Insider Interview: Richard Sawyer, Global spokesman for Lab Series

When it comes to male grooming Richard Sawyer is, without doubt, one of the most knowledgeable people I know. As Global Spokesman for Lab Series (you know you’ve made it when you’re a ‘global’ something) he jets around the world, spreading the word about the brand’s extensive range of skin savers for men. Right now he’s expounding the benefits of Lab Series’ brand new anti-ageing product, Max LS Age-Less Face Cream.

So impressed by this new wrinkle buster (and believe me I’m hard to impress) I grabbed him for an insider interview. So here’s what he has to say about the latest addition to the Lab Series family, along with some handy grooming tips and a few thoughts on why hairy shoulders are scary shoulders.

GG: So, Richard, what makes MAX-LS different from other anti-ageing creams?

RS: What is unique is the revolutionary formulation. Using a highly precise hot/cold method creates the unique transformational texture.A first of its kind in men’s skincare, this special processing method creates a smooth, rich cream with micro droplets of moisture throughout that applies with a cool burst of hydration.

In use, what at first glance appears to be a rich cream, simply disappears into the skin leaving nothing buts a sensation of cool moisture and comfort for a mans skin. It’s also the first time we have used Sirtuin-inspired research in a product specifically for men. This technology helps keep skin looking younger, longer. In addition the formula contains skin rejuvenation ingredients such as Whey Protein and Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 to help keep skin looking firmer, smoother and more lifted.

GG: Men’s biggest grooming mistake?

RS: Not washing before wet shaving. This might sound simple, bit the single most important step in getting a close and comfortable wet shave is cleaning the skin.  Washing the face before shaving removed the build of oil, dead skin and dirt, which can clog up your razor and cause excess friction.

GG: Best skincare tip for men?

RS: However late it is, no matter how tired you are, try your best to but on a moisturiser before you go to bed. In the morning you may feel rough, tired and a little hung-over from last night, but at least you will look half-human. You really will have to try and work miracles to get yourself looking good after a heavy night if you forget to do something with your face before you sleep.

GG: What are your favourite fragrances?

RS: From being a teenager I have genuinely always loved fragrance. Back then there was far less choice but it also seemed there was great originality and the compositions available had real personality.

I have recently being on a voyage of rediscovery from the scents of my youth.

Pride of place in my bathroom right now are three classic Aramis fragrances. Yes I do work for Aramis, however I absolutely will never wear any fragrance unless I truly love it and have an emotional connection with it.

The first rediscovery was JHL. Back in the 1980’s I didn’t really understand it but as you grow form your teenage years into adulthood your tastes change, develop and mature.  I totally “get it” now and delighted that now it has been reissued, it is available for discovery once more. I love Aramis 900 too. It was my scent when I was 18 and I spent every spare penny I had on getting the range. I had very little money back then; however I knew that it was better to have just a few high quality products than loads of ineffective or cheaper alternatives.

I’m now wearing Aramis Devin, which has a lovely fresh green note. I work in an office surrounded by scent but whenever I wear this the reaction from everyone is always amazing. (A dickybird tells me he loves Guerlain’s Jicky too)

GG: Desert Island grooming product?

RS: Sunscreen every time.  Everyone should apply some sun protection to any exposed parts of their body after any skincare system. SPF 15 is fine for everyday exposure for people who work mostly indoors and just pop out at lunchtime for a sandwich. Higher factors are a must for anyone who loves the great outdoors even if you don’t plan on sun bathing.

My biggest regret is not knowing about the potential damage over exposure to the sun can do to the skin. I’m not alone in this respect as it’s only more recently that everyone is more away that we should use sun protection. I truly love the sun and getting a tan, however a couple of years ago I made a conscious decision to avoid prolonged sun exposure. It may be too late to reverse all of the sun damage I know I have suffered, but at least I can help to stop it getting worse.

GG: Body hair: to shave or not to shave?

RS: Maybe a bit of both! It’s really down to personal preference. I personally don’t like hairy backs and shoulders so for me on these areas, the hair has to go. A little trim on the chest now and again doesn’t go a miss. If you have been working out at the gym, shaving can show off your definition and hard work. Tattoos also look better if you can actually see them.


GG: How has the internet changed male grooming?

RS: I think its empowered men to be able to research and discover what’s out there without feeling uncomfortable.  You can compare and choose at your leisure and get really get the SP on something. The internet has dramatically changed how people shop and retailers have needed to evolve.  I research new skin care products and technologies on an almost daily basis. Like other men I can then visit a store and touch, and try a product, have an understanding of what it is and what it can do. Personally I still like to see new product in “the flesh” first.  However as with many men I’m more than comfortable buying online when I want a repeat purchase.

