Groomed to perfection: the Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm

groomed_super8 (1) Without doubt this year’s big grooming trend (apart from facial hair) is the rise of the multi-functional product. As belts tighten and spare time becomes increasingly scarce products that cover several bases are becoming increasingly popular and more relevant.

Already this year we’ve had Lab Series’ excellent PRO-LS All-In-One Face Treatment and next month sees the launch of Molton Brown’s 4-in-1 Sportwash. And here’s another worth checking out.  Groomed’s Super 8 Skin Saviour Balm is a product designed to soothe razor burn, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, energise dull skin, moisturise, provide anti-oxidant protection, refine pores, combat blemishes and mattify skin.

In fairness, a couple of these features are built in to some products without them even flagging up the fact and any good moistuiser will help minimise wrinkles but it’s still a pretty good product and at £4 for 50ml, reasonably priced too. The texture’s great, it’s not overly-fragranced and its instant cooling effect also makes it a great morning-after-the-night-before refresher – something I discovered when I tried it for the first time this morning. Just a shame it can’t get rid of the hangover too…

Available from Asda.

 

Lab Series prove they’re the pros of men’s skincare again

LAB PRO LS WITH BOX LOW RES

Soothsayer that I am I remember reporting a couple of years ago that male skincare was moving inexorably towards multifunctionalism. And Lab Series‘ new PRO LS All-In-One Face Treatment is yet more proof that my crystal ball still works occasionally.

Essentially a four-in-one face treatment it can be used as an aftershave balm to sooth irritated skin but also as an all-over-the-face anti-ageing and mattifying moisturiser, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, hydrating skin and absorbing excess oil.

Not only is it the perfect introduction to Lab Series as a brand it’s ideal for travel  – when space is at a premium –  too. One day all male grooming products will be this simple.

Lab Series PRO LS ALL-IN-ONE FACE TREATMENT is available from March, priced £22 for 50ml. For more information see www.labseries.co.uk

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

The Grooming Guru Awards 2012. Best Problem Solver: Glamglow Super-Clearing Mud Mask Treatment

glamggawrd12lJust so you know, not all of these awards were planned ages ago (something that can’t be said of all grooming awards) and by way of proof, my choice for Best Problem Solver presented itself just this week when I finally got around to trying the much-hyped Glamglow Super-Clearing Mud Mask Treatment.

A potent blend of six skin-improving acids (don’t worry sulphuric isn’t one of them), it’s one of the best detoxifying masks I’ve come across. Most tend to leave my easily-irritated skin dry and red but miraculously – given its potency – this one doesn’t. In actual fact my skin looked and felt better than it has in a long while after using it.

Designed to help prevent breakouts and blocked pores it’s actually very good for helping prevent ingrown hairs too and you can use a small amount on a specific problem area (like the notorious T-zone) or slap it on all over. The best thing about it, though, is that as it goes to work, vacuuming out grease and grime, it darkens over your pores showing you just how huge and numerous they are.

This special feature, which is both horrifying and compulsive viewing (much like the grooming award ceremonies I mentioned earlier), makes it hugely entertaining. In fact, I’ve not had as much fun using a skincare product since I first discovered Biore Cleansing Pore Strips and the joy of examining what they remove. And problem solving should be fun right?

Glamglow Super-Mud is available from SpaceNK

Coming tomorrow…Best Grooming Gadget of 2012

Lab Series BB Tinted Moisturiser SPF35. The perfect grooming product. Almost.

It’s a fantastic premise isn’t it? A wonder product that addresses ten (yes 10) of men’s most common grooming needs, including hydration, shine control, pore reduction, skin brightening and skin firming. Sure, Sisley had a go at it a while back with their Sisleyum multi-functional product for men but at £150 it remains beyond the reach of the majority of men and it barely scratched the surface of the myriad of men’s skincare needs.

The new Lab Series BB Tinter Moisturizer is a more reasonable £32 and is clearly the future of men’s skincare – a one-stop-shop for great looking skin. With one eye on anti-ageing and sun protection it even packs a hefty SPF35 sunscreen and also contains a skin-perfecting pigment that cleverly adjusts to your own natural skintone. The catch? Well, there is one and, remarkably, it’s one that few reviewers seem to have picked up on – namely that it is blighted by that familiar sunscreen smell.

In fact, on applying it I was immediately reminded of the SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense I used on my face during the hottest days of last summer – a product that’s top-notch but has an odour I associate with beaches and sun loungers rather than a day at the office.  Get the BB in your eyes and it’ll sting like a sunscreen too (hence the irritation warning on the packaging).

Don’t get me wrong – these are small criticisms and maybe I’m a little on the fussy side. At the end of the day this is a product very much leading the way in men’s skincare from a company also very much at the forefront of helping men look their absolute best. As a cure-all product it’s close to perfection. Frustrating so.

Available from 16th March. For stockist call 0870 9342566

Grooming Guru Essentials: Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Foundation Primer

There are few products I elevate to true Must Have status but this pocket-sized mattifing gel by Givenchy is one of them. Though I generally have skin comparable in texture to your average rice cracker I do occassionally suffer from what I call ‘chip shop chops’ (look, I’m Northerner ok? It’s how we talk). This most often manifests itself in a nose so greasy  you could probably cook a full english on it.

This genius little mattifying primer from Givenchy, however, is the perfect antidote, absorbing excess oil and generally leaving skin looking much-improved – kind of like Photoshop in a tube.

Several of the products in the Mister range were marketed directly at men last year (the matt black packinging and ‘Mister’ moniker helps) but having the words ‘Matte-finish make up gel’ kind of gives the game away that it’s essentially for women. Still, why should the girls have all the best products?

Worth trying too, by the way, is the new Mister Radiant – a product containing  tiny microbeads of pigment along with ones containing vitamin E to improve the appearance of the skin and give it some subtle colour.

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