Grooming Guru Essentials: the August edit.

GROOMING GURU ESSENTIALS-1Since it’s nearly the end of the month I thought I’d round-up some of the best products to have landed on my desk in the past few weeks. After all, when it comes to stocking your bathroom cabinet it’s all about the edit. So here are my picks from August…

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream For Men, £55 from

Elemis’ award-winning Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is a legendary beauty product and it always puzzled me why there hadn’t been a version in their men’s range. Well, now there is. Resisting the urge to simply repackage the original formula this men’s version includes an extra ingredient called Abyssine which is a soothing oil that helps calm the skin and reduces the irritation caused by shaving. The cream itself is intensely hydrating and silky but, crucially for me, doesn’t leave a shiny residue on the skin.

Oliver Sweeney Argento Eau De Parfum, £95 from

Regular readers will know how disappointed I am with a lot of new men’s fragrances but here’s one I love (I know, hang out the bunting!). The first fragrance from luxury shoe and accessories designer Oliver Sweeney, Argento is a delightfully woody, slightly leathery fragrance that smells reassuringly traditional without being boring. What’s more, unlike most of today’s new men’s launches it doesn’t smell like a cake shop and for this reason alone it’s currently my favourite new fragrance.

Philips Bodygroom Series 1000, £20 from

Remarkably, it’s been 10 years now since the launch of the first Philips Bodygroom – a tool that changed how men manscaped and one which pretty much created a brand new category in male grooming. This latest version is slimmer, sleeker and has a new ‘skin protector’ not found on previous models, allowing a nick-free trim, particularly if you’re using it ‘down below’. It doesn’t go as close as the other models (it’s a trimmer rather than a down-to-skin-level shaver) but is much easier – and safer –  to use. The price point is excellent too.

Rose of No Man’s Land, £88 from Liberty, from 10th September

I’m a big fan of rose fragrances and whilst they do scare a lot of men they don’t all leave you smelling like  a hanky-brandishing dowager aunt. This one, from Swedish fragrance house Byredo, is a perfect example of a rose fragrance a man can rock since the overly floral aspects are tempered by a lovely warm woodiness and a slight spiciness. Be brave and give it a try.

Root Vanish By Kazumi, £30 from Boots.

Though essentially a hair product some enterprising PR realised this temporary tinting brush by Japanese company Kazumi actually works wonders on facial hair too. Available in different shades (I’ve been using the light brown) it’s brilliant at disguising any little grey bits  you have and is useful where you have patches too. It stays on throughout the day but washes of when you shower, too, giving you total control over the effect. I don’t leave the house without touching up now!

What will make the edit next month? Watch this space to find out.

dying for something different

I’m a patient person, I really am. But the wait for a male hair dye company to come out with some decent packaging is seriously beginning trying my patience.

I know I was moaning about how bad the TV adverts are for these products last week but I think I was actually missing the point – the problem starts with the packaging. The thing is, when I buy a pair of Calvin Klein briefs it’s because I fancy myself looking like the man on the packet. In a moment of (admittedly rather tragic) body dysmorphia I see myself as that man with the six pack and eye-popping bulge. Most men do.

So, if I’m a man scouring the shelves in Boots for a product to disguise my ever increasing grey hairs do I come across L’Oreal’s Excell 5 and really think “Blimey, I wish I looked like that man with the bouffant hair and pink lipstick?” Or do I look at a Just For Men packet and think “Wow, if I used that product I too could look like a cheesy American version of Nick Clegg!” You know the answer and so do I.

Sadly, I suspect the poor UK marketing peeps at both these companies know it too. The problem is the head honchos in Paris, America or what other foreign land they originate from don’t.

Thank goodness, then, that Trevor Sorbie has a clue. His hair dyes for men are the only ones I can find that actually feature blokes you’d remotely want to emulate. Okay, so I’m never going to look like the guy on the pack but at least he’s attractive and vaguely approachable. And look, not a hint of lipstick in sight!