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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Bronzers for Men Review

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Now that Summer is finally in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about that ‘holiday tan’ look. Whilst we may have had a dose of actual sun lately, it’s safe to assume it won’t be lasting that much longer. In recent years, bronzers for men have increased in popularity with a number of brands offering their own versions.

While the idea of bronzers for men may scare a few people, investing in a good quality bronzer will not only give you that healthy glow by adding a hint of colour to your skin but it can also give you a real confidence boost.

When it comes to picking out a good quality bronzer, there are a number of things to consider. Price is a good starting point. Just because it’s the most expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best, there are a number of alternatives readily available on the high street, so shop around. Along with pricing, key points to look at include the formula, application, colour and overall effect.

Here are 3 products that are currently in my rotation to give you a starting point to decide which is the best for you.

1. L’Oreal Men Expert Gel Hydratant Flash Bronzer 50ml £8

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Much like the fan favourite Men Expert Holiday Look Gradual Tanning Moisturiser which is no longer for sale, it seems that this product is another one that has been discontinued. While the former was my go-to for years, much can’t be said about the Gel Hydratant Flash Bronzer. I find the colour to be quite orange so haven’t used it as much as I’d have liked, I think this would be more suitable once you have a base tan to give that extra glow. The formula however is great. I like how this product can just be pumped out of the bottle and used straight away. It also contains some menthol which makes your face feel bright and fresh, with little trace of product. [6/10]

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2. Tom Ford Bronzing Gel 75ml £35

While Tom Ford might not be typically known for their skin care range,  the Tom Ford For Men Bronzing Gel is part of the relatively new premium grooming line designed just for men. At £35 for 75ml it is also the most expensive in my line up. So is it really worth it?

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Although the gel applies quite smoothly, I wouldn’t recommend following the application guidelines. By directly applying to clean moisturised skin it’s quite tricky to apply a equal amount to your face, ears and neck. Instead I suggest mixing a generous amount into your daily moisturiser to get that natural streak-free glow.

If you’re looking for a good all-rounder, this one is for you; it smells good, looks good and does the job. Another key feature is the longevity of the formula. It absorbs really fast and you can wear it all day without worrying its going to rub off on your clothes. It’s not the most noticeable of the 3, but depending on the desired effect it will still give you that healthy, sun-kissed look. [9/10]

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L-R Clinique For Men, Tom Ford, L’Oreal Men Expert


Top Tip:  Apply the bronzer to your everyday moisturiser to create an even, natural looking tan.


3. Clinique For Men Face Bronzer 60ml £19

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Last but not least is the Face Bronzer from the Clinique For Men line. Much like the Tom Ford offering, the product is gel-based and works great when mixed with a moisturiser. As Clinique are known for it’s attention to skin care and in particular, sensitive skin, the formula is oil and fragrance free. It absorbs in to the skin in no time and leaves no residue behind. Unlike the Tom Ford, the Clinique bronzer is a shade darker and you can really see a difference on application. Because of this there is sometimes a slight transfer on to light clothing at the end of the day, but this doesn’t put me off.

The Clinique For Men Face Bronzer has been my go-to for a few years now and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. At £19 it’s also very reasonable if you’re not looking to spend a fortune. For a brand which is known for it’s commitment to quality skin care, the gel bronzer is definitely one I would be happy to recommend to everyone. [9/10]

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Have you tried any of these? What do you recommend?

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Steps to a Clear Complexion with Bulldog Skincare

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If you’re lucky enough to have left your skin problems at school then this post isn’t for you.  However, If you are anything like me, your adult skin is still prone to the occasional break out. Whether it’s a small pimple due to blocked pores or ingrown hairs and shaving rash, there are ways to combat these blemishes and maintain clear, healthy skin.

Since launching in 2007, Bulldog Skincare For Men has become the fastest growing major men’s skincare business in the UK. So what makes them stand out from similar brands?

Firstly, Bulldog Skincare For Men is made in the UK. The brands founder Simon Duffy, noticed that there were no straight forward skincare options for men who wanted there products to be made with natural ingredients. So, packed full with natural goodness and essential oils, the range is free from parabens, sodium laureth sulphate, artificial colours, or synthetic fragrances because lets face it the more chemicals you put on your face, the more likely you are to have a reaction to them.

Bulldog Skincare for Men is also the first men’s grooming range to be cruelty free. Recognised by Cruelty Free International, none of the products in the range contain any ingredients derived from animal sources and are not tested on animals either which can only be a good thing.

In partnership with those lovely people over at Mankind and Bulldog Skincare For Men I am here to sample the range and share with you their recommended steps to a clearer complexion.

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The range itself contains a full line up of everyday essentials from face wash to an eye roll on to cover all your needs. However if you’re looking for a straight forward no fuss routine, Bulldog offers the ultimate three step regime to achieve clear, healthy skin.

Step 1: The Wash

The Bulldog’s Original Face Wash is ideal for everyday use. The gentle formula is non drying and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and hydrated (It may have something to do with the 8 essential oils it contains) as well as free of dirt and debris.

Step 2: The Scrub

For those days when you feel your skin needs that deeper clean the Bulldog’s Original Face Scrub will do just the trick. Containing olive seed and oat kernel to gentle exfoliate the skin, the formula is is neither to soft or too abrasive and will rid all of those dead skin cells which can build up and clog pores overtime. Not only will it help open your pores it is also ideal to use as part of your pre-shave prep to lift stubble prior to shaving while shea butter maintains skin moisture. I tend to use this twice a week, usually on a Monday and Friday in preparation for the week/weekend ahead and have found it to considerably make my skin feel cleaner and brighter.

