The Grooming Guru wins a Fashion Monitor Journalism Award!

The Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards 2013Like most people I have an uneasy relationship with awards. I profess not to be bothered about them but then feel bereft when I lose out on one and nearly wet myself when I do win one. In the very first year I entered the prestigious Jasmine Awards (given out for writing about fragrance) I was shortlisted in three separate categories and still managed to come out of the ceremony empty handed – a crushing defeat that almost scarred me for life. And then, in the year I did actually win one I couldn’t collect the thing because I was simultaneously appearing in court (as a witness I hasten to add). A video message didn’t seem appropriate, or legal.

FM AWARD 2Thankfully, I was able to make last night’s inaugural Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards, though,  and am glad I could because as you can see from the pic above (also featuring host Laura Whitmore and nail guru Leighton Denny) I actually managed to scoop a gong for Beauty/Grooming Blogger of The Year. This particular award means a lot to me partly because, whilst I get paid for my journalism, blogging is essentially a labour of love. I’ve been blogging for about four and a half of the 23 years I’ve been a journalist and as all bloggers know, it’s something you really have to want to do because the rewards are few and far between!

It also means a lot because the shortlist –  created by members of the fashion and beauty industry itself –  included amazing bloggers like The Beauty Shortlist, A Model Recommends, Vivianna Does Makeup and my good pal British Beauty Blogger –  someone I look up to myself.

But anyway, it was a fantastic evening (I suspect the Fashion Monitor Awards will become the Oscars of the Beauty & Grooming world) and now that my wine-induced headache is finally subsiding I’m actually beginning to appreciate it!

PS. Don’t you just love the fact that I look like I’m missing a finger in the photo?

PPS. When I refer to “The Grooming Guru” in the title I mean the blog not me personally. The day I start referring to myself in the third person is the day I call it a day! Or the day they carry me off.

insider interview – master of manicures Leighton Denny


When it comes to nails nobody knows more than than Master of the Manicure Leighton Denny. With a bio that deserves a film treatment (he started out as a fork-lift truck driver before morphing into Britain’s most respected nail technician) he’s tended the talons of just about everyone who’s anyone. So it’s great to be able to, er, nail him down for this week’s Insider Interview…

GG: So Leighton, what would you say  are men’s biggest grooming mistakes?

LD: Not doing anything! We are very much past the days when men could get away with hardly ever showering and paying little or no attention to their appearance. I think that looking good, and looking like you know what you’re doing is as important for men now, as it is for women. It isn’t about being vain, just a bit more aware of what’s out there and taking pride in how you look.

GG: Why is it important for men to look after their nails?

LD: For the same reason that it is important to look after anything else. Nails can be a huge give away so it’s important to make sure that the basic steps are taken to help day to day maintenance. Practically too, having healthy well kept and sealed nails is an important way to prevent infections, so it is vital that you file nails correctly, and keep them hydrated with a good hand and nail cream, such as Best Defence from my range.

GG: What’s your best tip for men who want great nails?

trioLD: A good buffer is a great tool to have to hand, as buffing nails every two to three weeks will help to strengthen and shine nails with very little effort, or product. The Leighton Denny Trio Buffer is my personal favourite as this flattens out ridges, smoothes nails and polishes nails to leave a natural shine. I’d also recommend always carrying a hand cream with you. It’s an easy thing to forget, but great to do at intervals throughout the day for wonderfully conditioned hands, nails and cuticles.

GG: Why should men think about manicures?

LD: Most importantly, everyone deserves to be pampered, and a manicure is a great way to relax whilst getting hands into great shape. For many men who aren’t so familiar with DIY nail care, this is also a great way to get to t know what products to use, and how to use them efficiently. It’s a great way to pick up tips, and treat yourself!

GG: What are your favourite fragrances?

terredhermesLD: I’m a huge fan of Chanel Allure Sport as this is a perfect all rounder and great to wear all day as its fresh and vibrant, without being too heavy. Gucci by Gucci is a classic staple for anyone. It’s such a sexy evening fragrance and is perfect for night out all year round. Terre d’Hermes is my ‘Sunday best’ fragrance and the one I wear when I want to feel really fantastic. Its elegant and clean, but still smells masculine which is really important to me when I choose fragrances.

GG: What’s the one grooming product you couldn’t live without?

LD: For me it has to be fake tan. I’m a huge fan on St Tropez and the products in their range, particularly as I’m very fair skinned and the colour still suits my tone! Especially during the summer, but even during the winter months, I always feel that little bit more confident when I have some colour; and applying it at home means I keep my skin in better condition, and looking younger for longer.

For more info on Leighton go to

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