The Grooming Guru Awards 2012. Best Grooming Brand: Lab Series

Group Shot - Treat LOWggawrd12lIn many ways 2012 has been a disappointing year for male grooming. Certainly, as far as exciting launches and NPD are concerned it’s been one of the least inspiring in the 12+ years I’ve been writing about the subject.

Many brands have added just one or two products to their ranges or have renamed or repackaged them in an attempt to be seen to be doing something. Disappointingly, though, others have simply sat on their hands, presumably wanting to conserve resources and ride out hard times. Lab Series, however, defiantly continued to expand its range in 2012, innovating and shaping the future of the grooming market and leaving other brands playing catch-up in the process.

As well as an expansion of their premium MAX LS anti-ageing range, this year saw the launch of a Power Brightening range, targeting discolouration and uneven pigmentation, an Instant Skin Booster (to tackle fatigue) and their BB Tinted Moisturizer SPF35 – a multi-functional product hinting, no less, at the very future of male skincare. And they’re just a few of this year’s innovations. So my Best Grooming Brand 2012 award goes to Lab Series. Long may it lead the way.

For more information about Lab Series see www.labseries.co.uk

Coming tomorrow…the award for Best Problem Solver

The Grooming Guru Awards 2012. Best New Men’s fragrance: Tom Ford Noir.

TOM FOR NOIRggawrd12lThe moment I tried the latest fragrance from Tom Ford back in July, a few months ahead of its official launch, I knew it was a contender for my Best New Men’s Fragrance award. I knew, though, that there was still time for something else to come along and knock it off its pedestal. But that just didn’t happen.

Sweet, powdery and sexy it’s a delicious blend of bergamot, verbena, violet flower, geranium, amber, patchouli and vetiver (some of my favourite notes ever) and has elicited more compliments than any other fragrance I’ve worn all year. When the PR for a rival luxury brand asked me what I was wearing because they thought it was “amazing” I knew the immaculately groomed Texan had yet again come up with something head and shoulders above his competitors. My favourite fragrance of 2012, not by a mile but a few thousand.

Tom Ford Noir, £60 for 50ml EDP from Harrods.

Coming tomorrow…the award for Best Grooming Range of 2012!