Lynx release video exploring male sexuality

In time for London Pride this weekend Lynx have released a brand new video in their ‘Men In Progress‘ series of films that aims to document the changing shape of modern masculinity. Part of the iconic brand’s ‘Find Your Magic’ campaign this one features gay, straight, bisexual and transgender men (including out rugby league star Keegan Hirst) talking about pride and acceptance, particularly in sport. It’s a sign of how complex and multi-faceted modern masculinity has become that Lynx will be realising no less than nine separate films in an attempt to sum it up. And I  suspect that even with nine they’ll barely scratch the surface.

To watch the film just click on the image above.

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.

 

 

Azzaro Wanted – seriously, what were they thinking?

Azzaro Wanted-1Oh deary, deary me. Let’s talk about Azzaro’s new Wanted fragrance for a moment shall we? The one in the bottle that looks like a fully-loaded gun chamber. Now, the six-shooter bottle design for this fragrance, regardless of bad timing in light of the tragic events in Orlando, is a quite spectacular exercise in clichéd, one-dimensional and outdated hyper-mascuine thinking. I used to think that Davidoff’s The Game, with its casino chip flacon, was terminally naff but this takes things to a whole new level – and a subterranean one at that. Presumably the thinking behind it is that a. men absolutely love guns and b. guns are sexy and street and therefore customers will think the fragrance is masculine and, like, really, really cool.

You can just see the design meeting now: “Right guys, we need an eye-catching bottle – something like Paco Rabanne’s Invictus or that Gaultier one with the massive bulge. What screams ‘men’ then? How about a football? Or a motorbike? Or a big, clunking fist? Oh, no, Diesel did the fist. Wait a minute. I know – how about a gun? What’s more masculine than a gun? It’s cowboy; it’s gangsta; it’s Bond; it’s NRA and man-on-a-rampage. But mostly it’s Bond. Especially if we make it sleek, shiny and gold. What better vessel for our killer fragrance than a killer bottle?”

Well, I’m afraid Azzaro have shot themselves in the foot here (sorry) and I suspect they know this too since the bottle description on their website is a masterclass in obscurification. Avoiding the ‘G’ word altogether and with not a passing mention of bullets the bottle is instead “elegant and precious, with a stunning rugged, mechanical look” (it’s a gun folks) and “a  symbol of freedom and virility” (still a gun). Most bizarrely, it’s also “an embodiment of extreme masculinity tinged with the nostalgia of childhood”. Now, unless your dad was the Son of Sam I’m not entirely sure what childhood nostalgia it’s referring to here but no matter, the bottom line is that, in 2016, Azzaro’s  firearm-inspired Wanted is, to put it bluntly, anything but.

Vitabiotics sign David Gandy as Wellman ambassador

David Gandy x Wellman 2 - Credit Tomo Brejc Studio-2Let’s face it, if you’re looking for a face to front a campaign you may as well go for the best one possible – like David Gandy’s. So vitamin supplement experts Vitabiotics must be over the moon that they’ve managed to secure him as their Wellman ambassador. “I’m proud to be collaborating with Wellman Vitamins, which I’ve used since my twenties,” says Gandy of the association. “I’m a big advocate of their products; they help me to maintain the level of energy I need for a busy lifestyle so they’re a great and reliable daily support.” I’m not entirely sure what he’s doing the picture they sent me to publicise his involvement (and I’m far too polite to offer suggestions) but I will say this; I’m personally thrilled to hear he’s a fan of Wellman products because that means I can finally say I have something in common with David Gandy.

 

 

Scrotum gone South? Maybe it’s time for a ball lift!

Ever wondered what the next big thing in male grooming is? Well, it may well be the ‘ball lift’. And, yes, that is what you think it is. So what kind of man has his scrotum tightened and what does a ‘lift’ actually involve? I take a look at this increasingly common procedure over at Telegraph Men.  Just cross your legs and click on the pic below if you fancy a  read.

balls

Aveda Men opens new pop-up Grooming Station in London’s Fitzrovia

AVEDA___A3970-2Estée Lauder have been doing some rather clever things with their men’s brands of late. Where once they were fiercely competitive with one another, brands like Clinique For Men, Aveda, Lab Series, Tom Ford and Zegna have been happily hanging out together in a show of unity that’s both refreshing and, as it happens, extremely practical. As well as their excellent men’s grooming station in London’s Westfield White City, curated by Esquire magazine, a new pop-up Grooming Station has just, you know, ‘popped-up’ in London’s Fitzrovia.

AVEDA___A4503At its heart is an Aveda Men Barbershop where you can have express hair cuts, trims and beard tidies, but as well products from Aveda itself you can also investigate fragrance from Tom Ford and Zegna and skin care from Lab Series and Clinique, meaning all your grooming needs can be met in  one quick in-and-out visit.

Men tend to be magpies when it comes to their skin care, hair care and fragrance choices, cherry-picking products from different ranges depending on what they like and what suits their skin, so it makes perfect sense for Lauder to offer the very best of their men’s brands in one go. In a way, they’ve done the edit for you and as we all know, it’s all in the edit.

The Aveda Grooming Station is located at 6 Mortimer Street, London W1F 3JJ and l be open until August. To keep up with what’s happening there check out @AvedaUK #groomingstation

 

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? How about a personalised bottle of Mr. Burberry?

Mr BurberryFragrance has always made a great Father’s Day gift but if you want to add a little icing to the cake this year how about personalising the bottle? Burberry offer a complimentary monogramming service for their Mr. Burberry fragrance that accommodates up to three initials (you could even have ‘DAD’ if you like) at selected stores and via burberry.com. I had my own bottle personalised a while back as you can see.  In a world where little touches matter and bespoke is where it’s at it’s well worth making the extra effort. You only have one dad after all.