Step 3: The Moisturiser

To finish off your 3 step routine, it’s important to trap in as much moisture as possible to  rehydrate your skin post cleansing. The Original Moisturiser from Bulldog contains all those essential oils needed to restore your skins natural balance as well as green tea and vitamin E to sooth and protect. Fast drying and non greasy, the formula will leave you feeling ready fro take on the day ahead of you.

Step 4: The Extras

As I mentioned before, the Bulldog Skincare For Men range covers a wide range of needs for just about every skin type. So once you’ve nailed the essential steps to a clearer complexion, you can start introducing new products into the mix such as Bulldog’s hand creamlip balm and eye roll on to better your grooming routine/self.

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Natural, ethical and affordable, the results will speak for themselves. What more could you want from a skincare brand? Shop Bulldog Skincare For Men and make sure to visit the Mankind Blog to find out more.

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Post-Workout Skincare Routine

With summer just around the corner, the desire to be ‘beach body’ ready is at the forefront of most peoples minds.  With a trip to Thailand booked for the Summer, this is something I’ve recently become aware of (especially since my New Years goals didn’t last long in to January!). I may not be a regular at the gym but keeping in shape has always been important to me. After working out my body feels great, but I can’t always say the same for my skin.

To coincide with all things sport  during the month of March, the wonderful people over at Mankind have sent me this bundle of goodies to cover all my needs and share with you my post workout routine.

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Whatever form of exercise you choose, with exercise comes sweat, and with sweat comes clogged pores. In order to prevent blackheads and spots it’s important that you have a good skincare routine in place to remove all that post-workout grime.

Face

Post workout the first thing I always do is wash my face. I don’t know if it’s an OCD thing but once my face is clean I can then think about the rest of my body. The Deep Pore Cleansing Face Scrub (£7) from Menage is a natural face scrub which from first use is designed to leave your face feeling smoother, brighter and hydrated. The low lather formula is ideal as you really feel like your working the product into all the areas on your face, giving it a good clean instead of just rubbing masses of bubbles around your face. Although I usually try and steer clear of face scrubs as I find them drying, this one from Menage has left my face feeling exactly like what it says on the packaging; smooth, clean and hydrated. And at only £7, what more could you want?

Post shower you will also need to rehydrate your skin. Using a good moisturiser will help retain your skins natural moisture. Using the Menage Anti-Ageing Moisturiser with SPF15 will help your skin turn return to its natural moisture balance. Not only is it hydrating but it also includes SPF15 so has that extra bit of protection for your skin against UV rays. The cream itself is quite rich and thick but absorbs within seconds as you only need to apply a light layer. The results speak for themselves. The Menage Anti-Ageing Moisturiser leaves your skin feeling smooth and super hydrated without a trace; ready to take on whatever the rest of the day has to offer.

Hair

The next area is hair. During exercise your hair will have soaked up sweat and can actually leave your hair feeling dry, dehydrated and brittle. The Nanogen Thickening Treatment Shampoo and Conditioner (£11.90) bundle is great value and is designed especially for those who have thin hair or are worried their hair has started to thin. My hair is naturally quite thick, but from first use you can feel the difference using this combo. Whether you’re hair is thin or not, the Nanogen Thickening Treatment Shampoo and Conditioner leaves your hair feeling nourished and full of life. So definitely one to try post workout.

Body

Mr. Natty Shipwreck Shower Wash is the perfect pick me up for the body post-workout. Not only does it contain a dash of caffeine but it also has a masculine but fresh, woody fragrance too it. If you imagine a cross between Molton Brown‘s Black Pepper and something from Aesop, this is it. You can’t really go wrong here, it does the job and looks great. Also love the design and would proudly have it on display in my bathroom!

And.. If all of the above sounds like too much effort this next product is going to be for you! The Scaramouche & Fandango Sports Wash is a 4-in-1 wash is a multipurpose product suitable for hair, face, body and shave.  You can literally do the whole lot in one go.

Whatever your post-workout skincare routine is you can shop Mankind’s finest here. Let me know what products you recommend in the comments.

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Top 5 Aēsop Products

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When it comes to grooming I like to shop around for the best deals and try new products. I don’t tend to stick to the same products for very long, always finding a new ‘favourite’. One brand that has staying power and always becomes part of my daily routine in some way is, Aēsop. And not just because of those stylish brown glass jars.

Aēsop has become a blogger favourite over recent years due to its aesthetic, but when it comes to the products themselves, do they actually live up to the hype? The answer is yes.

I have put together a quick guide of my current top 5 most used Aēsop products to help you decide the right products for you:

Aēsop Tacit – The latest scent has become my go to fragrance for the last couple of months now. A earthy, spicy scent with a hint of citrus, Tacit is a subtle fragrance and suitable for all occasions and it lasts all day. Featured first here.

Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm – Spending a lot of my time outdoor, keeping my hands hydrated is a constant battle. Fast absorbing, moisturising and softening, it’s clear to see why the hand balm is ‘one of Aesop’s most sought-after products’. You only need a small amount so a tube will last you ages!

Amazing Face Cleanser – Although I’m currently coming towards the end of the Fabulous Face Cleanser I will be repurchasing the Amazing Face Cleanser in it’s place. This was one of the first products I bought from the brand and still continues to be one of my favourites, leaving your face feeling, well, amazing.

Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant – This handy Aloe Vera, Walnut Shell and Tea Tree Leaf mix can be added to your cleanser and used as often as needed.

Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque – Whilst I might not use this on a regular basis, whenever I get a break out I turn towards this masque. As well as minimising the signs of blemishes the concentrated formula leaves the skin feeling fresh and is really worth those extra ten minutes it adds on to your routine.

Shop Aēsop at Mankind.

What are your favourite products from Aēsop?

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