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!
Grooming Boxes are tricky things to get right. When GlossyBox attempted one I, like many people, was left rather underwhelmed, partly because the size of the samples seemed particularly stingy for the money.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept the Grooming Box, it’s a way of collecting together a range of different grooming products, from a different array of brands, so that you get to sample their wares and they get to win you over. Quite often they feature smaller or travel-sized versions of well-known products (and on occasions really small samples).
So, how does the first Grooming Box from Selfridges rate? Well, actually, it’s one of the best I’ve seen – if not the best. Featuring nine separate products from seven different brands – including personal favouries like Triumph & Disaster, Clarins, Molton Brown, Kiehl’s and Commes des Garcons – it’s generous in terms of products and scope and would be just as good a gift for someone as it is a great way to sample some fine brands for yourself. Sure, it might have been nice for them to have featured one or two more brands rather than featuring a trio of products from Scaramouche & Fandango but other than that small criticism I really can’t fault it, so well done Selfridges and I hope there’s another one in the pipeline for later in the year!
The Selfridges Grooming Box costs £20 and is available exclusively from selfridges.com whilst stocks last!
Without a doubt, terrorism has made air travel a royal pain in the ass. Much of the additional hassle, of course, comes from the restrictions as to what you can take on board the plane with you (who’d have thought a bottle of orange squash or a large tube of body moisturiser would be considered lethal?). Anyway, here’s a fantastic product that allows frequent fliers to arrive at their destination beautifully manicured. Czech & Speake‘s Air Safe Manicure Set includes everything a man needs for immaculately-manicured nails and has been designed to conform to international hand luggage restrictions. Especially good for businessmen I could have thought. Get it now, before some idiot tries to down a plane with a pair of nail clippers.
The Air Safe Manicure set is available on www.czechandspeake.com
I love discovering new and interesting skincare products. If I didn’t get excited by shave cream, turned on by moisturiser and aroused by the latest eye cream I sure as hell wouldn’t be doing the job I do. However, every now and then I stumble across a product that leaves me, not so much excited as, well, positively gobsmacked. Which brings me neatly onto R-Swash.
A grooming product aimed at (how can I put this?) men blighted by a ‘less than immaculately groomed groove’ it’s possibly one of the most niche bathroom accessories I’ve ever come across. Their website describes this handy cleft cleaner as the perfect gift for birthdays, Christmas or Valentine’s Day – which may be stretching the truth a teeny bit because it’s not a product one immediately associates with good will or unbridled romance. It does, however, have a certain cheeky charm. I haven’t actually tried it (I have no need thanks) but it did make me laugh and in a world where skincare can be terribly po-faced that’s not, you know, something to be sniffed at.
As someone who writes about male grooming for a living nothing shocks me more than when display a lack of good grooming. Well, actually, that’s not true. What shocks me more is when men groom inappropriately. For an insight into what I mean read the piece I wrote for Telegraph Men this week by clicking the pic below. You filthy swines you.
Probably emboldened by the success of their Sport range last year (despite the mysterious and rather hasty withdrawal of the Body-Warming Sportbalm) Molton Brown have just launched a raft of male grooming products anchored in the shaving routine. Their new Men’s Grooming Collection features seven products and includes everything from a Balancing Face Wash and a Deep-Clean Face Scrub to a Post-Shave Recovery Balm. The packaging is classy, the products nicely but not overly-scented and there’s pretty much everything you need to create a basic grooming routine. Recommended.
For more info to moltonbrown.co.uk
I’ve come across some truly bonkers grooming terms in my career and am often asked what’s meant by ‘manscaping’, ‘mampering’ or ‘Brotox’ so I’ve gathered together a few of my favourite (not to mention least favourite) terms for my latest Telegraph Men column. So, if you’ve always wanted to know what ‘batwing ball’ is click on the pic below!
Currently accompanying me to bed at night is this little number from online retail behemoth Mr Porter. The second paperback compendium of style and grooming tips, essential man skills, insider advice about where to eat, hang out and – in typical Mr Porter style – how to pick the perfect desk lamp, it makes perfect bedtime reading.
What’s more everything is presented in an easily digestible format (the Bryan Ferry interview is just four dinky pages long but more insightful than some entire books on him I’ve read). Look out, too, for the article entitled Art-Deco Drives which is the nearest thing to car porn you’ll ever find.
The Mr Porter Paperback Volume Two is published by Thames & Hudson and is available from mrporter.com, priced £20.
One of the things I love most about Lab Series is their no-bull approach to skincare. Never over-complicated for the sake of it, their products always do what they say on the tin and rarely over-promise but often over-deliver. So it’s rather appropriate that their kit for Christmas has a very upfront ‘go on, try us’ message.
The Try It Kit (£16.50 from Boots and labseries.co.uk) features three hero products from the range – the Multi Action Face Wash (one of my all-time favourite grooming products), a 3-in-1 Post Shave and a Daily Moisture Defense Lotion. It’s a perfect introduction to the brand, is a good price and makes a fab Christmas gift. Great for travel too.
It was the worst kept secret in the industry: that Mr Porter was going to start selling grooming products alongside its fashion brands. And finally the day has come.
With Mr Porter, of course, it’s all in the edit and they’ve managed to bring together a range of brands that embrace both traditional, gentlemanly reliability and uber-cool modernity. Amongst the usual suspects (Baxter of California and Malin + Goetz amongst them) are some of my personal favourites like Aesop, Czech & Speake (I’ve been wearing their No88 fragrance since the Eightes), Le Labo and Santa Maria Novella.
The latter is a truly inspired choice. A fantastic Italian brand that’s nearly 800 years old it’s been difficult to track down in the UK, and if you’ve ever been to their shop in Florence you’ll know how difficult it is not to blow a small fortune on it.
It doesn’t appear to be available to buy just yet (I’m told it’ll be online from November) but is the one to look out for – especially for the candles, shaving products and amazing soaps – so make a note in your dairy.