dermalogica’s daily defense block SPF15 – my summer skincare hero

Daily Defense Block SPF15Several things have seen me through the summer this year. Not least a sense of humour, given the sweltering heat and torrential downpours. But on the skincare side it’s this non-greasy daily defender from dermalogica that’s been my hero. It’s been with me halfway around the world and now I wouldn’t be without it.

Designed for men (it can be used after shaving and contains ingredients to combat ingrown hairs and breakouts) it has a barely-there fragrance and is quickly absorbed, leaving skin with a matt finish.

The best thing about it though? Unlike many products that also offer a built in UV sunscreen there’s no white residue so you don’t look like someone’s splashed your face with a base coat of emulsion. If you care about the damaging effects of the sun this is a must-have. Absolutely one of the best daily skin defenders I’ve come across.

For more information go to dermalogica.co.uk

In-flight essentials

TRAVELIf you’re wondering why I’ve been quiet for the last few weeks it’s because I’ve been on holiday in the US. But I’m back now (if heavily jet-lagged) and over the next few days I’ll have a few special travel-themed posts.

I have to confess, I’m not known for travelling light (my grooming essentials alone could fill a small suitcase and I’ll post about some of those in the next few days) but I’m remarkably economical with what I take onto planes. As you can see from the pic above I travelled exceptionally light this time, taking just two little lifesavers onto my Virgin Atlantic flight to Boston.

The first was a dinky 15ml Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm which is great for moisturising skin but which also gives it a bit of lift – useful when you look like you’ve been up all night (which I had been). I usually take their fantastic Time For Men S.O.S Survival Cream – which is super hydrating – but this sample sized Flash Balm seemed perfect the journey. I also popped a retaW Lip Balm in my liquids bag as my lips are always the first thing to feel the effects of dry cabin air.

Anyway, if you have any essentials you like to take on planes, let me know. Would love to hear what your must-haves are.

Grooming Guru Essentials: The Micro Pedi Man

Photo Martina ReganSuch a miserable old curmudgeon am I that I rarely rave about products to the point where I sound like I’ve just stumbled across Valhalla, but here’s one that I simply can’t enthuse about enough.

The Micro Pedi Man is essentially a mini-sander for your feet and is the perfect tool for getting your trotters ship shape for sandals. To be honest, I haven’t enjoyed using a grooming gadget this much since I first manscaped myself using the original Philips Bodygroom back in 2006. In fact, I’m worried I may be addicted to it (I’m eyeing it up lovingly as I type).

I don’t actually have the hugest amount of dry skin on my feet but what I do have has now vanished thanks to this nifty little summer essential. I swear to you, using is it just joyous! And the stuff that comes off! Oh!

 

Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.

The Lynx Manwasher – the ultimate shower tool for men

If there’s one thing you can say about Lynx it’s that they’ve never stopped being witty, clever and innovative. Their advertising has always pushed the envelope (the fallen angels remains one of my fave grooming ads) as have their products.

And now, in that spirit, the team at Lynx have developed the ultimate shower tool for men: The Lynx Manwasher. An easy to use, dual-sided shower accessory, the Manwasher makes for a brilliant, palm-sized body exfoliator, replacing cumbersome luffas and brushes, and can be used in conjunction with Lynx shower gels to ensure you get squeaky clean.

One side features a textured scrubbing pad (making it perfect for tackling tough skin on heels, elbows and knees) while the other has a lathering micro-mesh “scrunchie” which ensures you get the most out of your shower gel. Not only does it help whip up a fantastic lather (making your gel go further in the process) it also gently removes dead skin cells, polishing skin and leaving it smooth, soft and conditioned.

So whether you’re scrubbing up for an important date, interview or after a muddy Saturday afternoon five-aside the Lynx Manwasher is the perfect way to feel clean, confident and 100% fresh.

The Lynx Manwasher is available at retailers nationwide priced £3.99. For more information, special offers and other fun Lynx stuff go to www.facebook.com/lynxeffect

 

Grooming Guru Essentials: Davines Detoxifying Scrub Shampoo

Though it’s not specifically aimed at demi-baldies like me Davines Detoxifying Scrub Shampoo is an absolute brilliant product for the folically-challenged. It’s actually great for gently removing product build up and ridding hair of unwanted nasties but is also really great at removing dead skin from the scalp. Unlike many other exfoliating shampoos the particles are small enough to wash away easily and it’s also free of parabens and sulphates.

It’s no surprise that scalp health is so important to hair health – it’s where hair sprouts from after all. In the same way that teeth need health gums, hair needs a healthy scalp. So this shampoo is a great way to keep it free of dead cells, dry flakes and the grease and grime that accumulates on the skin during the day. Since it’s formulated with cardamon, corriander and mint it smells great too.

£14.35 for 250ml. For more info go to www.davines.com

Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.

Monsieur Balmain – my favourite summer fragrance this year

I’ve written several pieces about summer fragrances this year but if you had to pin me down to just one it’d have to be Balmain’s Monsieur Balmain. Although it was launched back in 1964 and underwent a slight reformulation during the 90s I only recently re-discovered it and a bottle has been sitting on my desk, ready for a spontaneous re-application ever since.

One of the most citrusy fragrances you’ll ever come across is smells like sparkling candied lemon peel but avoids being one-dimensional with the addition of some deliciously spicy and aromatic notes, which give it longevity too.

As I write this, London is basking in sun after one of the wettest summers ever. Balmain Monsieur is perfect for days like this but, given that it’s essentially sunshine in scent form, it’s ideal for the wet ones too.

Top notes

Mint, Lemon, Bitter orange, Verbena, Bergamot, Petitgrain

Middle notes

Rose, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Thyme, Moss, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Sage

Base notes

Cedar, Amber notes

Monsieur Balmain is available from selected department storers priced £59 for 100ml eau de toilette.

Grooming Guru Essentials: Molton Brown Skin-Firming Lipoamino Hydrator SPF15

Moisturisers containing sunscreens are pretty much de rigueur thesedays. After all, if you can buy a moisturiser that doesn’t just hydrate skin but also protects it from the ageing-effects of the sun on a daily basis why wouldn’t you?

The problem is finding one that doesn’t sit on your face, looking as though you’ve slathered yourself with white emulsion. Thankfully, this new addition to the Molton Brown range blends in a treat, leaves a non-greasy matt finish and doesn’t have that nasty sunscreeny smell either. As well as hydrating it also has a slight firming action on the skin. As anti-ageing moisturisers go it’s definitely up there with the best.

Available from Niven & Joshua priced £38 for 50ml. 

Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.