The Lynx Manwasher – the ultimate shower tool for men

If there’s one thing you can say about Lynx it’s that they’ve never stopped being witty, clever and innovative. Their advertising has always pushed the envelope (the fallen angels remains one of my fave grooming ads) as have their products.

And now, in that spirit, the team at Lynx have developed the ultimate shower tool for men: The Lynx Manwasher. An easy to use, dual-sided shower accessory, the Manwasher makes for a brilliant, palm-sized body exfoliator, replacing cumbersome luffas and brushes, and can be used in conjunction with Lynx shower gels to ensure you get squeaky clean.

One side features a textured scrubbing pad (making it perfect for tackling tough skin on heels, elbows and knees) while the other has a lathering micro-mesh “scrunchie” which ensures you get the most out of your shower gel. Not only does it help whip up a fantastic lather (making your gel go further in the process) it also gently removes dead skin cells, polishing skin and leaving it smooth, soft and conditioned.

So whether you’re scrubbing up for an important date, interview or after a muddy Saturday afternoon five-aside the Lynx Manwasher is the perfect way to feel clean, confident and 100% fresh.

The Lynx Manwasher is available at retailers nationwide priced £3.99. For more information, special offers and other fun Lynx stuff go to www.facebook.com/lynxeffect

 

Wilkinson Sword back this year’s Movember

I rarely get angry about the industry I work in (let’s face it, if you’re going to get angry, get angry about the state of the NHS or fat cat bankers not the cupcakes at a fragrance launch or a moisturiser) but there is one thing that really annoys me about it – and that’s its woeful response to male charities.

In October you simply cannot move for beauty and cosmetic company breast cancer initiatives. Big brands fall over themselves to get involved. Bizarrely, even some of the leading men’s brands have got in on the act in the past by donating money from their own sales to…breast cancer charities.

I’m not knocking this. I think the industry’s response to breast cancer is amazing. But its enthisiasm for the cause only makes its apathy towards prostate cancer (the most common cancer in men, affecting 250,000 men in the UK) or testicular cancer (where there are 2,000 new diagnoses a year) all the more evident. And shameful. And let’s not forget that many of the companies that so admirably support female cancer charities also own male grooming brands that could support men’s charities just as vociferously. But they don’t.

Why? Well, clearly, economics plays a part. The beauty industry is still much bigger than the men’s in terms of sales. And there’s a perception that women are much more touchy-feely than men and so a brand can gain much kudos (and additional sales) in supporting the right charities and campaigning in the right way. Again, I’m not knocking this – charity is a business thesedays –  I’m just stating an obvious, if uncomfortable, truth.

The other sad fact, of course, is that men’s cancers rarely make headlines in quite the same way diseases like breast cancer do. Breast cancer has high profile ambassadors like Kylie: prostate cancer has Rudi Giuliani. Breast cancer can affect women who are young, vibrant and have their whole lives ahead of them: prostate cancer tends to affect men who are much older. Yet, both are killers and both destroy lives.

The cruel irony is that women are far better educated (perhaps in part to companies’ charitable campaigning) in terms of looking out for symptoms, getting checked and knowing what resources are available for them than men. The fact is, it’s men who could do with the help. In my opinion, a little concerted effort by the male grooming industry into raising funds for all the men out there who buy their products really wouldn’t go amiss and I’m sure it would get the full support of the men’s press.  After all, men do put money into the pockets of the major skin and haircare companies too.

But enough of my ranting. The actual reason for this post was to mention that Wilkinson Sword are supporting Movember this year as official grooming partner. Movember, in case you’re unfamiliar with it, is one of the few initiatives across the year that focusses on raising funds for a male cancer charity – in this case The Prostate Cancer Charity. An increasingly popular event, all you have to do is register as a ‘Mo Bros’ at the start of November and get growing a moustache (be as outlandish as you like, in fact I positively demand it). As you do this, of course, you need to get as many sponsors as possible and raise as much money as you can.

Wilkinson Sword will be on had to provide support, advice, inspiration and the tools for the job (their Quattro Titanium Precision razor is the ultimate piece of kit for shaving and trimming your ‘tache) so why not get involved? After all, you won’t just be helping other blokes you may well be helping yourself somewhere down the line too.

For more information go to www.facebook.com/WilkinsonSwordMenUK

Thanks to Chris James for the illustration. For more information click here.

Armani’s Acqua di Gio shows its social responsibility. Or does it?

The latest buzz in the beauty and grooming world appears to be about Armani’s new Acqua For Life campaign. Indeed, many of my colleagues can barely contain their excitement for an initiative that aims to provide a minimum of 40 million litres of drinking water to those without.

The campaign is simple. In a nutshell, the company will  donate 100 litres of drinking water to people who otherwise wouldn’t have any clean safe water, for every purchase of Acqua di Gio or Acqua di Gioia – two fragrances ‘inherently in harmony with this theme’. What’s more, you can double your contribution by joining a special Facebook page and entering a code from your purchase.

What could be simpler? Or more rewarding? You get a little luxury, people who consider fresh water a little luxury get something and Armani reinvigorate their brand, shift a few extra units, get lots of pats on the back for ‘social responsibility’ and a Facebook page with tens of thousands of followers spreading the word – the word being ‘Acqua di Gio’.

Before you have a pop at me for being a cynical old misery guts I should point out two things: 1. I think it’s a really good cause and b. I actually love the brand and in particular Acqua di Gio, which is a true classic when it comes to men’s fragrance). It’s just that I’m left thinking the company could have made things even simpler by just announcing they were donating a whole load of water as a thank you to their loyal customers.

In fairness, Hugo Boss did exactly the same kind of campaign last year with limited edition fragrances (co-incidentally of old classics that needed a bit of a ‘push’) that enabled you to plant trees and I was fairly ambivalent about that too. I mean, what next? Will Thierry Mugler be offering free prayers for the needy with limited edition ‘winged’ bottles of Angel?  Yes, I’m offering a counter-view. Yes, I’m being cynical and yes, I know initiatives like this are  better than doing nothing but sometimes I like to say it as I see it rather than how I’m expected to see it. Know what I mean?

The limited edition Acqua for Life fragrance is available exclusively in Harrods from May but if you want to contribute without buying you can I believe (see below for instructions).

Here is how you can collect water without purchase:
If you have a Facebook account, go to http://apps.facebook.com/acquaforlifebyarmani You will land on the welcome page of the application. You then have the choice to log in with a code or without a code.
If you do not have the fragrance, you can chose to join someone else’s community. Just search by country of origin (on the tab on the left-hand side called “all statistics” and then chose you country from the drop down menu at the top.
When you join a community, it adds 10 litres of water to this community (and then to the general amount collected!). Then, every time you share a video or an image, or like a post, it collects more litres of water.

Anyone interested in providing fresh drinking water and sanitation for developing countries can also donate via organisations like Wateraid and The Water Project.