Grooming

Mr Vanguard - Eau de Parfum

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As expectations go, the grooming market for us boys was always going to be big, however exploding into the multi-billion dollar industry has thoroughly proved the doubters wrong. My colleagues at The Amazing Blog inform me that within that market, the growth of  male fragrances has been extraordinary - a glance along the shelves in any perfumier exemplifies the range available. The array of bottles and concoctions designed in a myriad of shapes, colours and textures which would not be out of place in an art gallery, scream out for our attention - and of course our hard earned cash.

So, it is something of a breath of freshly scented air that Mr Vanguard arrived in 2017 offering up a discreet, and yet highly individual fragrance to challenge the huge marketing budgets of the larger brands.  Founded by Emmanuel Omoyele he commented that he wanted to “Develop a new generation of fragrance, merging quality, innovation and style.” He was determined to create a debut scent that was distinctive and a brand that fed the psyche of the contemporary man. Thus, proving that success stems from the core certainty of a winning product, rather than the hype of a huge advertising campaign. And the groaning shelf of awards Mr Vanguard has been decorated with is proof positive that these guys have a true winner on their hands, being awarded Best New British Brand, in Pure Beauty Awards 2018.

The fragrance has top notes of bergamot, grapefruit and coconut, along with jasmine, lily of the valley and rose; we’re transported to the tropical climates of The Far East and The Caribbean, finishing with the base notes of amber, vanilla, cedar wood and patchouli. A complex mix, with several layers, but ultimately a fresh and clean scent that will not overpower. The bottle itself is a triumph of self-restraint - clean and clear glass, angular in shape, simple no nonsense masculinity. Currently only available online here and competitively priced at £64.99 for 50ml, this self-assured fragrance is fast garnering a wide and loyal following, with exciting plans to expand distribution and availability.

 

Matis - Réponse Homme Anti-Ageing Cream

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We all know that to moisturise our skin is a daily requirement, and the earlier we start that process the better it is in the long-term, especially in a world where unseen pollutants constantly assault our epidermis. Yes an assault, whether that be as we go about our regular commute, or as we relax within the confines of a centrally heated or air-conditioned home. We at  The Amazing Blog have discovered the professional skincare brand Matis who have a proven track record in understanding this requirement, and have been bringing us their scientifically researched solutions since 1936… So their pedigree stands up for itself, and this is particularly true with their options for those of us with skin which, well let’s just say is the other side of 40, but still deserves some TLC.

As with all their products, Matis put the greatest emphasis on the provenance of their ingredients, bringing us the science behind how our epidermis changes, along with their thoroughly researched solutions. Particularly their grooming skincare Réponse Homme range with Anti-Ageing Active Cream  is the perfect example of this, whose main ingredient centella asiatica or tiger grass for those of who flunked their Latin, is fundamental to the formula which regenerates our skin cells. A tropical climbing plant which originates from India, it has always been known for its soothing properties - animals roll around in it to heal their wounds. And, along with sweet almond oil biopolymers, messenger peptides, hemp oil and the wax from our trusted favourite bee, we have the perfect antidote to modern day living, literally at our fingertips. With all those goodies, you would expect the cream to be somewhat on the heavy side, but no, this deliciously fragranced balm is light and therefore easily absorbed into freshly cleansed skin in both the morning and the evening.

For those of us who can’t pop over to Paris to purchase our Matis hit, this magnificent moisturiser is of course available online here currently offering 50ml at £37.99. This stockist currently has a special offer when you purchase the Active Cream, customers can get a full size tester of the Matis Reponse Homme Eye Care Eye for free ALSO If you enter the code 'matisgift' at checkout you will also get an additional free gift too!

Etch Taper - Shave Gel

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Increasingly for us boys at The Amazing Blog the once daily chore of keeping our beard in check, has transformed into an art form of near perfectly precise sculpting of the hair, both on our head and our face. Inevitably around this new phenomenon, a thriving commercial model has emerged not only of barber shops opening at an impressive rate on our high streets, but also now an extensive range of grooming products, designed specifically  for the professionals which are offered also to each of us.

Etch Taper - Shave Gel is one such glorious find, and is the brain child of an entrepreneurial biomedical engineer with a fascinating interest in the revered world surrounding the barber’s shop chair, which went a bit further than simply having the ultimate buzzcut. Dr Salman Malik’s story is an inspiration to those who identify with the entrepreneurial hold that takes place when the potential of a solid idea germinates into the foundation stone for the construction of a brand. As if Dr Malik didn’t have enough to concentrate on with securing two Masters Degrees and a PhD, he also found time to study the art of cutting hair, all gleaned from the wonders of the internet - YouTube and Instagram, take a bow - and from this point, gained a loyal client base of eager heads needing to be kept in tiptop shape at the weekends.

Clearly a chap who is driven in an inexhaustible pursuit of knowledge, the nexhet challenge came in trying to source the perfect gel - if we remember his background, the fact his focus was on the perfect formulation of the ingredients with a very clear goal in mind, can come as no surprise at all. In this he was fastidious in producing ‘a shave gel that worked’, and thus we have at our fingertips the glorious golden elixir  he has produced is a slick, clear golden gel which allows us to see what we are doing, whilst lubricating the skin and follicles which are destined for a trim. The fragrance is peppermint based and key ingredients include witch hazel and aloe vera to soothe. It’s so cools as it glides on, and because of its transparent consistency, we can actually be far more precise in the shave job at hand.

