THICKER FULLER HAIR FOR MEN

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One thing I have always worried about as I get older is losing my hair. Whilst there are many factors that may lead to hair loss, male pattern baldness is something most men will experience through their lifetime.

There might not be any particular cure to losing hair but as technology advances there are more and more treatments you might like to consider. From extreme surgical procedures to spray on fibres, there’s something to cover everyones needs.

Although I might not be losing my hair (just yet) as the saying goes prevention is better than the cure. With that in mind I have been using thickening or caffeine shampoo for years as well as other thickening products to help keeping my hair thick and at its fullest.

For the past couple weeks I have been trying out some of the NIOXIN 3D Styling range, which is available at Mankind. Formulated with ‘Pro-Thick technology’ the NIOXIN Bodifying Foam and NIOXIN Thickening Spray contain thickening polymers that deposit on the hair. The polymers form bonds between gaps in the hair strands to create a fuller-looking appearance. Both products are quite similar, in the fact you apply to clean hair and blow dry for volume however I found the thickening spray a lot more easier (and less messy) to use.

The Thickening Spray is great for adding instant texture and hold. Simply spray from root to tip and blow dry into your desired style. Depending on what style you usually go for, you can either use it as a styler and leave it how it’s been dried or for a more manageable style, you can brush the product out to work in other products to create your look.

I did find once dried, my hair felt quite stiff and dry but this wasn’t really an issue for me as I opted for the second option and also used a pomade on top of it, followed by the NIOXIN Regular Hold Spray to keep it in place.

The NIOXIN Regular Hold Spray provides a light, balanced hold. Featuring LIGHTPLEX technology with thickening polymers and conditioning agents, it has just enough hold to keep it in place all day, but without any of the stiffness or stickiness. I’m not sure if I noticed much difference in terms of thickness but it provided the right amount of hold and did the job.

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If you’re looking for an added boost, the American Crew Boost Powder instantly thickens and lifts the hair to the areas applied. It might take a bit of trial and error to start with but once you’ve got the hang of sprinkling the white powder directly on to your hair, you can create a style full of weight and texture which will last all day.

It gives your hair a matte finish, but it works well with the rest of the American Crew range as a pre-stlyer if you are looking for a more slick style. Once again, I usually apply the American Crew Pomade to finish off.

Finally, if you read my last post you will know that the latest grooming box from Mankind contains the Nanogen 5-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner. Having used the Nanogen range before I was interested to see if this would be just as good as the individual shampoo and conditioners. Luckily, it is, and more. The incredible 5-in-1 treatment helps to cleanse, condition, exfoliate, thicken and strengthen hair. To put it simply, it leaves your hair feeling super healthy and… thick.

Have you tried any of these thickening products? What are your thoughts?

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This post is in collaboration with Mankind. You can view these products and much more here.

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MANKIND GROOMING BOX | CONFIDENCE EDITION

Confidence can take many forms. Whether you class yourself as an introvert or an extrovert, one thing that can help you exude confidence is your appearance and how you feel about yourself. That’s where Mankind are here to help.

The latest Grooming Box* from Mankind is all about Confidence and has everything you need to make sure you are on your A game every time. Featuring hair and skin care essentials from big brands such as Jack Black, Bed Head and Neville, the box has all your everyday essentials covered to get you looking your best.

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Starting from the top, the Nanogen For Men Shampoo and Conditioner 5-in-1 and it’s thickening formula is designed to thicken and strengthen your hair. The multi-targeted treatment contains a blend of hair growth factors, amino acids and exfoliators to keep your hair feeling healthy, nourished and looking it’s best. Having used the Nanogen products previously, it will be good to see if this all in one product is as good as the rest of the range.

On to the face and the Neville Rescue Scrub will help keep your skin clear and healthy.  The combination of volcanic ash and cocoa better is gentle on the skin and will not only tackle any dead skin cells and dirt, but it will also leave your face feeling soft and hydrated. Going into the summer this has arrived at the right time to help unclog your pores from sun creams and excess oils.

If you do shave, applying a post shave balm or  moisturiser straight after shaving will help trap in moisture and speed up the recovery process. The TIGI Bed Head For Men Balm Down Cooling Aftershave works to soothe and hydrate freshly shaven skin, relieving redness and irritation to leave skin feeling fresh and cool.

If like me you don’t shave daily, then the ManCave Original Moisturiser is ideal for some all over hydration. The moisturiser is packed full of natural ingredients to hydrate, mattify and energise skin. The light weight formula is easily absorbed into the skin leaving it smooth and shine free. As ManCave products are free from skin-unfriendly ingredients you know the brand has really thought about what goes into each product. Other notable ingredients here are caffeine which helps control the signs of fatigue and Borage Oil which locks in moisture.

When it comes to hair products I’m usually quite picky however the Jack Black Sleek Finish Texture Cream was a surprise. As stated on the packaging, the product has a flexible hold so if you’re looking for a product to keep your hair in place all day, this isn’t for you. However, if you have thick or wavy hair, the Texture Cream provides long-lasting, flexible control while keeping frizz under control, which is ideal for a natural looking finish.

For me, this is the best Mankind Grooming box I’ve seen to date. Each product has been carefully selected to cover all your needs and to keep you looking your best and fill you full of confidence.

With over £70 worth of full-sized products for just £25, the Mankind Grooming Box is great value for money and sure to sell out fast. For more information and or to shop, click here. 

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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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Hand Heroes

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The constant change in temperature can play havoc with our skin. If you are anything like me and suffer with dry skin, one thing that always feels dry first are our hands. As I spend a lot of my day exposed to the elements, the cold weather and wind and rain can leave my skin and in particular, my hands feeling dry and rough. In fact, if I don’t look after my hands, they get so dry to the point that my skin cracks and bleeds, which is not fun. Luckily, over the years I’ve come to learn which products work best for me.

When it comes to hand creams I look for three things; It has to do the job, be super hydrating and absorb quickly – I really don’t like any type of skincare product that just sits there or feels greasy or tacky.

I always make sure I have the Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream from Grown Alchemist on hand during the colder days. Not only does it do everything I need it too, it also smells amazing. I’m currently working my way through a 300ml bottle which I keep on my desk,  but it’s also available in the Amenity Kit which I featured many moons ago here, if you do fancy giving some of the other Grown Alchemist products a try.

Next up is the Aesop Resurrection Aromitique Hand Balm which I have just repurchased. Much like the one from Grown Alchemist, the formula is nice and thick and absorbs fast into the skin leaving your hands smooth and hydrated. The handy tube means that its something you can keep on your office drawer or in the car for when you need it.

The Resurrection hand care range from Aesop also features a Hand Wash and a sanitising Rinse-Free Hand Wash which is great for on the go in the classic Mediterranean scent. I honestly don’t think there is a Aesop product that I don’t like.

So there you have it. What are your favourite products for looking after your hands?

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