Thursday, 4 February 2016

Escape to Molton Brown

Last week the team at Molton Brown Forestside extended a very special invitation to their store.

I have been a sporadic Molton Brown shopper over the years, usually picking up a bottle or bar of their Black Peppercorn body wash and soap. The subtle scent is understately masculine and I have bought it for gifts and as an occasional treat for myself.

Anita and the team wanted to introduce me to the full men's collection available at Molton Brown and to look beyond what I thought I knew about the brand and its offering.

The newest addition to the men's collection is Tobacco Absolute. A sister product to the aforementioned Black Peppercorn, Tobacco Absolute is a little lighter and fresher, perfect for a spring change.

Along with these 2 feature products, Molton Brown also offers a complete men's grooming regime with a structured, step-by-step series of products. Their men's collection (handily broken down into 4 distinct groups) includes face wash, scrub, shaving solutions, moisturisers and eye serum.
Mix and match these products depending on your skin needs (I obviously skipped #2 as I don't shave) and combine them to create your own facial formula.

Caislin took me through the men's range, focusing on the face scrub and moisturisers. As they had thoughtfully read my blog before my visit, they were able to advise on the best products for me; specifically the Deep-Clean Face Scrub and the Ultra Light Baji Ji Hydrator moisturiser. As I suffer from greasy patches, the scrub will help reduce and remove greasy build-up while the moisturiser has a mattifying effect to reduce shine and keep my skin hydrated.

One of the interesting features in-store is the apothecary-style scent profile box. Each product can be broken down into its component base notes and fragrances and customers can sample each as a separate entity.

In addition to their famous skin, hair and beauty products, Molton Brown also offer an extensive home fragrance collection with scented reed diffusers and candles.

Their new season campaign is all about Escape; seeking luxury and chasing adventure. A travel-inspired collection, it is broken down into 2 ranges: 
  • The Escapists; Ylang Ylang, an indulgent floral blend for her
  • The Explorers; Tobacco Absolute, a warm and relaxed range for him

Building on this inspiration, Molton Brown is offering an amazing 3 night getaway for 2 to the spectacular Gstaad Palace in Switzerland. Just in time for Valentine's Day!
Click this link to enter the draw. 

Thank you again to Anita and her team for the kind invitation. Call into Molton Brown Forestside for helpful advice and free consultations.

Contents of the exquisite goody bag I was kindly given, including the Hydrator moisturiser. Black Pepper anti-perspirant and a handy travel-size bottle of Tobacco Absolute body wash. Just the thing to take on my next escape!

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Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Wizard of Osmo

I'm a fickle fellow when it comes to haircare, I will flit from brand to brand; trying to find something to tame and style my thick and straight hair. So I thought I would kill 2 birds with 1 stone in this post and put the product range from Osmo through its paces while having my most recent hair cut.

As I've just said, my hair is thick and straight; (Caelan is in the same boat, but to an even greater extent). This could be a blessing in some cases, but to us, it means that it grows out quickly and loses definition and shapes in a relatively short period of time. And as much as I complain about this, I often leave too long of a gap between haircuts so by the time the scissors get near my mane, it's time for a complete overhaul rather than a touchup.
We are very lucky that Caelan's aunt is a hairdresser and does our styling in the comfort of our house so I tapped her professional opinion on the Osmo range and asked her for some handy tips on how to get the best out of the products.

Osmo very kindly sent me a bumper selection of products to test and I have put off using them until I had hair that was decent enough to show on my blog!

I went for a #2 clipper cut at the back and sides with length and definition kept on top. I find if it's too short all over, it tends to stick out more and it is harder to keep any style as my hair quickly becomes one unruly mass.

I'm quite rough and ready when it comes to styling my hair, very rarely does a comb or brush feature in my routine.

I love the versatility of my hair cut, I can go slicked and flicked with a quiff or messy and undone with a fallen fringe.

Using thinning scissors to remove weight from the body of my hair and then applying the Osmo Shaper Maker to add definition and texture, I can have a slightly more fashion-forward style.

Caelan usually has a much more put-together look in his hair, with a cleaner style. He can carry off a slick back much better than me but due to his thicker hair, he has to put a little more effort in. After cutting, Osmo Fibre Paste is applied to damp hair and then blow dried with a barrel brush to add controlled volume. (He normally has a lot of uncontrolled volume)

The Fibre Paste is quite a liquid product so a little goes a long way. Many men are guilty of over loading their hair with product, resulting in hair that can look unnaturally wet or greasy. A small amount on the tips of your fingers is sufficient. Work this through your hair and take your time in blow drying to achieve the desired shape. Once you have the basic shape in, you can use additional products to define and hold your look.

The Osmo Pomade Hold gives a shiny hold (without it looking greasy) or the Shaper Maker gives a looser hold with a softer finish for a more natural effect.

As my hair is so thick, sometimes clay or wax can add unwanted weight but I've found a great use for the Osmo Clay Wax. Designed for ultimate hold, this heavy duty styling wax will give firm hold to hairstyles with natural beeswax helping to add strength and shine.

I find that if I have washed my hair before I go to bed, I wake up with a completely fluffy and unmanageable mess in the morning. However, applying a small amount of the Clay Wax to my hair after showering and heading to bed, I find that it has tamed it over night, making the morning styling much easier. Try this any time your hair is too clean to hold a style. A small amount of the Clay Wax applied to your hair and either sleep on it or work on it with a hairdryer as above.

BTW, having a hairdryer is pretty much a necessity if you are looking to curate a decent hairstyle in your own home. If you think you are too butch or manly, get over it and go buy one. Keep it in your tool box and treat it like a gadget.

Osmo is available online and in selected salons across the UK.

Thank you to Osmo for supplying me with a plethora of products to sample.

A little outtake photo. Let's hope middle partings never become a trend...

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Monday, 18 January 2016

UK Blog Awards Nomination

Kicking off 2016 with a bit of a bang as I've been nominated for Best Fashion Blog at the UK Blog Awards 2016!

I'm over the moon to be nominated. I've been blogging for just over 2.5 years and I am very proud of what I've accomplished in that time.
Yes there are most professional blogs out there; newer, shinier blogs but my own little corner of the Blogosphere is something I have created myself.

It's great to see some male bloggers in the Best Fashion Blog category too. It is a very under-represented field but hopefully that will change. L:CM, Pitti Uomo and other men's fashion weeks prove that the male fashion industry is thriving and it is bloggers who are delivering the news faster and in more relateable ways compared to traditional press.

I'd love it if you'd consider voting for me. Simply click the image below and follow the instructions.

Vote for me now in the UK Blog Awards #UKBA16

Public voting ends 25th January and you can re-vote daily so feel free to come back every day!
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