Salman hasn’t stopped there, with a marketing campaign as slick as his product - the visual pull from the pharmacy shelf is given high prominence, understanding his target market, and keeping the message clear and succinct. Something tells us his attention to detail will continue to come through as he works towards the dream of opening his own barbershop, and then taking his brand global. When you see how far he has come in a comparatively short time, it would be a short-sighted person who doubted such an outcome; increasing your Instagram following fivefold in just a few months, and securing three distributors is testament to that.

On the subject of distribution, and where we can all get some of this magic formulation to enjoy, check out  where the golden gel (250ml) is available to buy here for £13.00 .

 

Voya Men's Grooming Range

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We head over to the glorious the isle that is emerald, for this post, indulging in, without apology, Voya’s dreamy range of men’s skincare- with such a deliciously smelling combination of clove and lime, it certainly wasn’t a hardship - indeed more an exceptionally unrestrained bout of serious pampering. Such a start to the day really sets you up perfectly for what may lie ahead - good or bad (the day we mean!) the skin is certainly going to be in tiptop shape. The girls at The Amazing Blog have already experience the gorgeousness of this organic Irish brand with a few of their goodies including their Hydrating Body Lotion  So now it’s my turn!

The provenance of this range stems from a formidable heritage, rooted in the luxury spa marketwhich originated in the indigenous bathhouse tradition of Co. Sligo. The bathhouses which opened in 1912 may have since closed, but the essential ingredient which continues to provide it’s magic of course remains in bucketfuls … well vat-fulls really. And this essential ingredient which provides such incredibly healing results is of course seaweed. Naturally, the benefits of seaweed have long been known to soothe and heal, but more thorough investigation continues to throw up advantages not simply in deep detoxification, but also in aiding weightloss amongst other things. As nature’s most powerful anti-oxidant from the vegetal world, it’s hydrating and nourishing properties come from it’s plethora of minerals and vitamins, which have proven to effectively treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and acne, and is particularly good for sensitive skin. It also naturally moisturises, whilst reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by improving skin’s elasticity and stimulating the renewal of damaged cells.

The Voya Men’s grooming range is totally focused on organic seaweed and the following two scientifically proven and 100% natural active ingredientsSpeci’MenTM derived from the Baobab tree, and DEFENSIL®-PLUS: A complex of Blackcurrant Seed Oil and Balloon Vine extract. Here we have a three step routine to savour: An Invigorating Face Wash, (recently awarded Winner in the 2019 Beauty Shortlist Awards) Cooling Shave Gel  and Rejuvenating Moisturiser. These Seaweed-based products use the highest-quality botanical elements and aromatherapy oils in sustainable and historical processes to attain their high level of quality. The organic seaweed itself is harvested by hand to help protect the delicate coastline of West Ireland and no artificial colours or fragrances are used, with all products adhering to the strict COSMOS standard. All this science could easily overshadow the fundamental treat that comes with using this Voya For Men range -  but  we enjoyed, and enjoyment is certainly the route we took! It must also be added that they are perfect for fighting signs of aging, reduce enlarged pores, calm inflammation from shaving and soothe dehydrated skin.

Available here priced at £27.00 for the 125ml Invigorating Face Wash, £23.00 for the same sized Cooling Shaving Gel and £45.00 for the  50ml Rejuvenating Moisturiser … For the level of luxury on offer here, and the chance to bathe in some Irish magic, trust me the cost is well worth it.

 

Andmetics Brow Wax Strips For Men

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The Amazing Blog  can happily confirm (and do so with much relief) that those toe-curlingly awkward moments of the modern commute could be finally behind us all. What do we mean? Well, you know when you find yourself sitting/standing way too close to your fellow passengers; and get a dreadful pang of etiquette confusion, when you notice that said male passenger has had the misfortune to be sporting lopsided brows. Come on now, we all know we have done it - first you notice ‘something’ isn’t quite right, and then the dissection of the facial symmetry takes place and you start literally scanning the visage for the check points! 

What to do? Do you bravely confront the issue head on and risk a vicious rebuff, or do you sink lower into your copy of Simone de Beauvoir, and try (against the odds, it has to be said) to ignore the glaring issue literally staring you in the face … to face? Well, those clever boffins at Andmetics have come up with a most effective solution to this problem. We present to you The Andmetics Brow Wax Strips For Men whose actual wax is shaped for the perfectly matched result - indeed they have a whole range of areas that can be striped of the unwanted follicles, with helpful ‘How To’ guides here.

The focus here is the option for male brows - happily, the process couldn’t be simpler with Andmetics : cleanse the skin to ensure it is clear of any oils or cream; it must be dry for the procedure to work effectively, and then apply each shaped wax strip symmetrically. If that symmetry looks slightly off, gently peel the offending side in the direction of hair growth and reposition. Allow the wax to bond well with what needs to be removed - obviously taking care to avoid anything you want to remain (i.e. eyelashes please note), and then with you primed for the moment of disengagement, tighten the skin, and with a flat angle motion, take a breath, and strip the wax away quickly and cleanly. Should there be any residue left, Andmetics have also provided handy finishing wipes to sort that out and gently soothe the newly spruced area. It really is that simple!

Price wise we are looking at around 9.90€ for a box of 4 full brow treatments, from their online shop here or they can be found on Amazon. So…next time we are faced with misshapen brows, if you feel brave enough you can confidently offer a solution rather than an awkward observation to our fellow commuter!