Grooming

The Bluebeard’s Revenge – The Ultimate Hair Tonics for Real Men

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At the risk of being labelled 'a touch predictable’, we at The Amazing Blog couldn’t resist the obvious parallel with our favourite theatrical pastime - that of Panto … ‘Oh NO We Didn’t/ Oh Yes We Did’ etc, when Bluebeard’s Revenge presented us with two of their different Ultimate Hair Tonics for us to try. As regular readers will know we’re fans of this brand, and recently featured their Soap Stack Kit here.

You only have to read the information on the bottles to get a very clear idea that Bluebeard’s Revenge are a company with a cracking sense of humour, is clearly welcomed in the market place with razor burn weary men flocking to try the various products on order to sort the daily assault on our fac es. But be reminded, Bluebeard himself makes it very clear that this range is absolutely only for the REAL man- the kind of man who can wear lace down his chest, but still works the machismo vibe without apology or explanation - who has time for that when there are ships to be plundered and adventures to be had? 

However, we are here to tell you about both their Ultimate Hair Tonics for Real Men The Classic Blend and The Cuban Blend which are stand alone products in themselves and sit right up there with the best of them. The Classic Blend pays homage to traditional barbershop finishes, while the Cuban Blend offers an altogether more exotic, Caribbean-inspired fragrance. Both are oil-free making them ideal for all hair types, and head massages and can even be used as a cutting lotion or to break down product. Both have delicious fresh fragrance The Classic is more citrus/fresh whereas The Cuban is a tad more exotic. As a brand that has Men’s Grooming awards coming thick and fast, it is small wonder then that this range is going from strength to strength. Bluebeard’s Revenge have priced themselves very competitively, and offer much in the way of a total grooming regime to keep us boys in tiptop shape whilst we navigate our daily lives in search of that treasure chest - elusive though as it continues to be. Both these products have vegan friendly ingredients and are available online at an accessible price point of £9.99 for 200ml all from Bluebeards Revenge themselves!

London Beard Company's Eastern Spice Beard Oil

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With us boys at The Amazing Blog embracing the current mood for cultivating an individualistic style through our facial fuzz, it was only a matter of time before we started to search for products that cater to these follicle matters. Enter the London Beard Company! Although a relatively young label, they have navigated an incredibly successful path to grooming outlets across the land, including that most celebrated of department stores, Fortnum & Mason, as well as winning an award from the prestigious Beauty Shortlist for The Best Beard Oil of 2017.

Clearly the London Beard Company are doing something right, with an ever-increasing band of followers keen to lavish some serious attention. And while it may not be breaking news that this is a highly lucrative and competitive market, it is perhaps interesting to note the devotion of The London Beard Company to the beard and male grooming market. The well-groomed man about town is now just as likely to spend as much time and money on perfecting their beard as they have in the past on their hair, so it’s no surprise that The London Beard Company’s products have become ever popular.

With products that not only nurturing our follicles, but also our skin too, we tried their Eastern Spice Oil. Like their other oils, this has a base of olive and argan oils - with the use of 100% natural ingredients, with well documented beneficial properties for the skin. With an evocative mix of clementine and clove, this oil has a warmth akin to this cold time of the year, yet still has a light consistency, with a sweet aroma. For a medium beard, 2-3 pipette drops are recommended, but naturally, with a fuller and more bushy crop, you may require slightly more. For 30ml, we are looking at £17.99, but a little does go a long way! Widely available through stockists across the country, you can also check out the London Beard Co. website here to purchase the Eastern Spice Beard Oil from their online shop.

Christmas Gift Guide for Men

With just eight days to go until Father Christmas arrives, we can’t quite believe how quickly the season of giving has come around. We’re not yet at the stage of panic buying; however, it has to be said that most of us at The Amazing Blog, are beginning to cut it fine with our present ideas. If you too are struggling, then this week we will be providing some last minute gift guides, helping you to spend less time worrying about the tricky receivers to buy for (we all know someone), and more time enjoying the festivities. Today we start with ‘Gifts for Men’, ranging from grooming products to technology and accessories. Grab a mince pie (and a glass of something nice), and let us do the research for you.

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Firstly, we introduce The Bluebeards Revenge - a shaving and grooming company who provide products that promote a sustainable grooming routine, as opposed to the quick rush (and inevitable cuts) from using mass-market products. We previously reviewed their Ultimate Sea Salt Spray (see here), and so we were thrilled to try their Soap Stack Kit. True to their promise of creating products that are neither cheap cans of mass-produced products nor designer creams that are more akin to moisturisers, this set consists of three expertly produced soaps.

