Without doubt this year’s big grooming trend (apart from facial hair) is the rise of the multi-functional product. As belts tighten and spare time becomes increasingly scarce products that cover several bases are becoming increasingly popular and more relevant.
Already this year we’ve had Lab Series’ excellent PRO-LS All-In-One Face Treatment and next month sees the launch of Molton Brown’s 4-in-1 Sportwash. And here’s another worth checking out. Groomed’s Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm is a product designed to soothe razor burn, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, energise dull skin, moisturise, provide anti-oxidant protection, refine pores, combat blemishes and mattify skin.
In fairness, a couple of these features are built in to some products without them even flagging up the fact and any good moistuiser will help minimise wrinkles but it’s still a pretty good product and at £4 for 50ml, reasonably priced too. The texture’s great, it’s not overly-fragranced and its instant cooling effect also makes it a great morning-after-the-night-before refresher – something I discovered when I tried it for the first time this morning. Just a shame it can’t get rid of the hangover too…
Most of the unsolicited emails I get from PRs (not to mention a few of the solicited ones) are absolute bollocks but one I got today from the ASDA PR instantly attracted my attention for it read: “George at ASDA prevent men’s beer bellies.” And not only that, they can help with your moobs too.
The solution, dear readers, is the Body Sculpt Vest, a countouring garment for men which claims to give you an instant six pack (I’ll believe that when I see it) and manage your moobs. Now, my own man breasts might not be on a par with that cleaning woman from I’m A Celebrity but I’m certainly at trainer bra status so can’t wait to give this a go. And it’s only £7 too! All I need now is a pair of contouring pants to reduce the size of my…
We all know how much the beloved Daily Mail likes to champion a cause. And having thoroughly exhausted the debate on Wheelie bins the paper has now turned its guns on men’s number one grooming product – the humble razor. The company that has done most to outrage the paper’s sense of fair play (I know, don’t laugh) is Gillette. The thrust of the argument is that (shock of shocks) Gillette is making a huge profit on its Fusion razor and accompanying blades.
Earlier in the summer the paper claimed that the mark up on some shaving items was more than 4,000%. Seemingly, instead of keeping the costs down Gillette is forcing customers to pay for celebrity endorsement from the likes of Tiger Woods and Roger Federer instead. Blimey, what a surprise to discover that we’re not just paying for the raw materials themselves but for the advertising campaigns, the multi-million pound research that goes into creating the products and, to cap it all off, celebrities to endorse it too. I know, I was shocked too.
But not as shocked as Asda is it seems. The supermarket giant, jumping on the Mail’s bandwagon (and with absolutely no thought of shifting units or creating publicity you understand) are helping the British consumer out by slashing the price of their Gillette razors by up to 40%. Will King, the man behind Gillette rival King of Shaves and champion of the recession-hit man on the street, has waded in on the debate too, claiming his cheaper Azor razor is a much better deal for consumers (partly because of the very lack of the expensive research, ad campaign and celeb endorsement I suppose). Like Asda, he’s outraged that a company should make such a huge profit out of the average working man. Touching innit?
Dear readers, never have I heard such a bogus debate (or, if you prefer, such absolute bollocks) in all my life. So, there’s a huge mark-up on razor blades? Well, Gillette are the market leaders and they got there not just by creating a product that men keep buying because it works but because they spent money creating an identifiable, sexy brand. It’s what brands do. The consumer pays for this. We all know that, right? When I buy a £300 pair of Prada shoes am I under any illusion they cost a fraction of that price to make? When I buy a £35 bottle of fragrance advertised by a A-list celebrity am I so deluded I think it cost £33 to make and the endorsement came free? And why do I continually buy Kellogg’s cornflakes instead of as Asda’s own? Because, through bitter experience, I’ve discovered they taste better and sometimes you have do have to pay more for a quality product.
But it’s not just the ridiculousness of the argument that rattles me it’s the hypocrisy of those that spout off about it. Asda’s toiletries buyer, Graham Speak, for example, is quoted as saying: ‘Instead of lining the pockets of Federer, Henry and Woods, we think companies like Gillette should ditch their razorsharp pricing and put customers first, charging a fair price for an everyday product that doesn’t cost a lot to make.” So who the hell paid for Sharon ‘mum in a million’ Osbourne when she appeared in those Asda ads then? The tooth fairy?
I’ve tried ‘em all and what do I rate? Well, here goes…
1. Clinique Skin Supplies For Men Roll On Antiperspirant, £10.28My all time favourite – easy to use, unfragranced and brilliantly effective. Doesn’t leave marks on your shirts either! Available from http://www.cliniqueformen.co.uk
2. Sure Men Sport Instinct, £2.99. Just out and an instant hit with me thanks to its light, fresh smell, superb efficacy and lockable spray mechanism. For stockists call 0800 085 1548.
3. One Planet Natural Extracts Forest Rain Anti-perspirant for men, £1.70. Gets my vote for being an environmentally-friendly anti-perspirant that actually works! Smell faintly of Coca-Cola when it goes on but that’s part of its appeal! Available from Asda.