King of Shaves Prostyle Beard Styler

KING OF SHAVES BEARD TRIMMERIf there’s one gadget I love road-testing is a beard trimmer. Having had some form of facial hair since the beginning of the new Millennium I’ve tried (and parted company with) plenty. They are, it seems, surprisingly hard to get right. In fact, there are few that tick all boxes in terms of performance, versatility, charge time and reliability.

So how does the new King of Shaves Prostyle Beard Styler measure up? Well, it’s not bad actually, has a good charging life and is pretty efficient at powering though facial hair.

It has six different length settings – ranging from 0.5mm to 15mm – and above 3mm it goes up in 3mm leaps. What I discovered – the hard way and with the loss of a couple of weeks’ growth – is that the 3mm difference between settings is more than you think. The trimmer I use at the moment has nine settings that go up by 2mm increments which gives you a little more leeway lengthwise so it’s little wonder that I ended up removing slightly more hair than I wanted with my first try of the Prostyler.

It also suffers the fate of the majority of trimmers by having a blade that’s a little too wide for precision tidying, especially around the lips where accuracy is important (you really need to buy the King of Shaves Prostyle Multi Styler for that). In truth, though, I very much suspect that any problems I had with it come from the fact that I’m simply not used to the way it handles (imagine using gears again if you were used to driving an automatic) so I suspect that if you came to it as a newbie you’d have absolutely no problems at all.

Fore more information click here.

The Grooming Guru Awards 2012. Best Grooming Gadget: The Clarisonic Plus

CLARISONICggawrd12lAlthough there are plenty of great grooming gadgets out there most of them are focussed on shaving. This one, however, is a bit different, improving skin before you actually shave. The Clarisonic Plus uses an exfoliating brush and a sonic frequency of 300 oscillations a second to remove up to twice as much grease and grime as manual cleansing. And though originally a device aimed at women its popularity with men has rocketed, prompting the launch of this new grey version (presumably for those men scared of brandishing the pink version).

Not only is the Clarisonic a fantastic device for giving skin a deep-down cleanse it’s actually a great one for prepping skin in readiness for your daily shave, ridding skin of razor-clogging dead cells and helping prevent ingrown hairs. What tips the balance for me as a bearded guy, however, is how useful it is for getting to the skin beneath facial hair, keeping it clean and free of beard dandruff. My Clarisonic has been, by far, my favourite piece of kit of 2012, hence the Best Grooming Gadget gong. It (quite literally) is the perfect way to brush up on your skincare.

The Clarisonic Plus Grey, which includes a head for the body too, is available from Harrods.

Coming tomorrow… The Grooming Guru’s Dud of The Year Award 

Wilkinson Sword’s Quattro Titanium Precision – the perfect Movember ‘tache tool

Given than Movember is only days away chances are if you’re taking part in the annual man-friendly fundraiser you’ll be looking for the perfect tool to tame your ‘tache.

While there are lots out there, many of them can cost upwards of £20 and the way I look at it if you can find something that does the job at a fraction of the price you may as well save some money and bung the difference towards charity right?

So, if you’re after the ultimate ‘tache tool then you might want to check out the Wilkinson Sword  Quattro Titanium Precision razor. Not only does it have a  four blade razor it also features a titanium-coated edging blade for precision shaping and a battery-operated trimmer, with four adjustable levels, to keep your ‘tache neatly trimmed. Best news of all, though, is that it’s now half its usual £9.29 price making it fantastic value too!

For more info about Movember and to find out how you can get involved got to www.movember.com

Everything you always wanted to know about facial hair but were too afraid to ask

With Movember finally upon us I thought it’d be a good time to pull together a trio of columns I wrote for the Men’s Health website on the subject of facial hair. So if you’re giving a Mo a go, then check out this sound advice…

How to look after a moustache. Click here.

How do I look after my beard? Click here.

How to prevent beard dandruff. Click here.

PS. If you think Mo’s can’t look cool take a quick look at this post.

Ask the Guru: Can I dye my moustache?

One of the main excuses for not growing facial hair is that men don’t like the colour of it. For some, it’s the fact that flecks of grey give the game away about their age. For others it’s simply that their facial hair is ginger (personally I don’t get why this is a problem but then I do have a touch of the copper in my own facial fuzz). Anyway, if this is the only thing putting you off growing a moustache this Movember then there is an answer – just dye it!

What you need, however, is a dye that’s specially formulated for facial hair which tends to be courser than the stuff on your bonce. I like Trevor Sorbie MG Beard, Moustache & Sideburn Colours (£7.45 from trevorsorbie.com) which are a cinch to use, work in just five minutes and give great results. You simply mix the contents of the two tubes to activate the dye, apply with the small brush provided and rinse off.  If you’re just dying your ‘tache you’ll probably get three or more applications from it too so it’s pretty good value. They appear to work well on body hair as well, should ever you ever feel the need to disguise the grey chest hair. Etc.

So that’s one excuse dealt with for not growing that Mo! Next!

Grooming Guru Essentials: Mr Natty Frank’s Beard Elixir – the ultimate beard conditioner

If you’ve cultivated a facial forest, as I have, you’ll know that whilst it might be fantastically on-trend and a cost-effective solution to the exorbitant price of razor blades it isn’t entirely without its drawbacks. Not least, it can be prickly, flakey and occasionally (usually after a tuna sandwich or messy spag bol) faintly odouriferous.

The remedy for these beardy bugbears comes in the shape of this handy little beard and ‘tache conditioner. A concentrated elixir, it contains a blend of natural oils to lubricate and condition the beard and moisturise the skin beneath. What I really love about it, though,is the way it smells. With refreshing bergamot and pine and earthy vetiver and patchouli it manages to be both fresh and very sexy. Grrrrrr, as beardy types are inclined to say.

Mr Natty Frank’s Beard Elixir cost just  £7 for 10ml and is available from nivenandjoshua.com. Perfect for Movember too!

Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.

Everything you ever wanted to know about shaving but were too afraid to ask!

Over the years I’ve provided hundreds of male grooming pieces for menshealth.co.uk in my capacity as Online Grooming Editor. What’s emerged is an invaluable online rescource for anyone who cares about looking good. To make things easier for you to access, though, I thought I’d gather a few of the links together, via subject matter. So I’m kicking off this week with probably men’s biggest grooming concern – shaving. Read these and you need never leave the house covered in bits of loo paper ever again!

Foam, cream or gel?  Click here.

How do I use shaving oil? Click here.

Can I slow down the growth of my stubble? Click here.

Why it’s not a good idea to shave against the grain. Click here

How do I use a shaving brush? Click here.

How to prevent ingrown hairs. Click here.

The rules of electric shaving. Click here. 

How can I make my razor last longer?  Click here

How do I treat nicks and cuts after shaving? Click here.

How to pick the right shaving balm for your skin. Click here