Ideal for any wash or gym bag, these soaps are unique in many ways. Primarily, the three scents are the perfect balance between providing a less feminine smell, while also promoting hydration and comfort. The first, ‘Classic Ice Soap’ is a modern twist on the British barbershop fragrance, a welcome scent that provides manliness and moisturisation simultaneously. Secondly, ‘Big Blue Bar of Soap for Blokes’ has a simple and fresh scent, and thanks to the bright blue colour, stands out amongst the sea of other generic products. Equally, ‘Cuban Gold Soap’ is ideal for days when an exotic aroma is needed (calling all Monday mornings!) With inspiration from the Caribbean, this soap packs a punch, and as a result of the unique shape, it is easy to handle, and unique to the eye. To make life even easier, these soaps come packaged in an aesthetically pleasing box, which coupled with the attractive colours, makes for a ready-made present. These soaps lather well and help to invigorate the body. To gain optimum benefits - use from head to toe, either in the bath or shower. The Bluebeards Revenge are also strictly against animal testing, and these soaps are both vegetarian and vegan-friendly - the perfect grooming gift that doesn’t involve a generic body spray or cheap aftershave. The best part? The Soap Stack Kit is affordable, at £13.99. Click here to see for yourself.

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For a man with a newfound grooming routine, a durable wash bag is undoubtedly next on the list. We turned to a brand that we know and love and discovered Morris & Co.’s ‘Refined Gentleman Washbag’, which we think fits the bill perfectly. Part of the brand Heathcote & Ivory, Morris and Co. similarly specialise in creating unique and detailed lifestyle products. We have previously featured both Heathcote and Ivory’s Inflight Essentials and Christmas Gifts Set, so were excited to try a lifestyle product aimed at the male market. Thankfully we were not disappointed!

The Refined Gentleman Wash Bag is the ideal gift for a man that is looking for some luxury. The wash bag itself is generous in size, fitting full sized products in, with ease. Thanks to the use of a zip, it also opens and closes easily, and uses vegan leather, which ensures it is wipeable, and therefore easy to keep clean. The real standout of this product is the Acanthus print, inspired by Morris & Co.’s first wallpaper design. As the primary showcase of the brand’s plan to create large-scale wallpaper designs, we like this historical link, as well as the elegant and unique finish. The inner fabric is also wipeable, made from 100% polyester, meaning any spillages can be quickly rectified. To purchase a wash bag for the gentleman in your life, then click here, where you will find The Refined Gentleman Wash Bag available for £24.

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For a gentleman that enjoys a tipple, we also came across Morris and Co.’sThe Refined Gentleman Hip Flask’. Designed with the same embossed pattern as the above wash bag, this hip flask is a classy addition to any inner pocket. Although it is slim enough to fit most pockets, it contains enough room to hold approximately 200ml of liquid. Once again, the fabric is vegan and wipeable, meaning any sticky alcohol spillages can be removed with ease. It comes packaged in a simple, and elegant box (yes - we look for presents that are easy to wrap too), and we think it would make a great present alongside the Wash Bag or would be equally welcomed with a small bottle of your receivers favourite spirit. Either way (or neither way, as it is equally lovely on its own), you will find it on the Heathcote and Ivory website for £22 - a reasonable price for a present that is durable, and sure to be well loved.

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For something a little more outlandishly festive, we came across Lime Lace. Stockists of stylish home accessories, gifts and furniture, their website offers an abundance of gifting options, from artwork to lighting and cushions. It was, however, the candles that caught our eye, in particular, The Christmas Jumper Candle the perfect balance between Christmas kitsch, and clever design.

This candle adds a little festive spirit to any room and will be sure to make your receiver smile. We must confess that we were concerned by the prospect of this candle looking too novelty, however, we were pleasantly surprised by the enormous amount of detail. The wax has been carved to look like intricate wool, and the addition of the glitter is an excellent way to jazz up any table or mantlepiece. The detail even goes as far as to emulate red stitching around the cuffs and hem, and we were pleased to discover that the glitter is non-transferable. Gone is the worry of packaging a present, only to find a product that has become distinctively less glittery in the process. Additionally, you’ll find the outer box easy to wrap, although we think it would look lovely when wrapped in cellophane, with a red ribbon bow. The size of this candle also surprised us, at 11x12cm, a decent dimension to create an optimum festive atmosphere, without being overbearing. To send a little Christmas cheer of your own, purchase a Christmas Jumper Candle here for £16.95.

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Finally, for the gadget lover in your life, we discovered Orbitkey. Founders, Rex and Charles, started the company after they decided enough was enough when it came to key organisation. Initially, it took just 30 days to gain 5,000 supporters, and with bases in Melbourne and New York, the success is now notable. Based on the concept of making key storage less bulky, we were keen to try the brand for ourselves.

