Hand Luggage Only


When going away on a city break, travelling with just hand luggage can save time and money. Not only does having no hold luggage help keep your costs to a minimum, there’s no need to check in baggage or wait for it on the other side either, taking out some of the stress which is associated with travelling.

I’m heading to Paris this week for a couple of days and have hand luggage only so thought I would share with you the essentials that are coming along for the ride.

With carry on luggage its important to be organised. Before you start to pack you should know your restrictions, have a list of what you will need during your stay and be prepared to be ruthless. As I’m only there for a couple of days Im planning on taking the minimum.

When it comes to clothes it’s hard to decide what to take and what to leave behind. With the risk of over packing I’m going to try and pack a capsule wardrobe – things that can be co-ordinated to produce numerous outfits. I’ve being waiting for the right time to break out both my new A.P.C ‘Oh L’amour’ shirt and Common Projects so Paris seems like the perfect opportunity to wear them. The Common Projects are great for that smart-casual look. With the heavier items such as coats and jackets, I will be travelling in them to save space. The pockets can also be used to store items such as your documents and devices in so that they are on hand and don’t take up any extra space or weight in your case either.

With toiletries it’s important to stick to the 100ml rule whilst travelling or risk these being disposed of at security. All toilettires should fit in one plastic pouch so its important to take only what you need. There a number of good quality travel kits out there, the ones from Aēsop are always my go to’s, but you can also pick a few bits up in the airport should you not want to pack anything.

Other things I don’t travel without are my Mulberry passport holder wallet. This has multiple pockets and a zipped back to keep all my documents and tickets safe and finally a good guide book.  Flying can provide a good time to plan your trip and what you want to get out of it and these Cereal Guides are a great source of inspiration.

I don’t have massive plans for my short trip yet but I’m quite excited to just take to as it comes.


Do you have any recommendations for Paris?

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2017 New Year Same Me


Happy New Year! Before I start, I would just like to say a huge thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read or support my blog over the past 12 months, it’s really appreciated!

The end of December saw this page turn two which is crazy. Time really does flyWith a name change mid-year I was interested to see how it would effect my audience for the last few months but luckily things have been great and I definitely feel it was the right decision in respect to the direction of my blog. In terms of statistics, year on year I have seen a 400% increase in visitors which is a huge ego boost, and that’s all thanks to you guys! I know 2016 has had a lot of stick, but I have genuinely had an amazing year!

Over this past year I have met some great people and had the chance to work with some of my favourite brands all because of this blog. I feel like I’m finally finding my feet in terms of blogging even though it’s not always been that easy. As with a lot of other bloggers, my main constraint is time but I’m more motivated than ever to keep going and will continue to post as and when I can. Working a full time job, blogging and having a social life is hard!

I don’t really make personal resolutions for the New Year as I never stick to them. I’m just going to be the best I can be! However, I’ve set myself a few blog goals to keep me motivated going into 2017. So here they are:

– In terms of content I’m going to continue posting about things I like and that I’m genuinely interested in – male grooming, travel and style, and in particular street wear.

– Say YES to more opportunities. Despite being invited to various events, I never go! this year will be the year!

– Commit more time to my blog and in particular creating original content. I hope to travel more and bring you more reviews of the latest grooming products as well as style and outfit posts.

– Improve my blog photography and Instagram feed.

– Create a custom site. If anyone knows anyone who can help me with this or has recommendations, send them my way!

As always I’m open to suggestions so If there’s anything you would like to see on the blog, let me know in the comments!

How was your New Years Eve, Have you made any resolutions?

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Getting Tattooed in Thailand

If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed I have spent the last couple of weeks travelling around Thailand with Contiki. Whilst I was away I had a bamboo tattoo on Koh Phangan which resulted in loads of questions about the experience so I thought I would put it into writing for anyone else who is interested in having a bamboo tattoo.

Ever since I had my first bit of ink over 12 years ago, I have slowly been adding to my collection of tattoos over the years. Although a lot of thought has gone into some of my tattoo designs and placements, I am also quite partial to the odd spontaneous tattoo. You’re only young once, hey!

Most of my tattoos don’t have particular meanings, certain pieces remind me of  points in my life, experiences with friends or certain times and places. Tattoos mean different things to different people but for me, if I like the design then that’s a good enough reason to get it tattooed on my body.

Having a tattoo whilst travelling is a permanent reminder of that trip. I have tattoos from my year out in the USA which constantly bring back great memories. So when I booked my most recent trip to Thailand, getting a bamboo tattoo was one of the key things I wanted to experience whilst I was there having always been intrigued by the process. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted or where, just that I wanted one.

