GT Shopping: a one-stop destination for all your style and grooming gear

gt-shoppingWhen it comes to looking good and dressing well we all know that it’s all about the edit: about choosing just the right products for your skin, a fragrance that reflects your personality and clothes that suit your very personal sense of style. But with so much out there to choose from it’s sometimes difficult to know where to begin when picking out the perfect moisturiser, fragrance or new winter jacket. Which is where GT Shopping comes in handy. A new site in partnership with Gay Times Magazine, it helpfully points you in the direction of the very best fragrances, skincare products and grooming gadgets on the market (along with some of the most stylish menswear picks and a whole lot more)  so you don’t have to go trawling  the internet to find just the product you’re after.

gt-page-1A lot of the products I mention in my monthly male grooming column in GT can be found there but that’s just the tip of the iceberg and you don’t have to be a reader to use the site, though there is an option on there to subscribe to the mag and get regular (very useful) style updates if you wish.

So whether you’re looking the perfect new fragrance for yourself  (bottle of Tom Ford  For Men anyone?), something to wear for an upcoming party or are looking for the perfect gift for a loved one GT Shopping is the place to head. To see what’s on offer go to shopping.gaytimes.co.uk.

 

A Grooming Guru/Octer Sponsored Post

5 ways to take the sting out of shaving if you have sensitive skin.

WILKINSON SWORD HYDROFew things challenge sensitive skin quite like the daily shave. Thankfully, combating sensitivity and irritation is simple. Here’s how…

1. Choose your moment.

As with marriage proposals and football passes timing is everything when it comes to shaving. Skin can be puffy first thing so always allow it time to settle before shaving. Have a coffee, grab some breakfast and only then think about grabbing your razor.  Ideally, shave after or during a shower – hot water and steam causes stubble to expand, which will make it softer and much easier to cut.

2. Keep your cool.

Lots of things can irritate sensitive skin: from heat and friction to the fragrances and colourants in shaving products. To reduce the chance of skin becoming sensitised during – and after – shaving, try using products that are free of artificial fragrances and colours; use warm rather than piping hot water to wash and rise your razor with and never put aftershave directly onto your skin after shaving as the alcohol in it can irritate and dry out freshly-shaven skin (yep, there’s a reason why it stings!)

3. Use the right razor.

Your choice of razor is crucial when it comes to minimising irritation and reducing sensitivity. Wilkinson Sword’s revolutionary Hydro 5 Sensitive razor has been specially designed to deliver improved skin protection whilst shaving. As well as featuring an ergonomically-designed handle for better control and Advanced Skin Guards to prevent skin snagging, it also features revolutionary Hydrating Gel Reservoirs.

This innovative system lasts twice as long as the lubrication strips found on other razors* and also delivers 40% less friction, which is crucial to an irritation-free shave because the less friction the less chance of sensitivity. So effective is the lubrication that skin actually remains hydrated for up to an hour after your shave!

What’s more, the Hydro 5’s special Flip Trimmer allows you to pull back the Hydrating Gels to reveal the razor’s five blades for when you want extra precision (you can see it pulled back in the pic above). All these features go to create the perfect razor for guys with sensitive or easily irritated skin.

HYDRO 5 (1)

4. Don’t press too hard and reduce your speed.

Pressing too hard is one of the most common mistakes men make when shaving – as is shaving too quickly. Pressing harder dosn’t result in a closer shave (but can result in more irritation and skin sensitivity) and no man was ever rewarded bonus points for speed shaving – irritated skin maybe, but definitely no bonus points. So take time over your shave and use gentle stokes of around 2cm in length.

5. Moisturise.

Moisturising skin might seem unconnected to shaving but it’s actually a very good way to minimise sensitivity. That’s partly because dry skin tends to be more sensitive in the first place but also because its surface is full of microscopic ridges which the blades of your razor have to pass over. Keeping skin moisturised keeps it plump and hydrated and softens out these ridges – essentially smoothing out the terrain your razor has to navigate.  