Although Orbitkey have a plethora of different options, we particularly like the Orbitkey 2.0 Leather. This design comes in a vast array of colours, from simple black and stone to more eye-catching sage and tan. In a nutshell, this product provides a way to hold up to 7 keys, organising them, preventing them from scratching and providing a durable and lightweight finish. Now, of course, this product is not merely limited to men, but we particularly think the concept is perfect for men who often carry keys in their pockets. We were astounded by how convenient this product is, not just for protecting the keys, but also other ensuring other items in pockets and bags are equally protected. Orbitkey have also considered the inevitability of needing to add car keys separately, which can be done utilising the slim D-ring at the top of the leather strap. We tried the Orbitkey in Charcoal with Grey Stitching, which has proven to be popular in the office - especially among the male members of our cohort. There is also the option to monogram the genuine cowhide leather, which screams present giving to us (although you may be pushing it this week). We get the impression that design and ergonomics are paramount to this brand, which only extends further into the stylish and sleek box that the product arrived in. To encourage organisation for a man in your life, see the Orbitkey website here, where you will find this design for £35.59 or £46.23 with monogramming.

So there we go, five products that have hopefully given you a little inspiration for any gift giving nightmares. Perhaps you’ve even found a little something that you’d quite like yourself (when is it too late to add to your Christmas list exactly?) Be sure to check out the rest of our guides this week for even more inspiration, or for those of you who are indefinitely organised, perhaps these could be potential gifts for the New Year. Happy shopping!

Captain Fawcett - Triumphant Moustache Wax

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“Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing!” - the wise words of Mr Toad in the Wind and the Willows. Played by Rufus Hound, his thespian talents are not his only distinguishing feature - thanks to his extraordinarily well-manicured facial fuzz. He has since teamed up with Captain Fawcett, a brand providing top quality shaving and grooming products since 2011. Thanks to the highly successful vibe they have created, it is fair to say that the range has now snowballed in both form and profits. Their website even transports you to a bygone world of Dickensian charm, but with an up to the minute interface, encouraging us chaps to lavish some attention on our personal grooming regimes. Having previously tried their Million Dollar Beard Oil (see here), and from reading up on some of Captain Fawcett’s newest adventures, we at The Amazing Blog HQ found ourselves researching for 3-piece tweeds, pipes and baccy…and none of us smoke!

Back to the point, and more importantly, the product which our friend Rufus Hound has collaborated with Captain Fawcett on: ‘Rufus Hound’s TRIUMPHANT Moustache Wax’. Part of the Signature Series, where ‘The Captain’ has teamed up with a string of perfectly coiffed hirsute faces (literally), we were keen to see what Mr Hound’s tin would provide.

Fragrance-wise we have a delicious recipe on offer - there’s bergamot, lime and ylang ylang, with blackcurrant, clove and galbanum. If that’s not enough, then this wax also has earthy notes of sandalwood, ambergris and musk, producing a richl and indulgent pong that sits well on the top lip area. The 15ml tin may be small, but a little goes a long way If you too believe a ‘tache should be primped ’n perky, £12 is a small price to pay. Be warned though, appropriate application is definitely required for the perfect result - use just the flicker of a fingernail amount and ensure it is warmed thoroughly to achieve an even spread throughout. The hold is firm, and once you have styled your moustache, you can be sure that your creation will stay in place for the day.

Available through the Captain Fawcett website for £12 (15ml), you’ll also find a plethora of other goodies to investigate, including information, advice, and updates on The Captain’s latest adventures!

Dark Stag Shaving Set

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There is nothing quite as satisfying as a REALLY good shave - ask any chap who has just been under the blade, and if the results of the daily beard blitz aren’t up to scratch, the whole day ahead runs the risk of being tinged with negativity. Few of us boys at The Amazing Blog have the diary space to indulge in the unashamed pampering that’s enjoyed within the trusted walls of our favourite barbershop each and every day. Oh the joy of shutting out the world for 45 minutes and revelling in the solitude and peace of ‘me time’, whilst having the experts lavish their grooming attentions on us. 

However, Dark Stag is a company based in Worthing, West Sussex giving us all the chance to recreate the authenticity of our hallowed barbershop ground, in the confines of our own bathroom, with a plethora of quality barbering products for us to enjoy. The complete Dark Stag range can be found on their comprehensive website, with everything you could ever need. From combs through to scissors, you will also find the required hardware for a truly exquisite shave. We were sent the Dark Stag Shaving Set, compromising of a doubled edged safety razor, shaving brush and stainless steel shaving bowl. Each product has the feeling of true craftsmanship and quality, which of course always helps in the final result. And that isn’t just important to those of us undertaking the task of shearing our whiskers, but it is of course always of huge concern to anyone who may be getting up, close and personal during the course of the day or evening.

Where Dark Stag have been particularly clever, is in offering a set of products to suit varying price points - particularly useful as we approach the season of tinsel and gift giving. The Dark Stag Shaving Set would make an excellent gift for a loved one, available for £65.00, but as each item from Dark Stag is exquisitely packaged, other products would make fantastic stocking fillers too.