Mo better trim – Penhaligon’s joins Movember cause with free Pop-Up Barbers

Joining Movember’s charity initiative to raise vital money for awareness into prostate cancer? Then why not treat yourself to a complementary ‘tache trim, courtesy of Penhaligon’s Pop-Up Barbershop at their flagship boutique store in Covent Garden?

Available throughout November (sorry Movember) you can simply pop into the Covent Garden boutique in Wellington St (availability permitting), ring for an appointment on 0203 040 6120 or book online here. Throughout November Penhaligons will also be donating a whopping 20% from sales of their shaving products to the cause too.

Remember fellas, a tidy ‘tache is a tip-top ‘tache!

For more information about Movember and for details how you can get involved click here.

Growing a Mo? These are the ‘taches that inspired me!

Throughout Movember I’ll be posting regularly with ‘tache-themed musings and practical advice but I thought I’d kick things off with a little trip down memory lane and a few of the memorable Mos that impressed me as a kid and as a teenager. So here are few of my top ‘taches. If you have a favourite let me know!

From top to bottom: Freddie Mercury (how great is this pic?), Clark Gable, Frankie‘s Paul Rutherford (in what you might call ‘Haute Clone’ mode!), Ming The Merciless, 70s swimmer David Wilkie, Pope of Trash John Waters, Nicholas Courtney aka ‘The Brig’ from Doctor Who and, of course, Magnum PI himself!

Grooming Guru Essentials: Mr Natty Frank’s Beard Elixir – the ultimate beard conditioner

If you’ve cultivated a facial forest, as I have, you’ll know that whilst it might be fantastically on-trend and a cost-effective solution to the exorbitant price of razor blades it isn’t entirely without its drawbacks. Not least, it can be prickly, flakey and occasionally (usually after a tuna sandwich or messy spag bol) faintly odouriferous.

The remedy for these beardy bugbears comes in the shape of this handy little beard and ‘tache conditioner. A concentrated elixir, it contains a blend of natural oils to lubricate and condition the beard and moisturise the skin beneath. What I really love about it, though,is the way it smells. With refreshing bergamot and pine and earthy vetiver and patchouli it manages to be both fresh and very sexy. Grrrrrr, as beardy types are inclined to say.

Mr Natty Frank’s Beard Elixir cost just  £7 for 10ml and is available from nivenandjoshua.com. Perfect for Movember too!

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

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.