GLOSSIER FOR GUYS?

GLOSSIER FOR GUYS?

Over the past couple of years the concept of gender and gender identity has been at the forefront of discussion. Gender identity refers to our own experience with gender and can correlate to the gender we are assigned to at birth or can differ from it. Whilst gender isn’t something new, the conversations around the topic and increased awareness that everything isn’t just black and white is so important.

Whilst the boundaries between male and female are starting to become less definedwhy do so many companies still directly market there products to particular genders? Is there a real reason that certain skincare products are specifically targeted ‘For Men’?

The answer is yes. Male skin has some unique features and with regular shaving, is often treated differently too. Male skin is typically 20% thicker than females skin and has more pores. Men produce more sebum and is therefore the skin is more oilier then females. Shaving also removes the top layer of skin cells which can cause irritation and is much more sensitive to external influences.

Finding a skincare routine that works for you can take some time, especially as your skin changes with age.  For me I’m always on the look out for new products to put to the test, with Glossier being the latest.

Most people don’t need an introduction to the brand, however when you think of Glossier you immediately associate it with its attractive pink and white packaging. Whilst the brand might be marketed to a female audience, I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss about was this ‘hip’ brand so I purchased the daily skincare essentials Phase 1 Skincare Set and Moisturizing Moon Mask to try for myself.

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Phase 1 Skincare Set

The trio of products that make up this set are the Milky Jelly Cleanser (177ml), Priming Moisturiser (50ml) and Balm Dotcom (15ml) – an all purpose skin and lip balm. So are they really worth all the hype?

The first product I tried was the the Milky Jelly Cleanser and was pleasantly surprised with how gentle and hydrating the creamy formula is. Designed to be used on both wet or dry skin as a make up remover and a face wash, I was surprised how hydrated  and calm my skin felt after use. I guess this shouldn’t be a total surprise considering the formula contains five separate conditioning agents.

The gentle formula is paraben free, fragrance free and hypoallergenic, making it the perfect choice for someone who has quite sensitive skin like myself. Not only did it leave my skin feeling calm but also clean and fresh – what more could you want from a face wash?

Much like the cleanser the Priming Moisturiser was also quite a surprise. It does feel quite lightweight so would be something I would probably use more in the summer rather then the winter, however you can layer it as described. Once again, there’s no unnecessary ingredients or fragrances in here and it does exactly what it needs to do. The formula absorbs into your skin relatively fast and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy and your skin feels fresh and hydrated.

Finally, I chose the Birthday flavour Balm Dotcom not realising it was a shimmer balm. I guess that serves me right for impulse buying and not reading the description first. Needless to say I haven’t given this much thought – If anyone wants it let me know!?

At £35 I think the skincare set is quite reasonable and by buying as a set you also save yourself £8. However if you are on a tighter budget I would definitely purchase the Milky Jelly Cleanser as an introduction to the brand.

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Moisturising Moon Mask

Of of all the products tried, the Moon Mask is definitely the one I keep going back to again and again. Packed full of ingredients to hydrate, plump and brighten your skin, this mask is the perfect go to when your skin needs that extra bit of TLC. It does feel quite indulgent applying a generous layer of this already rich formula to my face, but 20 minutes later my skin feels so much healthier for it. I love how this leaves my skin after use especially when masks usually make my skin feel tight and dry.

Overall I quite like these Glossier products and their no-fuss, back to basics approach. They look good, do what they say and are genuinely quite good. What else is there to say?

Have you used any of the Glossier range? What are your thoughts?

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NEW IN – THE MANKIND GROOMING BOX ‘STRENGTH EDIT’

NEW IN – THE MANKIND GROOMING BOX ‘STRENGTH EDIT’

If your supplies from the last Mankind Grooming Box are starting to come to a end, don’t worry because Mankind are back yet again with another fantastic box this summer to keep your skin care routine on point. Every couple of months the team carefully curate a new box packed with a selection of products; some from brands you may have heard of before, others maybe less so. It is a great introduction to some quality new brands and you can really see they have thought about each product that is contained in the box.

Whats great about the Mankind Grooming boxes is that they don’t require a subscription. There’s also no surprises – you can also clearly see what you are getting on the product page before you buy which is probably why they sell out fast. The Strength Edit features £130 worth of products, all for £40 and as always, the handy box features 6 full-sized products to cover all basis. From everyday essentials such as toothpaste to more targeted products like the eye gel they really do have a bit of everything you need!

So what comes in the Strength Edit grooming box?

