Summer Skincare Saviors

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As the weather gets warmer it’s time to start introducing some SPF into your grooming routine. The suns rays can not only cause short term damage to our skin, but prolonged exposure to the sun can cause lasting damage too.

Whether you are heading to the pool or to town, applying sunscreen to your body and face when heading out to the sun is a must. Recent innovations in sun protection has meant that sunscreen is not what it used to be. There are so many lightweight, non-greasy formulas on the market these days, you won’t even feel like you are wearing it.

For me, the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF30 is my go to. The Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF has all the benefits of the original Ultra Facial Moisturizer but with added sun protection. The similar formula allows you to make the transition between the two without worrying about upsetting your skins balance too much – I’ve found in the past that certain sunscreens cause my skin to break out.

After being in the sun, your skin can feel super dehydrated. For an instant boost of moisture the Cactus Flower & “Tibetan Ginseng” Hydrating Mist, also from Kiehl’s instantly breaths new life into your skin, providing essential moisture with every spray. I recently took this away with me to Barcelona and found myself reaching for it whenever my skin started to feel dry or tight. The blend of lavender, geranium and rosemary helps to soothe the skin whilst protecting it from environmental conditions.

I also took the Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF50 and Aesop Petitgrain Reviving Body Gel with me on my most recent trip. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so sunny, so I’m glad I had the reviving gel with me after the first day left me slightly red. Needless to say the factor 50 came in handy the rest of the trip. If you want to know anymore about these Aesop products I reviewed them separately here last summer.

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Finally, If being out in the sun isn’t for you, you could opt for the Tom Ford For Men Bronzing Gel to give you that sun kissed look. I usually apply a small amount to my daily moisturiser if I’m going out for that healthy glow. The good news is, it washes off so you can experiment with how much or how little you want to use.

What are your summer essentials?

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BARBER PRO Mask Review

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The world’s first sheet mask range developed specifically for men


Unless you have been living under a rock this past year, you will know that masking is big news for both men and woman. We’ve all seen those videos of that pore-unblocking black mask and the increasing amount of masks available on the market. However, due to the popularity the market is now saturated with various types of masks and sheet masks all claiming to do something different. It’s hard to know which one to choose. Every now and again a brand stands out from the rest. I recently came across these BARBER PRO masks and after trialling them out for myself I thought I would share with you my thoughts!

So firstly who are BARBER PRO?  BARBER PRO are a multi-award winning British brand with a focus on innovation in men’s grooming. The BARBER PRO range is the World’s First Sheet Mask Range developed specifically for Men and is made up of 5 different masks.

As I’m 30 in two weeks I thought it would be best to try both the Sheet Mask and Under Eye Mask for there anti-ageing properties, so here it goes:

GENTLEMENS SHEET MASK Rejuvenating & Hydrating with Anti-Ageing Collagen

What it says: ‘This self-foaming mask bubbles to create a micro massage that cleanses the skin of impurities and blackheads. Utilising Activated Charcoal and a rich AHA complex created from Lime, Lemon, Apple, Orange and Grapefruit, this detoxifying mask is also suitable for acne prone skin.’

Does it work? I applied this mask to freshly cleansed dry skin. The first thing I noticed about this mask when taking it out of its packaging was how wet it was. It was a little tricky to unfold, but once unfolded it was easy to place on my face. The eyes, nose and mouth holes fitted perfectly, however it did feel like it was sliding down my face at times. It wasn’t a big deal though, I just changed positions and laid back watching TV as it got to work. When it says that the mask is ‘self-foaming’, they aren’t kidding. A couple of minutes into application and my face was covered in a rich lather. It did tickle at times but I put it down to the bubbles being formed and massaging the skin, it wasn’t unpleasant!

I left it on for around 13 minutes, when I could see the bubbles starting to disappear,  before removing it. After washing my face with water my skin looked brighter and really fresh. My skin felt like it had just been deep cleaned and was left feeling hydrated, which is good news for someone with naturally dry skin.

A day later and I’m still feeling impressed with the results. My skin still feels hydrated and there has been no irritation or break outs, so an all round thumbs up from me. Next up…

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UNDER EYE MASK with Activated Charcoal & Volcanic Ash

What it says: ‘Hydrogel under eye patch with Acivated Charcoal, Volcanic Ash and Marine Based Collagen combat fine lines, wrinkles and reduce the appearance of dark circles. Natural extracts from Soybean, Aloe Vera & Vitamin E calm and sooth tired, puffy eyes while increasing elasticity and firmness.’