GG: Fantasy grooming product?

RS: It seems with each season that the perfect moisturiser is getting closer and closer.  I want a product that does it all. It has to be day and night, for lines and wrinkles and be protective and repairing.  An all singing all dancing product used to be like searching for the Holy Grail.  I’m convinced that with the convergence of idea’s and research form the west and Asia, we are closer than ever to the ideal skincare product. Something that addresses chronological and photo ageing.

MAX LS answers my needs right now. However as time and technology march on, I’ll be waiting for the next big thing.

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Exclusive! Tomasz Schafernaker interview

BBC weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker is to meterology what Becks is to ball games. When he appeared on the cover of Attitude’s fitness supplement clad only  in a pair of Aussiebums earlier this month the internet exploded in a frenzy of Tweets, blogs and appreciative Facebook exchanges. Suddenly weather reporting was…sexy.

Not since the revelation that Angela Rippon had a fantastic pair of pins back in the 70s has a TV presenter caused such a stir with the exposure of a little flesh. In fact, such was the interest in ‘The Schaf’ that my own initial blog post about the Attitude cover instantly eclipsed a similar (and you’d have thought bigger) news story I wrote about Ronaldo becoming the new face of Armani.

All of a sudden I  people were specifically tuning in to his weather updates just to catch a glimpse of him! He was in people’s consciousness before, of course, but only in relation to squally showers. Now, he’s a bona fide sex symbol. So, with this in mind, I thought I’d find out how he maintains the looks that have created such a…storm.

GG: So Tomasz, how important is proper grooming to you and how much care and attention do you pay to your appearance?

TS: Clearly it’s important for me to look presentable due to the nature of my job. I need to make sure I put in about as much effort at 4am as I would at any time of the day if I’m due on shift. More men these days are paying attention to grooming so regardless of whether it’s a work day or not I still make at least some effort.

GG: What are your  favourite male fragrances and why?

TS: Boss by Hugo Boss – my dad has always bought me Hugo, probably ever since I was a teenager. I also wear 212 MEN by Carolina Herrera – another gift but now I buy it myself. I’m also a fan of Hollister Deodorants – I think they’re just fresh, funky and different.

GG: As someone who works in TV you’ll be used to wearing make-up when on screen. There are a huge number of male cosmetic products available now and it’s a growing industry. How do you feel about men using things like concealer?

TS: Yes, I’m required to wear make-up for TV. It’s amazing how much you shine and how awful you can look without it on screen. Remember that the lightning is at ‘unnatural levels’ in the studio compared to the real world.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing a little ‘invisible male make-up’. It’s all down to what you’re comfortable with. I personally don’t actually wear make-up outside of work as I’ve always had pretty good skin.

GG: So you’re obviously doing something right! What’s your basic daily routine and what are your favourite skincare products?

I don’t have a regular routine as my day and night shifts are all over the place. I try to wash my face after work as soon as I can. There’s always some blot powder and studio fix left over. It’s a pain sometimes because I often have thick stubble.

I very rarely wet shave, almost never. I tend to have sensitive skin on the neck and using a clipper just happens to be better for me. Any basic moisturiser will do plus an anti-shine product which I can also use at work. A moisturiser with a light-tanning agent is good, I then don’t have put on as much make at work.

GG: A touch of stubble has almost become your trademark. How do you maintain it?

TS: I use clippers on the lowest grade setting, 2 or 3mm. I get the feeling that thick and uniform stubble is easier to maintain than thinner stubble. I have to use the clipper every other day as the stubble grows very quickly. Fortunately I’m quite fair so sometimes I can get away with it if I forget to trim. TV make-up can ‘soften’ the look of stubble as well.

GG: I’m assuming for the Attitude pics you removed any body hair – a procedure more men than ever are having done. Would you recommend it to other guys?

TS: Actually, because I’m fair, and maybe it’s something to do with my east european genes (Tomasz was born in Gdańsk, Poland), I’m not especially hairy. I didn’t remove any hair for the shoot. It was probably just unnoticeable and I’m guessing a little light airbrushing. Whatever takes your fancy on that one!

GG: Best grooming tip?

TS: It’s so much easier to style short hair after you’ve used narrow straightening irons for men. If you’ve tried it once there’s no going back! The style can keep even after a night’s sleep which means I don’t have to worry about bed hair when I’m on TV. It’s great.

GG: And finally…what’s your desert island grooming product?

TS: Hmm, difficult one. I guess I’d have to take UV protection so I don’t toast my nose..or the rest!

Tomasz recently launched his own website. To check it out click here.

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