We all know how draining the festive season can be and so it seems do Clarins, who have just released a special skincare survival kit to help men get through the post-Christmas period looking half-decent. Available exclusively from Selfridges and selfridges.com the £65 kit features 12 skincare heroes hidden behind advent calendar doors that start on Christmas Day. If you’re a Clarins fan that represents a saving of £27 compared to the price of buying the products individually, so even if you can’t be bothered with the gimmicky advent calendar aspect (and I can’t say I would be) it’s still a great buy. Since it’s boxed and good-to-go it makes a fantastic gift too.
Living, as I do, in one of the busiest – not to mention most congested – capitals in the world I’m acutely aware of the potential damage that city living can inflict on skin. With new research suggesting that it’s not just sun damage that causes uneven pigmentation but pollution too, using products that shield skin against environmental aggressors has never been more important – especially if you’re a townie. Air pollutants called ambient particulate matter are a particular problem because they can trigger the production of harmful free radicals which cause all kinds of skin problems – from inflammation to premature ageing.
Thankfully, coming to the rescue is Elizabeth Arden‘s new PREVAGE City Smart – a product I’ve been using daily for a couple of weeks now. Designed with an invisible barrier that shields skin from pollution it also packs a broad spectrum SPF50 sunscreen and a raft of powerful antioxidants to give skin maximum protection against daily damage. On top of all that it also contains optical diffusers which enhance the appearance of skin too. At £55 for a 40ml tube, though, it’s possibly one city survival product you’ll need a job in the City to afford.
Estée Lauder have been doing some rather clever things with their men’s brands of late. Where once they were fiercely competitive with one another, brands like Clinique For Men, Aveda, Lab Series, Tom Ford and Zegna have been happily hanging out together in a show of unity that’s both refreshing and, as it happens, extremely practical. As well as their excellent men’s grooming station in London’s Westfield White City, curated by Esquire magazine, a new pop-up Grooming Station has just, you know, ‘popped-up’ in London’s Fitzrovia.
At its heart is an Aveda Men Barbershop where you can have express hair cuts, trims and beard tidies, but as well products from Aveda itself you can also investigate fragrance from Tom Ford and Zegna and skin care from Lab Series and Clinique, meaning all your grooming needs can be met in one quick in-and-out visit.
Men tend to be magpies when it comes to their skin care, hair care and fragrance choices, cherry-picking products from different ranges depending on what they like and what suits their skin, so it makes perfect sense for Lauder to offer the very best of their men’s brands in one go. In a way, they’ve done the edit for you and as we all know, it’s all in the edit.
The Aveda Grooming Station is located at 6 Mortimer Street, London W1F 3JJ and l be open until August. To keep up with what’s happening there check out @AvedaUK #groomingstation
Biotherm Homme have a bit of a chequered history in the UK. Big on the continent, they made a concerted effort to crack the British male skincare market several years ago before slinking back into the shadows, to the point where a drop down menu of countries on their site doesn’t even include the UK. Which is a great shame because the products are really rather good and sometimes extremely innovative (the Total Recharge range is great). You can still track down the products online – on Amazon for example – and you might want to investigate them when you’re abroad and the brand is to get a bit of a recognition boost thanks to the addition of none other than David Beckham as their brand ambassador. Check out the video below…
Tom Ford pretty much set the standard in luxury grooming when he launched his men’s Skincare and Grooming Collection a few years back and this June sees the range expand with the addition of three brand new products. As well as an Exfoliating Energy Scrub to brighten and revitalise dull, tired-looking skin and a moisturising Shave Oil there’s a new Brow Gelcomb too. The scrub is fantastically refreshing and the Shave Oil has a great, non-greasy texture which makes shaving a dream – especially around facial hair, where its transparency comes in really handy – but it’s the Gelcomb that’s the most interesting of the three products.
Designed to smooth down errant eyebrows it dispenses a tiny amount of (slightly tinted) gel via its comb head, allowing you to give your brows some shape, definition and symmetry. Is it a bathroom cabinet must-have? Probably not, in the sense that it’s hardly a grooming basic, but then, Tom Ford has always looked beyond the basics for his grooming rage which is what makes it so special. And if you’re the kind of guy who always wants look on point, even down to the very last detail, you’ll absolutely love it.
All three new products are available from June 1st.
Why it’s taken me so long to discover premium Swedish/French sportswear and lifestyle brand Ron Dorff – the creation of Claus Lindorff and Jérôme Touron – I don’t know, but I’m glad I have. As well as producing sportswear that fuses style, functionality and a quirky sense of humour the brand also features an excellent range of skincare products created for both men and women (with, perhaps, the exception of the Beard Conditioner).