Does it work? Each pouch of the Under Eye Mask contains 3 pairs of disposable strips which peel off a plastic liner. The eye patches are basically a sticker which you apply below each eye around your orbital bone. Unlike the Sheet Face mask, these are mess free which means they are really easy to apply and you can continue your everyday life whilst they are in situ. They are also super comfortable so you won’t even know they’re there after a few minutes. After 10 minutes or so I did start to feel a warming sensation where they were applied. After the recommended 30 minutes, I removed the patches.

The skin around my eyes felt a lot tighter and the warming feeling stayed for the next hour or so, so it must have been doing something. It will be interesting to see if there are any noticeable differences after using all 3 pairs.

I purchased both masks from a salon wholesalers but you can shop the full range online here.

Have you tried any of the BARBER PRO range? What’s your go to mask at the moment?

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Spring Clean your Skincare Routine

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Now we are officially in spring it’s not just our wardrobes that need a spring clean. A new season means a new skin-care routine.

Despite what the weather looks like as I type this, temperatures are set to rise over the upcoming months, so now is the perfect time to start prepping your skin for the season ahead. With that in mind, I have put this quick guide together to show you how you can also get the best results out of your skin this spring..

Exfoliate

During winter our skin is exposed to extreme conditions. A season of cold weather, rain and wind can leave our skin dull, dry and with a build up of dead skin cells. Exfoliating a couple of times a week will help get rid of that dead winter skin leaving your skin feeling bright and fresh. I’m currently using the Tom Ford Exfoliating Energy Scrub which is not only good at removing all those impurities, but it also smells really good and leaves your skin feeling full of life and refreshed.

Mask

To return some of the moisture lost during winter, use a face mask a couple of times a week.  This will leave your skin feeling hydrated and smooth. There are so many masks available at the moment so with a bit of trial and error I’m sure you can find the one which is most suitable for your skin. I’m currently using the limited edition GLAMGLOW ‘Sonic Blue’ Gravitymud.

Moisturise

To finish off your skin care routine try switching out your heavy moisturiser for a lighter oil-free moisturiser. The Lab Series Matte Renewal Lotion was my favourite discovery of 2016. Not only is it lightweight and hydrating, but it leaves your skin feeling completely matte and dry to the touch. I can’t recommend it enough!

Eyes

The brighter days can play havoc with our eyes. Now is the perfect time to be investing in a good pair of sunglasses and an eye cream to protect our eyes from UV rays. It will also help keeping those wrinkles which are caused by squinting at bay. As I get older I’m much more interested in anti-aging products so something like Kiehl’s Age Defender Eye Repair is my eye cream of choice. The Eye Repair is designed to  visibly reduce crows feet and firm skin around the eyes. It also helps to reduce the appearance of dark circles for a smoother, more youthful appearance. Now that I am approaching 30, ithere has never been a more  perfect time to start using more anti-aging products to help slow down the effects of getting older.

SPF

Applying sunscreen is another quick win to avoid skin damage caused by the sun. As mentioned above, the sun can damage our skin. When the weather is still mild you may not be able to feel how strong the sun actually is but after months spent under layers of clothing, spring is a high risk time for sun damage. Applying sunscreen is a must.  As the name suggests the higher the number or factor is, the better the sun protection is. I’ve been using the Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF50 for some time now,  in fact instead of me going into the details, you can read my full review here.

Fragrance

Finally, spring is the perfect time to switch out your fragrances. I always find I wear more spicy fragrances during the colder months and am drawn to more fresh scents in the spring and summer. I’m currently using the Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne which combines both of these qualities I love – mixing peppery notes with fruity scents –  so it’s a complete win-win for me!

Have you had a Spring Clean of your routine?

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British Barbers Association Review

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When I was first introduced to The British Barbers Association (BBA), I have to admit, I had no idea who they were. It turns out the BBA is the leading association for the barbering industry in the UK and supports barbers, male grooming salons and men’s hairdressers across the country with training and qualifications.

With the aim to stay self-sufficient, 2016 saw the British Barbers’ Association launch it’s very own product range. The proceeds from the products help keep membership free and fund a series of new projects and events which continue to raise the standard of training in the sector.

Cool, right?

The initial range consisted of 12 male grooming essentials and featured everything from hair styling products and shampoo to face wash and a shave oil.