So as you can see, with the right razor and the perfect technique there’s absolutely no reason shaving to a (sometimes quite literal) pain in the neck – even for guys with the most sensitive of skin.

310316011_0_640x640The Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Sensitive is available now, RRP: £9.99

* average vs Quattro Titanium lubrication strip

A Wilkinson Sword/Grooming Guru Promotion

Success Bottled: England striker Daniel Sturridge talks fame, fragrance and Pharrell.

Daniel Sturridge PR DAY SHOOT_HUGO BOSS2879If ever a campaign slogan was made for Hugo Boss’ Boss Bottled it’s the one that’s been chosen for the iconic fragrance’s latest campaign – ‘success isn’t born, it’s made’. Since its launch nearly 20 years ago it’s  gone on to become one of the best-selling men’s fragrances in the world and a true modern classic. And who better to exemplify the ‘success isn’t born, it’s made’ ethos than the brand’s new global ambassador: 26-year-old Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge?

Born in Birmingham, he started playing football at six, was spotted by Aston Villa’s Youth Academy just a later and his dedication and hard work saw him play for Coventry City, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool and, of course, England. Describing himself as ‘confident’, ‘courageous’, and passionate about his craft he’s living proof that success really is something that’s ‘made’.

I caught up with him recently to talk about fragrance, Pharrell and the ever-changing face of male grooming...

GG: Thirty years ago, Daniel, it would probably have been considered ‘unmanly’ for footballers to be into their appearance quite as much as they are today but now it’s almost par for the course if you’re a footie star. What do you think has caused that change?

DS: Well, obviously there have been individuals who have broadened the horizons of footballers’ style – most notably David Beckham, who is probably the one person who people would say has focused the most on style and grooming. But also, as time has gone on, things like Instagram have had an impact too because footballers are paying more attention to stuff outside of the game so are starting to pay more attention to how they dress, how they groom themselves, their hair, their skin all those types of things.

Personally, though, I think it’s important to just be comfortable and confident in who you are as a person and not too much worry about what the public thinks because if you do, and you’re in the public eye, then it can become a big problem, especially if you end up taking criticism of your appearance personally.

GG: Well, I guess if you’re in the public eye and taking selfies all the time you have to be well-groomed. Are you a selfie person?

DS: I’m not huge on selfies to be honest. I feel like selfies are a little bit – I wouldn’t like to say ‘vain’ because I don’t think they’re vain necessarily – but I’d say that they’re a little bit ‘personal’ for me. I think that a normal photo isn’t quite so personal because someone else is taking it whereas when you’re taking a selfie it’s you who really wants to take the photo and you want to show people how you look. I have taken them in the past but I’m not huge on them.

GG: In many ways you’re the perfect choice as an ambassador for Boss Bottled’s ‘success isn’t born, it’s made’ campaign…

DS: Well, I’m somebody that’s shaped their own success I suppose. I’m the person who has to go out on the football pitch with my teammates and perform at the best of my abilities. I’m confident, courageous and passionate about what I do and I’m dedicated. I’m someone who’s always evolving and am forever trying to perfect my craft.

Daniel Sturridge PR DAY SHOOT_HUGO BOSS2986GG: We’re you a fan of Boss Bottled before the ambassadorial role came up?

DS: I was! In fact Boss Bottled was my very first fragrance. I first discovered it when I was a kid – when I was about 10 or 11 years old! My dad had it and I took small sample of it from his bedroom because he had a few little samples as well as a full-sized bottle of it. I just hope he doesn’t find out now! (GG: I suspect he will!).

GG: Do you think it’s important to have a signature fragrance – one that says who you are?

DS: Yes, because your choice of fragrance says a lot about your personality. It’s a reflection of how you like to put yourself across to people isn’t it? As I said, I’m a confident person and I’m dedicated to my craft, so Boss Bottled is perfect for me in terms of my personality. Some people’s fragrances can be overpowering sometimes but I prefer something that people have to get up close and personal to smell.

