushing journalists like myself to approach fragrance writing in original and unexpected ways rather than simply regurgitating press releases (or blindly believing what those press releases say). Wherever possible she encourages out-of-the-box thinking and challenges writers to think in terms of feelings, sensations and mental images rather than simply reeling off a list of top, middle and base notes – a crime, I must admit, that I’ve been guilty of myself in the past.

And so, in honour of that thinking, my review of her latest creation for Bella Freud, Ginsberg is God uses a collage of images and quotes (including one from Ginsberg’s  most famous work Howl) to give you a flavour of my emotional response to it. I hope that you a gist of what I’m saying with this mood board but in case you still prefer a straight-forward review let’s just say it’s five star stuff and is one of my favourite fragrances this year.

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Ginsberg is God is available now from Harvey Nichols

Why Ferrari’s Vetiver Essence is definitely worth a spin

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FERRARI VETIVERIt’s a curious fact that in the last few years some of my favourite commercial fragrances have come, not from well-known fragrance or fashion houses, but from (of all things) car manufacturers. I’m a big fan, for instance, of the Bentley fragrances – especially Intense and Absolute – and am constantly impressed by how good the Ferrari fragrances are.  Their latest offering, Vetiver Essence, doesn’t launch until October but make a mental note of it now.

I’m a huge fan of vetiver fragrances (Roja Parfums’ Vetiver Extrait and Creed’s Original Vetiver being two of my favourites) but this vetiver is quite different, throwing in tonka bean, cardamon and coffee beans to give things a warm, edible edge and featuring hazelwood – something I’ve not come across before.

Anyway, the result is a fragrance that’s not remotely dominated by its key note like some vetivers and one that’s warm, sensual and devoid of any spiky edges. If I have one criticism it’s that it could do better on the longevity front but otherwise it’s an absolutely perfect fragrance for autumn.

Vetiver Essence is available exclusively from Harrods, from October, priced £79 for 100ml eau de parfum. 

 

Male grooming for grown-ups

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HIGH50Throughout 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!

Aesop Deodorant – smells like a winner to me.

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500968646_product_1The 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

When imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery.

white-or-black-full-face-italian-mask-12-pYou 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:

Hi,

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:

http://www.menshealth.co.uk/style/fragrance/

Please check it out, and let me know your thoughts.

Thank-you for your time.

Lee Kyanston.
Online Grooming Editor.
MensHealth.

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

Don’t be a disaster when it comes to sun protection – be a triumph instead!

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NO DICEThe 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.

 

Available from nivenandjoshua.com

Aveda Sun Care hair and Body Cleanser – a swim bag essential

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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.

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