Invictus triumphs at 2014’s fragrance ‘Oscars’

Paco-Rabanne-InvictusLast night I had the privilege of attending the annual Fragrance Foundation Awards, widely regarded to be the Oscars of the fragrance world. In terms of men’s fragrance the night definitely belonged to Paco Rabanne’s Invictus which scooped, not one, but two awards – for Best New Men’s Fragrance and also the Men’s Health Reader’s Choice Award.

Paco Rabanne 1 Million IntenseIn fact, the corks must be popping all over the place at Paco HQ this morning since they picked up a third gong for 1 Million Intense which won the People’s Choice For Men Award. Without doubt Paco is the brand to catch at the moment when it comes to men’s fragrance. Other companies jealously eye up the success of their fragrances in the way a cat eyes up a mouse and the coherence of the Invictus marketing campaign was stunning, with everything from the eye-catching bottle, witty adverts, choice of face and Invictus Award initiative all coming together like one giant, unstoppable commercial glacier, pushing aside everything else in its path. Impressive.

 

Coming soon…The Molton Brown Sport Collection

MOLTON BROWN SPORT COLLECTONSo iconic is Molton Brown‘s Re-Charge Black Pepper Body Wash that everything the company releases has to be judged against it. A firm favourite with men (and the recipient of a clutch of Men’s Health Grooming Awards) it’s a truly fabulous product and one that’s just as good after a late night or long flight as it is after a work out. So their latest Sport Collection – aimed specifically at active types – has a lot to live up to.

A trio of high-performance products the range features a 4-in-1 Sportwash, muscle-warming  Sportbalm and obligatory Anti-Perspirant Stick, each featuring the refreshing scent of cassia bark, nutmeg and lime. Of the three products the 4-in-1 Sportwash is by far the most interesting. In keeping with the current trend for multi-fuctional grooming products it not only acts as a shower gel, shampoo and facial cleanser but as a transparent shaving gel too.

As a range it’s great and is certainly a welcome addition to any gym or sports bag but does it live up to the aforementioned Black Pepper Body Wash? Well, let’s just say they set the bar mighty high with that product…

The Molton Brown Sport Collection is available from Niven & Joshua.

Disclosure Notice: I received a free sample of this product for review purposes

David Beckham reveals men’s worst grooming mistake

It could have been anything: rushing the morning shave, not wearing enough deodorant or just overdoing the aftershave, but when asked by Men’s Health what men’s biggest grooming mistake was David Beckham revealed his personal bathroom bête noir to be…overplucked eyebrows. Bad memories of the above advertising shoot maybe?

Check out the Icon Stylefile featuring Becks in the December issue of Men’s Health.

David Beckham gives good hair

As someone who sported his own quiff many years ago (yes, there was a time when I had hair) I’m insanely jealous of the height David Beckham’s achieved with his in these pics taken by Doug Inglish for the new issue of Men’s Health. In my book, the quiff (the ultimate salon-produced penis substitute) is still the greatest male hairstyle ever and this one, styled beautifully by Ken Paves, is sublime. There’s much to envy about Beckham – the wealth, the body, the cultural influence –  but it’s his hair (that ever-so-versatile hair) that impresses me the most. Beautiful game? Beautiful mane more like.

Grooming Guru Essentials: BaByliss For Men Super Clipper

Those that know me are aware of the fact that all my life I’ve had an irrational fear of hairdressers. As an eight year old I used to scream the place down when my mum took me for my six weekly bowl-cut (a style which admittedly may have been the root of my phobia).

So when male pattern baldness meant that visits to the barbers were an unnecessary indulgence I was frankly rather thrilled to have the opportunity to cut my own hair. I now think of myself as my very own hairdresser, only one without the tattoos (though that’s about to change so watch this space). Over the years I’ve also tried scores of clippers with varying results –  from uber-professional crops to the kind of haircut only a patient from a Victorian mental asylum might sport.

Anyway, this one – the Super Clipper from Babyliss For Men – is one of the best I’ve come across.  Not only does it give an even trim, it’s lightweight but sturdy and has a taper control which allows you to vary the length of the cut by minute degrees giving you total control.

I’m not the only one who thinks it’s a good piece of grooming kit, though, because at the end of last year BaByliss did a huge survey in association with Men’s Health magazine to get some feedback about the product. Having worked for Men’s Health for over a decade in one capacity or another I know how demanding its readers can be – so it’s a testament to the Super Clipper’s that it passed muster with flying colours. If you want to know what some of them said about it I’ve embedded the video below.

Anyway, if you fancy giving the Super Clipper a go you can pick one up from Argos priced £60.

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

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.

The Grooming Guru’s Top 5 Autumnal Fragrances

I was going to compile my Top 5 fragrances for Autumn for a blogpost on here but since Men’s Health pipped me to the post and asked me to compile a list for them I thought I may as well simply share the link with you. So to discover why I think Dsqared’s Potion is magical and Roja Dove’s Danger Pour Homme is positively pornographic simply click here!

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

Why those finishing touches always matter when it comes to male grooming

A while ago I was asked to edit a little digital magazine on the importance of male grooming (and those finishing touches that make all the difference) on behalf of ClarinsMen, in association with Men’s Health where I’m Online Grooming Ed. In a world where we’re constantly being scrutinised – by potential employers or potential partners – attention to detail has never been more important.  So if you fancy having a read of the booklet yourself simply click on the image below.

FiFi UK Fragrance Foundation Awards 2011 – the winners for men

My table setting with one of the winning fragrances (and plenty of vino!)

Last night I was lucky enough to attend the biggest event in the UK fragrance world’s dairy – the Fragrance Foundation’s FiFi Awards. Kind of like the Oscars for Eau de Toilettes, receiving a FiFi is just about the highest accolade a fragrance can get. More than that,  though, since they’re voted for by an army of industry experts (myself included) and members of the public too, they’re an excellent barometer of what’s hot.

Blue take to the stage to present an award

Last night’s awards took place at the beautiful  Banqueting House in Whitehall, was hosted by TV presenter George Lamb (a man everyone, male and female, seemed to want to kiss, hug or – in some cases – grope) and had the likes of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Beverley Knight and  Eurovision hopefuls Blue providing the glamour.

The awards themselves are a crucial barometer to what’s hot in the fragrance industry, from the ads we like best to the fragrances we all buy. Winners this year included Chanel’s Bleu de Chanel (voted Best New Prestige Fragrance for Men, best commercial and picking up a Perfume Shop People’s Award for Best Male Fragrance) and Tom Ford Private Blend Azure Lime which won for Best New Men’s Fragrance in Limited Distribution. Voyage d’Hermes by Hermes deservedly won Best New Male Fragrance Packaging and Boss Bottled Night walked away with the coveted (and always fiercely fought) Men’s Health Readers Award for Best Fragrance. So if you’re a guy looking for a new fragrance these esteemed winners are the very best place to start.