Dorff’s clothing is characterised by its clean simplicity and the Skin Discipline range is no exception. As you might expect from a range hailing for Scandinavia the pachaging design and attention to detail are impeccable whilst the products themselves are superb quality, though this is hardly surprising given that they’ve been specially made for the brand by cult cosmetics house FACE Stockholm.
What gives the products added interest is its use of ingredients focused on Northern Hemisphere botanicals, like Arctic Juniper and Arctic Roseroot, but for me the best thing about them is the smell. An exercise in restraint the fragrance is never intrusive: the Body Scrub smells like a towel you’ve used to wipe yourself down after a dip in the sea whilst the scent of the Beard Conditioner is, like a pair of Dorff’s skimpy swimming trunks, barely there. This kind of minimalism is truly refreshing – and a real antidote to some of the overpoweringly scented body products out there at the moment.
Discipline is certainly not a dirty word when it comes to personal grooming so do check out the range. And if you’re in London make sure you pay a visit to Dorff’s first stand-alone UK boutique which opens in Earlham Street in London’s Covent Garden in March.
For more info go to rondorff.com
We all make resolutions at this time of year. Some of them are easy to keep: others (usually anything involving food, drink or exercise!) are a bit harder to adhere to. Thankfully, resolutions about improving your looks are relatively simple to keep. So if you want to end 2016 looking better than when you started it (and who doesn’t?) here are a few worth keeping – along with the products to ensure that those resolutions become reality…
1. I will moisturise – twice a day.
If you only make one grooming resolution this year, make sure it’s this one. Why? Well, not only does moisturising keep skin supple and healthy-looking it also acts as an insurance policy against future wrinkles because the drier skin the more prone to premature ageing it is. FIT’s quickly-absorbed, non-greasy Moisturising Ultra Serum is the perfect way to hydrate skin and is packed with antioxidant vitamins and amino acids to strengthen skin’s natural defences and keep it looking its best. Simply apply twice daily, morning and night, after cleansing. The evening application is especially important because this is when skin is best able to absorb moisturisers.
2. I won’t be obsessed by my thinning thatch.
It’s thought that up to 40% of men will experience some thinning of the hair by the time they’re 35 (I was one of them) but instead of fretting over the fact – something that can potentially make things worse – why not give your hair some support this year with the help of FIT’s Active Shampoo? A ‘smart’ shampoo that adjusts to your own hair’s needs, it’s fortified with vitamins and caffeine to strengthen and thicken your thatch and minimise hair fallout and breakage in the process. Result.
3. I will expand my grooming repertoire.
As with most things – food and exercise included – it generally pays to think beyond the basics. It’s the same with your grooming regime. Top marks if you’re using a cleanser instead of soap and are moisturising every day but if that’s the extent of your regime, 2016 might be the year to add an eye product like FIT Eyedrate+ to your grooming kit. Why? Well, the skin around the eyes isn’t just thinner than the stuff on the rest of your face, it tends to be more sensitive, too, so needs a specialist product to keep it hydrated, tackle dark circles and reduce puffiness. Eyedrate + does all three of these things and is a cinch incorporate into your existing regime. Simply apply a tiny amount to the skin around your eye sockets with your fingertip, using gentle patting motions.
4. I won’t let my lips let me down.
You’d be amazed at how many well-groomed men pay great attention to skin and haircare but then let themselves down by neglecting to look after their lips. With no oil glands of their own lips often need a little TLC to prevent them from chapping and feeling rough, particularly in the first few months of the year when the weather is at its harshest, so make sure you’re never without a FIT Lip Serum. Taste and shine-free (so you won’t look like you’re wearing gloss or be tempted to lick it off) it’s designed to keep lips hydrated and repair any damage caused by icy winds. Make it your pocket essential for 2016.
5. I will get fit.
Okay, so we all have this resolution at this time of year (I know I do, every January) but if 2016 is the year you’ve decided to aim for perfect pecs and ideal abs then why not help things along a little with Pec & Ab Sculpt? With artichoke leaf to break down stored fat and plant-based ingredients to tighten skin it’s a great way to show off the results of your hard work down the gym.
So there you have it: five simple and achievable grooming resolutions for 2016. Adopt them now and you might just have your best-looking year ever!
FIT Skincare For Men is available from fitskincare.co.uk.
A Grooming Guru/ FIT Skincare For Men Sponsored Post