GG: Well, I guess in a way that the success of any fragrance is if somebody wants to get a bit closer to you!

DS: Exactly! It’s like leaving a trail they have to follow. With some people you just can’t get enough of how they smell and no matter what you do you’re drawn to them because they smell so good.

GG: Turning to skincare, I wanted to ask you about the challenges of having Afro-Caribbean skin because it has some very specific grooming needs doesn’t it? Do you have any grooming tips for looking after it?

DS: Well, a lot of Afro-Caribbean guys don’t go for wet shaves when they visit the barbers – they have their stubble trimmed using the shears that the barber uses for your hairline or for the back of your neck so it’s important to make sure that your barber’s appliances are clean. Afro-Caribbean people tend to have oilier skin, too, so you have to make sure the products you use aren’t overly oily. I like to use cold water to wash and I’ll probably exfoliate twice a week but other than that I don’t like to use too many face products.

GG: Ingrown hair and razor bumps can be a big problem for black guys so the exfoliation, which helps minimise the risk of hairs growing back upon themselves and into the skin, is crucial right?

DS: Yes. Ingrown hairs are probably the biggest problem for us. They’re an absolute nightmare and are something that you can’t get away from which is why the exfoliation is important.

GG: Thinking about style, do you have any personal heroes?

DS: Pharrell would certainly be one of them. He was a guru when he first came out with Billionaire Boys Club and a pioneer in terms of style: everyone wanted to dress like him – even the hat became the go-to hat to wear. For a while, it was the coolest thing that anyone had ever seen. I admire him because he’s innovative and tries different things.

Daniel Sturridge PR DAY SHOOT_HUGO BOSS3181GG: And how would you describe your own personal style?

DS: Diverse. I like to change my style quite a bit. I do like to dress up (GG: he looks pretty dapper in his Hugo Boss menswear for these pics) but I’m also relaxed as well because I don’t like to be over the top. I have to be comfortable in what I’m wearing. Because I’m comfortable with myself I can go from wearing track suits to wearing denim to wearing a suit it is dependent on the day and where you’re going and not worry about what people think. When it comes to style I think it’s important to just be who you are as a person.

GG: And in very specific style terms do you think there’s one item that every man should have in his wardrobe?

DS: Rather than a specific item of clothing I’d actually say it’s fragrance because if I don’t smell good I don’t feel good. It’s the ultimate finishing touch, in a way, because when you wear a fragrance it gives you confidence. When you put some on you feel like you can go out and present yourself with integrity. That’s how I feel when I put Boss Bottled Unlimited on. In fact, I’m someone who often puts a little bit of fragrance on my shirt before I go and play. The guys are like ‘what’s he doing?’ but it’s for me – not for anyone else. I’m not putting it one for one simple reason – it makes me feel good.

 


BBU_eASSET_Flacon_200ml_v1
About Boss Bottled Unlimited

Originally released as a limited edition, Hugo Boss’ Boss Bottled Unlimited has proved to be so popular it has now become a permanent fixture in the Boss Bottled fragrance portfolio. A modern reinvention of a classic masculine fougère, the fragrance features invigorating aromatic green notes, zingy grapefruit, juicy pineapple and warm sensual notes of sandalwood and musk to evoke the BOSS man’s uncompromising drive that motivates him to achieve success in all aspects of his life.

BOSS BOTTLED UNLIMITED is available nationwide and online from The Perfume Shop.

A Grooming Guru/ Boss Bottled Unlimited Sponsored Post.

Shields up! Protect your skin this summer with FIT’s new Sun Protect Serum

unspecifiedFor men, the quest to find the perfect sunscreen isn’t always as straightforward as one might think. With our skin both oilier and hairier than women’s, the texture and stickiness of products if often a deciding ‘factor’ (if you’ll forgive the pun) in our choices; the ideal product being something that offers high SPF, broad-spectrum protection but which is lightweight, non-greasy and transparent on the skin. And

in terms of what men need from their suncare FIT Skincare‘s new Sun Protect Serum is a product that ticks every box.