So, what is a bamboo tattoo and how does it differ to a regular tattoo?

Bamboo tattoos initially originated among tribes some 2,000 years. Tattoos believed to offer protection and other benefits for the bearer and closely became tied to the Hindu-Buddhist concept of Yantra. Yantra refers to mystical diagrams which are used as an aid during meditation. Buddhist monks would traditionally tattoo these designs to offer power, protection, fortune, charisma and other fortunes for the bearer. Although not carried out by monks today, the practise of bamboo or Yantra tattooing is still widely available throughout Thailand.

The process involves attaching a fine needle to the end of a thin piece of bamboo and tightly wrapping a length of cotton around the two to hold it in place. The needle is then dipped into the ink and gently tapped into the skin.


Unlike machine tattoos, with bamboo tattooing, the skin is punctured and not torn. This means there is a lot less blood. As the tattoo doesn’t scab, the healing process is a lot faster – usually 3 to 4 days.  Also, as there is little bleeding the ink settles quite deeply and very little colour is lost. resulting in a bright, strong tattoo.

One of the first questions I get asked is ‘what does it mean?’


The Hah Taew (5 sacred lines) is one of the most popular Sak Yant Thai tattoos with each line having a different sacred blessings for success and good luck. Although the Yants have taken on different meanings over the years, typically the five lines represent:

  1. The first row prevents unjust punishment and leans in your favour when the area is grey, cleans out unwanted spirits and protects the place you live in.
  2. The second row reverses and protects against bad horoscope constellations and bad fortune.
  3. The third row protects you from the use of black magic and anyone who tries to put a curse on you.
  4. The fourth row energizes your good luck, success and fortune in your future ambitions and life style.
  5. The fifth row is to gain charisma and attraction to the opposite sex. It also is a boost to the fourth row.

The next question I get asked is ‘did it hurt?’ or ‘how does it compare to a normal tattoo?’

Having a fair bit of ink work I can honestly say I found the experience to be quite enjoyable. The tattoo itself was just as painful as having a normal tattoo – but tattoos hurt, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Bamboo tattoos take longer than machine tattoos and tend to be quite expensive because of this, but you are left with an intricate design which has been created by hand with a needle and some ink, and that’s quite impressive.

You also don’t have to worry about the aftercare as much either as explained above, which is perfect if you’re travelling around.

If you are thinking of getting some work done during your travels in Asia I wouldn’t blame you. As with all tattoos there are various things to consider beforehand to make sure you get exactly what you want. You don’t want to regret a poor decision so take the time to

  • Decide on a design
  • Decide on the placement of the tattoo
  • Shop around for price, don’t be scared to barter. I got mine 1000THB cheaper than originally quoted.
  • Pay attention to portfolios and previous designs.
  • Make sure everything is sanitary.


Be prepared to want more. Tattoos are addictive.

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In-Flight Grooming tips


Traveling can be long and stressful. Not just physically, flying can be a huge stress on our skin. Whilst many people shy away from grooming on long haul flights, there are a number of ways in which we can prepare ourselves in order to step off the plane feeling like an international jetsetter.

There are a variety of travel-sized toiletries on the market out there, from budget buys to premium skincare. Packing a carefully picked selection will ensure you have everything to hand that you might need to keep you looking good and feeling refreshed.


Keeping your skin hydrated mid-flight can be a challenge. With all that filtered air being pumped around the cabin, your skin can quickly become dry and lifeless.

By packing a flannel or some face wipes in your carry on, when you do start to feel sluggish, you will be able to freshen up immediately, whether it be in your seat or in toilet cubicles. By applying a good moisturiser afterwards, it will not only give you that added boost, but it will also help to lock in any moisture and re-hydrate your skin.


Aesop Jet Set Kit 


Keeping yourself bright eyed and fresh is something that many men don’t think of whilst flying. Packing a travel mask in your carry on can be a godsend if you are travelling long haul or catching the red-eye home. It not only blocks out light helping you to sleep but also gives your eyes time to rest.

If you don’t get that time to sleep (for various reasons!)  having eyes drops on hand can also be a godsend.  For one, your eyes will be thankful for their new lease of life and secondly they will feel rehydrated from whatever moisture the dry plane air may have taken out. 


If you have a particularly long flight the next item is an essential. After your in-flight meals and prior to departure, good dental hygiene is essential, not only for you but for the people around you.

Packing a travel toothbrush, a travel-sized toothpaste and some dental floss in your carry on will take up next to no room but can be a real life-saver in the confines of an airplane. After several cups of coffee and that tasty airplane food which is still stuck in your teeth, your mouth will not be feeling great. Using floss to remove any debris of food will prevent it from causing any unnecessary odour and will leave your teeth feeling fresh. Follow this with a full clean of your mouth with your toothbrush and toothpaste and your mouth will feel refreshed and clean again.

