Grooming Guru Essentials: the August edit.

GROOMING GURU ESSENTIALS-1Since it’s nearly the end of the month I thought I’d round-up some of the best products to have landed on my desk in the past few weeks. After all, when it comes to stocking your bathroom cabinet it’s all about the edit. So here are my picks from August…

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream For Men, £55 from elemis.com

Elemis’ award-winning Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is a legendary beauty product and it always puzzled me why there hadn’t been a version in their men’s range. Well, now there is. Resisting the urge to simply repackage the original formula this men’s version includes an extra ingredient called Abyssine which is a soothing oil that helps calm the skin and reduces the irritation caused by shaving. The cream itself is intensely hydrating and silky but, crucially for me, doesn’t leave a shiny residue on the skin.

Oliver Sweeney Argento Eau De Parfum, £95 from oliversweeney.com

Regular readers will know how disappointed I am with a lot of new men’s fragrances but here’s one I love (I know, hang out the bunting!). The first fragrance from luxury shoe and accessories designer Oliver Sweeney, Argento is a delightfully woody, slightly leathery fragrance that smells reassuringly traditional without being boring. What’s more, unlike most of today’s new men’s launches it doesn’t smell like a cake shop and for this reason alone it’s currently my favourite new fragrance.

Philips Bodygroom Series 1000, £20 from amazon.co.uk

Remarkably, it’s been 10 years now since the launch of the first Philips Bodygroom – a tool that changed how men manscaped and one which pretty much created a brand new category in male grooming. This latest version is slimmer, sleeker and has a new ‘skin protector’ not found on previous models, allowing a nick-free trim, particularly if you’re using it ‘down below’. It doesn’t go as close as the other models (it’s a trimmer rather than a down-to-skin-level shaver) but is much easier – and safer –  to use. The price point is excellent too.

Rose of No Man’s Land, £88 from Liberty, from 10th September

I’m a big fan of rose fragrances and whilst they do scare a lot of men they don’t all leave you smelling like  a hanky-brandishing dowager aunt. This one, from Swedish fragrance house Byredo, is a perfect example of a rose fragrance a man can rock since the overly floral aspects are tempered by a lovely warm woodiness and a slight spiciness. Be brave and give it a try.

Root Vanish By Kazumi, £30 from Boots.

Though essentially a hair product some enterprising PR realised this temporary tinting brush by Japanese company Kazumi actually works wonders on facial hair too. Available in different shades (I’ve been using the light brown) it’s brilliant at disguising any little grey bits  you have and is useful where you have patches too. It stays on throughout the day but washes of when you shower, too, giving you total control over the effect. I don’t leave the house without touching up now!

What will make the edit next month? Watch this space to find out.

The Grooming Guru Awards 2012. Best Room Fragrance: Byredo Parfums Apocalyptic Scented Candle

Byredo Apocalypticggawrd12lIn the last of my Grooming Guru Awards for 2012 (I know, they do seem to have gone on forever and for that I apologise) I wanted to give an award for my favourite new room fragrance. I’m an absolute scented candle/diffuser/incense stick junkie so it’s always hard for me to pick just one product I really like but this new candle from Byredo I love for several reasons.

For starters, I tend to prefer candles with a warm, earthy, woody and slightly mysterious feel (if they smell anything like a smouldering campfire in a secluded forest all the better). Apocalyptic ticks all these boxes thanks to notes of oakmoss, birch wood and fire iron (think hot, smelting metal). It’s similar in vibe to my favourite ever candle, Diptyque’s Feu de Bois, but is subtler and not quite so overwhelming.

I love it, too, for the deep navy-black wax which reminds me a bit of an ancient obsidian scrying glass when liquid. If indeed, the end of the world is nigh as the Mayans predicted, Apocalyptic will be what’s burning in the background, at my place at least.

Byredo Parfums Apocalyptic Bougie costs £50.00 for 300gr and is available from Liberty 020 7734 1234