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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Revamp your Grooming Routine with Panasonic

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Waking up during Winter is hard enough. Waking up and starting your morning grooming routine can be even harder. Despite the cold mornings January is the perfect time to look at our current routines and revamp them in preparation for the year ahead.

Starting off the new year with a good routine in place will not only set you up for the rest of 2017 but it is also vital to setting yourself up for a good day. A grooming routine doesn’t have to take long, every now and then it’s ideal to assess what works, what doesn’t, what new products are available and what techniques can be used to cut down on time.

In collaboration with the new Panasonic Electric Hair ClippersI have put this quick guide together to show how you can get maximum results for minimum effort, which means more time in bed!

Teeth

Investing in a good electronic toothbrush will not only save time brushing your teeth, but it also does all the hard work for you. Try investing in a good quality tooth paste and mouthwash to give your mouth that deep clean feeling.

Skincare

When it comes to skincare there are more and more products which are now tailored to men’s’ requirements. With eye creams, targeted treatments and beard oils saturating the market, it’s hard to know what you should include into your routine. With hundreds of products and brands for men to choose from it can all get a bit confusing! Knowing what works for you will be down to trial and error but there are two key elements to a morning skincare routine – cleanse and moisturise. Try investing in a pack of good quality face wipes, these will not only save a couple of minutes but they are so much easier to use then having to physically wash your face. Follow with moisturiser to retain and replenish any moisture lost through the night.

Showering

Try showering the night before. During the winter we sweat considerably less so switching from morning to night can trim 20 minutes off your routine. Not only that, showering at night also prepares you for a good night sleep, relaxing the mind and body, meaning you feel more refreshed in the morning.

Grooming

When it comes to male grooming, the new multipurpose Panasonic Electric Hair Clippers has all your needs covered and can be used for everything from taming your sideburns to shaping your beard.

Featuring new ultra close blades which are 40% shorter than the conventional model, you can achieve a much closer and precise cut, saving time spent going over the same areas again and again.

The ergonomic design and soft grip rubber pads allows the trimmer to fit comfortably in your hand allowing you to have complete control for a clear cut. This allows you to trim intricate areas such as the edges of beards and mustaches into shape on a daily basis.

The trimmer also comes complete with two comb attachments (3mm, 6mm) which can be used for all your beard, body and hair trimming needs. So if you’re going for that designer stubble look all you need to do is select the appropriate guide comb and go lightly over your facial hair with the trimmer, cutting everything back to a uniform length.

Once you’ve finished your routine, simply stand the trimmer back in it’s charging station,  ready for the following morning.

Offering 40 minutes of cordless power you really can groom until your heart’s content! For further information and full specifications on the Panasonic ER-GP21 Professional Hair Clippers head over to the webpage here.er-gp21-k811-product_imageglobal-1_uk_en

The ER-GP21 Professional Hair Clippers can be purchased at Panasonic Direct.

So there you have it, will you be trying any of these tips?  How have you revamped your grooming routine this year so far? 

 

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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How to get a Smooth Shave with King of Shaves

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King of Shaves - for a better shaveIf you’re anything like me, you find shaving to be a chore. Not only does it mean getting up 10 minutes earlier, but your skin can be left feeling itchy, irritated and sore. However, King Of Shaves are here to let you know that with a little time and effort, your shaving routine should be an enjoyable experience with great results every time.

I have partnered with King of Shaves to share with you these five simple shaving tips to achieve a smoother, closer, more comfortable shave with less irritation.
 
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1: Wash. Give your stubble a good wash and soak. Wet stubble is so much easier to cut, which means less tug and pull, less irritation and more comfort. Shaving in the shower is perfect and can save time too. Tip: Did you know you can use King Of Shaves Shave Gels as a pre-shave face wash or beard shampoo too?
 
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2: Massage In. Work your shave gel, oil or serum thoroughly into your beard, to ensure even coverage and to lift the stubble away from the skin. If you suffer with irritation or shaving rash, use a product that is designed specifically for sensitive skin, such as the Advanced Shave Serem, for the extra bit of care – and pay particular attention to those areas whilst working the product into your beard. Creating a thin film-like barrier between your skin and the blade with your chosen products will help ensure a smooth shave with reduced irritation. 