  • Hawkins & Brimble Elemi and Ginseng Body Wash (250ml)
  • ESPA Shave Mud (200ml)
  • Christophe Robin Cleansing and Thickening Paste Shampoo for Men (250ml)
  • Marvis Strong Toothpaste (85ml)
  • Aveda Pure-formance Grooming Clay (75ml)
  • Refinery Eye Gel (15ml)

The Mankind Grooming Box Strength EditThe Mankind Grooming Box Strength Edit

As you can see the box is packed full (literally) of full sized products. Although I have tried a couple of the items in the box before such as the Marvis toothpaste and The refinery Eye Gel, there are a number of brands I haven’t used in here, ever. Both ESPA and Christophe Robin are new to me and are the two products I’m most looking forward to using.

Although the ESPA Dual-Action Shave Mud is initially designed for use whilst shaving, I love the idea of it doubling up as a deep cleansing mask which they recommend using twice a week. The mix of ingredients sound so good too – a mixture of clays, shea butter and almond oil I can already tell my skin is going to love this product!

When I first opened up the box I thought the Christophe Robin product was a moisturiser so I was surprised to find out this huge tub is actually a tub of shampoo! Just like the ESPA Shavemud, the Christophe Robin Shampoo is a clay formula and is designed to leave the hair feeling healthy, thicker and stronger with continued use. Im not sure how it will stand the test of time in a shower environment but I’m looking forward to putting it to the test.

Would you like to see a review of any of these products? Let me know in the comments below. Have you tried any of the products in the latest grooming box? I’d love to hear what you thought!

The Mankind Grooming Box Strength Edit

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The Mankind Grooming Box – Strength Edit was gifted by Mankind.


5 TIPS FOR SUMMER SKIN

5 TIPS FOR SUMMER SKIN

Whilst the weather in the UK might be unpredictable over summer, one thing that isn’t is the damage that the sun can do to your skin if you don’t take steps to avoid it. Follow these quick tips to keep your skin hydrated and healthy this summer season!

01. Keep hydrated. It might sound like a cliche but remember to drink lots of water during the hot weather. Our bodies are mostly made up of water so its no surprise that when we sweat excessively we start to feel dehydrated. When skin becomes dehydrated it produces more natural oils to make up for the lack of water. This can cause breakouts, irritation and an overall dull appearance. Drinking more water during the hot weather helps to maintain the balance of fluids in our body and prevent us from dehydrating. Drinking water also helps to cool the body and skin and flush out any  toxins.

For some instant hydration throughout the day try Kiehl’s Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist.

02. Apply suncream. UV rays are harmful for your skin at anytime of the year and prolonged exposure to the sun can cause sun spots and the onset of premature ageing and wrinkles. During the summer are skin is exposed so much more to the elements so protecting your skin during the hot weather is vital to keep it at it’s best. Applying a suncream 15 minutes before you head out is essential and a minimum of SPF 30 is the recommended protection against the suns rays. If you do sweat excessively or are going to be swimming make sure you reapply as and when to top up your protection. If you are worried about putting a suncream on your face many brands these days offer your skincare favourites with the added dose of SPF needed.

If you are worried about the damage the sun can do to our skin but still want that summer glow you can always use fake tan which takes me onto my next point..

03. Fake it. If you don’t fancy lying out in the sun all day there are so many tanning products available on the highstreet. They take out all the effort and can give you that all over glow you are looking for. Not to mention, its so much safer for your skin. For me, I add a bit of the Tom Ford For Men Bronzing Gel into my daily moisturiser to get that instant sun kissed look.

04. Cleanse. After a day in the Sun your skin will be crying out for a bit of TLC. The build up of sweat, suncream and pollution sitting on your skin can cause irritation and breakouts so its really important to use a good face wash to remove these impurities. Switch it for a face scrub a couple of times a week to give you a deeper clean feeling and to remove any dead skin cells.

For a quick refresh during the day, try using the Anthony Glycolic Exfoliating and Resurfacing Wipes.

05. Moisturise.

After any sun exposure, give your skin a boost with a moisturiser or after sun to replace any moisture lost during the day.  Switch out the thick winter creams for a lightweight moisturiser. For sunburnt skin use products containing Aloe Vera to help heal and soothe the damage.

So there you have it. Whatever you are doing this summer make sure to look after your skin – it will thank you in the long term!

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THE ORDINARY SKINCARE

THE ORDINARY SKINCARE

Clinical Formulations with Integrity

The Ordinary, the Canadian-born skincare brand was one of the success stories of 2017.  Whether it’s because of their sell-out products and crazy wait times or the instagram-worthy no-frills packaging, chances are you will have come across The Ordinary skincare before.

The products are named simply enough after their key ingredients and features a whole range of products for all your skincare needs. Whilst it might seem daunting at first, you don’t need a chemistry degree to understand what’s inside – taking the time to research what products are suitable for yourself can deliver big results.