FIT SUN PROTECT 2 (1)The first sunscreen serum created for men, it offers a broad spectrum, five star UVA rated, SPF 50 sunscreen to protect you from both the sun’s burning UVB rays and the UVA ones that age your skin; it leaves absolutely no greasy or unsightly white residue (if anything it leaves skin with a matte finish) and has a barely there fragrance that vanishes altogether after a couple of minutes. This last bit is a big bonus in my book since I’ve worn sun products in the past that smelt of everything from Digestive biscuits to – nightmarishly – curry powder. The scent of one I road-tested a couple of years ago mysteriously attracted so many flies I looked like Pig Pen from Peanuts!

FIT SUN PROTECT 2 (2)On top of these pluses FIT’s Sun Protect Serum uses cutting-edge ‘micro encapsulation technology’ that helps provide more evenly spread protection and also  contains antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and FIT’s unique OXY-FIT-10 oxygen delivery system – a few bonus features that help defend against the dehydrating and DNA-damaging effects of the sun. In terms of summer skincare it way well be your ultimate defence shield.

FIT Sun Protect Serum SPF50 is available now from fitskincare.co.uk

A Grooming Guru/FIT Skincare For Men Sponsored Post 

Five grooming resolutions worth keeping – with the help of FIT skincare for men

FIT SKINCARE FOR MEN
We all make resolutions at this time of year.  Some of them are easy to keep: others (usually anything involving food, drink or exercise!) are a bit harder to adhere to. Thankfully, resolutions about improving your looks are relatively simple to keep. So if you want to end 2016 looking better than when you started it (and who doesn’t?) here are a few worth keeping – along with the products to ensure that those resolutions become reality…

FIT_30ml_Moisturiser_Box-Bottle_SQUARE_JOINT_72dpi_V1_1024x10241. I will moisturise – twice a day. 

If you only make one grooming resolution this year, make sure it’s this one. Why? Well, not only does moisturising keep skin supple and healthy-looking it also acts as an insurance policy against future wrinkles because the drier skin the more prone to premature ageing it is. FIT’s quickly-absorbed, non-greasy Moisturising Ultra Serum is the perfect way to hydrate skin and is packed with antioxidant vitamins and amino acids to strengthen skin’s natural defences and keep it looking its best. Simply apply twice daily, morning and night, after cleansing. The evening application is especially important because this is when skin is best able to absorb moisturisers.

FIT_250ml_Shampoo_Box-Bottle_SQUARE_JOINT_72dpi_V1_1024x10242. I won’t be obsessed by my thinning thatch.

It’s thought that up to 40% of men will experience some thinning of the hair by the time they’re 35 (I was one of them) but instead of fretting over the fact  – something that can potentially make things worse – why not give your hair some support this year with the help of FIT’s Active Shampoo? A ‘smart’ shampoo that adjusts to your own hair’s needs, it’s fortified with vitamins and caffeine to strengthen and thicken your thatch and minimise hair fallout and breakage in the process. Result.

FIT_20ml_Eyedrate_Box-Bottle_SQUARE_JOINT_72dpi_V1_1024x10243.  I will expand my grooming repertoire.

As with most things – food and exercise included –  it generally pays to think beyond the basics. It’s the same with your grooming regime. Top marks if you’re using a cleanser instead of soap and are moisturising every day but if that’s the extent of your regime, 2016 might be the year to add an eye product like FIT Eyedrate+ to your grooming kit. Why? Well, the skin around the eyes isn’t just thinner than the stuff on the rest of your face, it tends to be more sensitive, too, so needs a specialist product to keep it hydrated, tackle dark circles and reduce puffiness. Eyedrate + does all three of these things and is a cinch incorporate into your existing regime. Simply apply a tiny amount to the skin around your eye sockets with your fingertip, using gentle patting motions.