If that all sounds like too much effort, packing a travel mouthwash will get you through your flight.


If you are one of the lucky ones that can sleep when flying, packing a foldaway comb and your favourite pomade will help tame that bed head post nap.


Theres no escape from germs when you’re in the air. Being confined in such a small space with loads of strangers can be a bit daunting. Packing some anti-bacterial wipes will allow you to sanitise the area around you. Giving a quick wipe of your arm rests, drop-down tray and touch screen TV will not only help keep germs at bay, but it can make you feel a lot more comfortable in your new surroundings, despite how many weird looks you may get!

For that extra protection using a sanitising hand gel before and after meals, and when ever you go to the toilet will help give that extra bit of peace.


Arriving at your destination feeling upset and anxious is the last thing you want. Not only is it a bad start to any holiday, but by the time you finally start to relax, it’s time to come home.

If you hate flying or are a nervous flyer, there are a number of products available that can help get you through the stress associated with flying. Herbal medication such as Kalms can help aid with stress and anxiety ahead of flying. You can also purchase herbal calming sprays and roll-ons, which when applied to pressure points across the body, can help alleviate stress.

If you do hate flying that much there is medical treatment available. Not only will your GP recommend ways to cope with the journey, in severe cases they can prescribe you  with the medication needed.

These in-flight grooming tips are designed to make long journeys more bearable. With just a little bit of preparation and some well elected travel toiletries, theres no exception to not arrive at your destination looking good and feeling refreshed.

What are your travel grooming tips?

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Aésop Sun Care Review

With summer well underway, Aésop are back with two new products for all those sun worshippers out there. During the hotter months, our skin can really suffer if we don’t take the correct precautions to protect ourselves whilst we enjoy the sun.

The recently released Protective Body Lotion is Aésop’s first SPF50 lotion designed to let you enjoy the sun without the fear of getting burnt. If you do end up overdoing it by the pool after a few drinks, Aésop are also on hand with their new Petitgrain Reviving Gel – a soothing aftersun gel designed to rehydrate and help repair damaged skin after exposure to the sun.


Protective Body Lotion SPF50 150ml (£27)

The Protective Body Lotion is a moisturising sunscreen that provides SPF50 protection against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays with up to eighty minutes of water resistance.

The lightweight lotion is packed full of natural ingredients and skin nourishing benefits such as Vitamin E to help maintain healthy skin and to save us from worrying about burning whilst we are exposed to the suns rays. With notes of spearmint, lemon and lavender the body lotion will not only leave your skin feeling protected but also refreshed.

Being in a pump bottle the Aésop Protective Body Lotion already gets a thumbs up. Whilst the lotion is more like a liquid, the pump dispenser allows you to control what you need and  also saves the mess of a regular bottled sunscreen.

On application, the product is just as impressive. Aésops lightweight formula means the lotion is absorbed into the skin in no time. It doesn’t completely absorb and disappear though, you can feel it slightly, but it’s not sticky or greasy but I guess it’s good to know it’s there, protecting you. Whilst some sunscreens can leave you feeling sticky and greasy, the Protective Body Lotion leaves your skin feeling healthy and moisturised. With a scent reminiscent of the Mediterranean, Aésop have a winner here. A real must have if you’re heading away in the near future.

Petitgrain Reviving Body Gel 150ml (£25)

With extract of Aloe Vera, Petitgrain, Grapefruit and Lemon, the Reviving Body Gel is ideal for use after sun exposure, in hot and humid climates. While the Aloe Vera and Panthenol will soften and soothe the skin, the Petitgrain, Grapefruit and Lemon will help cool damaged skin.

Like the Protective Body Lotion, on application the Reviving Body Gel quickly absorbs into the skin, returning much-needed moisture to help strengthen and repair the skin to prevent peeling. The lightweight formula is really easy to apply leaving your skin feeling instantly refreshed while the subtle citrus fragrance is uplifting. The gel is also ideal to keep chilled in the refrigerator for a stronger cooling sensation for particularly irritated skin.

In true Aésop fashion, both products are aesthetically pleasing, packaged and labelled in the signature brown and cream colour scheme. However, unlike most products from the brand, the products are carefully packaged in plastic containers rather than glass which is ideal for taking to the pool or on beach.

With fresh citrus notes, both products carry unisex appeal and should be at the top of everyone’s holiday packing list this Summer.


Aésop is available to purchase at Mankind.

To receive discount on your first order, follow this link, alternatively quote my unique reference code : NATHAN-RD

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