Here I am putting four products to the test:

  • AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (30ml)
  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (30ml)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% (30ml)
  • Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (30ml)

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AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (30ml)

This blood-red exfoliating peel, might look like something out of a horror movie on first application but is designed to fight visible blemishes for a brighter, clearer complexion.


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Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (30ml)

Niacinamide has be shown to have multiple benefits for the skin. Combined with Zinc this potent mix of ingredients is designed to visibly calm yet boost the skins appearance. Niacinamide improves the appearance of skin blemishes, enlarged pores, fine lines and improves moisture retention by strengthening the epidermal barrier whilst the Zinc heals damaged skin and encourages collagen production for healthy looking skin.


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Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% (30ml)

Like the Peeling Solution the Alpha Lipoic Acid Serum is designed for use a couple of times a week. The concentrated serum actively targets signs of ageing and lacklustre skin, working to improve the skins tone and texture leaving you with a softer, smoother skin with a overall more radiant appearance.


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Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (30ml)

Unlike the other solutions, I have used Hyaluronic Acid before so know how good it can be. However compared to its £85 predecessor, will The Ordinary’s £6 counterpart live up to the hype.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a lightweight serum which works to rehydrate the skin. It contains 3 types of hyaluronic acid with vitamin b5 to retain moisture and heal dry and damaged skin.

Once you have matched the products to your skins needs, the next step is working them into your daily routine. It might seem overwhelming at first but Deciem are on hand with this handy regimen guide to help you build a routine. Here is how I have introduced  The Ordinary into my everyday life:

After cleansing –

AM

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% followed by a daily moisturiser

PM

Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% (2-3 times per week), AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (1-2 times per week), followed by Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and a daily moisturiser.

Over the past couple of weeks I have definitely seen an improvement in my skin. My skin feels smoother and tighter and in general just a lot more healthier. Before I started using The Ordinary my skin was going through a particularly bad stage; I had ingrowing hairs, pimples and redness which I have suffered with over the years. You would have thought at 30 my skin would have calmed down by now but nope, every so often it likes to wreak havoc. My favourite product would have to be the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. which I feel just keeps my skin under control after applying it every morning – it visibly helps to reduce irritation and redness! Overall I’m fairly impressed, especially for the price tag and hope to try some of the other offerings in the near future! The Ordinary have definitely filled the gap in the market for premium affordable skincare.

Have you used any products from The Ordinary? What are your favourites?

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ELEMIS FOR MEN REVIEW

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If you’ve been following me you may have heard that I was asked to be part of the #MankindCollective a couple of months ago. Lucky for me this means I get to try out various products and share with you what I thought of them.

This time around it’s the turn of the Elemis for Men skincare range. Elemis is one of those brands I typically associate with Spa treatments and although I know of them, I have never actually used any of the products so I was excited to finally put them to the test!

The Elemis for Men range is specially formulated for men’s skin. Designed to combat the effects of shaving, everyday life and pollution, the range aims to instantly boost and hydrate skin. With that in mind, the two products I will be talking about are the Elemis Deep Cleanse Facial Wash* and the Elemis Daily Moisture Boost* Moisturiser.

First up is the Deep Cleanse Facial Wash. What it says:

‘The ultimate daily cleansing solution, leaving skin brilliantly clean, revived and refreshed.’

The first thing I like about this cleanser is the consistency and how a little goes a long way. Similar to the Tom Ford face cleanser, this is a gel cleanser and feels thick and luxurious. As the product doesn’t lather up particularly much you can really massage the product into your skin for a ‘deep cleanse’ feel rather than having a face full of bubbles.

I have been using this twice daily now and can say I’m impressed with how refreshed it makes me feel after use, especially in the mornings. The hint of spearmint leaves your skin feeling cool and awake whilst the milk protein locks in the moisture and leaves your skin feeling nourished. The addition of oak bark along with the spearmint gives the cleanser a real masculine scent which is soothing rather than over powering.

Daily Moisture Boost. What it says:

‘Nourishing lightweight, daily moisturiser’

After the skin is cleansed it’s important to apply a moisturiser to lock in any moisture which may have been lost at the cleansing stage. The lightweight formula of the Elemis Moisture Boost instantly rehydrates your skin and leaves it feeling fresh. As well as being a great everyday moisturiser, the Moisture Boost is also ideal for people who may experience irritation through shaving as the formula is very similar to an aftershave balm. The lengthy list of beneficial ingredients really help to soothe and soften the skin, all while keeping it nourished.

Have you tried any of the Elemis for Men range?

#MankindCollective

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This post is in collaboration with Mankind. You can shop the full Elemis range here.