NeoStrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads: like time travel in a jar.

FullSizeRenderI’ve used scores of skincare products in the 16 years I’ve been writing about male grooming but in truth there are few that bring about quick, noticeable changes in skin texture and feel. So I’m always delighted when something – like these NeoStrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads  – does. As well as featuring 10% glycolic acid, which helps remove dead skin cells and speeds up cell renewal, they also contain the patented ‘wrinkle-filling’ Aminofil which is essentially a combo of amino acids meant to support the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid – two other things which can help improve the overall look of skin. The pot itself comes with 36 dry pads which you drench with the glycolic solution they come with and then you simply wipe over your face (avoiding the delicate lip and eye area) each night after cleansing. For guys, unfamiliar with using cleansing pads to remove make-up as we are, this might initially seem an alien way to apply a product but you soon get used to it and it’s surprisingly satisfying.

In the past I’ve found that physical face scrubs – even the finest, most gentle ones – can irritate my skin so I’ve become a fan of chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid but it’s fair to say that not all have agreed with my skin. No such problems with this product though. Although the instructions point out that you may experience a brief tingling sensation on application (something that’s common when using Alpha Hydroxy Acid products, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin) I’ve yet to have any problems with these pads. Unlike some glycolic resurfacing products you don’t need to wash the face 20 minutes after using the neutralise it either which is a big plus. And although formulated for daily use I’ve found that two-three times a week is enough for me.

With cell turnover slowing down as we age anything that helps speed up the renewal process is a boon in my book and I’m happy to report that my skin hasn’t looked or felt this smooth since I was, oh, about 8 months old! Recommended.

 

 

John Varvatos turns things blue with brand new fragrance

JOHN VARVATOS ARTISAN BLUI’m a huge fan of the John Varvatos fragrances and it’s a real shame the designer doesn’t have the same kind of name recognition in the UK as he does over in the States because if he did I’m sure his fragrances would be much more popular than they are. They certainly deserve to be best sellers. The original John Varvatos Artisan fragrance is lovely (see a brief review of it here) and each successive addition to the collection, like Artisan Black and Artisan Acqua, have brought something new to the portfolio.

The latest addition, the limited edition, Artisan Blu, is all about bottling an aquatic, summery vibe so think Mediterranean herbs, summer flowers and the kind of crisp, clean wateriness that evokes summer hols and balmy evenings on the beach  – a very comforting thought as I write this on a cold and grey February afternoon believe me. As ever, the bottle, comes encased in a handcrafted rattan sleeve – in this case deep blue and, appropriately, reminiscent of fishermen’s nets.  One to put on your spring fragrance list for sure.

Top notes: Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Lavender, Chayote, Basil

Heart notes: Palmarosa, Clary Sage, Geranium, Iris, Orange Blossom Absolute

Base notes: Patchouli, cedarwood, parasol pine, tamarisk, pistachio tree resin

John Varvatos Artisan Blu is available from Debenhams from 1st April priced £49 for 75ml eau de toilette.

Dolce & Gabbana announce Colin Farrell as the face of their latest men’s fragrance

COLIN FARRELL DOLCE & GABBANA INTENSODolce & Gabbana have announced that actor Colin Farrell is to be the face of their new fragrance for men, Intenso, so expect to see lots more of him over the coming months as the campaign ramps up in the UK. Apparently, he was chosen because he’s the “perfect embodiment of male strength and sensuality.” Which may well be true but I still reckon he looks a bit like Kevin from Corrie.

Lacoste’s Limited Edition L.12.12. fragrance hits the right spot

lacosteSince my favourite sporting event, Wimbledon, is almost upon us, now seems like the perfect time for me to mention the special limited edition version of Lacoste’s Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Blanc fragrance. Although the fragrances in the ever-expanding L.12.12 range have always referenced the famous Lacoste polo shirt in the packaging this is the first time that the tennis association has really been referenced overtly, with the clean, white packaging brought to life with touches of eye-catching tennis ball yellow. I’ve always loved the understated simplicity of both the bottles and the boxes that house the L.12.12 fragrances and, unlike many limited editions, the changes in this particular edition only serve (if you’ll excuse the pun) to make it look even better.

Great things come in small packages: just ask Comme des Garçons

comme des garcons pocket collectionIt’s rare that a men’s fragrance can actually be described as being ‘cute’ but I’m really not sure how else to describe this new 25ml version of the classic Comme des Garçons 2Man fragrance which, as you can see, comes in a ‘pebble’ bottle smaller than your average smartphone. Part of Comme’s “Pocket Collection” –  which also features dinky versions of Comme des Garçons2, Amazing Green and Wonderwood –  it’s perfect for gym bags, travel and for office drawers. Men tend to be pretty complacent when it comes to topping up their eau de toilette during the day but with these beauties there’s absolutely no excuse for a flagging fragrance. And like I said they’re as a cute as a button. Or a pebble, as the case may be.

For stockists call 0207 494 6220