The Renewal Oil from Crème De La Mer: good for beards too.

CDLMOil_LPNext month sees the launch of The Renewal Oil by Crème de la Mer – a luxury facial oil containing the company’s famous Miracle Broth  – a combination of nutrients obtained from sea kelp along with other skin-beneficial ingredients. Designed to plump up skin and improve its natural protective barrier it’s activated by shaking and is being touted as a multi-functional must-have. It certainly does have many uses – from being an additional insurance policy for skin, slotted into your regime before moisturising, to  being a conditioner for hair and an in-flight essential to guard against dry skin.

Quickly absorbed and only slightly fragranced it also makes an excellent beard oil – an expensive one, to be sure, but an effective one nontheless. For those of you worried about it being greasy it’s anything but – in fact, if it has a fault it’s that it’s one of the driest facial oils I’ve come across. Ironically, this is what makes it great for facial hair but it might not please those with very dry skin who like to feel the results. The shake-to-active bit is fun though.

The Renewal Oil from Crème de La Mer is available from from October priced £155.

Invest in your future with Lab Series’ new Repair Serum

LAB SERIES RESCUEIn terms of skincare serums are a hard sell to men. Most of the guys I know have absolutely no idea what they’re for, how to use them or why they should add yet another step into their existing grooming routine.

In short, used morning and night, after cleansing but before moisturising, they’re a handy way to turbo-charge your regular skincare regime. Lab Series’ brand new Future Rescue Repair Serum – in its TARDIS blue bottle – is designed to “fortify” the skin’s natural protective barrier as well as improve its overall appearance, making it the perfect way to go time travelling with your skincare and, hopefully, discover a slightly younger-looking you in the process.

It works by delivering a potent antioxidant boost to promote the skin’s natural repair process and support the production of collagen – the stuff that keeps skin looking young and firm. It also contains ingredients to shift dead skin cells and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier thus protecting it from future damage. It’s ultra-light, quickly absorbed and leaves a matt finish and if you can be bothered to add it to your grooming regime (hey, it only takes about three seconds to apply)  it’s well worth a look.

If I could go back in time and tell my younger self to do just one thing (apart from not to drink Snakebite) it would be to do anything – and everything – to look after my skin for the future. Unfortunately, until there’s real time travel, this skin saviour in a bottle will have to do.

Lab Series Future Rescue Repair Serum is available from October from priced  £48 for 50ml. 

Bulldog get protective

bulldogI’ve said on countless occasions that I’m a big fan of mass market brand Bulldog Skincare For Men and funnily enough, after mentioning their Original Moisturiser in a piece for someone complained that they didn’t do a moisturiser that contained a built-in sunscreen. And lo and behold, what lands on my desk this week but their soon to be launched Protective Moisturiser which features a broad spectrum SPF15 sunscreen?

Even low-level sun exposure outside of summertime can lead to premature skin ageing so this lightweight, quickly absorbed and affordable daily moisturiser is a great way to protect your skin from sun damage –  from January to December.

Bulldog’s Protective Moisturiser will be available from from May. RRP £8.99.

Have Clinique, will travel.

cliniqueIf you want proof that great things really do come in small packages make sure you check out Clinique’s dinky new Travel Pros. A six-piece, reduced-sized travel kit it, features everything you need to look good on-the-go and even includes a teeny bottle of Clinique Happy For Men so you’ll always smell good too. My favourite product in the pack though has to be the positively Lilliputian Post Shave Soother which, at a mere 7cm tall, is possibly the cutest-looking grooming product you’ll ever see.

Available exclusively from Clinique Travel Retail Outlets worldwide.

Lab Series’ ‘Try It’ Kit is perfect for Christmas

LAB try it kitOne 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 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.

Coming soon…The Molton Brown Sport Collection

MOLTON BROWN SPORT COLLECTONSo iconic is Molton Brown‘s Re-Charge Black Pepper Body Wash that everything the company releases has to be judged against it. A firm favourite with men (and the recipient of a clutch of Men’s Health Grooming Awards) it’s a truly fabulous product and one that’s just as good after a late night or long flight as it is after a work out. So their latest Sport Collection – aimed specifically at active types – has a lot to live up to.

A trio of high-performance products the range features a 4-in-1 Sportwash, muscle-warming  Sportbalm and obligatory Anti-Perspirant Stick, each featuring the refreshing scent of cassia bark, nutmeg and lime. Of the three products the 4-in-1 Sportwash is by far the most interesting. In keeping with the current trend for multi-fuctional grooming products it not only acts as a shower gel, shampoo and facial cleanser but as a transparent shaving gel too.

As a range it’s great and is certainly a welcome addition to any gym or sports bag but does it live up to the aforementioned Black Pepper Body Wash? Well, let’s just say they set the bar mighty high with that product…

The Molton Brown Sport Collection is available from Niven & Joshua.

Disclosure Notice: I received a free sample of this product for review purposes

Nice products, shame about the name

mancaveTwo products have found their way on to my desk this week that manage to both delight an infuriate me. The first, is a rather good concealer (nice texture, colour and coverage and at £6.99 a great price) and the other is a new grooming range priding itself on its natural approach to skincare that smells great and is free of all the petrochemical industry’s natsy leftovers.

medium-shadeSo what’s my gripe? Well, for me, both products are let down by their names. Given that we now live in a positively post-metrosexual world, where using some kind of skincare (even if it’s just a face scrub) is pretty much part of most men’s lives it’s a shame that some companies still feel the need to heavily man-brand their products.

I know that blunt sign-posting is often necessary if your product is going to sit on a crowded supermarket shelf but surely Mancave can only be aimed at the ever-shrinking number of men who still think skincare is for sissies and need to be reassured that it’s still a butch –  nay, Neanderthal –  pursuit. And Mancealer is as daft a name as Guyliner, except the latter rolls off the tongue better.

I’ve personally always found the ‘man’ prefix superfluous and silly (though I still think the “For Men” tag has value for brands like Nivea, Clinique and L’Oreal who need to differentiate their men’s lines (often reformulated to suit men’s skin and its unique needs) from women’s. So come on guys, don’t spoil your perfectly good products with thoroughly daft names okay?

For more info about the Mancave grooming range see and to buy yourself a Mancealer go to