While The British Barbers’ Association may be leaders in the world of barbering, can the same be said about there product range? The answer is yes.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been putting the Moulding Cream, Shave Butter and Post Shave Balm to the test c/o Mankind to see if they stand the test of time in my grooming routine.

First up is the Moulding Cream. When I first opened this I was hit with it’s scent. This stuff smells amazing. For someone who would usually go for a matte wax I was interested to see how I would get along with this and soon came to discover that less in definitely more. The first couple of times I used this I applied far too much of the product which gave a ‘wet look’ appearance which is not what I was aiming for. The trick here is to rub a small amount into your palms just before you start styling your hair into your desired style. As the cream has a natural hold I found that it allows you to restyle throughout the day without leaving any residue or white bits behind in your hair.

For me, the Moulding Cream is perfect for that laid-back style when you’re in a rush and looking to quickly tame your hair. However, if you are looking to create a more refined style, I found this hard to achieve with this product.

I had more success with both the Shave Butter and Post Shave Balm which work as well together as they do as stand alone products. The Shave Butter does pretty much what it says on the packaging. Shea butter provides nourishment to the skin, while dragon’s blood helps to reduce irritation and inflammation which may occur during shaving. The butter also contains cactus which is known for it’s moisture retention properties so your skin is left feeling hydrated.

If your looking to give your skin an added boost of moisture the Post Shave Balm is ideal for  further rehydrating and nourishing of the skinThe lightweight formula contains both witch hazel and dragon’s blood which are known for there soothing properties and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and protected. Like the Moulding Clay, the Balm has a striking masculine scent.

The only negative for me with this one is the colour of the product – I’m really not sure why its brown!

Overall the British Barbers’Association initial launch features a great line up of grooming essentials which I’m sure will have a place in my current line up for the foreseeable future. To see what else the brand has to offer, you can view the full range here.

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5 to Try this Season

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When the temperature starts to drop outside we need to take extra care of our skin to prevent the elements drying it out. Winter can cause havoc with our skin; cold conditions can strip skin of its natural moisture causing redness and irritation if we don’t take the steps prior to winter proof our skin.

To keep you complexion bright and clear its important to have a skincare routine in place,  morning and at night.

I’m always on the look out for new products to try and introduce into my routine. Whether they are new releases on the market or products that have been recommended, I’m a bit of a skincare junkie so will give most things a go. Below I have rounded up some of the products I have been recently trying this winter so far.

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First up is the new Black Pepper & Bergamot Shower Gel* by MEN-Ü. The combination of spicy black pepper & fresh bergamot citrus is ideal for this time of year. The scent is warm and comforting yet invigorating and fresh, it really wakes you up in a good way on a cold morning. The ultra concentrated formula means a little goes a long way, creating a rich lather in the process. What’s better is this Shower Gel comes free as part as the MEN-Ü styling gift sets – perfect for gifting this Christmas. lab_5JP1_180.png

Next up is the Maximum Matte Renewal Lotion by Lab Series. Whilst I wouldn’t say my skin is oily, this moisturiser for oily-prone skin is my new favourite product. This dual action lotion not only mattifies your skins appearance with it’s ILLUMATTE™ technology, the Molecular Age-Less Complex™ formula reduces the visible appearance of signs of ageing, leaving your skin with an all round glow.

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Aesop has always been a favourite of mine. Over the years I have tried so many of their products. I accidentally purchased this Rejuvanate Intensive Body Balm instead of my normal Rind Concentrate Body Balm so thought I would give it a try insteadDuring the winter months I suffer with dry skin, especially on my upper arms so its important for me to find a body lotion that works and this seems to be so far so good.  I probably wouldn’t switch from my go-to, but its good to switch it up sometimes.age_defender_eye_repair_15ml_2

The Age Defender Eye Repair is just one product in Kiehl’s new Age Defender line. Enriched with Rye Seed Extract to help strengthen skin, the Eye Repair is designed to help visibly correct aging skin around the eye and crow’s feet area and reduce the appearance of dark circles for a smoother, more youthful look. I’ve never used a eye cream religiously before so I will be interested to see how this one goes on and see if I notice visible results.

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Finally, the last product I have been using lately is the Gravity Mud Firming Treatment mask by GLAMGLOW. I had seen this product sometime ago  and was intrigued by it, so when I was in Dubai airport duty-free and spotted it, I couldn’t help myself!  The peel off mask transforms from a bright white to a chrome as it dries and leaves you with bright (slightly red), firm skin.

 

Have you tried any of these products? What are you currently loving?

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