LIP SERUM4. I won’t let my lips let me down.

You’d be amazed at how many well-groomed men pay great attention to skin and haircare but then let themselves down by neglecting to look after their lips.  With no oil glands of their own lips often need a little TLC to prevent them from chapping and feeling rough, particularly in the first few months of the year when the weather is at its harshest, so make sure you’re never without a FIT Lip Serum. Taste and shine-free (so you won’t look like you’re wearing gloss or be tempted to lick it off) it’s designed to keep lips hydrated and repair any damage caused by icy winds. Make it your pocket essential for 2016.

FIT_100ml_Pec-Ab_Box-Bottle_SQUARE_JOINT_72dpi_V1_1024x10245. I will get fit.

Okay, so we all have this resolution at this time of year (I know I do, every January) but if 2016 is the year you’ve decided to aim for perfect pecs and ideal abs then why not help things along a little with Pec & Ab Sculpt? With artichoke leaf to break down stored fat and plant-based ingredients to tighten skin it’s a great way to show off the results of your hard work down the gym.

So there you have it:  five simple and achievable grooming resolutions for 2016. Adopt them now and you might just have your best-looking year ever!

FIT Skincare For Men is available from fitskincare.co.uk.

A Grooming Guru/ FIT Skincare For Men Sponsored Post

Isn’t it time your face got FIT?

fir skincare manI’m exceptionally lucky in my job as a grooming writer in that I get try out virtually every skincare product that hits the market. What this privilege provides me with is an excellent overview of what’s hot (and what’s not) and what’s worth spending your money on. And if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the years it’s that, sometimes, it’s worth checking out lesser known premium skincare brands rather than just opting for the usual department store names. One such brand is FIT Skincare for Men.

Formulated and manufactured here in the UK (always a big bonus in my book) and offering “a workout for your skin” FIT offer a ten-piece, performance-driven grooming range that includes everything a man needs to keep his hair, face and body looking, as the name aptly suggests, ‘fit’.

FIT_30ml_Moisturiser_Bottle_SQUARE_72dpi_V1The hero product for me is the FIT Moisturising Ultra Serum. A lightweight, rapidly-absorbed and non-greasy serum this high-tech skin saviour features a raft of natural active ingredients which penetrate the skin to deliver superior skincare.

swatchAmino acids tone skin and stimulate collagen production; antioxidants offer protection from harmful free radicals and environmental damage; botanical extracts reduce irritation and minimise fine lines, whilst caffeine reduces puffiness. The serum also features Hyaluronic Acid – an ingredient often lauded by grooming writers like myself because of its ability to keep skin soft, supple and hydrated. Finally, FIT’s very own OXY-FIT-10 oxygen delivery system helps power skin cell regeneration – something that’s handy, whatever your age.

The result is the ultimate multi-functional skincare product for men – one that hydrates, repairs, protects and reduces irritation. Easily slotted into you existing grooming routine you simply apply sparingly to the face after cleansing, morning and night. I’ve been using it for three weeks now and must say my skin, which often suffers from random dry patches, feels great. What’s more, unlike some products, it only has the merest hint of fragrance (in this case a refreshing hint of ginger).

FIT SKINCARE SERUMA couple of other products from the range worth checking out are the cleverly named FIT EYEDRATE+, an energizing and refreshing eye serum which tackles those unwanted signs of fatigue like puffiness and dark circles, and FIT’s Pec & Ab Sculpt which has received a mention in Shortlist’s prestigious Men’s Grooming Awards. With products as targeted and results-driven as these, I suspect that nod of recognition  may not be the last.

FIT Moisturising Ultra Serum is available from fitkincare.co.uk priced £50 for 30ml. To check out the full range click here.

 

A FIT Skincare/Grooming Guru Sponsored Post