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3: Shave. Whatever your razor of choice, making sure it is clean and sharp are essential. Remember it’s not a race, take it slow and steady. By rinsing the razor frequently you will prevent it clogging and will ensure you get the most bristles in a single pass. For heavy stubble or several days’ growth focus on short strokes and thorough rinsing. Shaving with the grain, in the direction hair grows, will also reduce the tug and pull and lessen the chance of irritation. Tip: Use your finger tips to feel for any missed bristles before you finish and rinse.

4: Rinse. After you’ve dealt with those final few bristles, rinsing well with cooler water will help remove any leftover residue from your shave prep and remove any shaving debris  from your skin. It will also help close up the skin’s pores, leaving your skin naturally better protected.

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5: Moisturise. In time, your skin will restore it’s natural moisture balance. However applying a post shave balm or  moisturiser straight after shaving will help trap in moisture and speed up the recovery process. The Ultimate Moisturiser is fast acting and will leave your skin feeling super hydrated!

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What ever your shaving needs are, King of Shaves have your back. For more detailed shaving advice as well as FAQs and tips on the entire King of Shaves range, visit the FAQ page. 

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Skincare? Just the Tonic

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For those who haven’t heard of Gentlemen’s Tonic before, the business is dedicated exclusively to the needs of men. Founded in Mayfair, the brand combines the old and new; a traditional barbershop experience for the modern man.

Having recently received a selection of Gentlemen’s Tonic products from the guys over at Mankind, I was more than happy to test some of their offerings.

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In order to maintain healthy skin, it’s important to adapt your skin-care routine to the changing seasons. With winter in full swing it’s important to protect your skin from the elements. When it comes to cleansers, choosing the right one for your skin is a must, especially if you have dry skin, the last thing you want is dry skin in the winter.

The Daily Foaming Cleanser (150ml) £16* from Gentlemen’s Tonic is a gentle foaming cleanser, mild enough for everyday use and won’t end up drying out your skin. As I have quite dry skin I tend to skip the cleansing part during the colder months, however I have been using this for the past week and haven’t found it to be drying at all. The natural foaming solution contains no harmful chemicals and is effective at washing off the days dirt and grime whilst leaving it feeling fresh. At 150ml this is a great investment and should see you through the winter.

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Another product ideal for protecting your skin is the Gentlemen’s Tonic Pre Shave Oil (50ml) £19*. Designed to be used before shaving, the oil helps to moisturise and protect the skin by softening the hair pre shave. Used beneath a shaving cream you are able to achieve a close and comfortable shave, all while staying moisturised. The jojoba and avocado oils prevent dryness and dehydration of the skin, while the anti-oxidating black sesame oil prevents razor burn and general irritation to the shave area.

While I don’t wet-shave, I have used this product on the neck area where I tidy up my stubble. I don’t usually get irritation to the area, however the Pre Shave Oil has left my skin feeling clean, moisturised and smooth, so no complaints there. Because the product contains babassu oil it leaves the skin feeling cool with no irritation, so I would definitely recommend this product to someone who suffers with shaving irritation or razor burn.

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Finally, developed from their core fragrance of babassu and bergamot, Honos -Eau de Toilette (100ml) £69*, is the perfect option to finish off your routine. Combining scents of sandalwood, bergamot, frankincense and cinnamon, Honos is a masculine smelling fragrance, with that traditional barbershop vibe to it. Although I tend to wear a more fresh scent, this is a great alternative when I want to mix it up a bit. It’s not overpowering and lasts through out the day which is what you want in a fragrance.

Taking it’s name from the Roman term meaning ‘respectable’ and ‘dignified, Honos is the perfect fragrance for the modern gentleman.

The Gentlemen’s Tonic range is available now and at time of posting is currently on 3 for 2 at Mankind.

Have you tried any of the range before? What are your thoughts?

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(*) items sent for review.